If you pull up to the McDonald’s drive-thru on Thursday (Dec. 5), don’t be surprised if no one is there to take your order.
Fast food workers in over 100 cities are expected to walk off their jobs this week. This nationwide protest is the continuation of a ongoing fight for higher minimum wage. Currently, the U.S. minimum wage is $7.25, which is seen as an absurd amount to live on for many workers. The campaign is backed by unions and other advocacy groups. Their aim is to get the minimum wage increased to $15 a hour. However, many of the fast food companies find that request unrealistic.
President Obama is even supporting the campaign. Just last month, he said that he would support Senate’s efforts to raise the federal minimum wage rate to $10.10 a hour.
Advocacy groups believe that the fast food industry hasn’t restructured its thoughts to modern times. Today, many workers aren’t teenager or young adults working their way through school. Instead with the unemployment rates, older individuals are applying for jobs at fast food joints. Adults have more household responsibilities. The federal minimum wage is simply not enough to survive on.
Do the strikers have a point? Or should they be thankful that they’re getting a paycheck period?
Strangely, rapper The Game’s name has been brought up in a copyright infringement lawsuit between Sony/ATV and a 1970′s/1980′s rock group.
Donnie Iris and two others associated with the rock group, The Jaggerz, have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Pittsburgh. The lawsuit claims that their song “Memoirs of a Traveler” was sampled in the song “Letter to the King”, which was included on The Game’s 2008 album LAX. Iris, his co-writer Eugene “Benny” Faiella, and the estate of their former manager Joseph V. Rock are claiming that there are a substantial amount of unpaid royalties not accounted for. Thus, they are suing Sony/ATV.
But why if The Game is signed to a different label?
The Game is signed to Geffen/Universal. However, the label says that the royalties from the song were paid to EMI Publishing Company. Unfortunately, the lawsuit states that EMI never passed the money on to the plaintiffs. Plus, Sony bought out EMI in June 2012. This is why Sony is being sued.
The plaintiffs also claim that they have tried several times to settle this issue out of court. But, since January 2013, they believe Sony hasn’t made any real effort to pay them, even after being sent several correspondences throughout the year.
The guys are simply tired of waiting. Therefore, a lawsuit was filed last Wednesday. The amount the songwriters are suing for are unknown.
It’s that time of year, where families (or individuals) escape the work week in order to spend time with their loved ones. Most times, spending time means that they will have to travel some distance. When traveling domestically or internationally, however, the costs to purchase an airline ticket or rent a car can become overwhelming to your wallet. So, what should you do if you need to make a quick trip someplace? Here are some simple tips to help avoid going over budget.
1. Check and purchase airline tickets from discount websites – Try to avoid booking tickets directly from carrier sites. Delta, AirTran, United, and others will charge you absurd amounts when booking fares from them. The best thing to do is check sites like Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, CheapAir for the most inexpensive flight. Sometimes, less costs may mean that you will have to lay over somewhere. But, as long as you can spare a hour or two, making one-stop shouldn’t be a big problem. Another great site to check is AirFareWatchDog.com. If you sign up for their email list, they will send you daily or weekly emails listing the best rates among all airlines. Once you get the email, you can click on a price and go straight to the corresponding website to make your purchase.
But note…most discounted flights will have travel date limitations. So, be sure to make sure that the special offer concurs with when you are planning to travel.
2. Lower costs by avoiding the simple pleasures (i.e. WiFi) – Nowadays, airlines are trying to stay one step ahead of the competition by offering a more enjoyable flight experience. They do this by offering WiFi, seating with extra leg room, select meals, alcohol, etc. Even though these nice additions may make your flight more comfortable, the extra fees attached to them may disappoint you. Avoid putting a dent in your pockets by buying a standard/economy seat. Unless, you are 6 feet tall, your legs will survive a short flight (stand up and stretch during the flight). Also, use your flight time to catch up on some reading. Bring a book instead of purchasing WiFi. If your flight will only take two hours, your friends on social media will not fret about you being away for that long.
For meals, save money by packing some snacks at home or stopping by your favorite fast food spot. If there are food restrictions when boarding your plane, just hide your goodies in a purse or carry-on bag.
3. Pack lightly – A major headache for most travelers are the extra baggage fees. Delta, for instance, charges $25 for a second carry-on. Also, if your luggage is over the 50lb limit, you’ll incur more fees. So, save up some extra spending money by packing lightly. Only carry with you the bare necessities. Weekend trips should only account for one bag. If so, one carry-on bag will be at no cost to you.
4. Take advantage of corporate/government discounts on rental cars – A lot of us forget that our company or state agency have discounted rates at selected rental companies. Check with your job first to see if they offer such a thing. A corporate discount may only be 10-15% of the rental cost. But at least that will knock down the final rental rate. Also, corporations or AARP rates come with special privileges like renting without confirming payment or preferred status which allow you to reserve a car during busy holidays.
Thanksgiving will be here in a few days so it may seem last minute. And with last minute reservations come high costs. But don’t worry, there will be people who will cancel their reservations. If so, this will free up seats on flights and cars in the lot. Airlines and some rental companies offer “last minute” deals anyway. You may just luck up and cop a deal for little or nothing.
Since the new $100 bill entered circulation in October, many people have flexed their big faces via photos posted on Instagram, Twitter, and other social networks. It’s almost as if they’d never seen money their whole life. SMH…but we can bet half of the people showing off stacks couldn’t even tell you how the new bill came about. Nor could you tell you how the hundred dollar bill originated. Luckily, STACKS Magazine is here to help educate our readers about several interesting facts surrounding the bills.
Did You Know?
- Benjamin Franklin’s face on the bill is not the same portrait used when the original $100 bill was created in 1929. In fact, Franklin’s 2013 picture was added to the circulation in 1996.
- A new $100 bill was unveiled in April 2010, but never hit circulation because of a manufacturing flaw.
- On the “obverse” (or front) side of the new $100 bill features “Liberty Bells” that alternate when the bill is tilted.
- The $100 bill is the most popular bank note in the world.
- The average life span of a $100 bill is 8 years, then it is replaced due to wear and tear.
Additional Fun Fact: Large denominations ($500, $1000, $5000, and $10,000) were removed from circulation in July 1969. The reason for the U.S. decision to remove the larger bank notes is due to society’s preference of making cash transactions electronically. Electronic transactions has almost made the use of paper bills almost obsolete.
The minute you decide that you want to become a millionaire you must reflect on the inner you. Who am I? What am I passionate about? Am I a hard worker? Am I able to go beyond what is expected of me? Questions such as these will help you begin to brainstorm and come to a conclusion of the type of person you are.
In order to become wealthy, however, it will take some additional things that may include habits, your environment, your circle of friends and constituents, vices, etc. All of these areas should be analyzed with a certain level of concern. The better you are at assessing your personal traits, the better you will be at identifying if you got what it takes to become the next Bill Gates.
For many of our richest Americans and non-Americans, there are certain characteristics that are instilled within their inner being. The people that they are is exhibited through their work. So, what are these character traits exactly? Well, the following list of five key traits are what most experts believe make up a wealthy person.
Intelligent enough to work smarter, not harder – Wealthy people understands the value of time. Therefore, instead of working themselves to the bone for just a dime, these individuals figure out ways to make their job easier. If there is a task that they can’t handle, they search for and hire someone with those expertise to do the work for them. By doing this, this frees up much needed hours in order to focus on other important tasks.
Never sees money as their key motivating factor – People who have gained riches and maintained it have the tendency to love what they do. They are passionate about the job and the work their doing which is (and can) benefit others. Well-to-do individuals like to contribute to others (i.e. family, friends, society). This pleasure in satisfying anyone other than themselves is what fuels them to reach higher levels of achievement.
