31 October 2006 

Get Rich Scams Part II


I just received another email from International Promotions. I wrote about the original email that I received from them in yesterday's post. If you missed it, it can be found here at Get Rich Scams.

This "company" is pretty persistant. This is actually about the 3rd or 4th email that I've received from them. I'm starting to think that I may have actually won 1000,000.00. I've gotten a couple of emails from them within the past couple of weeks, and it just got me thinking. I wonder how many people fall for this type of thing? I'd love to hear about any stories that people may have of others that have fallen for scams such as this one. If you have any, leave a comment or email me at .
30 October 2006 

Get Rich Scams


I was reading my email today when I came across ANOTHER, yes ANOTHER, spam email. The email that I received was from International Promotions in Amsterdam. Of course, there is no such company like this, but that's what the email said. I looked a little closer at it and found a couple of funny things.

First, I never signed up for anything. According to their email I was randomly selected from an online database. I thought, "Wow, I won something I didn't even know I was entered for!"
"Participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from 2,500,000 email addresses of individuals and companies from Africa, America, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Oceanic as part of our International Promotions Program."

Second, which I found extremely amusing, they said that I've won 1000,000.00. I've never heard of 1000,000.00. I've heard of 1,000,000.00 but not 1000,000.00.
"You have therefore been awarded a lump sum pay out of 1000,000.00(One Million Euros only), which is the winning payout for Category "A" winners."

Third, I tried to respond to the email just to see what would happen, and I received my email back saying that it couldn't be sent. There's even a phone number that you can call. I didn't try that option, but I wonder what would happen if I gave it a try.

There's a lot of scams out there and the spam that is coming out nowdays is getting a lot harder to detect. I'm pretty computer savvy, so I'm sure that I'll be able to detect them. However, the average Joe who doesn't know a lot about computers could really fall for some of these scams. It's a shame, but I guess that's the way it is. There's always people out there that are more than willing to take advantage of others.
29 October 2006 

Smart Strip Power Strip


Smart Strip Power StripHave a high electric bill? How would you like to save a little money on that bill every month? That's what the Smart Strip Power Strip promises if you install it in your home. Lately, I've been reading a lot of reviews on various web sites about this device and everything that I've read seems like it may be worth it to at least give the device a chance.

This little device has been featured on TV many times and has gotten a lot of recognition from a lot of reputable sources. Since I'm all about finding ways to save money I think I'm going to give this product a chance. It costs about $30, but I figure if it does what it says it will more than pay for itself in a couple of months. Plus, I have a lot of electronic equipment that is "off" a lot of the time and doesn't get used. This thing says that it will turn the devices completely off so that the equipment doesn't draw any electricity. Sounds interesting. Does anyone have this device or have any thoughts on this thing. Please leave some comments if you do and let me know what you think. If I do decide to purchase it, I will definitely keep everyone updated on how it's working for me.
26 October 2006 

Are You Paid What You Deserve?


PayscaleA lot of people have heard of Salary.com, but there’s a fairly new company that may offer a better service. The company is called Payscale, and they deliver salary information that is targeted to a specific region, city, and job title. If you’ve ever wondered if you’re getting paid the same amount that others in your field are making, check out www.payscale.com.

When you visit the site you’re asked to complete a couple of questions that will take about 5 minutes. Once you complete those questions, which some of them are optional, you’ll be presented with information targeted to your job title and your region. You can see how you compare with others in a number of ways such as, wage, bonus, hourly rate, as well as how experience and number of years in your field affect your salary. There’s a lot of good information on the site. Some of the information you have to pay for if you want to see, but everything above that I mentioned is completely free, along with a lot of other information.

Payscale is gaining popularity in many areas. I think the reason for that is because it gathers real world information from real people. The information isn’t inflated or flawed. It simply gathers information from ordinary people and displays that information to others that are interested, while at the same time preserving the confidentiality of what visitors enter into Payscale’s database.

It basically works on the honor system. If you only make $10,000 a year, but tell Payscale that you make $20,000 when answering the questions, the output data for everyone viewing information about that particular job will be skewed. I don’t think that will be much of a problem though. I think people, in general, want to be honest because they want honest results from the site. Go check out the site for yourself, and let me know what you think by leaving a comment or sending me an email at .
24 October 2006 

College Kid to Billionaire...Possibly


Mark Zuckerberg, creator of FacebookIf the dean of Harvard hadn’t told him to stop what he was doing, Mark Zuckerberg may not have been the multi-millionaire that he is today. Zuckerberg created www.facebook.com, an online social networking site that allows schools, companies, and friends to connect. Prior to creating that site he created Facemash, which basically rated the attractiveness of his classmates at Harvard. The dean didn’t like the idea and told him to stop the Facemash project immediately. As it turned out, that was the best thing that could’ve happened.

