Saving, investing and making money with technology

Tag: investing

Better Team Relationships Improve Productivity and Finances for Small Businesses

Major corporations may have the deep pockets to help their brands succeed, but small businesses have something up their sleeves as well – happier employees. Studies have proven that people who work for small companies are a lot happier than those who don’t. As an entrepreneur should know, having a team of talented, engaged, productive, and happy group of people, with a professional business plan working for you is invaluable. Not only does this lead to a progressive workforce, but it reduces turnovers, and increases profitability. Below, is a closer look at how small businesses are winning by cultivating positive team environments.

They Realize the Importance of Staff

Large businesses have the capital to invest in tons of software, technology, and the cost of turnover rates. Modern technology such as software, equipment, and devices easily replace the significance of hiring someone while a big budget makes it simple to replace staff that decides to leave. They also have so many more responsibilities to handle, that focusing their time and energy on the happiness and well-being of their staff isn’t always at the top of the list.

Small businesses, on the other hand, realize that every hire is special and a key component to progressing their brand forward. Relying more on the talent and collaborative skills of their team than expensive software, devices, or equipment, smaller companies have a true appreciation for what their staff does to help. Often having more time and reason to focus on the continued growth, happiness, and well-being of their staff, the invest a lot in creating an environment where everyone can work together amicably and productively.

How to Create More Positive Team Relationships

When companies are able to create a positive team environment and keep their staff happy, they experience a wealth of benefits. This includes fewer turnovers, improved productivity, and increased profits. If you’re looking to capitalize on these benefits, the below-mentioned tips should lend you a helping hand.

Get Personal – Smaller organizations with fewer employees have the time that is required to get more personal with their staff. By learning who they are as individuals and what their needs are in the workplace, you can create a more positive environment for everyone to work in. It shows them that you care which encourages them to put their best foot forward.

Invest Where it Counts – Employees do their best work when they have the proper tools at their disposal and employers know the value of workplace productivity. If you want a more collaborative team environment that allows them to work seamlessly together, you’ll need to invest where it counts. This includes looking into collaborative software that makes working as a team easier. From cloud storage accounts and messaging or chat applications to note and document sharing platforms and other software, there are an array of tools that can be invested in to increase productivity and profits.

Create the Ideal Space – How your staff works together is extremely important and can essentially control the destiny of your brand. If you want to help your staff build a more positive relationship with one another, you need to create the space for it. Things like brainstorming rooms, open office layouts, and comfortable places for eating, communicating, or relaxing during downtime can help with this. When your staff feels encouraged to come together more often, they get to know one another making it easier for them to work together as a unit.

From the receptionists and secretaries all the way up to management, it’s the people that matter most to small businesses. It is understood that without their skill, passion, and creativity the ability to progress a company forward is nearly impossible. This is why small businesses work so diligently to cultivate a positive working environment that makes their staff happy, cultivates better team relationships, improves productivity, and saves money. Something that most larger organizations simply haven’t learned yet.

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Considerations for Launching a Tech Startup

Now the time to launch your tech startup. You have brainstormed and decided to move forward with your plans. Or maybe, you just have the idea and nothing else.

It could be that you appreciate that tech is a hot sector and having an iron in the fire is most important. Whether you have a product in mind or are just looking to get into the sector with the help of some unsecured small business loans, this article will help you consider what you will have to contend with as you begin your journey:

Current Hot Tech Topics

If you are someone with ideas or are unsure where to focus your efforts, the very first thing to do is research those areas of tech that are gaining traction now. What products are being developed and what opportunities may exist? Here are some of the hottest trending areas.

– Wearable Tech

This has been with us for decades but continued advancements and integration with smart home devices and augmented reality will result in even more options being made available to entrepreneurs.

– Augmented Reality

Yes, virtual reality (VR) is still a thing. Manufacturers of VR devices continue to improve on their offerings, but now augmented reality (AR) is ready to be used by government and business, and eventually household consumers. Opportunities exist to create applications that generate the overlays used with a real-world environment.

