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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Job interview tips

How to perform well at interviews
Every detail of your presentation matters in a job interview
Interviews are an opportunity for employers and applicants to share information, familiarize with each other and discern the suitability of potential employment. The good news about an interview is that just getting one usually means the first round of screening was successful.

On the other hand, an interview, be it by phone or in person, is also used by both parties to make further assessments. In any case, being prepared for an interview can help avoid the following interview faux pas.

1. Calls

Taking a phone call half way through an interview tells an applicant the possible telemarketing call, random inquiry or anyone at all that is making a call is more important than the interview; this goes for interviewees as well. Moreover, just because a job is a fall back application or not the perfect choice is not an excuse to answer a phone call from another employer that just happens to be calling during the interview. For phone interviews, Anita Bruzzese of USA Today suggests using a land line to avoid technical issues during the interview.

2. Attire

An appearance that does not suit industry norms or practices runs the risk of unfavorable applicant vetting according to CareerBuilder. For example, wearing an orange prison jump suit stands a good chance of scaring either an employer or an applicant in a wide variety of interview situations. Similarly, a shirt that demonstrates a negative admonition for employers or applicants is not necessarily going to be taken as humor intends, or without connotation.

3. Speech 

What is said during an interview and how it is said says a lot about interviewers and interviewees. For example, slurring words, glossing over minor details, and hesitating to give straight answers sends the message a question was too forthright, or that something is amiss. How one speaks during an interview also reveals ability to perform under pressure, and how interviewers handle their power. Following the interview speech tips provided by the American Psychological Association helps avoid interview speech pitfalls.  

4. Attitude

Having the right attitude during an interview is important according to Marshall Adult Education. Interviews are not a license to make snide comments or act like a jerk; naturally this applies to men and women, employers and employees. For example, if an applicant is overqualified telling them what they think is probably on their mind demonstrates a judgmental attitude and triggers the silent holier than thou alarm for the applicant. Applicants that display unrealistic or overconfident beliefs about their candidacy also risk being disappointed.

5. Tardiness

Showing up late for an interview is inexcusable according to HR Personnel Services. Furthermore, just because an applicant shows up on time, or early for an interview does not mean they have no other tasks to attend to that day. Similarly, being in an office all day does not mean an interviewer has time to waste waiting for an applicant to show up late for a scheduled interview. Tardiness demonstrates value of time and ability to follow through on a prearranged agreement, both of which are prerequisites for many employment arrangements.

Image: Calita Kabir; "Climbing up to Business Success for Young Owners"; CC BY-SA 2.0

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Disadvantages of excess frugality

Freeganism vs frugalism
Dumpster dive in cheap clothes to avoid damaging nice ones
Weathering icy roads and frostbite on a free pink low rider bicycle with bald tires to save on gas is neither frugal nor wise, it is dangerous. 

Sometimes it is just not worth it to be excessively frugal, and a seemingly edgy idea may be far less practical than another money saving method. 

To illustrate, a smart shopping strategy can be far more beneficial than stunting the growth of children with less nutritious food because it is cheaper. 

Knowing if you are being too frugal involves recognizing when a decision borders on the divide between common sense, and hazardous consequence.


A good question to ask when being frugal is would it be something that in any other instance would violate cautionary practices you live by in the rest of your life. For instance, before eating that squirrel found on the curb, can you be sure it didn't have rabies? Will salmonella really vanish after using dish soap that has been watered down four times? At some point a reality check is in order, and the value of money actually begins to be trumped by existential circumstances.


Another way to tell you are being too frugal is when you find yourself breaking the law or being frugal at the expense of someone else according to a New York Times Money report. Moreover, frugal is too frugal when foresight goes untended. For example, dumpster diving may yield some legitimate products, but if it means getting bed bugs, or a housing code violation it will end up costing more for effective pest control.


