Sunday, April 24, 2011

Before, During and After Bankruptcy

debtImage by alancleaver_2000 via FlickrBy choosing to file bankruptcy, petitioners remove their impossible financial circumstances and start fresh with a clean slate. Before making a decision about this, however, know exactly "What Not to Do Before Filing Bankruptcy." Consult with an attorney before you decide whether to file. But, remember, that attorney typically takes well over $1,000 cash from you up front if you file bankruptcy. The attorney is not exactly an objective bystander. So, do your own due diligence while contemplating your bankruptcy option.

After you file, you may ask yourself, "Can I Back Out of Bankruptcy?" The answer, of course, is "that depends!" So, consider all ramifications and all options before you file.

Once your bankruptcy has been discharged, you will soon be wondering "What Banks Will Finance Me if I Have a Bankruptcy?" Life after bankruptcy can get complicated, but life does exist after bankruptcy. To make the best of a bad situation, know your options for borrowing following a bankruptcy.

All three topics are addressed briefly but thoroughly by Malinda in these three business and personal finance publications. Stay tuned to this Malinda Winkle blog. We regularly bring to you the financial information you need to make information decision about your personal and business finance issues.
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Friday, April 22, 2011

Malinda's Five Most Favorite Books of All Time

Reading at the beachImage by Lili Vieira de Carvalho via Flickr
Reading at the beach
If you are looking for some great reads for this summer, check the top of the right-hand column just below my list of various publications. There is my list of my top five most favorite books of all time. If you have read any of them, feel free to comment whether you liked or disliked any of these books right here in the comments section. Others would love to know what you think about these five books before they buy or borrow from the library. If you haven't read any of them, in my opinion, these are the best of the best . Enjoy! Reading is ultimate luxury.

Malinda Winkle
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Owning, Selling and Marketing Your Own Business

American cultural icons, apple pie, baseball, ...Image via WikipediaThe thought of owning your own business in the U.S. rings right up there with apple pie, baseball and the American flag. Does adrenaline pump through your veins as you contemplate the possibilities?

What qualifications must you possess to succeed as a business owner? Read some inspiring business studies on winning marketing strategies. Do you have the tools you need for conducting sales and marketing meetings that truly inspire your sales and marketing staff?

Read a few of my latest articles for eHow Money for ideas, tools and suggestions on making your business perform for you.

Tools for a Great Sales & Marketing Meeting
Qualifications for Owning Your Own Business
Business Studies on Marketing Strategy
Accounting Software for Windows Vista
Difference Between a PayPal Account and a Merchant Account
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

On Unemployment? Get $10 FREE Merchandise Plus 20% Discounts--Sign Up for KMart's Smart Assist Savings Card

This is a SuperKmart in TexasImage via Wikipedia
A Kmart superstore in Texas

KMart now offers special deals for the unemployed. THANK YOU, KMART! Sign up to get one of their Smart Assist Savings cards and you will get $10 in free products and a 20% discount off regular priced basic necessities. This reusable card gives unemployed people discounts to buy milk, shampoo and 1,500 other basic items. The qualifying products come from their grocery and drug store sections of the store.

When I saw this program, I just had to share with my readers. We have so many still unemployed in this dreadfully sluggish economy, that it's very nice to see corporations doing something that really helps the masses.

See, the business world isn't nearly as evil as Obama would lead you to believe. Besides, who will the unemployed remember when they get a job? KMart, of course. They will return time and time again, as they should. People remember who was there for them in bad times and who was not there.

Here is the link:  KMart's Smart Assist Savings Card
If anyone is aware of other programs to help the unemployed, please post them in the comments section of this post so others can see and take advantage of them.


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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Graduate School Preparation, Selection and Scholarships

Graduate School BluesImage by ChiILX1 via Flickr
The graduate school blues...

Attending graduate school requires taking entrance exams, choosing a program of study, understanding the financial aspect of returning to school as well as settling on the best school for you. While all of these options continue to swirl about you, here are links to a few articles I have recently written for eHow Money. They tell about masters and doctorate level prep, selection, scholarships and studies. If you consider returning to school for graduate studies, there is so much to know. Arm yourself with information.

