Freight forwarder

2 Oct

Freight forwarder is a middleman who quotes the best rate of shipping charges to the customer from one country to another country. It acts as a bridge which meets the gap between exporter/importer and shipping line. And for this service they take the commission for the deal. They also handle their own transportation line.

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PROBLEM-SOLVING

26 Jun

I like to interact with youngsters whenever I get the opportunity, their enthusiasm and energy never fails to inspire me. Once, while chatting with a group of youngsters, the conversation veered to ‘problem-solving’. I shared with them, the following anecdote.

 

A ship at sea developed a technical snag in its engine and had to halt at a harbour for repairs. The engineers on board could not repair it and they sought an expert. The ship was very old and there were very few experts who could do the job. Eventually, the crew and their agents located an old mechanic, whose services were in great demand for repairing old engines. Although the man was known to charge exorbitantly for his services, he was requested to repair the ship.

The old man went aboard the ship with a few spanners and a hammer. After a detailed study of the engine, he tapped thrice with his hammer on a particular part of the engine. To everyone’s surprise, the engine started up and began working perfectly! The whole process took less than an hour and everyone was happy. When he was asked to submit his bill, the man simply wrote on a white paper – Ship engine repair charges: 10,000 dollars.

The captain of the ship was shocked to see the ten thousand dollar charge for a job that took less than an hour to complete. So he asked for a detailed, item-wise bill. The mechanic re-submitted his bill, on a slightly larger piece of white paper – Cost of tapping thrice with a hammer: 100 dollars. Cost of knowing where to tap: 9, 900 dollars, adding up to a total of ten thousand dollars!

Success in life depends on one’s problem-solving ability. Our competence will improve if we are able to track intricate issues by spotting their roots. Everyone faces problems in his/her day-to-day life. No one is an exception to this. A close observation of successful people will show that the ability to solve various problems which come up in day-to-day life, is a prominent quality in their character.

To excel in life, we need to come out of our comfort zone. A one-year-old child learns to walk only after falling down several times. Similarly, in order to become an expert at problem–solving, we need to encounter many issues, some of which may be beyond our ability to tackle. But this should not discourage us because failures are truly the stepping stones to success. If we intend to improve ourselves, we need to learn lessons from our failures. An agitated and frustrated mind will only add fuel to the fire and the situation at hand will only get worse. It’s a cool head and a balanced mind that will help us take a mature decision.

To instill confidence in our colleagues during crisis situations, we need a warm heart and a friendly and supportive attitude towards them. To overcome difficult times, we have to try various options and sometimes we need to walk through uncharted territory. So develop the ability to maintain a ‘cool head and a warm heart’. Success is certain.

The Power of a Positive Morning Routine

26 Jun

How did you start your day this morning? Did you get up as soon as the alarm went off (of before), ready to enjoy the day? Or, do you linger in the bed, dreading yet another day?

Have you ever taken the time to notice that the rest of your day is usually quite similar to your attitude during the first 20 minutes of your day? Getting the day off on the wrong foot can negatively affect your entire day.

Imagine how different your life would be if you had a morning routine that helped to ensure a great day instead!

If you’re like most people, your morning probably goes something like this:

  1. Alarm goes off.
  2. Hit snooze (3 times, at least).
  3. Lie there and think about how much you don’t want to get up or about how much you dislike your job.
  4. Shower.
  5. Get dressed.
  6. Run out the door with a granola bar (or nothing) in your hand.

How can you expect to have a great day when that is your morning routine? A good day requires preparation and a solid foundation.

Consider these ideas when developing your positive morning routine:

  1. Wake up earlier. Going to bed earlier makes this task easier. You’ll need some extra time in the morning to accommodate your constructive changes. This can be hard to do, and I am the first to admit it. I tell myself that I can get a lot of work done after the children go to bed and I often stay up until midnight or 2 in the morning. Then, of course, I don’t want to get up 4 hours later and am dragging physically and mentally the entire next day.
  2. Get up immediately. Avoid lying there and thinking negatively about your day, life, job, challenges, or anything else. It’s harder to think negative thoughts if you’re up and doing something.
    • The moment the alarm sounds is called the Heroic Moment. Be a hero and get your head up immediately before you convince yourself that sleeping five more minutes won’t hurt.
  3. Drink a glass of water. You have most likely gone 6 to 8 hours without a drink. Have a glass of water or, if it is more convenience, leave a bottle of water on the bathroom counter. Just be sure to get your water – you will feel 10 times better in 10 minutes.
  4. Enjoy a little exercise. Take a walk, jump on the treadmill, do some pushups or sit-ups. It doesn’t matter which exercise you do, but do something. Focus on positive thoughts and get your body moving.
  5. Shower. This is the perfect time to use affirmations because you are not doing anything intellectually stimulating anyway. Use the time to tell yourself what a blessing today is, how grateful you are for people, situations, or things in your life, and remind yourself what there is to look forward to today. It sounds silly, but try it and you’ll like it.
  6. Eat a good breakfast. Have some yogurt and fruit. Maybe a healthy cereal is more your style. But sit down and have at least a small meal. Again, focus on the positive affirmations. Enjoy telling yourself how wonderful you are while you’re savoring your food.
  7. Meditate or read something inspiring. Take 10 minutes to meditate or read. Inspiring reading material will motivate you and get your ready for the day.
  8. Review your goals. Take 5 minutes and review your goals. Goals that are reviewed regularly are far more likely to be met. Make your goals a priority.
  9. Attack the day. Now you’re ready to get out there and accomplish something. How could you not be successful? Continue thinking positively for as long as possible. You’ll find that you can make it a little longer each day.

