Saturday, December 8, 2012

Pay Off A Payday Advance By Selling Clothes You Don't Need

If you're trying to pay off a payday advance, you either need to spend less or bring in more money. Consider selling clothes that aren't worn any longer to bring in the money you need.

Selling used clothes has become a growing business as people look for ways to save money as well as help the environment by recycling clothing. As stores continue to sell their inventory of used clothes, they need to replace it by buying from anyone willing to sell.

When going through your closets, look for clothing that is not worn or torn (unless that is part of the fashion), and especially not stained or smelling badly. You also need to look for clothes that fit the season, as these are more likely to be purchased.

Make sure the clothes are looking their best. Wash and iron them before you take them to the store. Also, call the store ahead of time and ask if you should have the clothes on hangers or if it has any other preferences.

Also, research the stores in your area. Different stores will often have different preferences for styles and labels. A vintage store will want clothes from 20 years ago or more. A modern/contemporary store will want clothes that are currently fashionable.

When you take the clothes to the store, don't bring it in a garbage bag. This will give the buyer a poor impression of the clothes before even seeing them. Bring the clothes on hangers in clear plastic or neatly folded in boxes or reusable shopping bags.

Don't take it personally if the store doesn't want your clothes or offers prices that are much lower than you expected. This isn't a reflection on how the buyer feels about you. It just means the buyer doesn't think the clothes you brought will sell well at this store.

At the same time, be willing to walk away if the buyer doesn't offer what you feel is a fair price. You can always try a different store.

You also might want to consider selling your clothes at a consignment shop, which doesn't buy the clothes from you, but pays you a percentage when the store sells the clothes. A consignment shop could still choose to not sell your clothes, but it may be easier to get a consignment shop to accept the clothes because it is not risking as much as a store that buys clothes.

The nice thing with a consignment arrangement is that you can claim the clothes back if they don't sell. You will just have to negotiate the price the clothes will be priced at and how much of that price you will get when it does sell.

If you can't find a store to accept your clothes, you could always try to sell them directly to customers yourself. You could do this by advertising on Craigslist or Ebay, or you could even try to sell them at a yard sale. Another option would be to try to sell them to friends with similar taste in clothing.

If all else fails, you could take the clothes to a thrift store, which only take donated clothing. This may not help with the payday advance, but you can get a receipt for them and deduct the clothes from your taxes.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Unit Trusts Or Endowment Policies, Are You Saving Enough?

Times are tough for South African families. The petrol price continues to climb steadily with the price of food not far behind. Globally, world financial markets are still battling the ever-present threat of recession. As a personal financial planner I have only one word of advice for my clients and that is to save as much as they can afford to, be it in unit trusts or endowment policies or any other suitable investment vehicle.

Our best defence against an uncertain economy is savings. As individuals we must save to protect against retrenchment, for example, or against increases in the cost of living, from food to petrol prices. Even in the best of economic times we should be saving, for our retirement, our children's education and towards an emergency fund.

South Africans are not a nation of savers. The World Economic Forums' 2011/12 Global Competitiveness Report ranks South Africa 72nd in the world for its gross national savings rate. This is well behind other BRICS counties like China, India and Russia.

To become better savers we need to understand why we have not developed a culture of savings in South Africa. Experts point to many reasons. Some say we are not motivated to save because we have such easy access to credit why save for something when you can buy it with your credit card or a store card for example?

Others say that we are status obsessed and will not hesitate to buy the latest cell phone or car even if we cannot afford it and even if a cheaper version of either would do the job just as well. In a nutshell, we have become a nation of consumers and not savers. The key lies in drawing up a budget, scrutinising your expenses and see what you can and cannot afford and what monthly costs can be reduced or even eliminated.

For many industry commentators the answer lies in education, in teaching people about the importance of saving, how much they need to save and explaining the many investment options available to them.

I often recommend unit trusts to my clients. They are an attractive investment option for many reasons. With unit trusts, individual investors can invest in and reap the benefits of the stock exchange without any expert knowledge as the funds you invest in are managed and monitored by experienced fund managers. You can also withdraw funds at any time without incurring any penalties. Finally, because your funds are invested in a number of different funds or assets your investment is diversified and your risk is spread.

In good times or in bad, saving should be a priority for every South African family. It is never too late to start saving and work towards securing your financial future.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

How To Deal With Rising Interest Rates

For the past few years, interest rates have been quite low, causing many people to borrow large amounts of money for a variety of different expenses. Now these interest rates are about to rise, and they will have a large effect on the personal finances of many borrowers. How do these interest rates affect you? What can you do to prepare for rising interest rates? In this article I will answer both of these questions.

When Do Interest Rates Rise?

When the Federal Bank increases the interest rates, the cost of mortgages, loans, and credit cards are also increased. Because the average American household owes at least ,000 in credit card debt, they will be heavily effected the rising interest rates. If you are having a difficult time making your payments every month or are only making the minimum payments, it can be very difficult to pay down the principle when the interest continues to increase. In a situation like this it could take many years to pay off a loan.

Don't Be Depressed

Even worse, if the economy suffers a major depression similar to what occured in 1929, banks and loan companies may begin calling in debts in order reduce their losses. This means that customers will be forced to pay back everything they owe up front, and if they can't their homes, cars, or other valuables could be taken from them. While this may sound extreme, history has a way of repeating itself. It is important to make sure you do everything you can to protect yourself and reduce the amount of debt you owe.

Try To Pay Your Debt Early

One thing you will want to do is start paying more than just the minimum payments. As the interest rates continue to rise, making only the minimum payments will do nothing to reduce your debt. If you don't have enough money to make more than just the minimum payments, look for ways to cut back on your expenses so that you will have more money left over to pay on your loans. You will want to reduce your spending and set aside a budget that will allow you to make larger payments towards the principle rather than just the interest.

Get On A lower Interest Rate

Don't listen to credit card companies that advertise credit cards at a fixed rate. By law, credit card companies have to give you a notice before increase the interest rate on the credit cards, and very few loans are exempt from the interest rates that are increased by the Federal Bank. It is best to transfer your balances from high interest credit cards to those that have a much lower interest rate. Look for companies that offer 0% interest rates for a set period of time. Home equity loans or lines of credit are tools that can also be used to consolidate and pay of your debts.

Consider A Cheaper Mortgage

If you have a mortgage that features an adjustable interest rate, consider switching to a fixed rate before interest rates begin to rise. This could keep you from getting into a situation where you could lose your home. If you are looking to buy a house, it is important to remember that the cost of houses will greatly increase once the interest rates start to rise. This means you will want to find a house before this happens so that you will avoid paying inflated prices.

Lease Or Buy a Car

If you are thinking of a getting a car, it may be a good idea to buy used instead of leasing a car from a dealership. It doesn't make much sense to get a car loan at a time when interest rates are about to rise. Buying a used car has many advantages, but you will want to do your research to make sure you get a good deal.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Small Business Incorporation: Are Your Personal Assets Really Safe?

Many entrepreneurs understand the benefit of small business incorporation, but they don't realize how easy it is to lose their "corporate status" if they get sued or end up in bankruptcy. This is dangerous because then the court can come after their personal assets (like their house, car, savings, etc)!

Today, I will review a little bit of why incorporating is so important for small business owners, and then tell you five simple steps you can follow to protect your personal assets, even if your business gets sued or goes through bankruptcy.

Small business incorporation makes sense for a couple of reasons. First, because it protects you from personal liability, and second, because it offers you some great tax advantages. For today, we're going to just focus on the personal liability part.

When you incorporate, your business becomes like another person. This other person has it's own bank account, it can own things like property, and it can take risks. Even if that "other person" (your business) goes completely bankrupt or gets sued, you are safe (assuming you do everything correctly).

This is important because many new businesses fail, but you as the entrepreneur don't want to fail. You want to pick yourself back up and start your next business which will be even more successful. Failure is a necessary way to learn, so we want it to be as painless as possible. Small business incorporation is the key to doing just that.

When everything works like it should, then yes, you personally are protected. But there are certain situations where your corporate status doesn't help you out, and every business owner should be aware of them!

You see, setting up a company gives you so much protection from liability, that unethical people in the past have tried to take advantage of it. They have gone through small business incorporation just to create "shell corporations", or businesses just for the purpose of liability protection, to help them get away with various crimes.

Of course, the law had to be modified to weed out these people and make sure they were appropriately prosecuted. But in the process, the requirements for honest small business owners became tougher. Some extra steps are now required to make sure your corporate status stays intact.

By the way, whenever a court decides to waive the corporate protection and actually prosecute the owners behind the company personally, they call it "piercing the corporate veil". (Lawyers always like to come up with fancy names for things.)

Following are the top five ways to protect you personal assets after going through small business incorporation. Make sure you do these correctly, and you can be sure that even if your business experiences a colossal failure, or gets sued out of existence, at least your personal assets are safe and you can start over.

1. Never Engage in Fraud or any Criminal Act

This sounds simple, but many small businesses owners unknowingly break the law. Never sell a product you know is defective or doesn't work, misrepresent something in your advertising, forge any signatures, or pull a bait and switch (offer a great deal to get people in the door only to tell them it is out of stock so you can sell a substitute.) Run your business honestly and with integrity every day, and it will pay off in the long run.

