The Vanishing American Window Seat Tribe

In Japan there's a corporate subculture called mado-giwa-zoku employees or window-tribe. They are middle managers stripped of all subordinates and responsibilities – a kind of "in-house retirement." Instead of laying off managers, large Japanese companies shame them into retirement. This is a way for Japan's corporations to gracefully eliminate well-paid managers through generous payouts, generally two years salary and accrued pension if they refuse to accept the retirement package. Those who remain essentially look out a window all day collecting their paycheck.

We have something similar in the US when a manager is suddenly and unceremoniously assigned to "Special Projects", a euphemism for inevitable elimination and a period for him to "get his affairs in order" to look for another job. This is corporate purgatory, shipping you off and dropping you on an island – hopefully tropical – with provisions (buyout) for a month or two.

Like Japan, America's window-tribe consist of middle-age workers who are deemed "too old" to even be considered for jobs elsewhere. They're at the dead end in their careers, well-paid, but with no hope of advancement, no raises and fewer benefits. They're not looking out the window, rather they're hanging on the outside window ledge by their fingertips. Or sometimes, like those gangster movies, the corporate goons are holding the manager upside down from the top floor threatening to drop him unless he accepts a measly buyout.

This is all too late for Boomers but these are powerful lessons to be learned by Millennials for the present going forward when their jowls begin to drop and their thinning hair turns gray. Sadly Millennials probably will have more consistent continual career stress than Boomers because a long-term uncertain future requiring the constant need to upgrade and acquire new skills – a permanent hustlers' life. Rapid change sounds quite exciting when one is in their 20s and perhaps 30s with no or little responsibilities and good health, but once middle age approaches, one yearns for a more predictable and secure working environment.

As society and business undergo tectonic shifts the ways things were will never return even when the next economic boom returns. The old ways of comfortably working for a corporation for 3-5 years before moving up or moving on for better opportunities are over. Forever. No matter how good you are – even if you're a prodigy in your field – you'll face the inevitable corporate rejection. Special Forces intense exercise, clean living and Botox can forestall middle-age for only so long as you inexorably creep towards expendability regardless of your skills, talents, contributions and achievements. There's not enough Botox and hair coloring to hold back decrepitude and prevent age discrimination, something that is hard-wired in our society. My elders always warned me "do not get old," a piece of advice in which I've failed miserably.

With the increasing wave of Boomer retirements, this window-seat tribe will vanish to the point of extinction to make way for the new époque of corporate musical chairs that will have Millennials scrambling every day of their careers. It's a new and scary world fraught with unpredictable rapid shifts that require a fundamental mindset change by the younger generation to cope.

Source by Albert Goldson

Eleven Key Attributes of a Good Property Manager

Property Management is a career profession. The industry allows for employment growth, continual learning experiences, and the opportunity to work with diverse people and income groups. The Property Manager can work either directly for an owner of real estate properties, or for a property management company, contracted by an owner or legal entity to care for the real estate over a specific period of time.

The Property manager has a fiduciary relationship with the management company and property owner. A fiduciary relationship is one that is based on a mutual trust and complete confidence in one another.

The Property Manager is provided an owner's real estate portfolio to manage to its "highest and best use" in exchange for an employment contract or salary. Real estate assignments for the property manager includes apartment buildings, condominiums, hotels, storage facilities, shopping centers, office buildings, government subsidized properties, rooming houses, abandoned buildings and plots of vacant land, to name a few.

I have managed almost all of the above types of properties for over twenty years. I have managed public and private housing, for non-profit organizations, for the federal government, and for private developers and real estate investors. I also owned my own property management company for eight years. I now teach, speak, and write about property management standards and techniques. Here are some crucial skills, which I know from first hand experience, must be accepted as required attributes and learned skills in order to be a good property manager.

1. Must Know and Stay Current on Local Ordinances and State Laws

Managers are required to perform their work according to the laws of the land. The government (city, state, and federal) dictates how real estate is to be managed, from requiring a real estate license (depending on the state), to the use of the real estate (such as rent control laws). From proper trash removal to how and where we must keep security deposits, the manager has to keep abreast of the many legal requirements of managing real estate. If a mistake is made or a task is forgotten, it could cost the owner his or her property, and / or a management company's reputation, loss of the account, or even the loss of real estate licenses.

2. Must Be Highly Ethical and Honest

Property Managers work on the Honor Code when they handle other people's money. By collecting rent, security deposits, laundry machine money et al, the property manager holds a fiduciary relationship with the property owner and / or management company. The owner entrusts the property with thousands of dollars each month, plus the value of the real estate itself. The manager is hired to perform at his or her highest level of integrity. On a daily basis, the property manager's good judgment and sense of what is right and wrong is called into play.

3. Must be Detail Oriented and Organized

Managers collect the rent daily, and must ensure that each rent is paid and posted to the tenants' account as received. Financial records detailing each and every rent transaction are kept, either by rent cards, or on the computer. Lease expirations and renewals, rent increase letters, and rent invoices must be mailed on time. lines for court appearances must be kept, and clients must receive their written monthly report of operations. A skilled property manager is able to multi-task, keep site files organized, and prioritize repairs and assignments.

