Simple Tips To Relieve Stress And Rejuvenate Yourself At Work

Stress Relief Tips

A long day of work can be stressful and draining. Follow these simple tips to relieve stress and rejuvenate yourself at work.

  • Splash some water on your face to refresh yourself. This is a simple yet effective way to refresh yourself.
  • Go out for a walk. A walk in the fresh air can give you renewed energy to stay up at work.
  • Eat some fruits or drink their juices. Drinking coffee can give you instant adrenaline boost to feel revived but over time it causes exhaustion. Fruits and their juices can invigorate you without causing any side effects.
  • Keep nature or other soothing photos on your desk. Nature photos can reduce stress and improve productivity.
  • Avoid greasy fast food for lunch. Greasy food can make you feel tired and sleepy. Brown bag your lunch. Bringing lunch from home will not only save you money but also a lot healthier.

    First Published: Aug 30, 2007

What Question To Ask Yourself When Planning Business Success?

Learning A Trade Pays Off

One thing that holds a lot of people back from going into business is a lack of confidence in their own value as a potential businessperson. They look at the world of entrepreneurial endeavour and think of how great it would be to be their own boss, decide the rules and the hours, and make money for themselves. All looks rosy until the question arises of what they are actually going to do. Regrettably, people on getting to this point are liable to think “Well, what can I do that no-one else can offer?”, come up against a brick wall and shelve the plan altogether. Firstly, there are very few unique businesses in the world, and those that are, are so niche that they probably do not make much money.

The better question to ask yourself when planning business success is “what do people need?”. You may also ask yourself what people want, but the former question is more important. People will always pay for what they need, but sometimes they have to lay aside what they want for reasons of economy. Depending of course on how busy you want to be and how much you want or are able to commit to the business initially, you can decide for yourself whether you want to serve a need or satisfy a want. One way or the other, this raises the question – “am I equipped to do what people need?”. If you do not feel that you are, this need not be the end of your entrepreneurial venture.

It has been proven time and again that people will pay for someone to do something they cannot do for themselves. It may be something really rather straightforward in real terms, but there may be many factors preventing them from doing the job themselves. Maybe they are impaired in terms of mobility or a certain motor function. Maybe they are extremely busy. Maybe they feel that the job would be better done by someone with the knowledge of how to do it.

This is where learning a trade really pays off. If you have ever considered learning a trade, there is really no better time. And if you never have, then why not consider it? Remember, there are many of us who work for a company or a boss because we don’t feel that we can drive things forward ourselves due to a lack in some part of the process. But why limit yourself? You can learn a trade, and the knowledge will end up paying for itself.

There are countless trades that we can go into. Maybe you’ve always fancied learning to become a plumber. By doing this, you can find yourself very much in demand from the get-go. People will always need plumbers, handymen, decorators and all kinds of other tradesmen. The benefits to you from doing a course in a trade that you find interesting will stay with you for some time – and could be the key to a goldmine that will just keep on giving.

First Published: July 4, 2009

Jumping Into The iPhone

Do You Really Need That iPhone?

All of the iPhone hype and anticipation is about to end. Apple will launch first model on June 29. 6.00 pm. iPhone is a combination of a cell phone, iPod and a wireless internet device. iPhone has lots of never seen before features but some of the features might not meet consumers' expectations and first generation product will always have flaws.

The following are some of the issues consumers should take a close look at before jumping into the iPhone:

  • First model product is kind of a test product and will always have flaws.
  • Touchscreen (no button keyboard) typing may not be a pleasant experience for many consumers.
  • iPhone is not 3G compatible, instead uses a slower 2.5-generation network.
  • There is no memory card slots.
  • No 3rd party applications can be used. 
  • Battery is sealed and can not be removed like other cell phones.

A prudent financial decision would be not to buy this first generation gadget. Wait till the hype dies down and all the first generation bugs are fixed. You will be paying a lot less and will be getting a lot more value for your money.

