Payday Loans – Don’t Make a Habit of It!

As much as possible avoid using this type of loan. But if borrowing from payday loan is inevitable, once is enough…Payday loans must be very pleasing to people in great need of immediate money. And why not? Imagine that you can apply for a loan and get approved within minutes! Imagine that you will not have to go through several administrative papers just to borrow a couple of hundred dollars you need for emergency bill or a 3-day household budget. Imagine that you don’t need to risk bigger assets such as your house and car just to get a small amount of loan. Imagine that you don’t have to be a good credit record holder to get approval. These may be the reasons why you want to consider payday loan. Okay, the bottom line is, you need money fast and there is this type of loan where you can get it, which also offers the amount you need without asking so many questions about your credit history or requiring you to submit several documents or asking for big collaterals.With a document proving that you are presently employed, an ID, an active savings account, and an age of 18 years old or above, you can apply for payday loan anytime- and get approval in 24 hours or less. These are very simple requirements compared to other requirements asked from other types of loan vehicles. You can also file your application online, over the phone, or at the local office. But regardless of how you apply, you can get the money deposited right at your savings account. That easy and that simple!Instead of being delighted with this offer, why not ask the question, “why getting a payday loan easy and simple?” The answer is, payday loan companies charge high interest rate on each loan they approve. Oftentimes, interest rate will go between 30% and 50% per week. Meaning, for every $100 you borrow, you will have to pay $130 to $150 back, in one week alone. That’s $30 to $50 for every $100 loss on your next budget! It may seem small at first but you will only realize that the cost if it is taking its toll on your budget.But in spite of this, making payday loan a habit is very tempting, especially with the offers given to return costumers or frequent costumers. Most payday loan companies offer lower interest rate or even a long payment terms for costumers who borrow money 2 times or more from them. Yes, you can get a loan for a cheaper interest but the word ‘cheaper’ is relative to what the companies offer and not with the ‘cheaper’ in real sense. You may get $15 less to pay for every $100 you borrow but still, the interest remains high.Again, if you find yourself in the situation wherein borrowing from payday loan is inevitable, once is enough. Let me give you a concrete example why you should not make a habit out of using payday loan: Your bi-monthly budget is $1000. Three days before your next paycheck, you are out of cash. You borrow from a payday loan company $300 with 30% weekly interest, and you promise to pay on your next paycheck. Your next paycheck arrives. You pay $300 plus $90 for interest. Your budget for the next 15 days shrinks to $610. Six days before your next paycheck, you are out of cash again. Since you have borrowed from payday loan companies before, you are confident that it can help you solve your immediate need for money so you apply for another loan again. The rate is reduced to 15% since you are a return costumer. So you borrow from them again. This time, $600 at 15% interest to survive until the next paycheck. Now, your total debt is $690. What is left on your budget is $310 after paying for your debt. Can you imagine where is this leading to?The point is, you can never rely on borrowing as a solution to your financial problem. It may give you temporary breathing room but will definitely hunt you once the air from that room expires. Look for other alternative source of emergency money and do not make payday loan a habit.