Refuses to think poor – Have you ever known someone who is afraid to spend money for fear of being broke? Probably so. Are these people still broke? Probably so. A rich person, on the other hand, isn’t afraid of the unknown. They understand that insecure thoughts can oftentimes stunt their personal growth. A person who talks themselves out of situations are more than likely going to stay in that same place. Therefore, wealthy people look beyond their humble upbringing and strive for more than what their parents had, for example.
Hustles like a Jamaican – In case you didn’t know, when someone says you “work like a Jamaican” that means you work several jobs. To some, having several jobs may be a bit much. But, to most millionaires, one job is not enough. Wealthy people must have more than one way to make money. They believe in securing several streams of income whether it is through owning several companies, building partnerships with other investors, planting seeds into other businesses as a silent investor, and so on. Having multiple ways to make money not only secure capital for any future ventures, but it also secures the livelihoods of their families.
Spends less, invests more – Rich people aren’t afraid to miss out on a new Bugatti so that they can use those funds to invest. They know the facts surrounding federal and state tax laws. This is why millionaires make big purchases as company-related property. Unlike a single-family home, wealthy people spend their money on commercial properties that can appreciate, produce a cash flow, and be able to be written-off on their taxes each year. The same goes for cars. Wealthy people invest money into items that can produce revenue. Family houses, cars, clothes, designer bags, etc can not do that.
One last thought…in addition to these 5 Key Character Traits Of A Wealthy Person, another important thing to know is that these individuals pick their friends and associates wisely. Most wealthy people dwell in circles of other wealthy and educated individuals. Being selective with who you chose to be in your circle can either make you or break you. So, if you have dreams in becoming a rich person, please understand that some of the people who are with you on the way up…may not be there when you finally get to the top.
Most of us ballers-on-a budget look forward to the holidays. This is the time of year when you can find a pretty decent deal on just about anything. Black Friday, especially, is one of those days (weekends) where being able to find your most-wanted items at a cheaper price, is expected.
Black Friday will bring the some exciting new bargains this year. Sports Authority, for instance, has announced their Black Friday Doorbusters deals. To provide more convenience to their customers, Sports Authority will open their doors at 6PM on Thanksgiving and offer online purchases ALL-DAY at www.sportsauthority.com. In addition, the sports store will offer 2-Day Deals. Those deals will run from Friday, November 29 from 6AM to 10PM, through Saturday, November 30 from 8AM to 10PM.
BLACK FRIDAY DOORBUSTERS (Available Thursday and Friday only, while supplies last. Exclusions apply.)
- Buy One, Get One 50% off Men’s, Women’s and Kids’ Footwear
- Buy One, Get One Free Balls
- 25% off Men’s, Women’s and Kids’ Under Armour Battle Hoodies (deal available through Saturday)
- 50% off Nike Men’s and Women’s Fleece Apparel
- 30% – 50% Off Entire Stock of Toys
- 50% off Outerwear (brands include: Slalom, Alpine Design, Gerry and Sims)
- $179.99 for Lifetime 50” Portable or In-Ground Basketball System (a savings of $250)
- $99 for Kids’ Reaction Mountain Bike (a savings of $100)
- $479.99 for Pro-Form Performance 400 Treadmill (a savings of $720)
- $1999.99 Body Rider Dual Action Cardio Hybrid Trainer (a savings of $400)
- $199.99 for Men’s or Women’s Tommy Armour Silver Scot Complete Golf Set (a savings of $100- $400)
- $9.99 Men’s, Women’s or Kids’ Alpine Design Fleece Top or PJ Bottoms (save 50%)
- $3.99 Men’s, Women’s or Kids’ Alpine Design Fleece Beanies or Gloves (save 60%)
2-DAY DEALS (Available Friday and Saturday only, while supplies last. Exclusions apply.)
- $69.99 for The North Face Men’s Chimborazo and Women’s Morningside Fleece Jacket (a savings of $29)
- 25% off Nike Men’s and Women’s Pro-Cold Weather Apparel and Women’s Fitness Pro, Legend 2.0 and Cotton Lycra Bras, Shorts, Tanks, Capris and Pants
- $114.99 Men’s or Women’s asics GEL-Kayano 19 Running Shoes (a savings of $35)
- $139.99 for Ping Pong Fury Table Tennis Table (a savings of $160)
- $349.99 for Pro-Form 7.0 RE Elliptical (a savings of $450)
- $779.99 for Pro-Form Performance 600 C Treadmill (a savings of $820)
Additionally, if you are one of the first 80 people to arrive any store location, you will be given a chance to win $500 in Bonus Bucks. Any Columbia or North Face brand purchases over $125 will grant buyers a $25 Sports Authority Cash Card that can used during any future store visits.
Let me say this as humbly as possible. I’ve spent my fair share of time in the big house. Not the big house usually involving a cell and shackles, but the large home which boasted many luxurious accoutrements. Some of which I couldn’t pronounce at the time of purchase, and others I didn’t realize were there until more interested folks came over to visit and pointed them out. Who needs a bidet? I don’t know but I had one. We had attained the dream; gainful employment, marriage, and a mini mansion. The house served as a sort of iridescent emblem of success we felt we deserved. Oh how wrong we were. We wasted no time using our 30 foot ceiling abode to throw “hey look, we’re successful” dinner parties and exorbitant soirees. It was our home. The problem is, we became house poor.
Nothing worse than coming home to a house you can’t afford. Every. Single. Day. It really defiles the dream of the big fat crib. Instead of peering out of the dramatic windows with self satisfaction, I found myself staring at the ceiling so many nights as I struggled to find a way to keep this house (job loss, business decline, and sky-rocketing medical bills). The mortgage posed no problem. The total cost of ownership did. Don’t fall for the hype.
Before I continue my diatribe, let me assert my desire to empower, not dissuade. If your dream is to acquire a 7,000 sqft slice of heaven, I am not here to stand in your way. Merely, I hope to impress upon you the importance of putting one foot (firmly) in front of the other before committing yourself to such a large purchase. Buying an expensive (large) home is quite different than any other major purchase one could make. It requires planning, sustainable resources, and what I have lacked in the past, reality. To help you avoid the pitfalls when buying a big house, please review the 5 most important things to consider before doing so.
1. Think long-term. What does that mean exactly? Well, buying a big expensive home is a long-term commitment. One that definitely shouldn’t be rushed into without thinking about the impact it may have on all areas of your life. Whether you pay for the big home in cash or mortgage it, keep in mind that you won’t be able to get out of the commitment without consequence. If you go the mortgage route, consider the fact that most mortgages are either 15 or 30 year terms. That represents a significant chunk of a person’s life in either case. Especially, if you consider making this a permanent dwelling for the life of the loan. A more manageable home (size) may make it easier to sell or rent in the event of a desired move or major life change.
2. The Upkeep. All homes require routine maintenance, but the more lavish the home, the more expectation there is to keep up its appearance. Generally, as the cost of the home rises, so to do the routine costs. Landscaping, A/C filters, and Pest Control are just a few of the routine bills that come along with home ownership. However, some bills are tied directly into the size. These costs in many cases are largely contingent on size. So before you take advantage of the best deal you’ve ever heard of in real estate, make sure you factor this into your accounting equation so you won’t be surprised when your landscapers bill costs more than your car note.
