Breaking the Barriers of Information Dissemination

Communication which is a process of sending and receiving messages has a starting point. This point is not the actual sending, but deals with something which occurs in the sender before he initiates the acts of sending the message. There is the stimulation which comes first – that thing which propels or moves one to take an action. It is the reason for a communication encounter, and it takes place in the sensory nerve of an individual known as the Source.

The Source is that individual or group, which initiates a message. The source is the encoder or sender of the message – the one who receives the stimuli from inside of him and then decides on the means of transmitting the conceived message to the receiver. Because processes are involved in communication, the Source faces so many problems in achieving communication. Before information or opinion is passed to the receiver, the Source makes a move that shows that he wants to pass a message across. This move or initiative could be through speaking, gesturing, writing, or whatever means he feels is appropriate to transmit the message. In communication process, this move is known as an ACTION.

After taking an action, what follows is a REACTION, which is the result of the action taken by the sender or the communicator. It is the response to an action, which may come in form of a reply, answer, rejoinder, retort, acknowledgment or defense. The one chosen determines the next line of action by both parties, and to complete the process, the parties INTERACT. Interaction could be between two or more people showing that the message was duly communicated.

There are so many information messages going around the globe today, as well as counter behaviors of people. These show that not all messages that are sent across got to those they were meant for. So many factors are responsible for this. Skills used in communicating to people are more or less not considered by the communicator. It is his duty to however, ensure that he has a good grasp of the means he chooses to communicate. This will enable him reach his target audience effectively.

The message to be transmitted must be known to the communicator. If he does not have a good knowledge of the message, chances are that he will not be able to win the attention of his audience, appear important with the message or deliver it confidently. Effective communication can also depend on to a large extent on the knowledge of the environment in which the communication is to take place. The diversities that exist in different communities or areas help in forcing the Source approach on location and target audience. In Nigeria, for instance, consideration is given to age, status, social class, seniority, etc, quite different from what is obtainable elsewhere in the world. However, apart from this socio-cultural context, there is another important factor that bothers on attitude. The attitude of the Source of communication towards himself by way of displaying confidence in the message is very important to the successful transmission of his message. It should be noted that time after time people continuously are sending out messages to their various receivers, yet the level of ignorance exhibited by those to which these messages are meant for are alarming. Research has shown that the current method of information dissemination is not ideal hence the introduction of information repackaging.

This implies translation of the information in the language of the people; adopting the right medium familiar to the people and providing the right environment that would generate the required interest from the targeted group. Though this involves training and re-training, yet adopting the techniques of information repackaging would assist in redesigning the information meant to address the needs of the people, especially the rural dwellers. This may involve the transformation of printed information into oral form, using community information centers, Community Based Organizations (CBOs), radio jingles, television programmes, and focal group discussions, among others.

Transforming printed information into oral form: – The level of illiteracy in rural areas of does not support reading and writing. Therefore, oral information delivery is the most suitable means of reaching out to the people. Much of the existing information that people receive today appear mainly in print formats and often through medium that is not easily accessible to the rural dwellers. This is why people who are trained in the skills of information storage, retrieval and dissemination should be used in sourcing the required information and disseminating them to the rural dwellers.

Use of focal group discussions – Another good method of repackaging information is the use of focal group discussion. Information can be repackaged in form of stories, songs and drama, and presented to a particular target group.
.
Translation of existing information to local languages – Another approach in information repackaging is the translation of existing information which appears in foreign languages into local languages. The intention here is to ensure that such useful information is disseminated to the target audience with ease. The information professionals and other related organizations and agencies should be involved in this translation project.

Use of posters/handbills – The technique here is to transform information on which is not accessible to the rural dwellers into posters and handbills to meet the information needs of the rural people. Such posters and handbills should be designed in such a way that it will attract the attention of the people. They should also be posted in strategic locations such as village squares, churches, hospitals and other public places. Most often information professionals may take some time to explain some of the posters and handbills for them to understand the message clearly.

Radio programmes and jingles – The radio remains a medium which permeates every location. A major advantage of repackaging information through the radio is the depth of its penetration and affordability of radios by so many families. Besides this, it is very easy and cheap to power the radios. Therefore, much of the needed information in print and online resources would be repackaged in local languages and disseminated through the radios. Programme designers in the radio stations should equally use these repackaged information in radio jingles to create more awareness. The dominance of certain strange languages like the English language in programme presentations should be de-emphasized in local radio stations so as to improve on the listening audience in the rural areas. There are many programmes in both the radio and television that are meant to educative and inform which should be repackaged and presented in local languages for wider reach. Presenters of programmes should equally consider the time of their presentation. Since rural areas are dominated by farmers, the timing should be seriously considered. Evening period is the most adequate, for many families would have come back from their farm works.

Television/home videos – The use of motion pictures creates a near real life situation and therefore, deepens the penetration of the message. The popularity of home videos and other television programmes on the people’s viewing culture is no longer in doubt. The availability of electricity in many rural areas, even though it is still very epileptic, has created opportunities for many families to enjoy films in their houses.