2. Never Misrepresent Your Corporate Officers or Members

Don't ever lie about who is involved in your company. When it comes time to ask for investors, or get people to support you, you may be tempted to exaggerate about who is actually working with you. If they haven't actually signed your operating agreement (an important step in small business incorporation), then they aren't your partner.

3. Make Sure Your Follow All Corporate Formalities

If you are going to claim you are a company, then you'd better act like a company. Small business incorporation requires plenty of little steps that can be easy to forget. That means you have to file all important documents and keep records of them (your operating agreement, articles of incorporation, and DBA for example). You also have to keep detailed financial records. You could pay a lawyer to put all these together for you, but this will cost you thousands of dollars. I recommend taking the time to learn these relatively simple steps yourself. There are some great resources out there.

4. Keep Your Business and Personal Assets Separate

The business has to have it's own bank account. The money in that bank account is not your money. It belongs to the business. In fact, if you decide one day come along and take some money out to buy yourself a Hawaiian vacation, that is called embezzlement (a crime)! Often, the first time through small business incorporation, new business owners (especially if they are the sole owner) don't understand this concept. The money in the company is not theirs. The company is like a separate person, and all assets must be treated as such.

5. Never Treat the Business' Assets as if They Were Your Own

Don't deposit your personal checks into the corporate account. Don't use company money to finance your personal life and hobbies. Don't lend the company car to your buddy for a weekend excursion. Don't set up a cot in the back of the office and start living there! Again, the business and yourself are two separate people. Treat them accordingly.

With these five basic steps, you can be sure your small business incorporation holds up in court in the event your business goes under.

Many successful business people, from Donald Trump to John D. Rockefeller, went through periods of ups and downs in their life. Not every company they bet on was a success. But they managed to survive and lived to fight another day because they where smart enough to go through small business incorporation correctly. They followed the above five steps to make sure they wouldn't lose their corporate status in the event of a lawsuit. They made sure that their personal assets were safe, even if the company went bankrupt.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Business Principles We Learn from Warren Buffett

According to "Fortune Magazine," the third most admired company in world is Berkshire Hathaway. When we think of Berkshire Hathaway we think of its head one of the wealthiest man in the world Warren Buffett. What business principles we learn from Warren Buffett? What is his magic?

Strategic Approach

Warren is one of the best investors in the world. His approach is simple. He does not buy stocks as much as he buys businesses. He focuses on a company's value, its stock price and its risks. He looks for companies with strong brands, simple business models, a good return on equity with a lot of debt.

If the price of a firm is less than its value, Warren is interested. In doing his homework, he studies the firm's competition, ignores what analysts have to say, and pays little attention to fluctuating market trends. In fact when the market is down, he believes that may the best time to buy.

Jim Collins' Lens

Let's start by looking at Warren from a perspective of what Jim Collins teaches in his seminal book "Good to Great." The book was the result of Jim's research, where he led a team in a five-year study in which they "scoured a list of 1,435 established companies to find every extraordinary case that made a leap from average results to great results."

Jim describes the best leaders of the companies that became great as "level 5"leaders. They are ones who built "enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will." A level 5 leader is first and foremost ambitious for the cause.

Humble Style

Warren's humble style is refreshing. He has simple tastes. He doesn't wear expensive suites. He lives in the same home he bought in 1958. And, he drives his own car. Warren also is famous for how he makes fun of himself. One of his one-liners is, "I buy expensive suits. They just look cheap on me."

Professional Will

Warren is driven as demonstrated by his almost incomprehensible wealth. Warren looks not only for businesses that are a good deal, but he looks for leaderships who have long tenures of success in their business and who are deeply passionate for the business.

Back to Jim Collins - the Hedgehog Concept

Jim's team came to simple but powerful conclusions. One important point they make is referred to as the "hedgehog" concept. A key to greatness is finding the intersection, referred to as the sweet spot, between your talent, passion,and economic opportunity.

When we look at Warren from the "hedgehog" framework, we find simple insights:

Passion: What are you deeply passion about?

Talent: What you can be the best in the world?

"I was wired at birth to allocate capital and lucky enough to have people around me early on-my parents and teachers and Susie [his late wife]-who helped me make the most of it," Buffett told Carol Loomis of Fortune magazine in the June 25 issue.

Economics: What drives your economic engine?

Finding great companies and leaders and investing for the long-haul.

Warren found his passion and talent in life and focused. He became one of the most successful and richest investor in history.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Things I Learned When I Refinanced My Home

Some days I feel like a home refinancing expert. I've refinanced my home twice in the last three years to take advantage of attractive interest rates. Although interest rates have been rising lately, refinancing may still be an attractive option if you're paying a high interest rate on a mortgage. When my husband and I built a new home in 2000, we felt interest rates were a little high so we opted for a three year mortgage with an 8 percent mortgage rate instead of locking into a 15 or 30 year mortgage with a slightly higher rate.

We were counting on interest rates going down before our mortgage was up for renewal and they did. When the rates went down to 5.5 percent two years later we refinanced. To find the best rate I could, I called my local banks, credit unions, and savings and loan companies. I also checked interest rates on the Internet.

One year later, while checking on the Internet I found a rate of 4.375 percent. (I looked up interest rates because someone told me they had just gotten their mortgage refinanced at 4.5 percent). I ended up refinancing again but not before calculating how much I was going to save in interest versus how much the additional closing costs were going to be. My calculations showed it would take approximately 18 months of payments at the lower rate to recoup the money it cost to refinance. Although my husband and I now have a very attractive mortgage rate, our payment is slightly higher than it was when we were paying 8 percent interest. But instead of having a 30 year mortgage we have a 15 year mortgage. The low interest rate is allowing us to pay our house off in half the time we thought it would!

Although interest rates have been rising lately they are still reasonable, especially compared to the interest rates on many credit cards. In addition to looking for a lower interest rate, people may be considering refinancing to take some of the equity out of their home for things like: paying off high rate credit cards; to fund a home remodeling project; or pay for a child's college education.

Below is a list of some of some things I learned during the two times I refinanced in the past few years.

1) The lowest interest rate is not always the best deal. Some companies may offer a very low interest rate but may charge several points. A point is 1 percent of the amount you are borrowing. As an example, if you want to borrow 0,000 and three points are being charged it will cost you ,000 to borrow the money in addition to other closing costs.

2) Closing costs vary with lender. The U.S. government requires lenders to provide what is called a Good Faith Estimate of what your closing costs will be. Closing costs typically include things such as: credit report fees, title company service fees; title search fees; loan origination fees; appraisal fees; and documentation fees. Your lender will give you an honest estimate of what your closing costs will be. Your actual cost may vary slightly because the lender does not always know what the exact cost of a certain fee will be such as the appraisal fee because they probably work with several appraisal companies who likely all charge different rates. One additional thing to keep in mind about closing costs: you may see advertisements that proclaim their company does not have any closing costs. That may be true. The lender may pay the closing costs for you but the tradeoff for you will likely be paying a higher interest rate.

3) There may be other fees involved when you refinance. For example, the first company we refinanced with required that 12 months worth of property tax money be kept in escrow with them. The credit union we took out our original loan with didn't require any property tax money in escrow. We had to come up with a big chunk of money that we hadn't planned on for that tax escrow account. The second time we refinanced I was smarter and asked how much money needed to be kept in tax escrow. It was only 6 months of property tax money so we ended up getting part of our tax escrow money back.

4) Ask if your homeowners insurance will be paid by you or if the lender will require you to pay money into an escrow account each month so they can pay it for you. Many lenders require you to pay into an escrow account to ensure the homeowner's insurance will be paid.

5) Ask if the loan you plan on taking out can be sold to other lending institutions. The possibility of your loan being sold may or may not be an issue for you. It's not uncommon for loans to be sold. It's even likely your local bank sells some of its mortgages. I don't happen to mind if my mortgage is sold to another lending company. It's happened to me once and it was an almost seamless process on my end. I only had to do one thing and that was set up a new automatic payment from my checking account because I prefer to have my mortgage payment taken out of my checking account automatically each month. That way I don't have to worry about forgetting to pay it on time and possibly incurring late fees.

6) An online bank might be a good place to do business with. A good way to find out if the bank is a real financial institution, check to see if it is insured with the FDIC. You can do an online search with the phrase banks insured with FDIC or a similar phrase to find the current link to check. When I found the 4.375 percent interest rate it was with an online bank whose workforce was located in the Eastern part of the United States. I live in the Midwest. Thanks to the technology of the Internet I was able to easily do business with the bank. Any documentation I needed to fill out was either e-mailed, faxed, or posted on a secure Internet site that I accessed with my own personal id and password. The secure Internet site was associated with a nationally known lending company. For the final signing the lender contracted with a lending company in my area and that's where my husband and I went to sign the final papers and close the loan.

