Friday, October 21, 2005

Blogging + Adsense = Hobby + Money

If you like writing (must be in English) and share, I tell you an opportunity to make money.

 

Blogging + Adsense = Hobby + Money

 

Here are the steps:

1)      Apply for an account on http://www.blogger.com using your email address. It is free. Blogger.com is owned by google.com. You will create your blog name and the web address.

2)      Find a topic to blog. Remember do not blog your work, company, people around you. Blog on a specific subject. For example, if you have experience with stocks, blog on stock. If your company if a mortgage company, blog about mortgage. It really depends on your interest and experience.

3)      Start blogging. You have to have something in place before you proceed your next step. Google will use that to evaluate whether to grant you an adsense account.

4)      Apply for an adsense account from http://www.google.com/adsense. I think you can use your blogging site to apply, but I am not quite sure. I used http://www.chinesecommunity.us for my application. My experience tells me it is not difficult to apply. If you need setup your own website, please let me know. I can help on that.

5)      Setup adsense on your blogging website. It is easy to setup in blogger.com.

6)      You make money when visitors click on any entry in the 'Google Ads". You do not want to click it by yourself. That will bring you trouble.

 

Some professional bloggers make six-figure income just by blogging. I just start on this. But I already see money coming to my account. Not much. But it is better than nothing. Most importantly, this can help me support many web sites I owned. The biggest one is http://www.chinesecommunity.us, #1 Chinese Community portal site in United States.

 

If you have good articles, do not hesitate to let me know. ChineseCommunity.us's ccWeekly – a weekly newsletter with around 30000 readers – can help you promote your blogging site.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

50 Richest On Earth

Rank  Name  Age  Worth ($bil)  Country Of Citizenship  Residence  
1 William Gates III  49 46.5 USA USA , WA , Medina  
2 Warren Buffett  74 44.0 USA USA , NE , Omaha  
3 Lakshmi Mittal  54 25.0 India United Kingdom , London  
4 Carlos Slim Helu  65 23.8 Mexico Mexico , Mexico City  
5 Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud  48 23.7 Saudi Arabia, Riyadh  
6 Ingvar Kamprad  78 23.0 Sweden Switzerland , Lausanne  
7 Paul Allen  52 21.0 USA USA , WA , Seattle  
8 Karl Albrecht  85 18.5 Germany Germany , Mülheim an der Ruhr  
9 Lawrence Ellison  60 18.4 USA USA , CA , Silicon Valley  
10 S Robson Walton  61 18.3 USA USA , AR , Bentonville  
11 Jim Walton  57 18.2 USA USA , AR , Bentonville  
11 John Walton  59 18.2 USA USA , AR , Bentonville  
13 Alice Walton  56 18.0 USA USA , TX , Fort Worth  
13 Helen Walton  85 18.0 USA USA , AR , Bentonville  
15 Kenneth Thomson & family  81 17.9 Canada Canada , Toronto  
16 Liliane Bettencourt  82 17.2 France France , Paris  
17 Bernard Arnault  56 17.0 France France , Paris  
18 Michael Dell  40 16.0 USA USA , TX , Austin  
19 Sheldon Adelson  71 15.6 USA USA , NV , Las Vegas  
20 Theo Albrecht  83 15.5 Germany Germany , Foehr  
21 Roman Abramovich  38 13.3 Russia United Kingdom , London  
22 Li Ka-shing  76 13.0 Hong Kong Hong Kong , Hong Kong  
23 Amancio Ortega  69 12.6 Spain Spain , La Coruna  
24 Steven Ballmer  49 12.1 USA USA , WA , Redmond  
25 Silvio Berlusconi  68 12.0 Italy Italy , North of Milan  
25 Abigail Johnson  43 12.0 USA USA , MA , Boston  
27 Barbara Cox Anthony  81 11.7 USA USA , HI , Honolulu  
27 Anne Cox Chambers  85 11.7 USA USA , GA , Atlanta  
29 Stefan Persson  57 11.2 Sweden Sweden , Stockholm  
30 John Kluge  90 11.0 USA USA , FL , Palm Beach  
31 Raymond, Thomas & Walter Kwok  -- 10.9 Hong Kong Hong Kong , Hong Kong  
32 Forrest Mars Jr  73 10.4 USA USA , VA , McLean  
32 Jacqueline Mars  65 10.4 USA USA , NJ , Bedminster  
32 John Mars  68 10.4 USA USA , VA , Arlington  
35 Luciano Benetton & family  69 9.9 Italy Italy , Treviso  
35 Pierre Omidyar  37 9.9 USA USA , NV , Henderson  
35 Galen Weston & family  64 9.9 Canada Canada , Toronto  
38 Lee Shau Kee  77 9.3 Hong Kong Hong Kong , Hong Kong  
38 Azim Premji  59 9.3 India India , Bangalore  
40 Nasser Al-Kharafi & family  61 9.0 Kuwait Kuwait , Kuwait City  
41 Kirk Kerkorian  87 8.9 USA USA , CA , Los Angeles  
42 Sumner Redstone  81 8.8 USA USA , CA , Beverly Hills  
43 Leonardo Del Vecchio  69 8.5 Italy Italy , Milan  
43 Michele Ferrero & family  78 8.5 Italy Belgium , Brussels  
45 Michael Otto & family  61 8.3 Germany Germany , Hamburg  
46 Susanne Klatten  43 8.2 Germany Germany , Bad Homburg  
46 Philip Knight  67 8.2 USA USA , OR , Beaverton  
46 Hans Rausing  79 8.2 Sweden United Kingdom , Wadhurst  
49 Serge Dassault & family  80 7.8 France France , Paris  
49 Carl Icahn  69 7.8 USA USA , NY , New York  

