Sunday, July 26, 2009

How setting goals can impact your financial plan

Budgeting advice for Street Smarts

Setting goals will always impact financial planning positively. In fact, I believe that starting a successful financial plan is impossible without setting goals.

Setting goals is the key to make every plan in life successful. Financial plan is no different. In a financial plan you have to decide where you will allocate your money. There are many different options for you to use. Stocks, bonds, savings account, GICs are some common options.

What you ultimately decide to allocate your money to will depend on your financial goals. If your goal is to save for retirement, then you must set a goal for a specific amount that you want to save for retirement. This way you will know how much you need to save every month, and what type of account to use.

A savings account will give you less interest, but the money will be available anytime you need it. Bonds and GICs are long-term investments, and pay higher interest than a savings account. So, if you don't know where you want to go financially then you won't know where to allocate your money. Saving money and putting it in your piggy bank is the worst way to grow financially.

With goals you would get a direction. Your financial planner [if you have one] will also get a direction to help you with. The way you approach your goals in the financial plan will depend on your goals. Do you need money in the short-run to buy a car? Or do you need money to save for a house ten years in the future.

Depending on your situation, your financial plan can either be an aggressive or a passive plan. Aggressive plan will include investing in the stock market, and businesses where you can expect the return on investment to be higher.

Passive financial plan will involve a lot of saving and budgeting. If you need money in the long-run, then this is the way to go. It is secure and a steady way to grow your wealth. You can also choose to invest in high-security investments like bonds and GICs.

But, all this depends on your goals. Many people create a financial plan to build their wealth. But, how far do you want to go? Do you want to make millions of dollars or billions? These are very important questions. If you don't answer these questions, you might never be satisfied with your financial plan.

So, set a goal before you even think of financial planning! Set deadlines and write down the specific amount of money that you need by the deadline. With more specific goals, you will be able to make the perfect financial plan for yourself.

Why you should save money right now

It is important to start saving now! Don't think about it anymore, and get started today. There is nothing worse than procrastinating on anything in life.

The concept of building wealth steadily depends on when you start saving. If you need the money within the next few months, then you are already too late to save money. However, if you want to save money for your retirement or education 15-20 years from now, then you should start saving now.

Firstly, you need to give your savings some time to grow. To get a high return on your saved money, you will need to buy a fixed deposit account. GICs, Bonds, and stocks give high returns in the long run. GICs and Bonds require you to secure your deposits for at least 1 year.

This means that you need to start saving today, to get the benefits of it the next year. If you buy a longer-term GIC or bonds, then you can earn higher interest rates as well. If you buy stocks or GICs that provide a return on investment of 10% per year, then you will make a lot of money.

If you secure $2,000 today in a 10% ROI account, ten years later you can have $4,000. This is only assuming simple interest. If the interest rate is compounded on yearly basis, then you can have much more than $4,000. If you delay by a few years, and start late in life, then you will miss out on a lot of money.

Compounding interest means that the interest you earn on yearly basis, will be calculated as follows:

- Interest Rate already earned will be added to the principle and then multiplied by the interest rate. So, $2,000 + $200 multiplied by 10% will give you $220 in the second year. Every year, your interest earned will keep on increasing.

If you delay saving by one year, you will lose one year's worth of interest earned, and also delay your compound interest earnings. As you can see, saving right now is very important.

In addition, there is a recession these days and it can get much worse. If you start saving today, then you can avoid bankruptcy during a depression. The economic cycle is unpredictable, and it can either go into a depression or prosperity.

Many people are depending on social welfare these days because they did not save money for difficult economic times. You may lose your job next year, and you need to start saving now to prepare for any downfall.

Downfalls are a part of life, but if you start saving, your downfall won't be as devastating as it could be. So, start saving as soon as possible!

The best MBA programs

*MBA information for street smarts.

Masters of business administration degree is highly regarded in the business world today. The graduates from the top MBA programs find jobs more easily. In this article you will find the list of best MBA programs in the world.

The best MBA programs in the world according to me are Harvard, Kellogg MBA program, Schulich MBA, and Wharton MBA

Harvard MBA program

This program attracts the cream of the undergraduate programs. Only the very best students in the world can get an admission in the Harvard school of business. It is also a very expensive program costing around $90,000 for the two year MBA program. However, it is one of the most prestigious Universities in the world, and is highly regarded as one of the best business schools.

It is a dream school for millions of business students in this world, making the entrance averages very competitive.

Schulich MBA

Schulich is considered to be the best business school in Canada. It has a prestigious image within Canada, and many firms recruit at Schulich. Many Schulich graduates go into investment banking and make a lot of money.

The programs costs around $60,000, and it is slowly gaining world wide recognition for its excellent MBA program.

Kelogg MBA

Another one of the best MBA programs in the U.S. that has gained a lot of recognition around the world for being one of the best MBA programs in the world.

