Pros and cons of prepaid debit cards
Prepaid debit card use is exploding.
They re now the fastest growing payment method. Americans spent about $37 billion on prepaid debit cards last year double the amount from 2009, according to the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association.
Prepaid debit cards survey
Yet you may get socked with higher fees when using them, compared to traditional bank checking accounts where fees also are rising, according to a recent Consumer Reports study.
So are prepaid debit cards good for you?
The answer depends on how you use them. If you re controlling your expenses, limiting potential losses while traveling or teaching kids about money, prepaid cards make sense. The reason: You can t spend more money than is on your card. And because they re cobranded with MasterCard or Visa. you can pay bills online or use them almost anywhere.
To tap into this boom, American Express launched its own version in June. It s a prepaid, reloadable card that you can use at ATMs, online or any place that takes AmEx cards. Online statements can help you track spending.
But like all prepaid debit cards, the AmEx card does have fees. The first monthly withdrawal is free, but AmEx charges you $2 for every subsequent ATM withdrawal.
A plethora of fees is the biggest downside to prepaid debit cards, says Jeffrey Woolf, a Certified Financial Planner based in New York. They can include reload, maintenance and activation fees.
Why so many fees? Prepaid cards are exempt from federal consumer protection laws that apply to bank debit cards, according to a recent Consumer Reports study.
It s a lot of grief for little buying power, Woolf says. Putting $100 on a card could cost you 20 percent just to load it, he says. The upshot is that if you use the card a lot, you may be spending high fees just to move your money from one bank account to another.
Still, there are situations when prepaid debit cards do make sense.
Curbing spending. With prepaid debit cards, you only spend money that s loaded on the card. That s good because you can t carry a credit balance, says Howard Dvorkin, founder of the nonprofit Consolidated Credit Counseling Services in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The downside is you don t build a credit history since the card is just a cash conduit.
But controlling spending does help you better save for long-term goals like retirement or managing debt.
Keeping money safe when traveling. Prepaid debit cards are easily used overseas. And there s another upside: If your card is stolen, your losses are limited to the amount on your card. You re not stuck with a drained bank account, damaged credit or lost time recovering funds, Woolf says. You have damage control, he says.
Woolf recommends carrying a prepaid debit card and a low-limit credit card for emergencies.
Teaching kids about money. Prepaid cards can teach kids how to spend money within set limits. That s the purpose behind the website BillMyParents.com. It offers prepaid, reloadable debit cards that track teen spending and allow parents to control. Every time the card is used, an instant text alert shows parents how much money was spent and where. Parents can even instantly lock the card or load emergency funds onto it.
The card empowers parents to help teens develop smart habits, says Evan Jones, vice president of BillMyParents.com. When you give a cash allowance, you don t know what happens to it. The typical monthly amount loaded on the card is $50 to $100.
The card does have fees, including a $3.95 monthly service fee (after one free month) and a 75-cent reload fee.
Preventing data from being stolen. As data theft soars, prepaid cards are a good stopgap, Dvorkin says. Because your card isn t linked to personal data like Social Security numbers or bank account data, there s no information to steal.
Prepaid cards also are a better way to buy online because you can protect yourself against consumer fraud, Dvorkin says.
A Dictionary of Business and Management (5 ed.)
Edited by Jonathan Law
‘It will help to demystify terms such as bear hugs, white/grey knights, cash-cows and churning … strongly recommended’ —TES
This wide-ranging and authoritative dictionary contains 7,000 entries covering all areas of business and management, including marketing, organizational behaviour, business strategy, law, and taxation. Written by a team of experts, it features the very latest terminology, for example, the recent vocabulary associated with structured finance and the associated subprime lending crisis, including collaterized debt obligation and special purpose vehicle.