– Internet of Things

Smart home devices, traffic cameras, GPS sensors in automobiles, are examples of things that are connected to the Internet but not manipulated by humans. As all aspects of our lives are monitored and controlled by various machines and programs, this segment of technology will continue to grow – as will concerns over the security of IoT and similar tech. When used with other tech, such as AR, numerous possibilities emerge.

Planning for Your Tech Startup

As with any business, you need to clearly define what it is you want to accomplish and put all of this data into a professional business plan. Your business plan is your roadmap to success or failure. It affords you an opportunity to be honest with yourself and with potential investors.

– Research

What are you going to produce? Maybe you have a great idea for an improved smartwatch or maybe you want to create an AR application that can present images of someone else’s smartwatch market yourself as a virtual reseller. Examine your ideas and honestly decide if they may be profitable.

– Capital

How much will this tech venture cost to get off-the-ground and remain afloat? Most high tech ventures are funded by those who specialize in building up tech companies. Seek out those people and make sure you know every word and calculation in your business plan.

Start-up Funding Crowdfunding Investment Venture Capital Entrepreneurship Internet Business Technology Concept.

Understand the Realities of Running a Tech Startup

Whether you receive venture capital for your tech startup or acquire funding from other sources, you have to face the reality of managing your startup. Even if it is just you, and no employees, you need to be able to manage time and resources. If you have staff, there are other considerations to take into account that place demands on your time and take you away from focusing on your desired goals.

Launching a tech startup is a trying, but potentially rewarding undertaking. It’s always worth following a dream and if yours is launching a tech startup, you should go for it. Just appreciate that it involves a considerable amount of work to accomplish, and keep running.

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What Does an “Affordable Phone” Mean in 2018?

A few years ago, an Indian startup promised to launch a smartphone with a pretty decent configuration that would only cost around $4. As you might expect, the interest in such a product was through the roof – Freedom 251 was pre-ordered by more than 30,000 buyers before its website crashed under the pressure. Unfortunately, this dirt cheap smartphone seems to have been nothing but a scam – although the manufacturer claims to have delivered 5,000 units, its managing director Mohit Goel was later arrested for fraud.

A $4 phone does sound unrealistic today but it’s not as far from becoming a reality as it sounds. Smartphone manufacturers have understood that to break into growth markets like Africa and some South American nations (not to mention India, one of the biggest market for Chinese phone manufacturers) they have to adapt their offer to the realities of these markets. And to do so, they will have to produce handsets with a decent hardware and a low price that the potential customers in these areas will be able to afford.

Some manufacturers have already started to release handsets that might not be the highest-performance ones out there but they are at least very cheap. EuroStar’s ONYX-1S, for example, has a configuration more than capable of browsing the web, playing at online casinos, watching videos, and playing music, and it also comes with a decent camera and a 5″ screen, and can be bought for as low as around $60. Other manufacturers – usually Chinese – also offer their customers smartphones with similar prices that might not be good enough for the Westerners but they are perfect for other, emerging markets. And they redefine the concept of an “affordable phone”.

Of course, these phones are not fitted with the latest Qualcomm or Samsung chips – but they have pretty decent MediaTek processors that have an acceptable performance at a low price. They don’t have 4,000mAh batteries – but they make do with 2,500. And their internal storage is also usually limited to 8 or 16 gigabytes, but it can be expanded with the use of memory cards. And they will also be on par with the market leaders, too, when it comes to security thanks to initiatives like Google’s latest Android Oreo Go Edition, built with exactly these affordable but limited-performance handsets in mind.

We are seeing perhaps the biggest price gap between the cheapest and the most expensive smartphones in history. We have handsets on both ends of the spectrum – on one hand, we have the 256GB iPhone X that costs $1,149, on the other, we have the EuroStar ONYX-1S with a $60 price tag.

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The Best Ways To Finance Your Business

A great way to fund your business is factoring.Factoring is a finance method where a company sells its receivables at a discount to get cash up-front. Factoring is often used by companies with poor credit or by businesses such as apparel manufacturers, which have to fill orders long before they get paid. However, it’s an expensive way to raise funds.The Companies that are selling receivables generally pay a fee that’s a percentage of the total amount.

