Slavery Reimbursement and Restitution For All African-Americans

Perhaps you have heard the great debate in the news media about the possible reimbursement and restitution for all African-Americans who have ancestors who were slaves. After some 15 generations this turns out to be quite a large number of people, in fact it is over 40 million. If the United States government were forced to give let’s say $75,000 to over 40 million people it would actually bankrupt our country, not that Social Security won’t do that same thing in the near future anyway, but nevertheless it would bankrupt the nation.

Additionally, how can one group of people such as African Americans demand reimbursement and restitution when other nationalities were also exploited in the early days of America. Consider the Irish and the Chinese while building the railroad or the time before the Industrial Revolution when people work to the bone; both adults and children for very little food, no they were not slaves but definitely economically enslaved. And also if we give reparations to black-Americans descended from slaves, then we also owe the Japanese Americans who were interned during WWII – another black mark on our nations unfortunately. Recently in a coffee shop conversation I heard a white gentleman arguing with a black gentleman over this very issue. The white gentleman stated:

“What about all the crime being caused by black Americans in the inner city, I have to pay more in taxes for police and prisons and my car was broken into, I do not see anybody trying to reimburse me for that. I want my tax dollars back. So there is your Black Mirror. And if anyone calls me a racist for pointing out facts; then I call the Black Chamber of Commerce racist for having an all Black Club, excluding whites. This is a Black Racist issue, demanding repayment for slavery and those involved need to get a life and grow up. They are not helping America; they are tearing it down. Plato would have laughed at the insanity of all this.”

Now then, those were not the exact words of the white gentleman as this debate got quite heated and went on for about 30 minutes nevertheless that was the gist of the argument and it is something to philosophically think about. Do I agree with what he’d said? No not entirely, and I think both sides have some points of contention. Maybe someday we can all work this out and not be so afraid over race issues that we can’t talk about it in a civilized way. What happened to America, what happened to the melting pot, why do these racial issues still go on. Why the racist comments from both sides, why the race baiting, and why all the anger from both white Americans and black Americans – We are All Americans after all!

The black gentleman was completely serious about wanting his $75,000 reimbursement. He said it was owed to him and he demanded restitution. The White Gentleman was adamant about not ever giving a red cent of tax dollars for reparations, so I guess this argument is just too heated to even mention anymore. Perhaps we should all consider this in 2006.

Source by Lance Winslow

Do You Mean My Old Casio Digital Watch Might Be Worth Something?

You know you’re getting old when something you still own becomes “retro.”  Worse yet when your kids come home with one thinking they’ve just found something really cool and new.

The Casio Digital Watch was all the rage when I was young. More than that it was cutting edge technology and kind of space age. When Christmas and birthdays came around back in the 1970’s we all wanted a casio personal calculator, (the size of  a paperback book) or a bit later on, the ultimate. A casiotronic keyboard.

I can remember being really jealous of my uncle who wore the first digital watch I ever saw way back in the 70’s, complete with display calender. I now know that it must have been a Casiotron which was the very first Digital watch ever made.

Come the early 80’s digital watches were more affordable and attractive and I really wanted one. When I turned 21, it was very disappointing to end up with a traditional  gold bracelet ladies Bulova.

The trend for electronic face digital display watches has come and gone during my lifetime but for some reason I never threw away the one I finally bought myself. A Casio Digital watch with a big square face and multi display of day, date and time, which has been relegated to the back of my old jewellery box for about 20 years.

When my son came over wearing one which was almost exactly the same and proudly showing it off I was amazed. Apparently the Casio Digital Watch is sought after and has street cred.  Of course not wanting to look like I wasn’t trend spotter, I got mine out and said I’d been keeping it to leave to him in my will. He took it immediately for his girlfriend – duh!

All jokes aside, they say everything old is new again and older Casio Digital Watches are collectible with most pre 1990 Casio’s considered to be vintage watches ( I guess that makes me an antique).  Casio made innovative, cheap and interesting products which pushed the boundaries. The market for these other (sometimes crazy) gadgets – such as the the cigarette lighter calculator is in it’s early days so they’re still relatively easy to find.

The throw away nature of many Casio products has created a lucrative market, as even though tens of thousands of Casio Digital Watches and other digital products were sold few remain. Which is great news for budding collectors!