7) Get everything in writing and pay attention to deadlines. For example, if you are quoted a specific interest rate, get it in writing. Be aware though that the interest rate you are given will only be guaranteed or locked in for a specific amount of time, usually 30 days. If interest rates go up during that 30 day period you will still get the lower rate you were guaranteed in writing. If rates go down, some lenders will automatically give you the lower rate. It is possible that the rate guarantee period may be extended. When we were in the process of our second refinancing, a lot of other people around the U.S. were refinancing because rates were really attractive. As a result our lender had a difficult time getting an appraisal scheduled. Even though we didn't close until nearly 2 weeks after our 30 day deadline our lender honored the rate they had guaranteed us even though rates had gone up.

The above items are things I learned during the two times I refinanced. I've done my best to include everything I learned but your experience with refinancing may be a little different and you may find out things I didn't. The best advice I can offer if you are thinking of refinancing is to take time to do research, compare lenders, find out what your total costs will be, and ask questions about anything you don't understand or are not sure of. This will help make the process easier for you and help eliminate any unpleasant surprises that cost you more money than you were planning on spending for refinancing.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ombudsman Can Resolve Your Income Tax Issues

To resolve Income Tax related tax issues of the taxpayers, the Government has created office of Income-Tax Ombudsman. The officer designated as Ombudsman hold independent jurisdiction and work as autonomous authority.

The Government has so far set up twelve offices of Ombudsmen. They are stationed in Mumbai, Pune, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Chandigarh, Bhopal and Kochi.

The jurisdiction of the ombudsman is highly restricted; however, they can help the taxpayers in resolving issues such as
(i) Income Tax Refunds matters.
(ii) Refusal to acknowledge letters / communications sent to the department.
(iii) Erroneous demand matters / assets attachments causing harassment to assessee.
(iv) Scrutiny selection procedures and failure to communicate reasons thereof.
(v) Cases related to interest waiver, rectification applications, appeal effects etc.
(vi) Release of books of accounts and asset after the completion of the proceedings.
(vii) Issues relating to refusal to allot Permanent Account Number.
(viii) Tax credits and adjustment relating to TDS.
(ix) Conduct of proceedings beyond working hours at the IT offices.
(x) Impolite behavior of the officials.
(xi) Matters concerning circulars of Central Board of Direct taxes about the Income Tax administration.

However, the ombudsman will not interfere in the proceedings if the issue requested to be settled is already under an appeal, revision, reference or writ.

Application to Ombudsman The Ombudsman reconciles disputes / issues between the department and assessee. The decision of Ombudsman is referred as Award'. The application to resolve an issue can be filed by the aggrieved assessee himself or through his representative. The application should be signed by the taxpayer or his legal representative bearing the name, address and permanent account number of the complainant. The application should also state the details of the official against whom the complaint is filed. The reasons for the application of complaint should also be mentioned therein. The necessary documentary evidence can also be submitted along with the application. The application must contain the details about the date on which the assessee first complained to the income-tax authorities and its result. The application can be filed through personal submission / post / E-Mail. E-Mail complaints can be signed at the time of proceedings in the office of Ombudsman.

As a prerequisite, the applicant must first prefer compliant to higher authorities of the official being complained. The assessee must wait for at least 30 days for the action of the superiors before approaching the office of Ombudsman. Assessee should also restrain from filing compliant which is frivolous or vexatious.

The complaint should be filed within one year from the date of the reply of the department to his representation. If no reply is received, it should be filed within thirteen months from the date of representation to the Income Tax Authority.

On receipt of the complaint, the Ombudsman will send a copy of the same to the concerned officials and try to reconcile the issues through mutual understanding of both the parties. If amicable settlement is not working then, Ombudsman can pass a decision called Award. The award should be in line with the documents available on record and the tax laws. The Ombudsman can also instruct the concerned officials to release payments and also to apologize to the taxpayer. Ombudsman can also award monetary compensation upto Rs. 1,000.00. The Income-Tax authorities are given one month's time for the implementation of the award.

The compensation amount which is subject to a maximum of Rs. 1,000.00 is paid by the Income tax department out of the budget allotted.

The decision pronounced by the Ombudsman should be accepted by the I-T department. However, to comply the order, complainant must send his acceptance to the order within 15 days of the receipt of the award letter. Otherwise, the award shall lapse and be of no effect.

The ombudsman keeps record of various taxpayer problems. The information is periodically submitted to the Central Board of Direct Taxes and the Finance Ministry. Ombudsman also reports to the CBDT about the officials found to have defaulted in their regular duties.

Details of Ombudsman offices
1. Delhi: 011, Room No 251, Central Revenue Building, I.P. Estate, New Delhi-110002, E-Mail: delhi-
2. Kanpur: 0512 (U.P&Uttarakhand), 110/25-26, 80 Feet Rd., Kanpur, E-Mail: kanpur-
3. Kolkata: 033, Aayakar Bhawan, P-7, Chowringhee Square,Kolkata-700069, E-Mail: kolkata-
4. Mumbai: 022., 115, Mittal Tower, B-Wing Nariman Point, Mumbai-400021, E-Mail: mumbai-
5. Kochi: 0484, Income Tax Ombudsman, 7th Floor, Kera Bhavan, SRV H.S. Rd., Cochin-682011, E-Mail: kochi-
6. Hyderabad: 040, Room No. 819, Aayakar Bhawan, Basheer Bagh, Hyderabad-4, E-Mail: hyd-
7. Chennai: 044, Income Tax Ombudsman, R.No. 317/319,3rd Floor, Aayakar Bhawan, 121, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai-34, E-Mail: chennai-
8. Bangalore: 080, 4th Floor, A' Wing,Kenderiya Sadan,Koramangala, Bangalore-34, E-Mail: bnglr-
9. Ahmedabad: 079, Room No. 104, 1st Floor, Nature View Bldg.,Ashram Road, Ahmedabad-380009, E-Mail: ahmd-
10. Pune: 020, Aayakar Bhawan, 12, Sadhu Vaswani Road, Pune 411 001, E-Mail: pune-
11. Chandigarh: 0172, C.R. Building, 3rd Floor,Sector 17E, Chandigarh, E-Mail: chd-
12. Bhopal: 0755, E-7/511, Income Tax Guest House, Areara Colony, Bhopal-16, E-Mail: bhopal-

The Author, CA A. K. Jain, can be contacted at, 21, Skipper House, 9, Pusa Road, New Delhi 110005, Mobile No. 98-100-46108, E-Mail:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Useful Tips For Successful Real Estate Lead Generation

The real estate industry is often considered as volatile, such that trends can change immensely, influencing either positive or negative outcomes, and overall affecting the state of business for many companies. For this reason, many real estate companies have to constantly come up with the best strategies that will help them reach out to would-be property buyers. In marketing terms, such practices and methods would fall under real estate lead generation.

What is real estate lead generation? In a nutshell, generating leads means that a real estate agent or a broker is able to spark an active interest in their prospective market. This means that to consider a particular client as a lead, the agent has to encourage him or her to make an inquiry, find out additional info about the properties being sold, and more.

To be able to generate successful real estate leads is not a simple task because of the already competitive industry. There are nearly 600,000 Americans employed in the real estate business, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. And from those stats, more than 60 percent of them operate as self-employed real estate agents. Within a span of ten years, sources project these numbers to grow significantly, because there will always be someone somewhere who is looking for properties to buy.

There are also scenarios which can push an individual to delve into the real estate business as well. For instance, due to current economic situations in the US, some homeowners are forced to put up their properties for sale. In this regard, average Joes are forced to learn more about the real estate business, to find out ways to make their properties more interesting to clients, and to earn profits in the process. All the more is real estate lead generation a vital factor in determining success in the field.

If you have seen TV ads and infomercials about homes for sale, then you are no stranger to the methods under real estate lead generation. Broadcast advertising is only one of the many effective strategies used to generate leads from the home-buying market. Both small and large real estate companies would take the time to invest in TV commercials, radio ads, and print media to get their message across a larger group of people. Effective as broadcasting may be, not all real estate agents, especially the self-employed ones, can afford such a costly move.

So what are other ways to generate real estate leads? Thanks to the rapid developments in information technology, many independent real estate brokers are given the chance to market their businesses across more people, too. By now, you probably already realize how essential the World Wide Web can be for real estate lead generation, or for generating leads in any other industry for that matter, may it be cars, electronics, home products, and more. This is because nearly every one has access to the internet, and there are tons of ways to spark the interest of prospective real estate clients - without you having to spend a fortune!

Mentioned here are a few tried and tested techniques to help boost real estate lead generation:

Websites - You can put up your own business website for free or with a low start-up cost. Having your own parking space on the WWW makes you more accessible and easy to find for clients searching for properties in your area. Also, having a good website will be a way to present your credentials, to showcase properties that you have, and to be contacted by clients.

Online classifieds - Posting ads with your contact information on online classifieds can also be done for free. Targeted ads which are made more visible on these sites would often require a minimal payment on the part of the advertiser. Online classifieds sites and even auction sites like eBay can generate a high volume of traffic, because these are places often visited by web surfers in search of something they need.

