`NonTransparent ETFs` one step forward and two steps backward

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`NonTransparent ETFs` one step forward and two steps backward
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The 10 Golden Rules of Retiring Rich

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The 10 Golden Rules of Retiring Rich
Think retiring rich is out of reach for most people? With a little planning and self-discipline, you can be rich before you know it. Follow these golden rules and watch your nest egg grow: The formula for retiring rich starts with putting money in the bank. Social Security benefits alone won’t be enough to live the good life during your golden years. Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson... [...]
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How to Request Missing Radisson Rewards

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How to Request Missing Radisson Rewards
Radisson Rewards can deliver a lot of value for those looking to score free nights, especially for travelers to destinations outside the United States. With over 1,100 properties worldwide, Radisson Rewards is one of the best rewards programs for earning free nights. Free night redemptions start as low as 9,000 points per night for a... Ramsey Qubein is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article How to Request Missing Radisson Rewards originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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This Week’s Goals (+ an update on Flu B)

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This Week’s Goals (+ an update on Flu B)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Whew! So last week was nothing like what I had anticipated going into it. I had looked at the calendar and had seen that we actually had three free evenings — which was a big deal as we rarely have more than two free evenings per week. So I had expected it would probably be a little bit quieter and slower-paced week. Little did I know that all three kids would come down with Flu B and we would be completely quarantined, cancel everything, have no one come over, and stay home from for an entire week (Tuesday through Monday)!! I cannot recall any time in recent history that this has ever happened and it was so weird to just have all of us home all day every single day with no one even coming over to our house! (Other than two trips to the doctor and Jesse running out to the store a few times.) The kids’ attitudes through all of this were so incredible. They felt awful and usually had high fevers (102-104), but they were still their funny, witty selves. Since I couldn’t be around them, we Face-timed or texted and they were constantly making me laugh with their comebacks and the funny memes they sent. While I never got full-blown Flu B, I did feel yucky for at least 5 days, so I took it very, very easy, rested a lot, and generally just focused on staying healthy. I did work on my book some, get caught up on email, read some, walk on the treadmill, and watch quite a few shows. But that was about it! I’m so grateful that I am feeling so much more energetic and back to normal today and that we have two kids who are doing a lot better and one who is doing somewhat better. I’m hoping (maybe) everyone will be completely healthy by Thursday. We’ll see! Here’s an update on my goals for last week + this week’s goals: Last Week’s Goals: 2020 — Week 6 Personal Goals 1. Get in 54,000 steps total. (I use the FitBit Ulta HR to track my steps every day.) (As mentioned above, since I wasn’t feeling that great much of this past week, I spent a lot of time resting! I did walk on the treadmill 6 days, but that was the extent of most of my walking!) 2. Finish reading Counterfeit Gods. Listen to Eat That Frog! and Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids. 3. Go to bed by 10:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Home/Family Goals 4. Read 30 more pages of Carry a Big Stick aloud as a family. 5. Research strollers, baby carriers, and car seats. Decide what we’re going to purchase. 6. Complete 4-hour Foster Care Training. (We had to cancel this because the kids all had the flu and I wasn’t feeling that great.) Work/Blog Goals 7. Finish editing chapters 1-3 and finish the rough draft of chapter 4 of my manuscript. Word of the Year Goals 8. Pop popcorn and watch another classic movie as a family. 9. Go to a movie with Jesse. (Since the kids were sick and I wasn’t feeling well, we didn’t get out to go to a movie, but we did catch up on multiple episodes of This is Us together.) This Week’s Goals: 2020– Week 7 Personal Goals 1. Get in 54,000 steps total. (I use the FitBit Ulta HR to track my steps every day.)  2. Read Raising Worry-Free Girls, I Choose Brave, and Get Your Life Back. Listen to Things You Save in a Fire. 3. Go to bed by 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Home/Family Goals 4. Read 30 more pages of Carry a Big Stick aloud as a family. 5. Clean and disinfect the house from flu germs (as soon as the kids are fever-free!). Work/Blog Goals 6. Finish the rough draft of chapter 5 of my manuscript. Word of the Year Goals 7. Pop popcorn and watch another classic movie as a family. 8. Go out to dinner with Jesse. (If everyone is well!) What are YOUR goals for this week? How did you do on last week’s goals? Tell us in the comments! [...]
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Bitcoin price surges. Is Coronavirus behind it?

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Bitcoin price surges. Is Coronavirus behind it?
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12 Money-Saving Tips to Enjoy a Frugal Retirement