3. Saving (investing). You need to be able to pay your mortgage, eat out as you desire, and shop for whatever your vice is without it impacting your overall financial health. A hefty mortgage and escalating upkeep costs can stand in the way of this. I can personally attest to the importance of having multiple savings vehicles in order to protect you from financial calamity should a major life event occur. God-forbid a major illness befalls you or a close family member. If you have an expensive home to contend with also, it can spell disaster financially. You can’t predict what the future may hold and you certainly don’t have to live timidly, but you should always have strong savings objectives built into your monthly budget when deciding how big and how affordable a home is before purchase. The goal is to enjoy your home for years to come and not become house poor when life inevitably happens.
4. Utilities. Notice the reoccurring theme. Bigger house equates to bigger utility bills. Some homes cost a small fortune to adequately heat and cool in weather appropriate months. Unless you’re plan is to bundle up in the winter and walk around in the nude all summer (I’ve been there), your estate home may take you on a financial roller coaster if you’re not prepared. More square feet will always equal more money. Sure, you can exercise great energy saving practices, but when your home is 3500 sqft or more, there’s only so much you can do to keep your utility bills from reaching astronomical figures. Unless of course, you decide to move in with your neighbors for a few weeks out of the month.
5. Furnishing. You’ve just purchased a 6,000 sqft, tri-level dream home. Now you have the pleasure of furnishing it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve visited a family’s dream home, only to see it hardly furnished years after closing. They’re not minimalist; they just couldn’t afford to invest “in” the home. A house and a home (for our purposes) are two different things. A house is what you buy, and a home is what you make. Your color scheme, your furniture selections, and your art appointments all reflect the personality of its occupants. If you buy the big home, it requires more furnishings, more stuff… It doesn’t mean you have to furnish your home from top to bottom within the first 30 days after closing, but you should make sure you can afford to turn your dream house into your dream home when you see fit— as you see fit.
Submitted by André George, a lifestyle writer and brand strategist. Follow him on Twitter & Instagram @TheAndreGeorge.
That time of year is on its way…the dreadful tax season. As business owners (specifically sole-proprietors or small companies who aren’t capable of hiring full-time employees) various tax forms that must be filed and their requirements can be a bit overwhelming. In the end, however, if completed properly these forms can save you a lifetime of worry and unnecessary monies being owed to Uncle Sam.
If you are a business owner and prefer to hire independent contractors (IC), there are few things you should know before filing your 2013 taxes. Contractors and how you classify them can be tricky and should be paid careful attention. The IRS want to make sure business owners aren’t skipping out on potential payroll taxes, social security, or medicare taxes. To stay clear of owning money, first you need to ensure that the independent contractors you hire fall within the IRS definition of an IC.
Are the individuals providing services for you an independent contractor, employee, statutory employee, or a statutory nonemployee? By clicking on the highlighted names, you will find more information on how each is defined.
Once you’ve determined what type of worker you are paying, then see if this individual fall within the IRS’s 3-point rule-of-thumb concerning an independent contractor or employee.
Behavioral: Does the company control or have the right to control what the worker does and how the worker does his or her job?
Financial: Are the business aspects of the worker’s job controlled by the payer? (these include things like how worker is paid, whether expenses are reimbursed, who provides tools/supplies, etc.)
Type of Relationship: Are there written contracts or employee type benefits (i.e. pension plan, insurance, vacation pay, etc.)? Will the relationship continue and is the work performed a key aspect of the business?
The goal is to determine if the relationship as a whole contains the right to “direct or control”, and to what extent does this happens by the employer. If you have trouble determining a person’s IC status, the IRS offers Form SS-8. You or the worker can complete the form and send it to the IRS. It takes up to six months for review. But, the IRS will determine which category the worker falls so that your business entity can file the proper tax forms going forward.
Now, if you hired an “independent contractor”, here are some things that a business owner should have on file for that person.
1. A contract agreement that spells out what services that person will provide. Agreement should state that the employer is not responsible for withholding any taxes.
2. A copy of the IC’s business license or certificate of insurance (if applicable) and/or a business card.
3. IC or employees full name, social security number, and address. If not obtained, the employer is required to withhold backup withholding taxes for federal income taxes.
4. Invoices created by and sent to you by the IC.
As for you (the employer), you must complete Form 1099-Misc by the end of the year. The 1099 records how much was paid to the IC during the course of that year. If you paid an IC more than $600 in 2013, it is a requirement that you file the 1099 and give the IC a 1099. The IC must receive Form 1099-Misc by January 31, 2014. The Form 1099 and its transmittal Form 1096 must be filed by February 28, 2014.
The IRS audits these categories very closely. If it is found that you have misclassified an employee, you can face penalties and fines. But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You can inform the IRS of the mishap, but contact them as soon as possible. They will allow you time to reclassify the employee(s) without being penalized for prior years.
For more information regarding independent contractors and the IRS, pleas visit www.IRS.gov.
Yesterday was a great day for owners of the “TWTR” stock. The messaging app opened up publicly and instantly created gigantic wealth for many as the stock closed at over 70%.
When Twitter opened the doors for a selective few to purchase at $26, analyst had no idea the stock would soar to $44.90. This instantly created the flood gates for individuals to quickly sell their $26 shares and turn a complete 100% profit. A lot of millionaires (and some billionaires) were born yesterday. But, Twitter has to now figure out how it will maintain a $31 billion market value. Experts believe this is where they will suffer in the long run.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter hasn’t been able to turn a profit. It’s advertising revenues aren’t generating the money many thought it would. Several reasons could be that advertising on Twitter lacks visual appeal. On Facebook, you can see a picture of the product instantly. You do not have to, literally, “click-thru” an url link in order to see and fully understand what product or service is being sold. Also, Twitter 140-characters only policy can ruin a company’s ability to impact the consumer through words. So, advertising is clearly a troubled area for Twitter.
Another area of concern is the global impact of Twitter. Although 232 million of Twitter users are internationally-based, their global ad sales are far from stellar. The numbers don’t add up. Therefore, Twitter tells the Associated Press that it plans to hire more sales representatives in various locations across the globe (i.e. Australia, Brazil, and Ireland).
Do you believe Twitter will maintain its leverage? Let us know what you think.
I’m not a person of interest, say, like a famous actor or athlete. Rather, I’m a hard working entrepreneur who literally works seven days a week running 2 businesses,and a non-profit organization. Like most people who are working to realize their dreams and provide a more comfortable life for their family, I have my fair share of early mornings, long days, and even later nights. Whether you’re an executive over a music label or you work as a receptionist in a dental office, if you’re like me, you value the precious time you have to get out and spend some of your hard earned money on letting loose and having a good time. Since success is a journey and not a destination, it behooves us to work hard and play even harder. One of the places people go to let loose and celebrate their successes is the club.
The club presents an opportunity for the average person to mix with friends, mingle with the opposite sex, or just unwind. You can meet people or not—it’s your choice. You can live like a king or queen for a night or lay low in the background. Depending on the spot, there’s also the added likelihood and incentive you may find yourself partying within feet of your favorite celebrity. We can hear our favorite records mixed into what can feel like a personalized soundtrack for our past, present, and future accomplishments. Something about the environment gives us energy, can help keep us motivated, and can also be credited as the catalyst for new ideas. When you look at the club or any other type of nightlife establishment (i.e. a lounge) it’s easy to see the allure. Some people see the exorbitant markup on liquor, the hyper-sexualized nature of it, and the crass exclusivity of trying to “get in” as unnecessary extravagances. But, I tend to look at it from a different perspective.
In large part, I go because it is necessary for my business to attend as well as the enjoyment I get from the lights, music, and vibe. Professionally, I must interact with the movers, shakers, and the newly coined “Taste-makers” in order to land exclusive interviews and stay relevant. Standing in VIP next to the likes of Jazze Pha doesn’t make me any better than the guys standing in the general part of the club nor does it make them any less. This belief enables me to enjoy myself whether I’m in VIP popping bottles or standing by a crowded bar. Life is too short and too stressful as is without complicating it further by harboring the wrong attitude, especially when the whole purpose for going out is to “escape” uncomfortable realities and to celebrate. To this point, I’ve noticed a drastic change in the way people party these days.
