UK Home Secretary Promises Review of Visa Cap for Highly Skilled Immigrants

first_imgUK Home Secretary Sajid Javid on June 3 said that the United Kingdom will review the country’s visa system for highly skilled immigrants, BBC reported.Following the statement made by Javid, UK Prime Minister Theresa May could announce lifting the cap on visas (Tier 2 visa) for highly skilled immigrants, the Guardian reported. Tier 2 visa can be applied for only if a candidate has been offered a skilled job in the United Kingdom, and the applicant hails from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland.In reference to reports of denial of visa to over 1,000 doctors, Javid said, “A number of my colleagues have asked me to look at this and it’s exactly what I’m doing.” He, however, added that the government will continue to stamp out undocumented immigrants.Javid, who appeared on BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, also said that he will review at the hostile environment for immigrants in the country, adding that he prefers to call it a “compliant” environment.“I am going to look at how it’s being implemented, I want to review aspects of the policy, I’ve already made some changes, certainly I’ve suspended certain things, for example opening bank accounts and whether you can or cannot as an illegal immigrant,” Javid said.Sounds like change may be coming to immigration rules that have resulted in the UK turning foreign doctors away. Home Secretary @sajidjavid told #marr he is taking a “fresh look” at the policy to “see what can be done”. (8/11)— Jason Keen (@Jason_Keen) June 3, 2018The move to review the Tier 2 visa system was welcomed by Danny Mortimer, the chief executive of the National Health Service (NHS) Employers. Mortimer urged the Home Office to implement an effective solution. “We welcome a government review of the Tier 2 visa system. Many of our employers could not again get certificates of sponsorship for doctors during May. It is now six months since we first started having problems, along with other sectors,” Mortimer was quoted as saying by the Guardian.Javid also said that he would once again take a look at including foreign students in net immigration figures, noting that there was a perception problem. “I’ll be working towards, rightly, reducing net migration and bringing it to lower, sustainable levels,” he said.In January, the UK Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee had called on the government to remove students from the net migration target. In its report, the committee said that it is not logical or in the best interests of the United Kingdom to include international students in a target meant for restricting migration flow.Recently Javid put on hold action being taken against immigrants who were facing deportation due to discrepancies in taxation documents. In a letter sent to Yvette Cooper, the chair of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, that was released on May 29, Javid wrote that he has asked UK Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes to carry out a review of the cases. Related ItemsNHSSajid JavidUnited Kingdomlast_img read more

The Gup-Shup Experts

first_imgIndians are a nation of nonstop talkers so it’s no surprise that after catching up with China, India is projected to surpass it to become the fastest growing cellular market in the world. According to Portio Research’s study on Top 25 Mobile Growth Markets Worldwide, India will add 358 million mobile subscribers by 2011. And to think just a decade back trying to talk to family in India was as frustrating as placing a call to the moon, with interruptions and the famous “all circuits are busy now” refrain. Indians – and Indian Americans – believe in being in touch with their families 24/7 and that must be the reason for the cell phone revolution. After all, what’s life without a daily serving of gupshup? Related Itemslast_img

The Storytellers Of Boston

first_imgIt’s strange how very different lives get entwined and bring forth new creations.For many years, Monika Jain, who worked as a reporter for the Associated Press in Tokyo, had an idea unfolding in her sub-conscious: a literary magazine for South Asian children. The idea lingered even as she joined PBS as a field producer in California and then moved to New York to produce a documentary series for Japan’s NHK television.Leena Chawla, a management consultant in Boston who worked for CSC Index and Waite & Company for clients like Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Chase Manhattan Bank, was looking to do something different as the mother of two young children. She decided to start a play group and the two mothers who turned up with their kids were Jain and Radhika Ramdev, a graphic artist. They discussed the need for a children’s magazine and felt the excitement mounting.“It was spontaneous combustion,” recalls Jain. “My daughter Sejal was the inspiration behind the idea the books in the library were not reflective of her reality at all. She would come home asking when would we celebrate Passover!”Adds Chawla, “It really resonated with me, because I have a 7-year-old growing up in this country and there are just three brown children in the entire school. She never says that she feels different, but it comes across sometime.” The playgroup quickly transformed into a brand new business with the kids running around the laptops and Kahani was born. Three years later Kahani, with its high quality content, has become a valuable resource for South Asian parents bringing up children in a multicultural world, and trying to keep them grounded within their own culture.All the stories star South Asian children with names like Ravi and Ahmed and weave stories of growing up in America with columns on science, history and culture, so that their home countries are not some far away mirage, but a part of their lives.The partners started with their own seed money and don’t take any salaries. All the talented writers and illustrators who write for Kahani don’t take a penny and even the accountant works for free. Something about the need for such a product touches a chord with everyone.The magazine carries no ads and has no budget for marketing budget, drawing subscriptions continue from its website ( “The marketing team is the parents who love the magazine and be it in Atlanta or California they pass the word around,” says Jain.Says Chawla, the stories reflect the realities of these children’s lives: “They are still American children and they have these two cultures that they are juggling. They now have the support that comes from knowing that there are others like them out there” Related Itemslast_img read more

Indiana? Maybe. India? Hell No!

first_img“Indian Country? Yes. Indiana? Maybe. India? I don’t think so.”That’s what John Loehr, a regent at New Mexico Highlands University, thinks about a recruiting trip to India by its President Manny Aragon.Aragon, the former head of the state senate and a powerful Democrat, who took over as president in 2004, defends the trip as “wise,” aimed at developing a pool of new students: “The rationale is recognizing that the U.S. is not an isolationist country. And India is on the cutting edge of technology.” Loehr is unpersuaded, however, about the need for distant recruitment in India. “I’d be happy to listen to any rational explanation, but I’m dubious,” Loehr said. Related Itemslast_img