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Homeowner Insurance Policy

I just called my homeowner insurance company, asking them to increase the deductible from $500 to $1000 and increase the coverage. I was told 1) they do not have $1000 deductible, only $500 available. 2) The current coverage is suffcient to rebuild the house. Their coverage is increased automatically by a percent.

Though I told them my house market value is now 25% more than the coverage. They said the house market is depending on a lot of factors, including season, location. But they only consider to rebuild the house, the material and labor cost.

I think it makes sense. If you live in Virginia, I recommend you to consider them, their rate is the lowest. I am thinking they are kind of non-profit organization.
Mutual Assurance Society of Virginia http://www.mutual-assurance.com/

Monday, October 17, 2005

Settling a Homeowners Insurance Claim

Your home was just damaged from a severe storm. What should you do? Who should be notified? Should you file a claim with your insurance company and if so, what should you expect from them? These are just a few of the concerns expected from a home owner facing a major loss. By having a general understanding of how insurance companies handle claims prior to filing one, you’ll likely be better prepared going into the process.

Loss prevention and claims preparation tips
  • Review your homeowners insurance policy and its coverages in order to understand what is and, more importantly, what isn’t covered. All homeowners insurance policies have exclusions and limitations and it’s best to know what they are prior to a loss. Often, coverage for an exclusion can be obtained through an endorsement, which “buys back” policy coverage.

  • Evaluate the general condition of your property. Make repairs that might prevent future losses. Check sidewalks for deterioration and major cracks that could create a safety hazard. Roofs should be checked annually for leaks. Steps that are left in disrepair could potentially lead to a major lawsuit if someone were to fall and be injured.

  • Prepare a home inventory of your personal property and belongings. Include as much detail as possible such as the date, cost, where the items were purchased (receipts are a good source for this information), brand name, model and serial numbers. Such an inventory can be a time-saver after a personal property loss and will help to speed up the claims process.

  • Use a video camera to visually document each room, closet and even contents in drawers. Provide a narration while walking through each room, detailing high-ticket items such as computers and home electronics. A video serves as documentation of your possessions and the items contained in a room, especially if damaged by fire, theft or severe storm. Be sure to keep a copy of the tape off-premises in a secure place such as a safe deposit box. Photographs can serve as an alternative or as an addition to a videotape and should also be stored off-premises.

The claims process
To file or not to file a claim—that is the question...Following a property loss, contact your insurance agent or company representative with loss details as soon as possible. Discuss the chain of events with your insurance professional and determine if a claim should be filed. You might consider obtaining a contractor estimate to provide a damage assessment prior to filing a claim. Many consumers select high deductibles ($500, $1,000 or more) as a cost-savings measure. You may consider not filing a claim if the amount of the loss is close to your policy deductible or if you’ve filed multiple claims in recent years. Your insurance professional can provide guidance on what’s best for you.