And also, If you pay a 2 percent fee to get funds 30 days in advance, it’s equivalent to an annual interest rate of about 24 percent. For that reason, the business has gotten a bad reputation over the years. That said, the economic downturn has forced companies to look to alternative financing methods and companies like The Receivables Exchange are trying to make factoring more competitive.

The companies that participate in this exchange has great advantages than if they don’t participate. Because the exchange allows companies to offer their receivables to dozens of factoring companies at once, along with hedge funds, banks, and other finance companies. These lenders will bid on the invoices, which can be sold in a bundle or one at a time.

And speaking of funding businesses, I think there are plenty companies that can be of great help. But none are better than Capital Alliance.

You can get a bank loan

Lending standards have gotten much stricter, but banks such as J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America have earmarked additional funds for small business lending. So why not apply?

Read more on what you need to know about filling out a loan application.

Attract an Angel Investor

And when you pitch an angel investor, all the old rules still apply: be succinct, avoid jargon, have an exit strategy. But the economic turmoil of the last few years has made a complicated game even trickier. Here are some tips to win over angel interest:

Also add experience: Seeing some gray hair on your management team will help ease investors’ fears about your company’s ability to deal with a tough economy. Even an unpaid, but highly experienced adviser could add to your credibility.

Capital Alliance was founded to solve a major problem that small businesses were facing: access to capital. Their mission is to provide quick, simple, and transparent solutions for businesses to obtain capital. Since it’s inception, Capital Alliance has funded over $500 million to thousands of small businesses.

But don’t be a fad-follower: Did you start your company because you are truly passionate about your idea or because you want to cash in on the latest trend? Angels can spot the difference and won’t give much attention to those whose companies are essentially get-rich-quick schemes.


And most definitely you should know your stuff: Because you will need market assessments, competitive analysis and solid marketing and sales plans if you expect to get anywhere with an angel. Even young companies need to demonstrate an expert knowledge of the market they are about to enter as well as the discipline to follow through with their game plan.

Keep in touch: An angel may not be interested in your business right away, especially if you don’t have a track record as a successful entrepreneur. To combat that, you should formulate a way to keep them in the loop on big developments, like a major sale.
Read more on finding an angel investor.

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4 Stocks That Could Double in 2017

© 2016 PTE.la PTE, LLC (publisher of PTE.la) is NOT registered as an investment adviser nor a broker/dealer with either the U. S. Securities & Exchange Commission or any state securities regulatory authority. Users of this website are advised that all information presented on this website is solely for informational purposes, is not intended to be used as a personalized investment recommendation, and is not attuned to any specific portfolio or to any user’s particular investment needs or objectives. Past performance is NOT indicative of future results. Furthermore, such information is not to be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor is it to be construed as a recommendation to buy, hold or sell (short or otherwise) any security. All users of this website must determine for themselves what specific investments to make or not make and are urged to consult with their own independent financial advisors with respect to any investment decision. The reader bears responsibility for his/her own investment research and decisions, should seek the advice of a qualified securities professional before making any investment, and investigate and fully understand any and all risks before investing.

All opinions, analyses and information included on this website are based on sources believed to be reliable and written in good faith, but should be independently verified, and no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, is made, including but not limited to any representation or warranty concerning accuracy, completeness, correctness, timeliness or appropriateness. In addition, we undertake no responsibility to notify such opinions, analyses or information or to keep such opinions, analyses or information current. Also be aware that owners, employees and writers of and for PTE, LLC may have long or short positions in securities that may be discussed on this website or newsletter. Past results are not indicative of future profits. This table is accurate, though not every trade is represented. Profits and losses reported are simulated figures from virtual simulated portfolios.

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A company’s actual performance could greatly differ from those described in any forward – looking statements or announcements mentioned in this release. Factors that should be considered that could cause actual results to differ include: the size and growth of the market for the company’s products; the company’s ability to fund its capital requirements in the near term and in the long term; pricing pressures; unforeseen and/or unexpected circumstances in happenings; etc. and the risk factors and other factors set forth in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, acompany’s past performance does not guarantee future results.