First Published: June 26, 2007

Internet Business and Online Money Making

Internet Business These Days

Another type of business that is getting very much popular nowadays is the internet business. People who own a successful internet business are enjoying the financial benefits and also maintaining a luxurious life style. There are a lot of internet marketing experts who are available for live support online and also they write article or blogs on various websites which can be easily accessed to know the tips and tricks of the trade. There is quite a lot of online money making tutorial websites now present on the internet and people have learned the necessary details and have managed to become the entrepreneurs and have earned mil lions through the internet business. All you should know is to make yourself aware of the internet business strategies. In order to reach the place where you can be an entrepreneur of you own internet business, you must first know all the tools, resources and necessary technical know how.

The very first thing that you need to know for online money making is that you need to decide what sort of product you would want to launch and promote through your website or what sort of internet services you may want to provide to your visitors. You will then need to register a domain name for you and a web host who will host your website. Some website host servers charge as low as $80 per month.

There are many popular ways to make money online for example, blog writing, social networking or a search engines. Blog writing is more fun filled and creative form of activity and plus once you have the internet traffic on your website, your blog site can earn you thousands of dollars per month. A lot of visitors visit blog sites to read and share the information on various topics. Once this becomes viral it will start giving you the kind of promotion you need to be successful in your internet business.

Social networking is another source to earn online. You must have visited a lot of social networking websites who offer a platform for the people all over the globe to know each other and make friends. There are also dating websites and lot of people subscribe to these sites. Social networking also has proved to be a great deal of a help for internet business and money making. And if we talk about the Search engines optimization or SEO it is also getting very much popular. SEO is basically based upon the back links. You can place back links in your articles and place them at article web sites or other blog sites etc. The SEO (search engine optimization) of your website affects the popularity of your website and bring you to a higher ranking at famous search engines. The SEO also promote the web traffic to your page. One important point that a newbie should never ignore is that making money through online business is going to take a lot of hard work and time as well. You should be very clear in the beginning whether you want to choose the internet business for a part time or full time option and which methods of marketing you would consider. The best trait for you is to believe in yourself and this is the only trait you need to make things happen.

First Published: Feb 13, 2010

Bill 791 to 134 - Rewards Credit Cards & Loyalty Programs Survive in Quebec

Rewards Credit Cards & Loyalty Programs in Quebec Canada

Part 1

I wrote Part 2 before May 1, 2017. But just before publishing, I found out that the Quebec government is pursuing a different bill, Bill 143, instead of 791. Bill 134 does not have the clause prohibiting devaluing loyalty programs as I mentioned in point 3 below. As a result, the Part 2 article below is no longer valid. Had Bill 791 passed, it would have been the end of rewards cards and programs in Quebec. However, I am publishing Part 2 anyway for your information and reference purposes.

Part 2

Will This Be The End of Rewards Credit Cards & Loyalty Programs in Quebec Canada?

Bill 791 Puts Rewards Programs at Risk of Extinction

One of the Canadian provinces, Quebec, has introduced a bill Quebec 791. This bill proposes three new legislative requirements for loyalty programs that operate in Quebec to protect consumers.

What Bill 791 means (if comes into reality) in simple terms is that rewards or loyalty programs will have to abide by these rules:

- Inform public how to collect + use the rewards

- The rewards won’t expire (once collected)

- The program or value cannot be changed when you use the rewards, devaluing the program

Loyalty or rewards programs can accept rule # one or two mentioned above. But rule # three is one with which no loyalty companies can comply. In theory, this sounds like a great idea because you are guaranteed to retain the value of the points you are collecting, whether it’s airline, hotel, or other points. In reality, this is not sustainable by any hotel, airline, or other rewards programs.

Changing the award chart, adjusting rewards redemption rate, or devaluing loyalty program, whatever you call it, is a necessity for the loyalty programs and it’s a must to survive. It’s kind of like inflation making grocery prices going up; whether you like it or not, it will happen.

Restricting loyalty programs to make necessary adjustments to survive will only make things worse and chase these programs away from Quebec. Quebec residents are the one who will suffer in the end.

And there is no need to wait to see the consequences. It’s already happening – MBNA Alaska Airlines MasterCard has already pulled out of Quebec. Other programs like SPG, IHG, Hilton Honors, Aeroplan, Avios, Amex, and many more will have to follow the same path.

If this bill passes, it will possibly be the end of rewards credit cards and loyalty programs in Quebec, especially those are international. Quebec residents and point collectors should take a hard look at this bill before it’s too late.

Is it possible to hold an annual fee credit card and still pay no annual fee?

