When You Should and Shouldn’t Take Out a Loan

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There are many reasons why people apply for a loan. Sometimes people apply for loans out of necessity. Sometimes people apply for loans to buy products or services that are not really needed. It is important for people to understand the cost of taking a loan. There are many factors affecting the cost of getting a loan, such as your credit score, your assets and your job. The size of a loan varies from a few thousand dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars. There are many reasons why someone should take a loan or should not take a loan.

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Why you should take a loan

1. Buying your first home

This is one of the good reasons for you to apply for a loan. A home loan allows you to own a home instead of renting an apartment. The loan can be repaid in 15 or 30 years and you will get the lowest interest rates if your credit history is good. A home loan also gives you tax benefits.

2. Student loan

If you are a student, then applying for a student loan is a good choice, as it allows you to get a degree in an area that offers good job opportunities. The government backs most of the student loans and the payment terms are very generous. The loan offers a way of funding your future.

3. Loans for Investments

If you are financially independent and responsible, then you can take loans to fund your investments. For example, you can borrow money to buy investment properties. These kind of loans are not suitable for regular folks. You must have the necessary financial knowledge and assets to apply for such loans.

Why you should not take out a loan

1. Bad credit history

If your credit history is not good, then you will not get the best loan terms. You must work on increasing your credit score before you applying for a loan. Typically, banks and lenders will charge you higher rates if your credit is not good. If you are someone with a poor credit history, then you should refrain from taking a loan.

2. Purchasing assets that are depreciating

If you are planning to buy assets such as automobiles, which are depreciating over periods of time, then you should not consider taking a loan. It is always recommended to take a loan to purchase items such as a home, which are appreciating in value and act as a hedge against inflation. Most people are in the habit of purchasing depreciating assets such as furniture, TV, smart phones, and automobiles by taking high interest loans. This is not a good idea.

3. Private loans

There are many private loans available today. These are very expensive. You will end up paying very high interest rates. It is always recommended to get a loan from major banking institutions and lenders. If your credit is not good, then you may be tempted to get private loans. You should not consider this option unless it is for an emergency situation.

4. Borrowing from credit cards

Credit card companies offer balance transfers. However, after the initial period of lower interest rates, the interest rates will increase drastically. Your monthly payments will go up. Do not fall for high interest balance transfer offers from credit card companies.

There are many reasons why people take out loans. However, there are not many good reasons why people should take a loan or should not take a loan. Some of the reasons listed above are helpful if you are a would-be borrower planning to take a loan. Taking a loan is a financial burden and should be avoided unless it helps you to accumulate real assets, which are appreciating and lead to financial independence.

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Thailand Serviced Offices: What You Need to Know

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Over the last decade, Thailand has become a premier destination for western businesses looking to expand into the Asian market. It is a popular gateway to this part of the world, due to the draw of low corporate tax rates and quick registration processes.

There is a catch though and it’s a big one. If you want full ownership of a company in Thailand, it needs to be held in the name of an American or Thai partner. Despite this, scores of new businesses are launched every year and many are run from serviced offices in Bangkok.

Serviced facilities are a great way for new businesses to get a quick start and build up a secure foundation for growth. Keep reading to find out more about why they might be right for you.

Getting to Grips with the Basics

A serviced office provides all of the things that a conventional office lease does, with the difference being that it carries no long term contract. Also, the workspace is accessed as a fully furnished, fully equipped corporate suite. There are exceptions to this – some companies prefer to furnish an office for themselves – but, usually, there are no set up costs.

You pay a flat rate fee to call a ‘ready to go’ office your home. Serviced facilities include cleaning, lighting, HVAC, IT support, telephone answering and more. It is a great option for small teams looking to expand into Thailand because it minimises the risks. If you’re not tied into a 3-5 year lease, you can retain flexibility. Visit www.servcorp.co.th/en/serviced/offices/ for more information.

The Main Benefits of Going Serviced

Increased Flexibility

According to statistics, many of the businesses which opt for serviced facilities are concerned with their degree of flexibility. This is a valid issue because the first few years of life can be tough for a new company. There is no telling where market fluctuations and rapidly changing trends will take you. The important thing is that you can adapt to accommodate them.

Serviced office solutions are rented out on a rolling basis. This means that the contract lengths are very short and usually negotiable from month to month. If the business is thriving and you want to take advantage of it, you can upgrade to a bigger space without incurring penalty fees for a contract termination. Alternatively, you can downsize if you need to cut costs quickly.

