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Saturday, April 30, 2005

Money-Making Idea #5 - Ebaying Your Junk

Go through all the items in your home and see what you don't use or need anymore. Like they said, "your junk can be someone's treasure." It is therefore a good idea to turn all these no-use items to money for you. This idea can serve two purposes. First, you get a chance to clean up your house and make more space. Second, you get to earn back a little money for getting rid of all that stuff. I have a lot of things I want to get rid of in my apartment as well. There's definitely a lot of junk in my place. I'm just concern about selling big items because I would have problems shipping them. In any case, I need to go with this idea, because more than the money itself, I really want to clean up my place. I have a lot of magazines. If you're interested, let me know.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Money-Making Idea #4 - Fixing Computers

I have done some tech support before. I used to fix computers on the weekends for people for a measly fee. I guess I was shy about the price, but I've learn when you want to run a business, you really can't be shy about charging people or anything in that matter. Income is the key to your success, so *chuckles* you better bill them or you'll be out of business. I'm thinking of bringing this computer hobby back and make some side money. Despite the Internet and computer growth a lot people are still unfamiliar with installing an operating system or even just plain installing MS Office. Therefore, I can become handy. Also, I live in an apartment complex where people are very well off. I'm talking about 100K/year and up, so I'll put them into the higher income-earning demographics. Just the kind of people I need to seek business with. Now the question is how do I get the message out? I don't want to be knocking on everyone's door and soliciting them for my business. Instead, I'm thinking of printing business cards and passing them out as I meet the people. That may seem slow though, but since it's only a hobby/experiment, I'm not going to rush it.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Tax Code Is Too Complicated

I was told that the books on tax laws stack up from floor to ceiling in a huge room and it is impossible for anyone to finish reading all the materials in a lifetime. There are way too many tax codes, deductions, credits, and all that matter. The government needs to clean up some of this stuff. Calculating and filing taxes should be easy. I understand the need for tax credits and deductions for mortgages, student loans, and things like that, but that should be easy to find and calculate on the tax form. I know some people who are strongly in favor of a simple flat tax rule. Say, 15% and everyone's earnings will be taxed at that rate. Therefore the more you earn the more you pay -- fair and square. If Joe makes 10,000 a year, he will owe $1,500 in taxes. If Bill makes a million, he will owe $150,000. Think how simple everyone's taxes will be then. CPAs' will hate this idea, but tax filers will be able to fill out their 1040 quickly and send it in on time. Auditing also becomes so much easier. Tax loopholes/cheats get eliminated and that's a good thing. Everyone pays their fair share. The government will have more money and the people should benefit from that. This is all optimistic thinking, but they're already doing this in Europe. Added 4/29/05 "The hardest thing in the world to understand is the Income Tax." - Albert Einstein Source: SavingAdvice.com

Money-Making Idea #3 - Create a website

One of the best ways to earn additional income around the clock is to create a website that draws a lot of traffic and generates revenue for you. The more audience you can attract the better. Once you have a popular site, you can think of ways to make money off that. Of course, it's not as easy as you think. The best kind of website to create is one that you are interested in. This is very important because your interest is deeply reflected in the quality of the site. If you're really motivated in keeping the site updated and interesting, people will see that and they will keep going back. There are so many different kind of websites you can do. For example, if you're good at writing and like to eat, you can start a food critic web page. There are tons of food sites, I know.. but again, quality and dedication makes a difference between you and the competition. One thing I always learn is to start small when you're venturing out. Do some reviews in your local neighborhood first so you people can see that you are an expert in that area. Then you can start venturing out and write about restaurants in nearby neighborhoods. Just when you think all the ideas are already exhausted, I found something new. Take a look at RapidShare. They give out free temp space for users to share files, and they load up the page with ads. But since this is a great way to share files, it attracts many audience and ads get tons of impressions. In addition, they restrict downloads to a certain amount and charge users if they want to lift that download cap. RapidShare also does web hosting. I think the whole web space + hosting business is a great idea. So as you can see, it's still possible to come out with great ideas on the net. Just think what else could be useful for people. You may have a great idea, just put it to work and you may be making more money than sitting in your couch during your free time thinking about the possible website you would have. I'm just getting started on a website that I wanted to do. No word on it yet, but it'll be fun for me... even if I don't make money. I guess that's how you should look at it. Even if I don't earn much, at least I learn.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Side Income