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12 Money-Saving Tips to Enjoy a Frugal Retirement
Adjusting to a fixed income in retirement can be a challenge — especially if you’re living off less money. Just because you stopped working doesn’t mean you can stop paying the utility bills and buying groceries. If you’re planning vacations or trips to the golf course — those are extra costs to budget for. “You could easily spend more money [in retirement] because you have more time you want to enjoy,” said Droucelle Ramage, a retiree living in St. Petersburg, Florida. Embracing frugality throughout her life, however, is one of the reasons Ramage was able to leave the workforce in her early 60s. “I used to say it’s against my religion to pay full retail,” she joked. Ramage continues to keep expenses low by shopping at thrift stores, attending free community events and choosing community acupuncture rather than going to a pricey private practice. “It’s $15 instead of $100,” she said. Volunteering at her church and local senior center is another way Ramage stays busy without spending money. When she travels, she’s able to get free flights, a benefit of working for American Airlines for over 20 years. Knowing how to cut costs is key to having a frugal retirement you can enjoy. Here are 12 ways to save money. 1. Get a Roommate or Two Loneliness in retirement can have a negative effect on your health and quality of life. Not only will live-in company help you feel less alone, but you’ll reduce housing costs. If you live alone, try sharing a place with a friend or family member who lives in the same town, or consider coliving with other retirees to save money. 2. Downsize to a Smaller Space Maybe your idea of a frugal retirement doesn’t include sharing your living space. You can cut costs by moving to a smaller home instead.  A small house has several financial benefits. You’ll pay less in rent or mortgage. Your utility bills will go down. You’ll have less home maintenance and repairs to worry about.  And when you downsize, you can sell all that furniture you don’t need for extra cash.  Pro Tip If you’re looking to relocate, here are 11 of the best places to retire. 3. Rent Out Your Kids’ Old Rooms If you don’t want to sell the family home or get long-term roommates, you can make money off your empty nest by turning unused space into short-term rentals. Your kids can get their rooms back when they visit for the holidays — or you could make them pay the daily rate.  This guide on how to become an Airbnb host will get you started. 4. Cut the Cost of Groceries Slashing your grocery spending is a high-impact way to help you have a frugal retirement that saves money every month. Clip coupons, buy generic products, start a garden and shop at stores that boast low prices, like Aldi or Trader Joe’s. For more tips, check out this story about saving money on groceries. Bonus: When you feel like eating out for a change, read up on these 25 ways to save money at restaurants. 5. Be Proactive About Your Health Your health is often intertwined with your wealth. Staying healthy in retirement means you’ll spend less on medical costs. When it comes to preventative care, a balanced diet and regular exercise can lower your chances of developing certain conditions like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. But you don’t have to drain your bank account paying for expensive health food or a pricey gym membership. These 10 ways to save money on organic groceries will help you eat healthy for less. Incorporate one of these gym alternatives into your routine, or build a cheap home gym for under $100.  Pro Tip If you’re 65 or older, enroll in Medicare. While Medicare coverage doesn’t eliminate out-of-pocket costs, you’ll pay less than with private health insurance. 6. Find Low-Cost Entertainment and Ways to Stay Social Keep busy in retirement without emptying your wallet. Fill your social calendar up with events at your local senior center, host potluck dinners with friends or start a murder mystery book club. Check out free offerings at your library, like sign language classes or museum passes.  Turn to this list of 100 free things to do when boredom hits. Volunteering is another way to make good use of your time, and it could come with neat perks, like free entry to a play when you usher at a theater. FROM THE SAVE MONEY FORUM Cheap Valentine's Day date 2/15/20 @ 11:15 AM S How I save money on pest control 2/4/20 @ 3:50 PM $4000 trip to Hawaii for $1500 2/13/20 @ 4:11 PM See more in Save Money or ask a money question 7. Save Money on That Bucket List Trip You can have a frugal retirement and travel. It just requires some smart planning and perhaps a bit of compromise — like avoiding the peak tourist season or driving instead of flying. These travel tips will help you keep costs low. 8. Take Advantage of Discounts Don’t be shy about sharing your age when it’ll result in sweet discounts. Dozens of companies — from retailers and restaurants to airlines and hotels — offer lower prices for seniors. Some offer discounts to customers as young as 50. Pro Tip Join AARP to enjoy a slew of discounts at a variety of places. 9. Continue Your Education for Free All across the country, there are opportunities for seniors to take free or reduced-price college courses. Be a life-long learner and take a class in a subject you’ve always wanted to know more about. 10. Shop Secondhand Instead of strolling through the mall for a new outfit or home decor piece, try thrift stores, consignment shops or online sellers to score a lower price. 11. Sell Unused Things You know that china set that’s been collecting dust? Stop telling yourself you’ll pass it down to your kids. Get cash for it instead, along with all the other unused items lying around the house. Organize a garage sale or register as a vendor at a local flea market. If you don’t feel like manning a card table for half a day, sell your stuff online on sites like eBay, OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace. This guide helps you figure out the best time of year to sell all your unwanted stuff. 12. Pay Off Lingering Debt The rewards are twofold when you become debt free sooner rather than later. You’ll pay less in overall interest when you pay off your debt early. You’ll also free up more cash once you no longer have that monthly financial obligation. Paying more than the minimum, negotiating a lower interest rate and making biweekly payments can help you lower your debt load. Here are additional helpful tips on paying off student loans in retirement and eliminating credit card debt in retirement. Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Life update: Pregnancy (week 29) + our brand-new hedgehog!

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Life update: Pregnancy (week 29) + our brand-new hedgehog!
29 weeks!! And what a week it’s been! Highlights Well, this week has definitely been different than what I anticipated! Silas woke up with a high fever on Tuesday morning and all three kids ended up coming down with Flu B over the next two days. So we’ve been quarantined at home all week and Jesse has been playing round-the-clock nurse to all three kids. He’s been a saint and it’s been so hard for me to not be able to help do much to take care of the kids (it’s dangerous for a pregnant woman to get the flu). The kids have never all been this sick at the same time, but they’ve been such troopers. Jesse has them on this regimen of elderberry, vitamins, homeopathics, and baking soda baths + lots of fluids/rest + Tylenol/Motrin every time their fever spikes. They’ve all had such good attitudes despite being miserable. We’re so hopeful that they only have a few more days of fevers before this runs its course. So none of that was about highlights or pregnancy, but it’s where we are at this week. That said, the highlight has been that I only got a touch of a fever and between rest, fluids, and elderberry, I seem to be dodging the flu bullet so far. And also, I am SO grateful that Jesse has stayed well! Notable The baby has had the hiccups multiple times this week. I kept waiting for it to happen because I remember all my other babies often having them! Also, the movements are getting more pronounced and it seems like there’s constantly some baby body part poking out underneath my skin. It has made it that much more real and helped me connect with this child even moreso. Cravings Um, should I admit that almost all I’ve been craving is cheeseburgers?? I have no idea where *that* came from, but Jesse ran to Burger King last night because the cravings were getting pretty ridiculous and for some reason I really wanted a Burger King cheeseburger. Here’s the crazy thing: I don’t even know if I’ve ever had one before. I can’t even remember ever going to BK in the last decade, but man, the cheeseburgers (yes, I ate two!) tasted SO good!! Weight gain: 21 pounds Meet the newest member of the Paine family – Theodore Quiller. (AKA Theo.) We’ve taken at least 90 videos/pictures of him since we got him and he’s so active that he was basically a blur in most of them. So this was the best we got! We already love him so much and are excited to have another hedgehog again! (Theo’s middle name is in honor of Quill, our first hedgehog who died in December from Wobbly Hedgehog Disease.) [...]
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The Digital Wallets of the Future: Money and Identity