The new edition of this established bestseller dispels modern financial and management jargon, defining entries in a clear, concise, and accessible manner. It contains US business terms, general management concepts (e.g. competence, knowledge management), named theories (e.g. Tannenbaum and Schmidt, Blake and Mouton) as well as expanded coverage of the contemporary theory of the firm and human resources. New terms are included from the fast-moving areas of current affairs (e.g. MiFID), Internet business and information technology, while the new Companies Act receives full coverage. With recommended web links for many entries, this edition is more informative than ever. This A-Z reference work is essential for business students, teachers and professionals, and useful for anyone needing a guide to business terminology.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Print Publication Date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780199234899 Published online: 2009 Current Online Version: 2009 DOI: 10.1093/acref/9780199234899.001.0001 eISBN: 9780191726545
#business articles 2010
The Must-Read Small Business Articles Of 2010, Selected By Experts
This article was originally published on Open Forum and has been republished here with permission.
With the end of the year fast approaching, I wanted to take a look back at all of the great advice and insights shared by our bloggers on OPEN Forum and highlight a few top articles.
While I had my own favourites, I decided to ask the authors themselves for their selections, too.
So if you only get to read a portion of our content, here are some articles you should check out, in case you missed them.
6 SEO Fundamentals that Every Business with a Website Should Know
7 Insanely Useful Ways to Search Twitter for Marketing
How to Create a PR Crisis Strategy Before You Need It
Seek out Less Traveled Roads
5 Ways to Conquer the Culture of Reaction
Here’s A Wacky Idea: Give Your Employees as Much Vacation as They Want
10 Tips for Re-Energizing Your Day Every Day
80 Ways to Steal Valuable Minutes for Your Work Day
Tax Rules You Should Know about for 2011
5 Trends that Will Shape Small Business in 2011
For more recommended reading, check out:
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16 million color pen can match its ink to the shade of any real
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16 million color pen can match its ink to the shade of any real world object
Scribble is a pen that can scan the color of any object and immediately begin drawing in that color.
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While the 3Doodler has already enabled users to draw new objects into existence with just a pen and some 3D printing technology, translating the qualities of physical objects into digital materials is a bit more tricky. Scribble is a pen that can scan the color of any object and immediately begin drawing in that color.
The pen features two ends — one with a nib and one with a scanner. Users can press the scanner against any surface to capture its color, which is translated into a six-character hex code that stores its RGB value. The pen also features five refillable cartridges that are made up of cyan, yellow, magenta, black and white inks. When an object is scanned, the pen mixes the right amount of each ink to replicate its color and enable users to immediately draw in it. Alternatively, the pen can be connected to a device via Bluetooth or micro USB and the color can be used for digital work, while a stylus version of the device is also available for drawing tablets and touchscreens. Scribble s sensor can detect up to 16 million colors, and up to 100,000 scanned colors can be stored on the pen at any one time.
The pen is set to retail at USD 149.95 and the stylus at USD 79.95, with the team preparing a Kickstarter campaign in the near future. Are there other ways to bring digital capabilities into the physical world?
3D-printed makeup is created from color hex codes
AR app brings kids’ drawings to life
3D printing pen that can draw real objects into existence raises over USD 2m on Kickstarter
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Life Insurance For Seniors Quotes- SAVE $$ #senior #life #insurance, #senior #life #insurance #companies,senior
Life Insurance For Seniors
Life insurance is important – though it s not a legal requirement like auto insurance, it still offers a variety of benefits to your children and family. People don’t like to talk about life insurance, mainly because they don’t want to think about death. Still, life insurance is morally required because it s your responsibility to do something to protect your family from running into trouble due to the loss of your capacity to earn an income.
Ironically, most people don’t take things seriously until they actually get in a position when it becomes a tad difficult to obtain a good insurance policy. For instance, it s only after hitting their 60 s that most seniors realize they should go for life insurance – or update it because the existing coverage isn t enough. You should understand that downplaying the importance of insurance could compound your family tragedy by turning it into a financial nightmare. Especially in case of seniors life insurance, which helps your dependents get some ongoing income to replace yours until the time they think they can live on their own. It s equally useful for getting funds to pay legal, medical and funeral costs, in case your family is not able to afford it. Simply put, life insurance for seniorsone sound way of providing your family with replacement income if you kick the bucket unexpectedly.