I already have a full-time job but a little side income wouldn't hurt. Better yet, if I can have something working for me 24/7, that would be one step ahead in the rat race. One step at a time, I hope I eventually can create enough side income coming towards my pocket I wouldn't need to rush to work in the morning. Work can be very dreadful sometimes. It's intersting to note how the government taxes "hard" labor more than investments. Let me explaing. By "hard" labor I mean physical work you do. If you have a job, your wages are subject to regular income tax of up to 35% or more. However, capital gains held over a certain period of time are only taxed at 15% or less. There seems to be a big flaw here. Wage earners are usually low and middle income people who work hard to earn living yet they get heavily tax. Meanwhile, the wealthy usually have most of their money in stocks, mutual funds, real estatest, etc. and those passive/portfolio earnings get tax breaks. Looks like the poor gets poorer and rich gets richer. Therefore, by looking just at structure of the tax system, you can see the weight is really on the working class. I can't make get ahead by working alone. I must also have money working for me or have my own business. My dream is to have money pouring into my pockets even if I just sit at home and watch TV. I have a lot of ideas in mind and I'm thinking of putting one or two of them in action. Check out one of my ideas on Money-Making Idea #3 post.

Money-Making Idea #2 - Ads on Napkins

I've been really inspired by the money they made off advertisements in Apprentice, so I've been thinking of more ideas. In one episode of the first season, one team had advertisements on the rickshaws and made more than a thousand of dollars in one day. Instead of rickshaws, I can go on foot. Since I jog along the river on the weekends, maybe I can pass out flyers on the way. The only problem with flyers is that people throw them on the ground. So I thought, why not print ads on napkins -- at least there's a use for them. Other joggers or pedestrians may need to wipe their face, hands, or just hold it in their pockets until necessary. To further explore this idea. The napkins can be distributed to restaurants and have the napkins placed on the tables. That's one of the first things you notice when you sit down in a restaurant. And napkins are always used so the chances of people seeing the ads are high. Of course, the prints on the napkins will be safe to wipe your mouth. Now, I'll just have to find sponsors to invest money on my idea. I can give out free napkins to restaurants. It's good for them too since they'll save money on that -- not a lot of money, but think long term... free napkins for life. On weekends, I can go jogging and pass out napkins for people who need to wipe the sweats out of their face or messy people who spill soda on their pants, or just curious bystanders trying to get free stuff. People will look at napkins and they will be brainwashed with the ads on them. Napkins are useful, so most people will fold them and put them in their pockets or bags. In addition, I'll have a dozen "DON'T LITTER" fine prints around the edges of the napkin to reinforce the message. Overall, I think the idea carries some weight and deserves to be explored.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Money-Making Idea #1 - Ads on Water Bottles

I've been just thinking about different ideas to make money. Here's one off the top of my head. This is very similar to the one of the episodes in Apprentice. Donald Trump shows his new bottled water, The Trump Ice. I have an idea quite similar to that. It is to create your own bottled water but have a small section of it for advertisement. I think that's the best way to get your ads out. Have the bottled water distributed for free in parks and populated areas to draw the most attention. I think there's money to be made there. Feel free to critique.