The use of community information centers – There are community information centers already existing in most rural communities. These centers are hospitals, churches, schools, village squares, civic centers, markets, etc, which are heavily depended on for effective information dissemination in rural areas. This makes it easier for information to be translated in local languages and disseminated through staff of these centers. For instance the teachers should be involved in enlightenment campaigns through the pupils and students. The Church, as another powerful institution in information dissemination, should be involved in the public enlightenment campaigns, using the repackaged information. In the same vane, enlightenment campaigns should be organized in markets and village square, where it is very obvious that the rural dwellers would have time to listen.

Community Based Organisations (CBOs) – Community Based Organizations (CBOs) have been recognized as very useful in reaching out to the rural dwellers with useful information. They are vital in promoting healthy living and socio-economic development of rural areas. Among these organizations are the age-grades, social clubs, women groups, town unions, co-operative societies, youth movements, etc. Since these organizations are closer to the people, information professionals armed with the repackaged information should reach out to these groups. However, the language of the people should be used and rendered orally.

Women groups – Women form one of the most formidable groups anywhere in the world. Their opinions on important issues of public interest are respected; therefore, it is imperative that focusing enlightenment campaigns on them would generate positive results. Existing information on major, but important matters should be repackaged to suit them. In most parts of the world, women groups exist. In Nigeria, for instance, women in the South Eastern areas are noted for their ability to organize themselves in groups and unions. The idea is to advice the communities on crucial matters that may bother on security, social life, family and education. The annual gathering of these women together with the mass return of those in urban areas to their various communities for this very important meeting, popularly referred to as “August Meeting” is now an integral part of Nigeria’s social life. Information professionals could as well avail themselves of such opportunities in using such meetings as a means of informing and educating these rural women on issues of public interest. In most cases, this can be done through talk shows, film-shows, seminars, etc, in their native languages.

Community leaders – Rural development activities have been usually propelled through the community leaders. This group of people include political leaders, religious leaders, village heads, school heads and other people in the community that command high degree of respect and follower-ship. Community leaders form the bedrock of information in the rural areas. Being the light of the society, they are strategically placed in obtaining the right and timely information. They often serve as intermediary between the sources of information and the people. As enlightened members of the society they are often involved in repackaging the information obtained for the general public. Information professionals should therefore, exploit the roles of these leaders to get their subjects informed on various matters of public interest. The approach here is to organize meetings with this group and then use the forum to train them on how to use the repackaged information to pass important messages across.

Website Indexed in Days – How to Get Your Site Indexed in Just Days by All the Search Engines

Some people have trouble getting their site indexed quickly by the search engines. There are a number of easy ways to make sure that your website does get indexed and quickly.

What is indexing?

It is the adding of a website or web page to the index of a search engine like Google, Bing, Yahoo! or Ask. The index of these is the collection of web pages that they have crawled and can return in a search result.

Obviously if you want to show up in search results to get free traffic it is crucial that you get as much of your site indexed.

Hypothetically search engines are happy to index a website within seconds if they see it as very important. So the key to getting indexed is making your site seem more important. There are a number of ways to do this.

Build high Page Rank backlinks

Backlinks are links from one website to another. They are seen as a vote for a website. The more votes a web page has the more important it is. Unfortunately backlinks are not made equal the more Page Rank they carry the more important the vote is to the search engines. Here are a couple of easy link build techniques:

Article marketing

Writing and submitting articles to article directories is a great way to build inbound links. This is because all article distribution sites allow you to place links at the bottom of your article to your website.

Write an eBook

Writing an eBook and giving it away for free is a fantastic way to build a profile for yourself as an expert in your field as well as build high quality backlinks. You can place as many backlinks as you want within the text of the eBook and then all you have to do is to get other sites to host it and make it available to their users. There are a number of eBook directories for free eBooks.

Video marketing

Much like article marketing, video marketing is creating videos and submitting them to the numerous video directories like YouTube. You can place a hyperlink at the start of the description of the video.

There are a couple of other ways you can make your website so that it will be indexed in days

Site architecture is very important. In general a three tier system is preferred in particular for small to medium sized websites. This entails only having any of your pages within two clicks of a button i.e. you could go from your homepage, to a second category, to any page on your website. This is ideal for a search engine robot who wants to be able to navigate a site easily. Another important part of site architecture is internal linking which is linking from one page of your site to another. The search engine robot wants to find its way around your site by following links so oblige it by placing links within the text, as well as in images and navigational bars. The use of breadcrumbs is another great way to break your site into easily accessible categories.

Create an XML sitemap, this a sitemap that is only available to the search engine. You can create one on any number of free tools. It is basically a list of all the pages you want indexed on your site and their importance. You submit the sitemap to the search engine from their webmaster section and they will prioritise their robot’s visits to your site. It will go to the high priority pages first making them the most likely to be indexed.