In addition, elderly life insurance will offer a number of other benefits. For instance:
- It will work wonders to help keep your family from dealing with financial stress. Not only will they be able to deal with the cost of final expenses, they will also be able to use your insurance policy to pay off any additional debt that you wouldn t want to be covered by your family s estate or your spouse s retirement savings.
- The senior life insurance will also help bridge the gaps of social security. The problem with Social Security Benefits is that they often change when a spouse dies; moreover, it takes time to get some help from these programs (they don t usually offer immediate benefits).
Basic Types of Seniors Life Insurance
Although you ll be able to see a variety of insurance plans available out there, they usually fall in one of two basic categories. First of all, there is whole life insurance for seniors. This is actually a comprehensive form of insurance, which is also called permanent life insurance .
Whole Life Insurance
The policy pays out to the beneficiary you may have mentioned in your insurance contract – these policies don t consider the age factor. The most important feature of this particular type of life insurance is that they come with an investment or savings component, which is usually supplemental to the original insurance coverage. This is generally another reason why you sometimes have to pay higher premiums for whole life insurance; however, the premiums may come down as you grow older. Many people opt for this type of insurance policy mainly because the payments generally stay the same for the total term of your policy. The other interesting features included in whole life insurance are favorable tax treatment, ability for cash value growth and permanent protection. The good thing with the feature of guaranteed cash value is that you can have access to your cash through loans as well as a number of other withdrawal options. But make sure you compare rates and review the financial status as well as reputation of different insurance providers before taking out a whole life insurance policy.
Term Life Insurance
Unlike whole life insurance, level term life insurance for seniors covers you for a specific term or duration. It helps your family handle their needs in the event of your sudden death within a pre-defined term. The term could be anything between 1 and 30 years, but it may be different (shorter) for elderly individuals. In case you re interested in this type of senior life insurance, do keep in mind that they will not build equity as whole life insurance does. However, you should always take your time and, along with considering senior life insurance quotes, you should compare them for other features. For instance, it makes a lot of sense to select a term life insurance policy if it comes with a renewal option – it allows you to renew your policy if the term is up and you feel you still need coverage. Even if comes with renewal features, make sure if it renews automatically or you have to take an action. Moreover, it s also a good idea to get in touch with your selected insurance provider and ask them if the premiums will remain fixed for the full term or they will change periodically. Some companies that offer life insurance for elderly tend to adjust premiums every few years, so it s important to know the way things work while checking term life insurance quotes for seniors.
How to Find Low Cost Life Insurance for Seniors
Generally, term life insurance is less expensive as compared to its other counterpart – whole life insurance. However, it s also a fact that life insurance rates for seniors for both types of policies will go up. Luckily, you can hope to get a better deal if you pay attention to the following points.
- Maintain a Good Credit History: Your premiums will depend heavily on your credit history. If it s good and clean, you re always going to have more insurance providers interested in accepting you as a client. For people over 65, it s obvious to have a long history of financial responsibility, and if everything is clean – your mortgages are paid off, no credit card debt is there, etc. – you re sure to get a good deal on senior citizen life insurance.
- Maintain Good Health Habits: Get in touch with your doctor and follow a better health plan. You may want to quit smoking or regulate your weight a bit before you start shopping for life insurance. Similarly, you should follow your doctor s instructions to ensure that you have your blood cholesterol level and blood pressure under control. Doing all this may trim down your premiums a bit, which is mainly because you won t be considered a risky candidate if you maintain good health. If you don t maintain a good health, you might have to obtain high risk life insurance .
- Pick the Right Amount of Coverage: Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense to have a coverage worth of hundreds of thousands of dollars when you only want a death benefit. Therefore, it s important to determine your needs and then decide the amount of coverage you require.