Monday, April 25, 2005

CD Ladder

One strategy to take advantage of interest rate upswing is to purchase several multiple-term CDs, also known as CD ladder. Suppose you have $5,000 to invest. You would purchase a $1000 1-year CD, a $1000 2-year CD, a $1000 3-year CD, a $1000 4-year CD, and a $1000 5-yr CD. As each CD matures, you would renew it for the new 5-year CD. This way you will always lock up at the highest interest rate. Let's take a look at a real example with ING DIRECT's CDs: 1 Year 3.60% 2 Year 4.00% 3 Year 4.15% 4 Year 4.25% 5 Year 4.35% If you do a CD ladder with equal amounts for each of the years, your average interest rate would be 4.07%. This is higher than the 1-year CD and more flexible than the 5-year CD alone. With a CD ladder you will have a CD maturity every year and you can take that money out if you happen to need it during that time. CD ladder is a great strategy to participate in the highest yields as interest rates go up.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Quick Money Saving Tips


  • During hot days, open windows and doors to create air flow (You don't always need the AC)
  • Keep nice and tight insulation in your windows to retain heat or air conditioning
  • Turn off the lights when you are not there or at night (Sleep early and wake up early. It's better for your health and saves you money.)
  • Unplug unnecessary electronic (Unplug your iron and hair dryer when you're finished. It saves money and creates a saver environment.)
  • VoIP (If available to you, can save you a lot of money)


  • Take public transportation if you can
  • Buy the lowest class fuel your car can run without damaging the engine
  • Wash the car yourself


In general, try to stay indoors more often so you don't pay expensive prices for food, drinks, tips, and things of that sort. Who says you can't stay in and have fun?

Indoor Activities

  • Throw a party at your home - Beers are a lot cheaper when you buy them by the dozens in a supermarket or a local store. Add in some chips and snacks, it shouldn't cost you too much per head. $100 can only buy you several drinks in a bar, but that same amount can buy you dozens and dozens of beer and enough snacks/chips to last you until you're sober again.
  • Buy groceries and cook with your friends - Drunk friends can really mess up your place quick. Here's something to do that will keep you sober and this can be very fun. It sure is cheaper than the overprice dinners you have outside.
  • Rent a movie to watch it indoors - Too lazy to do anything? Movies can kill a lot of time. Ask those who watch The Lord of The Rings trilogy in one sitting.

When you're just tired of indoors or the weather is too nice to resist going out. Here are some activities are that still great and inexpensive.

Outdoor Activities

  • Take a walk in the park - Nice weather? Take a stroll with an interesting friend(s) who can keep you entertained while you're enjoying the sun and burning calories.
  • Beach - Cheap, fun, lots to do. Swimming is a great cardiovascular exercise.
  • Art Galleries - If you're into it. I live near tons of galleries, never been in one.
  • Museums - Cheap, exhilarating for the cultured. For others, skip.
  • Window shopping - The trick is not to buy. If that's impossible, skip.
  • Bands - Sometimes free or cost next to nothing.
  • River to River - American Express sponsored program in NYC. Most events are free, some cost very little.

That's about it for now folks. It's 2am and I should go to sleep now. I have to wake up early for work tomorrow (ugghhh...). I'll add to the list later. Feel free to give suggestions.

New Template

I changed the template on my blog to a more a brighter theme. Do you guys like it?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Formula to Success

I think if you want to be rich and successful you really need to have the equipment for it. The most important part is your attitude towards life. You must have a goal that you really want to reach – a desire to succeed. This is best illustrated in the book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It is a great book, very inspirational and motivational – a must read.

I think the “success” part has to come from within – it has to be true desire. You must have some part of you that really want to challenge and get through the laziness and procrastination. Everyone wants to be rich, everyone wants to be successful. But how many achieved that? How many tried? Most people are just all talk. They’ll say how they plan to do this and that. Once they reach a few obstacles (small ones mostly), those people immediately give up and return to their lazy thinking again.

I’m sure a lot of people can relate. How many of you try to lose weigh or keep an exercise schedule. How long did that last? I tried it myself. I told myself I was going to spend 20 minutes on the track-mill twice a week. I was excited about it for the few two weeks, and then I started watching TV and lost focus. I came up with excuses for myself. “I come home late sometimes.” “I’m tired from work.” Now, I’ve been away from the gym for almost a month.