Don’t worry too much about indexing if you have high quality content and a website that complies with the search engine’s guidelines you will have most of your site’s pages indexed and showing up in the natural search results.

Risk Free Real Estate Investing

There is no such thing as a risk free investment. But there are ways of investing that can reduce the risk well below what any investor would consider to be acceptable. Investing in National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) Real Estate is arguably the lowest risk real estate strategy available in Australia today.

Reduced Risk Profile

 

  • With rents at 20% below market value and a large pool of eligible tenants, investors can expect reduced vacancy risk.
  • With rents at 20% below market value and tenants qualifying income levels at up to $100,000 investors can be more selective in their choice of tenant.
  • Certainty of contributions from the Australian and State governments for a period of 10 years. Improved Rental Yields
  • The $9,140 annual National Rental Incentive for each rental dwelling, combined with the actual rent will improve rental yields over conventional residential investment properties.
  • The national Rental Incentive is income tax free, indexed to the rental component of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and is additional to existing taxation arrangements including depreciation.

Further Benefits

 

  • NRAS is a Government Subsidised Property Investment
  • Secured Income Stream (10 Years)
  • Potentially Cash Flow Positive Investment
  • $90,000 Plus Tax Credits Over 10 Years. These are tax credits, not to be confused with tax deductions. Tax credits are effectively cash in your pocket. If your tax liability is lees than the credit, the difference is paid to you tax free.

 

NRAS property investment can counterbalance the risk and volatility of equity markets and helps to provide a balanced portfolio. The location of the properties and the attractive rents mean a stable and reliable income stream regardless of economic fluctuations.

With more than 1.5 million households eligible to rent NRAS properties, the vacancy risk is negligible. Properties must meet strict criteria for location, available facilities including public transport, schools, shopping centres etc as well as a healthy balance of rentals to owner occupied residences. All of which means high demand from tenants and potentially strong capital growth.

Investors can pick any tenants for NRAS properties, as long as these tenants do not exceed a certain income threshold. Income levels for eligible NRAS tenants are generous and allow for tenant salary increases of 25 per cent above the entry income limit.

For example, a couple with three children, earning a gross income of $100,768 per annum, is eligible to rent an NRAS dwelling. With the income increase allowance of 25 per cent, this family could earn up to $125,960 for two years before they become ineligible to remain in an NRAS property.

So investing in a National Rental Affordability Scheme property means:

 

  • Better rental yields
  • High demand from tenants meaning more choice for owners
  • Negligible vacancy rates
  • Strong potential for capital gains

 

That may not be risk free, but it is possibly the closest thing to it.

5 Reasons to Purchase an Indexed Universal Life Insurance Policy

As a financial planner, I feel like Indexed Universal Life insurance is one of the most misunderstood and underutilized tools and asset classes in the market today. I believe that this is because of the newness of the product itself. Indexed Universal Life(IUL from here on out) has only been around for a little over 15 years. Because of this, most financial advisors don’t fully understand it. IUL’s came around after they received their education and set their practices. Thus, individuals aren’t learning from experts, but rather, they rely on media pundits for any information on these programs. In an effort to further educate you, and promote a wonderful product, I give 5 reasons to buy an IUL.

The first great reason to have an IUL in your retirement portfolio is the fact that these products provide minimum guarantees. Unlike placing your funds directly into the market, these funds are protected from the market. They earn interest in a unique way. Interest is credited based on the performance of a chosen index. Rather than being invested in the actual market, you merely receive a portion of the index return. Again, the worst-case scenario is that you earn 0% in a given year. You can never lose money due to market fluctuations. Each year that you do earn interest, that interest is locked in and becomes part of the principal amount guaranteed to not be at risk to the market. What a great way to plan for retirement. This system of guarantees also removes the risk of retiring at the wrong time, when your account value is low due to market losses. It also prevents catastrophic damage to your retirement due to losses in the early years of your retirement.

In addition to the downside protection, these products can perform very well; often times outperforming the market returns seen in a typical investment portfolio. So you don’t have to give up a good return to find a safe haven for your retirement nest egg.

The second great reason for purchasing an IUL is the tax-free death benefit.

Life insurance is often used as a tool in estate planning. It is treated favorably by the IRS tax codes. Often, the funds coming from a death benefit from a life insurance policy are passed on to beneficiaries income tax free. Indexed Universal Life is no different. It becomes a wonderful tool to pass on assets tax free. Unlike other retirement options, such as a 401k, the assets held in an IUL pass on without taxes and give you immediate access to the funds, unlike assets held in real estate. It is also very typical, due to the death benefit common in all life insurance policies, that the death benefit will exceed the accumulation value of the account, meaning you not only leave more to your beneficiaries by paying less in taxes, but also because of the higher death benefit.

