Today Saturday, 21st May 2022
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Used And Resold Wedding Gowns

Used And Resold Wedding Gowns

For a woman in her posture to be a bride what counts more is the outfit: the white wedding gown. Along the years this have…

The Beauty Of The Lace Wedding Dresses

The Beauty Of The Lace Wedding Dresses

The wedding dress is for a bride the most precious dress ever, for the guests and everyone present at the wedding an outstanding piece of…

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Why Is A Good Celebration Cake

Today, parties and occasions aren’t complete with no celebration cake. It has been the situation for several years which is not so common more than ever before because there are now always plenty of occasions to celebrate, making cakes among the popular features of parties. Nowadays, you are able to hardly look for a celebration in which a cake isn’t present. It is good to create a celebration cake that’ll be memorable. Important occasions in existence needs to be celebrated and brought seriously. There has to be an effective celebration to mark that occasion and among the best ways to achieve that is to possess a celebration cake. Celebration cakes make essential element of any event and turn into will always be the middle of attraction. Whether it’s an open celebration or perhaps a private party, a correctly decorated cake will make the big event special.

You might create a cake that is custom-designed to the requirements of the celebrant. A method to do that gets it prepared in a variety of shapes. For example, it’s an excellent idea to organize the birthday cake of the golf lover the same shape as the golf ball inside a course. Similarly, the birthday cake from the piano fan might be prepared the same shape as a piano. Within the situation of female friends, husband and wife or enthusiasts, you might have the celebration cake prepared the same shape as a heart, whereas a marriage will have a form of your daughter’s groom transporting the bride to be in the arms. Also, when the party would be to celebrate children’s second year birthday, you might have the celebration the same shape as the figure “2”. When the party would be to celebrate the birthday if your basketball lover, you might make use of the shape showing something similar to a football, soccer or basketball jersey, player or ball.

There are lots of ingredients you could have inside your cake. You can make a celebration cake that contains various kinds of cheese with all of cheeses hands-drizzled with an ivory wax, giving a stylish and delightful factor. Different ingredients could allow you to make chocolate with lemon drizzle, different fillings, coffee cakes with assorted layers, fruit cakes, sponge cakes and carrot cakes. You may even go further by looking into making the celebration special through different ways, for instance golden, ruby and silver anniversary cakes, logos and fashoins for sports cakes, cartoon figures on children’s cakes and so forth.

You simply need little creativeness so that you can come forth with good celebration cakes that the visitors want. The methods by which a meeting cake might be enhanced would be to add lots of sweetener and cream, and also to deck the wedding cake using different formed and colored cherries. Inserting the specific celebrant around the cake is yet another excellent idea.

Cupcakes doubles for celebrations, as well as in many shapes. Many variations of cupcakes are actually common and you can have the optimum time together with your celebration. You’ll be able to get grand gourmet cupcakes or perhaps simple chocolate cupcakes which fit a marriage, birthday or any event you’re organizing. Although cupcakes really are a favourite snack for enthusiasts of cake, they are getting used in lots of parties as celebration cakes.

Used And Resold Wedding Gowns

For a woman in her posture to be a bride what counts more is the outfit: the white wedding gown. Along the years this have become and remain the symbol for brides and going on the premise that you do this once in your life time for sure that everything is spectacular, every single moment wearing it is a minute to enjoy at maximum. But everything comes in contraction: as like you wear this once, you need it just for this day and there is no other chance for you to use it again. So, why spend so much money after all on this dress?

While many count on the fact that the dress to be singed of a famous designer, others prefer just to accomplish this task on their check list without any pretences. Consequently, second hand wedding gowns seem to be on one of the most reliable source and method.

Second hand wedding gowns are not quite a disaster. Many relate this to used dresses, which is true, but it is not about a low quality. Imagine your situation in your research of a gown at an affordable price and the ex brides which give their used wedding dresses as they have nothing to do with them anymore. If many consider the dress of an emotional bond with them others want at least to regain a small amount of money. At the same time, it is just about this aspect so the quality is the same. Indeed it was once worn, but it is clean and as like a newly dress from a store.