Brazil to Kerala

first_imgThe 6,000-km Hamza river flows under the Amazon, an India connect to the world’s longest river. And Valiya Mannathal Hamza, the Brazil-based scientist from Kerala who helped in the discovery of the underground river with his student, says he is thrilled their research has attracted such attention.The Indian-origin professor at the National Observatory, Rio de Janeiro, has just been bestowed the rare honour of having the underground river flowing under the Amazon being named after him.Brazilian scientists, who discovered the existence of the underground river last week, took the decision to name it after Hamza, in a tribute to his four-decade work in the region.“I am happy that our research has attracted attention,” Hamza, 70, told IANS over the phone.It was past midnight in Rio de Janeiro when he took the telephone call. Hamza sounded enthusiastic but was also modest at his achievement.My students decided to “name” the underground river after me, said Hamza, who has been in Brazil for nearly 40 years.Hamza said his student Elizabeth Tavares Pimentel was working on her thesis when the study revealed the existence of the river below the Amazon.The discovery was made possible thanks to research work performed at 241 wells that an oil company drilled in the Amazon region in the 1970s while prospecting for crude, according to the study.The subterranean river runs at a depth of about 4,000 metres along a course similar to that of the Amazon.The flow is just three percent of that of the Amazon river, which has its headwaters in the Peruvian jungle, empties into the Atlantic in northern Brazil and at 6,800 km is considered to be the world’s longest river.“It is possible,” said Hamza when asked whether he would like to return to India to work on some project.Hamza, who did his BSc in 1962 and MSc in 1964 from the University of Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram, moved to Canada to do his PhD in 1973.“I come from a place near Calicut in Kerala,” said Hamza, who first set foot in Brazil in 1974 and has since been conducting research work there.Hamza, a geophysicist who works with graduate and postgraduate students, has to his credit over 100 publications in national and international journals.Did he ever think he would spend a good part of his life in Brazil when he was in Kerala?“Well, I don’t know…That’s difficult…,” said Hamza.And what about learning Portuguese?“I had to teach students so I had to learn Portuguese,” said the Indian-origin scientist before signing off. Related Itemslast_img read more

Is The Spelling Bee Success of Indian Americans a Legacy of British Colonialism

first_imgWhen spellers win the Scripps National Spelling Bee, audiences always want to know their secret. This question seems to be asked far more in recent years in response to an Indian American winning streak.South Asian American spellers have excelled at the National Spelling Bee for nine years in a row, with 2014, 2015 and now 2016 featuring Indian American co-champions as well.This year’s winners — Jairam Hathwar from Painted Post, New York and Nihar Janga from Austin, Texas — present a familiar combination of co-champions. Jairam is the younger brother of 2013 co-champion Sriram, who also dueled with a Texan to ultimately share the trophy.As a topic of intense speculation on broadcast and social media, the wins have elicited comments that range from curiosity to bafflement and at times outright racism. This curiosity is different from past speculation about “whether home-schooled spellers have an advantage.”Speller Jairam Hathwar from Painted Post, New York in the championship round of the 2016 National Spelling Bee. Photo: Shalini ShankarThe range of responses offers a moment to consider some of the factors underlying the Indian American success at the bee, as well as how spelling as a sport has changed. Immediately following the 2016 bee, for instance, much of the coverage has focused on the exceedingly high level of competition and drama that characterized the 25-round championship battle that ultimately resulted in a tie.Since 2013, I have been conducting research on competitive spelling at regional and national bees with officials, spellers and their families, and media producers.My interviews and observations reveal the changing nature of spelling as a “brain sport” and the rigorous regimens of preparation that competitive spellers engage in year-round. Being an “elite speller” is a major childhood commitment that has intensified as the bee has become more competitive in recent years.Look at historySouth Asian American spelling success is connected to the history of this ethnic community’s immigration to the United States.For instance, the 1965 Hart-Cellar Act solicited highly trained immigrants to meet America’s need for scientists, engineers and medical professionals and opened the door to skilled immigration from Asia and other regions. In subsequent decades, skilled migration from South Asia continued alongside the sponsorship of family members.Today, along with smaller, older communities of Punjabi Sikhs and other South Asian ethnic groups primarily on the West Coast, South Asian Americans constitute a diverse population that features a disproportionately high professional class, although with differences of class, languages, ethnicities and nationalities — differences that are often overlooked in favor of a narrative of Indian American educational and professional success.Sukanya Roy, Champion of the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Photo: Shalini ShankarThe question is, what gives the community an edge?For upwardly mobile South Asian Americans, success is in part due to moving from one socially and economically advantageous societal position in the subcontinent to another in the United States.Moreover, the English-speaking abilities of most educated South Asian-Americans clearly give them an edge over immigrants from other countries. My research indicates that fluency developed in English-medium schools — a legacy of British colonialism — makes them ideal spelling interlocutors for their children, despite their variety of British spelling. Members of this population with elite educational qualifications have likewise emphasized the importance of academic achievement with their children. Also important here are the strong family and community networks that offer social support and economic opportunities. Community-building has not only been important for individuals and families, but also for advertisers and marketers that target Asian American ethnic communities.What explains the success?Over the past few years spelling bees have been established exclusively for children of South Asian parentage.For instance, the North South Foundation holds a range of educational contests, such as spelling bees, math contests, geography bees and essay writing, among others, whose proceeds contribute to promoting literacy efforts in India. The South Asian Spelling Bee, partnering with the insurance company Metlife, offers a highly competitive bee as well.Taken together, this “minor league” circuit gives South Asian American spellers far more opportunities to compete, as well as a longer “bee season” to train and practice.This is particularly helpful because, as past champions confirm, ongoing practice and training are the key to winning.Invested familiesLaura Newcombe, Dakota Jones, Arvind Mahankali and Joanna Ye at the 2011 Spelling Bee. Photo: Shalini ShankarAnother factor is the parental ability to dedicate time to education and extracurricular activities. Predictably, families with greater socioeconomic means are able to devote more resources and time.These parents are as invested in spelling bees and academic competitions as families with star athletes or musicians might be in their children’s matches or performances. As several parents explained to me, spelling bees are the “brain sports” equivalent of travel soccer or Little League.Of the 30 families I interviewed,the majority had a stay-at-home parent (usually the mother) dedicated to working with children on all activities, including spelling. In dual-income households, spelling training occurred on weeknights and weekends.Like elite spellers of any race or ethnicity, South Asian American spellers I spoke with studied word lists daily if possible, logging in several hours on weekends with parents or paid coaches to help them develop strategies and quiz them on words.A few parents have been so invested in helping their Children prepare that they have now started training and tutoring other aspiring spellers as well.Like any national championship, the pressure on all spellers at a competition on the scale of the National Spelling Bee is intense. South Asian American children are already subject to living up to the model minority stereotype and feel no reprieve here.This is especially important to consider when South Asian American spellers come from lower socioeconomic classes, but nonetheless succeed at spelling bees.Among the 2015 finalists, for instance, one was the son of motel owners and a crowd favorite, as I observed. He had competed in the bee several times, and his older sister was also a speller, having made it to nationals once. Remarkably, they prepared for competitions by themselves, with no stay-at-home parent or paid coach.Another 2015 semifinalist was featured in a broadcast segment living in the crowded immigrant neighborhood of Flushing, New York. When I visited this three-time National Spelling Bee participant in 2014, I realized that she lived in the very same apartment complex that my family did in the 1970s. This Queens neighborhood continues to be a receiving area for Indian-Americans who may not have the economic means to live in wealthier sections of New York City or its suburbs. Many explanationsTara Ganguly from Bloomington, Indiana in Round Two of the 2016 National Spelling Bee. Photo: Shalini ShankarThe point is that the reasons that Indian American spellers are succeeding at the bee are not easily reducible to one answer.South Asian Americans, like other Asian immigrants, comprise varying class backgrounds and immigration histories. Yet it is noteworthy that even within this range of South Asian American spellers, it is children of Indian American immigrants from professional backgrounds who tend to become champions.The time and resources Indian American families devote to this brain sport, as I have observed, appear to be raising this competition into previously unseen levels of difficulty.This can take a toll on elite spellers, who have to invest far more time studying spelling than in the past. With more difficult words appearing in earlier rounds of competition, spelling preparation can take up much of their time outside of school.Nonetheless, they emphasize the perseverance they develop from competitive spelling. They learn to handle increasing levels of pressure, and alongside this, what they identify as important life skills of focus, poise and concentration.Ultimately, what makes Indian American children successful at spelling is the same as children of any other ethnicity. They come from families who believe in the value of education and also have the financial means to support their children through every stage of their schooling. And, they are highly intelligent individuals who devote their childhood to the study of American English.Are they American?Akash Vukoti from San Angelo, Texas, the only six year speller at the 2016 Bee, interviewed by ESPN’s Kaylee Hartung. Photo: Shalini ShankarSome comments on social media, however, seem to discount these factors and years of intense preparation to instead focus on race and ethnicity as sole factors for spelling success.In a refreshing shift in tone, this year’s topics also included the ferocity of Janga’s competition style and the inspiration he drew from his football hero Dez Bryant.Nonetheless, such comments, directed toward nonwhite children when they win this distinctly American contest, do push us to reflect: what does it mean to be an American now?In alleging that only “Americans” should win this contest, Twitter racists ignore that these spellers too have been born and raised in the United States. Recent winners hail from suburban or small towns in upstate New York, Kansas, Missouri and Texas. They express regional pride in these locations by mentioning regional sports teams and other distinctive features in their on-air profiles.With their American-accented English and distinctly American comportment, it is merely their skin color and names that set them apart from a white mainstream.Like generations of white Americans and European immigrants, Indian American parents spend countless hours preparing word lists, quizzing their children and creating ways for their children to learn. They encourage their children in whatever they are good at, including spelling.As a result, they have elevated this American contest to a new level of competition. Clearly, this is an apt moment to expand our definition of what it means to be an American.Shalini Shankar is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies, Northwestern University.Reprinted from The Conversation. Related Itemslast_img read more