The third great reason for looking at an IUL is for the incredible supplemental retirement income that can be generated from it. What if you could put an unlimited amount of money into a Roth IRA, pay taxes on the principal now and have an income generated, tax free, for your retirement, and you could even access it early if you wanted? That would be an incredible deal, right? Well, it exists. It’s called an IUL. You can create a tax-free income through these IUL’s without having to worry about the timing of the market. Rather than rolling the dice of where the tax brackets fall out over your lifetime, why not draw at least part of your income through a program that allows you to fund it limitlessly, and not have to worry about paying taxes on the gains?

This is achieved through policy loans. It’s a new concept, but hear me out. Through a policy loan, you are able to draw out an income from your IUL tax free. Everyone always asks me “what if tax laws change?” Valid question. In theory, it is possible that the laws change and these funds do become taxable, but that would be odd. The government doesn’t tax our loans, only the asset by which the loan is guaranteed. Think for example of your car loan… you pay a property tax on that auto, but you don’t have to treat the loan from the bank that you used as income because it wasn’t income, you have to pay it back. These policy loans function the same way.

Diversification is the fourth reason to purchase an IUL. Since the bulk of your retirement funds are probably in taxed deferred savings accounts, like traditional IRA’s and 401k’s, IUL’s can provide a diversification, not only in asset class, but also in the tax treatment of the account. We typically believe in diversification and have been taught that since our high school years, yet we all have our retirement in the same types of vehicles. All are tax-deferred time bombs with minimum distribution ages and minimum distribution requirements or maximum contribution amounts controlled by the government and current economics in the USA. We are all typically in a blend of stocks and bonds, crossing our fingers that when that day comes to retire, we are up, not down. Hopefully we’ve picked well, though we be uneducated as can be, and yet we bank on this as our retirement program and a whole industry has built itself around it. Amazing that we’ve heard this same concept preached for over 2 decades and we’re still drinking the kool-aide. I’m not going to tell you to not drink, just try a different flavor for a minute. It should be noted that when taxes go up, and they inevitably will, you will pay taxes on those funds that are in taxed deferred accounts. This can hurt the value of the dollars you have saved in those accounts. There is also a little thing called an RMD. Required Minimum Distributions are what the federal government requires us to withdraw from our retirement accounts, based on our age, as a percentage of our account balance. There is always the possibility of these percentages increasing so the taxes can be collected on these funds. This could also cause you to withdraw funds you don’t need. An IUL gives you a great hedge against these potential tax issues.

Finally, the fifth reason to purchase an IUL is because they allow you to work towards becoming your own banker. Have you ever found it odd that you borrow money from a bank even though you have money in the bank? I have. Most IUL’s have loan provisions allowing you to borrow from and pay back your life insurance. The nice thing is, by doing this, you pay yourself the interest rather than the bank. You continue to have a retirement fund that is growing and you aren’t losing years’ worth of interest to the bank. Think of all the interest you have paid for credit cards, auto loans, your mortgage, etc. You can borrow yourself the money instead and you don’t have to worry about the approval process at the bank. Many business owners feel that term insurance is the only type of life insurance for them because they don’t want to tie up their money. This is a false assumption. The funds “tied up” in life insurance are not locked up, but rather, provide more access to funds than most investment opportunities. The funds can be borrowed and replaced with relative ease, making it a wonderful program for creating your own personal banking system.

One final little bonus is that your IUL is permanent insurance, as long as it is built correctly and you fund it properly. You’ll likely have lifetime coverage, even after stopping your premium payments and taking withdrawals. Long after your term insurance is gone, you’ll still have a death benefit to leave those you love.

For these reasons, along with many others, indexed universal life insurance is a great way to help fund your retirement. It is not perfect for all situations, and it is always wise to consult your advisor before purchasing any retirement funding program. That being said, there are five reasons you should give your advisor a call and find out if an IUL is right for you.

Get Search Engines – Index Your Website

If you want free search engine traffic from the search engines then the first step is to get your website indexed by the search engines. As long as your site is not indexed by Google, Yahoo and MSN, these search engines won’t even know that your site exists.

You will find many SEO Services on the internet that claim to getting your site indexed by hundreds of search engines on payment of $50-$100. Most of these SEO Services are just taking the webmaster for a ride; avoid them. Many SEO services online will charge you something like $50-$100 for getting your site indexed by hundreds of search engines. The truth is most of these services are not good. Don’t waste your money. You can get your site indexed for free by the three important search engines.

In my opinion, there are only three search engines on the internet; Google, Yahoo and MSN. The other so called search engines have so little traffic that you can ignore them. Focus on Google, Yahoo and MSN. Google is the most important search engine. In fact, it is the search engine. If your website is not indexed by Google than forget about getting search engine traffic. Google gets more than 60% of the search engine traffic and its share of the global internet searches is on the rise. Ignore it at your peril!

Yahoo gets around 30% of the search traffic online. This is the second largest search engine. Getting indexed on Yahoo is also important for you. Yahoo can give you a lot of traffic for free.