Where can one buy second hand wedding gowns? There are many options, even in local stores and boutiques. But in general look after ads in newspapers and mostly on the internet. Like the eBay is one of the most popular websites with products to sell so are many others. It is easily to find so.

The single and major inconvenient is in fact more about your luck. Second hand wedding gowns are usually a limited size chart. This means that hardly one can find its measure and design wanted. For those less exigently, for those that want just a dress to like it the seamstress help is required later, this is in case that you pay an insignificant amount of money on the dress.

It seems after all a chance to search for your luck to say it so. But if it is to correlate second hand wedding gowns with tradition and superstitions you may not want to still look after such a dress type. It is said that the luck of the first bride will be transmitted. How can one tell what was the first bride wedded life? This is why in most of the families the tradition of keeping the mother’s wedding gown for the next generation has become a so strict and spread fact.

When Press Releases Cross The Line And Become Social Media

As long as press or media releases were one to two-page news item updates delivered directly from the source to the media outlet, they were clearly just what they professed to be: an information release to the press.

Then someone who was tired of expending the time and money it took to send a release to everyone on a media list (a list that could be quite lengthy depending on your content and desired market exposure) had a better idea. Instead of mailing the press release to a reporter who was equally as tired of sifting though envelopes, why not distribute it via email? And from emailed media releases, the leap to distributing them en mass, online, is a very short one.

At the point that both free and paid media release services came into existence, the entire dynamic of the media release changed dramatically. Instead of submitting a release to just members of the press as a preparatory piece of information needed for the media to write and prepare the news story, internet distribution of the release itself meant that the release ‘became the news story’. In a cyberspace second, press releases transitioned from preliminary information to target information, which could (and would) be accessed by anyone with an internet connection. They are downloadable, linkable, and viral. Electronic media releases allow you to communicate to your market, add links to other internet content, photos, videos, attachments, and—(and this part is important) to begin a conversation with the reader, who cannot respond to you on the release, but can respond to you via all the sources your well written release directs him to (such as your blog, Twitter account, Facebook page, etc). In many valid ways, press releases distributed online are now as much a form of social media as is your blog or the information you post on other platforms. We just don’t tend to think of media releases, or use them, with this thought in mind.

Yet the very thing that makes internet distribution of press releases so effective is also what makes them challenging. In the old days of press releases mailed or faxed to media outlets, the writer of the release knew his audience; he knew he was targeting his release to capture the interest of the reporter or editor who would then filter and control the distribution of the information to the public.

Internet distribution of media releases now means that at the same time the writer of the release hopes to entice someone in the media to further distribute the news item, the writer must also be crafting the document in such a way that the interest of all of the online public who views it directly in release format will also be engaged. The target market of media releases went from being ‘reporters and editors’ to being ‘reporters, editors, and the entire rest of the internet-accessing planet!’

In much the same ways as social media-zation has opened doors for consumers to shape and control marketing and advertising, online distribution of news items allows for the circumvention of the traditional press. News makers connect directly with the news viewer/reader who has the future opportunity to exponentially propagate the news information within his or her own networks of contacts.

If you are not taking advantage of internet distribution of your newsworthy items, you may be missing a very effective way to share your message. A quick internet search will help you identify many sources who will distribute your media release online at no cost to you. Some are more effective than are others. Keep in mind that many free media distribution sites involved the addition of advertising on the page with your release. Typically this is not advertising you can control or refuse unless you choose to distribute your release via a paid service such as PRWeb, Marketwire, or similar media outlet.

The vast but still barely tapped potential for online press releases is a topic with lots of related information. Look for more blog posts on this subject as we share some of the ins, outs, and insider tricks of the new media tool of online press release distribution.