Pay As You Use Resources

If you decide to work from a serviced suite, you’ll never have to worry about paying for resources you don’t need. For instance, instead of being expected to cover the cost of a generic office package (containing some tools that you have no use for), you can pick and choose the assets which hold the most value.

So, if you do almost all of your business online and very rarely make telephone contact, you probably don’t need a 24/7 receptionist service. You could scale the size of the service back or completely eliminate it from your rental terms. That way, you’ve got more to spend on the things that you do need; like IT support, help with website development, and fast broadband.

Why Modern Businesses Need to Act Quickly

While the core principles associated with setting up a business are much the same as they were fifty years ago, a lot of other factors have changed. These days, consumers are fickle beasts and there’s a lot of competition for their attention. It means that modern companies have to learn how to adapt quickly to market changes and serviced offices are one way to ensure that you stay flexible and ready for whatever the world throws at you.

 

 

 

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Top Ways That You Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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Climate change is a very real threat to our planet and as the years roll on, the ice caps continue to melt and sea levels continue to rise. Our generation may not be directly affected by this danger, not even that of our children but if we want our grandchildren or our great grandchildren to enjoy the same beautiful world in which we are living in then it is time that we adjusted our way of living in order to maintain what is left of this incredible planet of ours.

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The main place to start is through the reduction of our carbon footprint, governments around the World are making efforts to reduce theirs and plenty of energy conscious individuals like Jonathan Schrag regularly talk about ways in which we can personally reduce our carbon footprint in order to help out. Here are some things that you can do to help out.

Carpool Instead of Drive

There are simply too many cars on the road, pumping out fumes into the atmosphere and damaging the environment. In order to avoid this every should consider using public transport or car-pooling. This means that each car, if full, will be the equivalent of 4 or 5 cars on the road just with significantly less emissions. In addition, if you are able to invest in a low-emission car or even an electric car then that would also help greatly.

Changing Lightbulbs

Changing your light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs will make a huge change to the carbon footprint which you and your home leaves. Did you know that altering a single light bulb to this kind can reduce carbon dioxide pollution by over 1,300 pounds in its lifetime, more than enough reason to get those light bulbs in the home changed.

Buy Local Food

Food Miles have a huge impact on the carbon emissions that are put out by the World, on average, food travel somewhere around 2,000km between source to your plate, a huge amount of kilometers. If you try and buy local, seasonal produce however then you will be playing a vital role in reducing the amount of distance that the food has to travel and reducing the carbon emissions at the same time.

Switch Off Gadgets

Not only can switching off gadgets and unplugging cables save you a lot of money on your energy bill each year, estimations are around $100, but you can also help in your contribution to make the planet greener. Leaving a phone charger plugged in for example means that although your phone may not be charging, the electric is still being sent through the adaptors transformer, this wastes valuable electricity. When we waste electric it means that the national grid needs to make more power, power that in reality isn’t needed, and the practice of making the electric is what sends out carbon emissions. If you can, just try to spend 5 minutes each day before leaving the house to unplug all of your gadgets and tech.

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Business books that entrepreneurs should read in 2017

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One of the greatest things that any entrepreneur can do for their personal and business development is to read books on a continuous basis.

If you are looking to keep learning and evolving in 2017, it is vital to choose ones that will teach you relevant skills, inspire you, and prepare you for what is coming in the near future.

In this post, we will review four books that have caught our eye for the amount of actionable information that they provide their readers.

1) Performance

Although this book was published 10 years ago, its recent listing on Amazon has allowed this under-appreciated guide to creating a performance-based organization to become better known by those in the business community.

Authored by Mark Stiffler, this book aims to provide a practical framework that owners can use to streamline their organization’s processes, thereby allowing them to replace the disjointed system that they presently have in place.

2) Tools of Titans

2016 saw the return of business and personal development author Tim Ferriss to the world of non-fiction books with his latest release, Tool of Titans.

The first of his books to eschew the 4-hour branding he had used in previous works, he has taken hundreds of hours of information from his podcasts and has condensed it into one of the best attempts at an instruction manual for life that you will ever see.

Containing wisdom from people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Seth Godin in its 674 pages, it will be a constant source of inspiration and strength for you throughout this coming year.

3) Building the Internet of Things

From cars that drive themselves to smart home systems that turn on the heat and the lights via a smartphone app, the Internet of Things is quickly becoming an integrated part of our daily lives.

