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14 Year Old Damon Williams Worth $50,000 in Stocks

December 23, 2009 | My Ramblings | Videos | No Comments

I wish when I was 14 years old I knew as much as 14 year old Damon Williams.  At 14 years old he’s a stock investor and has already gained a net worth of $50,000.  He’s very knowledge about investing as evident in the video below.  

At only 14 years old, Daman has amassed more wealth than many adults who have worked many years.  He’s has a very early start and is well on his way to becoming a millionaire if he keeps it up.  Way to go Damon! See video below.

Can’t Get Help with a Problem, then Write the CEO – Part II

December 14, 2009 | My Ramblings | 3 Comments

Several months ago I wrote a post titled “Can’t Get Help with a Problem, then Write the CEO“.   I also wrote a post titled “What to do if Immunization is Not Covered by Health Plan“.  Both these posts were about problems I had with a company and how writing a letter to the C.E.O. or the person in charge got things resolved. 

Here is another example of an issue I had with a company.  The person I was communicating with wouldn’t help me so I decided to write the C.E.O. a letter for resolution.  I will not go into details because the letter listed below will explain everything.  However, the letter worked because today I got my check for $54.77. 


P. Birmingham

November 12, 2009

XXXXX, XX 83706


I am an affiliate with your company and I have a small problem I’m hoping you can help me with.  Your company mailed me a payment check on 8-5-09 for $54.77 that I never received.  I contacted your accounting department after a few weeks and notified them that I never received the check.  They informed me that I needed to pay $20 for a check to be re-issued because they have to put a stop on the check.  I asked why I am being penalized for a check I never received.  I was told it was XXXXXXXXX’s policy.  

I then decided to wait 90 days because the check is only valid for 90 days.  After the 90 days I contacted your accounting department and asked for them to now direct deposit the check in my account.  I was told again that I still needed to pay $20 to stop the check.  I asked the accounting rep (Laura) why should I pay for an expired check?  She never responded to my question.

I realize its only $20 but I think it’s very unfair to ask me to pay $20 for a check that is no longer valid or that I never received.  Why am I paying for something that isn’t my fault? If you mailed a check to someone and they never received it, is it fair of you to ask the person to pay to stop the check?  The sender is the one that should pay to stop the check, not the receiver.

I am asking in good faith to pay the $54.77 without me paying the $20.

Thank you!



P. Birmingham

No Doesn’t Always Mean No, When Looking for Job

December 6, 2009 | My Ramblings | No Comments

Years ago I was in the job market after being laid off as a Sales Engineer.  It was a job that I really enjoyed so I was disappointed when I got laid off.  The division that I was working for was spun off and immediately announced they were cutting 5,000 jobs.  After being assured by some of my fellow co-workers that I wouldn’t be laid off because I was recently hired, the company invested in training me via an intensive 5 month training program and had relocated me to a new city.  They felt the company would cut the more senior employees.  They calmed my fears, however, they were wrong.  One morning soon-after, my manager called me into his office and politely told me my job was “surplused”.

After being in the job market for about 4 months I thought I would be hired by another company as a Sales Representation.  After interviewing on 5 different occasions and even doing a presentation during one of the interviews I got a rejection letter.  I was shocked and quickly became annoyed.  At first I was ready to move on but after having invested so much time and energy during the interviewing process I needed an explanation as to why I wasn’t offered the job.

I gave the Human Resources Manager a call and asked her what happened.  She stated they decided they wanted someone with more experience.  I said OK and told her I was disappointed and that I had the skills to do the job.  After hanging up the phone, I then thought about my next step and decided to call her back with an offer.  I called her back and told her, “if you guys are concerned about my experience, then hire me on a temporary basis for the next 60 days to monitor my performance.  If you are not happy with my performance, I will move on, no questions asked.”  She said OK and that she’d get back to me.  

The very next day I was offered the job and was hired as a permanent full-time employee.  The Human Resources Manager stated that they were impressed with my persistence and that was a good attribute to have as a successful sales rep.  

I learned from this experience that no doesn’t always mean no, when looking for job or even in other situations.  If you are ever rejected, sometimes it’s just a temporary setback.  You can always go back and negiotiate to get a “yes”!

It Never Hurts to Ask: Part II

December 5, 2009 | My Ramblings | No Comments

Last July I wrote a post about how I’ve learned over the years that “It Never Hurts to Ask“.  Here is another example I experienced yesterday.  

I have a free ticket on AirTran that I wanted to use to attend an upcoming convention.  I went online to book my free ticket, however, the flights offered for the free ticket wasn’t the ones I wanted.  The flights offered were late night and required 1 stop.  I wanted to leave in the morning with a non-stop flight.  I immediately grew very annoyed.  

I then decided to give AirTran a call and request the early non-stop flight.  I told the customer service representative of my problem and requested as a courtesy to book me on the flight I wanted.  She said hold on, then came back on and said her supervisor approved my request.  I was happy about that!