Casio was a seed bed of technological innovations, and if you can find some of these older and rarer concept items in working condition then you may have the start of a lucrative collection. The older Casio products were made in Japan, and are highly desirable. Each watch had a model and module number and the place of manufacture can be found by tracing these. Casio collecting is still a relatively new hobby so get to those car boot sales and jump in while you still have the chance. How many times have you wished that you had had the foresight to start collecting something while it was still easily found at jumble sales? Here’s your chance. Do some homework and check some of the forums such as the digital watch forum for more information.

If you’re interested in beginning a collection then take a look at the Casio G Shock or G Force models. Particularly the Limited Edition models.

Casio’s market share slumped for a while as the digital watches declined in popularity. They came back into the  market with a vengeance in the mid 1990’s when they took on Timex in the sports watch market with the updated and more upmarket Masters Casio G Force and G Shock models.

The solar powered G Force had been around since 1985 when it’s relatively expensive titanium back with heavy duty soft overlay designed for divers was nicknamed the Frogman. The innovative design which was mud resistant came to be known as the Mudman. The word “man” in the title of G Force models has been used for 20 years.

G Force through the years:

* Antman, current –

* Fisherman, current –

* Frogman, current(2008) GW-225E.

* Seaman, current

* Gaussman, current –

* Gulfman, current(2007) G-9100, GW-9100 and GW-9125C.

* Lungman, current –

* Mudman, current(2007) G-9000, GW-9000 and GW-9025C.

* Riseman, current (2008) GW-9200.

* Wademan, current –

Casio Digital Watch Master of G models (above) all use a steel case covered by a thick neoprene or polyurethane bezel. All, apart from the original 1985 “Frogmen” feature Casio’s illuminated display allowing them to be read at depths. All models are water resistant to 200metres, and are an excellent scuba diving watch.

The G Force Casio Digital Watch models have become a preferred watch for divers and sailors and recently have hit the street market with a funky new advertising campaign aimed at the teenage and early 20’s. Casio redesigned the line for surfers, skaters and break dancers really pushing the indestructibility of the watch.

The new designs added bright colors and macho Velcro bands to give them street appeal. The new advertising campaigns used hip hop stars to promote the brand. The prices increased and so did sales. What comes around goes around and suddenly the kids want a Casio Digital Watch for their birthday or Christmas again. Go figure.

Source by Irene Walters

France: Long Stay Visa Planning

We have a gift of time.

My husband and I are both jobless for the first time since the 1980’s (you can do the math). The obvious and logical choice for most people would be to hit the pavement and search for new gainful employment. We are in the fortunate position that we do not need to worry about young dependents, read “children.” We are also lucky to have very healthy parents.

So why not? What are we waiting for? Why are we working? What better way to celebrate by taking some well deserved time off than to travel? These were all used in my heavy negotiating phase. I am lucky enough to have a husband who is willing to try new things and frankly “go along for the ride.” So the planning began back in June and the list was very long. The most important thing was the visa application to allow for an extended stay in the country (anything over 90 days requires a visa).

Several years ago, I worked in France and nothing has changed, if there is one thing the French love it is paperwork. There is no better way to emphasize the national love for bureaucracy than a lengthy visa application. The process for an extended stay (visa de long séjour) is 15 steps long, and is clearly not for the faint of heart. You need to commit to gathering all of the following (and more) in original and photocopy versions; police clearance, finger printing, photos, insurance, copies of your bank balance, promises not to work, seek unemployment insurance or get sick. Unless you are incredibly organized, it is no small feat to gather the documentation. Once you have all the documentation together, you need to physically go to Vancouver (or your closest consulate location) for a face-to-face interview, and to hand over the documents in person.