If you are filing a claim, the company should provide information regarding the claims process.

The insurance company will ask you to complete claim forms regarding the loss, which includes detailing your missing or damaged possessions. Having prior documentation of your personal property (through a video tape, an inventory list and/or photos) can greatly assist with the claims filing.

The insurer will assign a claims adjuster to work with you. Depending on the extent of the loss, the adjuster may conduct a personal interview regarding the claim, request an inspection of the damages for a loss assessment and possibly ask for a copy of an itemized list of the damaged property. The adjuster may want to tape record discussions regarding your claim.

Keep your insurer notified of any developments associated with a claim. For instance, if someone is injured on your property and you receive legal documents from the other party, contact your company immediately. Keep in mind that homeowners insurance provides legal defense coverage if sued as a result of such a claim.

In situations where property damage is extensive, try to protect against further losses by making temporary repairs. For example, if a tree falls and damages your roof, cover the hole with wood or plastic. Keep receipts associated with such repairs. These may be reimbursable under your homeowners insurance.

If a loss forces you to obtain a temporary residence, be sure to inform the insurance company. Most homeowners insurance policies also cover this under “additional living expenses.”

Don’t throw damaged property away unless instructed to do so by the adjuster. To save time, you may start obtaining written repair bids from licensed contractors. However, repairs should not begin without prior approval from your insurer.

Other claims settling tips
  • Track all expenses associated with the loss. They may be reimbursable under your homeowners insurance policy. Examples could include mileage and meal expenses if called into court for the claim or temporary repairs made to protect against additional damage.

  • Keep copies of all your paperwork for future reference.

  • Don’t start permanent repairs until the insurance company claims adjuster has assessed the damage and you’ve been given the go-ahead.

  • You have the right to choose the contractor. Your insurer may provide you with a list of pre-approved contractors to save time and hassle, or you may be asked to obtain written estimates from a few licensed contractors of your own choosing. Regardless of the procedure, the policyholder has the final say in contractor selection.

  • You have the right to negotiate the settlement. If you’re having a difficult time with the adjuster, contact the company directly and ask to speak with the consumer services department or the claims division manager. If you still find the settlement unacceptable, follow the appraisal procedure outlined in the insurance policy. Most appraisal procedures work by you hiring an independent appraiser at your expense. Once the appraiser reaches an agreement, the claim is settled at that amount.

  • If you feel that you’ve exhausted all efforts with the insurance company, call the Ohio Department of Insurance Consumer Hotline at 1-800-686-1526. The department, which regulates all insurance agents and companies within the state, will provide you with information and advice on how to proceed.

  • If you still can’t reach an agreement, you always have the option of seeking outside legal advice. Remember, you are responsible for these legal fees. But by obtaining legal counsel you sacrifice the ability to represent yourself directly with the insurance company. All future correspondence regarding the claim is then handled through your attorney.

Ohio Insurance Institute

12 Ways to Lower Your Homeowners Insurance Costs

1. Shop Around

It'll take some time, but could save you a good sum of money. Ask your friends, check the Yellow Pages or contact your state insurance department.

Also check consumer guides, insurance agents, companies and online insurance quote services.

Check the financial stability of the companies you are considering with rating companies such as A.M. Best (www.ambest.com) and Standard & Poor’s (www.standardandpoors.com) and consult consumer magazines.

2. Raise Your Deductible

The higher your deductible, the more money you can save on your premiums. The deductible of at least $500. If you can afford to raise your deductible to $1,000, you may save as much as 25 percent.

3. Don’t confuse what you paid for your house with rebuilding costs
The land under your house isn't at risk from theft, windstorm, fire and the other perils covered in your homeowners policy. So don't include its value in deciding how much homeowners insurance to buy.

4. Buy your home and auto policies from the same insurer
Some companies that sell homeowners, auto and liability coverage will take 5 to 15 percent off your premium if you buy two or more policies from them. But make certain this combined price is lower than buying the different coverages from different companies.