Adani Group Gets Go-Ahead from Australian Court

first_imgIndian mining giant Adani Group’s $16.5 billion coal mine project in Australia has been given green light by the Brisbane Supreme Court, which dismissed the appeals filed against the project by Australian activists.The Adani Group’s Carmichael coal mine project, one of the largest in the  world,  will begin work this year. “We will start construction of the project by October and first coal will come out in March 2020,” Gautam Adani, the group’s chairman, said in an interview on Friday.Adani, with a net worth of $5.8 billion, was ranked 250 in the Forbes’ World’s Billionaire List 2017.Appeals DismissedThe appeals from the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and from a central Queensland resident, Adrian Burragubba, were dismissed by a full bench of the federal court in Brisbane.The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has struck down allegations against the Adani Group that it inflated the declared value of goods imported under the power and infrastructure heads, which attract zero or less than 5% duty.“Everything that we have done is in the ambit of law—either in India or in Australia, which is an OECD country with stronger rules and laws,” Adani said, according to media reports. “What needs to be looked at is that the timing of the controversies coincides with commencement of the project in Australia.”Crossing HurdlesThe project involves dredging 1.1 million cubic metres of spoil near the iconic Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which will then be disposed off on land.Various environmental groups and activists have voiced their concerns against the Adani Group, which has promised to bring economic growth, including creating thousands of jobs for the people in Queensland.“We are committed to the larger purpose, to make India energy-secure,” Adani said in the interview. “All these controversies have vested interests and go against India’s interest of providing electricity to 100 million people.” Related ItemsAadani coalmine projectAdani case BrisbaneAdani mining project AustraliaAustralia Court AdaniGautam Adani AustraliaIndia AustraliaLittle Indialast_img read more

96% of NRIs Registered to Vote in India are from Kerala

first_imgOnly 24,348 Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) have registered themselves with the Election Commission to vote. As many as 23,556 of them hail from Kerala, making for about 96 per cent of those who have registered. The remaining 4 per cent are divided between the remaining states and Union territories.Punjab attracted the second highest number of NRI registrations, with 364 people registering to vote, the Times of India reported. All other states have lower registrations while 13 states don’t have a single NRI registration.Political analysts attribute the high numbers from Kerala with the fact that they are the most politically conscious. “In a state where there is a strong Christian community, alongside Muslims and even the RSS growing, how has communism as a political ideology thrived? It is because of how politically strong and aware its people are,” the publication quoted political analyst Harish Ramaswamy as saying.There are about 1.30 crore NRIs living in 208 countries, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. They can, under current rules, exercise their vote if they are physically present in the constituency they are registered at.However, this is set to change after the Centre tabled the bill to allow “proxy voting” in Lok Sabha on Dec.18. The bill proposes an amendment to the Representation of People Act, 1951 to allow NRIs to nominate proxy voters. With the amendment in place, analysts foresee states like Gujarat, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh bringing in more voters.The prevailing confusion over when proxy voting will be enforced is said to have kept a lot of overseas Indians on the fence.BJP spokesperson Krishna Sagar Rao told the publication that adequate measures will be taken to promote more registration of NRIs. “Once the proxy voting bill becomes an act, we’ll increase enrollment,” he said. “We will work in each state to ensure its diaspora has an opportunity to support.”Rahul Gandhi, the newly-appointed Congress president, is also consciously wooing the NRI community. “NRIs are increasingly interested in Indian politics and it is because India is growing and its infrastructure got better in the last 15 years,” AICC secretary V Hanumantha Rao said. “While it is surprising that Andhra Pradesh and Punjab have low enrollment, we see that changing. A lot of NRIs are now even keen on contesting elections.”Case in point is Prakash Rana, a businessman based in Saudi Arabia, who returned to India and won the Assembly election in Himachal Pradesh’s Jogindernager constituency after defeating mainstream politicians. Related ItemsElectionsproxy votinglast_img read more