While it may not be perfect, as evidenced by several massive dDOS attacks orchestrated by hackers using insecure IoT networks this past year, it is clear that this technological development is here to stay.
In his book Building The Internet of Things, author Maciej Kranz outlines the various ways that business enterprises can make use of these advances to prosper in 2017 and beyond.

It also details how the IoT threatens to disrupt various sectors of the economy, allowing managers to prepare their organizations to adapt to changes that will reorganize the economy in the near future.

4) The Power of Broke

Created by Shark Tank co-host and FUBU founder Daymond John, The Power of Broke argues that having little cash and a lack of access to other resources has the effect of unlocking mental assets that can help propel anyone to success.

Starting with the story of how Daymond launched his brand with $40, a sewing machine, and a lot of hustle, this book examines the ways how anyone with an idea and the will to make it happen can overcome the lack of cash and other disadvantages.

The essential concept of this book is this: when your back is against the wall and you have next to no cash, your only choice is to succeed or perish.

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How to know if God is calling you

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Many people float through life unaware of their life’s purpose. Then all of a sudden, they have an experience that leads them to believe that God might be calling them to a higher purpose.

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Prophet TB Joshua once had a similar reckoning which has led him from what was sure to be a life of abject poverty in Nigeria to a life spent preaching God’s word across the globe.

Is the Lord calling you to a similar mission or a different one altogether? By looking for the signs listed below, you can get clear on whether God wants you to do his bidding, wherever you happen to live.

1) There’s something troubling you that won’t depart your mind 

Ever have a nagging thought that just won’t leave your mind, no matter how hard you try? When there is a moral conundrum that will not leave your subconscious, it is a sign from the Lord that he is calling you to do something about it.

Ignoring it will only make the thought grow bigger until it prompts you to act, so get up off your butt and help make the world a better place.

2) An apparent call to action comes to you as you pray 

Most of the prayers offered up to God are normally are met with silence not because he doesn’t care, but because he is engaged in the perfect act of doing things in the way nature intended.

It doesn’t mean that he isn’t listening: he most certainly is, and as many people find out, you end up receiving what you need at the moment it is required.

On the other hand, it can be jarring when you are on the receiving end of a request, as people aren’t used to a deity speaking to them.

Just as the Lord has listened and helped you all your life, don’t deny the call of your heavenly father: what you must do may not be clear at the outset, but take the first step towards helping him create a better world.

3) Someone enters your life who spurs your faith

As it has often been said, the Lord works in mysterious ways. When someone enters your life that helps you engage with your Heavenly Father in a more profound way, you need to search for the meaning behind it.
By praying deeply on this matter, you can better understand what you need to do with this new accomplice in your ongoing Christian faith.

4) He speaks to you in a way you can understand 

If there is anyone that understands how you tick, it is your Father in Heaven. After all, he is the one who created you in the first place.

If you are a quiet introvert, he will speak to you in an understated, almost whispery fashion. If you are a loud, brash person, his message for you will come through a powerful medium.

Don’t look for the message to come through an unexpected source; it will be through a method that you will understand, even if the meaning of the message is unclear at first.

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Top 3 Reasons Why People Opt For Plastic Surgery

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Last year there were more people in the United States who had plastic surgery or a cosmetic treatment than any other year since records began. The reasons for these decisions are plentiful and they are no doubt aided by the fact that these treatments are not only more accessible than ever, it seems there is a clinic on every corner, but also the prices have tumbled and they are no w very affordable.

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I myself regularly have little tweaks done to my body, a little botox or liposuction at my local clinic Sono Bello, plastic surgery is not something that I have been too interested in trying just yet but I completely understand why many would take the decision to do so. Let’s take a look then at why so many people went to the clinics last year to have there bodies changed, re-shaped and augmented.

Confidence

Confidence is the biggest reason that most give when they want to have some plastic surgery, or to be more specific, helping to overcome their lack of confidence. A body hang up can really bring people down, it could be a crooked nose or small breasts and the result of these body hang ups changes the day to day outlook of the person with them. Having a nose straightened or a breast augmentation can give people a spring in their step once again and for many, this is why they head to the clinics.

Health

Plastic surgery is being used more and more to help people with outstanding body problems, whilst medics have long used this surgery for the likes of burin victims or facial reconstruction, we are now seeing more people have surgery when they have body issues which cause health problems. Let’s take for example ladies with overly large breasts, the weight of the breasts can put incredible pressure on the lower back and cause disfigurement and a great deal of pain in the future. Plastic surgery can reduce the size of the breasts and improve the condition of the back.