Annual Fee Credit Cards

Is it possible to hold an annual fee credit card and still pay no annual fee? I am not talking about a no annual fee credit card. I am talking about credit cards with attached annual fees. Let me answer the question now. Yes, it is possible to have an annual fee credit card and pay no annual fee whatsoever.

I am not just saying this because I know it. I am saying this because I actually do it. I have an Aeroplan Credit Card which comes with an annual fee and so far I have managed to pay no fee year after year. How I do that? Follow these tips to start enjoying an annual fee credit card without paying any fess:

You have to have lots of transactions on your card. Your credit card company will not waive an annual fee on a card which has no or a few transactions. The more transactions you have, the better it is. Instead of using many cards, use only one. A few hundred dollars annual expenses may not be enough but a few thousand dollars will be enough for your card company to waive your annual fee.

Keep an eye on your monthly statements. Once you see an annual fee charge on your statement, call your credit card company and ask that you would like this annual fee charge to be reversed or you won’t be able to keep your account.

Do not expect the customer service associate to say yes right away. They are trained to hook people into a fee paying card. Once you tell them that you don’t want to pay any annual fee and would like to cancel your account, they will give you many reasons to keep your existing card or switch into another annual fee bearing card. Let me give you some examples to give you an idea of what you can expect to hear from your customer service associate -

If you cancel your account, you will lose all your credit records involving this credit card.

I can switch you to a different credit card with a lower fee.

Do not be intimidated by what you hear. Be firm and stick to your point, you will get what you want. One point worth mentioning here is that this article applies only to those who pay credit card balance in full every month. If you carry a balance and not able to pay your balance in full, there is no point calling your card company as you have no cards in your hand to play.

First Published: Aug 23, 2007

Being Your Own Boss Is Easier Than Ever

Taking Your Employment into Your Own Hands

In tough economic times, you may want to find ways to secure your employment and secure your paycheck. There are many ways to do this, and pretty much none of them involve working for someone else. In the 21st century, more and more people are beginning to learn that working for someone else is not the way to go. When you work for someone else, you are putting your life in their hands and as has been seen with corporations over and over, shareholders are more important than employees. Why show loyalty for a company that may fire you to save money? In addition, if you work very hard you might get promoted but the chances are you will not. The harder you work, the same you will get paid. Why should those above you benefit from the work you do?

This is why being an entrepreneur is such a great idea. When you are in charge of your own life and you are in charge of your own career, you get several benefits. First, as an entrepreneur, you can work in an industry that you love. If you like doing yard work, start a yard work company. If you love graphic design, then begin doing graphic design from home. All of this can easily be done through being the owner of your own business. The other big benefit of being your own boss is that when the company does well, you do well. If you work hard and make an extra $50,000 for the company, then that entire $50,000 goes to you. If you have employees, you can treat them the way you wanted to be treated when you were an employee. Being your own boss puts the power in your hands and it can be one of the most satisfying things in your life.

These days, being your own boss is easier than ever. In the past, when you owned a business in your area, your customer base was only the people who could get to your store. This would greatly limit the potential for your company. However, with the creation of the internet, your customer base goes from a few hundred to a few million thanks to the ability to make money online with an internet business. Whether it is selling services online, or just selling products, the sky is the limit when you are working for yourself from your home with a business that you have online.

Another great thing that the internet does for you is it allows is it provides you with the resources of individuals who have been their own boss for years. These resources can teach you how to be a boss and how to make your business successful. Websites like help you by giving you the ability to be successful with your online business. Whether you are delving into e-commerce by selling products online, marketing yourself through social media marketing, or just doing some freelance writing, being your own boss is something you will come to love, especially when you are making a good living at it.

First Published: Feb 28, 2010

What Is IHG Points Break?

Photo Courtesy:

Photo Courtesy:

How to Travel Cheap Using IHG Points Break

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) Rewards Club is the loyalty program of hotels such as InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Candlewood Suites, and Staybridge Suites. IHG has over 5000 hotels across the globe.

Usually it costs to stay 10,000 to 60,000 points per night. However, IHG runs a promotion every three months (called IHG Points Break) that lets members to stay in hotels for 5000 points only. About 170 IHG hotels participate in this program.