- Contact a Specialist: In order to find the best policy, you should contact an insurance agent who specializes in helping older citizens. It is so because they will have enough information to guide you in the right direction.
- Use Online Insurance Providers: With so many insurance companies and comparison sites available online, it s a good idea to use them to obtain guaranteed life insurance for seniors. Make sure you get life insurance quotes for seniors from several insurance providers and compare them keeping your needs in mind. This is a surefire way of getting enough coverage for less.
Finding life insurance for seniors over 65 is not that difficult as it was a decade ago. With several insurance companies in business, it s possible to find a suitable insurance plan for you. Still, the fact remains that not all insurance companies are willing to take this risk, and it s mainly because they don t realize that 65 is the new 45 for senior citizens. The companies that realize this fact come up with different insurance plans for the elderly – they have different plans for seniors who are now grandparents and raising grandchildren, as compared to those who are alone and their kids have moved out. Top insurance companies do realize the difference between the rocker on the porch grandparent and an active or involved grandparent; therefore, they re always able to come up with suitable policies and insurance plans.
The progressive and dynamic companies that offer life insurance for seniors over 60 now understand that you may or may not be the same as everyone who is your age. It is due to the same reason that you will have to conduct some research to find a progressive company that helps you find the policy you need, regardless of your sex or age. It s true that life insurance seniors will definitely have higher rates, but it s important to ensure that you re falling for a plan that meets your needs.
One good way of finding cheap life insurance for seniors is to take advantage of comparison sites that generate quotes within seconds, and at the same time, help you make a choice considering the features of different insurance policies for seniors. Number of years working, savings account, years to retirement, investments, annual income, number of children, and mortgages are the most important factors that play into figuring out how much coverage is enough for you and your family. And NEVER forget that each kind of insurance plan will have benefits and drawbacks, which is why obtaining quotes from different companies will help find the right coverage for your family.
Also get sr22 insurance if you have a dui.
#franchising your business
Franchise your business
Advantages and disadvantages of franchising your business
Franchising is an excellent way of expanding a business that is already successful. However you should be aware that franchising is not suitable for every business. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of franchising will enable you to decide if franchising is a suitable option for your business expansion.
Advantages of franchising your business
- Grow your business – franchising your business can be a cost-effective way to grow your business. You will not have to cover the cost of investing in new premises or staff. Additional sales lead to additional profit and if you retain this in the business, in the long-term, you should have a saleable asset for your future.
- Costs – each franchisee finances their own franchise outlet. While the franchisee meets all the costs and collects the income, you receive franchise fees and royalties or a mark-up on products sold by the franchisee.
- Easier management – the franchisees also run their businesses therefore reducing the management demands placed on you. The best franchisees will be highly motivated and have local expertise, making your life much easier.
- Develop your brand – the more franchisees you have the better known your brand becomes. Your brand benefits from the capital investment of the franchisee.
- Motivated franchisees – franchisees are likely to be more motivated than a manager as they have a vested interest in the success of their business and therefore the success of your brand.
- Purchasing power – a larger business is more secure and additional turnover and profit can provide access to better deals for office equipment, vehicles and other business purchases.
- Ideas for future success – franchisees can contribute fresh ideas for the future success of the brand maybe outlining opportunities that you might not have identified otherwise.
- Support from others – being a business owner can be isolating so having a franchise network can offer support and advice.
Disadvantages of franchising your business
- Not a fix for a failing business – franchising is not a solution to provide injections of capital from other people when a business is in difficulty. You should only go down the franchise route if you already have a successful business up and running.
- Costs – franchising your business will involve significant financial investment at the outset in order to get a successful franchise model in place for future growth of the business including investment in preparing legal documents, operations manuals, marketing materials and recruitment.
- Time – franchising will take a lot of time investment especially when initially setting up the franchise model. You will also have to take the time to ensure you attract the right franchisees and control what they do.