Real estate forums - Signing up as a member of forums for real estate agents doesn't have to cost you a thing. An advantage to becoming a member is that you can also communicate with fellow businessmen, learn the tricks of the trade, expand your list of contacts, and also make your own real estate business more visible online.

Social networking sites - These days, MySpace, Facebook, and similar sites are not just for meeting friends or sharing photos. Both small and large real estate businesses take advantage of the massive popularity of these social networks. In this way, a real estate broker can establish a list of immediate contacts, notify them more efficiently about updates, as well as disseminate necessary information quickly. And using these sites are for free!

Blogs - Here is yet another cost-effective way to create an internet presence for you and your real estate business. Putting up a blog helps you post photos, descriptions, and other relevant info about properties you have on sale. Through a regularly updated blog, prospective clients can also read about your experiences in the field, as well as find out your reliability as a real estate broker.

Email marketing - Once you have generated a list of prospective contacts, another smart real estate lead generation method involves sending regular newsletters or updates via email. Informing potential buyers through email also helps disseminate info rapidly and makes it easier for feedback to return to you; thus, giving you an edge as you try to generate more leads.

Of course, in line with these great online marketing strategies for real estate lead generation, one should not disregard the value of having a strong network of contacts. Even without the use of emails, instant messaging, or social networking sites, you can generate real estate leads through referrals from family, friends, and business associates. Sometimes, even the simplest effort of getting to know other people in person can be one of your best assets as a real estate agent. In this manner, possible buyers or clients can readily assess your qualifications, thus helping you establish yourself as a reliable authority in this already competitive field.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Mobile Home Refinancing

Receiving a loan for mobile home refinancing means that you will be swapping out an existing mortgage in order to receive a new mortgage, most likely this new mortgage will have a better interest rate as well as better terms of repayment. Generally, an individual should apply for a loan intended for mobile home refinancing if their current interest rate has dipped by over two percent, than what already exists on the current mortgage.

The main purpose of the loan for mobile home refinancing is to receive a lower interest rate and save a substantial amount on the mortgage payments overall. However, there are several different things that have to be taken into consideration before you apply for mobile home refinancing. The very first question that you should ask is whether or not there is still going to be some savings after you have paid all of the charges for refinancing.

During the time that you are refinancing a loan, all of the charges that need to be paid are document preparation charges, appraisal charges, tax service charges, lender charges, and appraisal charges. Even though there are some points that may prove to be rather burdensome, because they may be one or two percent of the whole entire mortgage value One of the other points that you have to consider is whether or not there are any type of prepayment penalties on the mortgage that already exists.

There may also be some type of closing fees that may increase the actual cost of the loan, and the owner may be required to pay more than just the savings. It is very important that you understand that a loan for mobile home refinancing is a little different from the equity loans for mobile homes. Within a refinancing loan, the owner will exchange the initial mortgage with a new one, whereas within an equity loan, the owner is going to takes the new mortgage out on the equity that has built up over an extended period of time.

Basically, the refinancing loan is considered to be a new first mortgage, while the equity loan is known as a second mortgage. Each of the lenders must follow the exact same procedures in order to disburse a mobile home refinancing loan. The very first step would be to conduct a brand new appraisal on the property. The exact amount of the refinancing loan is going to be different than the amount of the original mortgage, because it is going to take the appreciation into consideration.

In the event that you are interested in learning more about the mobile home refinancing loan, there are several websites online that specialize in this particular area of expertise.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Easy Way To Find Free Criminal Records Of Colorado Online

The State of Colorado is an open record state, which means that all its public records are open to the public. Colorado Arrest Records are managed by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which is under the jurisdiction of the Colorado Department of Public Safety. All criminal justice records are administered in the bureau and the issuance of these records are also assigned to them. The state repository is also located at the bureau.

With so many outlaws roaming free, it is just right that you gather information on people around your community especially the ones you encounter always. You gather information not for gossips sake, but to protect your life and family members, and also your business. Arrest files are the most informative. All imprisonment of a person can be seen here. Such details are essential tools for performing a background check on certain people.

The Colorado Crime Information Center (CCIC), a Computerized Criminal History (CCH) database, is maintained by the CBI. Arrest documents that came from arresting offices in Colorado are kept in the database. Only those that are based upon the fingerprints will be taken in into the database.

Details of warrant information, juvenile records and sealed records are not available for the public to be accessed. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the KT International has agreed upon a contract to allow the general public, corporations and others to search the official state repository. You can contact the KT International for more inquiries. And the bureau also has a hotline which is available 24/7 to assist clients if they encounter any difficulties. Certified copies of arrest records are found only at the appropriate courts as the Police Department will not provide them for you.

If you know the full name and birth date of a subject, it will be enough to start a name search. Requests of arrest files can be done in two ways a manual search and through the use of CBI's CCH. A manual search is done by filling out the appropriate form and mailing it to the bureau with the corresponding fee of . A search using the CCH will cost lesser, at .85 per name searched. If the database finds more that one result, you can view each file but you have to pay the same amount for every file opened, regardless of how many files you will open. Payments are only accepted in forms of cash, business checks and major credit cards. No refunds will be granted to you even if there is no available file for your search.

Documents outside of Colorado cannot be found in the state repository. If you want to access public arrest records outside Colorado, look for a private site that provides public documents. They also maintain a database that has a wide array of sources that assures you a complete and trustworthy version of the documents. You can access them through the internet which saves you an awful lot of time, rather than going to the agencies and tire yourself out from waiting.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Benefits Of Forex Trading Vs Stock Market Investments

The foreign exchange market is also known as the FX market, the forex marke or the currency market, in basic terms it is a worldwide investment market for trading currency. Trading that takes place between two counties with different currencies is the basis for the forex market and trading in this market involves just that - buying an amount of one currency with the amount of another currency . The forex market is one that is not based on any one business or investing in any one business, but the trading and selling of numerous currencies.

The difference between the stock market and the forex market is the vast trading that occurs on the forex market. There is millions and millions of dollars that are traded daily on the forex market, in 2010 there was almost four trillion dollars traded on a daily basis. The amount traded daily on the forex market is much higher than the money traded on the daily stock market of any country. The forex market involves large banks trading billions each day, central banks who use currency targets to control national inflation and interest rates, commercial companies who trade with foreign currency when buying and selling goods, investment managers, retail brokers, and the list goes on.

What is traded, bought and sold on the forex market is something that can easily be liquidated, meaning it can be turned back to cash fast, or often times it is actually going to be cash. From one currency to another, the availability of cash in the forex market is something that can happen fast for any investor from any country.

The difference between the stock market and the forex market is that the forex market is global, worldwide while the stock market is limited to trading that takes place only within a country. The stock market is based on businesses and products that are within a specific country, and the forex market takes that a step further to include any country in the world.

The stock market also has set business hours. Generally, this is going to follow the normal hours of a business day, and will be closed on banking holidays and weekends. The forex market is one that is open generally twenty four hours a day because the vast number of countries that are involved in forex trading, buying and selling are located in so many different times zones that there is a market open somewhere at any given time. As one market is opening, another countries market is closing. This is the continual method of how the forex market trading occurs.

The stock market in any country is going to be based on only that countries currency, say for example the Euro and the European stock market, or the United States stock market and the US dollar (USD is the most heavily traded currency). However, in the forex market, you are involved with many types of countries, and many currencies.

While there are many differences between Forex Trading and Stock Market investing, it will always still depend on what you as individual would prefer. Just remember that the popularity of Forex Trading is growing for a reason and the time to get involved and learn is now. Technological advances has made it much easier for electronic trading via online portals and therfore much easier for you to also be involved.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Save Tax Through Section 80d Of The Income Tax Act, 1951 With Medical Insurance

India, as a country, has benefitted greatly from the opening up of its economy, and has got access to newer technology in the field of medicine over the past few years. This has allowed our country to improve the overall health of its population significantly over the last few decades, giving us better health and longer lives.
With better technology, we have had to incur more costs over the years to get this better health care for ourselves. Today, it makes a lot of sense to get medical insurance for ourselves to ensure that we are ready to take on these additional expenses to take care of our own health. As a result, Medical insurance should be taken very seriously and considered a part of our lives.

In India, most people know that a person can also save on their tax up to Rupees 1,00,000/- under section 80C of the Income Tax Act 1961, and payments which have been made towards medical insurance under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961 can also help you save Income Tax. According to section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961, any individual can claim a deduction in respect of a medical insurance premium paid up to Rupees 15,000/- for himself and his spouse and dependent children. He can also claim a further deduction from taxable income for the medical insurance premium up to Rupees 15,000/- for his parent(s). Add to this a further deduction of upto Rupees 20,000/- in case this premium is paid for a senior citizen of age 65 years or more, and you can see how payments made from medical insurance can help you save tax every year.

