Lo and Behold, Should I Be Borrowing?

I remember getting my first loan. It was to pay for a then little-known experimental procedure called moustacheplasty. My friends warned me not to, but I just knew that I’d love the way the wind would feel through the bristles (which, as an impulsive young lady of 19 years was quite a thrill I can tell you!). I managed to get a good deal on my loan, and had it repaid in no time. It ended up as a good investment really; I now get so much work from circuses and village fetes that the operation has paid for itself many times over.But I was lucky, with the mustache but more so with the loan. I did it all wrong but somehow managed to land on my feet. However, if you don’t want to leave selecting a loan to the vagaries of chance read on for some helpful hints…Do you need a loan? It sounds like a simple thing to say but do you actually need a loan? Maybe a credit card might be more appropriate if you can get an interest-free deal and can be disciplined enough to repay what you borrowed in a short space of time. So-called payday loans (a specialist type of loan where the money you borrow normally has to be repaid within a month) charge a fantastical amount of interest and should only be considered as a very last resort once you have exhausted all other avenues.Committing yourself to any borrowing requires careful thought. Is this something you can save for? Is it necessary to make the purchase right now? (In my case I had the impatience of youth and just wanted my own mustache as soon as I could get it glued onto my face.) Once you have questioned your motives and have decided that you are still looking to get a loan, check out these key points: The very first thing you should do is itemize your income (wages, mustache-related royalties etc.) and your outgoings (mortgage, council tax, utilities, subscription to The International Mustachio Gazette). Itemize everything and be realistic – if you think you only spend £250 on groceries each month, but your previous bank statements show you spend £350, use £350! Once you have itemized all your outgoings and worked out how much you have left, then you will have a better idea how much you can afford on a monthly basis.
When taking out any loan, be it an unsecured loan, secured loan, mortgage or mustache finance, it is always best to set the term for as short a time as your budget allows. This will mean that your monthly repayments are higher, but over the term of the loan you will actually pay less as you are not getting charged as much interest.
Secured vs. Unsecured. You might be forgiven for thinking that the difference between a secured and an unsecured loan is that a secured loan gives you more security. Not so. A secured loan will be attached (secured) to a piece of property, normally your house or car, less commonly your mustache. If you fail to keep up with your repayments the lender can sell your property to get their money back. Secured loans tend to be available for larger amounts, over longer terms. If you are considering a secured loan speak to your mortgage lender as well, they may be able to off you a further advance which might cost a lot less!
When you are looking for a loan, be aware that the typical advertised APR rate isn’t necessarily the rate that you will actually get. It is usually the case that the rate you pay is linked to your credit score, as well as to the amount you wish to borrow.
Don’t settle for the quote your bank gives you. When I was considering moustacheplasty I looked at several surgeons, and then chose the one that had the best moustache. It is similar with loans; rates vary considerably so don’t be lazy and settle for it, do some leg work to make sure you get the best deal.
When you take out a loan a lot of lenders will allow you to defer your first payment for a couple of months. Some of them will sneakily include the deferred payment on a quote – watch out for this as it’s a way lenders can squeeze more money out of you. When deferring the first payment on a loan, interest continues to be charged, increasing the overall amount you end up paying back. Think about whether you actually need to do this to alleviate the immediate pressure on your finances (you might want to pay for Christmas for instance or your annual car insurance premium or an excursion to the 2010 Mustache of the Year tournament in Bratislava). If you can afford the payment it is best to pay sooner, not having to pay for a couple of months might feel good, but you are only postponing the inevitable!
Early Repayment. Many lenders will charge you if you repay your loan before the end of the agreed term. If you think you might be able to repay early, you should be ready for this charge. Even better though, when selecting your loan, why not find one that doesn’t have an early repayment charge at all!
Fees. There may be a fee payable for setting up the loan so, as ever, check the terms before you sign up – some lenders will “helpfully” offer to add this to your loan (they’re all heart aren’t they? But remember any fees added will be charged interest as well which will increase the overall cost). You might be offered a same day transfer of the loan into your bank account – there might be a charge for this.
Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). This type of cover has had a lot of bad press over the last few months. Basically PPI will ensure the monthly repayments are met on your loan if you are unable to make them due to sickness, an accident or unemployment. The two key things to remember are: don’t settle for the quote your lender gives you (shop around or see a broker) and think carefully about whether the cover is actually necessary. Payment Protection Insurance may be worthwhile, particularly if things are tight or you are reliant on a single income. In these situations, it may be more appropriate to try to cover all of your outgoings: mortgage, utilities, insurance premiums etc. with a larger policy, normally called Accident, Sickness and Unemployment cover.
Lastly, it is always a good idea to check your credit rating before you make an application. Remember that any declined loan applications go onto your credit file as well, so don’t blindly go to every lender making an application – it will become less likely that you will get a loan. If you have a poor credit history in this time of tightening criteria, you would be better to seek professional guidance on your options. Remember you can also always get online and compare the best loans available to you before speaking to anyone.Well, these tips should have given you all you need to go forth and prosper. As for me, well, I am currently in rehearsals for my bid to become the first female Freddie Mercury tribute act in Nepal. Coming to a theatre near Kathmandu soon.