The documents for the long stay visa application requires all of the following (NOTE: verify exact requirements as the process is constantly flux):

  1. Passport valid at least three months after the expiry date of the visa + 1 set of photocopies of the main pages (photo, validity date, visas…)
  2. Long Stay visa application form duly filled out and signed + 2 recent and identical photos
  3. Per child: 1 Long Stay visa application form duly filled out and signed + 2 recent and identical photos
  4. Office Francaise de L’immigration et L’integration form completed
  5. Any document supporting your status in Canada and allowing your re-entry: Canadian Long Form birth certificate, Canadian citizenship card, permanent resident card (to be photocopied both sides), valid Canadian visa… + 1 photocopy
  6. Proof of means of income for the entire length of your stay in France: last 3 months bank statement showing your name and balance, last Notice of Assessment (NOA)… + 1 photocopy
  7. Letter under oath stating not to engage in any work + 1 photocopy
  8. Documents supporting your socio-professional status in Canada: recent letter of the employer (with position, record of employment, salary, vacation), last 3 pay stubs, Business Registration if you are self employed… + 1 photocopy
  9. RCMP Police clearance + 1 photocopy
  10. Questionnaire (visa long sejour visiteur) completed in French + 1 photocopy
  11. Proof of residency in France such as a lease, a title of property, etc + 1 photocopy.
  12. Proof of enrolment at a French school for children aged 6 to 16.

If the visa is granted:

The travel medical insurance is valid for the entire length of your stay in all the Schengen zone and covers all medical expenses such as medicine, hospitalization, repatriation with a minimum coverage of 50,000 CAD + 1 photocopy

We had to travel to Vancouver to complete our visa process. That included two return flights and a hotel room, to make sure we did not miss the appointed time. We arrived in advance of our scheduled appointment. The entry door is imposing and does cause a moment of reflection before you hit the buzzer and stumble through your greeting in French. After entry you are requested to hand over your precious stack of documents to a security guard. In our case, he rifled through our documents in a very officious manner. He removed paperclips, staples and rearranged the order. Frankly, after months of painstakingly gathering the documents it felt like a violation.

Then we were asked to wait. The next few minutes were painful as you are clearly on CCTV they have all of your most precious documents and at this stage you are not in control. We amused ourselves and passed the time by reading a French/English dictionary. We were called up to the next window and asked for proof related to our documents, this included:

  1. More photos
  2. More fingerprints
  3. The application fee

With that, we had 30 minutes to get to the bank (for updated statements) and the post office (prepaid envelope) before the office 12:30pm closing time. We made it!

I had decided long ago, it took my hubby a bit of time to catch on, that Jade our black lab would also benefit from some French food, and she may be able to pick up the odd word too. So this is proof of the fact that the French love their pets more than people, and certainly more than tourists. Jade’s application process had two steps and does not require a visit to the consular office.

Despite a bit of an onerous process a long stay in France is worth every ounce of effort. We are enjoying the food, the wine, new friends and lots of new adventures. We are making the best of our “gift of time.”

Source by Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

The Hip Hop Culture Identity

Hip-hop isn’t just about music. Hip-hop is about dance, art, expression, pain, love, racism, sexism, broken families, hard times, overcoming adversity and the search for God. It’s a culture, a way of life, a language, a fashion, a set of values, and a unique perspective. Hip-hop is about trying to live out the American dream from the bottom up.

Hip-Hop culture is a unique phenomenon because it does incorporate and affect so many different cultures, ages and classes. In the early 1970’s the unnamed culture known today as “hip-hop” was forming in New York City’s ghettos. Each element in this culture had its own history and terminology contributing to the development of a cultural movement. The culture was identified in the early 1980’s when DJ Afrika Bambaataa named the dynamic urban movement, “hip-hop.” Since that time “hip-hop” has served as a powerful voice and form of expression for young black audiences and has evolved into a culture with its own language, style of dress and mindset. The hip hop culture envelops not only music but also fashion and dance.

What makes hip hop’s evolution is the range of flavor the culture has to offer and what “hip-hop heads” thrive on is individuality and creativity, which is never more apparent than in hip-hop fashion. In fact, hip hop fashion is one of the top clothing industries in the world today. It is claimed to have begun in the African American community but has spread quickly into being a truly universal style for people of all ethnicities and sexes and a lynch pin of hip hop culture. Hip hop fashion is preferred by various celebrities such as 50 cent, Puff Daddy, Ja Rule and Sean Combs. It is often satirized by comedians such as Ali G. Hip hop fashion is a visible element of hip hop culture.