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Legal Research and Writing

The legal process outsourcing industry has been in the news for some years. Recently it has come to play a frequent international role as a consequence of the 2008 global financial crisis which burdened many international firms with loads of cases involving litigation and bankruptcies. Now these law firms and their clients were themselves hit by the recession and hence not in the position to pay the standard charges demanded by their local legal services providers. In any case, most companies would any day prefer to cut down cost if they got an opportunity. LPO companies based in developing countries give them this opportunity. Law firms are now able to get a variety of time consuming and expensive legal work done for a fraction of their local cost through offshore legal services providers based in distant countries.A major percentage of the companies using legal process outsourcing services prefer to outsource legal research and writing services to LPO companies. Broadly, legal research and writing involves the following functions-
Locating the primary sources of law for the given cases, regulations, statutes, etc.
Looking through secondary authority sources for background information on a legal subject. Such sources include law reviews, legal treatises, legal dictionaries and legal encyclopedias like Corpus Juris Secundum and American Jurisprudence.
Conducting research on non-legal sources to find supporting information.
The above tasks can be time consuming and hence quite expensive if done by a qualified legal services provider in a country like the United States who charges tens or even hundreds of dollars by the hour. But the same work can be done very efficiently in countries like India for rates as low as one-fifth of what it costs in the US.Law firms that outsource legal research work benefit from the highly qualified talent pool that LPO hubs like India can offer. The country has a vast educated work force that is capable of producing high quality legal research writing. Moreover, in recent years India has seen considerable infrastructural development which has created facilities like 24/7 legal process outsourcing services, timely deliveries and full proof security measures. Reputed LPO companies maintain a substantial work force which enables them to complete high volume legal research writing projects in record time.Apart from saving on cost while getting high quality work delivered on time, law firms that outsource legal research services require a high level of confidentiality to protect sensitive information contained in their legal documents. This facet is taken care of by reputed LPOs that make use of high quality security software to ensure that all sensitive information remains protected under every circumstance.The age of information technology has bought along with it many marvelous developments; the ability to outsource legal research services is just one of them. This whole process where the legal research writing of a law firm based, for example in in Los Angeles, is seamlessly carried out by a legal services provider working somewhere in a country like India or Philippines is nothing short of amazing if you give it a thought. In fact a few decades back the same thing might have been considered preposterous if not magical. But it is a ubiquitous reality today and is highly beneficial to all associated parties.

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Why an Online Mentor Is Important for the Success of Your Online Business

If you are aiming for the success of your online business, the expertise of an Internet business guru is essential. The advice provided by online business mentors will be helpful for the improvement of your online presence and web site structure. When it comes to dealing business on the World Wide Web, most people feel isolated and they struggle to keep up with their endeavor. This is the best situation when you should consider hiring an online business mentor. If you have a good virtual teacher, doing online business tasks will be easier.Most people believe that making money online is easy due to the fact that the Internet provides vast opportunities regarding online business. Conversely, the belief of these people is wrong because familiarization is needed to be fruitful in this type of discipline. Yes, setting up an Internet-based venture is actually easy but is hard to transform it into a lucrative one. For you to find out the success of your web business, it is advantageous to obtain training that comes from expert online business mentors.The assistance of a web-based business advisor is essential when it comes to online business tasks. In most cases, it is hard for an online entrepreneur to do his work without the help of an expert. The service of a web-based mentor will give you convenience because he is aware of your necessities to make your web site profitable. Below are few things about the importance of having a web-based business tutor.A web-based business mentor will help you in picking up the most appropriate keywords and phrases for your web site and he will educate you on how to optimize it. In this manner, search engines like Google and Yahoo will able to display and position your website in higher location. This will help you collect more targeted visitors. He will instruct you in constructing quality back links for you to drive targeted clients to your webpage.Another good thing to have a virtual business teacher is that he will provide you with particulars on Internet marketing approaches and he will show you how to put it into action. He will supply you with numerous free online sources. By practicing this method, you can put aside extra money for future expenses.The next thing is that he will educate you on how to add substantial things that truly matter in the discipline of web business including making pages in web 2.0 sites, setting up a free blog, using webmaster tools from search engines, establishing a statistics table to your site and the like.To sum it all up, the assistance of an online business mentor is indeed important to form an effective and profitable online-based business.

