Is Your Smile Keeping You From Employed?

Have you ever just met someone and when they smiled you cringed? I’m guilty-I just expect people to take care of their teeth and I make judgements based on the condition of your teeth! Come to find out, I’m not the only one.

Take the example of Patty Kennedy; with 5 broken teeth, three cavities and a painful gum disease, she knew her job prospects were not bright:

“But like many of the more than 2,200 people who showed up for the 5:30 a.m. clinic on May 18 and 19, Kennedy knew that bad teeth translate into poor employment prospects, even for the best workers.”

“I really don’t smile a lot,” said Kennedy, whose husband, Lucas, also 53, lost his job five years ago when California’s construction economy tanked. “I know that when you have a job, you want to have a pleasant attitude and you’ve got to smile and be friendly.” Read more »

College Degrees-RIP

It’s no secret that the cost of a college degree is ridiculous. You can read almost any personal finance blogger and somewhere they talk about their outstanding student loans or their strategy for paying them off. During the most recent recession in the United States; college admissions soared-but is that really the answer to finding great job that you are passionate about? The answer is NO!

Enter the new era of boot camps. A perfect example is a recent article in Yahoo Finance called Coding boot camps promise to launch tech careers. I believe this is a trend that will force Colleges across the country to make their curriculum more relevant, cut out the BS, and lower tuition to reasonable rates.

From the article:  Read more »

Attention Minority Contractors

Have you been certified by the government as a minority owned company? Since Federal projects have to have a certain percentage awarded to minority contractors; this can be a very lucrative opportunity.

For the past two years my company has been looking into this and offering guidance to minority owned companies. Here is a classic example. Read more »

Happy New Year

It’s that time of year again….we make a ton of resolutions and shortly thereafter become overwhelmed and nothing gets done icon wink Happy New Year Not really, the key is always to take babby steps! Set up a few realistic goals that you can control and then set that plan in motion.

Here’s something that may help you on that path-particularly if one of your goals is to clean up or improve your credit score. A friend of mine had recently signed up for a FREE service called Credit Karma.  Read more »

How to use a Loans Calculator

Often, choosing the right financial product to suit you involves hours of research, as you try to understand all the terms and conditions and compare costs to get the best deals. You go through exactly the same thing when you start to search for the best loans to take out, and it can be exhausting, exasperating and time-consuming.

There is now a very simple thing you can do to hunt down the best loans on the market. The solution is to use a loans calculator.

What is a loans calculator?

Generally speaking, a loans calculator is a simple online tool which allows you to work out how much a loan will cost you. However, there are a few different types of loans calculator, some which allow you to calculate the monthly costs of a loan and some which help you find the cheapest loans.

Some loans calculators have sliders to allow you to narrow down your requirements and play around with loan amounts and time periods to find the best deal.

What information will I need to use a loans calculator?

• The total amount you are thinking of borrowing
• The amount of time over which you intend to pay the loan back (i.e. 12 months)
• Your credit rating – usually you will only be asked to provide an estimate of your current credit status, such as ‘good’, ‘fair’ or ‘poor’

Where can I find a loans calculator?

Loans calculators are available and free to use all over the Web. You can find them on financial advice websites, as well as on the websites of loan providers themselves.

Do Prepaid Debit Cards Work Well?

I recently had a reader ask me about the pros and cons of using a prepaid card. He had experienced some credit problems but found that to operate with any efficiency in today’s economy-some sort of debit card came in very handy.

As fate would have it I was planning a Thanksgiving journey from Denver to Annapolis, Md; what better opportunity to check out a prepaid card in the real world! Read more »

Online Cashbook Services

sageone 150x150 Online Cashbook ServicesIf you are self employed, a freelance worker or are involved in any kind of independent small business, regularly using an online cashbook can reduce the worry of finding your receipts and payment records when you need them.

There are many different applications and ways to use accounting services online, from easy-to-navigate software programs with user-friendly interfaces designed for the layperson and accountants alike, through to fully serviced personal consultants who can offer more specialised help and advice. Read more »

Should the Financial Engine of the World be in New York?

Hurricane Sandy has had a terrible toll on lives and property and the misery will last for many months to come. Since 911 this is the second time the New York Stock Exchange has been closed for more than a day-granted, both of these were extra ordinary events but maybe it’s time to rethink having the financial engines of the world concentrated in New York…

When I first started with Merrill Lynch we trained in the Twin Towers and everything was so close and convenient; the exchanges, investment bankers etc. From 911 we have learned that terrorists all around the world have also made this observation-does it really make economic sense to have all of our financial centers clustered together? Read more »

Mistakes Are O.K., But Never, Ever Lose Your Passion

 

Adam Bryant has a column every Sunday in the New York Times called Corner Office. He recently interviewed Kevin Liles of KWL enterprises. I wanted to share some great excerpts for all of you who may be job hunting!

Q. What are some important leadership lessons you’ve learned?

A. I’ll start with one of my early failures. I wanted to be the host of a new hip-hop show, and I didn’t get the job. I was the biggest guy in the marketplace. Given what I’d done, that should have sold me. But I didn’t sell myself. So, after that, I realized that no matter what I have done before, I had to learn the art of selling. I had to learn the art of explaining my value proposition when I show up somewhere. How do I differentiate myself? I know who I am. I’m very clear. If I’m meeting someone, I’m very clear about their value proposition, and I know what my value proposition is. So as long as we do what we’re supposed to do, we’ll get everything done. Read more »

I Co-Signed Your Student Loan? Now What?

 

  I Co Signed Your Student Loan? Now What?

Sorry Mom-You’re on The Hook!

Cyndee Marcoux already was stretched thin, thanks to the $80,000 in student loans she racked up after getting divorced and going back to school a decade ago. Her breaking point came in 2010, when her daughter defaulted on student-loan payments of her own.

That’s because Ms. Marcoux, a 53-year-old library administrator in Seekonk, Mass., co-signed for about $55,000 of her daughter’s loans. When the daughter was unable to keep making payments, Ms. Marcoux was on the hook—a burden that forced her to reshuffle her entire life. To scrape up the extra $550 a month she owed, she sold her house, then took a second job registering emergency-room patients on the weekend overnight shift. “You work your whole life and never pay a bill late,” says Ms. Marcoux. “You don’t ever think your kid isn’t going to pay.” Read more »

Dansette