One pivotal thing I’ve noticed is the change in the club goer mentality. It would seem very few people go out to simply have a good time. Instead, they go out to be seen and entertained. The difference between going out to have fun versus going out to be entertained is night and day. It is clear that many women go to be seen in their sexiest outfits (aka freakum dresses) and the only men they’re interested in meeting (if at all) are those men they believe to be “ballers.” Many men, on the other hand, appear to be more consumed with putting on the facade of “status” and “wealth” that they often miss out on the most important aspect of going out—the fun. Again, it would seem that very few people go to simply enjoy themselves and are much more concerned with standing around all night looking like a star.
In Atlanta, which is known as “Black Hollywood” it’s a rarity to see an entire club full of people dancing and enjoying themselves as you may have seen as recently as 10 years ago. Today, it’s more common to see women standing around taking dozens of photographs from one of several photographers than it is to see them dancing and interacting with men. It’s also more common to see a group of guys standing around in the same spot all night instead of buying women drinks and interacting with them. Everybody is a star in their mind and believe me when I tell you, here in Atlanta they sure act like it. Even Lil Wayne identified the staleness that has become the Atlanta nightlife. He tweeted back in August after one of his shows, “ATL was ok but sometimes u run into a krowd of people that’s too kool to move…” There are many reasons and plausible explanations, but I accredit this “Too Cool” mentality to the proliferation of VIP.
Clubs have been around since long before I was born. Thirty years ago, VIP, which stands for, “Very Important Person” actually meant it. Now it would seem anyone who knows one of the bouncers (or a group of 20 guys can scrounge up enough money to get a section for the night) can gain entry. It seems as if people seem to act differently. Instead of going to the club to have a good time, they’re looking to live a façade—to feel as if they’ve made it. There’d be nothing wrong with that if it didn’t dilute people into thinking they were above each other. Historically, VIP was created as a way to segregate mega stars and other important persons (politicians, business men, etc.) from the rest of the dancing populace. It was intended for security purposes more than the “I’m better than you for the night” practice currently under employ. The average person had no aspiration to party in VIP because the real party took place on the dance floor–not in a booth. Now clubs seem to cater exclusively to the VIP sections in their establishments. How could I blame them? They can charge exorbitant sums of money to eager men and women and this helps keep their books in the black. From a business standpoint, it makes all the sense in the world. It’s everybody else I’m concerned with.
The way many people look at VIP and the lengths people are willing to go to in order to gain “access” is indicative of a much larger issue. If you’ve ever spent time on the other side of the velvet rope, you know exactly what I’m talking about. People look at you almost reverently and treat you accordingly. A VELVET ROPE…who could’ve imagined 6 inches could create such a divide between the “perceived to be successful” and everyone else? I’ve literally seen it all. The droves of women who promise sexual favors to the bouncers if they can let them and their friends in, to the male groupies who act like they are members of an entourage as they make entry into their section. I once saw a girl unashamedly pull off her thong and hand it to a guy who was sitting in his section drinking a bottle of champagne. Wouldn’t you know it, 15 minutes later she and her friend were both sitting on his lap and all three were making out. Let me state I don’t have a problem partying or anyone who wishes to party in VIP. I do have a problem with the way people have allowed status to undermine how they feel about themselves and other people.
If you’re not a part of the “IN” crowd, you might as well stay home. How else could we explain an entire club full of people who stand around all night while some of the hottest records spin? How else can we explain people literally demeaning and degrading themselves just to be around another human being whom they believe is better than them? VIP is a section in a building with four walls, not a backdoor into heaven. The next time you go out with the girls or boys and you’re headed to the club, make sure you remember the whole purpose for going out in the first place… enjoying the club, your friends and having fun no matter which side of the velvet rope you end up on.
Submitted by Andre Georgé, a lifestyle writer and brand strategist. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @TheAndreGeorge.
Women are more successful than ever. They’re earning advanced degrees, starting businesses, and many are breaking barriers in Corporate America at record pace. For these reasons, it only makes sense that today’s woman would require any potential suitor to be her peer financially. Not only because women are attracted to successful men, but there is also a practical component that cannot be understated or ignored. If a man meets or exceeds her financially, it stands to reason that he is more apt to partner with her in enjoying whatever lifestyle she is already accustomed to or elevating it. Few women are willing to forgo certain luxuries in order to help protect the ego of a less successful man. So what about a woman who has made up in her mind that she isn’t going to marry a man who hasn’t reached “The Forbes List” yet? Or date? Is there really anything wrong with that? I say absolutely not. It costs money to survive, so it only seems prudent that before you start trying to merge your life with someone else’s, it’s in every one’s best interest to have their stuff together prior to doing so. This is where I draw my line in the sand. Ladies, there is a vast difference between wanting a man who has his ducks in a row and exclusively dating the (seemingly) rich. Any woman who can exclaim without hesitation, “I’m MARRYING RICH” won’t draw my ire but will certainly cause my eyebrow to rise. I’d question her motives, her concept of marriage, maybe in some way, her sense of self. To assert such musings and so boisterously seems like self-objectification. If you’re looking for a come-up then love and happiness aren’t what you’re looking for. You’re looking for a paycheck, a lifestyle, or access. If that’s the case, more power to you. However, as the saying goes, “Be careful what you wish for.”
In the age of the music video lifestyle (beautiful woman frolicking on the deck of a 50 foot yacht, as her adoring lover pours her another glass of champagne) it has become increasingly more difficult for two non-wealthy people to come together in love, let alone matrimony. The bar has been raised and it would seem more women are more comfortable asserting their desire to marry wealthy. Who could begrudge them that? As a society, we have become so completely inundated by images of wealth and affluence that it is no wonder why so many people have altered their list of requirements in a potential significant other. More women have raised their criteria to include a Bentley driving, Louis Vuitton Monogram travel set using, six-figure earning man. Standing in one of the most challenging financial periods in our nation’s history, it stands to reason why some women would want to change their tune and exclusively date men with boat loads of cash. Times are hard and bills don’t pay themselves. While most men believe that it is their responsibility to provide for their future families, (hello patriarchy) we also realize what some women want isn’t just a man who makes enough to sustain a modest lifestyle. Instead, what a number of women are looking for now is a man who can provide a lifestyle of extravagance. The multi-million dollar villas, his and her Gucci flip flops, and the key that unlocks the door to “polite” society. Finding a mate who is rolling in the dough is great, but it certainly isn’t something men tend to place as high a priority on as women. If she’s wildly successful, it’s an added bonus. We tend to lean more towards more superficial reasons. As long as she’s appealing to us that’s pretty much the only requirement. There is a growing population of women, on the other hand, who aren’t so easy to please. That’s not to imply that such women by default are unrealistic with their requirements nor does it mean they are gold-diggers. However, it does suggest that the financial status of a male suitor today weighs far more heavily in their decision to date and subsequently marry. Times are hard. When women envision their lives post wedding day, they need to feel secure and most would even venture to say deep down want to be excited by the lifestyle her and her new hubby will be able to enjoy—together. For the men who have not already hit the big time, in some cases, you need not apply.