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The Four F’s – Faith, Family, Fitness & Finance

Most of us will agree to the fact that our Faith is the most important out of the four keys. Then comes our Family…followed by Fitness or your health & then your Finances.Your Faith is personal to you and I am not going to interfere unless you feel that you need some help.Most people out there are struggling with the family situation resulting in at least a 50% divorce rate, kids without mentors & emotionally starved & divorced even before it gets to the physical separation. Again I am not a counselor and will not interfere now unless you reach out for help.The third F….Personal health is one of the most critical aspects to your overall success because if you don’t feel good, it is impossible to do any good. You cannot motivate yourself to get going and procrastination with the enemy called average takes over. You have to learn the basics of health and understand how your body is struggling to maintain. It is crucial for you to know how your body functions & give it all the help it can get to nourish & flourish instead of just survive. You have to find a way to help regenerate new cells and slow the aging process. You have to flush out the toxins accumulated in your body. You have to find a way to get the right nutrition in your body with enough anti-oxidants to help fight the free radicals. Add some energy food to the mix and you are well on your way.The final F….the captivating but elusive finance. Someone said money is not everything but it’s right up there with oxygen! I just read the headlines yesterday…2 million jobs will be lost just this year alone. It’s about time we reprogrammed ourselves with knowledge instead of just ‘education’. It’s time we educated ourselves out of the system. Long gone are the days of finish school, get a good ‘job’, sign up for the 401K plan, chug along until pension kicks in! Except that 401K’s are now 4K’s, Pensions are down to pittance, retirement is pushed back to another 15/20 years, jobs are as flaky as the debt ridden system we’re a part of….So what’s the good news you ask?
The good news is that the economy is booming in the people based business. Here’s how you do it…1. Create or Identify a Need in the marketplace
2. Find a convenient solution to that need
3. Make sure that the solution is unique & patented
4. Team up with like minded people to build a network by sharing the idea
5. Let the power of multiplication go to work for youTo find out how I am a part of this phenomenon I welcome you to visit my website…

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Online Education Degree – A Booming Sector That Bring You To A Brighter Future

Are you kind of person who likes to work with children? Are you loves to giving training and teaching to young people? Are you a good communicator especially with children? If you answered yes to the questions above, then online education degree will help you to gain the skills and enhanced you knowledge in education field. Hence, help you to advance your career working in education fields.The booming education and health sector offers many jobs that involve working with children and youths. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the education and health sector is going to grow by 30.6 percent between now and 2014-faster than any other industries. Seeing the encouraging growth in education section, earn an online education degree will bring you to a brighter future.In order start or advance your career in education related fields, you need to look for a related online degrees; there are many prestigious online colleges and universities offer degree in education and teaching. Among the featured online universities which offer various online education degree programs include:
Capella University Master of Science in Education focus on area in elementary classroom teaching, secondary classroom teaching, advanced instruction in mathematics, advanced instruction in science, teacher leadership, and virtual school teaching.

Master of Science in Education with concentration in Curriculum and Instruction is a specialized master degree offers to those licensed K12 teachers who looking to gain key competencies through theoretical study and collaboration with seasoned practitioners. You will acquire tools and techniques to help your district design instructional models and assessments that focus on increasing student achievement.

Master of Science in Education with concentration in Leadership in Educational Administration, offer to those K12 teachers who are looking for education career advancement in school administration.

Walden University Online master education degrees offered by Walden University include area in education leadership, Grades K-6 Elementary Reading & Mathematics, Grades 6-8 and K-5 mathematics which provide you with the key skills and knowledge to success in educational field.

University of Phoenix University of Phoenix’s education master degrees are mainly focus on education leadership and administration, education technology specialized in computer education.

If you are interested in early childhood education, then you should look for online education programs offer by Lehigh Valley College, Sullivan University, Rasmussen College, Hesser College. Since the introduction of concept “Education Start from Age 0″; the childhood education and child care management related careers are in a booming trend. Students who graduate with a childhood education degree usually go to work immediately after graduation due to high demand in this field.If you are gaga for education, opportunities for meaningful and well-paid work abound. Some other career possibilities include: Child Psychiatrist, Children Youth and Family Counselor, Doula, Pediatric Rehabilitation Counselor, and Play Therapist.In short, the statistics show that the education section is in the booming trend and educational experts are always in demand. Online education degrees will prepare you with the necessary skills and get you success in this highly demand job marketplace.