5. Make your home more disaster resistant

Find out from your insurance agent or company representative what steps you can take to make your home more resistant to windstorms and other natural disasters. You may be able to save on your premiums by adding storm shutters, reinforcing your roof or buying stronger roofing materials. In addition, consider modernizing your heating, plumbing and electrical systems to reduce the risk of fire and water damage.

6. Improve your home security
You can usually get discounts of at least 5 percent for a smoke detector, burglar alarm or dead-bolt locks. Some companies offer to cut your premium by as much as 15 or 20 percent if you install a sophisticated sprinkler system and a fire and burglar alarm that rings at the police, fire or other monitoring stations. Before you buy such a system, find out what kind your insurer recommends, how much the device would cost and how much you'd save on premiums.

7. Seek out other discounts
Companies offer several types of discounts, but they don't all offer the same discount or the same amount of discount in all states. For example, since retired people stay at home more than working people they are less likely to be burglarized and may spot fires sooner, too. Retired people also have more time for maintaining their homes. If you're at least 55 years old and retired, you may qualify for a discount of up to 10 percent at some companies. Some employers and professional associations administer group insurance programs that may offer a better deal than you can get elsewhere.

8. Maintain a good credit record
Establishing a solid credit history can cut your insurance costs. Insurers are increasingly using credit information to price homeowners insurance policies. In most states, your insurer must advise you of any adverse action, such as a higher rate, at which time you should verify the accuracy of the information on which the insurer relied. To protect your credit standing, pay your bills on time, don't obtain more credit than you need and keep your credit balances as low as possible. Check your credit record on a regular basis and have any errors corrected promptly so that your record remains accurate.

9. Stay with the same insurer
If you've kept your coverage with a company for several years, you may receive a special discount for being a long-term policyholder. Some insurers will reduce their premiums by 5 percent if you stay with them for three to five years and by 10 percent if you remain a policyholder for six years or more. But make certain to periodically compare this price with that of other policies.

10. Review the limits in your policy and the value of your possessions at least once a year
You want your policy to cover any major purchases or additions to your home. But you don't want to spend money for coverage you don't need. If your five-year-old fur coat is no longer worth the $5,000 you paid for it, you'll want to reduce or cancel your floater (extra insurance for items whose full value is not covered by standard homeowners policies such as expensive jewelry, high-end computers and valuable art work) and pocket the difference.

11. Look for private insurance if you are in a government plan
If you live in a high-risk area -- say, one that is especially vulnerable to coastal storms, fires, or crime -- and have been buying your homeowners insurance through a government plan, you should check with an insurance agent or company representative or contact your state department of insurance for the names of companies that might be interested in your business. You may find that there are steps you can take that would allow you to buy insurance at a lower price in the private market.

12. When you’re buying a home, consider the cost of homeowners insurance
You may pay less for insurance if you buy a house close to a fire hydrant or in a community that has a professional rather than a volunteer fire department. It may also be cheaper if your home’s electrical, heating and plumbing systems are less than 10 years old. If you live in the East, consider a brick home because it's more wind resistant. If you live in an earthquake-prone area, look for a wooden frame house because it is more likely to withstand this type of disaster. Choosing wisely could cut your premiums by 5 to 15 percent.

Check the CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) report of the home you are thinking of buying. These reports contain the insurance claim history of the property and can help you judge some of the problems the house may have.

Remember that flood insurance and earthquake damage are not covered by a standard homeowners policy. If you buy a house in a flood-prone area, you'll have to pay for a flood insurance policy that costs an average of $400 a year. The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides useful information on flood insurance on its Web site at www.fema.gov/nfip. A separate earthquake policy is available from most insurance companies. The cost of the coverage will depend on the likelihood of earthquakes in your area. In California the California Earthquake Authority (www.earthquakeauthority.com) provides this coverage.

If you have questions about insurance for any of your possessions, be sure to ask your agent or company representative when you're shopping around for a policy. For example, if you run a business out of your home, be sure to discuss coverage for that business. Most homeowners policies cover business equipment in the home, but only up to $2,500 and they offer no business liability insurance. Although you want to lower your homeowners insurance cost, you also want to make certain you have all the coverage you need.

from Insurance Information Institute

Monday, October 10, 2005

CITI® DIVIDEND PLATINUM SELECT® CARD

Citibank is promoting a new credit card on yahho.com, with following features:

  • 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 months.*

  • Earn cash back on everything†–a full 5% cash back on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations, plus 1% on all other purchases.