The Benefits Of Holiday Packages To Phuket

It is highly determined that planning on holiday packages often will turn up higher value for money as well as a better plan.

For many years Thailand has brought large numbers of foreign holidaymakers in search of memorable holidays. In recent times Phuket and Thailand have instigated a further jump in tourism for holidaymakers to Asia. A break there is a glorious vacation for families, couples and visitors of all interests when you just want to leave behind it all and then relax in tranquility or find something different. Many travelers are brought to time spent in Phuket and Thailand because they get the choice of relaxing and being pampered, or viewing the tourist attractions and walking down the beaches. A holiday package to Phuket will allow holidaymakers a chance to find more things than they would often and on a less expensive fee than if all the parts were bought apart.

When investigating vacation packages you will be inundated with all sorts of travel details and all your itinerary details to be sure that your vacation occurs without a hitch. When deciding on for your accommodation, in Thailand, some travelers prefer Phuket for a holiday location. Phuket resorts provide a great range of facilities and might include dining choices, kids clubs and day spas. These resorts are usually perfectly situated close to the beach or entertainment hot spots or even everything! You cannot top Patong Beach for an upbeat nighttime experience at a placement right on the seaside. Patong Beach is the best holiday destination in Phuket and when travelling to Thailand it ought to be considered for at least a day or two.

Not being armed with enough travel info may be a dilemma for tourists. Holidays are supposed to be carefree but if the accommodation is not good enough then the entire vacation can be prevented right in the start. The real travel web sites provide research about Phuket holiday deals and also links to arrange vacation travel packages. There are loads of packages available – these are made to suit every taste, choice and budget. Indeed, as people vary, it is quite clear that they then do also have varying preferences and holiday plans too. Packages will be made at the lowest fees on the table.

Phuket resorts, hotels and apartments allow for a varying range of accommodation types. With the very top there are luxurious and super premium arrangements, all the way down to readily accessible and discounted choices. It can be simple to find vacation accommodation through the net and choose the accommodation that is the choice for you. Price is obviously one of the highest determinations but does every person research transportation and transfers, food and beverage options, room inclusions and resort facilities. This is the point where a holiday package is of great assistance. All the planning has been done for you, all the extra details have been sorted and all the traveler needs to do is arrive and start their relaxation.

Utilizing a travel agent to help with your vacation arrangement gives the extra benefits of local knowledge. The safest points to go traveling while checking the weather and climate, helping stay away from the fullest season of the year and accommodation that would be most appropriate for for the traveler are a priority for the travel agent.

Holiday researchers should aim to find the best Phuket Holiday Packages on the web, from the most popular Phuket holiday resorts available. Some of the best holidays in Thailand begin with Patong Beach accommodation.

Investing – Home Run Vs Home Ruin Micro Cap Vs Large Cap

We’d all like to hit that massive, 585 footer into the bay. The reality is that, although that does happen, you’ve got far weaker odds of hitting the investing equivalent of a home run as you do striking out repeatedly. Hey, it’s just like in the majors. Those that live by the long ball often die by it as well.

Now, most investors know better than to count on hitting a home run every time they pick a new stock. More often investors seek to mitigate the risks of seeking the long ball by filling most of their portfolio with less risky investments. If they’ve done their homework, and the market cooperates, they’ll make out pretty well. The question is why look for the home run stock at all? The chances of picking one of those meteoric companies that can single-handedly fund your retirement is exceedingly slim. By the way has anyone ever noticed that meteors tend to go down? I don’t know where the term “meteoric rise” came from, but most likely it was from someone standing on their head.

What are your chances of landing that big, home run investment, so you can retire at 32 and drive your new GT2 merrily off into the sunset? Well, there are almost 4,000 different stocks listed on the OTCBB. Some are great companies to be sure, and are using the capital they raise from issuing shares traded there to fund their growth in the hopes that one day they’ll move to one of the larger exchanges. The problem is that there are so many risks inherent in trading such issues that most investors, even very aggressive ones, are better off leaving these alone. Your chances of finding the next Google, Microsoft or Intel among the OTC-BB or pink sheet companies is exceedingly unlikely.