To help understand the concept, here is an example. Let us say that Ram has paid two medical insurance premiums. One is for himself, his wife, and children, while the other is for his dependent parents who are both over the age of 65 years. He pays Rupees 13,000/- and Rupees 24,000/- respectively towards these two medical insurance premiums every year. As discussed earlier, he will be eligible to get deductions under section 80D of the IT Act, 1961. For the 1st premium (Rupees 13,000/-), the entire sum will be allowed as a deduction for tax calculation purposes, as deductions are allowed on actual premium payments made up to Rupees 15,000/-. In case of the 2nd premium of Rupees 24,000/-, he will only be able to claim a maximum sum of Rupees 20,000/- for the medical insurance premiums he has paid for his parents who are 65 years of age or above, since the maximum limit allowed for deduction is Rupees 20,000/- only. Hence, his total deduction allowed under medical insurance will be Rupees 33,000/- (Rupees 13,000 + Rupees 20,000/-) in total for both these medical insurance policies.
Some medical insurance providers have come up with new and innovative medical insurance policies that allow you to get the maximum deduction allowed (i.e. Rupees 15,000/- per year) while adjusting the sum insured every year. Those who want to use medical insurance as a tax saving tool can look into these policies like ICICI's Health Advantage Plus, for example.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Best Way to Safeguard Your Confidential Documents

We all recognize that lawyers, doctors and banks obtain confidential information from their clients, but every business, large or small, has sensitive information that needs to be secured. Identity theft and fraud are on the rise. Businesses collect information about employees, customers, company financial information, and product development. Sensitive documents that most businesses have on hand are employee records, customer and vendor records, financial and budgeting data, and product specifications or drawings. The best way to safeguard your confidential documents that are to be destroyed is to use a paper shredding service.

All levels of government have passed legislation to protect the confidentiality and privacy of individuals and corporations. Managing information has become an important function in any business. Document shredding services can help your business develop a records management program, advising your company how long to keep records, how to keep them secure, and when to destroy them. Document shredding professionals are informed about current federal, state and local regulations, and will ensure that your company is compliant. Storage of sensitive documents must be augmented with a retention plan. Document shredding services provide steps to securing those sensitive documents, ensuring that confidential information will not fall into the wrong hands. Document shredding services also offer individuals and small businesses a secure drop-off location for personal records to be shredded.

When a business wants the reassurance that its information is secure, it can call on a document shredding professional to assess the needs of the company, and provide mobile, off-site or one-time shredding services. A secure bin is given to collect papers to be shredded. A secure shredding vehicle will arrive at the business as scheduled, and the papers are shredded on-site. Screened and insured shredding professionals safely handle the documents during the entire process. If a company prefers, shredding can be done with company personnel present to supervise. A dated report which is a Certificate of Document Destruction is provided confirming the destruction of the material, providing proof of compliance with regulations, and protection against fraud activities.

Recycling sensitive documents does not satisfy government regulations for privacy and confidentiality. There is not a secure path from the recycling bin to the recycling depot. Paper shredding companies help the environment by recycling the shreds that are produced in the process, providing compliance and security at the same time. Office paper shredders may be convenient, but they are not secure. For instance, documents are easy to get to while lingering around the office to be shredded. A professional document shredding service frees up staff time while maintaining the privacy of those papers.

Maintaining an office shredder utilizes staff time and physically putting the papers into the shredder takes up a great deal of time which hinders business productivity. Document shredding services eliminate that chore, leaving staff time for more productive actions. While most information is generated electronically today, much of that information is printed out and filed. Document shredding services are an efficient and secure answer to the question of what to do with all the accumulated paper-based data that businesses, both large and small, accumulate. Document destruction companies are the best way to safeguard your confidential documents.

Premier provider of document shredding New York and paper shredding New Jersey. Certified by the National Association for Information Destruction to make sure your information always stays secure and confidential.

Premier provider of document shredding New York and paper shredding New Jersey. Certified by the National Association for Information Destruction to make sure your information always stays secure and confidential.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

How Us Protectionist Policy Will Affect Indian Bpo Industry?

Ever since, US President Obama vowed to punish U.S. "corporations that ship our jobs overseas," the backlash in India against such a disastrous move has spread to officials from government, IT industry associations, and leading Indian IT services companies such as Infosys and Wipro. And while they say they want to wait for more details, they are also clearly deeply concerned about the huge implications such policy would have.

While today's highly interdependent global economy renders Obama's 19th-century notion of "our jobs" meaningless, the bigger issues are the impact such a move would have on the overall Indian economy's ability to continue being a major consumer of U.S.-made products and services, and the likelihood that other countries would react to Obama's protectionist stance with their own equally unproductive and trade-reducing positions.

Volume of concern from India
According to the sources US President Barack Obama's statements on curbing tax breaks for outsourcing companies in the US set alarm bells ringing in the Indian IT sector.

Nasscom president Som Mittal, noting that American companies generate 50% of their revenue outside the U.S., said, "To be globally competitive, they also depend on globally shared services." The body also said that any protectionist move by the US that adversely impacts the domestic outsourcing industry might trigger retaliatory measures by India.

Infosys in a statement said, "We are confident that the US will not take any measure which might hurt its global competitiveness and policies of protectionism would only hinder the revival of the world economy."

Impact on the US

Obama's tax proposals on the foreign investments made by American companies, if accepted by Congress, could affect their global competitiveness and would leave them at significant disadvantages against non-US companies. The report said while there are no direct proposals that impact off-shoring to India, the US corporations having business presence abroad could be saddled with increased tax cost if these proposals are enacted.

As per US government's estimate, Obama's proposals will generate 0 billion in revenue over 10 years. The new tax proposals also seek to tighten the foreign credit rules. It proposes to disallow foreign taxes paid on income, which is not subject to US tax. This may lead to double taxation and discourage US companies to invest overseas.

The Evasive Measures
US protectionism forces TCS to hire more foreigners: Seeking to mitigate protectionist measures like visa restrictions being adopted by countries like US, the top Indian IT exporter, TCS, is looking to employ more local nationals in key markets.

NASSCOM to meet FM for pre-budget consultations: The members of NASSCOM will meet Finance Minister to put forward their demands for the sector.

Outsourcing companies take cost-cut call: India's billion IT outsourcing industry, struggling to cut costs without compromising on seat capacity, is now reinventing the wheel. Some of them have stitched up deals with telecom companies, outsourcing their own communication infrastructure, a model now known as hosting services.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

How to Counter Recession

While everyone lament shortage of money during recession, one sure shot way to be financial comfortable is often not heeded. The way is to reduce the expenses and needless purchases. The expenses may include foreign trips, home makeover or any new gadgets. Any purchase that is not essential and can be put off should be put off for the future when the cash flow is much better.

For most people, these times are trying and hard. The economy is not going to get better anytime soon and in fact, we may see a double dip very soon. So while government does it part to manage economy, we can help ourselves to make our lives tad easier in this downturn economy.

1) Love your Job: First casualties in recession are new jobs. Companies stop hiring new recruits and in fact lay off many jobs. At this time the best job is the job you are holding. So, stay put where you are working right now and work hard. Banish any thoughts of finding job in any other company and cement your position in your current job.

2) Cost Cutting: Cost cutting is just not for corporates. You too should avoid lifestyle purchases like new smart phones, laptops, play station etc.

3) No new Loans: Do not make any purchases which mean new Loans. New cars or house are a strict NO when there is no job guarantee. EMI may mean additional strain on your budget. In a scenario where you can be laid off or you may face salary cuts, this is suicidal.

4) No Risky Investments: This is a time for conserving your resources. Do not invest in risky avenues like equity. Only invest considering your risk appetite. If you are in a business, then hold off your business expansion plans. Slow market may mean that you won't get returns soon or as expected.

5) Insure yourself: Even in downturn you need health and term Life Insurance Plans. Make sure that in your absence, your family can live comfortably without any fear of future. One basic rule is to have a minimum of 12 times the annual income as life cover in a term plan.

6) Continue SIP: During the recession, the stock market also will be low. This is the time when you can get best shares at cheapest prices. Keep faith in SIP to minimize your loss. Do not stop systematic insurance plans as you will loss the advantage of cost averaging. Cost averaging has two facets - buying more when the market is low; growing all when the market is high. We buy more units for the same investment, as the units of the mutual funds at a lower NAV (Net Asset Value). By stopping the SIPs we loss out at the buying more stage. This will also mean that you lose out during grow-all stage as you will not have adequate units in your hands for them to grow.

7) Learn: During downturn, it's the survival of the fittest. Companies want the best people to maximize their expenses. Also, educating yourself all the while makes you much more prepared for the upturn.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Google Apps Reseller Program

The initial idea that everyone gets from hearing the word reseller' is that there is a third party involvement while procuring google apps. This idea is partially right though. Google apps is an extensively researched and highly advanced set of applications that focuses on smooth running of businesses without a lack of communication. It is available for a small fee per month, per user, per business. Sometimes the users' companies lack the time, expertise and human resource maximum usability of these applications i.e. the users are not fully aware of the functionalities. This is where a reseller comes in.


A Google Apps Reseller may either be a set of individuals or a company that is certified by Google as a legal Google Apps Reseller. This certification is procured from Google. This entity acts as the third party vendor by setting up the apps with cloud computing for their client businesses. Google has taken this initiative to spread out the reach of their apps maximally and thus increase business efficiency. It is a win-win situation for Google, the resellers and the end users. Five reasons why one must go for a reseller program are:

Resellers have a definite process in place.