How many ex-wives of professional athletes, entertainers, and the superfluously wealthy married for money only to find that what they thought was important (money and fame) were worthless compared to peace of mind? Or does the quest for happiness matter not if financial security is your only aim? I’m sure there is a population of women who are happily married to wealthy husbands. Though, I’d guess a vast majority of these women were either with their husbands before they amassed their wealth or they themselves are financially successful too, even if it’s less so. When you preface in your mind that you are only going to date rich there is an inherent surrender of other more important things. Big houses, exclusive parties, and designer handbags will more times than not take precedence over love, support, and happiness. Plenty of successful men have been accused of treating their eye-candy wives as property. Treating them as if their thoughts, feelings, and emotions were somehow irrelevant because of the affluent lifestyle they’ve been provided. These same women endure years of torment and loneliness until they muster the courage to reclaim their freedom and move on. Save yourself the time and energy. Can a humble, kind, and decent rich guy with Denzel looks and Will Smith charm swoop in and save a streetwalker (a la Pretty Woman with Juliet Robert) or fall head over heels for a maid (a la Jennifer Lopez in Maid in Manhattan)? The answer is yes. Is it realistic? The answer is no. My belief is if you’re more concerned with what you’re bringing to the table and less concerned with if Mr. Right is loaded or not, the type of relationship you’ll have with your future mate will be far more gratifying. Money has the potential to make life easier but it doesn’t guarantee it. That’s why getting married for the right reasons is so important. Besides, if two smart ambitious people come together in love, there’s no telling how much money they’ll be able to generate together. The amount won’t matter because through their love they will already have attained wealth.
Article submitted by André George, a lifestyle writer and brand strategist. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @TheAndreGeorge .
Many investors have been waiting on Twitter to announce the price range of their initial public offering. The wait is over.
Twitter has announced that shares will cost $17 to $20 for their initial public offering. Deemed as the hottest IPO of the year, analysts believes it may out shine Facebook, whose own IPO was met with a few glitches. But to prevent the same things from happening, Twitter is playing it safe by keeping their price on the conservative end. The initial offering will include 70 million shares. Shares are expected to begin trading in early November. After the initial shares are offered, another 10.5 million shares will be up for purchase.
The San Francisco-based short-messaging service plans to list its stock under the ticker symbol “TWTR” on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares will likely start trading in early November. Twitter will begin its IPO “roadshow” as early as Friday, meeting with prospective investors to pitch its stock.
The company’s valuation is conservative. Some analysts had expected the figure to be as high as $20 billion. Back in August Twitter priced some of its employee stock options at $20.62, based on an appraisal by an investment firm. (AP)
Twitter’s appeal to social media users and investors is the simplicity of it. Unlike Facebook, users have the ability to block unwanted followers and also keep their profiles not easily searchable. Twitter has approximately 230 million monthly users and isn’t no where comparable to Facebook when it comes to advertising revenues. But, its unique short-messaging service still remains a favorite to the younger generation. With their growth, Twitter’s potential growth is positive.
The United Way of Greater Atlanta is now offering an innovative way to help people become financially fit. The new mobile app called the “Money Game” is an unique way to keep users engaged about a subject (money) that is otherwise considered a bit drab. The app selects financially-driven trivia questions for users and offers small prizes. This new innovative educational tool provide users with the necessary information to become financially independent – in the present and future. To help users maintain a positive outlook on money, United Way offers free mentors to each user.
The Money Game is available on Apple and Android smartphones. For more information or to download the app, visit www.UnitedWayAtlanta.org/MoneyGame/ .
Yes. Absolutely. Of course. Next question. Let me clear this up as quickly as possible. Men only invite women out of town (those whom we’ve only known for a relatively short period of time or are trying to get to know) with the predominant intention of having sex with them on the trip. It’s the God-honest truth and it’s nothing to get offended by. If a man thought enough of you to spring for airfare and offers to cover all of your travel related expenses for a weekend getaway, he does so in hopes of creating an environment where sex can “naturally” occur. This (understandably) baffles some women. Some take offense. It really isn’t all that complicated if you understand how we (men) operate.
When asked, I often provide ladies with a very simple rubric, which I share to illustrate how men think. Here it is—No heterosexual man in the history of humanity has ever noticed an attractive woman from afar and said to self, “Gee, she sure looks like she could be a good plutonic friend.” We’re sexually driven. End rubric. When we see a woman whom we find attractive, our first thoughts are often, well… sexual. It doesn’t mean we’ve reduced you to a sexual conquest, but the sexual attraction triggers intrigue and serves as our impetus to approach and subsequently court you. Right or wrong, both the desire and prospect of sex influences much of our decision-making when it comes to women. When a man invites a woman on a trip to Miami, Jamaica, or any other place which boasts serene beaches, pool side bars and requires a flight to get there, he wants sex. Doesn’t mean it’s his sole motivating factor, but he wants it. The worst thing you can do is accept an out of town offer from a man you’re not interested in. Of course, even if you did, it still wouldn’t obligate you to do anything you don’t want to. After all, it’s your body. However, why put yourself in the path of potential drama for the sake of a free trip? Also, in the event he asks you out of town and states, “No strings attached. I just want the pleasure of your company,” he’s still praying to the heavens that he’ll get the chance to see what you’re working with. This is why I say, if you’re not attracted to a potential suitor, haven’t known him long enough, or just don’t feel comfortable with the idea in general, I’d encourage you to communicate this honestly, respectfully and decline.
Nobody wants to turn down a free trip, especially when most of us are overdue for a vacation anyway. This is why you have to make sure you’re both on the same page in the event you’re thinking about going. Assert what you’re cool with and what you’re not UP FRONT. If he’s generally interested in getting to know you, he’ll still want you to come and will express so in a compelling manner. Obviously, if you’re cool with the possibility of getting down and dirty in paradise with your handsome new friend, then by all means get your sun block, designer shades, and sundresses packed and enjoy!
Article submitted by Andre’ George, a Lifestyle Influencer and Writer with offices in Atlanta. Follow him on Twitter @TheAndreGeorge.
Photo Credit: Daily Record UK
Being able to manage your personal life, in general, is hard in itself. But, management takes on another level when it involves money.
Many people are out of jobs, living on ends meet, and are caretakers of others which causes them to have to kids or grandparents dependent on them. When you are living with constraints due to lack of funds, there are many things that become part of your “can’t do” or “wish” list. Things like having the luxury of dining out at a fancy restaurant or hitting Macy’s to buy the new Michael Kors boots soon become items you can’t afford. If this is you, it may be time to assess your monthly income and evaluate your spending habits.
To help you learn how to financially manage your life, below are a five key things that could implement now to assist you.
5. Pay Utility Bills and Credit Card Monthly Fees…On Time! – The most important thing is to keep a roof over your head and the lights on. Before you use your money to do any frivolous spending, first make sure you’re up-to-date on your utility bills. Most household bills are due by the 15th. Don’t wait until the 16th to pay it. Why put yourself behind on bills and be subject to late fees? You will find yourself spending way more than what you have to, thus instantly taking away from your extra stash needed for entertainment or shopping. As for credit cards, you should already know the importance of paying the minimum balance or more. If not, lateness causes your credit score to drop. No one wants to be known for having bad credit.
4. Set A Monthly Budget – Learning how to manage your monthly income, save, and spend any extra on fun things takes some skill. To make it easy on you, however, just pay your bills first. Then, put away a certain percentage in a savings account. If you’re job offers a 401K plan, allow them to take 6% or more from your paycheck and deposit into that account. After that, ration out the money you tend to spend on entertainment-related activities, shopping, grocery shopping, and any other miscellaneous items. You do not have to club hop every time you get paid. No nightlife experience is that important.
3. Reduce Your Shopping Trips – We all love clothes, shoes, bags, hats, jewelry, etc. But, do we have to go to the mall every week? NO. Reduce your shopping trips to once a month (at least) and then take heed to step #2.