  • Earn $5 cash back for every individual balance transfer transaction of $1,500 or more.

  • Earn unlimited cash back by shopping within the Citi  Dividend Merchant Network.

  • No annual fee.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

No Loca Phone Bill; Unlimited Calls to Asia (China); Voice Mail in emails

I have been a customer of lingo.com for two months. I enjoy the new VOIP internet phone service. I learned of their service when my friends told me they check my voice mail in their emails.

 

How?What you get from http://www.lingo.com?

  • One – month free. You can use your current phone number. Before your phone number is transferred, they will give you a temporary phone number. You can make calls to China right away after you receive the phone adaptor.
  • About $35.00/month, unlimited calls locals, long distance calls and
  • Unlimted phone calls to China. Think about it, your international call is like your local call now. No phone cards. No 1800. and those pin.
  • You do not need your local phone services anymore. Save your local phone bill (save me $22.50)
  • You can receive phone messages in your emails as an audio attachment. This is the coolest feature I like it.
  • If you want to check your voice mail, it is very convenient. (You do not need answering machine anymore.) From your home phone, call 1111, then your passcode.
  • 911 is available. Some kind of special registration.

 Pay attention

  • Calling cell phones China is not covered. Extra charge is 0.04 per minute (currently).
  • If power is off, or cable modem is off, your phone is dead. So you should always make your cell phone available.
  • You can only have one phone physically connected to the VOIP adaptor. So you have to use the wireless phones ( I have a phone set, with two phones, so I can use phones downstairs and upstairs.).

You get $25 and I get $25, deal?

When you sign up, remember to put my name, Tom Yang and my email address chinesecommunityus@gmail.com . Using me as referral, and you stay with it for 91 days, we both got $25 credits.

 

Friday, October 07, 2005

Automatic to be millionaire

David Bash talks about how to become a millionaire –

http://finance.yahoo.com/columnist/article/millionaire/984

The philosophy is simple and straightforward:
  • You don't have to make a lot of money to be rich.

  • You don't need discipline.

  • You don't need to be "your own boss." (Yes, you can still get rich being an employee.)

  • By using what I call the "Latte Factor," you can build a fortune on a few dollars a day.

  • The rich get rich (and stay that way) because they pay themselves first.

  • Homeowners get rich; renters get poor.

  • Above all, you need an "automatic system" so you can't fail.

Credit Card Late Payment - Penalty and Solution

Credit card late payment - penalty and solution

One day, when I review my credit card monthly bill from Chase bank, I saw a $39 late payment fee. And the promotional APR ,which is 3.99% until balance is paied off, has been changed to around 15%.

You may run into this trap setup by credit card companies. Such late fees are not illegal, they are often hidden in fine print. And if history repeats itself, 60 percent of credit card users will incur them this year.

The latest punishment—known as "universal default"—allows for virtually any late payment to trigger interest hikes and additional fees on other loans. With universal default, if you’re late paying your credit card bill, your insurance, mortgage or car loan rates can also increase. A single late payment can raise auto insurance rates as much as 50 percent. Most insurers now check for late payments in underwriting new business.

Meanwhile, if you’re late paying your insurance premiums and most other bills, your credit card interest rate may double.

Other consequence: The late fee may be waived, but also they may have an automatic increase in your card’s interest rate. It also can wipe away accumulated "rewards," such as free air miles.

Not that card issuers make it easy for customers to pay on time. In addition to strict hour deadlines, bills are now mailed closer to the due date, leaving customers with one week less to submit payment than a decade ago.

Recommendations:
1) mail all payments at least 10 days before their due date;
2) Set up an automatic online payments using your bank's online bill payment system. Still set at least 5 days ahead of the due date.
3) Try pay by phone with the credit card company, but typically charge $15 per transaction.

Where to complain:
1) Talk to your credit card company about dropping them.
2) Contact your state attorney general’s office
3) Contact the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency at (800) 613-6743