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The Digital Wallets of the Future: Money and Identity
Cryptocurrency wallets have been closely linked to other transactional services. A digital wallet refers to an electronic device or online service that allows someone to make electronic transactions. Usually they are bundled with other services, like exchanges (Coinbase, Binance), physical devices (Trezor, Ledger), or other services (Casa). What if cryptocurrency wallets weren’t just about storing digital assets, but were about identity, serving as a single passport to both the physical and digital world? Ilias Louis Hatzis is the Founder at Mercato Blockchain Corporation AG and a weekly columnist at DailyFintech.com. In the cryptocurrency world, wallets act as a gateway to access a service. A crypto wallet, unlike a physical wallet, a custodial or exchange wallet, or bank account, doesn’t control currency. It moves money between two parties, similar to services like Paypal.   Cryptocurrency wallets let people connect to services to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. They also act a way to store the user’s cryptographic private key, needed to perform these transactions. In essence, your cryptocurrency wallet holds the private keys to your assets sitting on a blockchain and lets you transact by “signing” orders. Crypto wallets have become very popular in recent years. Over 36 million crypto wallets have been created since 2012.   Also a study from Juniper Research found that the number of people using digital wallets will increase from 2.3 billion to nearly 4 billion, or 50% of the world’s population, by 2024. This in turn will push wallet transaction values up by more than 80% to more than $9 trillion per annum. Usually, when users signup to use a cryptocurrency wallet, they validate their identities, before being able to transact. If you live in the US, you were most likely asked to provide your social security number and license or equivalent if you’re outside the US. Depending on other factors, the cryptocurrency wallet provider may have also ask for more information in alignment with KYC regulation. The world’s economy is built by institutions that collect our data, such as banks, telecoms, insurance companies, brokers, drug companies, governments, online services and others. Every year, hackers steal billions of dollars worth of data. Our data, not just the data we give voluntarily but also data collected as we interact with the services we use, is harvested and processed by few huge centralized companies and organizations. Our data is trapped inside accounts on services and apps. Companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon Microsoft,, LinkedIn, Experian, and Visa, all exist collect and monetize our data. The need to decentralized our data is an absolute necessity. As we move from accounts to wallets, we will be able to manage our data, just like we manage Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital assets, being able to switch between vendors easily and freely. Wallets will evolve beyond the simple function of buying and selling digital assets. Our wallets will become our primary identity authentication platform, that will contain everything we carry in our physical wallets and more. A wallet in the physical world contains multiple pieces of your identity. Imagine your passport, drivers license, medical card, and other types of IDs being replaced by a single digital wallet on your phone. A driver’s license can is used to prove your ability to drive, to buy alcoholic drinks or accessing identity-specific services like opening a new bank account. Most of us have debit cards that allow us to access funds from our bank accounts and use them wherever we want to buy things, with our pin that validates our identity to merchants. Our wallets will be able to store everything related to our identities along with cryptocurrencies and tokenized assets (stocks, bonds, etc). Since crypto wallets already validate our identity, they could act as a third party references of our identity for others. One of the biggest pain points is that every we sign up for a service we need to verify our identities, uploading passports or other documents. It’s not far-fetched to think that companies might be willing to accept a trusted wallet verification, instead of conducting their own independent checks. The internet was not built to transfer value. It was built to transfer information which didn’t need as much security, as value does. Today, blockchain technology allows us to store and keep our data and assets in our own secure wallets, with absolute control over how and when they’re used. Being in full control of your own identity and assets in a decentralized way makes a lot of sense. The future wallet will be an interface to protocols and services, and will represent our professional financial status, and personal identity. Wallets will change from something we use sometimes, when we want to buy and sell things, to something we use all the time. Our digital wallets will become the single most important place, where we store everything, from our money, to our identity. Image Source Subscribe by email to join the other Fintech leaders who read our research daily to stay ahead of the curve. Check out our advisory services (how we pay for this free original research) The post The Digital Wallets of the Future: Money and Identity appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
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What to Know Before Laying Down Money for a Mattress

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What to Know Before Laying Down Money for a Mattress
Here comes Presidents Day, a time to celebrate Lincoln and Roosevelt — and blowout mattress sales. These holiday-weekend bargains can be a smart opportunity to shop for a mattress if you need a new one. But choosing the right bed in your budget can be tricky if you go into the decision cold. Do this... Laura McMullen is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: lmcmullen@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lauraemcmullen. The article What to Know Before Laying Down Money for a Mattress originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

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7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
Spending money on expensive things you don’t need is a surefire way to deplete your bank account and lower your net worth. Many big-ticket purchases are made on impulse or otherwise represent poor judgment. If you truly can afford to buy a costly status symbol, go right ahead. However, if you want to get the most out of your money, there are many expensive items that you can and should live... [...]
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T-Rex & Triceratops Dinosaur Bump & Go Toy Cars (Set of 4) only $18.89 shipped!

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T-Rex & Triceratops Dinosaur Bump & Go Toy Cars (Set of 4) only $18.89 shipped!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. These T-Rex & Triceratops Dinosaur Bump & Go Toy Cars (Set of 4) look like SO much fun! You can get these T-Rex & Triceratops Dinosaur Bump & Go Toy Cars (Set of 4) for just $14.99 shipped when you use the promo code PRES10 at checkout! This set includes two T-Rexes and two Triceratopses, all individually wrapped — making them the perfect Easter basket gift idea! Valid through February 17, 2020, while supplies last. [...]
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How to Turn an Idea Into a Business: A 7-Day Jump-Start

