3 Things You Will Love and Hate About Amex Cobalt Card

American Express Cobalt Credit Card

American Express launched a new credit card recently. I will talk about 3 things you will love and hate about this credit card. Let’s start with 3 things you will love.

Rewards Structure: The first thing you will love is its rewards on some specific things such as grocery and restaurants, which will earn 5 rewards points. By far this is the highest return (5%) in Canada if you redeem these points for travel purposes.

Annual Fee Structure: Instead of paying $120 annually, you will be paying $10 per month. This is another first as well and it’s easier on your wallet to pay each month rather than a year at a time.

SPG Points: The capability to convert rewards points to Starwood Reward points (1:0.05). What this means is that for certain categories you will earn 2.5 SPG points, which is hard to find anywhere else.

Now let’s talk about 3 things you will hate.

Missing Travel Insurances: Although the Cobalt card provides some travel insurances, it does not provide very important travel insurances such as Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption, which are a must for any traveller.

No Airline Points Transfer: The Cobalt card does not offer any direct airline transfer partners such as Avios or Aeroplan. Yes, you can transfer to many airlines via SPG, but for many that’s not an option.

Not Accepted Everywhere: This is a common problem with all Amex cards, as they are not widely accepted everywhere like Visa and MasterCard.

Before selecting any credit cards, always do your research and make an educated decision based on your lifestyle and needs. If you would like to watch this article in a video, please visit here:

Amex Cobalt | 3 Things You Will Love & Hate |

The Most Successful Entrepreneurs in History

Successful Entrepreneurs in the World

Every field has those who excel, and entrepreneurship is just a further example of that. There are those who do well as entrepreneurs, and then there are those who do amazingly well. They are the ones who excel at what they do, and move forward in life to greatness. So, who are these entrepreneurs and what did they do to make themselves so successful?

  • Richard Branson: One of the most famous men on Earth, he is known for his adventures just as much as he is for his business. Branson dropped out of school at the age of 16 and began a magazine called Student Magazine. From there, he went on to form Virgin Records, which signed some of the best bands of the 70s. Moving forward, he then created an entire Virgin brand that has 360 companies within it, including an airline and the world’s first space tourist service.
     
  • Coco Chanel: Growing up as an orphan, Chanel worked as a seamstress to make ends meet. She had a strong drive that pushed her to try new things and learn new things, and that allowed her to create fashion ideas that would revolutionize what people wore. These days, she is known as much for her perfume, Chanel No. 5, as she is for her extremely profitable business.
     
  • Michael Dell: Starting with $1,000 from home, Michael Dell dropped out of college and created PC’s Limited, which would become Dell Inc. From there, he created through drive and determination, one of the most successful computer manufacturing companies on the entire planet.
     
  • Bill Gates: The richest man on Earth from 1995 to 2006, Gates dropped out of college and began Microsoft with a friend. With revolutionary new ways for users to use computers, Gates not only helped start the computer revolution, but helped to change the world in the process.
     
  • Henry Ford: Speaking of changing the world, Henry Ford started off small as an apprentice when he was 16 and would go on to found the Ford Motor Company. Through his amazing concept of assembly line production, Ford not only changed how people made cars, but he made them more affordable for the masses and his concept of assembly lines changed the world in everything from clothing to food.
     
  • Walt Disney: His name is known to all of us, and this high school dropout started off as just an animator who created a company that has become iconic. Thanks to starting off making cartoons with a mouse named Mickey, Disney and his company have gone on to create theme parks around the world, while making an estimated $30 billion a year.

These are just a few of the most successful entrepreneurs in history. If you want to be successful, it would be a good idea to learn their story and see how they were able to find such immense success in the working world. If they can do it, so can you.

First Published: entrepreneurjourney.com July 3, 2010

Free Credit Monitoring for Canadians

Credit Monitoring After Equifax Data Breach

Credit monitoring should a part of your routine to protect your information and stay safe, especially after the Equifax data breach. The good news is there are 2 financial services companies who are already providing this for Canadians for free.

