Ten Tips to Survive Global Financial Meltdown

How You Can Survive the Economic Crisis

First Published: Oct 30, 2008 ADawnJournal.com

In light of the recent global financial meltdown, it is imperative that I write a post on how to survive this financial nightmare. The good old days of 2007 are but a memory now and all we can do is to hope that this nightmare will be over soon. In the meantime, here is what you can do to survive the current volatility:

1.   Protect Your Job – Stay put with your current job. A new job is a lot harder to find in a financial crisis like this. Give your boss more than you are required to do on a daily basis; volunteer on a new project, volunteer to stay on some extra hours when required, etc.

2.   Have an Emergency Fund – I recommend setting aside at least six months expenses in a separate account. You should never touch this account unless you lose your regular job or your regular monthly income stops flowing in. If you don’t have an emergency fund, start building it now. This is something you need to do only once in your lifetime.

3.   Reduce Your Debt – When you have debt, you are no longer in control of your life. You are instead working hard to pay interests to your financial institutions. If you lose your job, you will be in a more high-risk position than someone who does not have any debt. Stop borrowing more money and concentrate on paying off your existing debts.

4.   Reduce Your Expenses – Do you really need to have five features on your cell phone that you never use or one thousand cable channels that you never watch? When was the last time you visited your gym? Although your gym membership fees are still appearing every month on your bill, do you go? If you can reduce you expenses here and there for small amounts, it will all add up and turn into a large amount at the end of each month.

5.   Have An Additional Income Flow – Start looking into generating a second income. You can earn additional money on top of your regular nine-to-five job by starting an ebusiness, writing a book, starting a blog, doing a part-time job, starting a home business, etc. I earn additional money from Invest Now and from A Dawn Journal. It’s always good to have a secondary income source and keep increasing it gradually so one day you will earn enough money to quit your traditional nine-to-five-job. Read ADJ regularly to learn more on this.

6.   Continue Automatic Saving Plan – If you are saving automatically from your paycheck or bank account, there is no need to stop it. Continue your long term saving plans. One major mistake we always make in market turmoil is that we stop putting money aside and end up spending this extra money. When conditions return to normal, the automatic saving plan you stopped never gets started again.

7.   Learn To Invest – If you are not familiar with investments, learn how to invest. Asking you to learn investments may sound conflicting in a financial crisis like the one we are going through now, but don’t make the mistake of staying away from investments. There will always be volatility in the market, but when it comes to achieving long-term goals nothing beats the stock market. Research has shown that the stock market has averaged an annual 11% rate of return over the last 120 years. Cash has managed to return only 4% annually for the same 120 years. You may be surprised to know that stock markets actually have outperformed home values by a considerable margin in the long run. Stay invested for the long run—through good and bad times, through market ups and downs. Take a few courses, read investment sites, blogs, and financial books to increase your knowledge. In Invest Now, I discussed how anyone can start investing with $25, and I also provided lots of tools to realize your financial goals.

8.   Live A Simple Life – Simplify your life—live rich, live longer. It’s that simple. Do you really need that latest iPhone, HD Plasma TV, BMW, and gigantic house? We spend our precious life energy on the weekdays to earn money so we can spend it on the weekends. We work to pay our daily expenses, but we end up spending more than we make on things we do not need. So we go back to work to get money to pay interest on money we’ve already overspent. Stop using credit cards, live within your limits, help other people, and donate to charity whenever possible .

9.   Diversify, Diversify, Diversify – The old adage “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is still true to this day. Regardless of market conditions, some sectors will always go up and some will always go down. Try to spread out your investments across different sectors such as index funds investing across a variety of businesses, cash, real estate, bonds, cash, natural resources, and so on.

10.   Relax: Don’t Panic – Relax—this is not the end of the world. Avoid unnecessary risks by not making panic-filled emotional decisions. We survived the Great Depression , the 1970s oil shock, the 1980s crash, the 2000 tech crash, and we will survive the 2008 meltdown as well.