They provide the required training for working with Google apps optimally.

Software setup like plug-ins and networks for cloud computing are provided.

Data and information security which is critical to businesses is guaranteed.

System maintenance with almost negligible downtime is provided.

Google Reseller relationship

Google provides its resellers with the rudimentary tools to flag off Google apps at the client base. These tools include reseller training and support, sales and marketing tools and user database maintenance tools. The credentials that will be given are Authorized reseller' certificate and the reseller logo. Once the training manuals and subject expertise are imparted to the resellers, Google will have nothing more to do with the resellers. After that it is completely up to the resellers to get their business going. Google will not have any share in the profit or the margin whatsoever.

Becoming a Reseller

One can become a reseller in three steps. Firstly apply online by filling up the reseller application. The pre-requisites include being registered as a legal business and having a Google account. The next step is to qualify for being an authorized reseller. That is one must demonstrate the set up of customer google apps account for at least 25 end user accounts. These will all be temporary reseller accounts that can be merged into actual business accounts once authorization is procured. The last step is performed by Google which is a credit check run on the business that is applying for authorization. Once all these steps are completed the vendor business is awarded the reseller authorization.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Looking For A San Diego Mortgage Lender

If you're thinking about moving to the San Diego area, there are quite a few things that you need to keep in mind prior to making your move. Among the most essential of these things is the San Diego mortgage lender you decide to go with to finance your loan. With all of the alternatives out there for mortgage companies in the San Diego area, you may feel a bit intimidated by the choice you have to make. The details on the mortgage that you end up with should be entirely in your favor as long as you do not rush your decision at all and there are no hidden fees in the agreement. When looking for a home lender in the San Diego area, here are some useful things to make your research easier where your able to get the loan you need at a good monthly price.

Asking family members, friends or business associates who have moved recently are good places to start out. The people in your life that you're nearest to will be able to give you good, unprejudiced information that you know will have your best interests in mind. This is a far better way to begin your search than by reading online testimonials written by people you've never met and do not know anything about. As you're actually talking to these people, you can put together a list consisting of the mortgage companies they recommend, while making another list of the ones they recommend you stay away from, if any. You can research lenders individually once you have established a good starting point of prospective companies.

There are several ways you can research lenders on their own. The internet is a fantastic way to find simple information. No doubt the information offered on many company websites will be beneficial. If you're looking for more exact information relating to the particulars of your situation that will affect the terms of your loan, you can call the loan companies in question for that information.

To help you find the appropriate San Diego mortgage lender, it might be wise to consider investing in a mortgage broker. Although it might cost you more money for the short term, a mortgage broker will help you get the deal that will work best for you and just you. Getting their clients the best deal possible is the job of mortgage firms, it is also the job of these people to get you the very best loan possible. A mortgage broker works with different lenders in order to figure out which one in particular will be the best option for you. In addition to acquiring the best deal for you on a financial basis, a mortgage broker will also be doing the majority of the heavy lifting, so to speak as you sort out the process. A lot of the stress can be taken off your shoulders when working with a mortgage broker, which makes life much easier for you.

Purchasing a home is one of the greatest, if not the biggest, investment you'll make in your lifetime. While things can certainly get annoying as they drag out, the most important thing is to be sure you stay patient and to make a level headed decision. Prevent headaches down the road and consider when looking at purchasing a home to consider getting a mortgage broker to help iron out a good deal with lenders.

Friday, September 28, 2012

How Much Has Parenting Discipline Changed Since You Were A Child?

There are few more emotive issues in today's society than parenting discipline. Ask a hundred parents what child discipline is and you'll probably get a hundred different responses. The parenting discipline landscape has changed considerably during the last fifty years, with more emphasis placed on mental discipline than physical.

In this article, we will examine what is considered implementing new age parenting disciplines which are becoming more widely accepted, particularly in the western world.

The Days Of Corporal Punishment

There was a time when copping a whack on the bottom was part and parcel of growing up as a child. It was called corporal punishment and was not only invoked at home but was also dealt out at school. Remember the cane? I do and so would many others of the baby boomer era. Was it wrong? This is where you have to be careful because new age parenting disciples have become so dead set opposed to any form of corporal punishment that any mention of it now has connotations of child abuse. I didn't like it but did it affect my becoming a model citizen? The answer is a firm no!

Examining Some Good Discipline Practice

So what are considered good parenting practices today? Well, pyschology seems to be in vogue. Here are some examples:

- Don't yell at your child. Why? Because it's been determined that children respond more when approached in a calmer fashion. This doesn't mean you need to bribe a child. Pointing out errors in a calm and controlled fashion will earn you more respect in the child's eyes, particularly from a mentoring perspective as opposed to yelling and demanding. Ask yourself this... what would you respond and respect more, being yelled at or spoken to in a calm tone?

- Give your children the opportunity to have their say but be careful not to give them adult privileges. That is, maintain your authority in a positive and firm way. The child will respect you for allowing him/her to be heard but should know that you set the rules and they are expected to abide by them. Break the rules and they will be disciplined.

- Be careful not to attack a child's self esteem. A child who is continually told they are useless are going to grow up thinking what... they are useless. Praise should be given when appropriate however, too much praise can also be a dangerous thing. Why? Because a child will expect it and if it's not forthcoming, even for the most trivial thing, it can affect their self esteem. You need to find the right balance.

- As parents, presenting a united front is vital. Parents who disagree continually on appropriate punishment in front of a child are headed for trouble. Trouble in the fact that children are very perceptive and learn quickly. If one parent shows too much compassion all the time guess what? The child will pick up on this and establish his/her own higher ground in the battle of getting at least one parent on side for their own agendas.

Comparing parenting disciplines from bygone eras is quite interesting. On the surface things are certainly done differently but a closer examination begs the question... have the core base rules of parenting discipline really changed?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

How Do Traditional Hip Hop Artists Differ From Underground Rappers?

The term underground rapper first surfaced in the 90s. Back then it was used to refer to hip hop artists that were alternative in some way, shape, or form, be it through their beats or lyrical content. Today the term underground rapper still means more or less the same thing, but thanks to the Internet, the encyclopedia of underground rappers is enormous.

In fact, thanks to their originality and unique, cult-forming personalities, this writer would wager that underground rappers would sell as much if not more than the traditional hip hop artists that you see at the top of the billboard charts today if it weren't for the record label investment separating them.

That's an argument for another day. For now, let's compare two breeds of hip hop artist: the underground rapper of 2012, Insane Clown Posse (Not so Normal ICP), and one of 2012's most prominent mainstream hip hop artists, Jay Z.

One is from the Midwest, the other from Brooklyn, but both are urban dwellers, probably the most significant influence on their music making as hip hop artists. Beyond that, both are around the same age, both have media empires to their credit, and both rose to prominence in the 90s. One is married to a pop star, the others have quiet families of their own. Both are famous. Normal ICP (following mainstream society's definition of normal) is not a thing, but considering Jay Z normal is the norm.

When it comes to musical content, however, this hip hop artist vs. underground rapper matchup could not be between two more different opponents. Mainstream hip hop artist Jay Z does not always rap about material wealth or territorial pride, but he does quite frequently. On the other hand, underground rappers ICP don't cover any of that in their lyrics. Instead, they stick to thoughts on the darker side of life, but use their lyric to empower their Juggalo listening base.

Through these underground rappers unprecedented creativity, they have constructed stories and mythology that will encourage anyone to make sure they stay on the right path. Normal ICP, to them, is this.

Furthermore, ICP being underground rappers, they make sure that there is a point or moral to every story they tell. Some content may seem crude or vulgar, but as far as that content that doesn't have a more resonating message, the guys consider it a joke. Just like normal guys, normal ICP is to joke around from time to time.

More telling, they say, is their message to follow God and avoid hell, one location dramatically portrayed in many normal ICP songs. One will rarely, if ever, hear the guys in any normal ICP song spit rhymes about the newest shoes, cars, or chains.

The point is, when it comes to hip hop artists, you cannot use normal and ICP in the same sentence, and that's a good thing. Because normal and ICP don't align, they've created a movement that's bigger than they are, a refuge for the misunderstood to come and congregate. Because normal and ICP don't align, music fans that aren't attracted to normal hip hop artists now have an alternative. And even though normal and ICP can't really ever be used in the same sentence musically, these underground rappers have made it big time, and will probably be doing so for the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tampa Florida: Second Highest Road Rage Death Rate in Country

Aggressive driving is one of the largest causes of fatal accidents in the United States. And it seems that Tampa Florida has the second highest rate of deaths due to road rage in the country. Who is first? According to an AAA survey it is San Bernardino CA with 13.4 deaths per 100,000 drivers as compared to Tampa with a rate of 9.5. Carry that across one million drivers and that is a lot of un-necessary deaths. You have to wonder why Florida auto insurance does not cost more than it does.

In a recent survey by the AAA Foundation's annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, eight out of ten drivers ranked aggressive driving to be one of the most serious and potentially dangerous situations they faced regularly on the highways. And they are right. Aggressive driving accounts for more than half of all traffic fatalities.