A well thought out morning routine can have a significant impact on your life, happiness, and success. Give it a try and see how it changes your day. And, your boss will be thrilled, too!

Starting a Business as a Financial Advisor

22 Jun

Have you ever asked yourself “Will I have enough money when I get older?” or “Will I ever be able to retire?” These are questions millions of people ask themselves every day-financial hotlines hear these inquiries from everyone from millionaires to people who are financially pressed. And Alan Greenspan’s ominous warning about the Social Security system needing “reform” swelled these concerns for most of the 77 million members of America’s boom generation, who, financial planners say, are saving just one third of what they’ll need to retire comfortably.

As a result of these underlying trends, people have a pressing need for and are seeking knowledgeable and objective professional financial advice. Paula Hogan, a Milwaukee-based certified financial planner, confirms: “Baby boomers are asking for advice.” And while financial planning used to be a service primarily for the wealthy, financial planners are now serving middle class clients, too, a relationship that’s most often initiated during a time of some major change like a marriage, a promotion or a death in the family.

 

While insurance companies and other major concerns are marketing financial planning services, the field is still mainly populated by independent practitioners. People with backgrounds in accounting, law, insurance or banking have a leg up because they usually have some knowledge of financial planning and financial products. But the key characteristics needed, regardless of your prior background, are these:

  • The willingness to develop technical expertise and be a junkie for information because you must stay informed to keep up with a changing field and be a trend spotter for your clients
  • Good listening skills
  • The ability to initiate and develop long-term client relationships
  • Personal trustworthiness and the ability to convey that in the manner you present yourself

You’ll also need credentials because virtually all states and the federal government regulate what financial planners do-providing investment advice or selling securities or insurance. Licensed accountants and attorneys are able to deal with most aspects of financial planning with their existing licenses.

Because financial planning is a personal service, the key to building a practice involves generating referrals from professionals such as lawyers and accountants and, later, satisfied clients. Face-to-face networking in organizations as well as participating in business referral organizations are also important ways to jump-start a new practice.

If becoming a financial planner interests you, you can begin your research by reviewing the information available at the Web site (www.cfp.net) of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, which provides a directory of education programs located throughout the United States.

How did we get into the current financial mess? Great question.

19 Jun

Turmoil in the Making

In 1910, seven men held a secret meeting on Jekyll Island 
off the coast of Georgia. It’s estimated that those seven 
men represented one-sixth of the world’s wealth. Six were 
Americans representing J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, 
and the U.S. government. One was a European representing 
the Rothschilds and Warburgs.

In 1913, the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank was created as a 
direct result of that secret meeting. Interestingly, the 
U.S. Federal Reserve Bank isn’t federal, there are no 
reserves, and it’s not a bank. Those seven men, some 
American and some European, created this new entity, 
commonly referred to as the Fed, to take control of the 
banking system and the money supply of the United States.

In 1944, a meeting in Bretton Woods, N.H., led to the 
creation of the International Monetary Fund and the 
World Bank. While the stated purposes for the two new 
organizations initially sounded admirable, the IMF and 
the World Bank were created to do to the world what the 
Federal Reserve Bank does to the United States.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon signed an executive 
order declaring that the United States no longer had to 
redeem its paper dollars for gold. With that, the first 
phase of the takeover of the world banking system and 
money supply was complete.

In 2008, the world is in economic turmoil. The rich are 
getting richer, but most people are becoming poorer. 
Much of this turmoil is directly related to those meetings 
that took place decades ago. In other words, much of this 
turmoil is by design.