2. Find Deals, Discounts, One-Day Sales – Take advantage of coupons or store discounts. Call up your favorite stores and ask when items go on sale. Most stores have a calendar plan of when they will offer sales. So, this information shouldn’t be that hard to find out. Do the same for grocery stores too. 2-for-1 (buy one, get one free) deals happen each week. Also, there are some grocery stores that have $1 days. If you are an elder, always ask store clerks if there any special offerings for senior citizens. Don’t be ashamed of bringing your grandmother along just to get that special offer.
1. Take A Chill Pill, Relax At Home – Stop thinking you have to be everywhere and do everything. Believe us, you’re are not missing anything. It’s ok to chill at home, watch a movie, play with your kids, etc. The easiest way to save money is to not put yourself in environments which will seduce you to spend money. If you know that rent is due, don’t act immature and go hang out with friends and spend your rent money. Act like an adult and act responsibly.
Managing your life from a financial standpoint can be intimidating . Don’t let the thought of doing it hinder you from getting started. To live your best life, overall, being financially fit reduces unecessary stress and headache. One aspect of STACKS Magazine’s purpose is to equip readers with simple ways to handle their finances. Hopefully, these 5 Ways To Financially Manage Life can help jump start your journey.
If you have any other useful ways to add to this list, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!
Girlfriend & Daughter of the Late Rolex CEO, Patrick Heiniger, Battle It Out Over Artwork Worth Millions
In death, you can guarantee that there’s two people fighting over your possessions.
The late Rolex CEO, Patrick Heiniger and his prize possessions are the reason for an international courtroom battle between his long-time girlfriend and daughter. According to news reports, his daughter Alicia Heiniger is fighting for the return of several pieces of artwork her dad owned while still alive. The collection of artwork contains Pablo Picasso, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Any Warhol, and Keith Haring. The artwork is estimated to be in the millions.
Shortly after the death of Mr. Heiniger in March, Alicia claims that Nina “Hanna” Stevens removed the artwork from his condos located in the Trump Tower in New York. Alicia requested that the courts summons two art shipping companies to hand over records of the move. But, lawyers for Hanna Stevens said that the paintings are rightfully hers and that she doesn’t have to fork them over.
Stevens says she purchased some of the paintings during their 10+ year relationship and others were gifts to her from the then Rolex CEO. She claims she has documented proof that Heiniger signed over the artwork to her along with ownership of his two Fifth Avenue condos. The document says…
“I confirm that all of the assets that are in the name of my partner, Mrs. Hana Stevens … belong to her following the distribution or gifts carried out per my own free will,” he wrote.
The battle over the artwork is just the icing on the cake. Apparently, Heiniger also left his estate over to Hanna Stevens. Because the two were together for so long, Stevens was practically his “wife.” With that known, most courts appoint the spouse as the estate executor/owner unless otherwise specified in the Will.
Poor Alicia…she’s going to have a rough time fighting this suit. She’s got to feel really bad knowing that her father didn’t leave her anything!
As a child grows up, parents oftentimes think of what he or she will choose as a career choice. But, in order to become that doctor or lawyer, parents understand that the only way to get there is to attend college and/or graduate school. The downside of this thought, however, is the amount of money it is going to take to send their child to college. When money becomes involved, this is when parents seem to get stressed out.
Parents, stop worrying though. If you didn’t know, there are ways in which you can start now saving for your kids college future. For some folks, the way to do that is through a ESA (education savings account) or a 529 Plan (a qualified tuition program). Although either savings option is good, in this post we’re going to give you the basics on how a 529 Plan work.
- Earnings accumulate on a tax-deferred basis
- Distributions from a 529 Plan are tax and penalty free
- Parents or guardians can prepay college expenses at eligible education institutions
- Contributions made to a 529 Plan are higher than that of ESA
- 529 college savings plan allows parents to start saving immediately after a child is born
- No income restrictions
- Designated beneficiary (or child) can be changed by a qualified family member
- Maximum contribution amounts vary per state; but are limited to what is actually needed to fund the beneficiary’s education expenses
- Unused funds can be rolled over, transferred, and changed to a new designated beneficiary; but only by a qualified family member
- Tax deduction options vary per state
- Contributions can be invested in annuities or mutual funds
- “Qualified Education Expenses” includes: enrollment fees, tuition, book, supplies, equipment, academic tutoring, uniforms, room and board, transportation, and fees associated with a special needs student; contributions used for expenses may be subject to a 10% early distribution or income tax penalties
For more detail information on the 529 Plan, visit www.collegesavings.org.
When he said he wanted to become the first hip hop mogul to become a billionaire, he wasn’t lying. Forbes recently released its list of Richest Hip Hop Artists of 2013 and guess who landed at number one.
Again, trampling over all other artists in hip hop, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs reclaimed his number one spot by racking in $50 million this year. For years now, he has dominated the hip hop industry with various business ventures which has all proven to be very profitable. But outside of music, his Sean Jean clothing line, and his newly created Revolt channel, the alcoholic beverage industry is what has catapulted him into King of All Bosses status.
The Daigeo Ciroc Vodka has become a staple within the hip hop nightlife scene. With the help of DJ’s, celebrity endorsers, and Diddy’s own marketing expertise, the New York Bad Boy has branded the product so strategically that you can’t help but recognize it and ask for Ciroc when you want to get your drink on. Also, its wide variety of flavors has proven to be a hit amongst drinkers.
Our boy, Jay-Z ranked number two with $43 million. But that’s no sweat off Hov’s back. Jay-Z and his wife Beyonce’s combined household income of $95 million confirmed their spot as the #1 Highest-Earning Celebrity Couple of 2013.
Surprisingly, one hip hop artist (who happens to be a woman) help round out the top five. Congrats to Nicki Minaj for a job well done and for also beating out her own boss Bryan “Birdman” Williams!
1. P. Diddy = $50 million
2. Jay-Z – $43 million
3. Dr. Dre = $40 million
4. Nicki Minaj = $29 million
5. Birdman = $21 million
That damn K. Michelle know she tickles me. LOL
Earlier Tuesday, news broke that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was looking for the “Love & Hip Hop” star for debt she collected back in 2008 and 2009. In comparison to other celebrities we’ve mentioned on our site before as being culprits of not filing tax returns, K. Michelle’s amount of debt didn’t seem quite so bad.
According to the TMZ, the R&B singer had failed to file her taxes in 2008 which over the years garnered some interest totaling $47,700. Also, she owed $4,700 from 2009. But, K. Michelle took to her Twitter to tell fans that this information was ALL false. In fact, she claimed that YES she has paid off her debt.
“Damn Uncle Sam Why you wanna stick me 4my paper???? Lol. Nice try Bloggers it’s already been settle. Strippers need tax breaks to,” she wrote. (via AllHipHop.com)
She sure did nip that in the bud real quick! Good to see that she’s on top of her financial responsibilities…unlike many others we know.
See, these are the kind of things celebrities (especially rappers) should do with their money instead of blowing it on frivolous nonsense.
According to TMZ, rapper The Game and Drake recently put up $10,000 each to cover funeral costs for family of 5 who lost their lives in a tragic house fire.
Drake and The Game are teaming up to help cover funeral costs for 6 people — including 5 young siblings — who died in a tragic house fire in Ohio … even though the rappers didn’t know the victims.
The Game got the ball rolling after learning about Anna Angel — who was working her shift at Burger King when a fire consumed her home while her 5 young children and her boyfriend were trapped inside. There were no survivors.
Game Instagram’d about the tragedy … saying, “I can deal with a lot of things but people losing their children is something that kills me every time.”
The Game — who recently pledged to donate $1 million dollars to people in need as part of his Robin Hood project — says he was on the phone with Drake when he read about the woman’s loss … and they each agreed to donate $10,000 to help Anna cover the burial costs.
