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Sunday, March 29, 2009
Weekend Quote - Life
Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is a beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it!

- Mother Teresa  eLearners  Earn Rewards at MyPoints.
posted by Ruby @ 10:22 AM   0 comments

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Thursday, March 26, 2009
Earn 300 Continental Airlines Onepass miles
Continental Airlines is offering an easy way to earn 300 Onepass frequent flier miles. Simply click on links to learn 3 cardmember benefits from Chase, register on each page and earn 100 Onepass miles each, for a total of 300 miles. Just click on the links for Bag Fee Waived, ShopOne 2X the Miles and BusinessFirst 2 for 1 and then register with your Onepass mile on each page.

Chance to earn 300 Onepass frequent flyer miles


posted by Ruby @ 9:01 AM   0 comments

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Free subscription to the Forbes and Conde' Nast Traveler magazine
For a limited time, RewardsGold is offering free subscription. For details, check out:

RewardsGold: Forbes and Conde' Nast Traveler magazine  eLearners  Earn Rewards at MyPoints.
posted by Ruby @ 9:29 AM   0 comments

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Sunday, March 22, 2009
Weekend Quote - Money flow
Money Goes Where it’s Treated Best

- Wriston’s Law  eLearners  Earn Rewards at MyPoints.
posted by Ruby @ 8:29 AM   0 comments

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Put on layoff alert
Recently my boss called me to her room and told me that my job is vulnerable and I could be laid-off any day unless things change for better for the firm. We already have had a couple of rounds of layoffs, so the news wasn't exactly shocking although it still hit me a bit when my boss told me about it.

As usual, the reason was to cut costs. As I have been working part-time since last few years, I am all the more vulnerable even though for all intent and purposes I have been carrying full time load. My boss also agreed and wants to keep me. During the conversation with me, my boss suddenly thought that the Dept Manager probably doesn't realize that I am working part-time and there won't be much savings by laying me off. She spoke with her immediate supervisor who told her that that's probably true but she should still tell me that my job is vulnerable. Personally, I feel that if there isn't enough work, our firm should implement furloughs or reduce the work hours of all full-time employees as many other firms are doing but then the Manager probably doesn't read the Wall street Journal and isn't aware of such great strategies :-)

Ever since my boss told me about potential layoff, I go to the office every day thinking that this is the last day at work. So far, fortunately, I still have a job although from my side, I have fully emptied my cubicle so that I can leave it as soon as I found out that I am let go. Unlike other employees at work whose layoffs we found out days after they had been let go, I already told some of close friends at work about it and exchanged contact info just in case they find out that they haven't seen me at work for a few days.

My spouse's company has also had layoffs, so his job is vulnerable too. But fortunately, we try to live within our means and have been through layoffs before, so believe that even if we get laid-off, we will be fine. Our main concern is always related to the health insurance but I have been reading that with the recent changes to law passed by President Obama, the COBRA premiums have been subsidized and become more affortable - so that's a good thing. Hopefully, we will both keep our jobs but if not, I know that this time too shall pass and we will come out stronger and better from this experience.
posted by Ruby @ 7:22 AM   0 comments

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Sunday, March 15, 2009
Weekend Quote - Should traders get multi-million dollar bonuses?
The author of "An Anonymous Trader Defends His Pay (Mar. 16, p.29) argues that his $1 million bonus is fair. If he helped make $100 million, he should get 1%. I say sure, as long as he's exposed on the downside. If you share in a $100 million profit, you should also share in a $500 million loss if you cause it. Since the loss is worse for the company, your share should be 5%. You should be eligible for a $1 million bonus only afer depositing $25 million into an account that would be used to reimburse the company if your gambles don't pay off. If you aren't happy with that, settle for $400,000 to risk company money.

- Stuart Boreen

Source: Traders Anonymous, Readers Say, Forbes magazine, Mar 30, 2009 p. 16  eLearners  Earn Rewards at MyPoints.
posted by Ruby @ 9:18 AM   0 comments

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Applying for Penfed HELOC
Given all the negative news about layoffs etc, we recently decided to open home equity line of credit (HELOC). After doing some research, we realized that HELOC from Pentagon Federal Credit Union worked out best for us. At the time of opening the HELOC, Penfed was offering prime minus 0.5% which came to about 2.75%.

Opening the account was pretty straight forward. We simply called them and provided the required info over the phone. Basically, they asked info about our jobs, salary, how much credit limit we want and other info. Initially, they told us that most likely there will not be any appraisal required as they can model the prices in our neighborhood without requiring an appraisal. However, a few days after our conversation, we received a letter in the mail as well as a phone call that they require an appraisal for which we will have to pay $290. The letter also indicated the deadline by which we need to contact Penfed to proceed ahead with our application. We called Penfed a couple of times and asked if there was way to avoid the appraisal fee such as if we opened the HELOC for a lower amount but each time, we were told that we will have to pay the fee.