4. Must Have Good Communication Skills

Managers must be able to communicate with people from all walks of life, cultures, ethnicities, and personalities. Managers must be able to articulate their cases in front of judges, talk to the owner, negotiate with vendors as well as speak appropriately with tenants, who are often frustrated, upset, or angry. A good manager must be able to stay calm, and communicate in a professional manner. Familiarity speaking in other languages ​​is always a plus.

5. Must have Good Computer Skills

Computer competency is a technical skill, like driving, typing, etc. The use of email, mail merge, and faxing through the computer is at the heart of property management today. This is especially true if the property is on one part of the city or state, and the home office is a distance away from the site. If a manager does not have a solid command of the computer and its basic programs, such as Microsoft Word and the spreadsheet Excel, you may be hard pressed to find an administrative position in this field.

6. Should Like Working with the Public

If everyone paid the rent on time by the fifth day of each month, the manager would not have rent collection work to do. If a property never had problems, such as toilet overflows, lost keys, or defective smoke detectors, a property manager would have little to do. Therefore, it is important that a manager enjoy dealing with people with problems. A manager should at least like helping tenants with dignity, and in a responsible manager. If you do not like being interrupted several times a day with a dilemma to solve, this type of job may not be for you.

7. Must Be Patient and Have a Sense of Humor

There is some pressure involved working with the public. There are days when nothing seems to go right, and if you happen to have a headache that day, it could be a long 9 to 5. A calm personality or a good sense of humor will take you a long way in property management. If you tend to be high-strung, anxious, or become angry or impatient while working with tight deadlines or with people with problems, you may want to re-consider taking on this profession.

8. Must Like to Read and Conduct Research

There are many types of leases, agreements, forms, and other legal documents that must be signed between tenants, the manager, government agencies, the site attorney, and / or the owner. Real estate and governmental regulations change; the manager must be willing to read up on them and stay current. Documentation must be read and checked before submitted to tenants, agencies, the owner, etc. If you do not like to read in order to keep up with the latest trends, legal and industry changes and terminology used, you will not be able to properly do your job.

9. Must Have a Strong Sense of Duty and Commitment

Ensuring that the tenants under your control are treated with respect, have heat and hot water, are not subjected to or committing illegal activities or disruptive behavior of their neighbors, are some of the managers' duties. Tenants depend on the manager's sense of obligation to the property and the families or professionals who live in it. The manager may not always have the funds to do everything all the time, but what can and should be done, such as keeping the building clean, and having a sense of urgency to get work completed in a timely manner.

10. Should be Flexible-Minded

Property Management is a fluid profession, in that it follows economic, governmental, industry, and societal changes that impacts how a property is managed. Managers who still like the "good old days" of mistreating tenants and making rental applicants jump through unnecessary hoops to get an apartment (or the opposite, by not checking anything), will find him or herself out of touch, and maybe out of a job. The ability to accept changes of law, obey fair housing laws, have a positive, or at least a neutral, attitude about people who are different, and above all, to be open-minded, is a key element of a successful manager.

11. Must Be an Excellent Follow-Up Person

A manager can never assume that a repair or rent payment plan will happen on its own. Our mantra is: "Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up!" This is one of the most critical skills of a good property manager. The ability to multi-task, keeping several balls in the air without dropping any of them is challenging, and difficult at times. The ability to successfully multi-task is often rewarded both financially and in promotion decisions.

Source by Carolyn Gibson

Customer Trust and Loyalty

Customer trust is a precondition for prosperity. Yet, most businesses …

o Act as if customer trust develops because the business believes it is honest.

o Build only a shallow type of trust that does not lead to profitable relationships and loyalty.

o Have no strategy to build the type of trust where customers increasingly value the relationship.

Now is an excellent time to aggressively and systematically work at building customer trust. Virtually all businesses have been tainted by the general rise in societal distrust of companies.

o A recent Datamonitor study of consumers in the USA and Europe found that 86% are less trusting of companies than they were five years ago.

o 80% of people stop buying products or services from companies when their trustworthiness comes into question (Edelman 2005 Trust Barometer)

o People spread distrust to friends and associates, the people we trust most.

o Over 33% who lose trust in a company, openly campaign against that company on the Internet.

The Datamonitor and Edelman research demonstrates that it goes beyond a few isolated cases. Furthermore, according to a Yankelovich study, more than two-thirds of people do not believe advertisers and marketing. They see it as self-serving distortions.

Customers want to do business with companies they trust but, do not know who to trust. Therefore, companies that proactively demonstrate trustworthiness stand to gain a tremendous source of competitive differentiation.

What is trust and why is it important to customer relationships? Webster gives two definitions of trust that help separate the wheat from the chaff.

1. firm belief or confidence in the honesty, integrity, reliability, justice of another person or thing.

2. confident expectation, anticipation, or hope; as in trust in the future.