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SEO Article Writer – Top 5 Tips For Hiring The Best SEO Writer For Site Promotion

If you are keen on promoting your website using ethical, cost-effective and quick means, the best way to ensure quality traffic to your website is to hire the best SEO article writer for creating original, keyword rich website content and SEO articles for distribution to top article directories.However, simply hiring a good SEO article writer does not automatically guarantee you website promotion success. As a smart web business owner, you also need to know how to get your chosen professional SEO writer to deliver the best SEO content for your article marketing campaign, so you rank higher in the search engines and also ensure readers are interested in learning more about your products or services.For best website promotion via high quality SEO article writing, you need to plan out your search engine marketing strategy, which starts with picking a great SEO writer.When you go online to search for ‘good SEO article writer,’ also type in related key phrases, like ‘top SEO writer,’ ‘cheap SEO article writer,’ ‘affordable SEO content writer’ and similar key terms that will show you relevant results for the best writers.Alternately, you can also type in specific queries, like ‘SEO writer India’ if you want to outsource your SEO content writing project, or type in ‘quality SEO article writing, Australia’ to find someone from your own region.Visit each site personally to judge the writer’s portfolio, rates and writing experience for your particular niche.Narrow down your list to the top 10 SEO writers you find in the first and second SERP (search engine result page). Guys that feature on these 2 pages will give you the real deal, because if an SEO article writer cannot manage to rank high for his own niche, how can you expect him to help you rank high for your market niche?

So, begin your hiring process by requesting your chosen writer to share content he has developed for sites similar to yours, in order to ascertain the style, information and user-friendly nature of the writer’s SEO skills. Look beyond simple SEO content: check if the content is engaging, amusing, educational or beneficial for readers, apart from the SEO aspect. This keeps visitors coming back for more when you post fresh content on your website or in article directories.
Screen your writer by asking for their professional qualifications, years of experience in the field, article writing rates and familiarity with your subject. Typically, an experienced SEO writer will be at least a high-school graduate, familiar with ethical SEO content writing techniques, possess 2-10 years of experience (any more and you know they are lying, because SEO is only 10 years old), offer reasonable writing rates and be willing to stretch creative boundaries (write a short sample so you can test his SEO writing skills in a particular niche, if ready samples are not available).
If your chosen writer has a few writing samples that really catch your fancy, discuss the particular style and content delivery with him so you can determine if the same will work for your target market. It is very important for a good SEO article writer to get under the skin of the target audience and write customized content that will grab reader attention and ensure more click-throughs and return visits to the website.
Ask your writer about the SEO content writing techniques and keyword density, keyword research tools and meta strategy used for best website promotion campaigns. If your writer is open about sharing this information with you and explains research, writing for the long-tail keyword, link techniques and meta strategies, you can rest assured your website content and article marketing project is in good hands.
To make your website content truly sparkle, aim for quality SEO content. Even though your cousin’s teenager can write articles for you for $10 a piece, if you want to ensure your website content and articles resonate with your prospective customers, hire an experienced SEO article writer. A professional SEO writer will know just how to package your product to make it attractive for website visitors that are most likely to buy from you.Finally, remember that the best SEO writer will want to exceed your expectations, so be sure to make these clear to your chosen professional.

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SEO: Agency, In-House Or Freelance – What Is Ideal For My Business?