I’ve realized the only way to achieve something big is to develop small habits that will help you move along in that direction. It’s true -- little things add up. If I want to stay in shape, all I have to do is walk 20 minutes a day. It seems easy. I can just walk 10 minutes during the morning and another 10 minutes during the evening. Those 10 minutes sessions sound so attainable, but doing it everyday for a year takes much dedication. And don’t underestimate those 10 minute walks. They seems short but if done repeated overly time, they become very rewarding to your health.

It’s the same thing with your finance. Little habits bring you big bucks. If you sock away $50 a month in a savings account at an annual interest rate of 3% over ten years, you'll come out with a total of more $7,000. Given you can tolerate some risk, at an average annual return of 8%, the same investment would net you almost $14,150. That’s a lot of money grown from 50 dollar seeds.

There’s a book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey that talks about how successful people have good habits built in their lives. Pick up that book and start building up some good habits.

With good habits and a strong desire, you’re bound to succeed. Your desire will push you in the right direction and your habits will work like your engines, they’ll keep pushing you towards your goal.

Monday, April 18, 2005

AT&T Universal Cash Rewards Card - 5% cashback

Earn 5% cashback for 3 months. Limited-time offer: reply by June 15, 2005

  • 0% on Balance Transfers until May 1, 2006** – No Annual Fee with this offerBalance Transfer fee applies***
  • Full 5% cash back on purchases made at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations -- Full 1% cash back on other purchases*
  • Full 5% cash back on eligible AT&T consumer products and/or services*
------------------------------ This is one of the credit cards I have and use pretty often. I signed up a year or two ago with the same promotion. There are many good reasons to sign up for this card. If you have a lot of bills to pay or things to buy, you will earn 5% cashback with this card. If you have credit card debts, do a balance transfer to them so you immediately save on the high credit card APRs. If you don't have debt, do a balance transfer to a high-yield savings account and earn interest off the money for a year. Do this only if you are responsible. You will have to make a minimum payment every month and pay everything back by the last billing cycle.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Mohegan Sun

I went Mohegan Sun around midnight and played until dawn. I played roulette and craps. Craps is fun. I didn't do so well on roulette but I did pretty well on craps. I came out pretty much even at the end. If I didn't lose, that's pretty good. Here's my view about playing in the casino. I don't think any one should rely on gambling to get rich or to make a living. I see the casino as an entertainment place only. I know there are a lot of gambling addicts that go there frequently and they're always going to lose in the long run because of the house advantage. If you have won money there, good for you, don't go back and lose them.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Cisco dropped

The market is killing everyone right now. It's so bloody, a lot of stocks are dropping very low. I re-bought Cisco in the mid 17's. I still have faith in the company. Once the market picks back up again, Cisco is going back to the 18's and up. I'm buying low and selling high.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Finally... taxes e-filed

Yes! I just finished doing my taxes and submitted online. Whoaaaaaaaaaaa! For the last minute people, a lot of places are offering free federal online filing with no restrictions. http://www.irs.gov/app/freeFile/jsp/index.jsp?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Cisco closed at 18.24

Cisco Systems upgraded by Merrill Lynch Cisco Systems Shares Climb After Analyst Tells Wall Street That Company's Stock Is Undervalued "The San Jose, Calif.-based company might grow earnings by up to 15 percent annually during the next few years and is poised to regain market share." Some key points: Bad market and tough sector is already priced in Cisco's stock. Merrill Lynch projects a $23 12-month target on Cisco. 15% growth over the new few years Rating upgraded to BUY VOIP market growing Router demand is likely to increase Second quarter profit jumped nearly 13% Some fundamental data: Forward P/E less than 18 ZERO debt $6 Billion cash The data above shows strong signs that Cisco is going to do well this year and the years following. Also, the CEO of the company is John Chambers, who is known to have strong leadership. As always, before making any investments, do your own research. I sold some shares and made some money today.