MSN is the youngest search engine among the top three and is also called the Baby Search Engine. MSN share of the search engine traffic is less than 10%. Somehow MSN could not compete with Google and Yahoo in the online world and has been left behind. Most of the people who go on MSN, are not internet savvy, so you should expect very good conversions on it. Studies show that MSN converts 3 times better as compared to Google.

For getting your site indexed on Google. Open a Google Webmaster Tools account. Submit your site as well as its sitemap. Wait for a few days. Googlebot will come and crawl your site and get is indexed. It is as simple as that. People try to portray as if getting indexed by Google is difficult. But with Google Webmasters Tools, rest assured, Googlebot will index your site in a week.

Yahoo has its own Yahoo Explorer service. Open an account. Submit your site and its RSS feed. Yahoo takes a bit long in indexing a site. But once you have submitted your site, dont worry much. Your site will be in the Yahoo index in around a month’s time.

You can also get your site indexed on MSN by clicking on the Webmaster link on the bottom of each MSN search page. Submit your site. MSNbot will index your site in a few days. Just focus on these three major search engines. Rest of the search engines are not worth wasting your time.

How Is the Value of the Stock Index Calculated?

Recap – What is a stock index?

A stock index is a statistical indicator that measures the combined value of a number of underlying stock prices. As stock indices are usually formed by a group of leading stocks in a market, they represent the overall health of an economy as well as the value of the stocks.

Although a stock index is not a tradeable product, but the rise and fall of its value can be traded on.

Methods for determining stock index prices

The price of each stock represented in a stock index affects the overall value of the index. However, there are different methods for determining how much weight each stock should be allocated. These include:

• Price-weighting
• Capitalisation weighting/ market-value weighting
• Market-share weighting
• Fundamental weighting
• Float-adjusted weighting
• Equal weighting

Price-weighted stock indices

A price-weighted stock index is an index where the fraction that a stock makes up of an index is proportionate to the price of that stock. This means that a stock trading at $500 will make up 10 times more of the total index when compared to a stock trading at $50.

Price-weighted stock indices do not accurately reflect underlying market values, as the stock trading at $500 could be that of a small company, whereas the stock trading at $50 could be that of a large company. As the stock of the smaller company makes up 10 times more of the total value of the index than the larger company, a change in its price will have a larger impact on the value of the stock index than a change in the price of the larger company. Meanwhile, the combined market values will not change to the same degree as the price of the larger company has not changed.

Also, price-weighted indices need to be constantly adjusted, as the changing prices of stocks will affect their appropriate weight in the index.

Examples of price-weighted indices include the Amex Major Market Index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the NYSE ARCA Tech 100 Index.

Capitalisation-weighted stock indices

In contrast to price-weighted stock indices, a capitalisation-weighted/market-value weighted index factors in the size of the company as well as the share price. This means the impact of a company’s price change is proportional to its overall market value, or the share price multiplied by the number of shares outstanding.

Consequently, small changes in large companies will have a greater influence on the value of the stock index than larger changes in small companies.

Some examples of capitalisation-weighted indices include the Hang Seng Index, Kuala Lumpur Composite Index, NASDAQ Composite, NASDAQ-100, NYSE Composite and the Taiwan Capitalization Weighted Stock Index.

Market-share weighted indices

A stock index that is market-share weighted is similar to a capitalisation-weighted index, but a market-share weighted index measures the price of shares relative to the number of shares, as opposed to their total value.

Fundamentally-weighted stock indices

Fundamentally-weighted stock indices weight stock indices by one of many economic fundamental factors, or by a composite of several fundamental factors.

This method of weighting argues that fundamental factors, such as sales, earnings, book value, cash flow and dividends, are a more accurate measure of its value than the share price, which can fluctuate with investor sentiment. One of the benefits of trading on these indices is that they might average out sector-specific biases.

Fundamentally-weighted stock indices are often contrasted to capitalisation-weighted indices. As the method of capitalisation-weighted stock indices focuses on company size and share prices, capitalisation-weighted indices could overweight overvalued stocks while underweighting undervalued stocks, meaning investors can’t see the true value of a company, and that the index doesn’t provide a true representation of an economy. As fundamental weighting weights industries by fundamental factors, an over- or undervalued share value will not have as large an impact.

That being said, although there isn’t a perfect correlation between fundamentals and share prices, there is some correlation, as large changes in fundamentals can result in large share-price movements. This was evidenced in the global financial crisis, when both fundamentally-weighted and capitalisation-weighted indices plummeted.

Float-adjusted weighted stock indices

Traditionally, capitalisation-weighted stock indices have had full-weighting. Full-weighting means that all shares outstanding for each company are included. Recently, many capitalisation-weighted indices have shifted to float-adjusted weighting, which takes into account the proportion of shares a company has free floated.

Both the S&P 500 and S&P 100 indices are now float-weighted.

Equal-weighted stock indices

Equal-weighted stock indices assign each stock in an index the same weight, so a movement in the share price of all companies have the same impact on the index, regardless on the size or market-share of that company.