With every passing day, digital marketing is becoming more important as ever. Big and small start-ups are advancing for digital marketing platforms to get their high business rankings and more ROI.Search engine optimisation is one of the most crucial pillars of online marketing that supports the other channels including email marketing, PPC and more. Many businesses favour SEO over email marketing or PPC, because SEO is fruitful in the long run and offer a better ROI as compared to email marketing, PPC or any other strategies.SEO is a long-term investment; it’s high time that your business should seriously consider to invest in SEO. There are many ways through which you can get your SEO done: outsource your SEO, hire an in-house SEO agency or hire SEO freelancers.Hiring An In-House SEO TeamSEO is not a simple thing, it’s complex and difficult regarding getting rankings, leads and traffic you need to have a dedicated in-house SEO team who are right in their respective fields. Having an in-house squad have a lot of benefits such as the team is always around to look into the website issues, so there will be no significant problem.Also, search engine and technical issues can be caught the ride in the start before it gets any worst. Having an in-house team can help you in the upcoming ventures that company might be planning to have to increase their business like pilot business model or sister website.Outsource To An SEO AgencyWhen businesses don’t have enough budget to have an in-house SEO team the ideal choice left for them is to outsource their SEO and marketing needs to a third party and SEO agencies that are sound. An SEO agency comprises of link builders, content producers and project managers hired in their team, and they work with different clients from all around the globe.Outsourcing your SEO work to an SEO agency is right in a way as professionals from that field will handle your job. The way things work in an SEO agency is different from the in-house team as people tend to leave, so the people who worked for you before are not sure to be working there anymore.Hiring A Freelance SEOA freelance SEO person is also a good option, but they don’t work for an agency neither they work in-house. They not only take on your SEO project but they also keep every aspect of it in mind and are highly responsible for bringing more leads and traffic to the business.Usually, people who don’t like to work with agencies or have in-house teams work with freelance SEO as they don’t take multiple projects and can listen to you more than the SEO agencies. A freelance SEO person is less expensive than an SEO agency.

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Three Emerging Technologies that Will Change the World