Pressure on for Azkals after draw vs Nepal

first_imgTyphoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Azkals coach Thomas Dooley has refused to put the blame on his players, saying they fought well despite the conditions in Nepal, where some standouts like Misagh Bahadoran suffered altitude sickness.“The players did an excellent job when you think what they had to go through the past three months,” said Dooley, noting the compressed schedule of the Philippines Football League as well as the conditions in Nepal.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIn Manila, Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta expressed alarm over the run of results of the team, which needs a draw against Tajikistan on the final day of qualifiers on March 27 to clinch an Asian Cup berth.But Araneta said the federation, which spent an additional P700,000 more for the Azkals’ accommodations in Nepal after they arrived a few days earlier to acclimatize, will give the team its all-out support to ensure qualification. Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Champ Tabora back in PH after World Cup triumph LATEST STORIES Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohortcenter_img CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Read Next John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games MOST READ Photo from GoNepal.comThe draw against bottom team Nepal last Tuesday in Kathmandu cranked up the pressure on the Philippine Azkals, who are suddenly on a slump after a strong start to the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.And while the Azkals are still on top of Group F with nine points and are still unbeaten in five matches, the fact remains that the squad has dropped six points in the last three games after two draws with Yemen and the goalless tie with Nepal.ADVERTISEMENT View comments “It’s disappointing,” said Araneta. “We have to talk to coach (Dooley) on what the team needs as we should have won that game. I don’t know what are the reasons for that but we can’t afford another bad result.”Araneta said he would also sit down with Azkals manager Dan Palami to discuss preparations for the next game, which will probably include a training camp, before the start of the PFL season.The nightmare scenario for the Azkals is a loss to Tajikistan and a win by Yemen over Nepal on March 27. Even with a loss, the Azkals will still qualify if Nepal holds Yemen to at least a draw.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

The Financial Impact of Divorce

first_img Post navigation Divorce is not only an emotionally trying experience, but it can be a financially devastating one, as well. According to the web site, the average cost of a divorce in the United States now runs about $20,000. From legal fees and alimony payments, to the division of assets and possible tax consequences, the costs can grow even higher.The expenses of a divorce are unlikely to deter a couple that truly needs to split, but experts say you should still be aware of just how high the bill can get. It some cases, the financial consequences can set you back decades.Financial consequences for everyoneWhen it comes to divorce, Hollywood and pop culture often portray the highest-earning spouse being taken to the cleaners, but the reality is, both spouses face financial damage. Nathan Cobert, CFP, of Cobert Financial Group in San Francisco, said while a growing number of spouses both work and have comparable incomes, the majority of marriages still have a primary “resource spouse” and a “non-resource spouse.”“There’s usually a spouse who is afraid they’re going to be bled dry and another who is afraid they’re going to be homeless. It’s always a financial problem for both,” said Nathan Cobert.The first financial burden is the separation of one household into two. While one person may remain in the home, even if only temporarily, the other has to find a new place to live. Not only are there two rents or mortgages but two cable bills, two utility bills, two health insurance bills and there is no longer the bulk savings on things like groceries. Almost overnight, the living expenses for the couple double while their combined income likely remains the same.“It’s a lot more expensive to maintain two separate households and you’re having to do it on the same amount of income,” said Jeff Landers, CDFA, President of Bedrock Divorce Advisors in New York.Capital gains can be a killerDivorce can come with big tax bills. In many cases, when a couple splits, they may immediately start scrambling to claim or divide assets. It’s not uncommon for a spouse to run and clear out bank accounts, cash in CDs and sell off stocks, bonds and other investments. Blinded by emotion and fear, Cobert said they can be hit with a harsh reality when tax time comes around.“People are not often aware that there are consequences for taking out certain assets. Spouses may want to get the money or may need it for income, but the taxes can really add up,” said Cobert.Let’s say the couple had $100,000 of investments in a joint account. If they liquidated portfolio and the cost basis of those stocks was $70,000, they could each be on the hook for $15,000 in capital gains. If the money was in a traditional IRA and they sold off the stock and took the money before they were age 59 ½, they could be not only on the hook for capital gains but an additional 10% penalty, as well.=Spousal support quickly adds upThe granting of alimony (also known as “spousal support”) and how it is calculated varies significantly from state to state. Alimony is usually paid to the less-advantaged spouse and is often seen as a temporary measure to help them stay on their feet during the separation.Landers said the first determining factor is the length of the marriage. Although it can vary, in most jurisdictions a couple must have been married for at least ten years for alimony to be a consideration. Other factors include how old the spouse is, whether or not they have a job, how much they earn, any other assets they have, the nature of the dissolution of the marriage, and the need.“There is no set formula. It’s very subjective. You could be in the same state, have two different judges, and the same set of circumstances, and end up with very different conclusions,” said Landers.Cobert also said it can vary widely, but in general, the “resource spouse” might have to pay 50% of their income minus 40% of the income being earned by the non-income spouse. Others say it often works out to ensure that both homes have around the same average income. Often, if there is a child involved, child support is the priority and is calculated first. In any case, if alimony payments are awarded, the paying spouse could have to pay a significant amount of their income to the other spouse for a number of years.“It’s usually determined by the judge. That’s why we recommend Alternative Dispute Resolution so both parties can come to a fair agreement,” said Cobert.Don’t forget the legal fees No matter how amicable a divorce may be, there are going to be significant legal fees. Attorney fees add up quickly because, when combined, the couple is paying for not just one, but two legal teams. Even an amicable do-it-yourself-divorce can still cost over $1,500 in many jurisdictions. Landers said the problem is that when a relationship deteriorates to the point of divorce, very few couples do it amicably.“If they were able to do it amicably, they might be able to go with mediation and it might not cost a lot of money. But if they were that amicable, they might not be getting a divorce,” said Landers.And the more a couple disagrees and fights it out in court, the more expensive it becomes. Throw in a custody battle and a fight over alimony and assets, and legal fees could easily top $100,000 in many states. Things get even worse and more expensive when the spouses stop talking to one another and communicate only through their attorneys.Cobert said ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) and mediation has grown more popular in recent years as a way to more amicably and cheaply handle divorce disputes. He also recommends the couple consult with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst who can analyze their assets and circumstances and help them proceed with the separation in a way that makes the best financial sense for both.“More people are using CDFAs to run the numbers and come up with optional settlements. It’s usually a lot better to try to keep it out of the courts,” he said.“The Financial Impact of Divorce” was written by Craig Guillot. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Relatedlast_img read more