Drake later posted about the situation … saying, “What [The Game] is doing will never be forgotten. Honored to be able to help people along side my brother.”
In addition to their $20K … the producers of Game’sTV show, “Marrying the Game” also pitched in $2,500.
God bless these two dudes, seriously. Sometimes you have to go with your instinct and just help others unselfishly.
While much will depend on your specific situation (credit score, income, age of bankruptcy, etc.), it doesn’t have to be as difficult as some people make it. Through research and experience I have identified a three step process readers can use after filing bankruptcy to increase their chances of credit approval.
1) Identify Ways to Increase Your Credit Score
It is essential that you take steps to increase your credit score if you have plans of applying for credit after filing bankruptcy because it can mean the difference between being approved or declined for a credit and being given that all important second chance. If you can increase your credit score enough after filing bankruptcy, you may also be able to secure a lower interest rate on any loans that you qualify for and this could save you hundred and even thousands of dollars in interest payments.
There are several steps that can be taken to increase your credit score after filing bankruptcy. You can begin by having any inaccurate negative information on your credit reports corrected or deleted. You will also need to take all necessary steps to assure also that any obsolete negative information is removed from your credit report immediately.
2) Understand How the Credit Approval Process Works
By knowing how the credit approval process works when applying for loan after filing bankruptcy it will give you an edge over a lot of consumers that do not understand the credit approval process. For example, what criteria does a specific lender use when reviewing applications? Do they have a minimum credit score criteria? What are the income requirements? How much of an impact does your bankruptcy have on a particular underwriter’s decision?
After filing bankruptcy, it is extremely important that you know the answer to these questions before you begin applying for credit. By knowing the answers to these questions in advance it will help you identify the lenders that will consider your application and raise the odds in your favor for approval. While there are several other questions you can ask, these are the most important questions and will give you a good starting point.
3) Applying For Credit Again Following Bankruptcy
There are specific strategies that you should use when applying for credit and loans after filing bankruptcy especially if you are planning to obtain an auto loan to purchase a vehicle or planning to buy a home. While there are several strategies you can use to increase your chances of being approved for a particular loan that is guaranteed to help you not only save money on interest charges, but also help you save money on the purchase itself I will focus on one of the most effective strategies which is a method called piggybacking. Piggybacking is where one person “lends” their good credit to another by making them an authorized user on one or more of their credit accounts. The good credit of the first person is then reported as an authorized user trade line on credit reports which in turn helps build or rebuild a credit score. This can be done by a friend, relative or even a stranger in order to give you the credit boost that you need.
In summary, while credit is not as easy to obtain after bankruptcy as some consumers would like it is definitely not impossible in fact it can easily be accomplished when following the three step process I have just outlined.
KEVYN JEROME NELSON is the President/ CEO of WORLDWIDE CREDIT AND FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS INC www.worldwidecrediandfinancialsolutionsinc.com and MIDAS TOUCH ENTERPRISES WORLDWIDE LTD Published works include “Corporate Credit Unleashed” and “When All Else Fails….Legally Create A New Credit File” Available On Amazon.com
For More information on the concepts discussed contact 323-769-6356 or email email@example.com.
Despite the rise in the economy, some people in the black community have not benefited from it much at all. In July 2013, the unemployment rate was nearly twice that of whites according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Black women are being hit harder and finding it more of a challenge to find a good paying job with livable wages and family supporting benefits.
Seventy-five percent of the 200,000 new jobs being produced in the U.S. are part-time jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported, that in June 2013, 12 percent of Black women ages 20 and older were unemployed but heavy in the job market. The ranks of Black men have shown improvement in obtaining employment in professional jobs such as the business, education and healthcare sector. Due to the increase of people in search for employment, jobs that normally required HS diplomas are now requiring college degrees and vetting more than ever.
Photo credit: Huffington Post
Article submitted by Dameon Daniels, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
Are you aware that as an entrepreneur you have the opportunity to establish, and maintain credit as a business entity and as an individual keeping the two files totally separate? For entrepreneurs that are looking to build and grow a business with limited start up capital without relying solely on their personal credit to do so business credit is the best thing since sliced bread.
As a financial consultant, entertainment industry executive, and 17 year veteran in the personal and corporate credit arena, it has been my experience that less than 15 percent of entrepreneurs truly understand the power of business credit and how it should be properly established in order to gain the maximum benefit as a business owner. The percentage of entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry that understands business credit is less than other industries although when properly established business credit is a valuable tool that can allow a small independent label or film company with limited liquid cash to have a larger budget for advertising, distribution costs, travel costs, and other expenses that can be covered with net 30 and revolving accounts.
The first step to better understanding business credit is by getting an understanding of how personal credit differs from business credit. Once this is done and only then can an individual begin following the steps necessary to properly build their business credit.
Business Credit -VS- Personal Credit
When an individual applies for their first credit card, a credit profile is started with the three major credit reporting agencies utilizing the individual’s name, social security number, date of birth, and home address as a record identifier that will allow potential creditors and other authorized 3rd parties to access the credit file easily from the millions of other files in existence by using the personal information on the individual that already exist within the credit bureaus data bank.
This profile which is commonly known as a personal credit report is updated in real time and normally list in detail credit inquiries within the past 24 months, open and closed accounts, payment history, public records, current and previous addresses, and employment information. The three major credit bureaus Equifax, Transunion, and Experian are the leading depositories in the United States although there are hundreds of secondary reporting agencies as well that service the three major bureaus.
When a business issues credit to another business it is referred to as trade credit which is currently the single largest source of lending in the world. Information about trade credit transactions is compiled by the business credit bureaus to create a business credit report using the business name, address, phone and federal employer identification number (EIN) which can be obtained from the IRS either online, by mail, or by phone.
The business credit bureaus use this compiled data to generate an extensive report detailing the business credit transactions of millions of businesses. In most cases, when issuing credit to a business most creditors will rely on the business credit reports maintained by one or more of the major business credit bureaus in order to determine approvals or denials. Creditors also determine credit limits based on existing information on the business credit report.
The major business credit bureaus that compile and provide copies of the reports are:
• Standard and Poor’s
• Equifax Business
• Duns and Bradstreet
• Business Credit USA
• Experian Business
Establishing Business Credit
Business credit scores range on a scale from 0 to 100 with 80 or higher being considered an excellent credit risk. Personal credit scores range from 300 to 850 with a score of 720 or higher considered excellent credit.
Many factors affect a credit score although many individuals feel it is based solely on whether or not you pay your bills on time. Nothing could be further from the truth! Your credit score can be affected by several factors such as the amount of available credit you have available, the length of time you’ve had a credit established, the number of inquiries within the past 2 years and the type of accounts (revolving, installment, etc.) In order to find out what factors affect your credit rating I advise visiting www.myfico.com or www.creditchecktotal.com
A huge mistake that many business owners make is utilizing their personal credit in order to apply for business credit. By doing this they risk lowering their personal credit scores because it typically doubles the number of inquiries made to their personal credit profile and the number of credit obligations they carry at any given time, all of which negatively impact their personal credit score. When an individual uses their personal credit history to obtain business credit in essence what they are doing is simply building additional personal credit and making the business an additional account holder which will not help them when building additional business credit in the future in the event that their personal credit scores are affected for any reason.
The key to establishing a strong business credit profile and score is to find vendors that will establish credit for your business without using your personal credit information and then report the payment activity to the business credit bureaus.
Article submitted by KEVYN JEROME NELSON, President/ CEO of WORLDWIDE CREDIT AND FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS INC www.worldwidecrediandfinancialsolutionsinc.com and MIDAS TOUCH ENTERPRISES WORLDWIDE LTD Published works include “Corporate Credit Unleashed” and “When All Else fails….Legally Create A New Credit File” Available On Amazon.com.