I was speaking with a friend the other night about his great grandfather. His great grandfather was born in 1875. He lived until 1965. Can you imagine the technology that this man saw come online? Let me name a few: the typewriter, the electric dental drill, the telephone, the phonograph, the incandescent light bulb, the hearing aid, the electric fan, the dishwasher, the escalator, the airplane, the Model T automobile, the air conditioner, the defibrillator, the atomic bomb, the electric guitar, the nuclear submarine, nylon, the polio vaccine, and the laser. He died right when the first minicomputer was coming to fruition. All of that in the span of his lifetime. Which leads me to the topic of this article. Technology has completely changed the way we live. And technological advances have accelerated at unbelievable speeds. Technology is converging in ways no one could have foreseen. I want to highlight some of the most interesting technologies out there. These are technologies that will change the world, for good and bad.Nano TechnologyProbably the most interesting and frightening of the emerging technologies is nano technology. Nano technology is a cross disciplinary field that deals with building and synthesizing materials at scales of 100nm or less. Nano technology usually works in one of two ways. It either pulls smaller parts together to build or it breaks bigger parts down. The parts are then used to form smaller, new materials. But why is nano technology so important?Nano technology is important because it will have massive effects across every area of life. As I write this, researchers are working on a nano particle to target cancer cells in lungs. In 2004, Rice University tested gold nano particle cancer treatment. In this treatment, these 150 nanometer gold particles were injected into the blood stream of cancerous mice. Gold particles at this size pass into tumors, but not healthy tissue. The researchers then passed infrared through the mice. The tumorous cells absorbed the infrared, heated up, and were destroyed. They are also working on quantum dots that allow doctors to easily identify multiple diseases quickly and accurately. But the uses don’t stop there. Nanotechnology will drive down the scale of electronics. This will lead incredibly small devices. The applications are limitless. And you can bet that the military will be clamoring for nano technology. The military is looking to have numerous nanotechnologies online by the year 2015. Such advances include performance enhancing nanotechnology that aids bodily functions. These will include response times, oxygen use, and heightened senses. But nanotechnology can also be used for reconnaissance and combat. Nanobots could scout areas without being seen. They could also enter into enemies for espionage. They could kill targets from within the host’s body. The possibilities are frightening.Alternative Energy & FuelsWhen gas prices skyrocketed this past year, many people suddenly took an interest in alternative energy and fuels. And because demand rose, companies suddenly found themselves forced to take interest. Most of the common arguments for alternative energy and fuels center around issues of pollution, cost, dependence, and jobs.What most people don’t realize is that alternative energy and fuels always have environmental effects. This can be in the form of heat generation, air pollutants, waste by-products, land usage, extraction, etc. Instead, we have to talk about pros and cons around each type of energy and fuel. There is no silver bullet. Costs, dependence, and jobs also vary depending on the energy type.There are a host of alternative energies being tested. Wind powered energy plants are already in place in many parts of the world. Solar energy production has taken huge steps forward with the help of nano technology. One such company is Nanosolar. Nanosolar is producing solar cells that are 100 times thinner than conventional cells. Not only are the cells cheaper to produce, but they also convert the solar energy much more efficiently. Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) uses the temperature differences in the ocean layers to produce energy. And OTEC can utilize this colder water (36 degree F cooler) in other things like on shore agriculture and refrigeration. And the list goes on.Massive interest was generated in alternative fuels this past year when gas prices hit record levels. New developments in battery technology could help. One such development is Millennium Cell’s hydrogen battery technology. This technology differs greatly from traditional rechargeable batteries in that it’s instantly rechargeable. It also has a much great efficiency for energy conversion, so it is much smaller and lighter. There is also greater reuse efficiency since you don’t need to replace the entire battery. You only need to replace the energy module. Developments are continuing in biodiesel, electric, hydrogen, methanol, etc. I think there could be some serious future synergy between nano technology and alternative energy.”Bionetics”This is my name for the incorporation of technology into the body. The dermal display is a great indication of things to come. Though I have yet to find a working demo version of this concept, I have no doubt that it will become a reality. The display would be driven by millions of nanobots. These nanobots would display light when touched. This would print a display onto your hand, or wherever the nanobot display would be housed. And this is where it gets really interesting. The display nanobots would be connected to millions of other fixed and mobile nanobots throughout the patient’s body. This would give instant readings on hundreds of vital statistics. Again, nanotechnology plays a strong role here.The bionics revolution is already underway. There have been four major cases of robotic limbs recently, the latest being a woman. The robotic limbs take advantage of the functional nerve endings in the limb stump. These nerve endings are used to actuate the robotic limb and to provide feedback to the brain. More money is being poured into robotic limbs every year.”Functional bionetics” are implants that enhance our lives. And you may be surprised to know that people are actively doing this as I write. People are inserting tiny electronics in their bodies that will unlock their front doors and their cars. The same technology is being used to unlock computers. But it doesn’t stop there. There is talk of implanting devices that will carry health information. You could be carted into a hospital totally unconscious and they would be able to access all of your past medical history. Most of this is done through RFID technology.”Bionetic networks” will be networks of connected bionetic devices. This would allow people to share sensation, feelings, and communication. If this sounds completely fictional, I invite you to consider the work of Kevin Warwick, Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading, England. He has implanted an extra-sensory device that interfaces with one put in his wife. They were implanted in their arms. The first experiments are aimed at exchanging sensory inputs, like pain. The hope is to extend that to other, more complicated neurological processes like thoughts and emotion. Obviously, that would drastically change relationships and indeed the world. Forget about your teens text messaging, maybe they will be brain linking in the future. Now that’s really scary!What will we be able to say came online in our lifetimes? I’m sure we could already list a lot of important technologies. But keep your eyes out for these emerging technologies. They are set to change the rules of our world. These technologies will upset economies, change military tactics, empower people, and be used to control others. Keep an eye on them.

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Communication Skills – A Vehicle On The Road to Success