8 Tax Breaks That Are About to Expire

first_imgGetting physically fit takes discipline, effort, and more than a little energy to get to where you want to be. Regularly moving your body and sticking to a fitness plan isn’t easy, and doing so is certainly commendable—and comes with… Full Story,Table of Contents Benefits of Working During Retirement Phased Retirement Types of Employment Recommended Jobs for Seniors  Resources for Seniors  Retirement looks different for everyone. Some people dream of playing golf and visiting their grandchildren, while others see it as… Full Story,A study conducted by Charles Schwab just last year found that three in five Americans live paycheck to paycheck, yet only one in four has a written financial plan. In fact, the majority of Americans are hesitant to receive any… Full Story,Life is unpredictable. Some days aren’t all sunshine, like when your car breaks down or your house needs a repair. These situations happen to everyone. That’s why it’s important to save while things are going well, so you can cover… Full Story,Structure is the key to growth. Without a solid foundation – and a road map for the future – it’s easy to spin your wheels and float through life without making any headway. Planning allows you to prioritize your time,… Full Story,Car accidents are not only scary but also a monumental hassle. That’s largely thanks to what comes after the accident itself.   After an accident, you’ll likely have to spend ample time on the phone with your insurer. Then there’s dealing… Full Story,If you’re a furloughed government employee, you are likely feeling a good deal of stress and uncertainty about how to manage your finances during the government shutdown. While missing a paycheck is a financial moment no one wants to experience,… Full Story,Buried underneath paying bills, digging out of a debt hole, and saving for your kids’ college is the marathon of money goals: retirement. Cue the fantasies of spending your days at a leisurely pace, working on The Great American Novel—at… Full Story,When I’m on top of finances, I’m all up in my money management apps, checking my balances and the swift progress I’ve been making on my savings goals. But when things aren’t going so hot? I’m like an ostrich with… Full Story,With all of today’s home-based tech gadgets and virtual personal assistants, smart homes are quickly becoming ubiquitous. And with high demand for connected products, so too comes ease of use, accessibility and affordability.   But as with all expenses, it’s important… Full Storylast_img read more

Here’s What to Do If You Can’t Pay Your Bills On Time

first_imgThe average person may see anywhere between 4,000 and 10,000 ads in a single day. From binge-watching your favorite shows to checking the pile of coupons in your mailbox, advertisers have inundated our lives. Most of the ads we see… Full Story,Dressing up for Halloween is one of the best parts of the holiday, especially if you’re a creative person. But buying a Halloween costume can get expensive, with many costing more than $50 a pop. And unless you plan to… Full Story,You may not find it on an official calendar anywhere, but Friendsgiving is a newer holiday that has gained popularity in recent years. Much like Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving is a time to gather around the table with loved ones in the… Full Story,My birthday is on Halloween, so every year I get super excited. I plan what my costume will be, decide how I want to celebrate and text all my friends to let them know. Last year, I was finally able… Full Story,Not much of a football fan? Don’t know what all the cheesehead hat-wearing and face paint-smearing is all about? Skip hanging out at the local sports bar or sitting in the stands at a game, and put on your entrepreneurial… Full Story,Living paycheck to paycheck can feel like an endless scramble. Rent is due on the first but your paycheck won’t clear until the second. On top of everything, you need to pay for groceries, a bus ticket, and utilities before… Full Story,Decision fatigue is the decline in energy and focus you experience after making too many decisions. This mental drain causes your brain to abandon your willpower in order to seek more immediate rewards, which leads to poor decision making and… Full Story,If you ask a random person on the street what they do, chances are they have a lot of slashes and hyphens in their job titles. In this day and age, if you don’t have multiple sources of income… Full Story,Do you consider yourself a financially responsible young adult? Personally, I like to think that my finances are mostly in order. Rent, student loans, car payments—everything big is blocked off nicely. If the math works out right, I have a… Full Story,In the financial world, nothing evokes feelings of terror quite like the word “bankruptcy”. It’s become synonymous with a complete and utter collapse of one’s finances – a black hole that’s almost impossible to climb out of. When you declare… Full Storylast_img read more