Power and Domination

Some people say these events are part of a grand 
conspiracy, and that might well be. Some people say 
they represent the struggle between capitalists, communists 
and socialists, and that might be, too.

I personally don’t participate in the debate over a 
possible global conspiracy; it’s a waste of time. 
To me, the wider struggle is for power and domination. 
And while this struggle has done a lot of good — and a 
lot of bad — I just want to know how to avoid becoming 
its victim. I see no reason to be a mouse trying to stop 
a herd of elephants from fighting.

Currently, many people are suffering due to high oil 
price, the slowdown in the economy, loss of jobs, declines 
in home values, increased bankruptcies and businesses 
closings, savings being wiped out, the plummeting stock 
market, and rising inflation. These realities are all 
direct results of this financial power struggle, and 
millions of people are its victims today.

An Extreme Example

I was in South Africa in July of this year. During my 
television and radio interviews there, I was often 
asked my opinion on the world economy. 
Speaking bluntly, I said that South Africans had a 
better opportunity of comprehending the global turmoil 
because they’re neighbors to Zimbabwe, a country run by 
Robert Mugabe.

In my interviews, I said, “What Mugabe has done to 
Zimbabwe, the Federal Reserve Bank and the IMF are 
doing to the world.” Obviously, my statements disturbed 
many of the journalists. I did my best to comfort them 
and assure them I was not an anarchist. I explained, as 
best I could, that Zimbabwe was an extreme example of an 
out of control power struggle.

After they were assured I was only using Zimbabwe to 
illustrate my point, I said, “If you want to understand 
the world economy, take a refugee from Zimbabwe to lunch.” 
I advised them to ask the refugee these questions:

1. How fast did the economy turn?

2. When did you know that you were in financial trouble?

3. When did you finally decide to leave Zimbabwe?

4. If you could do things differently, what would you have done?

Three Approaches to a Crumbling Economy

I spoke to three young couples from Zimbabwe while I was 
in South Africa. Two couples were recent refugees now 
living in South Africa, and one couple still lives in 
Zimbabwe. All three couples had interesting stories to tell.

One couple said that they would have quit their jobs 
earlier. Instead, they hung on, hoping the economy 
would change. Then, virtually overnight, the value of 
the Zimbabwean dollar dropped and inflation went through 
the roof. Even though they received pay raises, the 
couple couldn’t survive and soon depleted their savings. 
They left Zimbabwe by car with almost nothing. If they 
could’ve done something differently, they told me, they 
would have started a business in Zimbabwe and began 
exporting products to South Africa, so that they would 
have had South African currency and a bank account there 
before they fled.

The second couple that fled the country said they saved 
money and paid off their house and other debts even as 
the Zimbabwean dollar fell in value. Looking back, they 
say they would’ve saved nothing and gotten deeply in 
debt in Zimbabwe, allowing them to pay off their debt 
with the cheaper dollars. Instead, they fled after they 
lost their jobs, leaving behind their house and 
owning $200,000 in nearly worthless Zimbabwean dollars.

The third couple still lives in Zimbabwe. When they saw 
the writing on the wall, they set up a business in South 
Africa and, with the profits, began acquiring tangible 
assets in Zimbabwe. Often, they’ll buy an asset in 
Zimbabwe and pay the seller in South African currency. 
They believe that once Mugabe is gone and order is 
restored, they’ll be in a strong financial position.

Many Problems, Few Solutions

There are three major problems with the events of 
1913, 1944, and 1971. The first is that the Fed, the 
World Bank, and the IMF are allowed to create money 
out of nothing. This is the primary cause of global 
inflation. Global inflation devalues our work and our 
savings by raising the prices of necessities.

For example, when gas prices soared, many people said 
that the price of oil was going up. In reality, the 
main cause of the high price of oil is the decreasing 
value of the dollar. The Fed, the World Bank, and the 
IMF, like Zimbabwe, are mass-producing funny money, 
thereby increasing prices and devaluing our quality of life.

The second problem is that our economic crises are 
getting bigger. In the 1970s, the Fed faced and solved 
million-dollar crises. In the 1980s, it was billion-dollar 
crises. Today, we have trillion-dollar crises. 
Unfortunately, these bigger crises mean more funny 
money entering the system.

Apocalypse Soon

The third problem is that in 1913, the Fed only 
protected the large commercial banks such as Bank of 
America. After 1944, the Fed, the World Bank, and the 
IMF began bailing out Third World nations such as 
Tanzania and Mexico. Then, in 2008, the Fed began 
bailing out investment banks such as Bear Sterns, 
and its role in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debacle 
is well known. By 2020, the biggest of bailout of all 
will probably occur: Social Security and Medicare, which 
will cost at least a $100 trillion.