Most companies believe they are trustworthy but only measure up to the first definition. They want to be known as a company that is honest, reliable and fair. They expect their products live up to expectations and when they do not they think they treat customers equitably.

Do you think your company measures up? If you say yes, ask yourself what you proactively do to build this trust. Many companies have no deliberate strategy.

If you have a deliberate strategy, now might be a good time to question how well it is working. As mentioned above, Yankelovich's research shows that most customers do not believe your marketing and advertising. And, the Edelman Trust Barometer concluded that when looking for a credible source of information on a company or product, CEO's, employees, public relations people and celebrities rank in the bottom half.

Measuring up to the first definition of trust is essential to sustainable and profitable customer relationships. However, even if customers believe your company is honest, reliable and fair, this is no guarantee they will be loyal and profitable. To garner commitment, profitability and high lifetime value, a company must measure up to Webster's second definition as well.

Businesses that meet the first definition but not the second, run into the Satisficing Trust Barrier. Satisficing trust is the trust that allows a customer to feel comfortable in buying products or services from a company. It is a sense of confidence that the company will stand behind the product. It is sufficient trust to purchase a well-defined product, a commodity. In a world of abundance and overwhelming choice, satisficing trust does not insure repeat business. Customers buy commodities that offer the best trade-off between satisficing trust, price and convenience. Some companies become complacent because they feel they offer the best combination of the three. Unfortunately for them, all it takes to lose customers is for a competitor to create the perception of a better deal. No real relationship value has been accrued by the company who wins business this way.

The operative words in the second definition of trust are "hope" and "trust in the future." Many purchases these days are not commodities; they are not well defined and may not have a track record. To make these types of purchases the customer must take a "leap-of-faith," and this requires trust. In this type of trust the customer must believe that the vendor company is truly interested in a win-win relationship. That is, they are interested a long-term relationship where both parties benefit. This type of trust grows out of experience with a company demonstrating a real commitment to win-win. Since virtually all customers have been "burned," companies often have to subjugate their short-term interests to stimulate the development of faithful trust.

Customer want to build relationships that help them more confidently make "leap-of-faith" decisions. Being able to rely on this trust helps them simplify things in an increasingly complex world. When this happens, trust in the relationship becomes more important to customers than price and convenience. It starts with "hopeful trust." Customers want the best for themselves. They want to adapt and to embrace change, and they will place extremely high value in relationships that help. Customers are on the lookout for signs from companies that their "hopeful trust" will be well placed. But this "hopeful trust" is just a test. If experience demonstrates that trust in the relationships is justified, faithful trust will emerge.

When trust morphs from "hopeful" to "faithful," a very significant twist occurs. The main concern of customers shifts from price and utility to the seeking of advice and guidance. When price is an issue, customers withhold information. When they seek guidance, they openly share. "Faithful trust" enables this openness. It also enables both parties to prosper and builds a basis for co-adaptation, now and in the future.

The trustworthy company gets the immediate sale, but they get much more. Snafus or mistakes that might have once terminated a relationship are now overlooked for the sake of the relationship. Customers become turbocharged advocates. They do not merely tell others what you sell; they vouch for you and the relationship value you deliver. They come to depend on your business and, as a consequence, they want you to thrive.

The real-life story of Billy Blue, a men's clothier in San Francisco illustrates the power of fully trusting relationships. Billy Blue's thriving business took a nose dive during the dot.com crash. The downturn was so severe its owner, Billy Bragman, considered closing his doors. Instead, he wrote his customers a letter explaining the situation and asked them to buy more clothes. Even though many of his customers had their own business "trial and tribulations," they increased their clothes purchases. One guy sent a check for $ 2,500 with a note saying, "You know what I like; just send me some new clothes." Billy Blue customers could easily have turned to other men's stores but they chose to support Billy Blue. They valued their relationship with Billy Blue and did not want it to go out of business.

Source by John Todor

Top 3 EPPICard Fraud and How to Protect Yourself

EPPICard is a prepaid debit card, usually issued under the Visa or MasterCard brand that is used by a number of states to send child support, unemployment and other benefit funds to recipients. The convenience of the card is that the funds are automatically loaded onto the card, making it easy for recipients to access their funds. All EPPICards are managed by Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), which is owned by Xerox but each state contracts with a bank to issue their own card. Recently, EPPICard holders have been targets of fraud, prompting several states to issue fraud alerts to their card holders. However, the issue persists and the scams continue to grow in complexity. Here are the top 3:

1. Phishing Emails

Phishing emails involve receiving an email requesting that they log into their account and verify the account status. Usually, there is a link in the email that you are asked to click to verify your account information. Once you click on the link, it takes you to a phony site where your account information is then illegally captured while you attempt to log into your EPPICard account.

To avoid this scam, do not respond to suspicious emails that request that you verify your account information. If the email appears to be legitimate, call your EPPICard Customer Service to confirm before clicking on any link to verify your account status.