Enhancement

Not everyone has a body hang up that they would like to fix and many go under the knife to enhance various areas of their body. The most common way in which people want to enhance their body is for weight loss results. I’m not talking about liposuction here, I’m talking about those people who have lost a significant amount of weight and wish to have excess skin removed. What happens when people have gained a great deal of weight is that their skin stretches as the weight is gained, when the fat is lost it leaves the stretched skin behind. For any person who has managed to achieve the great feat of losing vast amounts of weight, being left with this excess skin is a bit of a kick in the teeth so they head to a clinic and have the skin removed professionally.

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Great Career Choices For Numerical Minds

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We all have our special abilities and character traits that set us apart from the rest, some of us are excellent at working with our hands, some of us have artistic minds, others are able to grasp the English language with ease and some have a natural ability in dealing with numbers. If you fall in to the latter category and you find math, calculus and algebra easy then you should be looking into a career that allows your numerical mind to flourish.

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Working in the World of finance is usually the best place for the number-crunchers of the World but there are also several other professions which can utilize your numerical ability. There are significantly less people who enjoy math over the likes of Science or Geography for example and that means that sometimes there is less competition for roles, providing you are willing to gain a strong education off the back of your abilities. Today we are going to take a look at some of the best career choices available to anyone who enjoys dealing with figures.

Trader

Traders of all types are required to have a high proficiency in numeracy and regardless of whether you wish to go into capital asset exchange and trading, currency dealing or working on the stock market you will be able to flex your numerical muscles and earn well. Traders need to have a firm understanding of not only math but also the global economy, financial markets and the causes that affect them and be able to see which way prices may go based on their analysis of highly complex data.

Tax Accountant

Although perhaps not the most popular of careers, a tax accountant is vitally important in the World of business. Taxation laws are at times very detailed and complex and almost every company in the World relies upon tax accounts for their knowledge of the law and their ability to crunch numbers to ensure that they are not under or over-paying taxes. In order to become a tax accountant you will need to study accountancy at college and preferable earn a Master’s in taxation or auditing. To practice taxation you will need government accreditation which you can gain through passing your level 1,2 and 3 exams.

Teacher

If you simply love math then becoming a teacher in this field would be a great idea. The reason for this is that math has a terrible reputation for being bring and many students do not work too hard on their mathematical ability which can hold them back in life. As a math professor your job is slightly different to those who teacher English or History as you not only need to impart mathematical knowledge but you need to overcome the stigma and making math fun. Math plays a vital role on so many careers and industries and if you have what it takes to demonstrate to students the importance of math and gain their concentration then you can help to inspire a generation of youngsters who buck the trend and learn to love math.

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How to Become a Top Financial Advisor

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Today we are going to take a look at one of the World’s top financial advisors and what skills you are going to need if you wish to be a financial advisor. Being skilled with numbers and finance is a skill that you can of course learn but in order to be able to give advice to people you are going to need far more than this. Financial advisors need to have a firm understanding of the financial markets and how people can wisely invest their cash in stocks, shares, bonds, bank accounts and property. Let’s take a look at an example of a great financial advisor, Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch wealth manager and what skills you are going to need to replicate his success.

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Patrick Dwyer

Dwyer is currently managing over $2 billion worth of assets for wealth management giant Merrill Lynch and is considered one of their key advisors. After gaining his MBA from the University of Miami, Dwyer went straight into the MBA program with Merrill Lynch and has been with the company for over two decades. During his time with the financial services company he has been regularly featured in the Barron’s list of top 100 advisers as well as being featured as one of the best advisors in the World by the Financial Times In 1999 he joined Merrill Lynch’s elite group of professionals who would solely advise the ultra-rich in managing their finances which is where he currently plies his trade.

Here are Some of the Skills You Need

If you want to be a top advisor like Patrick then you are going to need to be an industry expert, this involves you constantly keeping an eye on market trends and global positions as well as new industries. You will never stop becoming a student of the financial world and the moment that you think you know all that there is to know, is the moment that the industry will pass you by.

Math and Computer Skills

Math and computer skills are the basic requirements for any financial advisor and the industry relies heavily on these skills. You cannot hope to achieve anything in the world of finance with poor math skills and your computer literacy should be high as you will be using them for a huge range of tasks on a daily basis.

Communication Skills

If you are going to be advising people on what they should do with their vast wealth then you need to have a good bedside manner. The wealth management industry is highly competitive and you need to ensure that, for the good of the company, that you can gain your client’s trust and loyalty. Your communication with your clients should be outstanding.