From the moment of birth, babies are learning how to communicate, building on their innate ability to communicate to their mother through crying. Thereafter, throughout life, a person’s development and progress relies on communication of one form or another, either communicating to or receiving communication from others. Communication skills are a very important asset to help any person on the road to success.Being able to communicate is essential to all creatures in nature, and the human species is no different in that respect. Of course, we regard human communication as far more complex and sophisticated than that of other species. There are many avenues and means of communication that we, as a species, use. However, for the purpose of this article we will focus on interpersonal communication skills, as it is those skills that may be critical to success in many fields of endeavour.It is no coincidence that most large companies and organisations will include communication skills in their training programme for their staff’s career development. For most businesses and non-profit organisations, their long term success and efficiency will receive a valuable contribution from employees with good communication skills. For those who need specific types of communication skills, such as public speaking, special training courses may be arranged internally, contracted out, or the employee sent on an outside course.Few in business would argue that the better your communication skills, the more success you are likely to experience, and the more your career is likely to flourish in the future. There are, of course, more factors in achieving success than communication skills, but their potential contribution is undoubted.The Benefits of Good Communication SkillsThe potential benefits of good communication skills are too many and various to go into here; they could even save your life at some point in the future, win the heart of your dream partner, or save your marriage.In business, though, some of the main benefits of developing your communication skills are:1. Managing Your StaffStaff management involves constant and effective, two way, communication. If you are not capable of communicating with those under your control, then your management ability will be constrained, and may even be damaging to staff morale. Being able to communicate effectively will come into play when delegating to, encouraging, understanding, and training staff, amongst other things.Good communications with your staff can help you with their motivation, whether directly or through encouraging their self motivation, or both. In short, being able to communicate effectively will make you a better manager.2. Dealing With People Outside of the OrganisationWhether you work for a business, or a government or other type of organisation, you may be in a job that requires meeting people from outside of the organisation or talking to them over the telephone. Good communication skills take on a dual role in those cases, as you represent the organisation as well as yourself, so your effectiveness is doubly important. Firstly to the image of the company or organisation, and secondly to your career success.3. Building Self ConfidenceAs your communication skills improve, you will find your self confidence increase also, so improving your communication skills can be an important part of your long term success strategy.There are numerous other benefits to improving your skills in communicating with other, in many aspects of your life.Ways to Improve Communication Skills Training courses on communication skills are commonplace, and with any luck your own employer, if you are not self employed, will have a course or series of courses they can arrange for you. The type of course you should do depends on the reason for needing the course; a course on public speaking would be different to one on communicating with your staff, or employees. You can also find courses on verbal communication skills, telephone skills, written communication skills. It is really a matter of deciding, in conjunction with your boss, if you have one, which is the priority course for you.Practice is also essential, so speaking to staff or to groups of people at every opportunity can be important. there are also three other points to bear in mind:1. Communication is two way. It is not just a question of you talking to your staff. You need to encourage them to communicate openly with you too. In some cases, that may not be easy, so interpersonal skills really come to the fore here. Being a good listener is a critical skill; in fact, I consider being a good listener is a very powerful personal asset to have.2. Whoever it is you are speaking to is an individual; a group is made up of individuals, and it is always important to remember that. In my time I have managed over 100 staff in various places, including in my own business in England in the 1990′s. Each of those people was entirely individual, so getting to know and understand them was always important.3. Improving your memory can be especially important if you have a lot of staff or employees under you, as you need to understand each as individuals to be an excellent manager. Remembering them as an individual whenever you need to talk to them can be reassuring to them, and beneficial to both of you.Memory can play a big part in other forms of communication. Public speaking is an example, as speaking to a group of people from memory is a great boost to your confidence and effectiveness. If a public speaker has to refer to notes non stop, it greatly reduces the effect of their talk.Memory can also be an important asset when presenting ideas, work and proposals to your seniors. If you have a grasp of all the appropriate information, it can not only improve your case, but also create an excellent impression, making you look sharp and on top of your job.Communication is a vast subject, but your communication skills are worth developing, and you have to start somewhere. Maybe the best place to start is with your weaknesses, and that is something it would be helpful to talk to your boss about. If you have no boss, then personal friends whose opinion you trust and respect may be an alternative source of opinion.