Credit Karma provides a free TransUnion credit score for Canadians and recently this financial services provider started providing free credit monitoring. When important changes happen on your TransUnion credit report, such as an address change, a hard inquiry, or opening a new account, Credit Karma will notify you via email.

Another financial services provider, Mogo.ca, recently mentioned that they are working on a new alert feature on Equifax credit score that will let its members know when a new inquiry occurs. Mogo already provides a free Equifax credit score for its members. However, it is not clear from the email I received from Mogo whether this feature is currently active or if they are still working on it.

Use all the tools and features to keep an eye on your credit files and take steps to protect yourself should someone try to use your information fraudulently. I regularly publish brief videos of this nature, so to keep updated subscribe to my YouTube channel here: www.youtube.com/adawn. Also, I have a video on the same article you just read and you can watch this here: Free Credit Monitoring After Equifax Data Breach

 

Invest Now Hits Chapters Indigo Bookshelves

The Wait Is Over - Invest Now Is Available

First Published: June 20, 2008 ADawnJournal.com

I am writing this post to let all A Dawn Journal readers know that Invest Now has hit Chapters Indigo bookshelves. Invest Now is initially available at -

 

Chapters - Queensway
1950 The Queensway
Etobicoke, Ontario
M9C 5H5 Canada
(416)622-2838

Later on, Invest Now will be placed in additional locations.  Invest Now is also available at these fine online shops: Amazon.ca, Chapters.indigo.ca, Barnesandnoble.com.  Invest Now delivers a convincing case for avoiding daily spending temptations and then shows you the secrets to smart investing. With as little as $25, you can become a successful investor by following three simple and practical steps.

The must-have guide for Canadian investors, Invest Now delivers three surprisingly simple steps to safeguard your financial future.

You don’t have to be a financial guru to develop a consistent savings plan and accumulate wealth. Invest Now offers all the tools and motivation you need to start building a safe and secure financial future now for you and your family. Invest Now has won prestigious Editor’s Choice and highly prestigious Publisher’s Choice award for its editorial integrity and outstanding design quality.

Invest Now at Chapters Indigo Queensway.jpg

NB: To view more pictures, please visit A Dawn Journal Flickr page

Award-winning Invest Now covers a broad range of topics including Internet Scams. To purchase a copy, visit Chapters Indigo or click here to buy online - Invest Now: A Canadian's Guide to Investing

TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Credit Card Review: Should You Keep It?

TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Credit Card Review

Disclosure: Information provided here may not be accurate and no longer valid. The mentioned card provider is not related to AhmedDawn.com and neither monitor this site nor responsible for any inaccurate information. Contact the card company directly for accurate and updated information. AhmedDawn.com or my YouTube Channel are not compensated by or affiliated with any credit card companies. All credit card articles are 100% unbiased and honest.

TD Cask Back Visa Infinite card is a cash back rewards credit card that lets you earn cash rewards for everyday purchases, which can be redeemed any time it reaches $25.

The Cost

Annual Fee = $120. Additional cards = $50

Minimum annual income required = $60,000 (or household income = $100,000)

Rewards Points Snapshot

– Earn 3 percent at eligible gas stations, grocery stores, and recurring bill payments Canada.

– Earn 1 percent on everything else.

First Time Bonus

TD is running a promotional 6% return on all purchases for 3 months up to first $3,500 spending. This offer ends on Dec 3, 2017. Also, the annual fee is waived for the first year.

Anniversary Bonus

None.

Features & Benefits

– Visa Infinite benefits, including Concierge Services.

– Emergency Medical Insurance (10 days <65, if 65 or older 4 days, Amount: $2 million).

–– Lost and Delayed Luggage ($1,000 maximum)

– Purchase Security (Not clear)

– Extended Warranty Insurance (Not clear)

What’s Missing

Because this is not a travel rewards credit card, I can’t mention anything here like I do for a travel credit cards review.

The 3 percent return on recurring bill payments makes this card unique when compared to any other cash back credit card in Canada and this is the highest return you will find in this category. The 3 percent return on grocery and gas is not bad, but you will find better cards that I will talk about shortly.