I then went online to book my return flight home.  The convention had a discount code to get a 10% discount on my flight; however, for my return flight home the date for the discount was the day after I wanted to return.  I then decided to give AirTran another call to get the 10% discount even though it wasn’t offered for the date I wanted.  To my surprise AirTran give me the 10% off.  So there you go another example of “it never hurts to ask”.

Related Article: It Never Hurts to Ask

Lower Your Bills with Threats

November 19, 2009 | My Ramblings | No Comments

Want to lower your phone, satellite/cable, Internet, gym, etc. bills?  One simple strategy is to call your current provider and tell them you are thinking about switching to their competitor.  They will jump through hoops to keep you as a customer.

Last week I got an offer in the mail from Clear for high speed Internet and unlimited home phone for $50 per month.  After the promotion ends it would jump to $55 per month.  With taxes the cost is $63 per month according to the online customer service rep. I spoke to.  Clear offers Internet service and VoIP telephone via Wi-Max.  Wi-Max is similar to Wi-Fi, except Wi-Max covers cities.

Currently, I’m paying AT&T $93 per month for high speed Internet and unlimited home phone.  Over the last year I’ve called AT&T twice to try to reduce my bill.  Initially, it was about $108 per month.  AT&T was only able to drop my bill to $93 per month while keeping my same service.

With the offer from Clear I was seriously considering switching, however, I decided to give AT&T another chance to reduce my bill.  When I called stating I was considering cancelling my service, I was immediately transferred to a different customer service rep.  I later realized that this customer service rep. is responsible for retaining customers.  After telling her I was considering canceling my AT&T account, she dropped my bill to $77 per month which includes taxes and fees.  I told her that I called twice before and was told my bill couldn’t be lowered anymore with the same service.  She stated I spoke to the wrong person.  When I called I spoke to Sales Reps. who are responsible for selling me “stuff”.  She stated I needed to ask for customer service.

At $77 per month, I still may switch to Clear; however, I’m concerned about their service.  After doing some research, I found complaints about Clear’s Internet service not being reliable.

I have used the same strategy with my satellite service.  See my post “Stick to Your Price and Negotiate When Buying”.  So go ahead, jump on the phone and call your phone, satellite/cable, Internet, gym, etc. and get your bills reduced!

Update: My AT&T Bill actually dropped to $63/month.

Chase Offering $100 to Open Checking Account

November 9, 2009 | Banking | My Ramblings | No Comments

I received this offer in the mail today and will not be using it, therefore its up for grabs! 

Chase is offering $100 cash bonus for opening a new checking account by January 2, 2010.  To qualify for the bonus you must open a new Chase Checking account with a $100 minimum deposit of new money (money not currently held by Chase or its affiliates) within 60 days of account opening.

The bonus will be deposited into your account within 10 business days after the $100 minimum deposit is made.  The bonus is not considered part of the minimum opening deposit. 

The checking account must remain open for at least 6 months or the bonus will be debited from the account at closing.

To open your account visit and use coupon code 3629385157691948.  If interested grab this coupon code quickly.  It’s the only one I have!

Generate Passive Income Online with Affiliate Marketing

October 15, 2009 | My Ramblings | 1 Comment

In today’s economy it’s a very good idea to generate passive income to supplement or better yet replace your existing salary.  Passive income is usually defined as income received on a regular basis, with little effort required to maintain it.  However, let’s be clear, creating “systems” to generate passive income takes work and is not a get rich system. Sometimes it involves trial and error and some financial investment.

The Internet is a great place to generate passive income because it can easily be automated.  There are two types of people who use the Internet.  There are the “Users” and “Providers”.  The Users make money for the Providers.  Users browse the Web by making purchases, viewing ads, clicking on ads and even creating content for the Providers.  Sites like MySpace, YouTube, Facebook and forums are created with content by Users which create value for the Providers.  

In order for you to make money online you have to be a Provider.  You must offer some type of product or service that Users find valuable.  With computers and the Internet this process can be completely automated.    Most websites are automated, so once a provider creates a website, it can run on auto pilot with the provider doing little work to maintain it.  This is where the passive income comes in place.

One strategy for passive income is affiliate marketing. Affiliate Marketing is promoting products/services that you don’t own or provide for a commission.  You register with an Affiliate Company to get an account, which gives you access to hyper-links (via text or banners) to products/services.  You take the link and place it out in the Internet world (via e-mail, website / landing page, paid advertising) to send traffic to your affiliate.  When an action is taken (sale or lead generation), you get a commission. People have become millionaires doing this!

There are many free resources on the Internet to learn about Affiliate Market.  However, if you are seeking an inexpensive training seminar, consider Secret Affiliate Weapon 2.0 – Passive Income Secrets! by Ewen Chia.  The course costs only $27.00 and provides a wealth of information in one place.

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