Generally, the information regarding a company profiled is provided from public sources which we believe to be reliable but is not guaranteed by us as being accurate. Further specific financial information, filings and disclosures as well as general investor information about the profiled company, advice to investors and other investor resources are available at the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) website  www.sec.gov and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) website at  www.finra.org. Any investment should be made only after consulting with a qualified investment advisor and reviewing the publicly available financial statement and other information about the company profiled and verifying that the investment is appropriate and suitable. PTE.la makes no representations, warranties or guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of the information provided or discussed. Viewers should not rely solely on the information obtained in this release or on our website.

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What Mistakes Should You Avoid While Investing In Fixed Deposit?

People usually hesitate while investing their funds as they don’t want to end up losing their money. Investments always involve risks but investing in a right place can always help you earn higher returns. Since our  childhood, we have been taught to save money so that we can utilise it at the time of an emergency.

Though saving is an age old method, investing your funds these days can help you earn higher returns. You might have some surplus funds coming from a business profit or from a salary hike or even from inheritance. No matter how you receive the surplus money, investing them can always help you earn higher profits over it. When it comes to investments, people usually hesitate to invest their funds as it involves risk. But if you park your funds in the right place and at the right time, you are likely to earn benefits from it.

Fixed Deposits is a major and a commonly preferred way to invest funds. Though fixed deposits are considered as a safe investment option, there are times when you can make some mistakes while investing in a fixed deposit.  These mistakes can get you in a huge trouble. Although fixed deposits have less risk involving factors, it is still important that you must avoid these mistakes while investing your funds:

● Using all your savings:

At times, people resort to investing all their savings in the hopes that they will earn higher returns in the future. Even though you will be getting higher returns in the future, you should not invest all your savings in a Fixed Deposit account. It is a known fact that you can only withdraw funds from a Fixed Deposit after it gets matured. Thus, when you invest all your savings in a Fixed Deposit, you will have no financial backup whatsoever. In case if you need money urgently, it can get difficult for you to arrange funds if you don’t have a financial backup. In such scenarios, you might have to break your FD which is not an ideal situation to be in.

● Don’t ignore the liquidity term/conditions:

In case if you are stuck in a financial emergency and need some urgent funds, then you can use the money that you have invested in Fixed Deposits as an option. Though a Fixed Deposit account can be more liquid than other asset options, you cannot withdraw funds from your Fixed Deposit account. Fixed Deposits restrict fund withdrawal before its maturity. In such a situation, you can only break your Fixed Deposit to liquidate your funds, but breaking your Fixed Deposit will lead you to pay a penalty.

● Not being assured of your returns:

Before you invest your hard-earned money in a Fixed Deposit, it is essential that you have checked and compared all the prevailing rates in the market. Compare all the prevailing prices in the market and select the lender which provides you with the best rate of interest. Evaluate the returns by using various online tools like FD Calculator. This will help you to determine your earnings and you can do so within a few clicks.

● Compensation for inflation using an FD: 

If you intend to increase your purchasing power, a Fixed Deposit is not the greatest idea. Fixed Deposit interest rates have been influenced in the recent times. But before you invest, it is essential that you stay aware of all the latest happenings in the market.These are some mistakes that yo should avoid while investing in a fixed deposit to have safe investment and earn higher returns in the future.

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Four Brands That Have Mastered Customer-Driven Big Data

You’re probably not thinking about data when you add a shirt to your online shopping cart or download a coupon for some free curly fries. However, the new reality is that data is driving what you see, what you buy and how you perceive brands. Big companies in the worlds of retail, finance and entertainment are already using big data processing to change the way business decisions are made. These companies know that big data isn’t just a tool. Big data is like a fact-based crystal ball that removes questions about consumer wants and behaviors. Take a look at the four companies that are using big data exquisitely when it comes to running operations, staying relevant and pleasing customers.

The NFL

You don’t always think of high-tech systems when picturing a football stadium full of screaming fans. However, the NFL has been one of the pioneers of using big data to protect its players and boost its image. Players have started using wearable data-collecting devices that use algorithms to detect whether certain workouts are too stressful or if athletes are developing certain injuries. This is really changing the game because the NFL has faced scrutiny over the health and wellness of its players in recent years.