Posted in Online payday loan | Comments Off

What Are the Three Main Components of an Individualized Education Program?

An individualized education plan is commonly referred to as an IEP. This is a legal document for students with special needs. IEPs are often twenty to forty pages or even longer. There is a lot of important information included in an IEP. Knowing what to look for ahead of time will help you better determine the accuracy and potential effectiveness of the document. There are three main sections to an IEP; the assessments and student’s needs, the goals and objectives to meet those needs, and the service delivery and support services to meet the goals and objectives.Formal and/or informal assessments are completed and the data is compiled for every IEP meeting. This data is used to help the team assess where your child is in comparison to other children his/her age and grade level. This information is used to create a list of educational needs for your child. Your child may have needs in only one area such as speech or in many areas depending on their educational profile and their disability.After the needs have been determined by the team annual goals with specific, measurable objectives are created that outline what your child will be taught with the expected level of mastery by the ending date of the IEP. IEP goals are based on core content standards that apply to all children in public schools. IEP objectives should state specific skills within the goal that will be met, how progress will be measured and the level of progress that is expected and/or considered acceptable for your child.The final section of the IEP lays out who will provide what services to your child and how often this will occur. This will include whether the service delivery will take place within the general education setting, a special education setting or a therapists office. This is also, where you will find information concerning a behavior plan or communication plan if either of those documents is necessary. This section includes all of the accommodations and modifications your child needs in order to gain educational benefit both in and out of the general education setting. Additionally there will be information about district, state and federal testing.As you can see, the IEP is a complex legal document that is a binding agreement between you and the school district. IEPs are formatted based on state and federal laws. It is important for you to understand what should be included in an IEP so that your child receives the assistance he/she needs in order to gain as much educational benefit as possible.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

How to Start Your Own Online Business – 6 Top Tips for Online Success

If you are looking at the internet as a good avenue to start your own business, you may probably on the first steps towards a profitable endeavor. Indeed, the internet gives you a lot of opportunities to earn and to make money. If you want to start your own online business, here are some of the things you need to learn on how to start your own online business.1. Learn everything about the internet. If you want to learn how to start your own online business, you should learn not only the basics about how you use the internet but also learn how most online businesses operate online. You may want to learn about how web sites get into the top of the search engines, how you can get more online visitors to your website and what are the common features of popular websites.2. Identify your target market. Especially if you are just starting with your business, it is important to determine the groups of people that you want to market your products. Keep in mind that the people online are of different ages, different likes and preferences, and they come from anywhere in the world, so make sure that you clearly define whom you are going to sell your products.3. Create a professional looking website. Depending also on the type of business that you are planning to put up, you have to make sure that your website is professionally made and is pleasing to the eyes of your online visitors. If you are not adept in creating a website, you can hire freelance website designers and programmers who can provide you with such services.4. Get your own domain. Although it is possible to create a website free from the various web hosting sites, getting your own domain and your own URL address that best describes your business can help you make your online business look established and professional as well. It will also help you get good traffic from the search engines and can be easily remembered by your target clients.5. Write good contents. One of he main things that you need to consider in learning how to start your own online business is to learn how to write effective ad copies. Copywriting is indeed an important factor that can help introduce your business to the online population. It is important that you learn the basics, avoid the most common mistakes and if you don’t have the luxury of time to write, you can always hire freelance copywriters who are adept in writing effective ad copies.6. Get online visitors to your website. In the online world, this is called traffic. But of course, you don’t just find online visitors from anywhere else. You have to keep in mind that these online visitors can be converted to profit and you can only do that if your online visitors are those interested in your business or your products. To help you find these online visitors, there are a lot of internet marketing techniques you can use. From pay per click marketing to search engine optimization, you can get potential clients to visit your site. You can get these services from internet marketing companies who are willing to help you establish your business online.These are just a few of the important things you need to remember in learning how to start your own online business. You have to remember though that you need to make your business plan as well so you will be guided into the basics of starting up a business.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Coffee News Franchise Review – The Coffee News Business Opportunity