A participating hotel can be booked for a maximum of two stays/reservations for unlimited nights. For example, you can book 2 rooms in the same hotel or book 2 different dates to stay as many nights as you want (if it’s available) and they will be considered 2 reservations. However, that same hotel cannot have more than two reservations/bookings. You can view the list of hotels under points break here.

There are several ways you can accumulate IHG points. I will not go into detail on all of the possible ways to accumulate IHG points in this article. You can find out easily by searching online. My favourite way to earn IHG points is to buy them when they are on sale. At the regular rate, 5000 IHG points cost $67.50 US. However, IHG runs points sales often with 100% bonus points, making it 5000 points for around $34. This means that you are staying at a hotel for $34 per night.

If you act right away when IHG announces their next segment points break, you maybe able to get a hold of an expensive hotel for 5000 each night. The steep discount sometimes can be as high as 90%. To make the most out of IHG points or their points break, learn the ins and outs of the IHG Rewards Program and here is a good article to get you started: The Complete Guide to IHG Rewards

How to Handle Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card Negative Changes

Tangerine Credit Card Cuts Its Cash Back Rewards

If you have a Tangerine credit card that offers cash back rewards, the good old days of getting excellent rewards with no fee are over. Starting April 29, 2017, Tangerine will slap on a few negative changes that will make its popular no- fee credit card less desirable.

There will be several negative changes. However, today I will only mention those that I feel will have the most impact on day-to-day uses of this credit card.

The Tangerine Money-Back credit card earns 2 percent on 2 selected categories (actually there can be 3 categories if you choose to deposit your cash bank in a Tangerine Savings account) and 1 percent on everything else. This 1 percent on everything is where it’s getting axed by Tangerine to a reduced 0.5 percent return. Another popular feature this card used to have is a 1.5 percent foreign transaction fee instead of the 2.5 percent that most other Canadian credit cards charge. Tangerine is axing this as well to a 2.5 percent foreign transaction fee.

A point worth mentioning is that there are credit cards in Canada that do not charnge a foreign transaction fee. I talked about these cards here in my YouTube video here: Credit Cards That Save You Foreign Transaction Fee

What you can do if you are already a Tangerine cardholder is keep using your Tangerine Money-Back credit for those selected 2 or 3 categories where it still returns 2 percent and switch to other credit cards that offer a better rate than 1/2 percent on everything else. The BMO Cash Back MasterCard and Simply Cash from American Express are two such cards that offer a flat 1 percent and 1.25 percent returns on everything across the board. The Rogers Platinum MasterCard also offers a flat 1.75 percent on everything, but there is a $29 annual fee if you are not a Rogers customer.

I have a video on cash back credit cards as well. There are many other free and annual fee cash back credit cards available. Research online to find the card that best suits your needs. My site and YouTube channel provide lots of information on credit cards that will help you find your credit cards. And unlike most other sites, my opinions are unbiased because I do not accept money or provide affiliated links to make money from credit card companies.

Beware Of No Name ATMs

ABM Scams & Tips

Canadians carry roughly 35 million debit cards and its no wonder scam artists are coming up with innovative technics to tamper ATM machines. ATM thefts are on the rise at an alarming rate. What can you do about it? My number one recommendation - Be extremely cautious using a No Name ATM machine.

What do I mean by No Name ATM? These are the machines not operated by well-known financial institutions such as TD, CIBC etc. Sometimes these are called White Label machines or Stand-Alone ATMs. No Name machines are privately owned and operated. You will see No Name machines in next-door grocery stores, bars, casinos, malls ... virtually everywhere. Follow these tips to protect yourself from scam artists:

  • No Name ATM can cost you somewhere between $2 to $5 service fees, in addition to your own bank fess. Do you really need cash that desperately at this moment? How about walking a couple of blocks to withdraw from your own bank's ATM?
  • Scam artists use hidden cameras, scanning devices, peep holes, card readers to copy your P. I. N. and card info to produce clones(same as yours). Later on, scammers will use those clone cards to purchase or simply they will empty out your bank accounts.
  • Cover you key pad so the person behind you can't see your key-punch. Covering key pad will also prevent hidden cameras taking your key-punch shots from the top or from the side.
  • If you notice anything unusual or suspicious, refrain from using the ATM. Examples of unusual or suspicious things are: slot does not feel right when you insert card, visible attachments to the slot or to anywhere on ATM, unusual messages on the screen or on anywhere on ATM, messages asking to use one particular ATMs, individuals standing nearby posing as technicians or customers.
  • You should not have to force your card into the slot. If your card gets stuck in an ATM, call your bank immediately

It's a good idea to use ATMs which you are already familiar with. Pick a well-lit ATM in a good neighbourhood.  If you findanything suspicious(either individuals or anything your are not comfortable with), do not use the ATM and leave that place. Always take precautions and be vigilant when using an ATM. Be always safe.