Graduate Degree Scholarships for Working People

Distance Learning Doctoral Degrees in Business

How Many Hours Should I study for the GRE?

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dean Graziosi: Fortune Magazine Says Now Is The Time

housing bubble..if i pop, you're screwed!! ......Image by marsmet47 via Flickr
Mr. Housing Bubble says... "If I pop, you're screwed!"
We are honored this week by a surprise visit from Dean Graziosi, well-known guru of real estate investing. Mr. Graziosi has written several books on investing for profit in real estate and also has his own website and blog. Here is a link to this week's video on Dan Weekly Video Blog #124 - Fortune Magazine Says Now Is The Time

After watching his short video, what do you think? Talk to me, people!

Is it time to start investing in real estate in your area? Or, is it too early? How do you know when the real estate prices have bottomed out? Do real estate prices have to bottom out before it is possible to invest profitably in a piece of real estate?

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Salary of an Entry-Level Claims Adjuster

The salary of an entry-level claims adjuster varies widely based on several factors. Often, adjusters get a base salary plus bonuses and benefits which, together, determine the overall pay package. Your employer's size, your industry and your years of experience affect your starting pay. Claims adjusters with a college degree(s) find the best opportunities. Consider the whole compensation package before choosing your first employer.

Median Expected Salary

In the U.S., a claims adjuster I, or entry-level claims adjuster, earns a median salary of $40,224 per year, according to website. By searching with your own ZIP code or by the ZIP codes of other cities where you would consider working as an entry-level claims adjuster, you can fine tune median salary rates.
GEICO headquarters in Chevy ChaseImage via Wikipedia
GEICO headquarters in Chevy Chase

Example of Entry-Level Position Stipulations

In April of 2011, GEICO Insurance, for example, offers training for applicants with college degrees. No previous insurance adjuster experience requirements apply to this position. Applicants earn approximately $40,000 per year and get 100 per cent-free, on-the-job training from GEICO University, an internal corporate training program for employees.  

Position and Experience

Claims adjusters work in various fields such as automotive, property and casualty or business claims. Depending on the type of claims adjuster position, entry-level salaries may differ. The median claims adjuster salary, including claims adjusters with some experience, ranges from $39,000 to $65,000 per year, according to the College Grad website.
Popular Employers by Minimum Salary Range

The top five most popular employers of claims adjusters, according to Payscale website, include The Travelers Companies, Inc., Allstate Insurance Company, State Farm Insurance Company, Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. Travelers and Progressive have the highest pay potential for entry-level employees showing a minimum salary range of $49,000 and $39,000 respectively. The middle employer of the top five most popular employers is Allstate, where you can earn $37,000 per year to start. Close behind and tied for the bottom spots you find State Farm and Sedgwick at $36,000 per year.
Expected Top Pay Tiers

Looking at the same five most popular insurance employers--Travelers, Allstate, State Farm, Progressive and Sedgwick--you may earn as much as $70,000 to $80,000 per year salary once you work your way up to the top pay tier.
Bonuses, Benefits and Other Typical Perks

Many claims adjusters, especially those working for insurance companies, receive bonuses and benefits in addition to their salaries. Many of the bonuses can have a substantial impact on your overall salary prospects. Other common benefits include provision of a cell phone and laptop, as well as either a company car or reimbursement for the use of your personal vehicle. Look at the complete package when comparing employment opportunities.


College Grad: Career Information


EduDecisions: Claims Adjuster - Salary, Education and Career Guide for Becoming a Claims Adjuster
Higher Salary: Claims Adjuster Salary

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Grants for Building Youth Sports Fields in Your Community

softball afternoonImage by doistrakh via FlickrBaseball season approaches. Then comes softball, soccer, football, tennis, basketball, track and more. Team sports teach important life lessons to our kids. If your community needs more sports fields for your community's youth sports teams, read one of my recent articles entitled Grants for Building Youth Sports Fields. This article gives numerous sources for funding your youth sports fields. So, go! Read! "Build it and they will come..."

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

FREE Business Cards from Vista Print - Really!