For More information on the concepts discussed contact 323-769-6356 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
CEO Yang Yuaqing is being extra friendly with his annual bonus this year. As the owner of Lenovo Group, he made $14.6 million in 2012 and has decided hand over some of it to his hard working employees. According to reports, Yuanqing will give $3.25 million of his bonus to 10,000 employees. Of course after dividing it up, that only amounts to $325 per worker. Some may see this as too little of an amount. But, at his headquarters in Beijing, this equates to a month’s salary.
Over 20 offices scattered across the globe will receive these bonus payouts. Yuanqing says his kind gesture is to reward his employees for having a huge impact on the company’s survival as the world’s largest PC maker. Therefore, the majority of the bonus money will be given to his employees who work in the manufacturing plants.
Sources revealed that singer and millionaires, Jessica Simpson, sold her new baby’s pic for six-figures. Photos of her new baby boy, Ace Knute Johnson, were “allegedly” purchased by Us Weekly magazine. A snitch told the NY Post that Simpson and Us Weekly struck deal for exclusive pics of the baby in the amount of $100,000. Apparently, this isn’t the first time Simpson has forwarded exclusive information regarding her pregnancies to the magazine. Past exclusives included the official announcement of her pregnancy, the baby’s gender, and birth.
It is clear that Jessica Simpson and Us Weekly got a thang going on. SMH…
Jessica Simpson and fiancé, Eric Johnson, also have a 2 year old daughter name Maxwell.
We’ve talked about how some celebrities pimp their kids out for money in past posts. We understand, everyone have the right to do what they want. However, celebrities such as Jay-Z and Beyoncé and even Kanye West and Kim Kardashian both chose to refrain from selling photos to media outlets. So, why do you think other celebrities continue to do this? Let us know what you think.
After the storm passes, there’s always a blessing waiting on you right around the corner.
This is true in the case of Robert Miles. The former crack addict and New York maintenance worker learned recently that he will receive payment from a scratch-off he purchased seven years ago. In 2006, Miles purchased the ticket in Syracuse from a convenient store owned by Nayef Ashkar. At the time, Miles was high on crack and didn’t notice that he was being scammed by the owner sons, Andy and Nayel. The brothers realized that the scratch-off was a winning ticket then lied to Miles about how much it was worth. The two told Miles that the ticket was only worth $5,000 and paid him just $4,000. And that was that…until 2012.
Last year, the Ashkar brothers (Andy, 35 and Nayel, 37) finally took the ticket to the lottery ticket to cash out. The office administrators was baffled at why it took them so long to cash in the ticket. Immediately, an investigation was in progress. Now, the NY Post reports that the family was taken to court for possession of stolen property. The older brother, Nayel Ashkar, was cleared of all charges. But, Andy Ashkar was found guilty of possession and sentenced to up to 25 years in prison. Their father, Nayef, plead guilty to filing a false affidavit with the lottery office.
In the next few weeks, Miles will receive his lottery payout. His lump sum payment will be worth $3,210,000 and $2,124,378 after taxes.
Miles, who filed for bankruptcy in 2008, currently works at a Syracuse apartment complex.
One of the most important objectives when starting a business is creating a detail overview of what your doing. To do this, compile this information in a document known as a business plan. In the business plan, some components to include are:
- Overview/Introduction and Mission
- List of business owners
- Company contact info and address
- Ownership percentage breakout
- Marketing strategy
- Start up costs
- 3 to 5 year financial plan
All of this information (and more) must be a part of your business plan. The reason for this is because this is the information that can potentially get people to invest in your company. Business plans are considered the blueprint of your business. It is an entire snapshot of your business compiled all into one document. Most banks and/or silent investors require you to submit a completed business plan as part of a loan request. Without this document, you will encounter pushbacks from potential investors and the banks.
But, there is an unwritten rule when it comes to business plans.
Rule: Never hand out your business plan to every investor or bank you come into contact with.
The reason not to do this is that you can be weakening your ability to gain a monetary investment. The key is to keep the investors wanting to know more. If you give an investor your business plan to read over, he or she will have an opportunity to sum up what you’re venturing into and make a quick assumption about your business. The best thing to do is only give that investor a brief overview (or the Executive Summary section) of your plan. This will give the investor just the right amount of information he or she needs to decide whether your business is worth investing in .
Honestly, I never knew there was such a term. Throughout my life, I oftentimes seen people exchange food stamps or EBT cards for cash. Heck, I’ve even purchased a few. The exchange is an illegal act on the part of the benefiter. But, I had no idea that the government called this “food stamp trafficking.” Apparently, this has become an epidemic and the Agriculture Department has been investigating the problem.
According to an article on Fox News, people are in desperate need of cash and are selling food stamps illegally back to stores.
“The percentage of Americans selling their food stamps back to stores for cash has increased by 30 percent over the past several years, according to a new Agriculture Department study.
The study on food stamps trafficking — which the agency said included “covert investigation” in stores — compared the periods of 2006 -2008 to 2009 -2011.
Despite the increase, trafficking has declined since the 1990s, when the rate was nearly 4 percent of food stamps, also known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs benefits.
The total amount of SNAP benefits is now at roughly $858 million, compared to $330 million annually in the 2006-2008 period.
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The increase reflects the overall growth in SNAP participation and benefits, the agency said in the August 2013 report.
Recipients typically sell back their benefits at a discount, according to the agency, which said its undercover investigations and research into electronic SNAP transactions focused on stores that showed “suspicious activities.”
So this means that the stores that are purchasing the stamps are probably using the stamps for personal purchases and/or to charge other customers an up-price. However store owners are handling it, the government is tracking perpetrators down. But the sad news is that this has been going on for years in the streets. Hand-to-hand food stamp sells have been going on for years. It will be interesting to see how the government will be able to regulate the SNAP benefits.
Speculated by car enthusiasts as probably the most expensive car in the world, the owners of an 1967 Ferrari NART Spyder just became richer. The sole owners of this vintage Ferrari recently sold their precious vehicle in auction for $27.5 million. The vehicle has only been owned by one family and pretty much in the same condition it’s been in since 1967.
Check out the sleek sports car in this CNN video below:
The city of Gary, Indiana has done something good for their local citizens. In effort to stabilize some of their decapitated University Park neighborhood, the city purchased unoccupied homes from county tax sales. The homes were residences whose owners fell behind on their property taxes and was forced out.
The program designed to help bring life back into the neighborhood was announced in June. The announcement received over 400 applicants. But, only 25 people made the final cut. Why? Because the city placed strict requirements on the program which only a few locals were able to qualify. The requirement were:
- Must be a Gary resident for no less than 6 months
- $1000 in savings
- Earn at least 80% of annual income of $35,250
- Must prove that they can financially afford to rehab the home
- Applicant can NOT currently own a home
- Must live in home for 5 years before city will fork over full ownership; early departure from home will forfeit your residency
The city will announce the final 12 winners via a drawing. Gary’s Mayor, Karen Freeman-Wilson, will eventually sell 50 of these homes a year, only if this initial run works.
Gary has seen a tremendous downfall over the several decades in its population. After once being one of the nations top manufacturing towns, the decline of employment opportunities ultimately took a toll on the neighborhoods.
Mayor Freeman-Wilson remembers purchasing her first home 20 years ago through an U.S. Housing and Development program. She says this helped her “forge a life in the community.” This program, she hopes, end the decline of this Gary neighborhood and bring life back into it.
This initiative will also provide financial assistance to current homeowners who need repairs to their home.