In most cases companies with that much on the ball and that much investor support will simply IPO on one of the larger exchanges. None of the aforementioned companies were ever penny stocks, despite Internet rumors to the contrary. Google IPO’d at almost $100 per share and Microsoft, who raised an amazingly small $58.7 million from their $21/ share IPO in 1986, never came close to penny stock status. By the way, IPO underwriter Goldman Sachs collected a $541,000 fee from MSFT for their services. By the way, Microsoft never needed the IPO as financing. In 1986, they had cash reserves of approximately $38 million, but they’d given so many incentive stock options, they felt they’d soon have to register under SEC rules. Never liking to lose control of time or place, Bill decided to get a jump on the whole thing.

Lets take a look one small step up the stock hierarchy, micro cap stocks. Do you have a good chance of making hay there? The typical definition of a micro cap stock is one with a market cap of smaller than $250 million. I went a bit smaller, to companies with market caps with under $100 million on any of the three major exchanges. Surely the risk to investors there is less than on the OTC-BB or pink sheets, right? If nothing else they are subject to more oversight, and should (in theory) be less likely to experience major moves in stock price precipitated by surreptitious actions of either company insiders or Internet price manipulation schemes. There are about 565 stocks meeting the under $100 million figure. Of these, an astonishing 478 are trading at 10% or more below their 52 week high. That is about 85%. Now this may not be too surprising, given that the market has dropped precipitously over the previous 6 months.

Taking a look at larger, more established firms, we find that there are 236 companies with a market cap between $10 billion and $25 billion, and that 192 of them meet the criteria of trading at 10% or more below their 52 week high. That is about 81%.

I found 217 companies with market caps of greater than $25 billion, but below $200 billion. How many of these companies are trading at greater than 10% below their 52 week high? About 165 of them, or 76%.

When looking at the really big players in the corporate world, those with market caps exceeding $200 billion. There are 12, a fairly small sample. 10 of them are trading at greater than 10% below their 52 week high and half are 15% below it.

What does it all mean? It looks like there is an positive correlation between a company’s market cap and their recent stock performance, until the very largest companies are reached, at which time the relationship goes bad. In different market and economic conditions this may not hold true of course.

How To Become A Millionaire

Just how do you become a millionaire, anyway? On this day after the Forbes list of the world’s richest people came out, it seems appropriate to discuss just how you could become one of them. In the first place, being a mere millionaire these days is no indicator of great wealth, although it’s still the term thrown about the most when people (those that aren’t, anyway) discuss being rich.

In fact, I remember an interview that was done a few years ago about retirement savings in which a young girl expressed amazement when the interviewer asked about saving a million dollars for retirement. She was of the mistaken opinion that she’d never need to save even close to that amount to comfortably fund her retirement. Apparently she’d either forgotten about the effects of inflation, was independently wealthy, or was planning on marrying up. Maybe she just loved the whole mountain tent decor and would be comfortable living that way.

In any case for many that have aspirations of attaining wealth becoming a millionaire is merely the first step in the process. Given that first step or not, one must get there at some point in the process, just how do you become a millionaire?

Besides winning it, or being given your million dollars, there are two basic paths you can take toward millionaire status. You can work for someone else and invest a portion of your income, or you can work for yourself and invest a portion of your income. Either way has it’s advantages and disadvantages. In addition, there are countless combinations you can use to reach you goals within these two very broad avenues. To become exceedingly (is that even possible??) wealthy, you’ll have to either:

A) Start your own successful business, then plan and execute an exit strategy that would include taking the business public or selling it for a substantial amount of money.