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How to Turn an Idea Into a Business: A 7-Day Jump-Start
Chances are you’ve daydreamed of what it would be like to run a business of your own. Perhaps you’ve thought of an idea that could be a real moneymaker. But you weren’t sure how to act, so those dreams faded to the background as you trudged through your day job(s). To get you back in entrepreneur mode, we’ve created a seven-day bootcamp to turn your idea into a business. We’ve paired each day with a strategy to help you chisel away at your goals. And what’s this? Feb. 15-22, is National Entrepreneurship Week? What timing! Chartered in 2006, the weeklong congressional initiative “encourages the implementation of entrepreneurship education throughout the United States.” Dreams, you’re back. That business you’ve always wanted to start: It’s happening. By the end of the week, if all goes well, your momentum should carry you into a future where every week is entrepreneurship week. Day 1: Brainstorm Ideas Business ideas don’t have to be glamorous. They just need to be realistic. They don’t need to be based on a genius invention, a scientific breakthrough or a Shark Tank-worthy smartphone app (though they certainly could be). At their core, good business ideas identify existing problems and offer solutions. Kathyrn Gratton is the president of the Hagerstown, Maryland, chapter of Score, a free small-business resource network and partner of the federal Small Business Administration. She spoke to The Penny Hoarder about coming up with a winning idea. “Where’s your interest? Where’s your passion?” she said, noting that your ideas need to be more than potential moneymakers: You should also enjoy the work. It’s OK if you can’t think of anything on-the-spot. The Penny Hoarder compiled nine business ideas to get your creativity flowing. Day 2: Choose a Winner Now that you’ve got a long (or not-so-long) list of potential business ideas, you’ve got to decide which one to run with.  Consider your own expertise. Use your insider experience and knowledge to pinpoint what’s original and novel about your idea. Start thinking about the connections you have, and how those people can help you get started. You may realize later that, actually, the idea you picked wasn’t a winner. You need to rethink it, or return to your list. That’s OK too. The point of this weeklong exercise is to make progress. And determining that the idea you’ve been mulling over for a while is unfeasible is progress. Day 3: Get Feedback Feedback is crucial in the early stages of business building. The more the better — and the more critical the better. While you might think you have a brilliant idea, sooner or later, your business is going to need to convince a ton of other people of the same thing. Within the constraints of day three, you’re not going to be able to test any markets or run any focus groups. Simply asking for constructive feedback from your neighbors, friends or family members will be tremendously helpful. Think you’re onto something? Read our comprehensive 10-step guide to starting a business once you’re ready to launch. Gratton recommends asking that one brutally honest friend we all have. You know, the one that’s comfortable with telling you if you’ve gotten fat over the holidays. “They are the best to run things by because you know they will tell you the truth,” she said. FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM Is there Really a way to make MONEY ONLINE? 2/14/20 @ 2:34 PM Earn well with little Money? 2/14/20 @ 3:06 PM Financial Fitness February: Day 7 (Big WIN) 2/8/20 @ 12:37 AM Make money from home 2/2/20 @ 12:47 AM See more in Make Money or ask a money question Day 4: Outline a Business Plan Don’t roll your eyes. Business plans are worth it. A 2016 study published in the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal found it indeed pays to plan: Entrepreneurs who wrote formal business plans were 16% more likely to “achieve new venture viability” (aka succeed) than those who didn’t.  While it’s true that you won’t be able to – and probably shouldn’t – draft an entire business plan in one day, you can spend your time creating an outline that will set you up for success. In the article-turned-book “How to Write a Great Business Plan,” Harvard business professor William Sahlman lays out the purpose of a business plan and exactly what to include in it. The People: Who’s running the show? Include yourself and everyone else you’ll need for operations to run smoothly. The Opportunity: Explain your product or service and who might buy it. Start thinking about price points, customer demographics and competitors. The Context: Consider all “factors that inevitably change but cannot be controlled by the entrepreneur,” Sahlman writes. That includes laws, regulations and economic trends that could impact your idea. The Risk and Reward: Describe the worst-case scenario, economically speaking, and how you plan to weather the storm. Use those four sections as a starting point for your outline. As you fill it out, you’re very likely to find some deeper insight into your business – or you may find it’s just not going to work. The sooner you learn from either scenario, the better. Day 5: Craft a Business Pitch You’ve done all the heavy lifting for the week. Hopefully that dream you thought was long dead is starting to come alive. Now it’s time to polish up your findings and start sharing the basic premise of your idea and why it’s destined to be successful. Or at least be ready when the opportunity strikes. To help you know what to include in a killer business pitch, The Penny Hoarder spoke to two former Shark Tank contestants who pitched their businesses in front of millions of viewers – nailed their performance – and now helm multimillion-dollar enterprises: Dawoon Kang, CEO of the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel, and Sara Margulis, CEO of the honeymoon-crowdsourcing website Honeyfund. “Succinctly stating what your business is, why it exists and why it’s better than everyone else is really important,” Margulis said. “Any time you talk about your company, you should be able to convey those things simply.” That succinct part is especially important. Here are Kang and Margulis’ other key nuggets of advice. Know your audience: No matter whom you speak to, your pitch should include the core elements Margulis mentioned, but you’ll need to tailor it slightly to different people. Is it a customer, an investor or a business partner? What does each of them need to hear? Include a call to action: Depending on your audience, the call to action should change. Suggest a clear next step, something more specific than: “Let’s stay in touch!” Practice: Pacing, enthusiasm and data are a lot to juggle. You won’t know what part of your pitch sticks with your listener unless you test it out. Apply feedback: Your business pitch is never truly finished. You may learn that people want to hear more about a detail you thought was unimportant. Hear them out, and make the changes to keep it fresh. “It feels like (I’m pitching) all the time … but what I’m realizing is it’s actually not enough,” Kang said. “There’s a saying: ‘Unless you’ve said it 10 times, you [...]
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Jean Luc Bertrand: “ONEtoONE increased the size of the deals I am able to advise”

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Jean Luc Bertrand: “ONEtoONE increased the size of the deals I am able to advise”
The post Jean Luc Bertrand: “ONEtoONE increased the size of the deals I am able to advise” appeared first on ONEtoONE Corporate Finance. [...]
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*HOT* Adventure Academy Annual Subscription for just $3.75 per month!

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*HOT* Adventure Academy Annual Subscription for just $3.75 per month!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Whoa!! Do you have elementary or middle school aged kids who love online gaming? Be sure to check out this HOT deal on an annual subscription to Adventure Academy!! Psst! You can also get HUGE savings on ReadingIQ and ABCmouse right now!! As a special Presidents Day deal, you can currently get an annual subscription to Adventure Academy for just $45 — which is like paying just $3.75 per month! This deal is valid through February 17, 2020. They’ve only offered this low price a couple other times! Regularly priced at $110, so this is a HUGE savings! It’s like getting 5 months for free at the regular price. Adventure Academy is a brand new MMO game created specifically for kids in elementary and middle school. It features thousands of enjoyable learning activities that kids can discover on quests through an interactive virtual world. Developed by the top video gaming designers and crafted by a team of curriculum experts, Adventure Academy is a highly engaging and creative platform that focuses on building critical knowledge and skills in language arts, math, social studies, science, and more! Adventure Academy features thousands of educational learning activities, such as videos, reading experiences, games, quizzes, and many other interactive elements— all within the frameworks of U.S. (and international) curriculum standards. I checked it out and it plays a lot like an adventure game (think Zelda!) but within an educational framework. It’s really cool! Go here to take advantage of this RARE deal on Adventure Academy. [...]
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Security Token news for Week ending 14 February 2020

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Security Token news for Week ending 14 February 2020
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This News Is Big!

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This News Is Big!
Earlier this year, I had fun with an April Fool’s prank with all of you.  I joked that I had sold the website and was moving on from Penny Pinchin’ Mom. This time it’s no joke. It is now real.  I have sold Penny Pinchin’ Mom. Don’t panic!  This is a good thing for everyone! ... Read More about This News Is Big! The post This News Is Big! appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Why the Ducks Unlimited Card Is 2020’s Best Gas Card

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Why the Ducks Unlimited Card Is 2020’s Best Gas Card
Maybe you think NerdWallet’s choice of the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Platinum Edition® Visa® Card as our award winner for 2020’s best gas credit card was for the birds. Allow us to explain ourselves. With no memorable catchphrases, no Super Bowl ads or celebrity spokespeople and no big-name financial institution behind it (it’s issued by First Bankcard, a... Robin Saks Frankel is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: rfrankel@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @robinsaks. The article Why the Ducks Unlimited Card Is 2020’s Best Gas Card originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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What To Do With Your Tax Refund? Make These 4 Smart Moves