Discover the Risks of Trading Index CFDs Before Jumping on Board

Trading success can often be the result of minimizing your losses and this very point is emphasized when trading a highly leveraged product like Index CFDs. In fact the golden rule of trading success can be found in the old trading maxim: Cut your losses off short and let your profits run and if you are able to follow this formula for success you should be on the right side of the ledger more often than not.

What is an Index CFD?

Index CFDs are highly leveraged CFD products that enable you to gain access to the main indices around the world. You can begin trading the SPI 200 (sometimes referred to as the Aussie 200), FTSE, Nasdaq, S&P 500, Dow Jones and CAC 40 to name a few. You get an amazing amount of leverage as most CFD brokers allow you to trade at 1% margin or 100 times leverage.

The greatest risk to your trading account

Trading Index Contracts for Difference at 100 times leverage or 1% margin allows you to make extremely large gains or losses on your trading account. It is for this very reason that the number 1 risk to you when trading index CFDs is the way you control your leverage. When trading it is important to understand that you control the leverage on your account. This means that with $10,000 cash in your trading account, you can access as little or as much leverage as you desire. In effect this means you control how much risk you take on board by either trading a very low levels of leverage or trading risky at very high levels of leverage. Clearly the smartest option is to keep your leverage very small.

The hidden costs of trading Commission free index CFDs

Incredible amounts of marketing dollars are spent attracting new market participants to trading index CFDs and the main emphasis is on ‘commission free trading’. Now whilst they are not lying it is important to read the fine print and get a feel for what the real costs to trading this product are. All CFD brokers charge an overnight financing rate which means for every day you hold the position long, you get charged a certain rate. For index CFDs that rate is normally plus or minus 4% as opposed to plus or minus 3% for share CFDs so bear this in mind when trading the indices.

SEO Tactics to Get Indexed, Get Ranked, and Get Traffic

No one can deny that you need traffic to your website in order to succeed online. The best kind of traffic is free traffic. Where’s the best place to get free traffic? Google and other search engines.

How Does Free Search Engine Traffic Work?

The process works in a way that you have experienced many times. You go to Google, enter in a word or phrase you want to research, and click one of the links that shows up. Well, the link you clicked on just sent free traffic to that website owner. What we need to figure out is how to get YOU free traffic.

Most people only click results from the first couple pages. In fact, the first page of results receives almost all the free traffic. Believe it or not, the first 3 results receive over 70% of the traffic.

So to get any significant amount of free traffic from Google, you really need to be on the first page. This means Google needs to “rank” you as a top 10 result. This bring us to…

What Is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is a measure of how well Google and other search engines think your website matches the search terms people are typing into their search boxes. It’s a complex formula that only people working for Google know exactly. There are several factors that we do know.

Getting Indexed

Before your website can begin gaining ranking, you have to alert Google to it’s existence. This is known as being “indexed.” When your website gets indexed, Google stores information about it in their massive database.

In order to get indexed, Google has to be able to find you. Links from other sites are the easiest way to accomplish this. Google will actually follow the links on sites it already has indexed to find new sites and index them.

Use your Twitter and Facebook updates to get quick indexed links to your site. These sites are indexed multiple times every day so your new link will get indexed very quickly.

Gaining Ranking

After this first hurdle, you need to start gaining ranking. Due to the massive size of the Google database – literally billions of pages – just getting indexed doesn’t do much for you.

Here’s what’s important in ranking:

 

  • Content
  • Links
  • Activity

 

Optimized Content

This is the SEO work you do on your page. It’s critical that your page content is consistent with the keyword phrases you’re targeting. Clearly this article is about search engine optimization. Google knows that not just because the words search engine optimization show up. Another way this is determined is by the other related phrases like traffic generation that are also in the article.

You also need to make sure the title tags, outbound links and the domain itself match the topic of the page. These all play a part in helping Google determine what your website is about.

Your Links

Next, you need to pay attention to the links to and from your site. The links to your site, as well as the sites you link to are important. You want to make sure you have more inbound links than outbound links. And the more inbound links the better.

Article marketing is a super easy way to get a bunch of inbound links. To accomplish this you start by writing an article that targets the keywords you’re after. Then you continue to create articles around these and other related keywords for ever increasing back-links. The more quality articles you write, the more links you’ll get back.

Make Your Site Active

Lastly, it’s seems clear that Google expects important pages to be actively updated. Static pages that just sit may rank at first, but will fall off over time, so you need to update your pages often. RSS feeds are an easy way to keep your content changing.

Another great way to keep your page content fresh is to enable comments on it and allow others to discuss your page topic. This means you need to get real live people to your site, as well. An easy way to do this is from forums.

Set up forum profiles with the ones related to your website and post there often. Put a link to your site in your profile. This gets you inbound links and it will also get real visitors to your site.