Coffee News is a weekly publication that began back in 1988 in Manitoba, Canada. It was started by Jean Daum, an advertising expert, whose independent research led her to believe that people are more susceptible to advertising while they are eating. The concept is simple- a brief newspaper that is delivered free to coffee houses, restaurants, and motels. How brief? Well, Coffee News claims that it only takes 8 minutes to read and therefore, due to its brevity, people will read it from front to back. The paper focuses only on news that is entertaining and upbeat, including horoscopes, jokes, trivia, and therefore appeals to its readers. The theory is then that readers will read not only the features but also the advertisements.Coffee News has been franchising since 1994 and startup costs for the new franchisee are estimated at just under $10,000. There is an $8,000 franchise fee and an ongoing royalty fee of $75 per week. There is no in-house financing available for the start-up costs or franchise fee. Exclusive territories are offered and the parent company looks for individuals with sales, advertising, and marketing experience. As a franchisee, you will need to sell advertising space in your publication. This is how revenue is generated.The Coffee News franchise can be run out of your home and it does not need to be owner operated. However, approximately 98% of the current franchisees are owner operators. A 3-day training course is offered at the company headquarters in Bangor, Maine and a mentorship program is also available for new franchisees. A monthly newsletter is also distributed by the parent company which offers tips and strategies from other franchise owners.If advertising sales is something that appeals to you, then you might find the Coffee News opportunity to suit your needs. However, if it does not, then you probably should search elsewhere for a business startup.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

How Can I Start a Gold Business in Dubai?

When Dubai is mentioned, their gold and diamond collection is one of the first things to come to mind because it is a trend in the emirate. Referred to as the “City of Gold”, the place offers a cheaper cost of gold than most tourists’ home countries. Since Dubai is a popular international vacation destination, the influx of the wealthiest customers can be significantly considered if you want to start a gold business.Indeed, gold is an investment in Dubai as it drives foreign capital in the country. Unknown to many, it is the most profitable business since the precious metals keep their value, and the demand has been continually working every year. While Dubai has historically been a hub for gold traders, they also continuously contribute a significant share in the gold trading business in the UAE. If you are an investor, you should definitely consider setting up a gold trade business in Dubai. If you are not sure how, this article will help you delve deep before the onset of your gold business. With more knowledge and understanding, you can start making a profit out of gold, even in different departments.Where exactly in Dubai?There are different authorities and jurisdictions that highly support gold trading licenses in Dubai. Most of them can be found in Mainland and Freezone. Although there are many, there are three jurisdictions that stand out in Dubai where the highest concentration of gold traders can be found.First on the list would be the Gold Trading License in Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED), wherein the heart of the UAE’s gold market is established. This authority is how you incorporate a business in the most famous gold markets in the world, the Gold Souk in Deira. The mainland jurisdiction offers a local license via the DED if an investor opts to form a retail outlet in this area. They can have an opportunity for investors to open up a stall or even a kiosk in Dubai’s most popular tourist areas. Investors must keep in mind that before applying for another commercial license for gold business via the DED, they have to find a local partner who will hold 51 per cent of the shares in the company.The second choice for setting up a gold trade business in Dubai would be in the Gold and Diamond Park located along Sheikh Zayed Road. If you are an expat wanting to own 100 per cent of the business, this place is perfect for you as it is a free zone company setup. You can own 100% of your company with no taxes and have total resettlement of profit. The Gold and Diamond Park is one of the most famous retailers of gold and jewellery with over 90 stores, 118 purpose-built manufacturing blocks, and 350 offices. It is a convenient spot in Dubai City Center, with convenient access to all areas. You can incorporate a gold business company in this area by getting a license from Jebel Ali Freezone Authority (JAFZA).The third choice for your gold business in Dubai is through Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), another Free Zone Authority. DMCC is famous for its Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX), DMCC Trade flow, and overall gold value chain.What are the steps?The next thing you need to know is how you will make your gold business in Dubai happen. Different authorities and jurisdictions require other processes and requirements, so it is not easy to have one. Although the gold and jewellery business is popular in Dubai, the government has created specific regulations. It imposes rigorous checkups on those who bring gold or other precious metals in the emirate to have a safe business environment. To guide you, we have listed some of the essential steps you should do to form a gold business company in Dubai..Come up with a Trade NameBefore you can obtain a license, part of its statutory requirement is to have a trading name. Having a trading name is a way for the government to know the business activity you will be carrying.Obtain a Business LicenseThere is no way to start a business in Dubai without having a business license. As mentioned above, you can choose to start your gold business in Dubai with the three different authorities like DED, JAFZA, and DMCC. They all require investors to have their business registered before carrying out their business activity. Unlike JAFZA and DMCC, which is in the Free zone, DED requires a particular requirement of having a local sponsor who will own 51 percent of the shares before he/she can obtain a business license. Usually, getting a license requires some of the primary documents:
Completed Application form
Passport copy of the proposed owner(s)
Two copies of coloured passport photosChoose your Business PremisesThere are various premises to choose from, especially if you opt to set up in the free zone area. They can offer you different offices or facilities that will best suit your business requirements. This process can be done right after you have secured your business license.Obtain your VisaObtaining a visa can be achieved with the help of your service provider. Visas are required, especially if you have to hire an employee. As the holder of a UAE business license, you also have the power to sponsor others for their visa too. The number of visas you can apply for will depend on the size of your company or business, the type of company you choose, and your earnings.Since Dubai has proven itself as a healthy and sustainable environment for jewellery and gold business both local and international investors, it is safe to say that starting a gold company in Dubai is highly profitable and can provide growth for the business.Given all the information above, you may think that starting a gold business in Dubai is not overly complex. Doing it alone may still lead you to troublesome situations and unexpected expenses; that is why it is essential to seek professional help. In IBG Consulting, we guide you based on knowing the legal proceedings and business structuring in Dubai. We have a pool of talented consultants that will help you start your gold business in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE. If you want to know more about how you can create a gold business in Dubai, contact us or visit our website for a consultation.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