B) Work for a company in the early phases of its existence and be given a portion of the business that will be worth a substantial amount of money. This method worked well for many people in Sunnyvale, Redmond, Austin, Mountain View, and Cupertino. You can then invest the substantial windfall to become quite wealthy.

C) Get one of the few extremely high paying jobs with a salary and bonus structure such that you have a substantial amount of money left over to invest. You must then invest at a rate of return that will result in your extreme wealth. Not only must you land such employment and make the appropriate investments, but if you take this route, you must live fairly frugally in the wealth generation phase. It is hard for many to resist the pull to plunk down their new found money on a 8,000 square foot golf course home, a Bentley, and trips to Monaco for the Grand Prix every year. In many of these types of jobs, your peers will live with the trappings of wealth, and it can be easy to emulate their behavior.

Of those younger billionaires on the Forbes billionaire list, 68% of those under 40 years old made their money starting with nothing, so take heart, it can be done. Getting the mindset to actually achieve that level of wealth may be almost as difficult as getting that rich itself.

What about just becoming a plain old, garden variety millionaire? Thankfully, that is much easier, and doesn’t really require too much beyond some basic financial planning and discipline. You need to make some good decisions about the direction of your life along the way. If you take the work for someone else approach, rather than starting your own business, you’ll need to plan and execute a career path that affords you enough income to invest for retirement such that you’ll reach a million dollars in assets, not including the equity in your primary residence. This can be easily done, and in fact, according to the most recent Merrill Lynch wealth report there about 9.5 million such people in the world.

For example, say you play around a bit in college, change you major a time or two, and don’t graduate until you’re 25 years old. Upon graduation, you get a decent, but not very high paying job, earning $35,000 per year with good benefits. If you plan to get only a 3% annual raise (less than the cost of living), put away 10% of your salary toward retirement (assuming no company matching, so it’s not too great of job), and earn an 8% rate of return on your investments, you could easily become a millionaire. In fact you’ll retire at age 65 with a nest egg of about $1.2 million. On this you can live with 97% of your last year’s salary of $110,000 per year until you die at 90, and leave a $1.3 million nest egg to your heirs. You could even retire at 63 and just manage to eat up your retirement savings by the time you reach 90.

The above calculations assume you’ll get a big, fat Zero for Social Security, because face it, for anyone under 35 now that could easily be the case. It also assumes a 3.1% annual inflation rate. Just how nice would an employer matching contribution be in the above scenario? If you were a bit more ambitious and received on average a 5% annual raise, you would retire with a $1.56 million nest egg at 65, so you would be a millionaire times 1-1/2. It may not seem like much, just increasing your retirement nest egg by such an amount, but in fact it’s extremely powerful. Such an increase would allow you spend $150,000 per year in retirement, instead of only $107,000. Even spending almost 50% more, your retirement savings would still continue to grow, such that when you took your last breath at 90, you’d be everyone’s favorite uncle, because you’d leave your heirs a $5.2 million present.

What if you didn’t want to wait until you were in your 60’s to become a millionaire?

Disount Online Stock Brokers A Comparison

For the average investor, one of the great things about the Internet is the proliferation of online stock brokers. Most of these are also discount brokers, so an investor can get both accessibility and low prices on their stock trades. It’s a stark contrast to the days when your father had to make a call to his broker and pay huge fees to make a trade. One of the results of this whole situation is that there are far more investors in the stock market than ever before. It makes perfect sense. Any time the price of a product or service or service is lowered and the access to it is facilitated, the number of users will increase, providing there is a demand for the item in question.

The elimination of the NYSE’s fixed commission structure in May of 1975 opened the door for the discount brokerage. Prior to that day, stock brokers charged investors a fixed commission for every trade, and it was expensive. There was no freedom to negotiate either, as minimum trade commission prices were set by the SEC. It was a real old boys club, and most would-be investors were excluded. After the process was deregulated, discount brokers began to appear, one of the earliest and most famous being Charles Schwab.