Salesman

When you are offering your advice to a client, you are essentially selling them an idea of yours and you need to be able to do so in such a way that will make the customer want to go ahead. In order to do this you need to be able to analyze complicated details and present in a way that your client will understand.

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How to Become an Artist

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Not everyone has what it takes to become a top artist like Andy Warhol, Tracy Emin or Damien Hirst, many artists struggle to even get their work into galleries or displays like the Chicago-based Jonathan Bunge. The World of art has changed dramatically over the last 50 years as more and more people have learned the skills require to create great art.

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The other problem with art is that it has become far too subjective and many feel disillusioned with the way in which the art industry have gone. Eye-watering sums and the art that art is created solely for other artists has left many not caring about art is the same way that they used to and as a result, being an artist as a profession has become far more difficult. If art is a true passion of yours and you find that you are good at it the here are some steps which you can follow to make it your career.

Contacts, Contacts, Contacts

As with many industries, if you want to get ahead in the world of art then it is not only about how strong or creative and artist you are, but also about which contacts you can make. Making friends in high places in the industry will help you to get your work seen far sooner, this could be anything from making friends with gallery owners to already-successful artists. You need to be bold when looking for contacts, cold call people, go to gallery openings and schmooze and actively support current artists. The World of social media allows you to connect easily with artists, get in touch, get inspired, show off your work and hopefully have it exhibited.

Join a Scene

Some of the greatest artists the World has ever seen were part of a wave of artists who lived in a particular area, Paris, San Francisco, more recently Berlin and now places like Mexico City are becoming hives of activity for the artist-type. Being a part of one of these art scene not only surrounds you with inspiration of artists but also enhances your chances of being noticed for you work.

Go Solo

Nobody sells their first piece for millions of dollars and it is worth starting out selling small amounts of work on the internet whilst you are trying to make a name for yourself. You can easily set up shops online with the likes of Amazon and eBay and begin to small small prints or sculptures. The beauty of sites like these is that with a simple click of a button you will have access to millions of pairs of eyes. The biggest constraint for budding artists is finances and many unfortunately ditch their dreams and go and get a job to pay the bills. While you are starting out, using the internet to keep th each flowing is a great way to give yourself a platform for success in the art world.

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Debunked: Motor oil myths for novices

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It’s hidden away and for that reason, it sometimes goes forgotten. However, like it or not, your motor oil is the thing that makes your car tick and without it, problems are going to arise.

When we talk about problems, we’re not discussing minor inconveniences either. Extensive engine damage is one issue and it will most probably mean that you can’t rely on your vehicle warranty and instead have to make a claim with a company like Omega Auto Care.

However, while it might be critically important, there are a lot of misconceptions that surround oil and just how you should manage it in your vehicle. It’s for this reason that we’ve put together this guide, as we scrutinize motor oil in-detail and highlight the many myths that have emerged about it.

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“Black oil means that it should be changed”

This is something that’s commonly stated but suffice to say, it’s just not correct. The general consensus is that you should use your dipstick to check the color of the oil and if it’s black, you should change it as a matter of urgency.

However, rather than showing that the oil is bordering on useless, the darker color instead highlights that it’s working correctly. Oil will change color over time and there’s no need to act apart from in extreme cases.

“You should change your oil every three months”

Another piece of advice which is alarmingly common is the notion that you should change your vehicle’s oil every three months, or every 3,000 miles if you happen to complete that even more quickly.

Generally, if you follow this approach you will just be wasting oil. A better approach is to check your owner’s manual, with most new cars recommending that you change it after at least 7,000 miles – a far cry from the 3,000 that has been historically documented. Failing that, just wait for your warning light to illuminate.

“Synthetic oil is just better”

There’s a couple of myths on synthetic oil, and here’s the first. It’s often said that synthetic oil isn’t just better for your vehicle, but also for fuel economy.

Well, truth be told, it’s not completely accurate. A lot of the time the synthetic claims are exaggerated and umpteen tests have still failed to prove the benefit that it has to fuel economy. Sure, it’s a more lubricated substance, but whether or not this is worthy of the inflated price is another matter.

“There’s no going back after turning to synthetic oil”

Our next synthetic oil myth surrounds the choices you have once you’ve taken the plunge. While some might suggest that you can never go back to petroleum-based oil after using a synthetic type – this generally isn’t the case. As long as the oil is of the required standard, you are able to use both alternately. Usually, these types of oil are blended anyway, so it makes no sense to suggest that they have such dangerous effects on each other.

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