Since the dean didn’t like the original idea, Zuckerberg decided to change the setup a little bit. Instead of students rating the attractiveness of their classmates, they could go to a site and connect with each other. They were able to see if they had classes together, or what others were doing on Friday nights. They could post pictures and get a glimpse of another classmate’s life. The idea eventually took off and, instead of just being at Harvard, made its way onto other campuses such as Yale and UCLA.

Later, the site expanded to allow companies and even regions to connect. The site is so huge that it’s been rumored that Yahoo may buy it for $1 billion. That’s right…BILLION! Of course that’s just a rumor, but some in the industry say that’s a fair number. I’d say that’s fair considering Google’s recent acquisition of YouTube for 1.65 billion dollars. Unbelievable.

Zuckerberg obviously didn’t know he was going to create such a huge phenomenon with Facebook. He just wanted a way to connect with classmates. He enjoyed computer programming and knew that he could put something together that would accomplish that task. He has even said that it only took about a week to get the basic workings of Facebook programmed and operational. That’s pretty amazing.

Zuckerberg created Facemash, but was told to stop the project immediately. A lot of people would’ve become discouraged at that point and given up entirely. Zuckerberg decided to rework the idea and, in the process, came up with a billion dollar idea. Not bad for a college kid.
22 October 2006 

Power of Compounding Interest Part II


Lazy Man and Money left an excellent comment on the Power of Compounding Interest article. In fact, I thought that I would write another quick article addressing his comment. To see his words of wisdom, go to Power of Compounding Interest. You'll notice that I responded to what he said, but I also wanted to post it on the main page as well.

Lazy Man and Money basically said that the idea of compounding interest is good as a whole, but a lot of people leave out the fact that the taxes and inflation kill the ending value of your investment.

If you read my reply, you'll see that I addressed that. I feel that everyone should know about compounding interest because it's an invaluable tool. Once you consider taxes, inflation, and costs over the years, you end up with less than what I originally showed. However, you still have a considerable amount of money that you otherwise would not have had.

My intent was to not deceive anyone. My intent was to show the power of compounding interest and to show that for a minimal investment, this is what happens over the years. Inflation, taxes, and costs will lower the overall value of the investment, but knowing about the principal and taking advantage of it will gain you a lot more money than if you simply didn't do anything.

Let me know your thoughts on this by leaving a comment. Simply click on the "comments" link below and follow the instructions.
21 October 2006 

Smart Holiday Shopping


Black FridayWell, it's soon that time to start shopping for the holidays again. CNNMoney.com recently put out a list of ways to shop smart this holiday season. I can't say that I agree with all of the items on the list, but there are a few good points. Before I write anymore, take a good look at the picture to your right. Look at the ladies in the background. Now they are excited to be shopping! Anyhow, go check out the article at "Five insider tips to smarter holiday shopping."

I don't really agree with the 2nd item on the list. I can't imagine how much money I would spend if everytime I went shopping for someone else, I ended up buying myself something as well. However, the 3rd item on the list is a definite keeper. There are many many online retailers that offer coupons or promotional codes when you make a purchase with them. In fact, overstock.com has been known to have 15% off coupons. That's a pretty good deal if you plan on buying something pretty expensive. Anyhow, check out the list and let me know what you think by clicking on "comments" below and giving your opinion.
19 October 2006 

Don LaFontaine


Don LaFontaine“In a world where no one can be trusted, one man will risk it all.” You know that stereotypical line. You know that voice. It’s the voice that you hear in the background during a movie trailer. That deep, dramatic, almost hypnotic voice that you hear, but never really think about. If you pay attention to just about any movie trailer, you’ll notice that the voice-over is usually done by the same person. It’s one of those things that you usually pay no attention to, but when you do you say to yourself, “Wow! That’s someone’s job!”

If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, go watch just about any movie trailer and listen to the guy’s voice in the background. His name is Don LaFontaine, and he’s been doing voice-over work for decades now. He got started around 1964 when he was asked to cover for another voice-over talent, and after that his career took off. He’s done well over 4000 recordings for everything from movies to videogame trailers. LaFontaine is in such high demand right now that he does, on average, about 60 recordings a week and is basically the go to guy in the industry. When asked if he had any advice for wannabe voice-over talents he said, “Wait ‘til I die.”

LaFontaine just happened to be in the right place at the right time. You have to think that a lot of his success can be chalked up to luck. He just has one of those million dollar voices that everyone has come to know. I’m sure he didn’t grow up wanting to do voice-over work to the extent that he is, but he figured out what his talent was and how he could use it to his advantage. Now, he is the industry leader when it comes to that type of work. He’s said to make 7 figures a year. Not a bad income considering he just makes recordings for movies, TV, and various other platforms.