2. Fraudulent Charges on Card

This type of fraud happens when thieves obtain a person's EPPICard information and begins to spend the funds on the card. In most cases, the entire balance on the EPPICard is spent before the card holder becomes aware of the issue. A recent example is documented by the New Jersey Star-Ledger where a Newark, NJ card holder's account information was illegally obtained and used to purchase items at Staples in Washington DC totaling $ 600. The card holder found out about the illegal transactions when her card was denied when she attempted to make a purchase. That prompted her to check her card transactions, which led her to discover the fraudulent purchases. These types of fraud are hard to fight, even if the card holder can prove they did not use the card. It is therefore important to secure your EPPICard information.

To prevent this type of fraud, do not log into your EPPICard account from public computer stations, such as libraries and internet cafes. Also, be careful when using free public Wifi to access your account information. In addition, keep an eye on your EPPICard transactions and practice sound financial records disposal, including shredding your statements and other sensitive financial documents rather than throwing them away in the trash.

3. Text Message Fraud

Text message fraud is the newest form of EPPICard fraud, where cardholders that have signed up for balance alerts via their mobile phones receive text messages believed to be from EPPICard luring them to giving up sensitive personal information, which is then later used to either deplete the funds from their account or in case of social security and date of birth information – used to perpetrate identity theft.

To avoid this type of fraud, always be hesitant when you receive any communication, whether via text, email, or phone requesting you to verify account status or provide sensitive information to confirm an account status. The best way to handle these kinds of requests is to call the official customer service number for the card issuer – in this case, you will call your EPPICard Customer Service, and verify whether the request you received is legitimate. If it is a legitimate request, insist on performing the verification with them while you are on the phone. That way, you do not have to click on a link to verify your information, especially if you do not trust the security of your computer or mobile device.

Source by Kwame Kuadey

Role of Budgeting in Planning, Control, and Resource Allocation Process in UAE Companies

Budget
Before understanding the key concepts of budgeting, it is important to understand the meaning of budget. A budget is used to make a documentation of the translation of plans into money. So, the amount of money that needs to be spent in the planned strategies of the company would lie under the budget of that company. These planned strategies include the expenditure that a company incurs and also the income that the company predicts to make. So, in other words, a budget helps one to make an estimation of the amount of money that would be required for the company to handle the projects undertaken by it. It must also be understood that a budget is not made permanently. There are conditions under which a company can make changes in the budget and go as per as the needs of the market. As for example, if a company sees that the use of computers is not as had been planned in the budgeting; it would either replace it with something or not make any investment at all in the field. This is where the utility of controlling comes into the picture. Other than this a budget is also significant from other perspectives. If one talks about the resource allocation, budget has an equally important role to play in it. The reason for the same is that let's say that a company has budgeted that it can afford a certain amount of power supply for a certain project that is conducted in a village. Under the conditions, the amount of human resource that would be required to carry out the project can be determined from the budget itself. Normally a budget is of three types. They have been mentioned as follows:

Survival Budget: This form of budgeting is important in the boundary conditions. It estimates the minimum resources so as to complete a particular project. So, if a company has a look at the survival project, there is one obvious analysis that can be done. This is that under the most optimistic of the situations, the resources allocated would be sufficient. There would be very little margin of error under the conditions.

Guaranteed Budget: This budget is formulated when there is a guarantee of a particular amount of income at the time of formulation of budget. So, when a budget is made from this perspective, this income is taken into consideration. If somehow, the debtors are not able to provide the income that the company used as guarantee before making the budget, it would have to switch over to the survival budget formation.

Optimal Budget: The third form of budget is the optimal budget. This budget is used under the conditions when there is extra money in the company accounts or else the company feels that it could raise extra money from the market. So, if the position of the company is good then this form of budgeting can be applied. As for example if we consider a very famous company in the infrastructure sector, Emaar, we would find that the company has the ability to raise a lot of extra capital from the market. So, Emaar can hope to use it in utilizing the money to plan a few more interesting projects like it had made the longest mall in the world and the tallest tower in the world. Both these projects were outcomes of an optimal budget made by the company.

Budgeting Responsibilities
Owing to the circumstances under which a budget is fruitful, the organizations should be highly selective in handing over the responsibilities of making the budget. There are a few pre-requisites of making a budget. They are as follows:

The concerned employee should have a clear understanding of the company's values, strategies, and plans that lie in the near future.
The employees must know the importance of cost-efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Also, the concerned employee must have knowledge about the resources that would be used to generate and raise funds.
The above pre-requisites are essential for the company if they have the motive of using budgeting in the planning, controlling and resource allocation purposes.

