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Find a Good Local Contractor with Angie’s List

August 31, 2009 | Financial Tips | Videos | No Comments
angieslist

If you are looking for a doctor, dentist, contractor, roofer, electrician, landscaper, plumber, etc. and want an unbiased opinion about their service then you should consider using Angie's List.

Angie's List was started by Angie Hicks in 1995 with 1,000 members in Columbus, OH because she was frustrated at how difficult it was to find good doctors and contractors.  As a result, she literally went door-to-door recruiting members and collecting reviews from friends and neighbors.

Today Angie's List has 750,000 consumers operating nationwide and was named in 2002, 2003 and 2004 as on of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S.

You can contact Angie's List by phone, fax, and website.  You will then receive the names and phone numbers of companies that are rated high by other members. You will also be told what type of work the contractor has done for the other members and what they thought of their prices, if they were polite, punctual, finished the work on time, etc.  

There is a fee to Join Angie's List.  You can join by phone (1-866-943-8257) or Website.  There is also a trial membership to test out the service.

For more information visit AngiesList.com or call 1-866-943-8257.

Videos with Angie's List Founder Angie Hicks


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Help the Poor While Getting a Return on Your Money with MicroPlace

August 21, 2009 | Financial Tips | Videos | No Comments

Want to put your money to work while helping poor people around the world?  Then you should consider MicroPlace (a wholly-owned subsidiary of eBay Inc).  Microplace, launched in 2007, is a website that enables everyday people to invest in the world’s working poor.  (See CBS Evening News Video Clip Below).

Video: The World of Micro-Loans | CBS Evening News

A simple loan of a $20 can allow a poor woman to start a business and work her way out of poverty. In most countries, organizations that function like banks make loans to the poor. However, these organizations need funds to lend to the poor. Your investment helps fund these organizations while making a return on your money. It's a win-win scenario because your help fight poverty and get your money back with interest!

Microfinance is one of the most effective poverty alleviation tools around because:

  • Microfinance is a hand- up not a hand out. Empowering people to help themselves is an effective way to fight poverty.
  • When you give to charity you give your money away. When you invest your money, it compounds while it is invested and is available to reinvest at maturity. You will always have money to help a poor person start a business

 

How you can invest as little as $20:

  • Open an investment account (just like at Schwab or another broker)
  • Use the search tools to find an investment on our site
  • Pay with either PayPal or your bank account
  • Receive your interest payments and your money at maturity back into your PayPal or bank account

 

Your loan will:

  • Help a poor person start a business and work her way out of poverty
  • Enable an institution helping poor people expand its business
  • Participate in a solution that can help alleviate global poverty by helping people help themselves!

 

For more information visit MicroPlace.com.  Note: Another site offering the same service is Kiva.org.

Free Detailed Financial Planning Software by Voyant

August 3, 2009 | Financial Tips | Videos | 1 Comment
VOYANT

Online financial planning tools have much improved over the years.  No longer are they just cookie-cutter plans, one size fits all.  One recent entrant is Voyant (www.planwithvoyant.com) which provides detailed financial advice and best of all, it’s free.

The three financial sites aren’t designed to replace your financial planner; however, they can provide general ideas to most investors and benchmark your progress without having to pay money to a financial planner.

Voyant is a do-it-yourself financial planning solution that puts consumers in direct control of their financial health. Voyant helps people understand the big-picture impact of life-changing events and their long-term financial implications; from the birth of a child to the early retirement of a spouse. Unlike one-dimensional personal finance software, expense aggregators and budget calculators, the product features interactive forecasts, "what if" scenarios and online collaboration tools that give consumers more control and customization than traditional financial planning options. Voyant is a free, Web-based Internet application that allows users to manage up-to-the-minute plan information from the convenience and privacy of their home, office or favorite coffee shop.

Voyant features include:

  • Timeline - defines key life stages and events; foresees important financial obstacles and opportunities.
  • Simulations/Illustrations - demonstrates the impact of life-changing events such as birth, marriage and retirement; illustrates products and services such as life insurance, investments and loans that support personal financial goals.
  • Real-Time Snapshots - compares current account balances to established goals; defines and tracks action items.
  • Collaboration - supports secure communication with designated community members including friends, family, employers, and professional advisors.
  • Data Mining/Analytics - recommends areas for potential improvement based on established industry norms such as fees and coverage rates.

 

A core component of Voyant is Voyant Community, a fully-featured social networking platform that creates compelling opportunities for dialogue between users and their friends, family and trusted advisors. With Voyant Community, people can chat online, join a forum and interactively (and anonymously) share plans with others - including members of affinity groups with similar interests, concerns and questions. Whether someone is a small business owner considering expansion, or an adult child supporting aging parents, Voyant helps users exchange valuable advice and information that improves outcomes and mitigates the risks of unforeseen events. And if an individual needs expert counsel, Voyant's Advisor Connect feature provides a direct link to a wide selection of licensed professionals.

Video: CEO David Kaufman Presents Voyant

Two other free financial websites to consider are SimpliFi and ESPlannerBasic.

Use YouTube to Create 3D Videos

July 28, 2009 | My Ramblings | Videos | No Comments

This is interesting! YouTube is now allowing users to upload videos that can be converted to 3D. To produce a 3D film 2 cameras are required. You then upload the video and YouTube converts the video into 3D. Of course, you will need 3D glasses to watch the video.

See video below of CTV SWO creating a 3D Video

 

See 3D by CTV SWO at YouTube (3D Glasses Required)

What Can One Trillion Dollars Buy?

July 27, 2009 | Videos | No Comments

Mint.com has put together an interesting video of what one trillion dollars can buy.  With the current government bailout, proposed healthcare reform, one trillion is thrown around a lot.  But what exactly is one trillion dollars when visualized?  See video below.

BudgetPulse.com Offers Free Personal Finance Software

July 23, 2009 | Financial Tips | Videos | 3 Comments
budgetpulse

If you are looking for free personal finance software then you should consider BudgetPulse. BudgetPulse is designed so that you can quickly and easily take control of your personal finances. BudgetPulse eliminates the risk of identity theft because it isn't linked to your bank. Additionally, there are no downloads or complicated software to figure out.  So check it out, it's FREE!

See the video below of how BudgetPulse works.

For more information visit BudgetPulse.com.

Related Article: Get Your Free Financial Software at Gnucash.com

Eliminate Your Monthly Phone Bill with the Magic Jack

May 31, 2009 | Financial Tips | Videos | 1 Comment
magic-jack

I'm always looking to save money and am seriously considering getting rid of my land-line and instead using the Magic Jack.  Magic Jack was launched mid last year and I've heard nothing but good things about the service.  (See 2 videos below).

Magic Jack works by first purchasing a phone jack that you plug into your computer via the USB port.  You then plug your home phone into the jack to make your phone calls.  It's that easy.  The service includes free local / long distance, free directory assistance, free phone number, free call waiting, free voicemail and free caller ID.  Additionally, you get a Magic Jack phone number that people will see on their Caller ID.

The phone jack costs $39.95 plus $6.95 for shipping and handling.  After the one year of free service, it’s $19.95 per year for the phone service.  That is a fantastic deal.

Visit MagicJack.com for more information.

Magic Jack infomercial

Magic Jack Review