Magazine Subscriptions

I have subscriptions to the following financial magazines:

  • BusinessWeek
  • Forbes
  • Money
  • Smart Money
  • Kiplinger
  • BudgestLiving
I read BusinessWeek the most because they are delivered weekly and do contain the latest information. I used to read Kiplinger a lot. I find them very good for personal finance and their stock pickings to be amazingly accurate. I read an article on San Juan Basin Royalty Trust (SJT) a year ago and since then, that company has been climbing up steadily over the year and have been paying among the highest dividends. Too bad, I didn't buy it. The stock has gone up 30% and has a dividend of almost 10%. If you like any back issues of the magazines I have, let me know. I'll pay for the shipping.

Monday, April 11, 2005

2005 1st Quarter Expenses

Here's a report of the monthly expenses year-to-date.

Expenses Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Total
Bills 640 644 708 1,991
Entertainment 224 101 236 561
Food 326 270 461 1,057
Gifts 200 214 200 614
Medical/Dental 70 306 55 431
Shopping 253 204 -108 350
Taxes 693 702 833 2,228
Transportation 105 111 115 331
Others 265 150 158 573
Total Expenses 2,775 2,703 2,659 8,137
Bills - Utilities/Rent Entertainment - Movies/Social Events Food - Groceries, Dining out, any thing I eat Gifts - Money or expenses of gifts I give to others Medical/Dental - Premium, co-payments, prescriptions Shopping - Clothes, computer stuff, anything I buy Taxes - Federal, State, Local, FICA Transportation - Traveling Expenses I ran this report in MS Money, which I use to keep of my daily expenses. The only thing I don't like is that the report does not show the money I pay back to my student loans. It only shows the interest, and counts the principal repayments as a transfer from my checking account to my loan account, so I manually added that to the report above. (It's included in the Others field. My minimum payment is low.) My food expenses went up a lot last month, because I have been eating out more. I usually dine out more during spring and summer. As for gifts, I give $200 minimum to my parent every month. My health expenses shot up in February due to my prescriptions. It's interesting that I had a negative amount under Shopping in March. That's because I returned something I purchased in February. My taxes withholdings went up slightly in February b/c my company is paying for gym and I have to pay taxes on that. In March, I got a pay raise, and that increased my tax withholdings significantly -- 18%.

Free Magazine Giveaway

I'd like to donate a very special issue of Business Week to a eager-learning blog reader. It's a great issue, lots of good articles. It also mentions the hot upcoming fields, so if you want to do investments, this is a great read. Shipping and handles fees will be incurred by me, courtesy of Growing Money financial blog. First person to post a comment gets it. Leave your email so I can get your shipping address. BusinessWeek issue 1/3/05 - Where To Invest '05 >> The Economy: Five Wild Cards for 2005 >> What Bush's Plans Mean for Your Portfolio >> Protect Yourself From a Housing Slump >> The Four Hottest Global Plays >> Invest Like Harvard Plus: Earnings Forecasts For 900 Companies Alternative Energy (their picks went up almost 20% so far) Cash-Rich Companies Developing Giants: Four Countries You Must Own

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Cisco closed at 18.15

It looks like a positive day for Cisco today. They closed with a 38 cents or 2.14% gain for today. I continue to hold my strong outlook on Cisco. The CEO, John Chambers have a lot to offer and the tech sector seems to be picking up again. Long term, the tech sector should do well and with Cisco being the leader in networking/hardware, Cisco will continue to grow.

Cisco going up

Look at Cisco fly. Approaching $18.00 a share now. Cisco Systems Ranked 110th Largest Company In The World Cisco Systems Ranked 91st in Fortune 500 for 2005 Mom's account not funded yet. Too bad.