Since we didn't want to pay any appraisal fee, we decided to forget about opening HELOC. However, a couple of days before the stated deadline, my spouse called Penfed again and this time, there was a different customer service rep who told us to contact the mortgage department directly to see if that was possible. Fortunately, the loan officer was very good. She told us that we could avoid the appraisal but our line of credit will be reduced to a lower amount than what we had requested. This was fine with us and we ended with the HELOC account. We received our paperwork shortly afterwards via Fedex, got them notarized and the line of credit was established for us. We also had to call our Home Insurance company and list Penfed as the second mortgagee - the entire conversation with the home insurance lasted for less than 10 minutes, and they automatically sent a letter to Penfed. Within few days of submitting the paperwork, we also received the checks.

The good thing about Penfed is that the entire process was pretty stateforward. I guess, being a member of that credit union as well as having a credit card from them helped speed up the process to some extent. Unless we use the credit line (in which case, we will be incurring interest charges), we won't have to pay fees of any kind. The only fee Penfed said that they will be charging is the closing cost in case we close our line of credit within two years of opening. The good faith estimate gave a closing cost of about $300 but our actual closing cost listed in our closing papers was $275.53 and consisted of the following charges:

Credit Report Fee: $1.20
Flood Determination: $7.00
Quick Close Fee/Title Guarantee: $68
Recording Fee: $46
City/County tax/stampts: $143.33
Total = $275.53

So $275.53 is all we will have to pay in case we close the line of credit before two years. We are planning to leave it open, so hopefully that's something we can avoid. However, having the HELOC does give some sense of security although considering the current circumstances, financial institutions can always cancel or reduce them any time.
posted by Ruby @ 5:46 AM   2 comments

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Sunday, March 08, 2009
Weekend quote - Technical analysis of Citigroup's Stock Price
You can throw the technicals out at this point. Zero is the only place of support right now.

- Ryan Detrick, Technical Analyst, Schaeffer's Investment Research on Citigroup's (Ticker: C) stock price which dipped below $1 this week and is currently trading around $1

Source: Wall Street Journal (WSJ): Citigroup Hits 'Penny Stock' Realm  eLearners  Earn Rewards at MyPoints.
posted by Ruby @ 9:20 AM   0 comments

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Saturday, March 07, 2009
Site to find information about upcoming job fairs in your state
If you are unemployed or just interested in looking for a new job, CNN's Web site has posted a nice link to find job fairs in different states of the US. These job fairs are organized by CareerBuilder and and provide info about the dates for the upcoming job fairs. In some cases, the time and Location address will be provided later by CareerBuilder/

For details, see:

CNN: State by State Map of Job Fairs

CNN: List of Upcoming Job Fairs
posted by Ruby @ 11:04 AM   0 comments

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Friday, March 06, 2009
Just a thought: More job losses and economic pain ahead?
Stock market is considered a leading economic indicator. It tends to peak 6 to 9 months before the ecomomy recovers, even though job losses are still approaching their peak. Currently, some analysts think that stock market will drop further - further drop has become all the more possible now that the stock market broke through the 7000 support level on the Dow and 700 level on S&P500 earlier this week. Since stock market is a leading indicator and it's expected to fall further, does this mean that there is still more room for the job losses and the economy to deteriorate further? Just a thought.
posted by Ruby @ 9:39 AM   0 comments

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Down, down and down we go - Dollar Savings Direct lowers APY yet again
In keeping with the trend of present times where dividends, stock prices, job security and benefits, house prices, credit lines, and consumer spending and spirits are all going down, Dollar Savings Direct online bank has yet again lowered the interest on its savings account - the new APY is 2.50%. It was just a few days ago that the bank had lowered it's APY to 2.65%.

For details, see:

Dollar Savings Direct
posted by Ruby @ 10:49 AM   0 comments

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Credit cards canceled
We joined the ranks of many other people recently when both my spouse and I had our credit cards closed. In my case, Citibank informed me that my credit card will be closed while my spouse got a letter from Barclay's Bank stating that his Barnes & Noble Mastercard will be closed. Reason was simple - we had these cards but weren't using them, so just like what happened to other people, our cards were closed as well. Our FICO scores may take some hit but since we were using those cards nor needed to use them, we are not too worried about the hit our FICO might take.
posted by Ruby @ 8:39 AM   0 comments

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Sunday, March 01, 2009
Weekend quote - Thinking
A thought is power. Think big, think fast and think ahead. No one has monopoly over thinking. Thinking is a foundation on which a person can build the palace of his success.

- Dhirubhai Ambani  eLearners  Earn Rewards at MyPoints.
posted by Ruby @ 9:53 AM   0 comments

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Favorite Quote
"If you look at what you have in life, you will always have more. If you look at what you do not have in life, you will never have enough".
                - Author Unknown
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