Aggressive driving and road rage seem to have become synonymous but are defined differently in many states. Aggressive driving can include speeding, racing, ignoring signs, and tailgating as well as confrontations with other drivers. These are all considered potentially aggressive behaviors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) uses the following factors to identify crashes involving aggressive driving: speeding, tailgating, failing to yield, weaving in and out of traffic, and passing on the right, making improper and unsafe lane changes, and running stop signs and red lights. They excluded crashes in which drugs or alcohol were a factor. Within these parameters, they found that aggressive driving is the dominate factor in 56% of all fatal crashes.

What about the rest of the country? Places you would naturally assume like New York don't make the top ten. Big mean cities like Boston, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, nope, not even on the list. In fact Florida has the top honor of being listed 4 times in the top ten. Tampa as mentioned earlier is number 2, Orlando with 8.1, Miami with 8.1, Ft. Lauderdale with 7.3 are 4, 5 and 6 respectively. As a state, Florida ranks number 10 with South Carolina as number one. The report is based on metropolitan areas with populations over one million.

Other interesting facts brought to light by the survey:

- Cities with better mass transit or other alternatives to the automobile had lower rates.

- Older cities with older neighborhoods with simple grid street patterns had lower rates.

- The larger more sprawled out metropolitan areas like San Bernardino CA, San Antonio TX, Dallas--Fort Worth TX, Tampa--St. Petersburg Florida all had higher rates of aggressive driving.

- Another surprise the sampling brought out is that residents of metro areas with low transit use were 61 percent more likely to die in an aggressive driving crash than people who live in areas with high transit use.

So, the next time you are out driving look at the person in the car next to you. Is this person going to run you off the road if you get a little too close? You never know but the experts all agree that the best way to avoid becoming a statistic is to avoid trouble in the first place. Just keep your head, stay calm, dive defensively and make sure your car insurance is up to date.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Great School Fundraising Ideas

Are you looking for great fundraising ideas for middle school? Perhaps you and your classmates have been assigned to plan for a fundraising event. If this is your situation, then you came across the right article! This article aims to provide you great fundraising ideas for middle school students that you and your classmates can try. So if you want to learn more about great fundraising ideas for middle school, then read on to this article to know the further details.

There are a lot of great fundraising ideas for middle school that are being used by students to raise money for their needs. Since the school budget is generally allocated for education, there are times when students cannot buy their miscellaneous needs such as sports team uniforms, dance studio facilities, laboratory equipment, new projectors, microphones, sports utilities and many more. That is why a lot of students are looking for great fundraising ideas for middle school.

One of the best fundraising ideas for middle school that you and you class try is organizing a school musicale. All you have to do is to collaborate with the drama club, dance club and choir and decide on a great musicale idea that they can perform. This fundraising event works best during special occasions such as Christmas and Valentine's Day because people are usually seeking lively entertainments during these times. You can print posters and place an ad on a local newspaper to gain more publicity for your event. You can also set up some photo souvenir booth and snack corner on the event's venue to raise additional profits.

Another classic on the list of fundraising ideas for middle school that you can try is selling of cookies, cakes, flowers and cards. This fundraising idea works best during Valentine's Day because a lot of people are sending notes and small gifts to their friends and loved ones. You can also offer delivery services, personal messages and even serenades in addition to the gift that the customer bought. This fundraising idea will surely become a major hit.

Environmental fundraising projects are also gaining popularity nowadays. You can organize a Plant a Tree event where participants will be able to help create a greener place to live in. You can also put up some photo souvenir booths and snack corners on the event's venue to raise additional profits. This is a great fundraising idea because it does not only help mother earth; it also promotes camaraderie, environmental awareness and fun among participants.

Lastly, you can organize a family day event at your school wherein participants will be able to have a bonding time with their families and will have the chance to win prizes on the bingo and raffle promos. You can also have games and souvenir booths on the event's venue. You can contact some companies for sponsorship of the event that you are going to organize. By working with sponsors, you will have more money to improve the event and you will have a share on the sponsor's profit on the fundraising event.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Want To Know More About Bmw Finance And Leasing Deals

BMW cars are popular among folks who like deluxe cars. BMW cars are known for their quality functionality, spectacular fashion and excellent driving feel. Over time, the name BMW has developed into a hallmark of fashion as well as quality. Because BMW is a high-class vehicle company, various folks cannot afford to acquire BMWs despite having a fair month-to-month cash flow. The nice thing is that there are a lot of solutions to get BMW cars. BMW leasing is among the right solutions that help you to get your own ideal BMW automobile.

If you have adequate income each month, then you could get a BMW lease conveniently. By utilizing BMW financing as well as leasing deals, you could get your preferred BMW without putting extra stress on your own month-to-month funds as well as budgets. Obviously, you wouldn't prefer to freeze the income in belongings that are not directly related to your enterprises. A high end automobile like BMW won't be utilized for making money or producing business. Thus, it does not make any good sense to shop for such resources on cash. You could go for vehicle financing choices to get luxury cars like BMW.

The BMW financing process is not difficult. After picking a BMW model, you will need to approach a vehicle financing organization. Your automobile seller can help you find a suitable financing organization. The leasing organization will ask that you submit an application form. You will have to give your personal data as well as specifics about your present job as well as monthly salary. The financing company will review your personal finances based upon this information. If you have a firm, then you'll need to present your financial reports to show your firm credibility.

Once you send the form, the financing organization will take a few days to accept or reject your loan application. Even if a specific financing firm rejects your request, you must be able to find another enterprise that may approve your application on specific conditions. The main point of concern here is your own credit worthiness. If your credit rating is suitable, then you'll not have problems in getting a BMW lease. As soon as your application is approved by a financing business, you could obtain your BMW vehicle in a few days or weeks.

In case you do not wish to buy a new BMW vehicle, then you may look for second hand BMW autos. Investing in a second hand automobile is a viable option if you're trying to save your money in the long term. You can come across quite a few used car suppliers who offer certified pre-owned BMW cars. They can also help you with leasing of your pre-owned BMW.

You should search cautiously whilst interested in a car leasing company. Always choose a financing organization that has a great standing as well as record out there. Go through the small print of the leasing contract before signing the contract. BMW financing can enable you to drive your own ideal automobile in a reasonable manner. Go for the right deals that provide flexibility as well as best payment terms.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Little About Loyalty One

In 1992 Loyalty One developed the air miles program and is one of the worlds most successful loyalty cards union. This program works with retailers to change shopper habits and create extensive programs that increase revenue. This program allows shoppers to buy everyday needs and earn miles towards rewards that fit their lifestyle. There are several parts to Loyalty One and working hand in hand they have developed the most successful reward system worldwide.

When this company united with Ontario Power Authority they cost effectively reached two thirds of the households by rewarding them for saving on their energy usage. They also worked with health authorities to give rewards for eating right, exercising and getting healthy. Air miles for social change were created to give customers more choices to better themselves and their communities.

This company has an extensive client list that includes Walgreens, Target, American Express and many more. They have worked with Fortune 1000 since 1981 creating loyal shoppers and increasing revenue. They are continuously defining programs that create better plans for their clients thus changing shopper behavior in a positive note for the company.

Part of this alliance is Precima which helps retailers identify their best shoppers and understand them. They use shopper insights to help retailers and manufacturers increase sales as well as profits. When this plan is placed into effect and starts the supply and demand it increases the company revenue and customer satisfaction which is crucial to succeeding.

Another partnership is with Colloquy which has been the top advisors for many years. Their information on local trends and the opportunities and best practices has long been admired. Their insight in all key industries including retail marketing, travel and financial services has long been respected. They have been cited by the media as giving quick access to the latest information as well as with success.

Direct Antidote is a agency that is focused in the field of customer relationships and the top of the field. They are key participants in the fields of finance, technology as well as many others. This company knows shoppers and how to increase your revenue with information that is critical to customer satisfaction.

Dotz is known for their work abroad bringing customer programs to Latin America. Loyalty One is one of the key investors to Dotz. Not only does this company give information to Dotz they also receive pertinent information on cross cultural trends. They work together to serve abroad consumers with the same benefits as local ones.

Loyalty One started out finding a way to bring retailers the information to make consumers happy which led to the reward program that is known all over. Air miles is a program that rewards consumers for being a loyal customer and allows them to choose rewards for their selves. While participating in the reward program consumers also get the best deals that are related to their shopping needs. When combining all the information Loyalty One wants to be the number one customer appreciation plan in the world.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Can The Irs Take My Pension?

IRS Problems can cause you and your family a lot of stress. You have worked hard all your life to be able to have a nice home and car. Now the IRS is threatening to take this all away. You have received a notice from the IRS stating that they are going to seize your assets to pay off the back taxes you owe. Can they do this? Can they take your car, your home, even your pension?

The IRS can seize your assets to pay your tax bill but there are certain assets that are safe from the IRS.