- Training and support – you will have to develop and deliver a suite of training and support for your franchisees to successfully sell your brand. Businesses need to have systems and procedures in place that can be copied by most people to run a successful business.
Smarter devices enable smarter data centers – ABB Conversations #iot, #industrial #internet #of #things,
Smarter devices enable smarter data centers
Why are data center owners embracing smarter power control and distribution devices?
When I called on data center operators in the recent past, some of them wondered why they should spend time talking to a company that mainly provides utilities and industrial customers with electric power distribution and control equipment. Today, the light is beginning to come on for our data center customers. They increasingly understand that, as huge power users, they actually have several significant things in common with utilities and industrials.
Data center managers are increasingly interested in power management, in addition to their never-ending quest for near-perfect uptime. That’s because the cost of power continues to be a bigger and bigger slice of a data center’s operating expenses, much more than it is for most production or process plants.
Where does the efficiency come from in data center power management? It starts with one of the smallest components in a power system: the lowly breaker. You’re not going to save any money with more-efficient breakers. In terms of power consumption, they are basically the same as a terminal block. Power comes in and, as long as the breaker is closed, the same power goes out.
The efficiency comes from breakers, like our Emax 2, evolving from what’s basically an On/Off switch to an intelligent device at the front lines of your power network. These breakers include built-in metering that provides really useful information to center operators about power use and quality. They can even help diagnose equipment issues. The breaker’s waveform-capture capability, for example, could reveal a power phase shift that indicates a problem in a motor in your HVAC system.
Getting that information to the control center and beyond is easier than ever because the Emax 2 incorporates the communication capabilities specified in the IEC 61850 standard. The standard basically enables any compliant device to be able to talk to any other compliant device, tearing down the Tower of Babel that existed prior to the standard. That makes aggregating the data from smart devices, like the Emax 2 breaker as well as switchgear, transformers, and other assets much easier. Considering that even a relatively small, 2 mW data center will have several hundred breakers, that’s a pretty big potential pool of data.
Another advantage of using IEC 61850-compliant devices is that it creates huge initial and ongoing savings when it comes to connecting the devices. Point-to-point wires to each device are replaced by a vastly smaller number of fiber-optic connections. In one instance, we reduced 2,000 wires to 200.
Imagine the cost reduction of installing one tenth as many wires when building a new data center. Imagine the reduction in connection issues and maintenance activities if you had one tenth as many wires to troubleshoot. The smart power-control devices do cost a bit more up front, but that’s clearly a good investment since construction cost is about 10% of the total cost of ownership for a data center. Once those smarter devices are in place, you’ll see reduced energy costs and fewer maintenance issues for the life of the center.
Data center managers operate warehouses full of smart-data storage and routing devices. They understand the value of intelligent technology. For data centers, our new mantra is “intelligent data needs intelligent power.” As data center managers learn more about how they can reduce their costs, increase their reliability, and improve their efficiency by embracing smarter power control and distribution devices, they will be more and more interested in adding smarter electrical devices to their facilities.
#yellow pages business
Find a Business in Edmonton, Alberta.
Business listings in Edmonton, Alberta
Edmonton is the capital of Alberta, comprised of over 730, 372 people of English, Scottish, German, Irish, French and Native descent. With its expanding suburbs, Edmonton is considered one of the largest cities in North America. Edmonton is known for its festivals and boasts over 70 museums among its many attractions. The city is divided into different neighbourhoods along the north shore and the southern bank of the river. Whyte Avenue on 82nd Avenue is one of Edmonton s most popular neighbourhoods, with many historic monuments to visit during the day and a boisterous nightlife for Edmonton s nighttime party-crowd.
Edmonton has a number of commercial centers, namely the West Edmonton Mall, a shopper s dream come true. It is one of the biggest shopping centers in North America and the most visited tourist attraction in all of Western Canada, with over 800 stores, a waterslide and a skating rink.