First Published: Aug 10, 2007

How Successful Entrepreneurs Use The Law Of Attraction

Affirming the Law of Attraction – the Successful Entrepreneur

No one disputes that there is in nature a law of positive attraction, by which people hope to gain many things, including money, by doing things and saying things that they hope will invoke its power.

The reality is that the law of attraction will always work for you, bringing about the things that you desire, so that what you want will come to you. The only problem with it, and what you need to understand is that you don’t always know what it is that you really want, and what you say you want, and what you really want are often two completely different things.

The successful entrepreneur will attract success because that is what he wants, that is what he is aiming for, and regardless of failures along the way, he will still have his eye on the ball. Everything that he does, his whole attitude and approach will reflect that deep down desire to make whatever enterprise he chooses to engage with, work and become a success. That is not to say that there will not be mistakes and errors of judgment, but when these occur, lessons will be learnt, errors discarded, and new ways to make things work will be actively looked for and sought. Ideas will come as if by magic but really they are the product of a focused mind sifting and looking for potential.

This positive attitude will tend to attract the information and concepts which are most needed to put in place something which is highly desired, which could be to get a new business going, or to reduce current working hours without losing money or momentum.

This positive attitude, which seems to attract success can easily be compared to a less focused attitude, which might appear to put a lot of effort in, but still complains of lack of success. Two men have to be at a meeting – one gets there on time, although the car broke down. The other would have got there, but the car broke down. You will hear the little “but” creep in whenever what someone says was their main desire, in fact really wasn’t.

People might say they want to go out to work but they have to stay at home with the family. They might say that they want to work from home, but neighbours keep calling in for a coffee. When they complain that their business isn’t working, it is easy to see that what they really want to do is to be at home with the family having coffee.

The law of attraction is simply that you will make every effort to get what you want and attract what you really want to you – if you are focused and do what is necessary to get a money making venture to start, you will be successful if that is what you want – but if your dreams and hopes lie in other directions – you will attract a mixed outcome at best.

First Published: Feb 1, 2010


SimplyCash Preferred Cash Back Credit Card Annual Fee Goes Up

American Express Cash Back Credit Card

Amex’s annual fee cash back credit card is going through a bit of a facelift, including receiving a higher annual fee. However, existing users will be able to continue paying $79 per year.

With a new $99 annual fee, there is a promotional bonus of 5 percent cash back for the first three months, capped at $300. What this means is that you can spend a total of $6,000 in three months or $2,000 each month to catch this promotion.

Also, there is no more spending limit on 2 percent cash back. This card comes with some insurances, such as emergency travel medical, travel accident insurance, and car rental theft & damage insurance.

The 2 percent return on all spending is a good cash back rate, but there are other Canadian cash back cards that offer the same return. MBNA Rewards World Elite (2% flat), Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite (4% on selected categories), Scotia Gold American Express (4% on selected categories), BMO Cashback World Elite MasterCard (1.75% flat, but has various added perks) are just a few.

On the no-annual fee side, Amex has its own SimplyCash card that earns 1.25 percent flat on everything. Some other no-fee credit cards to consider include Rogers Platinum MasterCard (free for Rogers customers, 1.75% cash back), Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card (2% flat on selected categories), and the RBC Cash Back MasterCard.

Here are some links to my YouTube video on cash back credit cards I have released in the past:

Which Credit Cards Give the Most Rewards Points of Cash Back?

What Are Some of the Best Cash Back Credit Cards?

Still paying banking fees?

Stop Paying Bank Fees

Are you still paying banking fees? If you are, you should look at free banking options. A monthly fee of $12 or $15 can trun into a considerable amount over the years. Follow these steps to eliminate banking fess.