I’m sure LaFontaine didn’t expect to be making 7 figures a year just because of his voice, but sometimes the pieces just fall together, and you wind up doing something that you never thought you would do. For LaFontaine, all those pieces fell together and it’s really paid off.
17 October 2006 

Power of Compounding Interest


How do you turn $10,000 into more than $500,000? Time and patience. If you are at all interested in money or investing you probably already know about the power of compounding interest. Many stories have been written on this topic, but I feel that compounding interest is the true key to wealth, so I decided to write a little on the subject.

I’m not going to go into that much detail since if you’re reading this web page then you probably are already aware of the principle. For the people that have never heard of the subject, you can read up on the topic over at Wikipedia.org.

Compounding InterestNow let me give you 2 quick examples. Say you decide to start investing early. You’re 25 and invest $10,000 in the year 2000. You leave the money alone and you don’t touch it until 40 years later or when you’re 65, and the money gets compounded at the end of every month. How much do you think that original $10,000 would be worth in the year 2040? You’d be surprised to find that it’s worth a whopping $537,006! That’s if you assume an average of a 10% gain over those 40 years which is possible.

Compounding InterestNow, say you got started a little late and you didn’t start investing until the age of 35. You still invest the same amount of money, only this time you started just ten years later and left the money alone for 30 years. How much do you think it would now be worth? $198,373 is the answer. That’s a $338,633 difference just by starting 10 years later.

That’s pretty amazing, and that’s the power of compounding interest. The more time that you leave your money alone, the more it will grow. It’s really those last couple years that the money will grow rapidly. Visit Bankrate.com's Simple Savings Calculator to find out what various dollar amounts will be worth in the future when compounding interest is applied.

Lots of people understand and are using the principle of compounding interest to their advantage. In my opinion, it’s the greatest tool to achieving wealth. It doesn’t happen overnight, but if you want to be rich this is the way to get there. If you keep telling yourself that you’ll start investing in a couple of months, STOP! Go do yourself a huge favor, and do it now! You’ll be glad you did.
16 October 2006 

Do You Have Unclaimed Property?


moneyYou may be a millionaire and not even know it! Billions of dollars are currently in the possession of state governments just waiting to give it all away. It’s been said that 9 out of 10 people have some sort of unclaimed property whether it be cash, stocks, bonds, real estate, etc. I’m unable to verify that statement, but I can tell you that there is a ton of property just waiting to be claimed by individuals like yourself. All you need are the right tools to be able to locate it. We'll get to that in a second.

Carol Lee Woods, an Indiana resident, was recently paid a little over $116,000 in unclaimed property that came in the form of stock that Woods had purchased around 1960. She followed the stock symbol for years but eventually lost track of it when the symbol changed. Woods said she just assumed the company went bankrupt and that she had lost all of her money. It wasn’t until recently that Woods learned her $700 initial investment had accumulated into a total of $116,429! Not a bad investment.

The state of New York has said that they have an unclaimed property account for $1.7 million that is for a single individual. However, no one has yet to claim it. The largest amount that was claimed in New York was an account worth $5.9 million. Astounding! And that’s just for the state of New York. There are accounts like that in every state that are just waiting to be claimed.

Anyone may have unclaimed property, and fortunately the government makes it as easy as possible to locate. Even so, many web sites try to sell the information that you could easily locate for free. The only web site that you need is www.unclaimed.org. This is an official portal to all government agencies and is your best resource for finding unclaimed property. From that web site you can link to www.missingmoney.com which is another great official site. The databases are updated constantly so if your search comes up empty, revisit the site in a couple of months to see if anything has turned up. You may be surprised at what you find.
13 October 2006 

Millionaires in the Making


I just wanted to add a quick update here and let everyone in on an article that I ran across today. The article talks about "Millionaires in the Making" that is a feature of money.com.

Money.com periodically updates the special with new people that have set themselves up to be future millionaires. However, there are some issues with "Millionaires in the Making" that are addressed at A Penny Saved...

Now, I'm not saying that the "Millionaires in the Making" articles aren't informative, because sometimes they have great articles, and I enjoy reading about those that they feature. I'm just saying that sometimes, in my opinion, they feature the "wrong" people. I feel that the article should highlight ordinary people instead of focusing on those that gross $100,000 or more. If I grossed $100,000 or more, I'd be a millionaire eventually as well. This is, of course, only my opinion, and like I said I do enjoy reading the articles. Sometimes, they write stories of how a so called ordinary person is setting themselves up to be a millionaire, but it just seems that lately they've been getting away from that. For more, go over and check out "Why I dislike Millionaires in the making."
12 October 2006 

Getting the Most from a Savings Account


Interest RatesHow would you like to make around 5% interest on your savings account? You can, and I’m going to tell you how. Most people don’t even realize that they can make more money than what they’re making now, and all it takes is ten extra minutes out of your day. If you still have the majority of your money (savings) in a traditional bank, then you’re losing out on extra income. A traditional bank offers pathetic rates (around 1%) when it comes to the interest that one can earn on their savings account. Move your savings from a traditional bank into an online savings account and you could be earning 5%, and possibly more!