A Simple Financial Spring Cleaning Checklist

first_imgSpring is the perfect time to complete a financial clean-up. Here we share a few financial areas of your life that may need some sprucing up. No mop required!1. BankingThe banking industry is quite competitive. If you’re not getting any perks from your credit card company or bank, it’s time to make a switch.Credit CardsCredit card companies today offer everything from travel rewards to gift cards to cash back. Many cards even offer perks without requiring an annual fee. If you pay your credit card balance faithfully each month and are only rewarded with a good credit score, it may be time to shop around for a new card. Keep in mind that when you apply for a new credit card, your credit report takes a hit, so take your time researching and don’t apply for multiple cards.Bank AccountsAre you still paying minimum balance fees, monthly checking, or savings account fees? How about ATM or overdraft fees? Don’t! There are too many bank options these days competing for your business to still be paying multiple fees.What about interest rates? Is your money making money? The Federal Reserve recently raised interest rates, but the average savings account rate is still only 0.06%. If you’re not making at least that, it may be time to think about switching.Do you bank with a brick-and-mortar bank? How often do you actually go into one of their branches? If you think you can go without having an actual bank to walk into, consider switching to an online bank. Not only do online banks have minimal fees, they boast some of the highest interest rates around.E-Statements and Auto-PaySave a tree and lower your risk of identity theft by switching to receiving online statements only. If you prefer to have a paper copy, make sure you shred the statements before tossing them out.Consider switching to auto-pay whenever the option is offered. American households tend to have many different bills to pay all due at different times; it’s easy to accidentally overlook one. If you switch to an auto-pay billing option, payments are deducted automatically when they are due, so it’s one less thing to worry about. Just be sure to occasionally review your statements to ensure the right amounts are being deducted.2. TaxesYou most likely have already filed your taxes. Did you have to pay in or did you get a refund? If the outcome was not what you expected, it’s time to double-check your withholding allowance on your paychecks.We all want to lower our tax bill. Deductions can help, however, unless you pay to work closely with an accountant, how do you know what qualifies as a deduction?Some common tax deductions include:Dependent child credits,Mortgage interest and real estate taxes,Health insurance premiums,Student loan interest.Take a look at this article for some perhaps surprising tax deductions you should consider for next year: 9 Things You Didn’t Know Were Tax Deductions.3. BudgetWhen is the last time you sat down and wrote out a monthly budget? Do you know your debt-to-income ratio?A few years ago when I was in the market to buy a house, I opened an Excel spreadsheet and calculated what I spent on average each month compared to the income I bring in. Thankfully, Intuit recently introduce a new app, Turbo, which does this for you with ease. Generally, you want to aim to keep your debt-to-income ratio below 36% and mine was 53%. I had to make some changes. I tightened my budget (mainly by canceling cable TV and renegotiating my Internet bill) and paid off my auto loan. My ratio today is still a bit high, but it’s getting better.Going through the memberships and subscriptions you currently pay is a great way to quickly lower your debt-to-income ratio. Chances are you’ll find you are paying a monthly fee for something you seldom use, or at least can live without. Do you need both Netflix and Hulu? Both Spotify and iTunes Music? Both Blue Apron and Hello Fresh? Probably not.Print off the last two to three months of your credit card and bank account statements and go line-by-line to figure out a way you can save some money. Additionally, if you have a Mint account, log in and check out the Trends tab. You can view your spending and see where the majority of your money is going. You may be shocked at how much you spend within a certain category. It’s easy to just hand over your credit card, but actually seeing a graph of how much you spend can be a much needed wake-up call. Natasha Cornelius is a content manager and editor for Quotacy. She has worked in the life insurance industry since 2010, and has been making life insurance easier to understand with her writing since 2014. A long-time Mint user, Natasha loves making frugal fun by creating new DIY projects. Connect with her on LinkedIn. Post navigation 4. RetirementIt doesn’t matter how old you are, you need to plan ahead for retirement.If your employer offers a 401(k), take advantage of it. This is the easiest way to save for retirement (not to mention it lowers your taxable income.) If they offer to match a certain percentage, even better. Aim to increase your contributions each time you get a pay raise, this way you won’t even miss the money.Do you have more than one 401(k) or IRA? Consider consolidating.Consolidating retirement accounts that share the same tax treatment can be beneficial for two reasons:1. Keeping all your money in one place makes it more simple and manageable.2. Having only one account reduces the amount of fees you’re paying.A retirement rollover is the best way to move money from one account to another. It’s important to do so correctly to avoid fees. Check out this article for more information: How to Handle Retirement Rollovers Correctly.For those of you whom have established retirement accounts, when was the last time you rebalanced your investment portfolio? Never?Typically, the younger you are, the more risk you can handle in your investments because you have more time to make up for any losses. The closer you get to retirement age, the more conservative you should be. Financial planning experts recommend that you rebalance your portfolio once or twice a year, but check up on it frequently to make sure you’re in line with your target.As you’re thinking about your retirement planning, also think about your beneficiaries. How long ago did you open your retirement accounts? Are your parents still listed as your beneficiaries on your 401(k) from your first job? Or maybe an ex-spouse is still designated? Review your beneficiaries as it may be time for an update.5. Legacy PlanningJust because Spring is all about rebirth, doesn’t mean we should avoid the subject of death. There are three important aspects of legacy planning that should be dealt with sooner rather than later:1. Writing a will2. Authorizing power of attorney3. Buying life insuranceWillsIf you don’t want the state to decide where your assets go when you die or, more importantly, who will be in charge of your children and funds owed to them, then you better draw up a will. Another, often forgotten, reason to have a will is to ensure no tension occurs within your family after you are gone. Without a will, you may have relatives arguing over your possessions and everyone may want input on what should happen to your assets.If you have a complicated estate, such as business interests, trusts, multiple investment properties, etc., then you should probably hire a lawyer to help with your will. However, if your estate is a bit more simple (e.g.: married with kids and you own a house) you can draw up your will right online, if you’d like. You’ll need to print it off and get it witnessed and notarized, but it’ll be much cheaper than hiring a lawyer.Power of AttorneyThere are two kinds of power of attorney: financial and medical.A financial power of attorney is most often just simply referred to as a power of attorney (POA) and this is a document that states a person or organization you name to act on your behalf in regards to handling financial and business transactions.A medical power of attorney is a document that states a person you name who has the authority to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so, for example if you’re unconscious or mentally incapable.Most people assume only elderly individuals need to have these POA documents in place, but you don’t need to be 80 years old to get into a car accident and become unconscious. If you become mentally or physically incompetent, your designated POA agents can make decisions on your behalf instead of it being left up to strangers who wouldn’t know your wishes, such as doctors and judges.If you’re over 18 and considered of sound mind, you can draw up both types of POA documents. Hiring a lawyer is an option, but, like wills, you can create these documents online for a fee. Be sure to discuss with your agents of choice before drawing up the documents and make sure they understand your wishes and their responsibilities.Life InsuranceLife insurance isn’t the happiest financial product to think about. However, while many Americans admit life insurance is important, many households are underinsured. People are telling themselves “It won’t happen to me,” meanwhile they really should be asking “What if?”If you have young children, life insurance is a must. How would your loved ones be affected if your income were to suddenly disappear? Stop postponing and get a term life insurance quote today. Life insurance is more affordable than you think and because the process is mainly digital, it’s also become much more convenient to buy.If you already have life insurance, good for you! But don’t forget to review your policies periodically after life changes such as a new baby, marriage or divorce, or changing jobs. Your coverage needs may have changed, not to mention beneficiaries may need updating.Although many of these financial spring cleaning to-dos may take a bit of time to complete, you’ll feel accomplished and will ultimately be in a better financial place. Do you have any financial spring cleaning tips to share? Leave a message in the comments section.center_img Mint may be compensated by some of the links that appear in this article. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint Partners were added after the creation of the posting.  Mint Partners had no influence on the creation, direction or focus of this article unless otherwise specifically stated.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedUsing Rebuilding Credit Cards to Rebuild Your Credit ScoreApril 20, 2018In “Credit Info”Why Credit History Matters and How to Help Grow ItAugust 9, 2018In “Credit Info”How to Know if a Card With an Annual Fee is Worth ItAugust 1, 2018In “Credit Info” From the Mint team: What’s Turbo and why are we talking about it?Turbo is part of the Intuit family of products, just like us. We work with Turbo, TurboTax and Quickbooks to get all our customers on the right track financially. While Mint provides free credit scores to our customers, Turbo combines the same score, plus other information like verified IRS filed income and debt to income ratio to create a broader financial health profile. Try out our sister app to see where you truly stand financially – beyond the credit score.last_img read more