There is a flexibility to redeem cash back any time you want when it reaches a $25 minimum. This is a nice option as well.

As sweeteners, TD is throwing in some benefits such as limited travel insurances and auto club membership. However, the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Cash Back Card offers better travel insurances and the BMO World Elite Cash Back Credit Card offers a complimentary roadside assistance program that includes free battery boosts, flat-tire change, lockout service, and towing.

The $120 annual fee may be standard these days, but the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite is a better option with a $99 annual fee and offering more features and more return on specific categories such as gas and grocery. This Scotia card returns 2 percent on drug store and recurring bill payments.

TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Credit Card, Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite and some other cash back credit cards to consider are SimplyCash Preferred Amex, MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard, BMO World Elite Cash Back Credit Card, Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, etc. I do have reviews on some of these cards on YouTube and I provided links for them.

As cash back credit cards are becoming more popular due to their simplicity, credit card providers are stepping up their games and expect more cards to choose from in the future.

MoneySense Published 2017 Canada’s Best Credit Cards

Canada's Best Credit Cards

After questionably selecting the WestJet World Elite MasterCard as Canada’s best travel credit card for a few years in a row, this year personal finance magazine MoneySense came up with better rankings that are more aligned with reality. We will never know what kind of compensations took place behind the scenes, if any, or what else made MoneySense pick the WestJet World Elite MasterCard year after year as the best travel credit card that has a low return (1.5% on everyday purchases) and does not provide trip cancellation insurance and concierge service.

Another mega website, Rewards Canada, also uses a questionable practise of selecting the American Express Rewards Gold credit card as the best travel credit card in Canada. Worse yet, this site is even pumping up 1 to 2 articles per month talking about all the good things Amex Rewards Gold has to offer, without mentioning what it does not offer. And why should it? The more good things these affiliated sites can say to promote credit cards, the more money they will make; each time someone clicks on these affiliated links to get credit cards, they make money from the credit card provider. So you will definitely not hear anywhere that Amex Gold is not suitable to stand as the best travel credit card because although it charges a hefty $150 annual fee, it’s lacking very important travel insurance trip cancellation and does not provide any concierge service.

This year, MoneySense picked top credit cards for several categories such as rewards, no-fee, travel rewards, and students rewards. Here are the top 3 credit cards for cash back and travel rewards:

2017 Canada's Best Travel Credit Cards by MoneySense

1. BMO World Elite MasterCard

2. Scotiabank Gold American Express

3. American Express Gold Rewards

2017 Canada's Best Cash Back Credit Cards by MoneySense

1. Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite Card

2. MBNA Rewards World Elite

3. SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

How To Be An Entrepreneur

How To Become An Entrepreneur

A lot of people want to start their own business because that allows them to take their career into their own hands. In tough economic times, working for someone else is not always guaranteed and there is often very few jobs to choose from. As a result, many people will start to be an entrepreneur because they want to own their own business and be in charge of their own lives. So, how do you go about being an entrepreneur? Just do the following:

  1. Think of a great idea that you believe will be something you are interested in. If you are providing a service, make sure it is something that you are going to love doing. If you are making a product, look at how much it costs to make, whether it will be popular and how long each product takes you to make. You should do a test market for your product or service to determine who will want the product so you can know who to sell to.
  2. You need to do up a business plan and this is very important. The business plan is what ensures that you start your business off on the right track. Through the business plan you are stating how you will make money, what you will be selling, who you will be selling to and what you hope to gain from the business. Other things that make up a business plan is an assessment of your competition, your marketing plan, sales forecasts and the analysis of the market you are getting into.
  3. If you need money, you should look at getting a small business loan or going to venture capitalists. Not all businesses can be started for nothing, so you may need a loan or investment. However, if you can start a home business without borrowing money, then all the better as you can start making a profit much quicker.
  4. It is very important that you do what you can to network with other entrepreneurs. By doing that, you can ensure that you are meeting with people in your industry who can serve as mentors. Networking gives you the ability to tap into a wealth of knowledge that will ensure your business stays successful for many years to come.
  5. The last thing you need to remember when you want to know how to be an entrepreneur, is to do everything you can to make your business successful. This means working long hours, talking with people, doing cold calls and more. As an entrepreneur you need to be a public relations expert, a marketer, an innovator, a sales person and more, all rolled into one. It is not always the easiest job in the world, but it does have its rewards and it can be something you truly enjoy.