Compensating for poor financial planning via frugality is also a reason to not be as frugal. Careful financial planning allows money to grow securely for future financial needs, but also accounts for rational spending via pre-established monthly allocations. For example, the Financial Planning Association of Houston recommends paying a little more for insurance if it provides a stronger guarantee of future cash-flow. What's more, a good financial plan allows for a budget that actually includes enjoying life, and not restricting it to the point of having a wealth of deposits at the bank of misery.


Valid financial thinking extends beyond financial planning and into everyday decision making as well. Sometimes the smallest of financial decisions can benefit from a little extra thought. Moreover, being frugal with financial thinking can negatively affect the outcome of financial decision by making it wrong. A Princeton University study highlights this point precisely by illustrating how simplified judgements can be faulty. Furthermore, after completing three experiments to test the accuracy of an individual learning mechanism called a 'recognition heuristic', the authors found it to be inaccurate.

Image: Jim Fischer, "L.A. Dumpster Dive";  CC BY-S.A. 2.0

Monday, September 8, 2014

IPO preparation best practices

By Linda A Perez

Planning to take your company public may be part of your company’s long-term strategic goals. Leadership teams make this decision for a variety of reasons-- primarily to raise capital for growth or acquisitions; for value creation; and for an exit strategy. But regardless of your ultimate long-term objectives, the key a successful IPO is careful planning.

There are several steps to a successful IPO, the first of which is actually making the decision to go public. Once the decision is made, your company must thoroughly prepare. The next step is executing the IPO. And finally, the now-public company must continue to grow, to evolve, and to succeed.

IPO preparation best practices: the steps

Once your leadership team has concluded that taking the company public is a sound strategic decision, the serious preparation must begin.

And as with all high-level business decisions, seeking professional advice is a crucial factor. An IPO advisor, well-respected and with long experience in your industry, is invaluable.

Step 1: a thorough review of your company

A thorough review is an essential first step to creating your business plan. Working with an IPO adviser to assess your business strategy will make the IPO process more efficient.

The review should consist of reviewing your business definition, a current market analysis and also analysis of future trends. At this stage, too, you must consider which markets you want to operate in as a public company. You must also develop exit strategies if you decide to leave particular markets.
Analysis of past IPOs reveals that potential investors often prefer companies with strong focus in just a few market sectors.

Your company’s products must also be analyzed, identifying those with strong potential. Products or services with clear growth potential will appeal to prospective investors.

Step 2: finalizing the corporate and management structure

You must have a clear corporate and management structure before preparing your prospectus for potential investors.

Analyze your existing corporate structure with tax advisers, and an IPO adviser. Tax arrangements appropriate for the private company may not be appropriate for a public company. Your company’s management structure must be clearly defined and formalized, though your management structure should be flexible.

Step 3: assembling the team

A specialized team is essential for a successful IPO. This team, led by the CEO, will come from within, and outside, your company. In addition to your existing board and management, you must include financial advisers, underwriters, lawyers, and auditors. And the best IPO adviser will be invaluable in helping assemble the team.

Financial advisers will help create the prospectus, and will provide strategic direction in selecting the underwriters. The underwriterssell your securities to the public.

Ensure you assemble a legal team with extensive experience in securities law. Lawyers are needed to ensure your company’s documentation complies with the relevant securities laws and regulations. Your legal team may assist in creating the prospectus, and will review the prospectus before submitting it to the SEC.

Auditors must also be experienced in securities law. They are also vital when preparing the prospectus, advising which financial statements are legally required.

Tax advisers are also necessary, and you will need a financial printer to print the prospectus.

Step 4: developing the timeline

The timeline is essentially a road map for your IPO, and is a key part of your project management. As with all strategic business goals, you must develop a timeline with specific benchmarks to ensure you meet all your objectives. Team members with previous IPO experience are invaluable when developing the timeline.

Step 5: developing the offering

The offering depends on the type of securities your company plans to issue, the number of securities issued, their price, and where they will be traded.

IPOs usually consist of common stock, but not always. You may decide to issue debt, multiple voting shares, or preferred stock.

The number and price range of shares are directly related. Your underwriters will advise on these issues, as underwriters prefer that your offering price is typical of the price in your industry. You must issue enough shares for a broad distribution to ensure a successful IPO.