Hip hop dancing is evolving in many different directions today, heavily influenced by the evolution of hip hop music and its popularity in media, surrounded by heated debates on history and authenticity. Modern hip hop music gave birth to new styles of hip hop dancing partly inspired by the old school styles. Most of those styles focused on upright dancing as opposed to breakdance which is better known for its floor-oriented movements. To express one’s creative talent, hip-hop dancing is perhaps the best way in which impressions and expressions come from the soul.

Music has always played a key role in shaping minds and attitudes. Hip hop music sheds light on contemporary politics, history and race. The social influence hip hop music has on the hip hop cultural movement includes activities of dancing, associated slang, fashion and other elements. Hip hop music encompasses the written word, visual art, dance and rhythmic style with intricate beats. Music has no boundaries and no limits; anything worthy should be available through music, especially spirituality and religion. A big influence on the hip hop identity is its redeeming music.

Culture is the product of a current reality. The identity of a culture is created by the work and thought of human beings. It is the expression of a class or element of a particular class and is reflective of a certain period. The allure of Hip Hop culture as an organizing mechanism has arisen primarily because there is no existing political apparatus that adequately addresses the needs of young people and/or poor and working class communities; in a political vacuum. Culture, as a general matter, cuts to the core of how people articulate their beliefs, values and customs. Hip Hop culture is the most visible and vocal representative entity of its own identity.

Source by JJ Reilly

Branches of Facilities Management

As a business, having a commercial property is very important but adding value to it makes it a more lucrative proposition. In order to maintain the utilities within a property there has to be a deliberate intention to seek the right resources that ensure all real estate assets are well maintained.

An integrated facilities management solution therefore comes in to ensure that clients receive the best possible management for their facilities. This service will go a long way in the reducing the amount of redundancy and management related wastage that is associated with poor management.

There are several categories of services involved in facilities management and outlined below are three of the main ones:

1. Estate management

This includes a wide range of services that generally focus on the general oversight of realty including the physical premises, equipment and environs. In many cases this will also include certain support services. Below is a list of some of the major activities involved in estate management:

  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Overseeing utility services such as cleaning, waste disposal and landscaping
  • Tenant and service provider liaisons
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Inspections and quality checks
  • Security services

2. Office support management

Many serviced properties are equipped with offices for various purposes and there is a need to have qualified personnel to man these areas. Some of the office duties that require professional oversight include:

  • Front office management
  • Transport office management
  • Courier and mail services
  • Concierge services
  • Warehouse administration

3. Engineering Management

Mechanical equipment and maintenance are a big part of any real estate property and they have to be managed in a professional manner. Facilities management offers specific engineering management solutions to fit the needs of specific properties. Some of the areas of concentration are:

  • Operation and maintenance of mechanical equipment
  • Reactive and planned maintenance for onsite equipment
  • Management of energy equipment
  • Quality assurance
  • Assessment of possible risks
  • Health and Safety Procedures

The main basis of all these activities is to be able to increase the value of any facility through professional handling of service provision. This is in line with local and international standards.

All the services mentioned above take a considerable amount of time and effort to deploy and maintain. This is the main reason why the facilities management is often an outsourced service and it is often pegged on professional execution even though sometimes they are seen as an unnecessary cost items.

Outsourcing the facilities management ultimately leads to reduced wastage due to proper maintenance and supervision.

Source by Adil Akkus

How Can You Go About Not Shaving in Basic Combat Training?

In basic combat training, the males are required to shave their beards everyday except your mustache as long as it does not go past the corners of your mouth. If you’re not a person who likes to shave or have sensitive skin to razors, then I suggest that you get a shaving profile.

A shaving profile is basically an expiration referral, stating that you cannot shave for more than one or two weeks. You can also get a permanent shaving profile in basic training, if you have serious bumps under your neck and ingrown hair. The army doctor can also give you an electric razor if the condition gets worse but those are issued to recruits who have serious bump issues.

How to Get a Shaving Profile

In order to receive a shaving profile in basic, you must have some visible skin bumps under your neck. Then wake up early before 0500 hours or first formation of the day. You must bring a battle buddy along with you to CQ desk (or formally known as Charge of Quarters, an overnight desk duty with one drill sergeant). Your battle buddy and yourself must legibly write your names, platoon and reason for going to sick call into the sign-in roster and receive a sick call slip. Even though you will miss the morning exercise, you do not have to make it up later. Also, make sure that you tell your squad leader beforehand of your absence. This way someone does know where you are when a drill sergeant does attendance.