There is much to remember if you want to be an entrepreneur but it all comes down to doing what you love, knowing how to be successful and having the drive to make yourself successful.

First Published: EntrepreneurJourney.com Jun 5, 2010

The Internet Habits of Personal Finance Bloggers - Get Rich Slowly

J.D. Roth - Get Rich Slowly

On April 30, 2007, I wrote an article on Web 2.0. The web has evolved so much that it is an indispensable part of our life, and we don't use the web the same way it used to be. Professional Internet users, such as bloggers, or any others who depend on the Web for a living, use the Internet differently than average users. I thought it would be helpful for my readers to know how a professional, such as Get Rich Slowly's author J. D., uses the Internet on a daily basis. Here is what J. D. provided for A D Journal readers.

A Day in the Life of a Blogger

I am an internet junkie. I have been addicted to the net since 1994 - and earlier if you count USENET newsgroups and the bulletin boards of the 1980s. I've always craved a connection with other people, the mad exchange of ideas that interconnectivity allows.

Since I began blogging full-time this March, it's become painfully apparent just how much time I spend online.

The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is roll to the edge of the bed and grab my MacBook Pro from the floor. While I grog awake, I make a quick pass to verify that Get Rich Slowly hasn't imploded. (It never has!) I also tabulate statistics from the day before, entering them into an Excel spreadsheet.

After I get out of bed, I spend half an hour in Apple Mail, processing the most urgent messages. I used to reply to every piece of mail I received, but that's physically impossible now. It bothers me that I have so many unanswered messages in my mailbox, but there's nothing I can do about it.

After breakfast and after exercise, I spend time gathering information in my web browser (Safari) and composing articles in my text editor (BBEdit). This generally takes several hours of my day, during which I'm also on iChat with other bloggers and friends.

I also try to make time to visit other personal finance sites, especially blogs. I used to read everything via RSS feed, but like my e-mail, this has become unmanageable. I've abandoned my feed reader (NetNewsWire) and now read blogs the old-fashioned way: via the web. But this means I don't catch new stories as soon as I once did. Sometimes I miss great stories completely.

I try to wind down my heavy internet use by about mid-afternoon so that I can spend time with my wife when she gets home. Still, I check in on the site every hour or two to make sure things are okay. And then before bed, I show Kris the preliminary numbers for the day.

All told, I spend about 70 hours a week online. According to the marvelous utility RescueTime, I spend about three hours on my computer every Saturday, about five hours each on Friday and Sunday, and then about 14 hours a day Monday through Thursday.

Of this, about 12 hours a week is spent in BBEdit, performing that physical act of writing. About ten hours is spent at Get Rich Slowly performing a variety of blog-related tasks. I spend nearly eight hours a week processing e-mail — and remember, that's just handling the barest essentials. Finally, I spend about three hours every week fussing with Excel. Those four tasks take 33 hours of my time every week, and that doesn't include research for various articles.

I'm not happy with how much time I spend online. Tracking my habits with RescueTime is the first step in determining methods to reduce the madness. My goal is to become more efficient, to become less wired. My goal is to spend more time in real life again!

First Published: ADawnJournal.com Jun 13, 2008

Ten Characteristics of Entrepreneurs

Why Are Entrepreneurs Different?

Due to the global financial meltdown and corporate downsizing, the concept of entrepreneurship has steadily captured the attention of the general public. Statistics Canada reports that self-employment increased by 4.3 per cent between October 2008 and October 2009. However, the interesting part is the rise in entrepreneurship was not the main cause of people losing jobs due to economic downturn, as the characteristics of those who lost jobs did not resemble the characteristics of those that became entrepreneurs.

There are various factors leading people to become entrepreneurs. However, there are some characteristics entrepreneurs have in common. I contemplate these “special” characteristics all the time; today, I decided to mention some of them I can think of off the top of my head.