The Edmonton Oilers are the popular hockey team here. Also, the 2010 Vancouver Olympics hockey champs were feted in Edmonton.
Ready to shop? Click here for the most popular Edmonton flyers .
A patio doesn’t have to be big to be great; it only needs good food, music, beer and company. Edmonton has a ton of awesome patios – ranging from big and small – to choose from to enjoy the beautiful weather this spring and summer. Take your pick! [Image credit: iStock.com/georgecosminmarin]
So many nights are whiled away at the same local watering hole. You share some drinks and laughs and repeat, week after week. If you want to shake up your routine and have a memorable night out with your friends sans alcohol, check out this list of fun things to do around Edmonton. [Image credit: iStock.com/sanjeri]
Whether your little one is heading off to start a new year of school or has simply outgrown everything in their closet, buying fresh outfits for kids can be a fun challenge for parents. These stores offer a wide variety of children’s clothing, including sleepwear, play clothes, formalwear and outerwear. And, don’t forget, new shoes!
The days of the speakeasy bar being a necessity may be gone but the feeling of those establishments still lives on. Visit any one of these Edmonton bars or lounges and take in the cozy space, the well-crafted cocktails and the overall ambiance and nod to the days of the speakeasy. [Image credit: iStock.com/VectaPhoto]
Do your search near most popular landmarks of the city:
#small business cards
Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses
Francesco CorticchiA & Mdash;Getty Images
See this year’s top picks for budding entrepreneurs and established owners.
MONEY and NerdWallet have picked the best credit cards in five different categories: cash back. borrowing. travel rewards. student. and small business cards. Most of our picks assume you are using cards strategically to maximize rewards, and paying off your bill each month to avoid fees and finance charges. MONEY also went one step further this year to add an easy choice the best no-muss, no-fuss, no-annual-fee option.
Easy Choice: Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business
- APR: 0% on purchases for nine months; then 13% to 21%
- Annual fee: $0
- Sign-up bonus: $200 after spending $3,000
- Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases
- Why it s a winner: For stable, successful small businesses, Spark is an all-around winner, with no annual fee and cash back on every dollar spent. If your firm s outlay is $5,000 a month, for instance, you ll clear $2,000 back in two years, factoring in the $200 sign-up bonus. Add employee cards for free to boost your rewards.
- Caveat: If your business maintains revolving balances, find a card with a lower financing rate.
Best for Borrowing: U.S. Bank Business Edge Platinum
- APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for the first year; 10% to 18% after that
- Annual fee: $0
- Why it s a winner: The U.S. Bank Business Edge Platinum is ideal for bootstrapping startups, debt-carrying small enterprises, and other small-business owners for whom borrowing costs are paramount. It offers the lowest APR without incurring an annual fee. You also get a year s worth of runway to pay off big purchases or tide you over until cash flow picks up.
- Caveat: With no rewards or sign-up bonus, this no-frills card is really only for businesses with ongoing debt.
See all of MONEY s picks:
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#daily stock market
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Ahead of Wall Street
Friday September 2, 2016
(This is Brian Hamilton filling in for Mark Vickery while he is on vacation)
Stock futures inched forward today, as all eyes will be on this morning s unemployment rate, and nonfarm payrolls data. The unemployment rate is expected to drop to 4.8% from 4.9%, and is seen as the last major hurdle for the Feds before they decide to raise rates or not during their September meeting.
Oil prices shot up overnight as Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that he would like for Russia and OPEC to make a deal regarding a production cap. President Putin went on to say that he would likely support a plan to crimp production at the G20 summit in China next week. Lastly, Putin said that Russia is prepared to sell a 19.5% stake in Rosneft PJSC, the country s largest listed oil producer, as early as the end of 2016.
In Europe, producer prices in the euro region rose by +0.1%, the lowest monthly reading since April. Also, the European Union started their two day meetings today; the major issues being discussed are the fallout from the Brexit, and global banks attempting to preserve their access to the single market.
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