The average salary for Kelogg MBA graduates is one of the highest in the world, and they can find jobs in many sectors of business.

This is one MBA program that can match up with Harvard's reputation, then it would be Kelogg MBA program. It is also known for having great professors that have extensive knowledge about their subject.

Wharton MBA

This is another program in the U.S. that is known to produce top class business officials and offers top class education.

What makes these MBA programs better than others?

Most MBA programs are similar, and there is not a lot of difference between the best MBA programs and the average ones. However, there are also schools where you won't get a lot of knowledge and end up working at a low salary. The prestige of these programs makes them stand out. The professors and the students in these programs have had to compete for high GPA, extracurricular activities, etc.

But, I will say that there isn't a lot of difference in the program. It is the professors and the prestige of the program that make it different, not the curriculum. This is not the way it should be, but it is.

Obesity Facts and Information

Health information for the Street Smarts.

Obesity Facts and information
You have heard the term "Obesity" everywhere. Any blog, book or website you read about losing weight contains the term obesity. But when do doctors consider someone to be obese?

* Men with 25-30% and women with 30-45% fat are considered obese. You can actually have a normal BMI and still be obese if you have a higher body fat percentage.

* 74.1% of Americans are obese, from that 26 million are males and 30 million are females.

* United States is ranked 9th in terms of having the highest obesity rate with 74.1%; with Nauru topping the list with 94.1% obesity rate.
* You need 3200 calories to gain a pound.

* North Americans spend $60 billion every year on weight loss products.

If you are one of the people included in the stats, then you have work to do. Read tips around the blog and start right now to drop those obesity pounds!

Recession is over in Canada

Street Smart News

Bank of Canada officially declares that the recession is over. This declaration is based on the current employment rate, GDP rate, etc. Well, it might be over officially, but the unemployment rate is still higher than average. But, we didn't go in a depression.

Anyways, fellow Canadians start enjoying, because things are getting better!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

SurveySpot Review

I am glad to say that SurveySpot is one of the few sites that have paid me for taking surveys. It is one of the professional sites on the Internet, that doesn't intend to steal your time and money.

After searching on the Internet for many hours, I found a few sites that stood out in the crowd of millions. SurveySpot is a survey company that collects information from the surveys for market research purposes.

I get my surveys through the mail, and I get around 4-5 surveys every week. One of the best things about SurveySpot is that their e-mail has always informed me about the reward for completing the survey. Many companies hide this information, and inform you the end of the survey.

In addition, SurveySpot has a greater variety of rewards. If you don't qualify for a survey, you will still be entered into their prize draws. You can play the Scratch and Win tickets, and get entries into the Sweepstakes for $25,000!

There are many smaller cash draws as well. This is what survey companies should be about. They should have cash draws, and also give cash incentives for the surveys at the same time.

The mail that they send me also states the type of survey that I will be taking and the amount of time it will take. The time is usually very accurate. The actual site has also undergone major changes since I joined.

They are always adding new things to their website, and improving the company. There are also a lot of fun surveys on their site, which do not pay any cash prizes.

These surveys are for people who just want to give their opinion about something. There are daily surveys on the website, and most of them are for entertainment purposes.

One of the things I don't like about this site is that they send way too many surveys that do not have a cash reward. There is a difference between the cash reward and the prizes. The cash rewards are guaranteed, whereas prizes are not. There are also a lot of surveys that give you entry into the sweepstakes. It gets a bit frustrating when 10 out 12 e-mails have "sweepstake surveys" only

If you just want to take the paid surveys, then keep an eye on your mailbox and only do the surveys, which have a cash reward. You can cash out once you have $10, and they pay by check.

The check takes a long time to come, but they have never missed my payments. I have been paid several times and there have been no problems in that.

Overall, a site that you must join if you want to keep getting surveys in your mailbox.

5 tips on becoming Street Smart

1. Read the newspaper- Reading the news makes you aware of the world, and your country. There are important issues in your city that you need to know about. If you got a brain of a businessman, some of the headlines in the news can be a business opportunity for you.

2. Read this blog- I always like bragging about my blog. I barely make any money through this blog, and it has taken me hundreds of hours to get all the information written here. You can get it all in 2-3 hours. So, read the blog regularly.

3. Be more productive- What have you done today? Have you done anything productive? Ask yourself this question every single day of your life! Don't mention your job as doing something productive.


I have written this post, exercised for 1 hour, attended a family party, read 50 pages of a personal development book.

4. Do brain exercises- After buying a few books with IQ tests, I feel smarter in life. These IQ tests will test your brain and your knowledge. Give more IQ tests, and train your brain.

5. Exercise- Words simply cannot explain the benefits of the exercise. But, I'll try my best to explain. I feel more confident, energetic, smart, motivated, and young after exercising. All these qualities are necessary to become Street Smart.