Today there are many discount stock brokers, much to the benefit of all investors, weather they are hard core traders who make their living from investing, or the casual investor who may only make a few trades a year. With the ability to trade from home, and free from the requirement of having a broker involved in every trade, there are no longer barriers to those who would like to dip their toes into the stock trading waters before they take the plunge all the way. Those who like to trade consistently have things much easier as well.

The evolution of discount brokers effectively removed the last barrier to that group of investors. Now, with the price of trades ranging from as low as free to $20 a trade the cost of trading has been reduced to the point where it’s been effectively eliminated for most people.

The other huge advantage of the Internet and online brokerage for most people is that it’s now very easy to find information (not always true) on various investment choices. Weather an investor is looking for general information a particular market, company or even legislation, it’s all there for the browsing. Most online discount brokerages make available a complete set of tools for their customers. The array of tools available now to the amateur investor would actually be the envy of most professionals only a few years ago. Most even offer real time, streaming quotes. In the not too distant past, that would have been the province of the hard core professional investor or institution.

There a still full service brokers, and most of those have online and even discount style accounts. Many investors today don’t feel they need the level of service (and are unwilling to pay for it) offered by a full service brokerage houses. Who are the big players in the discount brokerage game, and what do they offer you? Well, here is a comparison of some of the most popular online discount brokers and what they offer you:

TD Ameritrade – No commission trades for the first 30 days, but you may want to keep trading for a bit beyond 30 days. After the initial 30 day period, you’ll pay $9.99 per trade with no maintenance fees. They offer 24/7 online and phone support. There is a $2,000 minimum required to open a non-IRA account and a $1,000 minimum for IRA accounts. Many investing tools are free, however real time news from Dow Jones will cost you about $30 a month.

E*Trade – E*Trade was the first online brokerage, dating to 1983, but at that time, they weren’t something anyone could just log on and use. Now they offer stock trades according to a graduated pricing plan. Those who make up to 29 trades a quarter and have less than $50,000 in their E*Trade account will pay $12.99 per trade. If you have a larger nest egg and/or make between 30 – 149 trades a quarter, you’ll pay $9.99 per trade. Options traders can tack on an additional .75 fee per trade. Broker assisted trades cost an additional $45. E*Trade has no required minimum for IRA accounts. Pink sheet stocks will require a $54.99 fee to trade. E*Trade has an annual $160 maintenance fee.

Zecco – Zecco offers free stock trades for those who make fewer than 10 trades a month and have more than $2,500 in their account. That makes them my choice for the occasional or semi-active investor. Those making more than 10 trades a month will pay only $4.50 per trade. If you prefer options, you’ll spend $4.50 + 50 cents per contract. Something else favoring beginning investors is that there are no minimums required to open a Zecco account. Find out more here.

Scottrade – Scottrade offers low, $7.00 online trades for stocks trading at over $1.00 per share. Pink sheet stocks will require a $27 fee to trade. If you need help from a real, live person to make a trade, broker assisted trades run $27 as well.(the same $27).If you’d like to walk in and talk to someone face to face on occasion, they have over 330 branch offices scattered throughout the country. Scottrade offers free, streaming, real time Dow Jones information.

Charles Schwab – Thanks to a persistent ad campaign in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, Chuck is who many people think of when they hear the term “discount broker”. They’ve been around since way before discount brokers went online. They charge $12.95 to trade for orders of less than 1,000 shares. If you exceed the 1,000 share limit, they’ll tack on a penny and a half per share fee, but no account maintenance fee. Charles Schwab also has real time Dow Jones info for free if you’re an account holder.

 

The Beauty Of The Lace Wedding Dresses

The wedding dress is for a bride the most precious dress ever, for the guests and everyone present at the wedding an outstanding piece of clothing. Of course that the bride’s beauty gives a boost to the dress but its creative side and how it is made makes the whole magic effect. But when choosing it, in the research for the perfect wedding dress, the bride thinks about the rational part as well: the budget is not an unlimited one and it is after all a waste to spend so much money on a dress that you wear it once.