A. Consider banking online with a finanicial institution who gives you lots of value added services. An example is President Choice Financial. I get free checks (which TD, CIBC would never give) and earn at least $100 in free groceries just for using their services. It's like a double-dip bonus. I am banking free and getting free money for free banking.

B. If you are not comfortable with online banking, find out what is the threshold to avoid bank fees at you local branch. Usually this threshold level is $1000 but it can vary bank to bank. Shop for the best deal and never pay any transaction,ABM or checking fees.

C. Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) provides interactive tools, cost of banking guide and information about different types of accounts and banking service packages available in Canada on their website. Click on the above link and then click on For Consumers and it will take you to a page where you can do your research on banking and other financial products and services.
First Published: June 22, 2007

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Entrepreneurs and Affiliate Marketing

A great many of us spend time looking for ways to make a little bit more money. Whether it is because our current job doesn’t pay us enough, or because business is our job, the ideal situation for us would be to find a way of making money without actually doing anything. This is impossible, of course. Isn’t it? Well, to some extent it is, but there are ways of setting things up so that you can make money for yourself without ever having to do a great deal. It does require a bit of work up front, and a little bit of knowledge too, however, so it is not the fabled “money for nothing” situation for which many of us would give our eye teeth. It is as close as most of us will get, though.

The practice of affiliate marketing is becoming more and more popular for Internet savvy entrepreneurs who know enough about the vagaries of business to be able to harness the power of the web and make hundreds, even thousands of pounds without needing to do a great deal. It is actually a fairly simple practice, although there is some amount of corkscrew logic involved in getting to the stage where it is up and running, and paying money to you on a regular basis. There is also some amount of caution required, as the Internet is as riddled as any other marketplace with fraudsters and tricksters. Once you are in, though, you may be surprised by how much money you can actually make.

The idea of affiliate marketing is that businesses gain promotion from an individual or another business placing an advertisement for a product or service on their website. The mere placement of an advertisement, however eye-catching, is no guarantee of a profitable affiliation. The website on which it is placed does much of the work for the affiliate. If we say, for example, that the company looking to advertise is one which sells a range of sunglasses, beach towels and other holiday paraphernalia, the person looking to act as an affiliate would be well-served by setting up a travel blog or website. Therefore, visitors to their website will come to read about traveling and holidays, spot the advertisement and potentially click through to buy a parasol (for example).

As long as the affiliate marketer is aware of the way to do things – and this is usually agreed at the point of making an affiliation – they can earn commission from each customer who buys from the merchant’s website after clicking on “their” ad. The success of an affiliate marketing campaign depends on the marketer pre-selling, however subtly, a product which is then advertised on their site. It can be summed up as telling someone that they need something, and telling them where they can get it, without ever making the link explicit. You leave them to make that link themselves.

First Published: June 8, 2009

The Best Cheapest and Worst Days to Fly

Best and Worst Time to Fly

There are various factors that affect plane tickets. If you are flexible to choose when you want to fly, picking some days over others may be beneficial to your wallet.

Worst Time to Fly

Christmas and New Year Season – Those two weeks around Christmas and New Years should be avoided. Peak worst days at this time can be the long weekend or the weekend before holidays.

Spring Break – Though this season can vary based on where you are, in general early March to mid-May can be hectic to fly.

Summer – Summer is a bit tricky. It can be the low season for hot destinations and high season for cold destinations. Long weekends are the worst time to buy tickets. June, July, and August are in general peak time for summer destinations.

Thanksgiving – A couple of days before and after Thanksgiving are the worst time to fly. But the day of Thanksgiving itself offers great discounts if you can fly.

Worst Days to Fly

Fridays and Sundays are the most expensive days to fly.

Best Days to Fly

First Cheapest Days to Fly – Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Second Cheapest Days to Fly – Thursdays and Saturdays.

Best Time to Fly

Fly when most people don’t want to fly due to inconvenience. For example, very early in the morning, overnight flights (red-eyes), lunchtime, and dinnertime.

Last Word

Sometimes no rules will work if you want to take certain flights that only operate once a week or only certain days of the week. Also, if you have several legs of a continuous trip and can’t match the full trip to one of the cheaper days, try to make at least half the leg of the trip fall on the cheaper time frame to save money.