Name cardImage via WikipediaIt's true. I ordered a free supply of business cards from Vista Print and they are beautiful and of professional quality. Ok, I admit I have been known to print my own business cards in the past. But, I will never do that again. It seems to me that no matter what we create and print ourselves, they always ring "CHEAP!" when you hand them to a prospective customer or associate.

Anytime I find helpful and affordable resources for business, I will share them with you. Here is one such resource: Vista Print. There are several others in the margins, so take a peek.

Vista Print offers professional designs which you can choose from and customize to your heart's content. Actually, it's fun playing with their design tools.

Their ad in the right column of this blog will take you directly to the page with free business cards. While you are on the site, look under the "Business" section at the top of the left-hand column, click "Free Products" and you will find 12 MORE FREE OFFERS from Vista Print. They offer all sorts of helpful things to help you market yourself and your business with style. Face it, that's really important to every business person.

I encourage you to browse through all the advertisers on my blog. They enable me to dedicate the time and energy to bring you helpful information regularly. So, check out all the helpful resources surrounding the articles and visit them. I appreciate your support.

I'm convinced I have the best, most faithful followers on the net! Have a great weekend everyone.

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Friday, April 8, 2011

FREE information: School Scholarships, Awards and Grants

"I vote, I pay tax, my children deserve s...Image via WikipediaSo much comes into play when you or your children consider your career goals. Should you go back to school? College can be a huge investment. The articles I share with you today offer FREE information about certain careers. Learn how to find and win scholarships, awards and grants to make your career dreams a reality.

Keiser University Scholarships
Employer Educational Assistance Programs
I Need Help Paying for College
Where Can I Find University Scholarships?
Scholarships and Awards for Teachers
Navajo Nation Educational Grants
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tax Credits in Florida for Solar Power

Florida has a unique and amazing outdoor environment that makes it an ideal location for solar power. They call Florida the sunshine state for a good reason. See what the Florida legislature enacted to encourage Floridians to take advantage of the clean energy produced by solar power resources. Notice what did not happen according to plan as well.

Net Metering

Since July of 2009, all Florida utilities must credit the solar power you generate dollar for dollar. This means any excess energy your panels produce are purchased by your local utility company at the same price they bill you on your electric bill. Classic net metering such as this makes an investment in solar power resources a bit more attractive.

PACE Financing in Limbo

PACE stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy. The state of Florida authorized municipalities and counties to pay for residential solar power systems with special financing terms. PACE Financing website explains that PACE helps homeowners finance solar systems through their city giving them a loan which they repay through their property tax bills over the next 20 years. This requires no up front outlay of cash by homeowners and no reduction of home equity. Repayment occurs while the homeowner experiences reduced power bills.

Due to an announcement by the Federal Housing Finance Agency which states that PACE Financing does not meet Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae requirements, this program is on hold at this time. Contact your local, state and federal representatives if you wish to encourage PACE Financing in your area.


Solar Power Rocks: Florida State Solar Power Rebates, Tax Credits, and Incentives
Pace Financing: What's the Deal Now?


"The Energy Chronicle"; University of Central Florida: Florida Energy Center; April 2010
Florida Solar Rebate; Home Solar Power Systems From The Other Dealers Simply Cost Too Much
Solar Estimate: Some Helpful Solar, Wind, Renewable Energy Resources & Links

Theoretical space needed for solar power plant...Image via Wikipedia
Theoretical space needed for solar power plants to generate sufficient electric power in order to meet the electricity demand of the World, Europe (EU-25) and Germany respectively. (Data by the German Center of Aerospace (DLR), 2005)

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FREE Help With the Costs of Keeping Your Car on the Road

Front left of carImage via WikipediaCars--we all need one and we all deal with repairs, insurance, car loans and IRS deductions for driving them. Here are a few car-related articles that touch on issues common to us all--owning a car.

How Long Can You Drive With a Blown Head Gasket? - hint: not very long (Ask me how I know - lol)
Auto Insurance Discounts for Teachers - commonly available if you ask for them
How Much Does the IRS Pay for Gas Mileage? - hot off the presses for this year
The Average Car Interest Rates - fresh numbers and links to find them as of today
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