At the same time you want and need not an ordinary or common image of your outfit. If you could only conciliate both parts and have the most beautiful dress but at an affordable price. But there is a wedding dress that fulfills both of your requests and needs: lace wedding dress.

To start with, lace wedding dresses are timeless; in a certain way they bring something about the vintage style but they compel as well the elegance of a modern dress. It all counts how is the pattern and in what way a bride chooses to embellish its wedding dress with some lace fabric.

Lace wedding dresses can be of two types: the total one made exclusively out of this material or just with some decorative extra items on it, with a part of it made out of lace- for example the skirt is chiffon and the top part has the shoulders covered with lace as short sleeves. No matter in what way a bride decides a thing is clear and sure: lace brings elegancy and a diaphanous look so that the dress made out of this fabric becomes representative for a formal event.

Why is that lace is such high rated? Lace gives ones the opportunity to create various styles and mostly without losing the feminine effect. In fact this is the strong point: in combination with another material it creates a refined appearance and when it is just and only about lace the sensual part replaces everything as description word for a dress. Not only this but in some cases it adds a sexy look too: imagine a dress backless, with a tight corset and a mermaid line of the dress; for the above part as not to be so uncovered and revealing you can add lace, but under it the skin is a sight so that the dualist aspect about lace comes with a combination of demure with slight tendency on daring showing but in a sublet way.

All things considered, lace wedding dresses are appropriate for any age, for any bride. Accessible, never obsolete, always on fashion. Even keeping your dress after the wedding for your daughter wedding day and still such a dress does not lose its charm in time, but it accentuates it

Debt Relief – Do Settlement Counseling Or Debt Relief Programs Really Work

Relief is on the minds of millions of people due to the credit industry problems and the huge levels of consumer debt in the U.S., but what do people really mean when they talk about debt relief? Are there programs that will simply get rid of your debt so you can start anew?

Actually yes, there are debt relief programs that can help you do that, but it’s not really that simple. After all, you don’t get something for nothing, although it could be argued that if you get a portion of your debt eliminated, you actually did.

There is some confusion among many debtors about the differences between the various debt relief programs. Are debt settlement, debt relief and debt counseling all synonymous? Actually no, they’re not. They actually mean different things, and if you choose to avail yourself of one of these options to handle your debt, the option you actually choose could have long lasting effects on your credit and future financial picture.

Debt settlement is a term that most often refers to the process of negotiating with creditors to only repay a portion of a debt. Although that may sound like a fantastic option to many creditors, remember the whole free lunch thing. Using debt settlement services will impact your credit in a negative way and affect your ability to secure future credit, and the interest rates you pay for years to come. There are a few basic ways that these programs work, and before you enter into any such program you absolutely must go over any agreement with a fine toothed comb, preferably with the advice of an attorney who’s well versed in such matters. It may seem like spending money to seek the advice of an attorney may just be compounding your debt problems, but a few hundred dollars up front may save you thousands of dollars and some financial migraines later.

Some debt settlement firms will simply charge you a flat fee for their services, but the more common scenario is for them to charge you either a percentage of the total outstanding debt or a portion of the savings they provide through the negotiated settlement. With most debt relief negotiations, the debt relief company will negotiate a settlement with each of your creditors that will represent between 40% – 50% of the original debt amount. They must negotiate independently with each credit card account. Debt relief companies can handle other types of debt as well, but credit cards are far and away the most common. Typically only unsecured debt is negotiated through this process, as unpaid secured debt will be satisfied by the creditor repossessing the security for the debt, such as a vehicle or land.

As the debtor, you will be required to set up a debt repayment plan for the agreed upon amount with each open account. This will include the payment to the debt relief company, the creditor, and the time frame for the repayment plan. You will then make payments either into an account set up by you, or an escrow account set up by the debt relief company. Once you have accumulated the requisite amount your debt will be satisfied. The process repeats with each debt until all your debts are paid at the individually agreed upon amount.