SEO Training Courses – What You Need To Know

If you own a website, you must be able to know the advantages of obtaining SEO training courses to help you take your business to the next level.Search engine optimization is indeed important for every website owner or web developer. With this, knowing the latest SEO techniques and information is also a must. You cannot simply expect an overnight success if you own a website, which is why you really need to become knowledgeable about SEO.The Importance Of SEO Training CoursesA lot of website owners and web developers know the basics of SEO but it is always a continuous process. Ample knowledge and skills about search engine optimization is very important. In order to drive more traffic to your website, you must know the proper way of optimizing your site. The truth is, you can find various resources online. These resources can be in a form of video tutorials and pdf files – and you can get them online for free. However, getting resources online for free cannot assure you of obtaining up-to-date information and training. What you can find online for free might already be an outdated information regarding SEO. One must realize that in SEO, information and techniques are usually updated from time to time. In other words, the SEO techniques and information you knew last year might not be useful anymore. This reason alone is enough for you to consider taking up an SEO training course.The Advantages Of SEO Training CoursesEasy and Fast learning – One of the advantages of taking up an SEO training course is the convenience it offers. You don’t need to spend too much time looking for helpful resources because these will be provided to you during the training. It is considered an easy way of learning SEO because you can learn effective SEO strategies from the comforts of your home or office.It Helps You Save Money – There are companies or websites which hire an SEO expert just to get more traffic to their website. However, hiring a professional can be quite expensive. With this, taking an SEO training course will really help you save money while learning how to do SEO all by yourself.Get The Latest SEO Techniques and Information – This is probably one of the best advantages of taking a course on SEO. By taking a course on SEO, you will be able to obtain the latest SEO techniques and information that will really help you along the way.Finding The Best SEO Training CoursesNow that the competition among websites is getting tougher, it is really a must to take an SEO training course. However, you might be asking as to how you can find reliable SEO professionals who can give you a step by step approach to obtain what you need to learn.The good thing is, today you can find various websites or companies which offer great SEO training courses at reasonable prices. You can search online for wide choices of SEO professionals or institutes. This way, it will be faster and easier for you to learn the latest techniques and information about SEO.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Online Education to Become a Teacher