So, it is generally recommended that a company has a budgeting team that has an optimal size so as to prevent any discrepancy with the formation of the budget. Under all situations where the concerned members of the finance department have difficulties in planning the budget, they would have to consult the board of members for the same. For a situation like this to arise, the planning in the company must certainly have been wrong. So, we can see that the new planning would depend solely on the fact that budget allows the same to happen. Under all other conditions, the estimated plan would have to change. (Budgeting, 2010)

Role of Budgeting in Planning
Here we are taking the telecommunication giant, DU into account to understand the role played by budgeting in the planning process. It was only about a couple of years ago that the company introduced its new plan. This new plan was about introducing the pay-by-the second plan amongst the services of the company. This was done as per as the optimal budget plan of the company. DU had formulated a budget where it got the option of introducing a new facility with the extra money that it hand in hand. As the company analysis shows that DU was climbing the ladders of success even then, so this was certainly a major step in the making. Moreover, the funds that had been allocated in the budget were enough for the fact that the company could start this service any time it wanted. So, it chose the time when the nearest rival company Etisalat had screwed up its plans after introducing the Blackberry services. As an optimal budget is that which allows the time for starting a new investment, this was just the time and DU made the most of the opportunity. Today this plan is among the most revenue-fetching plans that the company had ever introduced in its services. So, budget played an extremely important role in the planning of this success of the firm. Had the company planned to use the extra money as a surplus or retained or reserve, it would never have been able to introduce this service. So, one can see the importance of making the right budget at the right time can help in planning for great successes in a company. There are other examples also where one can see the planning being aided by preparation of budget. The tourism department of Abu Dhabi was guaranteed of the fact that it would have a considerable amount of income from the flourishing tourism in the country due to the onset of some of the most peculiar activities in the country. Under the situation, the department used the guaranteed budget to enhance the cultural activities of the country. A number of museums have been renovated because of a planned budgeting under the guaranteed budget plan. The department had planned that with the money they would have from the already existing resources in tourism, it would evoke a cultural feeling in the country and its natives, It has been able to do it successfully as per as the statistics of the museums of the region are concerned. So, once again we see that budgeting has helped in planning of such an important landmark in the country.

As in general one can say that budgeting is about aiding a company to make plans for the future. It is that process where a company can be assured of the fact that it would have enough money so as to carry out the requisite projects. We are all acquainted with the fact that the world is about competition as of today. Every company needs to plan new projects so as to show its core competency. Under the conditions, no company can automatically start investing on its research and development. It has to come through a substantial degree of planning which could only be possible after the budget of the company allows it to do so. In all other situations it would finally have to terminate the services with an excess of demand or supply.

There are also other instances where a company can use the principles of budgeting in order to carry out its planning. This can be seen in the case of training. Every planning of training has to be supported by budget. This is one of the foremost criteria of training. There are a number of instances in the country where the Government is implementing programs like Emiritzation. If the budget of the company does not support such plans they would certainly not be executed. The loss can be huge under the conditions. The first case would be a monetary loss as an incomplete training would actually be of no used as it would be insufficient to fulfill the company's criteria. If some small companies do place employees with an incomplete bit of training, it would make the company even smaller!
So, we can see how budgeting governs this chain of planning which of not executed in a suitable manner could bring about adverse results. (The Importance of Budgeting, 2010)

Role of Budgeting in Controlling
As in the case of planning, budgeting also has a special role to play in controlling of an organization. We have seen that a plan would simply lay the conditions of taking on a particular activity. What follows is its controlling in the implementation phase. Let's say that a company wishes to promote its products or services in the trade fare of Dubai. This is one of the places where controlling comes into play with respect to budgeting. Dubai Trade Fare is one of those occasions when a number of companies use the best of means to promote their products. With an adequate amount of control, the companies would never be able to compete in the pool of so many. So, a budgeting has to be done to choose the HR and marketing department which would be responsible to control the scenario.

Without a proper budgeting in this respect, the company would make inefficient decisions and after a while, there would be no control over the promotional measures of the company.

There are also a number of chances where a company goes with leisure expenses. It does increase the value of the company for a particular period of time but after a while there has to be an end to it. Now, with a planned budget under the conditions, the companies would be able to restrict themselves from over-spending as the budget would not suit their expenditure. This requires the company to make a survival budget. As we can see a survival budget would certainly take care of the budgeting requirements of the company. If the employees are aware of the fact that they would not be able to complete their respective projects with the type of expenditure they are doing, they would certainly shift to other economic reasons. This way a company can also control the activities of the employees. Once a planned budget is produced the whereabouts of the employees can also be checked as they would be on a hire. The amount of time given to them in the budget would be fixed. If they are unable to finish their respective works in this stipulated time they would see the effect on their salaries or wages. So, this way, the company's activities, employees, time and money can all be under control with the introduction of budget in the company's financial plan. The company would certainly become more efficient if it works in a controlled manner. So, this would be for the mutual benefit of both the employees and the company as well. (Controlling a Budget, 2010)