The hardest part about going to sick call is finding a battle buddy who will go along with you. If you do, then you’re in luck. After getting the sick call slip, make sure that you carry it everywhere you go including the restroom. When a drill sergeant approaches you for having a beard, then you can show him or her your shaving profile.

Source by Gregory Warren

What Is Labour Hire, and Why Is It a Good Option for Employers?

Host employers pay a fixed fee to the labour hire agency, which includes all insurances, taxes, statutory charges, and other fees. The employees are paid directly by the agency, because the agency, not the host employer, employs them. A sample billing calculation could be as follows;

Amount charged to host employer (the client);-

  • Base rate of pay: $19.78
  • Superannuation 9%: $1.78
  • Workers compensation insurance: $0.21
  • Payroll tax: $0.89
  • Administration fee: $1.66
  • Margin: $4.72
  • Total billed to client: $29.04 +GST per hour

The role of the agency is to recruit and select the most appropriate staff for their clients’ roles, and importantly, to maintain a pool of available workers for the various assignments that might arise from day to day. The agency is not of much use to their clients if they don’t have appropriate staff when required. Labour hire is a convenient option for companies who need staff, but don’t want to (or can’t) hire directly. In Australia in 2002, there were over 230,000 labour hire workers according to the Australian Productivity Commission, and that number is continuing to trend upwards. For a look at why so many companies are using agencies, check out the following benefits.

1) Flexibility – if a new shipment of stock arrives, there are more staff available on call to deal with it. Similarly, a small company can feel comfortable tendering or quoting for a big contract, because they know they can access staff to back them up in the event they win the contract.

2) Non-commitment – many industries are seasonal, requiring a larger workforce during some times of the year, and less workers during other times. By using an agency, companies can easily increase or decrease their staff levels as required.

3) Once off assignments are OK – if a cleaning company had a contract to do a major clean on a cruise ship that docked in town only once a year, they could easily have the right level of staff for the job almost overnight, whereas it would not be practical to employ hundreds of staff for the entire year just waiting for the ship to arrive.

4) Outsourced HR – companies can spend hundreds of hours advertising, interviewing, checking backgrounds, checking references, and making selections – only to have to repeat the process a few weeks down the line if the employee doesn’t work out. By using a agency, this no longer is the problem of the company; instead it’s handled by the agency entirely.

5) Outsourced payroll and admin – interpreting awards, calculating timesheets, responding to staff enquiries, and processing payroll are tasks that consume substantial amounts of time. When an employer chooses to engage staff through an agency, these functions are all performed externally, removing the administrative burden from in-house staff.

The term labour hire is mainly an Australian term – in other countries it’s known as staffing or manpower, and the companies who provide the service are called manpower agencies or staffing agencies.

Most labour hire companies will allow the host employer to directly hire the worker, in exchange for a placement fee. For example – if Toms Bread Company hired a delivery driver (we’ll call him Fred) through an agency to replace the non-reliable drivers he’d so far had, and found that Fred was actually a great and reliable employee, he would obviously want to employ Fred permanently. In order to do so, he would pay the placement fee to the agency, and Fred would cease to work for the labour hire agency and would commence immediately as a direct employee of Toms Bread Company.

The issue of responsibility for safety and wellbeing of the worker is an area that both labour hire agencies and host employers alike must pay close attention to. In the event that a labour hire worker gets injured, both the labour hire agency and the host company are responsible. In a recent Australian court case, a host employer and a labour hire company were fined $120,000 over an incident which occurred when a labour hire worker operated a forklift despite not being appropriately trained or licensed to do so, resulting in the forklift rolling over and the worker losing his leg as it was crushed.

The Perth Magistrates court fined host employer Beds Plus $80,000 for failing to ensure the provision of a safe workplace, and the labour hire company Flexi Staff was fined $40,000 for the same offence. Although this case might suggest the liability rests mainly with the host employer, this is not necessarily the case – the courts very much take a case-by-case approach to determining liability, and consider factors including how much monitoring and inspection of the host employer is done by the labour hire company.