Entrepreneurs Go Against The Norms of Society – We are programmed by our society from a young age to go to school, get a job, make someone else (most likely a corporation) rich, and one day retire or die while making that person or entity rich. Entrepreneurs break these traditional societal norms and the vicious cycle of making someone else rich by exiting the traditional comfort zone and trying something beyond the ordinary.

Integrity – Integrity leads the way to becoming courageous and taking necessary risks to becoming successful in a business. Entrepreneurs earn credibility by sticking to their principles and values, thus attracting more business (because people always want to do with business with someone they can trust and feel comfortable dealing with) in their respective fields.

Determination, Dedication, and Hard Work - Determination, dedication, and hard work lead to the bridge to success. The majority of non-entrepreneurs are lacking the combination of these three virtues. Drop any one from these three, and the other two will be meaningless.

A Receptive Mind – Entrepreneurs are always learning new things and they are always on the lookout for new knowledge.

Time Is Precious – Our time is very limited on Earth. We all have two options regarding the use of our limited time: we can make someone else rich by working for someone else, or we can use this limited time to work for ourselves, making ourselves rich and spending this limited time our own way. Entrepreneurs pick the latter one.

Life Starts Now - Entrepreneurs do not want to start life at 69 when they need hip replacement surgery. Regular people wait to start life at 69, once they retire. Entrepreneurs have already started their lives and living their life. The time is NOW, there is no need to wait for life to start at 69 (after having hips replaced).

Higher Degree of Frustration, Rejection, and Criticism Tolerance – Entrepreneurs can tolerate frustrations, rejections, and criticisms a lot better than non-entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs gather feedback from these obstacles and put them into productive use.

Discipline and Self-Control – Entrepreneurs have the ability to manage emotions and live a disciplined life.

Tenacity – Entrepreneurs practise enormous persistency and never give up on their dreams.

Optimism – Entrepreneurs always have a positive outlook about everything and about life in general. They always believe in a positive future and lay out a solid roadmap to reach the future.

Do you have these in you? If you want to be an entrepreneur and think you are missing some or all of them, there is no need to worry. We were not born with these characteristics, and they can be learned. If you are determined to be an entrepreneur and have the willingness to change, you will be an entrepreneur one day. When that happens, it will be my pleasure to greet you saying, “Welcome to the club!” I am looking forward to that day.

First Published: EntrepreneurJourney.com May 17, 2010

What You Need To Become A Successful Blogger?

Dot Com Lifestyle

First Published: June 6, 2008 ADawnJournal.com

The post you are about to read is the last in a four-part series. Let me give you the subtitles of these four posts:

  1. Do Not Quit Your Job Right After Reading This Article
  2. Can Anyone Make A Living Blogging?
  3. What Is A Dot Com Lifestyle?
  4. What You Need To Become A Successful Blogger?

Part Four is where it gets very interesting. I asked some celebrity bloggers (including Darren Rowse and Steve Pavlina) to answer the following question: What You Need to Become a Successful Blogger? I will be presenting the perspectives these bloggers provided for A Dawn Journal readers. If this is your first time here, you might want to Subscribe to the RSS Feed. Thank you for reading.

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Can Anyone Make A Living Blogging?

Part 4 - What You Need To Become A Successful Blogger?

Warning: Do not quit you job right after reading this article. Do quit once your entrepreneurship starts making more money than your 9 – 5 paycheque .

This section has two parts. In the first, I will describe what I think you need to become a successful Blogger/Internet entrepreneur. In the second, I will describe what celebrity-bloggers/Internet entrepreneurs think you need to become successful.

Part One

I think these are the most important things you need to become a successful person in this line of work (or in any line of work).