Role of Budgeting in Resource Allocation
A company's success is highly dependent on the resource allocation. This has to be done optimally so as to complete a certain project. The law of economics suggests that a company has the least resources and has to make the most of it. So, only an appropriate resource allocation would help this happen. This would be in terms of human resource, raw materials, equipments, money, time and all other attributes that take for making a project successful. Here again, the budgeting of the company plays an important role to play. The reason for the same is that in all the sectors that have been talked about here, only a planned budget could decide the maximum a company can afford. Let's say that ADNOC has the plan of staring a new subsidiary. Under the conditions, it would have to make a budget where the company could allocate the amount of human resources in order to make this happen. Not only this, there are a series of activities that would have to be done in the process. Much of the time, there would be two processes going on and at times even one. So, a planned budget would estimate the amount of money that the company can afford throughout the process. Based on this, the processes would have to be allocated in a manner where the company can make the best use of the human resource available. If ADNOC has 200,000 AED for the purpose, and there are 10 slots, rather than allocating 20,000 AED per slot, the company would have to see the priorities of each slot. If a particular slot requires double the number of processes than the others, the resources would have to be allocated accordingly for the same. Now this can only be possible with an appropriate amount of budgeting. If the budget of the company does not allow double resource allocation for a particular slot because of other activities, then the company would have to come up with other alternatives. Had there been an inability of a budget, the company would allocate double resources and finally land up with none available for a process that has little requirement. So, we can see that even the process of resource allocation requires budgeting to a large degree.

Talking about the company Emaar, as per as the organizational size of the company, there has to be a proper budgeting done. The reason for the same is that every department requires an adequate amount of human resource and funds. If the company's budget for a particular project is 200 million AED, the company would also have this budget divided into different departments. Every department would have to use only the allocated funds to support its human resource and all other requisites prior to conducting the project. If the construction department spends so much that the company is not able to use any funds for its advertisement, in this world of competition, even a company like Emaar would have to bow down to others in the league. There are so many options that people have for residents that promotion under forced conditions could change every profitability ratio of Emaar. So, here again we see the hierarchy that could be affected because of the inappropriate use of resources that would result from the non-availability of a budget that could suit the purpose. (The Basic Budgeting Problem, 2010)

Conclusion
So, one can see that a budgeting process has a number of utilities in the projects of a company. This could be from the perspective of planning, controlling or resource allocation. Every company has the desire to be at the top. Finance has a special role to play in the same. Te steps of laying down an appropriate budget are as follows:

Firstly, the concerned person should lay down all the places of investment with respect to a particular project.
Next, make an estimation of the unit cost of every product that would be manufactured in the process.
Next, analyze the resources that would be sufficient to provide for the unit costs found.
Next make a proper budget format so that it is clear to all the departments and they the amount of allocation for them in all the respects.
It is also advisable to make notes so as to be able to explain the budget better.
Next, it is required to take a feedback on the budget so as to see whether it is applicable to all the departments or not. If not, then it would have to be re-planned.
Finally, make the final documentation so as to be able to help in planning, controlling and resource allocation as has been suggested earlier.

With all the above processes followed, a company can afford to perform all the financial activities in its respective projects. It must be remembered that only a systematic design of budget as has been concluded could be used for the mentioned cause.

Source by Rohit Agrawal

Is Compensation From an Asbestos Lawsuit Taxable?

Many people who have just gained compensation from a lawsuit wonder if the money awarded to them will be taxable. Use this guide to help you understand the basics of compensation tax law and how it will affect your Asbestos injury claim lawsuit settlement amount.

Physical Injury Claims

Most of the funds recovered from a physical injury claim case will not be taxable. While it is safe to assume this as a general rule of thumb, it is important to consult your personal accountant for the details of your funds. The rules of taxation will differ based on many factors, including what type of claim was filed. Even within a specific case area, such as Asbestos injury, there are many types of claims that can be filed and there is a diversity of tax statuses on those awards.

Exceptions

While most physical injury claims are not usually taxable, there are some exceptions. Two major exceptions to this rule include claims which were filed for mental anguish only or for punitive damages. These claims will be taxable under law.

Play it Safe

The best course of action is to consult your personal accountant for details on the taxation status of your assets. You can also consult a personal injury lawyer to discuss which type of claim you will be filing if you have yet to file your claim.

While the taxation status on different types of claims varies, filing a claim for personal injury is the best course of action in many cases. It can provide closure to a traumatic event, as well as financial relief from the medical and property expenses incurred.

Source by Bruce Peters

How to Approach Private Investors to Fund Your Real Estate Projects

Capital is critical right now. Cash is king. Approaching private investors for capital is something that gives a lot of real estate investor's sweaty palms. This is mainly due to fear of failure or due to hesitation to step out of the comfort zone. Much like making your first offer or talking to your first prospective tenant, private money is something that can be learned – usually very quickly.

A common trend seen among real estate investors (of all levels of experience) is to wait for deals to come up before they approach investors. Though this is a conventional technique and is considered to be safer, it involves too much time and comes with a risk of leaving too many opportunities untouched. So, even if you have your hands on a good deal, it may take a long time before you find the right money for it to materialize. You may also miss out on some other profitable deals, and investors are bound to notice your lack of foresight and confidence.

A better way of raising private money for your real estate investment projects is to reverse the order. While I agree this option is a lot more aggressive, it's going to net you far better results. Be a little more confident, and get the money first, and then move on to getting the deals.

What you will quickly learn is that there is a large pool of private investors who are desperately seeking fresh air and more profitable deals. So, all that you need to do is to instill confidence in them about your business plan and projects, and they'll be glad to ditch their financial planner. Playing it cautious and waiting for all the lights on the street to be green before you hit the gas is a recipe for mediocrity.