It is shocking to know that only a limited number of people decide to move from a traditional bank into an online bank. I’m not quite sure what the reason for that is. Maybe it’s due to the fact that people don’t feel secure putting their money into an online account. Maybe they need instant access to their money at all times. Or maybe they’re just lazy or don’t know how to start one up. Well, I can tell you that setting one up is as simple as driving a car. You simply go to an online bank’s web site and follow the on screen instructions. You can link up your current checking account with your online account so that it’s simple to transfer money back and forth. No paper mess to worry about. If you still have a traditional bank savings account, move your money NOW because you’re not earning any interest off of that account.

There are many options for you to choose from when you do decide to go with the online account. Interest rates and other factors are compared at Bankrate's rating page. You don’t necessarily have to go with the bank that is number one on that list. In fact, I would suggest not doing that. You want to look through that list and find a bank that is very reputable and has a great Safe & Sound rating. The Safe & Sound rating is Bankrate’s way of rating the overall appeal for an institution. I have found Capital One to be a great overall bank that is consistently towards the top of that list. Also, with Capital One there are no minimum investment fees or yearly fees to worry about. Put your money into the account and let it grow.

Of course, interest rates tend to fluctuate a lot in a given year. Rates are really high right now, and they’re definitely going to fall back at some point, but don’t let that discourage you from putting your money into it now! You can’t beat the current rates, and you might as well take advantage of them while you can. Even when they do fall back, they won’t fall as low as traditional bank interest rates. The ONLY downside that I can see for an online account is that you don’t have INSTANT access to your money. With a traditional bank, all you need to do is go to the institution and make a withdrawal. With an online bank, you have to wait 2-3 days for the money transfer to go through. That means nothing if you don’t need your money IMMEDIATELY, but it is something to consider.

Visit Bankrate for all sorts of excellent information regarding online savings accounts.
10 October 2006 

Million Dollar Idea, Billion Dollar Genius



It took a total of less than 5 months for Alex Tew, creator of MillionDollarHomepage.com, to make a little over 1 million dollars. He created a website that sold individual pixels for 1 dollar each and sold them in a minimum of 10x10 squares. Calculate that out and you’ll find that the minimum number of pixels that one could purchase was 100, which translated into $100. On those pixels, advertisers could display ads for their company. The site was launched on August 26th, 2005 and gained steam early on. In a matter of days, the money was pouring in from every conceivable company wanting to get in on, what Tew called, a “piece of history.”

Why would anyone want to pay for an ad located on a website full of other ads? Isn’t that ridiculous? No! In fact, the advertising space on MillionDollarHomepage.com was a STEAL! Think about this: the website ranked extremely high on Alexa.com (which ranks websites according to the number of people that visit the page, as well as other factors). MillionDollarHomepage also ranked number one on the “Movers and Shakers” list on Alexa. Advertisers were now able to pay very little for an ad that would be seen by millions of people. Alex Tew also promised that the website would stay online for a minimum of 5 years. That was the icing on the cake for many advertisers. Pay very little for an ad that would be displayed for 5 years? Sounds like a deal to me.

The website, with 1 million pixels filled, was completed on January 13th, 2006. The final 1,000 pixels were sold on EBay for a total bid of $38,100. Selling the final pixels on EBay was just another genius move by Alex.

Tew has said that he came up with the idea while jotting down ways to fund his college education. He was most likely laughed at when telling friends and family of the idea, but decided to go through with it anyhow. Sometimes all it takes is one odd idea, and enough passion and drive to make it happen. As a side note, Alex decided to push back his college education once the website took off. Who can blame him?

That’s how Alex Tew, creator of MillionDollarHomepage.com, got rich.

Visit MillionDollarHomepage.com to see exactly what Tew created. He also has a blog that followed along with his amazing success.

08 October 2006 

Guide to Wealth


How do people get rich? That “simple” question is the foundation of this web site. On this site in the coming days, weeks, and months, you’ll find stories of people who are rich and how they got that way. Some have come up with ideas that no one else would have ever thought of. Others have gotten rich due to their motivation and drive to succeed. Then there are those that just happened to stumble upon wealth when they least expected it. Although, how often does one expect to get rich? Whatever the case, you’ll find it here.

It’s been said that the best way to gain wealth is to learn from the ones that have already attained it. If anything, I hope this site will provide motivation to anyone wanting to improve, not only their financial situation, but their life as a whole.

I’m always looking for interesting stories of how people have attained wealth, so if you have one or would like an article written about a particular person or group of people, please feel free to e-mail me at .

Welcome to the site. I hope you enjoy “Your Guide to Getting Rich by Learning from Others.”