Kuala Lumpur Travel ; A Vibrant City

Travel Guide: Kuala Lumpur

It is not always easy for other Asian cities to live up to the standards set by Dubai, especially given that Dubai is very much one of those cities that is a standing monument to the extraordinary – but if you are looking for a city that will offer all the things that Dubai does without costing as much, then Kuala Lumpur is a genuinely excellent choice for any tourist. It may be dominated in some people’s eyes by the Petronas Towers, but KL, as the locals call it, is really about a lot more than just some of the most striking architecture in the entire region. The city has become the focus of a Malaysian tourist industry which is very much interested in developing for the future while retaining clear links to Malaysian history.

To get anyone interested in visiting Kuala Lumpur, the first step anyone should take is to show them the city’s skyline. It will rapidly disabuse anyone of the notion that KL is the Petronas Towers and little else. A night-time cityscape of this magnificent location is a sight which goes far beyond impressive and right to the point of visually and architecturally stunning. For six years up until 2004 the Towers were the world’s tallest buildings, and they are still the tallest in the country now. Of course, Kuala Lumpur is not all about the architecture. Many people these days do not see fit to visit a country or a city unless they can shop ‘til they drop once there. If this is what you are after, the city of Kuala Lumpur is ideal.

While outside, the Western tourist may well find that the temperature can get a little bit severe. In actual fact it rarely, if ever, drops beneath 66 degrees Fahrenheit (19 degrees Celsius), even in the winter months. The shopping malls are air-conditioned and may well be the best places in the city for getting a bit of a breather if the heat is becoming oppressive for you. Assuming you are well equipped to deal with the heat, however, then you can take to the streets and enjoy the markets (which can get very busy but offer a real range of bargains and an opportunity to practise your haggling). You have surely been to shopping malls and seen inside them fountains, big-screen displays and other center pieces, but only in Kuala Lumpur will you see a shopping mall with a canal running through it.

You won’t be short of hotels to stay in either, no matter what your price range. While in a lot of other cities you will get a feeling you are paying for the name (of the hotel or the city), KL offers a great range of hotels where even the best by public decree are less than $150 a night on average year round. For people used to a Western climate it may well be the ideal winter break. Not too hot overall, but hotter than a Western summer, and affordable too. A really interesting experience

The Fall 2008 Toronto Small Press Affair

Toronto Small Press

First Published: November 2, 2008 ADawnJournal.com

The Fall 2008 Toronto Small Press Affair took place at the Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick (south of Bloor), Toronto from 6pm-11pm on Sat, November 1st, 2008. I participated in this event, and I am posting a video clip and pictures for your viewing pleasure. The weather was nice (8 °C no wind) and lots of visitors attended the fair. The Small Press Affair featured lively entertainment such as eclectic readings, musical performances, raffle draw etc.

I like attending this kind of event and I encourage entrepreneurs to join any events like we had today. This gives you an opportunity to meet many other like-minded people and it will increase your networking capability which is very important. I was able to hand out lots of cards with A Dawn Journal site information on it. A good chunk of blog success depends on effective marketing, and you need to market your blog continuously to become successful.

The video is not crisp clear as the lighting inside the Transac Club was not that bright; however, the video quality is still good. Enjoy.  Visit The Toronto Small Press Group Website for more info. For more pictures and video clips, visit A Dawn Journal on  YouTube.

How a Hobby Can Improve Your Life

Learning Language Can Be A Good Thing

For many of us, the reason that we want to change our life is because so much of it is stale. The everyday fact of doing the same thing again and again, and having a set routine, means that if there is anything that gets us down about life, it will be a recurring pain for us. To make our lives more enjoyable, what we require is a bit of a shake-up. Changing things around will give us something to get excited about and look forward to. Even a simple break from the norm can make a big difference.