You might want to consider acquiring an online degree if you are interested in becoming a teacher. The field of education is one that gives you plenty of opportunities to try out different roles. As a teacher, you can focus on early, middle, or secondary aged students. You can also take on administrative roles with an online degree focused on teaching.Kinds of Online Degrees:
Similar to any other field, there are lots of options available for you when it comes to online degrees. To start with, you can go for a bachelor’s degree in education. You can become a teacher in any college or university by earning this degree along with a certificate in teaching. Normally your college major will decide which subject you are going to teach. Once you have earned a bachelor’s degree in education, you can further go for a master’s degree in education. This degree can come in real handy for individuals who want to advance their career.Different Areas in the Field of Education:
The education field consists of various specializations that include elementary education, early childhood education, administration, higher education, secondary education and middle school. Each of these specializations needs a specific educational qualification and certification for becoming a teacher. For example, it is mandatory for teachers to get a license from the state in which they are teaching.Online Bachelor’s in Education:
To start a career in teaching, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree in Education. The course structure of this online degree program includes planning lessons, handling discipline related issues, psychology of learning and making sure that students do not face any problem in understanding concepts. You can earn between $25,000 and $30,000 as a first year teacher with an online bachelor’s degree in education.Online Master’s in Teaching:
Certified teachers can attain promotions as well as pay raises with the help of online a master’s in teaching degree. Another good thing about this degree program is that it gives teachers more opportunities in private schools and universities. Upon graduation you can also enroll in a PhD in education degree program.Schools Offering Online Education Degrees:o Western Governors University: Regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, Western Governors University offers Bachelor in Education, Masters in Teaching, Masters in Education, Higher Education, Secondary Education and Special Education.o Ashford University: Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Ashford University offers Associate, Bachelor and Master degrees in teaching. Some of the programs conducted by Ashford University are Bachelor in Education, Masters in Teaching, Masters in Education, Masters in Teaching, Higher Education, Early Childhood Education, Secondary Education and Elementary Education.o Grand Canyon University: Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, Grand Canyon University offers Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Education in Secondary Education and Master of Education in Special Education.The acquisition on an online degree in education can help individuals in acquiring better career opportunities and go for well-paying jobs. But before enrolling in an online college or university, you need to make sure that it is accredited.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