Capital One

Capital One is first in line in the consumer finance industry when it comes to using big data to grow business and create customer satisfaction. The company has been using big data for years to track and anticipate the behaviors of customers. This has helped the company to efficiently present specific customers with specific offers that they want. The result is that customers have positive experiences and Capital One gets more revenue.Large corporations with household recognition obviously have some big advantages when it comes to using marketing resources to create smart business decisions and sculpt effective campaigns. However, the actual pieces of data that those companies are pulling in can be obtained by an enterprise of any size. Of course, a smaller company or enterprise won’t necessarily use a data analytics platform with the same scope as a large corporation. A platform can be scaled to offer exactly what an enterprise needs to pull data from internal and external sources and start making smarter business decisions.

Free People

You may know Free People as a hippie-inspired clothing brand that sells customers flowing, bohemian threads. However, the way the company gets its clothing in the hands of customers is quite sophisticated and calculated. The brand relies on customer records harnessed from big data to determine its future apparel designs. Free People’s plan to make business decisions based on customer purchases, customer returns and browsing habits enabled the brand to create tailored promotions and design its website in a way that makes customers more likely to complete purchases. The result is that Free People has managed to buck the downward trend in the retail industry.

Arby’s

It won’t be a coincidence if you find yourself craving a hot sandwich and some curly fries after you see a television commercial or digital ad for Arby’s. The restaurant chain has poured a big investment into using data to craft effective, targeted marketing campaigns. The chain has mastered the task of using data-based feedback to make sure its advertisements are sent through the right channels to create campaigns that are effective.

Using the Same Big Data as Big Companies

Large corporations with household recognition obviously have some big advantages when it comes to using marketing resources to create smart business decisions and sculpt effective campaigns. However, the actual pieces of data that those companies are pulling in can be obtained by an enterprise of any size. Of course, a smaller company or enterprise won’t necessarily use a data analytics platform with the same scope as a large corporation. A platform can be scaled to offer exactly what an enterprise needs to pull data from internal and external sources and start making smarter business decisions.

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How to Improve Your Credit Score and Managing Your Debt

Today, almost everything you do requires a good credit score. It affects your ability to secure a mortgage, to buy a car, rent an apartment, to go to college and sometimes may even determine whether or not you land the job. For this reason, if your credit score is low and has several bad marks on it against you, it’s in your best interest to repair your credit score as quickly as possible. The good news is that there are many ways to achieve this, faster than you might think.

Borrowing money with a bad credit score

A bad credit score limits your ability to borrow money from the usual places such as a bank and a credit union. However, there are other companies offering quick installment loans to those in the process of building or rebuilding their credit. These online companies generally have minimal requirements including a social security number, a checking account and a steady income.  They also have a variety of repayment options that let you pay off the loan in small payments for up to a few years. Just make sure that before you actually take on the loan that you are able to meet your monthly obligations, otherwise your credit will continue to worsen.

Family and friends

While no one wants to let a family member or friend know about their hardship, sometimes acquiring a loan from them is a better option. For one, the repayment of the loan will be the same as the amount you borrowed. For two, you can delay the payment a few days during the month if your paycheck falls midweek. If you should acquire the money from a family member or friend, just make sure to treat it like any other loan and make every effort to make the monthly payments.

Restoring your credit

Restoring your credit is important and can take far less time than you might imagine. The first thing you need to do is make a list of all your outstanding debt and the monthly payment required on each one. Then, write down your total monthly income. If when you do this and deduct personal living expenses you have money left over, you’re in great shape to begin tackling the first loan or credit card. If, you don’t have anything left over, or, worse yet, have a deficit each month then you’ll need to reduce your monthly expenses or take on a part-time job until you even out.

Paying down debt Your credit score depends on several factors. It consists of your ability to pay, how much debt you owe and the amount of credit cards and other loans you have out and their balances. In order to raise your credit score, you have to pay down your debt. If you have six or more revolving lines of credit, close out a couple. Having access to too much money can actually hurt your score. If you have two to four credit cards, a car loan, and a mortgage, you’re in good shape. Any more than that and the debt to income ratio becomes too high, placing you in the possible risk category. You should never use credit cards as a means to pay bills, go food shopping and basically afford to live. If you want to raise your credit score significantly, you’ll need to reduce your balance on each credit card to less than 50% of the available line.