Any agency that takes their role seriously will do regular site audits to ensure their staff are being as safe as possible, and to ensure that their staff are appropriately trained and licensed for the tasks they are carrying out.

In addition to benefits for the host companies, the staff who work for a labour hire company are often more satisfied working for a labour hire company than they would be working directly for a single company. The reasons given include changing work environments – they don’t get stuck in the rut working with the same people all the time, freedom of casual work – they know they won’t cause anyone too much inconvenience if they need to take a week or two off work, ability to work close to home – they only accept jobs within a certain distance of their home, and most of all – opportunities to progress to better positions as they become more experienced with their employer.

Labour hire is a good solution – it doesn’t work for everyone, but anyone looking at ways to manage their workforce should consider the option of labour hire.

Source by Terry Dawe

Definition of Pollution

It may be easy to define pollution but the impacts of pollution are definitely fatal. The process which fully or partially disturbs the natural or balance composition of any part of the nature is called pollution. Flow of untreated waster water into the water bodies, mixing of poisonous or harmful gases into the air or absorption of hazardous waste in soil are dismal examples of the process of pollution.

As a matter of fact pollution can’t be defined as enthusiastically as it can be condemned and censured. Why? Because pollution definition is not as much important as its remedial measures are of utmost importance to save human life from its hazards. Anyway, whatever disturbs the natural composition of any thing is called pollution.

The definition of pollution can rightly be found at a place either at land or water which has been impaired by its hazards. A densely populated commercial hub of backward metropolis, a village at the coastal belt of Asia or Africa or an agriculture land damaged by undue spray of chemical fertilizer and pesticide can unequivocally tells the sorry state of harms of pollution.

In slums of huge city the harms of pollution are visible in its standard of living. Squalid streets, unhygienic food, smelly restaurants, footpaths with heaps of garbage and dirty urchins are enough to tell the fortune of people who lives in such underdeveloped areas. It shows the nexus of pollution and poverty. More the pollution, higher the poverty level and it is proved in poverty-ridden areas of the world.

In the process of pollution it does not evince what is affected most but results are same of all kinds of pollution. Either it is air pollution, water pollution or land pollution; they directly impact the human life apart from marring the natural beauty of environment. We breathe in air but can not feel the level of pollution in it. It dawn upon us when after some times we face problems in breathing. We don’t know how land pollution is contaminating the food we eat but when it becomes hard to digest even softer kind of food we come to know that our digestive system has totally been disturbed.

Therefore, definition of pollution is definitely important to understand how pollution is made but more important is to realize the harms of pollution wherever we observe that pollution is directly or indirectly affecting the natural fabric of our lives. In this way we would be able to take precautionary measures to protect ourselves from its harm and to make efforts to contain it to the lower possible level.

Source by Mirza Mujtaba Baig

The Power of "Non-Lien-Able Debt" to a Real Estate Investor

Isn’t it great that there is so many ways to get funding for Real Estate Investing projects today? That’s important since Sellers kind of want to get paid for their houses when they sell them… Right?? Now, just because there are what seems like an endless number of sources for funds, doesn’t mean those funds are easy to get… or when you can get them… they’re easy to afford. The borrower is required to, in many cases, “Jump through hoops” in order to end up with the funds they need. Credit approval, Appraisals, LTV/ARV… and, even then they usually don’t get it. All they need, is “skin in the game”.

Good debt vs. Bad Debt

Most Real Estate Investors are familiar with the expression “Good debt vs. Bad Debt”. The problem is most don’t fully understand the difference. My daughter knew the difference when she was 8 years old. I remember when we went to lunch and she went from asking me to do “plusses and minuses” to doing story problems. So, in the interest of “training her early in life”, I gave her story problems involving business. She would accidentally learn about everything from expenses, to profits… including the differences between good and bad debt. Her understanding was so thorough she could recite the definition, and more importantly explain it when asked to.

Unfortunately, we are not taught any of this in school today. We are taught how to be spenders/savers instead of how to be investors/entrepreneurs. In other words, we are never taught how “money works”, but we are most certainly taught how to “work for money”. Knowing the difference between Good and Bad debt isn’t brain surgery, but the negative effects of ignorance can be huge. The difference is very simple. Bad Debt costs you money, Good Debt makes you money. Yes, it’s just that simple.