The Technology of Nations

In 1776, Scottish economist and philosopher, Adam Smith wrote the masterpiece, ‘The Wealth of Nations’- actually ‘An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations”. By coincidence, the United States Declaration of Independence was adopted the same year, making the American colonies independent and thus no longer a part of the British Empire.America has since evolved to dominate the old British Empire in virtually every aspect of human endeavors, except perhaps, social welfare. The Yankees figuratively were discipled by Dr. Smith who believed in free market and made his argument that ‘capitalism’ will benefit mankind than any other economic structure. He laid this foundation at the onset of industrial revolution and provided the basics for modern economics.Smith made his case about the ‘invisible hand’ and why monopoly and undue and unfettered government regulations or interference in market and industry must be discouraged. He was of the opinion that prudent allocation of resources cannot happen when states dominate and over interfere.In that old time, America farmers could grow cotton, but would not process it. It has to be sent to England where it would later be imported into U.S as a finished product. Understanding that this decision was not due to lack of processing ability, you will appreciate Smith’s argument that market must be free.His theses were clear and were very influential; they provided the same level of fulcrum to Economics as Isaac Newton’s Mathematica Prinicipia to Physics. Or in modern times, Bill Gates’ Windows to the information economy.While reading Smith’s book and understanding the time frame it was written, one cannot but appreciate the intellectual rigor in that piece. Before technology was penetrated in en mass across the regions of the world, he noted that all nations could compete at par in agricultural productivity. The reason was absence of division of labor in any subsistence farming system in the world. A farmer does everything in the farm and is not an expert in most.Discounting fertile land, rain and other factors that could help farmers, all the farmers, from Africa to plantations in Alabama, the level of productivity was similar. Why? No specialization was employed in farming business at the time.Fast track forward when the industrial revolution set forth. The British Empire became an engine of wealth creation through automation. It was a quintessential period of unrivalled human productivity which resulted to enormous wealth created in the empire. Technology not only helped speed process execution, it helped in division of labor.Interestingly, Dr Smith had noted that except agriculture where productivity was flat because of lack of division of labor, other industries were doing just fine. And in those industries, there were organized structures which enabled division of labor. For instance in the construction industry, there were bricklayers, carpenters, painters, and so on; but a farmer was a farmer.As you read through Wealth of Nations and observe the 21st century, it becomes evident that technology was so influential in the last few centuries. It has changed our structures and created a new business adaptation rules like outsourcing which is indeed a new breed of division of labor.From accumulation of stock and pricing, as explained by Dr. Smith, we see today a world where technology is shaping everything in very fundamental ways for wealth creation. In this era, it has become technology as technology translates to wealth. So, nations that focus on creating, diffusing and penetrating technology will do well.Why? It is about national technology DNA. The more passionate and innovative nations are triumphing at the global business scene. Give me Japan and I will give you electronics. Talk about United States, I will share biotechnology and pharmaceutical technologies, and indeed every major technology. Give me China, and I will give you green technologies.So, as nations continue to compete on the technology paradigm, we see at the highest level of success measurement an embodiment captured by technology capability. When nations are understood from the lens of their Technology Readiness Index, Knowledge Economic Index, we see that countries have become technology competing nodes. In some really poor countries with no (effectual) technology, they do not have a node and are unplugged in the sphere of global wealth creation.Simply, it will be difficult to separate the health of any modern economy from its technology. It goes beyond the wealth of that nation to its survivability. The most advanced nations are the technology juggernauts while the least developing economics barely record any technology penetration impact. For the latter, it is like still living in the pre-industrial age Dr. Smith discussed on agriculture and division of labor where processes were inefficient.Perhaps, this explains the efficiency in developed world in both the public and private arenas. The more technologies they diffuse, the more productive they become. In other words, show me the technology and I will tell you where the nation stands in the league of countries. Interestingly, the invention of steam engine changed the world and powered the industrial revolution. The invention of transistor transformed the 20th century and is fuelling the new innovation century.It seems that major scientific breakthroughs bring major great countries. Let me emphasize here that some old kingdoms that ruled the world such as the old Babylon, Roman Empire, and Pharaoh’s Egypt; there have been associated knowledge base that put them ahead. You cannot disassociate good crop production in River Nile to the mastery of Egyptians in inventing some sections of geometry for farming. Some of the old wars had been won by developing constructs that enabled efficient transportation of soldiers to battleground. There was science and nations were winning by using that knowledge.In conclusion, the world has been living on technology and it is indeed defining our competitive space. As nations compete, it is technology that shapes the world with wealth as the major byproducts, in some cases. I make this case because some of the best technologies had been invented for non-wealth reasons (yes, directly). Examples include Internet and radar technologies which have created wealth and spurred commercial innovations but have military origins.There could not be any more powerful way of examining national competitiveness than understanding the technology of nations. Yes, wealth has since morphed to technology and all competitions and wealth creation could as well be seen from technology viewpoint. And in this piece, I aptly replace Dr. Smith’s ‘wealth’ with ‘technology’ to have The Technology of Nations.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