Taking up a hobby is something that people often do to bring a bit more interest to their lives. What that hobby is, is truly limited only by our own imagination. What do you enjoy? If it is something that lends itself to a daily routine – or a weekly one – then it can be introduced into a pattern. Hobbies are alive with variety. All that matters about a hobby is that you find it enjoyable. Aside from that, the world is your oyster. But if it is something that you are taking up in order to introduce an aspect of fun to your life, you should make sure it has some sort of shelf-life.

One hobby that people like to take up is learning another language. When we are in school, it is often obligatory to choose a language as one of your elective subjects. Depending on where we are in the world, there may be a specific language that is compulsory. In Canada it will be French (or for French Canadians, English). In the US, it will often be Spanish. If we are not of a mind to enjoy school, we can come to associate a language with the boredom and restriction of a classroom. But often, once we have left school, we regret not having paid attention.

It may be directed towards future holidays in the country whose language you are learning, it may be directed towards being better able to understand a friend who speaks it as a first language. Or it may just be for the fun of it. Learning another language – off your own initiative – is a beneficial process. It allows you to exercise your brain, and makes you more receptive to the process of learning. When we have sought out an opportunity to learn, it is much easier to follow the learning process than if it is forced upon us.

In learning another language you learn so much more than just the words and the rules of the language. A language is formed by the culture in which it has arisen. So by learning the language you learn a lot about the people who speak it and the country or countries where they live. There can be a lot of secondary learning opportunities. Early on in a subject’s vocabulary you will learn about food, for example. This can play directly into learning about how to make the dishes whose names you have learned. So by learning French, you will learn French culture, French cuisine… the options open up the longer you go on.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Simplepersonaldevelopment.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com site. This article originally published on the above website on May 1, 2009.

The 16-Year-Old Internet Entrepreneur Who Dropped Out Of High School to Make $40 Million By

The 16-Year-Old Kid Who Dropped Out Of High School to Make $40 Million By 18

First Published: ADawnJournal.com Nov 4, 2008

What kind of courage do you need to tell your dad at the age of 16 that you are planning to quit high school? Moreover, wouldn‘t it be a lot harder if your dad is an immigrant from India who came to the U.S. with only $25 in order to pursue a better life through education and a traditional nine-to-five lifestyle?

Gurbaksh Chahal gathered that courage and asked his parents’ permission to quit school when he was 16. His dad was nice enough to patiently listen what he had to say, but still was not convinced. He asked this kid to show him some proof. He had no idea what this kid was doing in his room on the computer day and night. Once Gurbaksh showed his parents his bank account, their eyes were about to pop out in disbelief, and they thought their boy was going to jail. They started to panic. Who wouldn’t? Especially an Indian parent, to whom saving $100,000 cash would be unimaginable over a lifetime. And here this 16-year-old kid is sitting on that kind of cash.

Gurbaksh assured them that this was not stolen money and he made it from his Internet entrepreneurship. His dad eventually calmed down after listening to his explanation and gave him a one year break from going to school. Gurbaksh was 16 at that time. Guess what happened after one year? His Internet venture went so well that he was able to make $40 million in two years. So here is this 18-year-old kid who made $40 by selling his first online company ClickAgents for $40 million. Gurbaksh, or G, is now 26 years of age and last year he sold his second company BlueLithium to Yahoo for $300 million. G’s current project is gWallet – a site that allows users to find great deals.

G will be featured on the new TV show The Secret Millionaire, due out in December 2008. He has also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, FOX Business Network, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Entrepreneur magazine, and many more. G is currently venturing into a few other TV shows.

G’s recently published book The Dream advises entrepreneurs to dream big, embrace risks, and go after new niches. According to Chahal, failure is not an option. I had a glance at The Dream and I liked it after reading the first few pages. I hope to review it for ADJ readers in the future. The success story of G shows us how you can overcome any barriers and succeed. All you need is a dream, perseverance, and a belief in yourself.

Read Gurbaksh Chahal’s blog:

Gurbaksh Chahal