Conclusion

It’s important that you do everything listed here. But let’s face it, writing article after article, creating a bunch of forum profiles, and posting your articles and comments takes a lot of time which means you probably will end up NOT doing it.

Fortunately, you can get rank builder software to do all the grunt work for you. The best thing you can do is to automate this process. Otherwise, you won’t do it at all. And if you don’t do it, you simply will not ever get free traffic from Google.

Why the London Riots Created a Greater Business Travel Threat Than a Terrorist Attack

Introduction to the London riots threat

If you have business travel to London, you need to read this article. In this article you will discover why the London riots created a greater travel threat than a terrorist attack. We will examine the threat posed by the London riots and demonstrations, terrorist attacks and resulting travel delays, disruptions and changes. At the end of this article, you will have a specific understanding of the required business travel management response and awareness as to why this will happen again.

The London riots and demonstrations has resulted in one of the largest business travel disruptions of 2011.

London Riots and Demonstrations

The London riots and demonstrations have come as a complete surprise to many. It is not a unique event and certainly not unique to the UK. The scale, violence, fire and failure of the authorities is often something expected in other countries but the lack of preparedness for destinations like the UK is common and widespread. Therefore, the lack of preparedness and last-minute scramble to respond and the inability to avoid major business travel disruptions are widespread as a result.

Due to the footprint of disruption, many routes and modes of transport have been negatively affected. Simple commute from the airport, trains and ports to planned accommodation options have been altered and continuous review of hazard or threat assessment are required. Furthermore, travel support providers such as taxis, hotels, restaurants, emergency services an other basic amenities have also been affected, to varying degrees.

Travel and risk managers need to immediately identify:

  • Affected areas,
  • Degree of threat,
  • Affected and exposed (inbound and outbound) business travellers,
  • Arrival/departure points,
  • Safe and non-affected areas,
  • Mitigation or eradication options,
  • Cost of implementation,
  • Funds available,
  • Emergency support,
  • Accommodation options,
  • On-going or developing events,
  • Social or non-business activity,
  • Insurance claims and compliance requirements,
  • Cancellation criteria,
  • Resumption of travel criteria,
  • Extended event plans,
  • Travel alternatives (domestic and international)

The London riots have affected multiple support systems related to business and leisure travel. Any leisure travel disruptions will further compound business travel threats such as decreased accommodation options, airport congestion and increased public transport demand. Even simple actions like withdrawing money from an ATM will prove a challenge and compound the hazard/s.

The London riots have had a prolonged affect on UK business travel sector, far greater than the majority of terrorist attacks. Further affects such as planning and preparation for the 2012 Olympics will also contribute to the lingering affects.

A lack of planning and subsequent response capability by businesses could constitute a failure of duty of care, due diligence, corporate social responsibility, workplace health and safety or other related legislation.

Terrorist attacks less of a threat than London riots

With the exception of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, most have limited travel disruption and only affect a narrow band of travellers. Inclusive of the Mumbai terror attack, terrorist attacks typically have clearly defined threat elements (terrorist, bombings, gunfire, etc) whereas the London riots is a constantly changing and unclear threat. Most business travellers will be unprepared for such decision-making demands and lack sufficient experience to make consistent and safe decisions.

Most contemporary business risk management systems focus on location and plausible event threats, then seek to inform or prepare travellers for the best results to mitigate or eliminate the hazards and threats. Therefore, the bulk of business travellers will not be prepared or educated on how to respond in London, with such wide spread disruption and threats. Few will have residual knowledge from information and preparation for such events in other locations, considered more likely to be medium to high risk. Many of the supporting business travel management departments and managers will be equally unprepared and resourced.

A terrorist attack and other similar violent crimes would have a much smaller footprint of disruption, not affected such a wide business travel demographic, not affect business travel support providers so comprehensively or have such a prolonged impact on all exposed.

Routine travel delays, disruptions and changes represent one of the most persistent and probable travel risk management issues.

Travel delay, disruption and changes

Change management and the decision-making involved is one of the most commonly accepted workplace hazard concerns. This is equally relevant to business travel and business travel threats.

The instinctive and guided response of travellers to any delay, disruption or change can significantly affect the outcome of any spontaneous or new hazard as it presents. Particularly when this is the first level of response, before support options and resources can be activated or come into affect.

Travel delays have been triggered due to airport and airline workers unable to get to work, taxi drivers not able to refuel vehicles, hotels and staff overwhelmed, business travellers unprepared and convergence of business and leisure travellers upon all available exit travel nodes.

Access to information, at all levels, the ability to consume and process all the options and explore alternatives is imperative in this and similar travel disruption events. Crisis leadership will succeed more frequently than simple crisis management, to which are dependent upon timely and accurate information from all available resources.

Unfortunately, many will fail to fully understand the gravity of the events, the threats posed and respond or prepare accordingly. While many others exposed will chalk it up to another force majeure or random act that is just part of the rich experience of international travel. Courts, business travellers and peer review increasingly do not share this flippant view.