What Is Communication? The Big Picture

Many people ask the question “What is communication?” That’s a big question. I’m sure most of you have an idea and could describe your own interpretation one way or another. But the best description I’ve deduced from my readings and writings on the subject is as follows:Communication is the act of transmitting or exchanging information, signals and messages through verbal and nonverbal activities. It is a system of sending and receiving between humans by way of speech, writing or technology within our personal and industrial lives.What is communication? You simply cannot stop at one paragraph. It transcends psychology and physiology, neurology, electronics as they apply to communications throughout humans, communities, nations and continents.Communication as a system of sending and receiving encompasses telephone, telegraph, radio, TV, transportation and shipping. There is technical communication, business communication, on-line communication, communication within productivity which can all be described individually as a ‘what is communication’ question.What is communication? Our whole world is a great big ball of communication — technical and individual — from the micro elements in the earth to the macro in space.Individually, communication is a never-ending system of transmitting or exchanging information, signals and messages, through verbal and nonverbal activities that begins at birth and ends at death — even before and beyond.But in its bare form, as it affects human communication, it is a system for sending and receiving that always requires a Sender and a Receiver. It is pretty hard to communicate with yourself. Although there is a lot of that going on through self-talk and thinking.One can also communicate with animals. But people need people to communicate at the human level. And, there, it takes place on a two-way street platform used by a sender and a receiver exchanging communication specific codes.Have you ever wondered how your body communicates within itself? How does it go from receiving a command or a stimulus, to carrying out the reactive physical or emotional response?Let’s draw a mental picture through a quick peek into psychology.To put it simply, messengers (neurons) inside the body receive a command (a stimulus — like hitting your big toe on the baseboard for example), pass it on to other neurons along the nervous system, which pass it on to yet other neurons that ultimately make the connection to the muscles to be contracted and which produces the ultimate response (retraction of the foot from the painful sensation).The essence of the above process is that different types of messengers (neurons) are involved, each one carrying a specific substance (neurotransmitters) in order to connect from the original stimuli to the ultimate reactions.In communication, the messengers are the activities of the communication process; the stimulus comes from the sender of the communication and the response comes from the receiver.The important factor as all of this takes place is the “connecting power” between the messengers or the activities taking place between the two people.It’s like the coupling between two different gears in mechanical processes; it’s like the keyboard between the human fingers and the computer screen; it’s like the software driver between the screen and the printer… or the receiver and transmitter on an electronic circuit board…If the coupling isn’t right, the gears will not work together. If the keyboard doesn’t work properly, the screen will show garbled scripts or nothing at all, etc.Funny thing is that the neurons within our nervous and neurological systems know what to do — the unconscious process comes as standard equipment. But in our conscious verbal and nonverbal communication, we need to learn the “codes” which are the equivalent to the “neurons” inside our bodies.How do we do that? By learning the process of communication which comprises the activities taking place, such as, the information (subject, instruction, opinion, etc.) being communicated by the sender and interpreted by the receiver; the means (verbal, nonverbal, in writing, by telephone, etc.) by which the information is being communicated and received; the way (tone of voice, kindly, hostile, etc.) in which the information is being sent and received.What is communication? It simply cannot be wholly described or explained in a paragraph or article, it needs a book! In a one-liner crunch, communication can be boiled down to “a system for sending and receiving messages”. But within that one line, communication is huge and complex and endless — as big as our world is. /dmh.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

6 Financial Investments to Take This New Year

Every New Year usher new hopes, aims, and aspirations which are unique for everyone. When it comes to achieving financial goals, it is never too late to start though it is advised to start as early as possible to get better returns. In the pursuit of achieving your financial goals, you need to first understand the potential investment options in order to make the right decision that will not only ensure financial stability and freedom for yourself but for your loved ones as well in the years to come.The idea is to start small; you do not need pots of money to invest. Here is a list of possible areas where you can venture into to understand smart investing. These financial investments should be at your New Year’s resolution list as they are a combination of risk-taking, investment amount and return of investment (ROI). These investment ideas will allow you can to balance your short-term and long term financial interests.Real Estate: This investment option carries medium risk and investors need to select the right property to get the highest return.Unit Trust: This is a collective investment plan that permits small and medium investors with similar investment ideas to pool in their funds and invest in a portfolio of securities. The pooled funds include cash, bonds, shares, properties etc. These are long-term, safe, and adopt a steady approach towards investing. By investing in unit trusts, investors with limited time can gain higher returns from capital markets. This investment option carries low to medium risk and suits the common man who is interested in equities but does not have the funds to expand independently.Fixed Deposits: Fixed Deposits (also known as Time Deposits) offer a guaranteed rate of return on your investment. Almost all Malaysian banks offer fixed deposit accounts as they ensure hassle-free management and has government insurance. Moreover, fixed deposits offer a higher rate of interest than savings accounts and can be open with a relatively low minimum investment amount.Invest in gold: Investing in gold is always considered good as it is an indispensable asset across cultures and geographical boundaries. Gold investment can either be made in physical form (like buying gold jewellery, gold coins, or bars) or by means of ‘paper gold’ (via Gold Investment Accounts of banks).Insurance: Investment linked insurance policies or ILPs provide extensive coverage and a good return upon maturity. These investments do not require large investment capital.Amanah Saham Bumiputera: This is a low-risk investment option that you can consider if you are planning for long-term investment. This is tailored specifically for Malaysian Bumiputera and is managed by Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad which is a fully-owned subsidiary of Permodalan Nasional Berhad.Now that you have a list of financial investment ideas, it is better to start now without further procrastination to get great returns.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off