This is one of the places where things can go wrong for you as the creditor. Stories abound of less than scrupulous debt settlement companies simply keeping all the funds you’ve already paid should you miss a payment. This does happen, and needless to say that could cost you a bundle. If you feel that you realistically will not have the money to maintain such a settlement plan, you may want to consider another option, but even more important is to thoroughly evaluate any such agreement before you enter into it.

This highlights the importance of having a qualified, independent party look over the contract before you sign it. If you sign a contract that permits the firm to keep any funds paid to date should you miss a single payment, it’s really your fault for such a debacle. If you feel such a clause is worth it in order to secure a substantial reduction in the amount of your debt, that’s a decision only you can make. Remember that you will have your debt reduced a substantial amount, but there is also the debt company’s fee to consider when calculating your total savings. In total, the savings may not be as large as you think.

The process lasts from 1 – 4 years in the majority of cases. It is exceedingly rare for the debt relief company to offer any sort of guarantee for their services. The key is that you should be using this technique as a way to avoid bankruptcy.

Acquisition for Talent – The Death of Innovation?

Acquisitions of startups for their talent has become commonplace over the last few years.

Often, the consequences of a startup’s acquisition for talent is that the founding vision or concept is hijacked, altered to fit the goals of the acquirer or abandoned all together.

In the past, the acquisition market had been focused on buying startups for their underlying technology, business or customer base. Over the last few years, we have seen a shift in the acquisition market and a rising demand for hard working, talented engineers, especially at cash rich technology companies like Twitter and Facebook.

As the trend to acquire startups for talent continues, it is important to raise the question, does this hurt innovation?

When a company is acquired for talent, their technology, product or service is probably going to be killed or somehow integrated by their acquirers.

Let’s look at the recent acquisitions by Twitter to gain additional insight into the impact of acquisitions for talent on new and innovative technology.

With $1.16 billion in funding to date, Twitter has been on a buying spree for the last few years. Their acquisitions in 2012 already include Summify, Dasient and Posterous. Over the last few years they have also acquired Summize, Mixer Labs, Cloudhopper, Dabble DB, TweetDeck, AdGrock, BackType, and others.

To better understand the impact of being acquired for talent, let’s examine what happened to a few of these startups.

Posterous is one of Twitter’s latest talent acquisitions. At the time of acquisition, Posterous was in its fifth year of operation and had just raised $10.1 million in funding.

Posterous’s Sachin Agarawal said when asked about the acquisition by Twitter,

According to the company, Posterous Spaces will continue to be available, but instructions have been made available to move to other services. From reviewing the publications from Posterous, it appears that they are urging people to move to another service.

When TweetDeck was acquired in 2011 many people feared the Twitter client would be shut down. There were calls within the TweetDeck development community to stop using their API in anticipation of Twitter’s take over.

Despite the acquisition, TweetDeck is still available. The team has continued to release updated versions of the Twitter client and still serves an impressive number of Twitter’s power users.

When Summify was acquired in early 2012 Twitter ended up relegating the product to be shut down. In an update to their community of users they announced their acquisition, Summify said,

After the acquisition was announced, Summify closed registrations and suggested that users move their accounts to another service in preparation for the termination of Summify’s service.

When you look at the consequences of acquisitions for talent by social media leader Twitter, it is clear that acquisitions are altering the course of innovative new startups. Unfortunately, most of the time, the acquired company shuts down its service or product, and shifts focus to helping support their acquirer’s growth by concentrating on their area of expertise. Another common outcome is that a service or product is shut down but integrated into the acquirer’s existing offering.

When considering the impact of the trend for startups to be acquired for talent, it is important to consider the implications that has on innovation as well as disruptive ideas.

Would innovation increase and more disruptive technologies become available if less startups were acquired for talent?

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