5 Quick Ways to Save Money for the Holidays

first_imgAs the year winds down, you may find your spending picks up. With holidays approaching, families may be preparing for trips to see their loved ones or they’re buying gifts. However, if you haven’t been saving beforehand, it can mean putting things on a credit card and being stuck with debt for a while.   Easy Ways to Save Money During the Holiday Season If you’re trying to avoid breaking your budget and taking on debt, you need to have a plan to save more. The challenge that you may have – like many parents – is finding ones that give you big enough wins for the time you put in.   I totally get it. With two little ones at home, we are careful with our schedule. No one is looking to save $5 here or there by taking a ton of mindless surveys, but $5 -10 a day for hardly any work? That could be a winner as that’s translating to an extra $150-$300 a month.  No matter what your schedule is, I want to share are five ways you can save some extra cash. Take a Money Challenge One of my favorite ways to save money is by making it a game.  Saving money just to save can get old, so by setting a limit, either making it a weekly or monthly money challenge, I’m encouraged to stick with it. We’ve done quite a few money challenges throughout the years. It’s helped pay off our car loan early as well as knock out our student loans. Instead of going out with friends on the weekends, invite one another over. You can have themes and everyone brings a dish for a potluck.  Since the average dinner out can cost around $36 per person and a meal prepared at home is $4, you’re saving around $32 per person! If you do this twice a month, for a family of four, that’s an extra $296 per month that you can use elsewhere.  Not sure how much you’ll save? Here’s where a money app like Mint can help. By setting up and connecting your accounts, Mint can quickly pull how much you’ve been spending for those meals out.  As you take the challenge you’ll then be able to see the difference, which you should transfer into savings.  Seasonal Work Doesn’t sound exciting, I’d admit, but taking on some seasonal work had been a pretty strong income stream for me. I had done retail while going full-time for college and having a day job.  Besides getting paid, being an employee also meant I could get certain things at a considerable discount. That can be a plus if it’s somewhere you intend on picking up gifts for your friends and family. Now is a busy time for retailers and delivery, so if you’re interested in earning some extra cash, check them out as they are hiring. With more gig economy jobs, there are more options for you to pick up work that fits your schedule. Amazon, for example, is advertising that they offer flexible schedules so it doesn’t hurt to review the positions to see if there’s a spot that would for your particular needs.  You may also want to explore being an rideshare or food delivery driver. This time of year, people will be traveling to visit loved ones, meaning more opportunities to make extra money.  Extra Cash By Decluttering If you have kids, there’s a good chance you have clutter. I remember when we moved into our house, how surprised I was at how much stuff belonged to the girls. While they have certainly enjoyed the gifts, at some point, they outgrow stuff. That can be a fantastic excuse to go ahead and free up some space in your house by selling some gently used stuff.  Throw in your gently used heels that you no longer wear, videogames, and tech and you may be collecting a good amount of money soon!  You can go ahead and list on sites like Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace.  If you want to streamline things when you sell, use apps like Decluttr, OfferUp, and Gazelle can be the way to go. Gazelle can be a handy way to get some cash back for your old cell phones while Declutter can be used for your movies and video games. This gives you the double win of cleaning your space and gaining some extra cash.  Become a Deal Spotter (without Clipping Coupons!) Whether you enjoy hitting the stores or staying at home with your laptop as you shop, becoming a deal hunter is a necessity if you’re looking to save. The first tip is to make sure you take advantage of price alerts. Use them so if something you were already planning on buying (key point!) goes on sale, you can snatch it up then.  The second tip I have about saving money while you shop is making sure you get the discounts you’re entitled to. With browser extensions like Honey, you can have it automatically scan to find promo codes that can save you a little extra.  Adding these discounts over several purchases can mean significant savings into your bank account.  Know Your Town Just because you’re focused on saving some money this season doesn’t mean you’re stuck at home. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to have some fun. Find out what free and cheap events are being held in your town. You’ll be able to enjoy a day or night out without breaking your budget.  College bands, cultural festivals, and local parks are wonderful ways to spend time with your family or friends. If you’re not sure where to find these events, check your city’s site, which typically has events listed or your local news stations to see if they have a person collecting all that information.   Your Take on Saving More Whether it’s by earning on the side, decluttering your space, or trying out a money challenge, having some extra cash that you can use is a smart money move. Choose which ones make the most sense to you and get started.  As you start saving make sure you have a plan for that money! Go ahead and start automating or transferring that money into a savings account, preferably one with a high-interest rate. Then when you need that money, you can then pull it back to your checking and use it. With your account seeing more cash in it, you can then direct it towards your big money goals or using for the holidays.  If you have a favorite way to earn and save, please share! Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related18 Budgeting Tips to Make Money Management EasyFebruary 6, 2019In “Budgeting”How to Keep Your Budget in Check this Holiday SeasonOctober 25, 2018In “Budgeting”529 Plan: 6 Ways Parents Can Save More Money for Their Kid’s CollegeAugust 27, 2019In “Family Finances” Post navigationlast_img read more