This scenario and lack of preparedness has been played out numerous times in recent history. Volcanos, volcanic ash affects, Japan’s tsunami, airport closures, airline failure and many others have caught business travellers and managers alike unprepared. This disturbing trend will continue.

Conclusion: London riots threat

You should now see why the London riots have a far greater impact and threat to travellers than you may have originally thought. We have examined the business travel threat posed by the London riots, terrorist attacks and resulting travel delays. You now have a specific plan for this and similar events and the required business travel management and response. This will happen again. Perhaps not in London, perhaps not a city wide demonstration but this kind and scale of business travel disruption event will happen more than once before the end of 2011. Review your plan and make the necessary enhancements now.

Business Travel Tips – How to Pack For A Business Trip

Use these business travel tips pointers to create and plan a stress-free business packing travel plan.

Ladies:

 

  • When you are putting together your clothes for business, experiment with one color instead of all your favorites. This makes it simple for you to combine and present an ideal business persona for your meetings. With a one color-scheme, you will not need to pack multiple pieces of clothing.
  • If you’d like to add a bit of color, you can include a colored shirt or scarf you like (maybe it is your favorite, or it gives you that ‘extra OOMPH’ that you need for self-confidence – or to compliment your look).

 

Tips on packing shoes: As much as shoes are something that some women say they can’t ‘live without,’ pack no more than two or three sets. Make certain you have a set of flats and only one set of high heels in your luggage. If you wear high heels all day and evening long, then during your company trip, when what you want (need) most is to shine, you may be experiencing painful leg and back discomfort.

In addition to sensible shoes, women who travel may want to pack makeup. On a business trip and with makeup – Less is better. Makeup during a business trip really should be minimal so that you present an experienced, knowledgeable and professional look. Foundation, powder, mascara, lip gloss, eye liner, and eye shadow, are a few of the things that you need to consider in packing. Less is more – mascara and lip gloss can go a long way in making a professional looking presentation.

All Travelers:

 

  • Frequent business travelers should make it a habit of packing their bags as soon as they return from a business trip. This way, when they have to travel on short notice, the stress and worry of packing is diminished.
  • Frequent travelers on business really should try to use regional airports instead of major air-ports. Local and small airports are less congested, and then there are fewer security hurdles.
  • When you are on company business, choose the most direct routes instead of the least expensive routes. The least expensive travel arrangements usually make for the longest distance, and this also means you will likely have to use your precious time for traveling and staying in hotels.
  • So, instead of saving money, your cost may actually go up, with the less expensive, less traveled route, Because you’ll make up for the cost with longer flights and maybe even an extra day stay at a hotel – which means more money all the way around (food, cab or car rental,.. ). Consequently, it’s always best to go on a direct flight route to save time and expense, even if you have to fly first class.
  • If you’re able to fly mid-week, you will be happier because you may be able to save money on trip expenses. Traveling on a Monday or Tuesday normally costs more. Take these travel tips into account when you are paying your own personal air flight to help you cut your costs.
  • Also think about the distance from your hotel room to where you are meeting. Have a look on the internet on a map so you see exactly where you’ll be meeting, compared to where you are going to be staying. In case you do not know the local or surrounding area, you might want to stay near a company or civic facility in which your company is holding their business.
  • Business travelers understand how to make the most of the resources offered to travelers specifically on business. Find hotels that focus on the travelling business person. These hotels won’t have amenities for families and neither are they attempting to attract buses of adolescents in route to a camp. When you need to pay attention to business details and not the kids running in the hallway, this will help you find appropriate (and professional) lodging.
  • Packing vital electronic things is likewise one of several business travel tips. In case you are traveling overseas, make certain you are aware of the telecommunications requirements of the country. Make certain you pack a couple of USB memory sticks. You will never know if they may require them.
  • Never pack your laptop inside your luggage. Your laptop may be a pivotal element of your trip. Inside a flight terminal in an unexpected emergency situation, your wireless laptop may be used to adjust reservations so that you can prevent all those long lines for getting your next flight out. You’ll be able to arrange accommodations by automobile or snag just one of the few remaining rooms in hotels in the city straight from the convenience of the seats in the airport terminal.
  • If you plan well, then you can normally just walk to your meeting or hotel, while the people around you are stressed – simply because you knew the way to balance technology plus the need to help yourself out of a situation that could have been a problem.
  • But one way to use your laptop computer to help yourself if there is a situation where the airport terminal is shut all the way down would be the limited electric power of laptop computers. To see your electric battery go lifeless just when you wanted it by far the most is a lot like watching your tire go flat on the freeway because you drove over glass on your way to the meeting.
  • What few people know is that you have open electric-powered outlets in air terminals which are there for cleanup crews. Once you are at the airport – discover exactly where those outlets are. Normally you can find these outlets just underneath the windows that look over the landing strips. If you can secure a seat close to these outlets, it is possible to replenish your laptop computer and maintain your lifeline to everyone you need to.