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What To Do With Your Tax Refund? Make These 4 Smart Moves
Two thousand eight hundred dollars. That’s the average income tax refund these days. How would $2,800 feel in your pocket? You’re probably getting a tax refund in the next couple of months, because nearly 80% of U.S. tax filers will. The question is, what are you going to do with your financial windfall? It’s so tempting to spend, isn’t it? After all, life is short! Live it up! OR you could resist the urge to splurge. Instead, do something smart and strategic that’ll benefit you over the long term — even make you some extra money. Here are four suggestions: 1. Start an Emergency Fund Do you have an emergency savings? When your tire blows out on the highway, you fracture your ankle on vacation, or you get laid off, having an emergency fund can save you from sinking into debt. And funneling your refund directly into a savings account will help you avoid the temptation to spend it. Did you know you can have the IRS direct-deposit your tax refund in up to three different accounts? If you don’t have a designated emergency savings account yet, consider the Aspiration Spend & Save account. With the Aspiration Spend account, you can earn up to 5% cash back on your debit card purchases. With the Aspiration Save account (where you’ll funnel your tax refund), you can earn up to 11 times the average interest on your savings balance. (The FDIC reports that the average account earns just .09%.) It takes five minutes to sign up for the account. Then, use IRS Form 8888 to designate which accounts you want to send your refund to. 2. Pay Down High-Interest Debt  Credit cards can be dangerous, especially if you miss a payment or two and face high interest rates. So many of us are being eaten alive by credit card interest rates north of 20%.  If you’re paying that much in interest every month, it becomes difficult to pay off the actual money you owe, and you just start treading water financially. So use your income tax refund to pay down your highest-interest debt. You’ll be using the debt avalanche method, where you organize your payments by prioritizing debts with the highest interest rates first. This will save you money in interest over the long term. 3. Boost Your Retirement Savings Your retirement savings could always use a little love, and the miracle of compound interest will help your savings grow and accumulate over the years. Unfortunately, you can’t have your tax refund deposited directly into your 401(k) account, assuming you have one. But you can have the IRS deposit the money into an IRA instead. That’s an individual retirement account, which you can set up and put money into without going through an employer. There are tax advantages, too. Similar to a 401(k), you won’t pay taxes on any money you contribute to a traditional IRA. You can have the IRS direct-deposit your tax refund directly into your IRA. That way it’s out of sight, out of mind, and you won’t spend it on something you’ll regret later. 4. Get a Month Ahead on Rent (or Your Mortgage)  The rent is too high! It’s no secret that housing in the U.S. is becoming less and less affordable. Low-income folks are the worst off here, but middle-income families are also getting squeezed. If you’re like many of us, your selfish need to sleep indoors is eating up a big chunk of your income. With a tax refund, you can do more than keep up. You can get ahead. Use your refund to make an extra month’s rent or mortgage payment (or at least stash it for that purpose).  It’s a simple way to keep your peace of mind in case times get tough again. Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Save 25% on filing your taxes with H&R Block!

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Save 25% on filing your taxes with H&R Block!
Want to save money on filing your taxes? Don’t miss this deal to get 25% off with H&R Block this tax season! {This post is sponsored by H&R Block. Read our disclosure policy here.} Save Money & Time on Tax Prep This Year It’s hard to believe, but tax season is already upon us! If this time of year tends to overwhelm you, be sure to check out H&R Block’s online tax services. H&R Block’s goal is to make filing your taxes easier, less time consuming, and more affordable. And you can use their services on a regular computer or even on your smartphone! Not only are H&R Block’s tax services at least $10 less than TurboTax, but they’re also offering an exclusive discount for Money Saving Mom readers to save an extra 25% off any of their services right now! Choose from four of their affordable, easy-to-use tax solutions: H&R Block Free Online (FREE + Free State Filing) — Designed for people with less complex filing situations, including clients who have W-2 income, kids and rent, as well as students and first-time filers. More people can file for free with H&R Block vs. TurboTax, including parents and students. H&R Block Deluxe Online ($29.99 $23.99 with discount) — Designed for homeowners, people who’ve made charitable donations, and those with HSAs. This version includes six years’ access to tax returns, Deduction Pro® to optimize deductions, and chat support for technical questions. H&R Block Premium Online ($49.99 $39.99 with discount) — Designed for freelancers, contractors, investors, and rental property owners. This version includes all Deluxe features as well as the ability to import expenses from popular expense-tracking apps. It also features cost-basis calculation using advanced filing calculators to help determine the cost basis of your home sale, dividend, and gift and inheritance assets. H&R Block Self Employed Online ($79.99 $63.99 with discount) — Designed for self-employed individuals and small business owners with a home office and/or employee. This version includes all Premium features as well as an improved guided Schedule C interview to ensure a better experience for complex clients. With any of these paid versions of H&R Block, you can add on a state filing for an extra $36.99 cost. You can also opt to utilize their H&R Block Online Assist that offers access to highly trained tax experts to provide the level of help you want or need — with an H&R Block tax expert, IRS enrolled agent, or CPA. And one of H&R Block’s highest priorities is transparency — so you’ll always know upfront exactly how much you’ll be paying for your online tax preparation. If your price changes for any reason during the tax preparation process, you’ll immediately be notified. Save On H&R Block Tax Services Want to try H&R Block tax preparation services this year? I’ve got an exclusive discount for you! H&R Block is offering MoneySavingMom.com readers a 25% discount on any of their tax solutions. Just click here to browse the options and find the right fit for you at a discounted price! [...]
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This Week in Fintech ending 14 February 2020

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This Week in Fintech ending 14 February 2020
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FINRA Issues Investor Alert Regarding Required Minimum Distributions

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FINRA Issues Investor Alert Regarding Required Minimum Distributions
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued an Investor Alert regarding a new law raising the age for required minimum distributions (RMDs). A RMD is the amount an individual must take out of their traditional retirement savings plan to avoid tax penalties, once such an individual has reached the mandatory age for making withdrawals. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 raises the mandatory age an individual must begin taking RMDs from 70 ½ years old to 72, unless such individual turned 70 ½ years old in 2019. The Investor Alert is available here. [...]
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5 Cellphone Plans That Come With Free Streaming TV

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5 Cellphone Plans That Come With Free Streaming TV
This post comes from partner site WhistleOut.com. All major carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile now offer incredibly competitive unlimited data plans. In their effort to win your business, these carriers (and some smaller mobile companies) are now offering streaming service as a free perk for signing up for one of their unlimited plans. So, if you’re in the market for an... [...]
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2 Books I Read Last Week, 1 Book I Didn’t Finish (+ the classic movie we watched)