What the Banks Know that We Don’t

The Banks are well aware of the difference. Just look at the difference between what they “pay you” (and I use the word “pay” very loosely) for your deposits, and what they “charge” you when the “sell” you credit. Understand the business of banks are to sell credit. They also know and understand the dictum, “Own nothing, but control everything”. They live by it. What’s fun, is with the use of Non-lien-able debt, the Real Estate Investor can do the same thing. They can almost become their own bank.

Bad Debt costs you money since the net result of it is you end up with less than what you started with. Good debt makes you money since the net result is you end up with more than what you started with. In business, you are comparing Profit vs Expense. In our personal life, we are comparing income to, well “Income substitute’… sometimes referred to as Credit Cards.

The obvious examples of Good Debt would be things like SF rentals, Multi-family rentals, commercial properties, and other appreciable cash flowing assets. Bad debt examples would be the previously mentioned Credit Cards, boats, RV’s, etc… The equity in our own home is not an investment. It makes us no money, it costs us money to build it. Now, if we tap into it in the form of a loan, it becomes debt… what type of debt depends on what it is used for. Note that I’m not saying we should all go out and refinance our homes, cash out the equity, and invest. If you decide to do that, you don’t have my blessing. You are putting your home at risk. Not smart. Particularly since there are so many other safer ways to get funds to invest with.

The Power of Compounding… Duplication on Steroids

Banks understand all of this. They leverage your assets/deposits into credit/debt. That’s, credit from them, and debt to you. They own nothing, and in fact can leverage credit, actually sell “virtual money” to you at many times the “face value” of your asset on deposit with them. That topic is for another time. For this discussion, understand that the bank is exploiting the power of Duplication. Actually, they are taking advantage of what Albert Einstein referred to as the “Greatest Invention of the 20th Century”… compound interest. He went even further to state that those that understood it (banks) live off of those that don’t (the rest of us).

You want a very powerful example? Start with a penny… just 1 cent. Then, for the next 30 days, double it. So, day 1 would be 2 cents, day 3 would be 4 cents, day 4 would be 8 cents, and so on. Do it on paper. It will have a much greater impact on you. What’s the answer? Try it. You’ll be amazed. What you will be watching is an example of compounding at its finest.

So, how do we, as Real Estate Investors, do the same thing? Can we do the same thing? The answer to the second question is a resounding yes! The answer to the first question is, you guessed it, with the use of Non-lien-able debt.

The Power of Non-Lien-Able Debt… Compounding on Steroids

How you ask? Simple. First, remember that typical financing used in Real Estate Investing is lien-able debt. There is a lien of some type on the asset… the property we are buying. When we use non-lien-able debt, there is no lien on the property. In fact, there is no tie at all to the property. This is critical. This is what makes this work. This is what makes us our own bank. How?

What’s the first thing that happens at closing, after the mountain of paperwork is signed? The answer is, the original lender of the seller, is paid off. In other words, the lien is paid off. The seller doesn’t even see the money. Wouldn’t you like to at least touch it when selling… even for a minute? How about doing more? How about being able to re-use it, over and over again? Yes you can. That answer was for all those reading this and saying “know you can’t”. Here’s why… and how.

Let’s look at a typical property funding. First, a loan is acquired and we buy and rehab the property. We flip the house, and upon sale we do two things: 1) We pay back the original funding (lien); 2) We make a profit (hopefully). Now, to move forward, we need to get new financing and deal again with the “App triplets”. You know, new Application, Appraisal and Approval. All costly, time consuming and with no guarantees.

Now, if this was a form of Non-lien-able debt, we wouldn’t need to pay back the money we borrowed… at least not right away. This also means, that instead of only walking away only with our profit to use, we walk away with all of the proceeds from the sale. Sell a house for $75,000 with a lien-able debt of $50,000 and we walk away with only $25,000… the profit. Sell that same house with non-lien-able debt, and we walk away with the entire $75,000… minus closing costs. Which would you rather do?