1. Clothing and school books
2. Fuel, food, furniture and personal effects up to ,500
3. Tools and books that are job related up to ,250
4. Unemployment, worker's compensation, public assistance and job training benefits
5. Undelivered mail
6. Certain annuity and pension benefits which includes the Railroad Retirement Act, Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, Special Pensions for Medal of Honor winners, and Retired Serviceman's Family Protection Plan and Survivor Benefit Plan
7. Certain service-oriented disability payments
8. Deposits to the special Treasury fund made by members of the armed forces and Public Health Service employees who are on permanent duty assigned outside the US
9. A minimum amount exempt from a levy on wages, salary, and other income

You will notice that on the above list it says "certain annuity and pension benefits." These benefits are not completely exempt from the IRS. Your pension may be at risk if you owe a large sum to the IRS.

The IRS will typically seize your assets in this order:

1. Bank and checking accounts
2. Cars, boats, airplanes, and other recreational vehicles
3. Cash value life insurance
4. Accounts receivable
5. Stocks and bonds
6. Wages
7. Collectibles
8. Investment and vacation real estate
9. Pensions, IRAs and Keoghs
10. Home

As you can see, pensions are low on the list.

When the IRS seizes assets, they only need enough to pay off your tax bill. Do not forget, however, that your bill has been accruing penalties and interest so it has been increasing daily. If there are no other assets available to satisfy your bill than the IRS can seize your pension.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Leasing Commercial Real Estate Steps - Analyze, Inspect, and Secure!

Leasing commercial office space is a common issue to which many business owners devote much thought. Success or failure in this decision relies on one's ability to select and then negotiate for commercial real estate that is best suited to a business. After selecting the right location for the company and making the final rental decision, the next phase is the leasing process that will involve formulating significant portions of the lease agreement. The following is this process from start to finish.

Step 1: Analyze the Lease Requirements and Needs

The rapidly changing business world believes that the words growth' and risk' are interchangeable. When securing commercial property for a business operation, it is both exciting and frightening. A company undoubtedly aims for success but may encounter several hazards along the way. This is common in running any type of operation, so an owner must stay focused and concentrate on fulfilling all basic goals.

Basic Goals in Acquiring New Property:

Growth - The new location should provide room for business growth and expansion.
Transferable - The agreement should be transferable without penalty.
ROI - The new location should deliver a high return on investment during the entire length of the contract.
Increase Profits - The new location should help increase cash flow to counterbalance the cost of relocation and still allow for a positive net income for the company.

Terms of Lease

To avoid future complications, it is important that a business owner understand and analyze the terms of the office lease. Both tenant and landlord should know the obligations, terms, and conditions relevant to the property rental.
The terms of the lease should clearly outline the following:
Length of Contract Clearly state when it begins and ends.
Monthly Payment Declare any escalation of the monthly rent.
Annual Lease Amount - Outline the total rent paid in a year.
Category of the Lease State specifically whether net or gross category.
Clauses - As applicable for both tenant and landlord.
Renewal - The right to renewal of the agreement, usually by both parties.
Obligations of Both Parties Specific declaration of who is responsible for what office items, such as renovations, repairs and maintenance.
Security Deposit How much of a deposit is required as well as any conditions for its return to the tenant upon satisfactory completion of the contract.
Rights to Termination Defines how both sides may terminate the contract.
Taxes Itemization of which party is obligated for assessed property taxes.

Working Space Requirements:

Utility and amenity services
Furniture and equipment
Physical dimensions
Proper lighting
Dividers for office cubicles

Step 2: Inspect the Premises

After determining the basic company requirements, it is important to visit the various properties available for rent for space planning and general comparison purposes. Ensure that the new location will satisfy the needs of the company.

Step 3: Secure Necessary Documents

Once a decision has been made as to which property to lease, the final documents must be drawn up to process the lease agreement. The documents needed are:
Letter of Intent
Offer and Acceptance Agreement
Lease Agreement
Fit-out Period

All documents should be prepared ahead of time so that either party can have the paperwork reviewed by a real estate broker or attorney if necessary.

The commercial lease process can be lengthy; with the proper guidance, it can be headache-free and a successful outcome for both the landlord and tenant. For those interested in the final steps of Advice, Negotiate, Forms and Handover,' that portion will be covered in another article. The first steps listed here to analyze, inspect and secure will hopefully head any business to securing the best commercial office lease for their company!

Friday, August 24, 2012

$1000 Provable Income Cash Advances: Should You Take The Opportunity?

Many finance firms are wiling to offer a sum of 00 to those in need, provided the beneficiary has a provable source of income and agrees to repay the amount as per the firm's outlined repayment schedule. However, needless to say that you would end up repaying more than you acquire from the cash advance firm. This is because the cash advance firm is likely to charge an interest on such credit lending.

Getting hold of a 00 cash advance won't be a cinch by any means. You would have to carry out a preliminary research of reputable cash advance firms willing to lend 00. Though it's easy to find cash advance of around 0 to 0, you might have to shop around a bit in order to bag 00. It is recommended to keep several options open during your quest for a cash advance. This way, if one cash advance firm leaves you high and dry, you could easily switch to another.

Sums of 00 and below are considered trifling amounts by bigger loan firms' standards. Therefore, it is highly unlikely to acquire a 00 loan from a loan firm. However, cash advance firms are a viable option for people in urgent need of around 00. Cash advance firms would gladly approve your application, provided you have a provable income source. But, cash advance companies normally charge a higher rate of interest relative to bigger loan firms.

All in all, cash advance is a nice and quick way to acquire that much needed cash in a jiffy. But since the rate of interest is on the higher side, it's best to take up a loan from a loan firm, if possible. In general, you should turn to a cash advance firm only when you have no other means of acquiring cash.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

5 Reasons Why Single Family Homes Are Better Investment

Appeal to broader set of renters

During the recent downturn in real estate, unfortunately a lot of home owners have lost their homes. They still prefer to live in single family homes as opposed to an apartment. What this means for a real estate investor is that he now has a larger rental pool for his (single family home) property. In addition, people who are moving across the country for job opportunities are sometimes renting out their original homes and looking to rent a single family home for themselves. There are several such factors that make single family homes' rental pool larger and easier to deal with.

Getting a mortgage is easier

When you are applying for a mortgage on a single family home, it is a much more predictable and easier process as compared to that for a condominium. The laws for getting mortgage on condominiums are much more stricter in today's economy. This makes the buying process of a single family home seamless and hence a better investment choice.

Stable Property Value

Another factor that makes single family homes a better investment choice is that with everything else being the same, single family homes tend to hold their values better than townhomes or condominiums. This is important to keep in mind since in addition to a steady income, an investor needs to also keep in mind the appreciation potential of the property.

Predictable cost structure

Since a single family home is an entity in itself, it doesn't get affected by other factors that could vary the cost of owning a condominium or townhome. A condominium or townhome has shared walls and common areas and sometimes the maintenance cost could increase when repairs etc. are required. With a single family home, you are more in control of the cost of owning a property and that makes it a better choice.

Easier when you decide to sell

When you are in the market to sell a single family home that you have been renting out for investment, it is an easier task since your pool of buyers are both investors as well as people who are looking to purchase homes for themselves. Of course you still incur the cost of selling the home but it is a much easier process to deal with.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Panama real estate boom affecting ecology

How to recycle in Panama?

Recycling is one of the best ways for you to have a positive impact on the world in which we live. Recycling is important to both the natural environment and us. We must act fast as the amount of waste we create is increasing all the time.
The amount of rubbish we create is constantly increasing because:
Increasing wealth means that people are buying more products and ultimately creating more waste.
Panama Real Estate Boom and increasing population means that there are more people in Panama to create waste.
New packaging and technological products are being developed, much of these products contain materials that are not biodegradable.
New lifestyle changes, such as eating fast food, means that we create additional waste that isn't biodegradable.

In Panama there is a strong demand for waste paper and cardboard for recycling, because it is more profitable than virgin pulp. Products that are recycled includes paper from excess of the production process in plant and printers, used office paper, newspapers, manila, portfolios, cardboard, paper waste mixture as lottery tickets,

And one of the ways to recycle in Panama is to sell them to companies that uses and has a strong demand on recycled resources to produce their products such as:

Moldeados Panameos, S.A. (MOLPASA) located in Via Tocumen, recicles newspapers. This companys produces egg cartons. And its main activity is the production and sale of packaging for the poultry industry in the lines and separators kits.
MOLPASA uses clean and dry newspapers, and paper for their production process. The paper is placed in a large tank in which is crushed and mixed with chemicals and water. This then passes through a cleaning process to ensure that it does not have contaminants. Then the pulp is used to produce the final product, whether dispensers for eggs or container vessels.

Other important export products including recycled paper components, Toilet paper, napkins and towels are produced mainly by Papelera Istmea SA.

The production process begins by placing paper products in a large tank to which
soap, water and bleach are added; this mix is "whipped" to obtain semi consistency . Apart from waste paper, around 10% of virgin Kraft paper is added to the mixture. Different kind of papers are used, depending on the type of product that is going to be manufactured. For example, to the markets of Panama and Ecuador, White paper is only used , because there is no market for colored toilet paper in these countries. However, it is possible to mix a certain amount of colored paper and paper products if they are sold to other Central American markets.