Deals move fast in today's world. And, if it is the big projects you are aiming at, you will most definitely need to have an adequate financial backing behind you. If it is an asset manager or a commercial broker who is helping you locate real estate deals, there is in no way he / she will be willing to spend any time with you unless you have enough capital on hand close the deal.

The biggest benefit of this 'ready-aim-fire' approach is that you can grab best deals at any given time – your offers and LOI's go to the top of the stack. In today's bargain hungry investor market, every little advantage helps your bottom line.

Source by Adam J Davis

Life Without Fossil Fuels

Can you imagine what life would be like without the use of fossil fuels? Let me start by explaining a little about what fossil fuels are.

In general, Fossil fuels are layers of plants and animals which have died millions of years ago, compressed and buried deep into the earth, through time to form sedimentary rock, such as coal, and liquid hydrocarbons such as oil or gas.

Coal is one of the first fossil fuels known to man, as has been used for a heating source, dating back to early 1600's. Since its discovery, we have found many other uses, such as powering steam driven locomotives, and today is used in factories to help produce steel, concrete, paper, plastics, and most importantly "Electricity".

Oil was said to be discovered by the Native Americans. This oil was found seeping to the earth "s surface, and was used for medicinal purposes. The first successful oilwell was drilled in Pennsylvania in 1859. This oil which was extracted, would find many uses, such as lamp oil. Lubricants, and would later be used to power automobiles, trains, plane's, and is still used for these and many other things, to this present day.

Natural gas was basically discovered in the same manner as oil, seeping up through the earths surface, producing the same foul smell comparable to rotten eggs. This resource once contained would be used also for lighting, cooking and heating, and today has globally become one of our main sources of heat.

So ask yourself, could we live without these precious fuels? What would our world be like if these resources had depleted and became non-existent? Each and everyone one of us uses fossil fuels, and the demand and production grows larger everyday. What if rising prices of these precious commodities becomes unaffordable to the average working class? Everyone in this world knows that prices for oil and gas are already increasing at an alarming rate, with no end in sight. Until some one discovers an alternative fuel sources, well fact is fact, we will always be dependent on fossil fuels.

On a positive note, perhaps the rising prices in today's world is a sign that something new is around the corner. Governments and oil companies may be mass producing while the demand is still there. Maybe they know something we do not. Transportation counts for 70% of all the oil we use and now the transportation industry is starting to evolve into a new era with the production of the hybrid vehicles. This is a very positive sign, and could be the stepping stone for many, to increase awareness of how the extensive use of fossil fuels, is impacting our environment today.

To conclude, "Fossil Fuels", are a very important ingredient in our every day life, and we will always be dependent on them, but also new doors are being opened to lessen that dependency, and maybe one day the answer to my question, Can you imagine what life would be like without the use of fossil fuels? "Yes".

Source by Jerome Exner

Coffee From Peru – History and Background

Coffee was introduced to Peru in the late 1700's. The Typica varietal of Arabica still accounts for about 35% of the country's exports. The Bourbon varietal was introduced in the 1950's. Combined, these two varietals make up about 60% of the Peruvian coffee production. Peru exports primarily newer varietals such as Caturra and Catimor.

Peru has everything to be a leading coffee producing country in multiple categories but it is not. Why is that?

  • Peru has the high altitudes and partial shade desired for Coffea arabica in much more readily available land quantities than other coffee growing areas such as Jamaica or Hawaii.
  • However, Peru faces challenges becoming a leader in coffee production because of its informal economy, lack of modern highways and somewhat primitive transportation networks to bring products to market.
  • Peru's agricultural commodities include, among others, coffee, maize, asparagus, rice and potatoes. Peru has gained wide acceptance in the organic coffee category through careful planting and harvesting practices that are growing each year.

In addition, Peru enjoys advantages and disadvantages from weather and temperature changes resulting from the Humboldt Current.

  • The Humboldt Current brings nutrients from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to the borders of Peru.
  • What this means is that Peru experiences a cold mist that covers coastal Peru in such a way that it forces plants on land to get water from the air instead of from the infrequent rainfall that takes place.
  • East of the mountains, on the "wet 'side, the soil is thin and not the best for agriculture.
  • On the dry side, near the coast, the rivers are few and this forces farmers to bring the water from the eastern side of the mountains that split Peru.
  • The result is a limitation of farmable land and the need for farmers to produce more product per capita wherever they cultivate.
  • In addition, the phenomena of El Niño and La Niña, which cause rainfalls and droughts, respectively, further complicate the weather patterns impacting agricultural development in Peru.

Land reform in the 1960's had a very negative effect on Peruvian coffee production and agricultural production in general.