Ingredient for Success - Passion

There's a great Article on Yahoo! Finance, Saying It with Passion that I think everyone should read. I agree that you should always do something you like. Sometimes, you can start something so small yet if you do it right and with passion, that business can grow indefinitely. A good example is Starbucks. Howard Schultz most likely didn't see the Starbucks branch in every corner of his street when he first started the business. Rather, he started one store and concentrated on doing what he needs to do. He put so much passion in it that the business grew with his passion. Gradually, Starbucks started popping out in every corner of the block.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Cisco Closed Lower

Cisco closed at 17.76, lower than this morning's price. That's currently an unrealized loss of $9. Like I said previously, I'll buy more when it drops. The outlook for this stock is bright. There's a long path of growth ahead. But I don't have any more money in my account. I'm going to purchase shares for my mom in her IRA instead. This is how I'm going to help her grow her retirement funds. Actually... my mom was the one who first suggested buying Cisco. She thinks it's going to rebound and do well. I don't know how she gets all that information, probably from friends and words of mouth, but I'd now like to do my own research and due diligence before I buy anything. That shows responsibility in investing. =)

Opened ROTH IRA for Mom

I sent in some paperwork two weeks ago to set up a ROTH IRA for my mom. They requested additional paperwork and I finally got everything in today and the account is set up now. My mom has no idea what is an IRA. I tried explaining it to her but she doesn't really get it. She's one of those really hard working immigrants that came to America for a better future for her kids. For decades she has just been working in low paying labor-intensive jobs and pushing her kids to do well in school and hope they'd end up with a better job than she has. Her jobs don't have 401k or pension (hint: Chinatown sweatshops). She's going to depend on her kids for income in the future. Her investment is her children. She expects to receive regular payments from her kids. I just took charge and decided to take care of her retirement funds. Since she has low income, I decided that ROTH IRA is the best choice for her. I'm going to get her to contribute regularly and I'll have to oversee all her investments. Initially, I'm going to make her take some risk. As time goes on, I'll start to diversify the investments for her. So as she approaches her retirement age, she'll have a more stable portfolio with bonds and fixed-income funds.

Cisco Climbing Higher

It's been hovering in the 17.90's this morning. Last ticker is 17.94, which means I'm earning $9 so far. No big deal, but no worries either. I actually want it to drop more so I can pick up more cheap shares. Then I would just let it fly. This is a solid stock with low risk and it's going to do well in 2005.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

3.0% APY - Ing Direct Savings Account

Ing Direct now offers 3.0% Annual Percentage Yield.

Free Money for Bank Sign-ups

Many banks are offering cash incentives for new accounts. Read up on the details and terms before you sign up. I'm just listing the banks and their incentives so if you are interested you can do further research. Citibank - $200 for checking and online bill payments E*Trade Bank - up to $175 Bank of America - $100 Bank of New York - up to $100 Eastern Bank - up to $100 La Salle - $100 for a free business checking account Standard Federal - $100 for a free business checking account (same as La Salle) HSBC - $100, £100, or €100 for offshore account Evans National Bank - $75 for free checking and online bill payments Cambridge Savings Bank - $50 for an account and online bill payments Standard Bank - $50 for CD or Money Market account NY Community Bank - $50 Versus Bank - $50 ING Direct - $25 by referral or $50 if you own MS Money software (if you need a referral send an email to me with subject "ING REFERRAL REQUEST") Best Bank - $25 for checking account First National Bank - $25 for an account and online bill payments Marlborough Savings Bank - $25 for online bill payments NJM Bank - $25 for direct deposit Guaranty Bank - $25 for direct deposit Sleepy Hollow Bank - $25 for direct deposit Capital One - $25 with Costco membership

Monday, April 04, 2005

The Mystery of The Missing Sock

How many of you do your own laundry and when you fold the clothes you end up with one extra sock? It's interesting. I just did my laundry yesterday and I was holding up the last sock and I couldn't find the other one. Guess what? I'm not the only one that has that problem. And how many of you when reconciling your money accounts end up with a lot of numbers you don't know where it should go. I usually have that problem with my cash account in Microsoft Money. I always seem to have $20-$50 missing that I don't know where it went, and because it's cash, it's hard to trace. I update my spending almost everyday, but it's easy to leave out the mid-day snacks or the unexpected fleet market shopping. These little holes add up over time and it hurts my account reconciliation process. I try to figure out where every dollar goes, but most of the time it hurts my little brain too much so I'd just put them into a category called adjustments. This way, the spendings are still tracked but just not categorized. I try to reconcile my cash account every week to keep my records as accurate as possible (sometimes I'm pretty anal about that).