Even if we find more oil and produce more food, prices 
will continue to rise because the value of the dollar 
will continue to decline. The dollar has lost over 90 
percent of its value since the Fed was created. The U.S. 
dollar will continue to decline because of those seven 
men on Jekyll Island in 1910.

Granted, the funny-money system has done a lot of 
good — it has improved the world and made a lot of 
people rich. But it’s also done a lot of bad. I believe 
somewhere between today and 2020, the system will break. 
We’re on the eve of financial destruction, and that’s 
why it’s in gold I trust. I’d rather be a victor than 
a victim.

Pre-Tax Benifits

16 Jun

Financial advisors and other financial professionals throw around certain terms like everyone already knows what they mean. In some cases, they are right, and in other cases, most people only have a partial grasp on what exactly a certain financial term means. In many cases, knowing the full definition of a word or phrase makes all the difference.

 

What Does Pre-Tax Mean?

Pre-tax dollars is a phrase that is often used in conjunction with retirement planning and 401k contributions. In fact, one of the benefits of a 401k plan is that contributions are made with pre-tax dollars. But, what is the definition of pre-tax dollars, anyway?

When an employee gets paid, there are numerous deductions that get taken out of their paycheck. These payroll deductions range from income tax withholding to FICA taxes to voluntary contributions for things like health insurance or cafeteria plans (Section 125 plans).

Some of the deductions from your paycheck, like federal tax withholding, are computed based on how much you are paid. Pre-tax means that the deduction occurs before that withholding is calculated. This is why many financial writers and other financial experts point out that contributing to your 401k plan doesn’t actually reduce your paycheck by the full amount.

It is worth noting that both Medicare taxes and Social Security taxes are not reduced by pre-tax contributions to your 401k. That is why there is separate entry for FICA Wages or Social Security Wages on your paystub or W2 Form.

How Pre-Tax Contributions Affect Your Taxes

The impact of pre-tax contributions on your taxes goes beyond just how it changes calculations on your paycheck. Pre-tax 401k deferrals are also not included in the taxable wages reported on Form W-2.

W-2 wages are used as the starting point for calculating your Adjusted Gross Income and Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI). These two numbers form the basis of your taxable income. Just as importantly, these numbers also determine your eligibility for numerous tax deductions and tax credits, as well eligibility for tax items with income limits.

For example, contributing to your 401k reduces the your income for purposes of determining whether an IRA contribution is deductible or whether you meet the income limits for Roth IRA contributions.  It also can affect which tax bracket you are in. Contribute enough to your 401k to drop your income under the bottom of the tax bracket and you’ll pay taxes in the lower bracket only.

401k Contributions and Advanced Tax Planning

Unlike IRA contributions which can be made until April 15th of the following tax year, 401k contributions have to be during the tax year (before December 31st). 401k contributions also have to be made via salary withholding which means you can’t just write a $10,000 check at the end of the year to bump up your 401k contributions to the right level.

In order to specifically target an income level or total wages, you’ll need some advance tax planning. Calculate the ballpark withholding you think you’ll need at the beginning of the year and notify your employer. Then, over the course of the year monitor your 401k withholding and wages to see if they are tracking to the target you have. Adjust your 401k contributions during the summer and again in October. That means only subtle shifts should be necessary (if at all) in the last couple months of the year.

Work for yourself first

11 Jun

Someone recently asked me: “How can I possibly work on getting my business up and running when there’s absolutely no time to do it? I work 8-6pm and when I gethome, I have just a couple of hours to spend with my family and by the end of the night, I’m dead tired. I can’t possibly work on my business at the end of the day because my brain is fried. The weekends? That’s when I spend time with my family and recharge so that I can get ready to do the same thing the next week. What can I do Pat?!”

My answer: There’s a saying in the personal finance industry when it comes to saving money and building wealth over time:

“Pay yourself first.”

This means, before you pay your bills or spend any money, put some of your paycheck away in an account that’s specifically for you. Over time, these small savings and investments add up. 

When it comes to finding time to work on your business, if you’re already giving your time away to others, then you have very little (or no) time and brainpower left for yourself. So – you can take a similar approach to the above:

“Work for yourself FIRST.”

This means, before you spend time at work, wake up a little earlier and work on your business FIRST. Even just an hour a day dedicated to building your business can go a long way because over time, this investment adds up.

You’re up and excited to work on your business, instead of tired and worn out at the end of the day. You actually get up motivated because you know that’s the only time you have, instead of getting up dreading the long work day that’s ahead. 

Not a morning person…well, how much do you want it?