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2 Books I Read Last Week, 1 Book I Didn’t Finish (+ the classic movie we watched)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Welcome to my weekly book update post where I share what books I read this past week + my honest thoughts and star ratings of them. A Word on My Star Ratings The star ratings I give the books I read are based on a 5-star rating system. I rarely will ever give a book a 1-star rating (maybe never?), because my philosophy is that if a book is only worthy of one star, I’m more than likely going to quit reading it. 🙂 In the same vein, you’ll also notice that I’ll rarely give a 5-star rating as I reserve those for only my very, very favorite books. Want to see all of the books I’ve read so far this year? Check out my Good Reads page. Here are the two books I finished last week… The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships If you enjoy all things Enneagram, I definitely recommend this book. It’s an in-depth at each number on the Enneagram and how that number relates and differs with other numbers. I found it insightful, enlightening, and just downright interesting. And while I’d studied a lot about the Enneagram, I learned quite a few new things — especially when it comes to how to better relate with other numbers, communicate with them, and help them to feel seen and valued. It also definitely, definitely confirmed what I already knew to be true: I’m an Enneagram 8 through and through! Also, it sparked some great conversations between Jesse and me about how we interact, how certain things I do can make him want to shut down (he’s a 5), and how we’ve both grown so much healthier as people in the last 10 years. The only thing I will mention is that if you’re new to the Enneagram, I wouldn’t recommend starting with this book. Instead, I’d start with a book like, The Road Back to You. Verdict: 4 stars Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message I’ve been to one of Donald Miller’s Story Brand workshops before and it made an indelible mark on how I approach marketing and communication with customers in our business. This book was a good refresher to listen to. If you are a blogger, a business owner, an online entrepreneur, or have any say in the marketing or oversight of the company you work for, I would highly recommend this book. It will likely challenge the way you think when it comes to marketing and change the way you approach doing business. The best part is that this book gives you a really clear-cut action plan and walks you step-by-step through out to implement it. So you don’t just read about the great ideas; you actually know how to put them into practice in your business! Two things I did want to mention: 1) I think this book would be better to read a physical copy of than to listen to as it’s more hands-on and has projects for each chapter. 2) I was a little turned off by the multiple promotions for Story Brand products and services. I understand that the goal was likely to get people to want to invest into some of the higher priced products that Story Brand offers, but I found it to be a turn-off — and it almost merited me bumping the rating of the book down to 3 stars. Verdict: 4 stars Book I Didn’t Finish The Atomic City Girls — Unfortunately, this book was a big disappointment to me. I had high hopes for it, but within an hour or so of listening, I quickly discovered it seemed more focused on the romantic story and details of that than the actual historical details of Oak Ridge. Yes, there were some historical details, but the book continued to sound more and more like a soap opera or tabloid and started going into details about the character’s loves lives that felt too edgy/raunchy for me… so I ended up quitting it. Does anyone have a book to recommend about Oak Ridge that is interesting but also much more historically rich? Classic Movie We Watched Last Week The kids decided — all on their own — that they want to start watching one old classic movie per week together as a family in 2020. They are helping me choose the list of movies and I’ll be reporting here what we watch each week and their thoughts on it. I plan to do a big classic movie round-up post at the end of the year with their verdict on the best and favorites of the ones we watched. (Thank you for all the great suggestions for must-watch classic movies!) Last week, we watched the 1950’s Disney version of Treasure Island. Both girls had read this book in school, so they found that made the movie more interesting. It was a little slow and long (even though it was only 1 hour and 35 minutes, it felt long), but overall we mostly enjoyed it. I will say it’s probably been one of our least favorite classic movies so far. What did you read this past week? Any books you think I really need to add to my long to-read list?? [...]
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Online Freelance Summit Offers 36 Hours of Advice Feb. 21-22

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Online Freelance Summit Offers 36 Hours of Advice Feb. 21-22
Good advice is hard to come by.  But for self-employed workers or anyone looking to join their ranks, we found 32 straight hours of good advice in an online summit aimed at helping independent contractors navigate the budding freelance and gig economies. The Independent Contractors & Freelancers Online Summit runs Feb. 21 and 22, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m each day. The two-day summit concludes National Entrepreneurship Week, a congressionally chartered initiative to spur entrepreneurial education. The event is free and does not require full attendance to participate. Anyone who is “interested in working for themselves should attend, as well as self-employed professionals who want to expand their business,” said event host, speaker and author Angela Heath, aka the Gig Income Guru. “Understanding business practices and advanced strategies to create a profitable business is the major hurdle that the summit will address.” To register, visit the landing page and enter your name and email address. Shortly after registration, you will receive an email confirmation with details about the summit, including access to the list of webcasts over both days. Including Heath, 14 speakers are slated to present. Among them are a mix of entrepreneurs, career coaches, journalists and authors who will guide you through the process of finding a profitable gig, fresh clients and long-term success. Day one focuses on client-wrangling strategies with presentations on: Finding profitable side hustles Navigating the gig marketplace Leveraging the power of LinkedIn, and more Day two dissects freelance-business best practices such as: Understanding financial statements Promoting your freelance business Automating the grunt work Notable speakers include Elaine Pofeldt, journalist and author of The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business. She will present trends from self-employed millionaires. Leading personal finance writer and founding editor of SideHusl Kathy Kristof joins Pofeldt to speak on which side gigs are worth your time – and which aren’t. Heath will cover how to find clients using various gig marketplaces, while speakers Muhammad Faheem and William Craig exemplify the opportunity such gig marketplaces provide – when used intentionally. Both Faheem and Craig leveraged their success on Upwork and Fiverr to springboard their own freelance businesses. FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM Financial Fitness February: Day 7 (Big WIN) 2/8/20 @ 12:37 AM Make money from home 2/2/20 @ 12:47 AM Extra money on the side 1/27/20 @ 1:48 PM S See more in Make Money or ask a money question There’s little disputing that the freelance economy is booming. Citing a U.S. Census report, Heath said that solo contract workers now represent three-fourths of American businesses – yet they are often left out of conversations on entrepreneurship. “Most programs totally ignore that one-person businesses are important for the American economy,” Heath said. A recent study by Freelancers Union and Upwork bolsters her case. In 2019, the freelance economy raked in nearly $1 trillion. The report also found that 35% of all U.S. workers, aka 57 million people, freelanced last year.  To join their ranks and to cash in on a skyrocketing industry, be sure to mark your calendars for Feb. 21 and 22. While the live event is free, archived recordings won’t be. Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He covers the gig economy, entrepreneurship and unique ways to make money. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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From chicken drumsticks to paper towels or even a trampoline, you can find just about anything at warehouse clubs like Sam’s. But what if you don’t have any use for a 10-lb bag of sugar or 32 rolls of paper towels? If you drive a lot, a Sam’s Club membership may make sense just based ... Read More about The post appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Pulling back the curtain to shine light on ‘scary’ insurance phrases

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Pulling back the curtain to shine light on ‘scary’ insurance phrases
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How to Keep Your Spirits Up in the Long Game of Saving

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How to Keep Your Spirits Up in the Long Game of Saving
Dreaming of a savings goal is almost always fun — a sunny vacation, the perfect home, a dazzling holiday gift. But think about how long it can take to get there, and all that fun might fade away. Even if you’re doing the right things, such as cutting your expenses or taking a part-time job... Margarette Burnette is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: mburnette@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @Margarette. The article How to Keep Your Spirits Up in the Long Game of Saving originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Columbia Men’s Voodoo Falls 590 TurboDown Jacket only $58.98 shipped (Reg. $150!)