Online Money Making Scams - Fact or Fiction

Beware Of Online Money Making Websites

Making one’s way in business is something that requires not only a lot of work on the part of an individual, but some amount of luck too. Starting out as an entrepreneur presents a series of challenges, and it is unsurprising that many businesses fail in their first year. Realistically, if a business is going to fail the that is as likely a time as any. Before you have really found your feet you may come up against some issues that, despite your best will, will prove insurmountable. And what really doesn’t help is the vast amount of supposed “help” that is out there for entrepreneurs, some of which is irrelevant to your own case, some of which is just plain lies.

Among the things that you need to look out for are websites that promise to make your business go through the roof in its first six months just by following some simple advice. While there are websites out there which will be of significant help to any potential entrepreneur, there are just as many – more, in fact – that will be as much use to you as a glass hammer. The latter can be recognized a lot more easily than the former. One thing to look out for is a site which is short on actual relevant detail. These sites are recognizable from the start. Most willhave bright, gaudy graphics, and grab your attention by highlighting seemingly random words and using highly informal language.

The individuals who has set up these website are doing their level best to get as many subscriptions as possible from interested or desperate customers by assaulting their senses and making broad hints while revealing nothing about themselves or their service. The sites have taken little time and cost only a small amount to set up, so from the moment they pick up even a small few subscribers they are already in credit – unlike their customers.

Sometimes you will be offered the chance to hear a talk from a “guru” who can give you the simple secret that guarantees business success. Being a successful entrepreneur is not about simple secrets, and business success is never guaranteed. Always look out for someone who goes out of their way to tell you what they think you want to hear. They may well even give you warnings like the ones in this post – but then they will ask you for money. You cannot buy business success from scratch, and anyone who promises that they can show you how to is simply selling a lie.

The information that will allow you to really build your business and make it profitable is a whole lot more mundane than some big flashy secret that needs to be advertised on a website that looks like it was designed by a room full of drunken chimps. It might even justifiably be called “boring”. The reason is that the people who are furnishing this information do not need to send up fireworks to distract from the holes in their logic – realizing as they do that there is a lot more long term future in giving people a formula that works.

First Published: May 26, 2009

Mileage Plan 101– Tips, Tricks, and the Basics

Alaska Mileage Plan - What You Need to Know

Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan is one of my favourite frequent flyer programs and I use this program to fly Business class across the globe paying very little. It’s no wonder Alaska Airlines and its loyalty program rank at the very top on customer satisfaction year after year.

This Mileage Plan is dynamic in the sense that it’s not part of any 3 alliances; rather it has a pool of partners from all 3 alliances and some non-allied airlines. Here are Alaska Mileage Plan partners:

- Aeromexico

- Air France

- American Airlines

- British Airways

- Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong)

- Delta Air Lines

- Emirates (Dubai)

- Fiji Airways (formerly Air Pacific)

- KLM (Netherlands)

- Korean Air

- LAN (South America)

- PenAir (Alaska)

- Ravn Alaska (formerly Era)

- Qantas (Australia)

Now, let’s look at some basics of Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan frequent flyer program.

Stopover Allowed on One-Way Trip - This is one of the most sought-after features in Mileage Plan rewards. It allows stopover on one leg of the journey or 2 stopovers on a round trip. So you can visit 2 countries instead of one on a one-way trip or 4 countries on a round trip if you use this feature wisely. However, some partners do not allow stopover. Visit for more info.

No Mix and Match – The Mileage Plan does not allow more than one partner on a one-way flight or on one leg of the trip in a round trip. However, it is allowed to combine with one partner + Alaska Airlines.

Generous Mileage Chart – Unlike other programs, the Alaska Mileage Plan has different redemption charts for different partners and different regions. Usually required miles are a lot less to travel business class compared to other loyalty programs. I will provide some examples below.

Avoiding Fuel Surcharges – Avoid British Airways, as their Mileage Plan collects fuel charges on BA flights, which can be hefty (in the area of $500, for example) on even short flights.

Cancel, Change, and Phone Booking - Alaska allows you to cancel or change within 60 days of departure for a $125 fee and no fee if before 60 days. The phone booking charge is $15 per ticket.

How to Search/Book Flights – You can search and book all partners’ award space on the Alaska website except for Cathay Pacific or LAN. For these, you need to search on partners’ websites such as British Airways, Qantas Airways and then call Alaska to book over the phone. You can learn more on how to search for Alaska award flights by searching more online.