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Sources of Friction: Why Investment Expertise Often Fails to Help You and What You Can Do About It

Most of the time when I talk to people about the investment industry I get the distinct sense that they would rather talk about almost anything else. While there are certainly many potential causes for such an understated response, I also don’t get the sense that an overwhelming degree of satisfaction is usually one of them. Rather, there seems to be a persistent state of frustration lurking under the surface that occasionally reveals itself in comments like, “I’d like to be able to get more confident with my investing”, and, “Do you ever get to talk to the person managing the money?”To the extent that lurking frustration exists, it is not for lack of investment expertise. Not only are there thousands upon thousands of investment professionals, but there are also terrific credential programs like the CFA and the CFP, a substantial and diverse active management industry that has a business model predicated on developing proprietary insights, and research that suggests it works. For example, the study “Best Ideas” [Cohen, Polk, and Silli, 2010] shows that the typical active money manager actually does outperform with his/her best ideas (the problem is that most portfolios also contain a lot of other ideas which aren’t nearly as good).So why do investors continue to be frustrated when all of this expertise is available? The answer, in a word, is friction.Sources of frictionJust like the progress of any vehicle is slowed down by the friction created by its contact with the road, so too is the efficient transfer of investment expertise constrained by a variety of structural sources of “friction” in the industry.One important source of investment friction is the tendency of many firms to focus more on the business of investment management than on the profession of investing. Because the universe of significant investment opportunities is limited in a competitive environment, managers must settle for progressively less attractive alternatives as a fund grows larger — and this dilutes performance. The conflict of interest between an investment manager’s desire to grow assets (and therefore business profits) and an investor’s desire for a smaller fund focused exclusively on best ideas is one way in which investment expertise often fails to benefit clients.A second source of friction is essentially a corollary of the first: Many firms fail to focus on the types of activities that are closely associated with generating superior investment returns. For example, many firms persist in charging high fees for investment services despite widespread evidence that high fees detract from returns. Many run portfolios that look very similar to their benchmarks rather than concentrating on best ideas (i.e., high active share). Many react (and overreact) to short-term results for which there is very little information content (i.e., low signal to noise ratio). Each of these types of activities is a well-known structural impediment to good investment performance and each is the result of a choice, a tradeoff, made by an organization’s leaders. While it is unfortunate such impediments exist, they are absolutely avoidable.A third source of friction is over-specialization. When an environment remains stable for a long period of time the most successful entities are those that focus on a very narrow area of expertise. Examples include narrowly defined functional silos such as industry-specific analyst coverage and very narrowly defined investment mandates. In such an environment, flexible business approaches and policies to insure against large losses represent unnecessary opportunity costs. In a more tumultuous environment, however, the costs of focusing too narrowly can be debilitating and sometimes even deadly. It’s fine to pack only swim suits and t-shirts for the beach as long as the weather stays nice. If it gets cold and rainy, you’ll wish you had better choices.What you can doWhile various sources of friction often prevent investors from deriving as much benefit as they might from the industry, the good news is that they also provide a clear target for improvement. If you want things to run more smoothly and efficiently, just reduce or eliminate the sources of friction. For investment firms this is simply a matter of making policy choices — of choosing to focus, on the margin, more on the exercise of investing than on the business of investment management. For investors, this is just a matter of identifying the firms that are not only willing to accept, but to actually encourage, making the tradeoffs that benefit investment results.Another way for investors to derive more benefit from the investment services industry is to find better user interfaces. Steve Jobs revolutionized the computer industry by developing a graphical user interface (GUI) that made it much easier for normal people to interact with computers. The same needs to be done with investment firms. While a great deal of investment expertise does exist, only a small subset of that resides with organizations that have cultures truly oriented to helping people. Without such a culture, the path of least resistance is for that expertise to first benefit investment firms and their employees.The investment services industry is interesting as a case study because it defies so many well established norms in other industries. Exceptionally few businesses in a competitive environment can afford to persist with processes and behaviors that impede performance and client satisfaction. If you went to a nice restaurant and ordered an expensive meal and the waiter came out and just threw it down in front of you without explanation and walked away, you would probably be miffed and might consider never coming back. Oddly, the same behavior happens with investment firms all the time — except in these cases investors tend to resign themselves to accepting such treatment. You can do better, but you will almost certainly need to look for new approaches that avoid old, and predictable, sources of friction.

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