Turning “Bad Debt” into “Good Debt”

OK, before I go further, I need to answer all the readers who are saying “I still have to pay back the debt”. In fact, I have monthly payments coming up that is usually very high due to the nature of the terms on most NLD. So, what I do, is I fund a cash reserve as part of the NLD. The cash reserve is your silent partner whose only role is to make the monthly payments until you can develop your system to become self-sufficient, and self-sustaining. Combine the profits from the first couple of flips and buy/rehab a 2nd “Flip House”, that you will also be re-using those funds over and over again, since there would be no debt at all on that 2nd house… you bought if for all cash. The idea is to NEVER use the principle for anything but the cost of the next Flip House. You are working with two “flip houses” now after that 2nd flip

Flip these two Houses, combine the two profits and buy/rehab a third Flip House. Again, you will be re-using the costs for all three houses to buy/rehab the next 3 Flip Houses in line. You now have three lines of Flip Houses. No matter how many times you try to spend the principle… they keep giving it back to you. Now, this is where the real fun begins.

While you’ve been developing your system, your Cash Reserve is dwindling down to nothing. So, it’s about time you refunded it, don’t you think, and “buy yourself” more time. Keep in mind that these payments you are making from the cash reserve is actually paying off the debt… or it doesn’t work, so when you calculate how much to put into the cash reserve, keep that in mind. Now for the real fun.

Like I said, the cash reserve is “no more”, so refund it… with one of the profits from one of the three flip houses. What do you do with the other two profits? Buy/rehab a “Hold house” for the cash flow… with all cash. Then, just continue to flip the three Flip Houses, over and over again, using the “profits only” to buy more “Cash flow” houses, with all cash, and occasionally refunding the cash reserve until the debt is paid off… and you are completely debt free.

The Tale of the Tape… Einstein was a Pretty Smart Guy

Question #1: How many times did we pay for these funds?

Answer: Once… we just didn’t pay it back all at once, as we would have if it was lien-able debt.

Question #2: How many houses are we able to use these funds for (remember, we are only going to pay for them once)?

Answer: I don’t know. I’ll let you know when I stop re-using them.

We just became our own bank. We are now leveraging our own money to ourselves, at no extra cost. Every time we re-use these funds, at no extra charge, we make the cost of the debt per house go down. This means, we also just made the initial cost of this type of funding insignificant.

Einstein was right. Compounding is a beautiful thing. When combined with Non-lien-able debt, it can be a “gold mine” to Real Estate Investors.

Source by Joe Villeneuve

The Advantages and Disadvantages of the MBT Shoe

The Masai Barefoot Technology or MBT shoes are the most popular shoe to hit the world in terms of innovative shoe design. This revolutionary fitness shoe offers a better choice for people who want to become more health conscious. The MBT shoe allows for the development and increasing the fitness level of people who are inclined to exercise in a different method. The MBT shoe has both pros and cons and this article will dissect the options these shoes offer in the respective categories.

The MBT Shoes’ popularity is based on many positive aspects that the company claims will be beneficial to their customers. One such claim is the fact that shoe will lead to an increase muscle activity. Based on the shoes design and the amount of effort on has to put into wearing the shoe, the ability of increasing muscle activity is real. The company’s website makes the statement that wearing the shoe leads to an increase in circulation. This once again works based on the how the shoe is built. The shoe encourages the individual to have good posture and have a better stride. All of these characteristics of the shoe enable it to live up to its name as a revolutionary fitness shoe.

As revered as the MBT shoe is, There is still some negativity associated with it. There are various cons related to the MBT shoe, however the cost is one of the leading negatives. Various Masai Barefoot Technology shoes start retailing at $100+ and there are special anti-cellulite shoe that begin at $250. This is quite expensive for a shoe. There is another issue with the MBT shoe and that is there is no research to support claims that the shoe works. People will base their decision to buy the shoe on consumer reviews and claims by the company. There is no real evidence to prove that the shoe can deliver on the various claims that they make.

In concluding, the MBT shoe is a matter of the consumer weighing the pro’s and cons of the shoe. The positives of the shoe are based on its design and the type of benefits the wearer will receive from the shoe itself. The shoe allows for increased circulation, proper posture and the development of muscles. This is an added benefit for people interested in buying the MBT shoe. The shoe has its cons mainly the price and the issue of no proper research to verify the claims from the company. For what its worth the MBT shoe offers something different on the exercise shoe market and the decision to get one is based more on the consumer weighing the pro’s and cons.

Source by James Daltons