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Columbia Men’s Voodoo Falls 590 TurboDown Jacket only $58.98 shipped (Reg. $150!)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. This is a fantastic deal on this Columbia Men’s Voodoo Falls 590 TurboDown Jacket! Columbia has this Men’s Voodoo Falls 590 TurboDown Jacket for just $58.98 shipped right now! Be sure you are logged in to your account (it’s free to join) to get this price! This is regularly $150 and has amazing reviews so this is a hot deal. Choose from four color options. [...]
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Australian Fintech Assembly Payments Lands JV with Standard Chartered Bank

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Australian Fintech Assembly Payments Lands JV with Standard Chartered Bank
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Carter’s Baby 5-Pack Bodysuits only $9.51 at Kohl’s!

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Carter’s Baby 5-Pack Bodysuits only $9.51 at Kohl’s!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. These Carter’s Baby 5-Pack Bodysuits would make a great baby shower gift idea! You can get Carter’s Baby 5-Pack Bodysuits for only $9.51 at Kohl’s right now! Here’s how: Infant Boys or Girls Carter’s 5-Pack Bodysuits – $13.99 (regularly $28.99) Use promo code BABY20 (20% off Baby Clothing & Accessories) Use promo code ROSES (20% off $100+ purchase or 15% off) Choose free in-store pickup $9.51 after codes – just $1.90 per bodysuit! Thanks, Hip2Save! [...]
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15 Purchases That Make Life Easier After 50

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15 Purchases That Make Life Easier After 50
Life gets better as we get older. It may sound trite, but it’s true. As the pressures and insecurities of youth fade, we can finally relax, comfortable in our own skin, and enjoy the simple pleasures and joys of daily life. But it’s silly to deny that as we move into the “back nine” of our lives, we might slow down a bit. Perhaps it’s not quite as easy to open that... [...]
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Being a great advisor

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Being a great advisor
The post Being a great advisor appeared first on ONEtoONE Corporate Finance. [...]
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Getting Your Child Involved in Saving for College

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Getting Your Child Involved in Saving for College
As a parent, you look forward to every milestone in your child’s life. It starts with the first smile. Then there is the first step, the first day of school, and riding a bike. Before you know it, your child is in high school and rapidly preparing for life’s next big step. College. While college ... Read More about Getting Your Child Involved in Saving for College The post Getting Your Child Involved in Saving for College appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Here’s What It’s Like When a Hotel Switches Brands

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Here’s What It’s Like When a Hotel Switches Brands
The next time you check into a hotel, look around carefully. It is amazing the number of branded elements that are in guest rooms, public areas and even behind the scenes. But what is truly interesting to understand is the story about how those branding elements arrived there in the first place. When you reserve... Ramsey Qubein is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: travel@nerdwallet.com. The article Here’s What It’s Like When a Hotel Switches Brands originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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It’s Back!! Buy 2, Get 1 Free Books on Amazon {Includes Many of My Favorite Reads!}

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It’s Back!! Buy 2, Get 1 Free Books on Amazon {Includes Many of My Favorite Reads!}
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. Wow! If you love reading, don’t miss this HOT deal on Amazon where you can score Buy 2, Get 1 Free books! Woohoo! This HOT deal is back!! For a limited time, Amazon is running a big Buy 2, Get 1 Free Sale on a huge selection of books! No promo code needed. Just add three books to your cart and one of them will automatically be free. This is a RARE offer and is a perfect time to grab some of your favorite books or a few to give as gifts! There are over 1200 book titles to choose from. The offer also includes movies, music, toys, and games. You can click on “books” on the left sidebar to see just the book titles. Looking for book recommendations? Here are some books included in the sale that I’ve read and enjoyed in the past: Before We Were Yours — This was one of my top 10 favorite reads from 2019. Daring Greatly — This book impacted me deeply and has forever changed how I think and live. Atomic Habits — This is one of the best books on habits that I’ve ever read. I listened to the audiobook for free on Libby and loved it so much that I bought a hard copy — something I rarely do! The Tattooist of Auschwitz — This true story really drew me in and was a beautiful and heart-wrenching story. Rhythms of Renewal — I loved this book enough to ask Rebekah Lyons (the author) to join me on a podcast episode! Wonder — This was one of my top 10 favorite reads in 2017. This book is such a worthwhile read! I read it in two days and can’t recommend it highly enough — especially if you have kids around ages 9-12 Parenting — I really enjoyed this book and appreciated the author’s strong emphasis on the Gospel as that is often missing in parenting books. The Giver — I absolutely loved this story and it was one of my top 10 favorite reads in 2017. Present Over Perfect — This book is one I savored slowly and it was the perfect book for me during my Year of Rest in 2018. The Road Back to You — If you’re interested at all in the Enneagram, I highly recommend this book as a starting place! Hillbilly Elegy — This was a really interesting read, if you can get through all the language. You can see my complete honest thoughts here. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up — I thought I was a minimalist. Then I read this book. And the question, “Does it spark joy?” really changed how I approached so much of life! Read more of my honest thoughts here. Uninvited — If you struggle with feeling lonely, left out, or like you don’t belong, please do yourself a favor and get a copy of this book. It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way — If you’re going through a difficult time in life, this book might be a real encouragement for you. Lilac Girls — This is a really compelling, tragic, and gripping story of the horrors of concentration camps. It was one of my top 10 favorite books from 2017. Crazy Love — If you’re a Christian, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I read it years ago, and it challenged me to pull out of my complacency as a follower of Christ. Big Magic — While I strongly disagree with much of the author’s worldview and some of her insights, her book really challenged me as a creative. I especially loved her thoughts on fear. All The Light We Cannot See — This is a well-written and deeply moving book. I really enjoyed it! The Jesus Storybook Bible — This is our family’s favorite children’s Bible story book. It’s accurate, doctrinally sound, and not filled with nonsense and fluff. We read it out loud to our children when they were younger over and over again. Here are some other popular books included in the sale: The 5 Love Languages The Total Money Makeover The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners The Whole30 Jesus Calling Magnolia Table The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl Oh, The Places You’ll Go! The Giving Tree There are also several popular children’s books to choose from: Llama Llama I Love You The Very Hungry Caterpillar Giraffes Can’t Dance Are You My Mother? The Day the Crayons Quit The Pout-Pout Fish Press Here God Gave Us You Love You Forever Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Dr. Seuss Beginner Book Collection Go here to browse all the books included in this sale. Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime to get guaranteed FREE two-day shipping (and possibly one-day or same-day shipping!). And don’t forget you can sign up for Swagbucks to earn free gift cards to use on deals on Amazon. [...]
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Facts & Figures of Amazon lending and the Goldman Sachs X-factor