You can do this one by one, by making payments to the card that holds the highest interest rate and then move onto to the next until all your credit cards are a least less than half full.Today, you live in a technical world where a credit score pretty much determines whether you can purchase just about anything. You can keep your score in good standing by making your payments on time, reducing the number of outstanding loans and cards you have, and by reducing the amount you owe on them. If you learn to live within your means and use your cards only for emergencies or as a temporary way to acquire items before a paycheck of bonus, then you will enjoy a high quality of life minus the stress.

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5 Tips on Getting an Industry-Specific Loan

There are various options to consider when you are looking for a business loan. In the age of super-specialization it is not surprising to find financial institutions offering business loans that are industry-specific.

Keep these five things in mind before applying for an industry-specific Loan for Business to avoid rejection:

Write a business plan that is specific to your industry

Typically, when you apply for a loan, the loan officers do not have an in-depth understanding of all industries. They follow generic rules which are applicable across all industry types. However, the loan officers of industry-specific loans have a good understanding of your industry. Hence you have a better chance of your loan getting approved with a business plan that is created specific to your industry. Achievements or credentials also hold value during the industry specific loan application.

Share industry-specific data

While applying for an industry-specific business loan, you must remember that the loan officers are aware of your industry and its trends. More than the business plan if you can share some data from your operations which can help them understand the scope of your future success, then the chances of approval becomes high. Remember that your application will be assessed with respect to the trends and benchmarks of your industry. Hence you must endeavour to provide industry-specific data to help the officers get a better understanding of your business.

Assess your exact loan requirement

A business plan is an important document as it helps you understand the scope of your future business and the investment sought clearly. You must try and make this plan as detailed as possible. If you miss some expenses, then you may fall short of the working capital in the long run. Also, certain industries are season dependent while some others are market dependent. You must seek the advice of a professional to chalk out your business plan and understand the exact amount of loan required.

Opt for a collateral-based secured business loan

A secured or collateral-based loan has many benefits; a lesser rate of interest and higher chances of approval. While applying for industry-specific loans, you can choose to offer an industry-specific collateral. If a dentist provides his equipment as collateral, then the valuation of the collateral is higher in an industry specific loan as it considers the relevance of the collateral to your business too.

Research, compare and decide

Most banks and financial institutions are offering these loans hence you need to compare the interest rates offered, fees and the application process among other things. Some banks / financial institutions might be keen on lending to doctors while some others might have an inclination towards architects. Research well. Ask around. Find a few options, compare and finally choose a loan that matches your requirements.

Bajaj Finserv has unique loan offerings for Doctors, Engineers & Chartered Accountants. The loans have been designed keeping in mind the diverse needs of various professions.

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The Genius Trick Amazon Shoppers use To Save Money

Think Amazon has the best prices? Well, here’s a surprise for you.
Shopping on Amazon can be addicting, but it doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Wikibuy is a five-star Chrome extension that finds better prices at other retailers when you shop on Amazon, automatically.

You’re probably thinking: but Prime delivers in two days! That’s awesome, but after Amazon factors two-day delivery into its prices, it can often be a more expensive option.
Ask yourself: do you really need two day shipping on everything you buy? For waiting a few more days, Wikibuy can keep you from wasting money by finding a better priced option.
Here’s how simple it is:

You’re having a great day, shopping for a backup laptop charger, and BOOM! After taking a few seconds to check hundreds of retailers, Wikibuy pops up with a lower price (if it exists).

You click “quick view” to investigate. Looks like Wikibuy is going to save you $16 if you wait an additional 4 days. No biggie, you didn’t actually need the charger in two days.

Get rid of Amazon Prime? No way! The free movies, tv shows, customer service, etc are worth it alone. But, you should use Wikibuy with Prime to make sure you don’t waste money on items that aren’t needed in two days.
Oh, and it’s completely free. Try Wikibuy for free HERE.

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