Ebaying my junk

I live in a small apartment but I have a lot of boxes and things I don't use lying around the place. I'm going to see what I can trash and what I can see on ebay. As I was cleaning I dug up my first cellphone, a StarTac from the late 90s. I put it up on ebay and sold it for 20 bucks. After fees, I may end up with a little over $15 net. I was lazy. If I had sold that phone a few years ago, I could have made around $100. I still have my second old cellphone, a Motorola V60i. It's been sitting on my desk for a few years. Again, time is money. I think the phone has lost 90% of its value already. That's what happens when you procrastinate. Yup, I guess I can say the same thing with your life. You put off valuable time, and you'll be paying for it in the future. Don't believe me. Ask kids who fooled around their first year of college and see how long it took them to finish college. Just staying one year later in college would have cost them a year of salary. That's easily $40 - $50K, and imagine having the money to invest one year earlier, it would've given you a huge edge over the competition. And career-wise, that's one year work experience you missed out on.


Cisco is expected to grow 15-30% annually for the next 5 years. With 6 billion dollars in cash, no debt, a 23% earnings growth rate, and a fowrad P/E of only 17, Cisco looks like it has a lot to offer. The Cisco stock is looking hot right now. It's hovering around 17.60 at this moment. Too bad I bought it last week for 17.85. I wish I had the money to buy more shares right now.

Suze Orman - The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom DVD

Ever since I read some of Suze Orman's articles on Yahoo Finance, I wanted to see more of her publications. I believe The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom (1998) is her first DVD, so I wanted to see what she had come up with. This DVD came out before The Road to Wealth, but it is just as good to watch. The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom is really more about building up your character and preparing yourself for a better life. The DVD is focus on the guidelines of how you should plan for the future. One thing is she suggests is a trust over a will. A will may cause your beneficiaries a lot of money and hassle to claim property you leave behind. In a trust, however, you can transfer your property over to your beneficiaries immediately upon your death. Suze Orman also talks about long-term insurance. Nursing homes are not covered by medical insurance or medicare care, and are therefore costly, and could end up raking out all your savings. A long-term insurance can provide you a safety net, and Suze says the best age to get the insurance is at the age of 59. Before then, you should use the money you save up to invest in a mutual fund. There were some duplicate information on the two DVDs I've seen. That's fine, because it reinforces her beliefs. She seems to be pretty thorough and prepared with her answers in the Q&A sections. As she has said, there cannot be a perfect answer for every answer, because it depends on what everyone's situation is. Not everyone with $5,000 can go for the same investments. Some people may be able to take more risk than others. Or some people may not have $5,000 and have some debt. In fact, many Americans have debt. She talks about how you can find some extra cash in your pockets to pay off your credit cards or put them into a savings. Here's her idea, and I think it's a pretty good one. USE ONLY PAPER BILLS to buy things, receive change and put them in your pockets. So, say you buy a soda in a deli and it costs you $1.50. You pay two dollars in paper money and you get back 50 cents change. You put that 50 cents away. And then you buy a sandwich at another store, it costs you $3.50. You pay $4 in bills, and you get back 50 cents change. At the end of the day, you take all the change in your pockets and dump them into a jar. Do this everyday and at the end of the month, you'll have $10 to $30 more. That's $120 to $360 a year. She calls this finding extra cash in your own pockets. Try it, it may work. Suze Orman's DVDs are pretty good so far. I know some people should really see it. The next one I'm renting is: Suze Orman: The Courage to be Rich.

Five comments and double in website traffic

Wow! I suddenly had five people reponding to my blog and twice as many visits on my site just over this weekend. I wonder what happened. I thought I was just writing to myself this whole time. Now, I'm curious to know how people find my site. But thank you all for your nice comments. Feel free to write, ask, or discuss any topic on the blog.