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Facts & Figures of Amazon lending and the Goldman Sachs X-factor
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Own Your Solo Act with These Financial Tips for Singles

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Own Your Solo Act with These Financial Tips for Singles
It’s all on you. When you’re single, you don’t have a spouse helping you pay bills or a partner nagging you to spend less and save more. How much money you make and what you do with that cash is up to you alone … and only you deal with the repercussions of your financial mistakes. To live your best life as captain of your own ship, you’ve got to commit to making the right choices. Here are 11 financial tips for singles to heed. 1. Build an Emergency Fund An emergency fund is your safety net when something goes wrong. It’s especially important to have a robust emergency fund as a single person because you don’t have someone else’s savings or salary to tap into if your car breaks down or you get laid off from your job. The common recommendation for an emergency fund is to have three-to-six months worth of expenses saved, but if you’re starting from scratch, develop a smaller-scale goal and work your way up to that amount. This guide on how to start an emergency fund can help. Pro Tip Prioritize your savings by paying yourself first. Setting money aside in a savings account when you get paid. By not letting it sit in your checking account, you’re less likely to spend that cash. 2. Save for Retirement The downside of being single: You don’t have a partner helping you add to your retirement accounts. The upside: You only need enough savings to support one person in retirement, not two. Regardless of your relationship status, contributing to a 401(k) or IRA early and often can help you build a comfortable nest egg for your golden years. We break down how to save money for retirement at various stages of life. 3. Create a Budget When your money isn’t merged with a significant other, you don’t have to worry about anyone questioning your spending decisions. Want to drop $300 on a pair of new shoes? Who’s going to tell you no? But just because you don’t have to answer to anyone doesn’t mean it’s okay to spend without a plan. That’s where having a budget comes in. Your budget will show you if you have enough funds to buy those pricey shoes or if that purchase would derail paying the bills on time. If you’re among the many, many Americans who aren’t in the practice of budgeting, check out these tips on how to budget as a beginner. While you’re establishing your various budget categories and spending limits, make sure to include room for a little fun money. It’s hard to stick to a budget that’s too restrictive and leaves you feeling deprived. 4. Stop Being Loyal to Service Providers You’re a free agent when it comes to dating whoever you want. Applying a similar mindset when it comes to service providers — like your cell phone company or car insurance provider — can help you save money. You don’t have to stay tied down to who you’re with today. Check rates and offers from competing service providers to see if you can get similar service for less. If you’re under contract with your current provider, ask the competition if they’ll pay the fee for you to jump ship. Another option: If you’re satisfied with, say, your internet service but find another company is offering lower rates, use that as leverage to negotiate a better price with your provider. Some companies will meet a competitor’s rate to avoid losing a good customer. 5. Vet Potential Roommates Carefully Taking on a roommate can be a great way to reduce housing expenses. But if your roommate ends up being a bum who’s always late with the rent, you’re in for a heap of trouble. Save yourself the headache and do your due diligence ahead of time by asking these screening questions for potential roommates. Pro Tip If you want the social and financial benefits of roommates without being on the hook if they’re short on rent, consider getting an individual room in a coliving space, like this woman did. 6. Embrace Meal Planning When you just have to worry about feeding yourself, it’s oh so convenient to order something on Grubhub or UberEats and call it a night. But do that multiple times a week and the expenses add up quick. Cooking at home is a more economical solution. When you meal prep, you can save time and money. Cook multiple servings of staples like chicken, rice or potatoes and wash and chop veggies in advance so you can quickly pull meals together throughout the week. Avoid prepping too far in advance, though, so your food doesn’t spoil. Meal planning also works for snacks too. Buy a bulk bag of your favorite munchies and divvy it into individual portions instead of spending more on a bunch of snack-size packages. 7. Be Mindful of Lifestyle Inflation When you get a big raise or unexpected windfall of cash, it might be tempting to go into treat-yourself mode. A new wardrobe. The latest iPhone. Weekly spa treatments. But you shouldn’t give into lifestyle inflation without being prudent and addressing things like debt and saving for retirement.  Does that mean you have to keep that ratty futon from college instead of buying a real couch because you’re still paying back student loans? Not exactly. It just means budget your extra money so you increase your student loan payments and have cash for that furniture upgrade. FROM THE SAVE MONEY FORUM What gadgets have you purchased that you felt really saved you money? 2/11/20 @ 12:05 PM How I save money on pest control 2/4/20 @ 8:50 PM Financial Fitness February: Day 4 (And a Money Saving Tip) 2/5/20 @ 5:05 AM Extreme Couponing Tips to Add More Money Into Your Wallet 2/4/20 @ 12:20 PM See more in Save Money or ask a money question 8. Get an Accountability Partner for Debt Payoff Motivation Paying down debt can be a tedious process. It can help to have someone on your side, keeping you encouraged and steering you back on course when you struggle. An accountability partner does just that. Choose a friend or family member you can confide in about your goals and challenges. Your accountability buddy should be someone who’s not afraid to give you tough love when you need it but who’ll also be your cheerleader throughout your debt payoff process. 9. Have Multiple Sources of Income Losing your job or having your boss cut your hours can be financially devastating when you’re single. Having additional streams of income can ensure you still have money coming in if something happens to your main job. Consider picking up a side hustle, getting a second job or starting an entrepreneurial pursuit. Looking for a way to make more money? You could work from home. We post new job opportunities every weekday. Though you’ll boost your bank account, it requires a bit of juggling to manage more than one job. This woman shares her advice on balancing a side gig with full-time work. 10. Consider if You Need Life Insurance Being single you might think, why would I need life insurance? To be honest, paying into a life insurance policy may not be a priority for you. But if you have kids or have a loan that someone co-signed, getting a life insurance policy is a smart choice. You might also consider getting a policy if you’re a business owner or want to leave something behind for your loved ones. Here’s a run down of the types of life insurance and the best life in [...]
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