Determining the price of your securities is often difficult, though your advisers and underwriters will help. Generally, the price range is developed at the beginning of the road show: when your are showing your prospectus to potential investors. But the final pricing decision is usually made the day the final prospectus is filed.

Successful IPO service are often launched at a modest price, not the highest possible. This will encourage an active aftermarket, which will see your company grow steadily.

About the author: Linda A Perez has been in the finance industry for the past 2 years. She is presently working at a finance company in Canada. She has her interests in cooking, photography, craft and painting. Follow her on https://www.facebook.com/linda.aperez.169

License: Royalty Free or iStock source: shutterstock.com

Thinking about getting into property investment? Melbourne property experts list some important considerations

By Sarah Miller

There truly are a lot of ways that you can generate income and wealth from property investment. Melbourne real estate experts claim that the possibilities are many, and if you are already owing a home and have a bit more money to invest — say, to improve the aesthetics of the place — and if you’re actually business-savvy, then you’ll stand to get a lot more options.

Often in life, we move home as there are different stages where we would upsize to a bigger home to accommodate a larger family or downsize to a smaller home to be closer to a certain area. Whenever this circumstance occur, an opportunity to convert our principal place of residence to an investment property arises and it is crucial to carry out this decision carefully because a wrong decision could lead to a loss of future wealth.

When it comes to property investment Melbourne Real estate professionals point out, though, that many of these property owners turned out to be satisfied with the decision because with their adequate preparation and meticulous selection, many of these risks did not become actual problems.
If you’re considering renting out your property, instead of selling up it’s helpful to know the usual considerations. To help you, some of these considerations are listed below.
  1. Determining the right rental rate so you can present your property as a more attractive option. Rental rate is not all about you earning sufficient returns to cover the holding costs. Although getting a positive yield and achieving a passive income is definitely an aim for all investors in the long run, you also need to consider what most renters require and watch out for when choosing a place. Do research on your local market to know the rent you can realistically expect to get. Afterwards, do a conservative cash flow analysis – map out the rental income you expect to get against the monthly financial obligations for the property such as mortgage, taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance costs, etc.

  2. Tenancy law and policies. These are important, especially to protect your asset. You want to make sure that at the end of the contract, you won’t be sorry for renting the property out because the tenants were allowed to just do whatever they wanted to the place. Get some advice on the common rules that you can apply which the tenants need to honour, because while it might be their home, it’s still your property. It would be better to outsource the property letting to a professional property manager.

  3. Property Manager Selection. Much like choosing a lawyer to represent you, choosing a property manager should be dealt with similar dedication. After all, they are the ones that would be managing your asset and ensuring a healthy communication between you and your tenant which would translate to good rental returns and keep your asset in top shape.

  4. Tenant selection. Set guidelines to refer to when choosing a tenant; it’s difficult to glean a lot of information just from a person’s tenancy application. Things like credit repent, referee’s and checking them against the rental databases are all good excuses, but other things like their lifestyle will remain unknown until they actually start living in the house you’re renting out. This is when the skills of an experienced property manager comes in place and the quality of the question they asked to get a clearer senses of potential tenant.

  5. Responsibilities you still need to uphold as a landlord. One of the responsibility of a landlord is repairs and other maintenance on the property. Not only is this important to ensure a steady rental returns but it can also increase your investment property’s value. Usually, a wise investor would allocate a sum of money aside to provision for wear and tear costs and general maintenance to reduce any unexpected costs.
So before you decide to sell your home, the consideration of turning it into an investment property might just be one of the smarter investment decision a household can make. How often have you heard an older folk tells you that working back in time they wished they had kept that one property because it’s worth so much more today!

About the author: Sarah Miller is a business consultant and a content creator. She writes articles about business management, business improvement, sales and profits, marketing and other topics about the business industry. She shares this resource for property investment - http://empowerwealth.com.au/

Image: Mark Moz "New home", CC BY 2.0