Invest in a SURE THINGWritten by Holly Cotter
With stock market so unpredictable these days, many people are taking big hits.
My parents are a prime example.
They spent over 3 decades carefully budgeting their money and putting some away each month into a retirement account. A couple of years ago, they could have lived a very comfortable life on interest generated by their stock portfolio. But this year, when my father turned 65 and was ready to retire, interest from their investments won't even cover their monthly mortgage payment.
Unfortunately, there are many people in same predicament.
But, although recently stock market has become more volatile, it has never been a "sure thing." Historically, if you can leave your money in a mutual fund for 10 years, it will gain in value. But, for short-term investing, there has always been a high element of risk.
Take my friend, George, for example.
For several years, he made a very comfortable living playing stock market from home on his computer. In fact, 3 years ago, he made over $500,000 in a few short months! Wait...don't get envious yet. A couple of months later, he had lost it all AND over $150,000 more. But, worst part is, since loss occurred after new year began, IRS expected George to pay taxes on half million he earned...and he couldn't report loss until he filed his taxes a year later!
Now, I'm not saying stock market is bad. In fact, I strongly believe in investing in stock market...AFTER you have built a generous income and have EXTRA money to risk.
Does my business need a Toll Free Number?Written by Alyice Edrich
There are several types of businesses on market... from traditional brick and mortar, to dot coms. But does your business really need a toll free number? That depends on a number of factors, such as:
Do you only market your business to local customers, clients, or businesses? Is most of your business done on an international scale versus a national scale? Do you have an online business that leaves little room for personal contact? Are your products special orders, in which others have to give specific instructions? Do you have a business, where you are constantly on go and away from office? Do you have employees that do a lot of traveling and call you collect or using a calling card? To answer these questions, let's take them one by one. If you only market your business locally, and you do not have any intentions of marketing it nationally or internationally, you do not need a toll free number.
If your business is mostly done via international avenues, you may want to think twice about cost involved in having a toll free number. For instance, if you are based within US, and majority of your clientele comes from overseas, a toll free number can become very costly. However, if you are based with United States, and you have mixed clientele, both internationally and nationally, it may be advantageous to get a toll free number. In fact, some companies have option of blocking certain phone numbers and locations from using your toll free number (such as Kall 8).
If you have an online business, it's a good idea to get a toll free number. Having a toll free number can make or break a sale.
Often, customers have questions and concerns about ordering your product and service and having a toll free number eases their minds, while making you look more professional.
Not having a toll free number doesn't mean that you will lose that sale, as customer or client can just as easily email you. However, human beings are naturally inclined to do business with someone they know, versus someone they don't. Being able to hear your voice allows potential customers to get a feel for who you are, and in process, develop a sense of security and trust in both you and your business.