  • Plantation owners, with education and agricultural know-how, lost their lands to uneducated peasants who lacked the experience and knowledge for effective farmable land management. The result of this land reform was a chaotic coffee production that still affects Peru's ability to compete in world markets.
  • There is no national "coffee management system" in place. The registered coffee exporters act independently from one another and are paranoid about land reform taking place again.
  • There are over 110,000 coffee growers in Peru with an average land-holding farm of about two to three acres. Peruvian coffee farms are small and the country's typical wet-milling operation is also very small.
  • Typically, farmers pick ripe cherries from May to September. They take them to hand pulpers and wooden fermentation tanks.
  • This practice of micro-wet milling is beneficial in that it protects water resources from the polluting effects of pulping factories. However, micro-wet milling produces coffee that is inconsistent and overly fermented.
  • What happens is that during busy harvest time, pulped coffee parchment is rushed through fermentation tanks. This is not good because it does not allow enough time for the biological process to eat away the attached cherry mucilage. The result is that the mucilage sours the beans are laid out on drying patios.
  • During less busy times, fewer ripe cherries need to be wet-milled. Coffee in the parchment stays in fermentation tanks sometimes for several days instead of the ideal 12 to 18 hour fermentation.

In addition, because of lack of education, farmers rarely taste or cup their own coffee. Farmers use "color changes" as the indication of correct or incorrect fermentation, a very inaccurate system. However, over time, with education and financial motivations, Peruvian farmers are learning to process more carefully each batch of beans. Farmers now associate rewards with the quality of their product and Peru is producing more and more great coffee.

What are you waiting for? Enjoy a cup of delicious Peruvian Shade Grown Organic coffee. Rich flavor and aroma, bright on the tongue with a clean finish, a rare coffee. Grown in the shade with traditional organic methods on eastern Andean slopes and fairly traded. Delicious regular or strong, or served over ice.

Source by Timothy S. Collins

Be an Owner, Not a Loaner (To Make Money, Which is Better?)

The difference between financial independence and financial servitude is this simple principle; Be an owner, not a loaner. The average American's failure to understand this principle, (and live it), has sown the seeds of a stark financial future for ourselves and our families.

In my earlier article, "The True cost of a Guarantee", (see link below), I discuss the effect that inflation has on the value of our money. In this article, I discuss the difference between investing, and putting money in a bank's 5 year Certificate of Deposit product that had an advertised an interest rate of 2.5%, (two & one half percent).

Loaning your Money vs Investing
In our current day and age, we have the opportunity to participate in the ownership of businesses and national economies around the world: either through "self-directed" investing, (web-based stock / bond purchases for example), or through brokers / agents.

Here I would like to illustrate the difference between letting the bank use your money, (loaning it to them), and putting money directly into the US or world markets, (be an owner).

What happens to the money?
When you put money into an account at the bank, it does not just sit around. The bank takes that money and invests it so they can get a return, (income). One of the most common ways Banks earn income is to lend money and charge a fee, (interest), to let the borrower use the money for a period of time.

To use a very simplistic example: If I borrow money from the bank to buy my car, the money they give me is the money depositors have put into their accounts.

Letting them use your money
Let's take that example and look at it a little closer. Today you go into the bank and put $ 1000 in their 5 year CD and they promise you their advertised rate of 2.5%. 10 minutes later I go into the bank and get a $ 1000 loan to buy my car. The money the bank lends to me is, in essence, the same money that you just deposited.

The loan terms state that I have to pay back the money within 5 years, and the interest rate they are charging me is probably about 7 – 10%. We already know that after the 5 years is up, your $ 1000 deposit will have earned about $ 131.41 in interest. (Interest is the fee the bank pays to you so they can use your money).

How much money the bank made, ( using your money).
If the interest rate on my loan is 8%, by the time I make all the payments to pay back the loan, I will have given the bank $ 1202.40. That is the $ 1000 I borrowed, (the money they are letting me use), $ plus 202.40 in interest, (fee to use the money). If the bank gave you $ 131.41, on the $ 1000 in your CD, that means they put $ 70.99 in their pockets. Remember, they made that profit using your money, not their own. By letting the bank act as the "middleman" you give up some of the earning potential of your investment.

Be an Owner
When you put your money into the world's market system you would be, in essence, a part owner of the world economy. By owning a piece of the "pie", (instead of loaning money to the bank), you have the opportunity to have your money earn a higher return.

Even over these financially turbulent last five years, a conservatively mixed portfolio could have earned a return of about 4 to 6%. (Two key words: "mixed" and "conservative"). That means your $ 1000 could have earned from $ 216.65 to $ 338.23. That is $ 85 – $ 207 more than you would get loaning your money to the bank.

But what about the guaranteed deposit? What about the guaranteed interest rate? I recommend reading my the I following article " The True cost of a Guarantee " Those questions to answer.

So what are the choices?
When it comes to investing in the global economy, no one can promise that you are going to get a certain rate or return, or even that you will not lose some of the original money you invested.

So here are the options: Choose to follow the "better safe than sorry" philosophy, and almost surely lose to inflation, OR, take a small chance in the world market place and enjoy an opportunity to earn a much better return. I think I'll place my bets with the world.

** (The above information, including the amounts and values stated, is for educational and illustrative purposes only, does not constitute any type of projection, warranty, or guaranty, and is neither a solicitation nor endorsement to buy, sell, or transact, any type of investment or financial instrument) .

Source by Duane Ashby