Collecting Alaska Miles – Bank of America and MBNA Canada offer Alaska credit cards with other perks and features. From time to time they will also offer Alaska sales miles on discounts.

Some Alaska Rewards Flights Examples

- Cathay Pacific (CP) to Asia on business class for 50,000 miles with a stopover in Hong Kong

- You can fly to Africa for 50,000 as well with a stopover in Hong Kong on CP. This is real, not a dream.

- CP to Australia or New Zealand with a stopover in Hong Kong for 60,000.

- Qantas business class to Australia or New Zealand for 55,000 miles. Or you can fly to Auckland and have a stopover on Sydney.

- Japan Airlines luxury first class to Asia with a stopover in Tokyo for 70,000 miles.

- Fiji Airways business class to Australia or New Zealand with a stopover in Fiji for 55,000 miles.

- Fly Air France business class for 60,000 miles to Tahiti from LA.

There are so many other possibilities the Alaska mileage plan offers that I find it hard to believe. With proper planning and research, you can see the world in style with Alaska miles.

Don't Buy Toothpaste, Food and Cosmetic At Dollar-Type Stores

What Not to Buy at Dollar Stores

Colgate-Palmolive company recently reported that counterfeit toothpaste has been found in some dollar-type stores in the U.S. The counterfeit toothpaste may contain diethylene glycol and may not contain fluoride at all. Diethylene Glycol is a hazardous chemical, which is also found in antifreez and Colgate-Palmolive does not use diethylene glycol in toothpaste anywhere in the world.

In the past, investigation revealed that many brand names products found in dollar-type stores were not the same as from a reputable chain store. In Canada, as far as I know, nothing has been reported like the U.S. but it does not hurt to take precautions to avoid counterfeit products. I ask you to avoid buying food products, cosmetic products and chemical products at dollar-type stores. These products may contain potentially harmful ingredients and may pose health risks.Saving a few dollars is not worth the risk.
First Published: June 17, 2007

PayPal Is One Of The Most Powerful Forces In E-commerce

What Is PayPal?

The way the world is at present marks a quite significant change from how things were even ten years ago. Here is a little exercise to do with Internet surfing habits. When you got on the ‘net, chances are that you used Google to find pages – but did you use it as exclusively as you do now? When you were looking for fast, detailed information on any one of a range of subjects, if you were on the Internet ten years ago you certainly didn’t use Wikipedia. It wasn’t invented, even in its most basic form, until the turn of the century. And as for financial transactions, it’s almost certain that you were using credit card details, because PayPal was in its absolute infancy.

The list goes on. Only programmers of a certain level of ability were setting up websites of any real intricacy, and maintaining them. The word “blog” would have led someone to look at you with barely concealed fear for your mental health – although LiveJournal did exist and was on its way. The very concept of “blogging”, though, was a very niche market and idea up until the middle of this decade – but is now at the fingertips of thousands upon thousands of people. All of the above concepts, and others, have become common currency only in recent years but, now they are in vogue, they are immensely powerful and shape a lot of our working life and everyday lifestyle.

Business is never slow to react to a trend. In all honesty, if you want to see what will be on everyone’s minds, desks and t-shirts two years from now, it is well worth looking at what the business community are doing now. This requires some amount of judgement on your behalf as well, of course – not least because large sections of the business community are busily ramming documents into shredders, crying and booking flights to countries that have no extradition policy. But if the business world decides thatsomething will be big, it is worth getting on board, because the likelihood is that it will play a big part in all of our lives in time to come. Of the above Internet concepts, one of the most powerful is PayPal.

There are few of us who have not sat in front of a monitor preparing to send payment for a service or an item and thought “Do I really want to send my card details over the Internet?”. It’s safe, ninety-nine point nine (recurring) times out of a hundred, but there is always that little jag of doubt. But for the entrepreneur who wants to sell online, the joy of PayPal is that people have far fewer qualms about using it. It is tried and tested, efficient and speedy, and it is becoming accepted by more and more companies. As time goes on this is set to increase, and the people who use PayPal now will be in a stronger position than the late adopters, as they will know how to run an account efficiently.

First Published: May 11, 2009