A. Passion - Pick something you love to write about. Pick something you can do year after year enthusiastically and passionately. Don’t give yourself another job. This should not feel like a job. It should feel like you are not working at all. But how you can tell you love doing this? Your topic and/or
subject should be your true goal in life. This should be something you can't possibly live without and you would do for free. Yes, that is correct. Imagine there is no money involved here and then ask yourself, "Do I love my subject enough that if there was no monetary reward involved and I would still
do it for free?” If your answer is yes, than you have found your true passion. When I started www.adawn.net, I had no idea that a website can make money. I did not start it for money; in addition, I enjoyed it so much that I launched my 2nd site www.adawnjournal.com. I was not making money at that time and even now, if I were not making money – I would still be working on these sites. You cannot and will not fail if you do something you love and it is your true passion in life.

B. Perseverance - Stick to it like your life depended on it. Success does not come easy. There will always be ups and downs. You may not make money for the 1st year, 2nd year, or even 3rd year, but you will make money one day. Not everyone is John Chow. He monetized his blog in September 2006 and made $352.94. In September 2007, he made $20,512.17. Not everyone can make money that fast but you will make money if you are patient and keep working hard. Think of this as a one-way journey. If you started it, you must end this with success. There is not going back.

C. Believe in Yourself - This is a simple but very powerful strategy. Get rid of self-imposed limitations and start living a life full of confidence. When you are able to truly believe in yourself, you will start achieving your goals.

Part Two

I asked some celebrity bloggers to answer the same above question for A Dawn Journal readers who
might not be that tech-savvy; after all, personal finance blog readers are not expected to be tech-savvy. The perspectives I provided in Part One are somewhat general. The perspectives these high-profile bloggers provided are based on their ocean full of practical knowledge and hands-on experience in their professional work.

Darren Rowse - Darren wrote: “It's just such a big question that I feel I'd be doing a disservice to your readers to try to sum it up in just a few words!” He then added, “Probably the best way for me to answer this is to point to a post I wrote on the topic a few days back which has 12 traits of successful bloggers.” Darren also recommended another post. Here are those two posts Darren recommended for A Dawn Journal readers:

12 Traits of Successful Bloggers http://www.problogger.net/archives/2008/05/20/11-traits-of-successful-bloggers/

Blogging Tips for Beginners http://www.problogger.net/archives/2006/02/14/blogging-for-beginners-2/

Steve Pavlina – Steve asked A Dawn Journal readers to read the two following posts:

How to Make Money from Your Blog http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/05/how-to-make-money-from-your-blog/

How to Build a High-Traffic Web Site or blog http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/01/how-to-build-a-high-traffic-web-site-or-blog/

Nick Ramsay – Nick wanted to share the following with A Dawn Journal readers:
“Like most people, I was working a day job and desperately in search of the time freedom that working from home on the internet provides. One of the most important realizations I came to in order to achieve that goal was that you really don't need to make a lot of money at all. If you can cut expenses and sacrifice some of the luxuries you enjoy in your current lifestyle, you might find that working from home is a realistic possibility. Then, of course, you'll have more time to build up your home business and earn back those lifestyle choices you previously gave up.
Blogging is not my specialty, but I have outsourced an entire blog's worth of content before, and that site provides a steady stream of income that is most welcome. It's interesting to compare that particular blog with my own, much bigger yet considerably less profitable, personal blog. The outsourced blog is very much focused on one theme, as opposed to my personal blog, which is a mish-mash of topics. That means that it ranks consistently higher in search engine results for terms related to that topic. Another possible reason for its success is that the articles are, at around 750 words each, content rich and most importantly, useful for the reader.”

Bob Buskirk – Bob had the following message for A Dawn Journal readers:
“I think to become a successful blogger you need to write about what you love, write QUALITY posts, have a good posting schedule, and most importantly connect with your readers.”

. . . If you are still reading, congratulations on making it this far. This post is one of my longest and will hopefully be generating heavy traffic. Making a living blogging is not easy; but it is not difficult either. For the first few years, you have to sacrifice a lot. You have to give up all the little (and some big) indulgences and bury yourself in work. You have to think outside the box. You have to transform yourself from a traditional mindset to a very non-traditional mindset. Doing all of these can be quite a daunting task, but it is not impossible. If you can do it, a very rewarding dot com lifestyle awaits you.

NB: After reading this article, if you are inspired enough to become a successful entrepreneur, please share your story with A Dawn Journal readers. It will be appreciated.