Insanely Brilliant or Just Insane? The HubSpot $50,000 Viral Marketing Contest

first_imgDo you think you have what it takes to produce content that spreads like wildfire? Then put your creativity where your mouth is and compete to win $5,000 for writing that brilliantly insightful article or producing that hilarious video. Intrigued? Read on… We’re huge on publishing content here as part of a greater inbound marketing strategy and have even had some success with our content going viral (lots of articles on the front page of Digg and viral tools like Website Grader and Press Release Grader ). We’ve had our share of failures, too (we consider this a necessary evil when attempting to produce viral content).So, we’re going to try and enlist the creative minds out there to help produce more viral content.  And we’re putting our wallet behind this to the tune of $5,000.  You can win more than once, and we’ll keep running the contest for the next 3 months or until we run out of money ($50K).How to Win the $50,000 Viral Marketing Contest Complete this form to enter.  If your proposal is accepted, we’ll email you and then you can complete the article or video.Once completed, you deliver the content to us and if we think it rocks, we’ll post it on our blog or YouTube account.  We will pay you $100 for an article or $200 for a video that we post.If your content is a viral success, we’ll pay you $5,000.  Success for an article means getting to the front page of Digg.  Success for a video means over 10,000 views on YouTube in under 30 days.Viral Marketing Contest RulesThe article or video content must relate to marketing in some way. For examples of our articles that have been virally successful, see 12 Quick Tips to Search Google Like an Expert , Now Any Business Can Tap 53 Million Facebook Users (For Free) , and GoDaddy’s 16-Step Checkout: Brainless Marketing At Its Finest? The content must be original and created by you, and ownership of the content passes to HubSpot when we publish it.Scripts or other automated tools to drive votes or views are not allowed.We’ll keep running the contest for the next 3 months or until we spend $50,000, whichever comes first.  We might extend the contest depending on the results, so stay tuned. Enter the $50,000 Viral Marketing Contest Now >> Originally published Jul 29, 2008 10:47:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social Media Campaigns Topics:last_img read more

Top 5 Marketing Stories of the Week: Back to Basics

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Usually after I go shopping, I want to wear everything at once. As a result, I find myself engulfed by clothing, most of which does not even match. Frustrated, I end up leaving the house in jeans and a t-shirt.It’s easy to get lost in the jumble of new media, to jump in headfirst, to overanalyze and forget to plan. This week it’s time to take a step back. This week, the top five marketing stories from are all about getting back to basics. 1. How Truly Serious Are You About Being Social? Author: Beth Harte, The Harte of Marketing In this short post, Harte poses a truly thoughtful question: If Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn disappeared, what would you do with your social media efforts? Over a dozen comments have already been added, and there is a recurring theme among them. If you have a defined strategy and goals and know that social media is a platform, not a strategy, you should be just fine. Keep the conversation going, go where your customers are, and build your community.Lesson: Learn to Be Social Without Social Media2. The ROI of Social Networking Author: John Jantsch, Duct Tape Marketing The ROI of social media is consistently a hot topic among marketers. Jantsch approaches the problem in a different way. Beyond simply using social media, the question is, are you using it correctly?Jantsch suggests aligning your offline networking (read: luncheons, cocktail parties, trade associations) with your online networking by creating a set of objectives. This will help to “more easily identify the networks that make sense, the type of engagement you need to create, and, most importantly, how much time and energy you can afford to invest to reach your objectives.”Lesson: Align Your Objectives3. Twistory 101: It’s All About Small Business Author: John Battelle, Searchblog Way back in 2004, while the world watched Google steal Yahoo’s search market share, “the real drama was happening on the business side.” Specifically, the number of small business advertisers using AdSense over Overture was rapidly increasing, and this made the difference for Google.Battelle suggests that Twitter is taking a step in the right direction with their new site, and especially their Twitter 101 handbook, by helping small businesses to use and leverage the site.Lesson: Small Businesses Can Equal Big Business For You4. The Flaw In Calculating Inbound v. Outbound Marketing Author: Trish Bertuzzi, The Bridge Group, Inc. In her post, Bertuzzi addresses the following issue: “Are we getting so caught up in the inbound v. outbound debate that we are forgetting the basics of good old fashioned human interaction? “She points out that no matter your thoughts on the inbound v. outbound issue, the important part is the interaction with the customer, everything else should come second.Lesson: Interact First, Analyze Later5. Small Business Marketing: 5 Rules of Great Content Author: Suzanne Vara Everyone talks about content. Make it relevant, make it thoughtful, and make it fresh. But sometimes people get caught up in the content of the content and forget about the basics.Vara discusses some simple rules that can make sure your content doesn’t get lost in translation. No matter how brilliant your ideas, you better be logical, clear and grammatically correct, or no one is going to want to read it.Lesson: Reread, Revise, RewritePhoto Credit: Ben Donley How to Generate Leads for Small Business Learn how small businesses can level the playing field and generate leads efficiently by leveraging inbound Internet marketing strategies and tools. Download our Lead Generation for Small Business Webinar. Originally published Jul 31, 2009 10:57:00 AM, updated October 01 2019last_img read more

When Suresh Raina came to Team India bus driver’s aide during wife’s illness

first_imgTeam India’s bus driver Jeff Goodwin reveled some interesting facts about his life as a driver and praised the current team players for being extremely disciplined.Goodwin has been driving teams since the 1999 World Cup and has been the assigned bus driver of most of the cricket playing nations. Goodwin adds that cricket has been changing over times and all the teams now are much more disciplined than before but he feels that the Virat Kohli-led team is the best of the lot.”I like the lads, there are all friendly. They are great to get on with but they are very disciplined. There is a changing way in cricket. In my times, it has changed so much. Australia will be drinking all the time after the game and staying inside the changing room till 2AM in the morning but now, not as much.”And this team, particularly India, have never known a cricket team as professional, come out after the game so fast. This team is the best one,” said Goodwin.Also read – Zaheer Khan wants Ishant Sharma to step up in Test series vs EnglandHe also remembers Suresh Raina’s sweet gesture few years back when his wife was suffering from illness.”Raina, few years ago in Leeds, he gave me his shirt to acution off. I’ve never forgotten that.”Say to Mr. Jeff Goodwin.#TeamIndia’s bus driver gives interesting insights about various cricket teams who have been his passengers all these years. P.S Jeff loves this Indian Cricket team. Find out why… (@BCCI) July 21, 2018The Englishman also revealed where Team India skipper Kohli sits and he went onto add that Yuzvendra Chahal calls him an old man.”Mr. Kohli sits in front and this gentleman here (pointing towards Chahal) calls me an old man.”To which, Chahal replied from the back seat: “Because you are.”Also read – Tendulkar hopeful of a good show from Kohli, Team India in England TestsGoodman’s son also drove the Indian team around England and also received a letter from the Indian government for a job well done.”My son was driving the teams. He drove India and Tendulkar used to sit there (beside the driver) and he used to say your daddy is a big star. By the end of the tour, my son became a big star as well. He is only 21. Got a nice letter from the Indian government thanking me and him,” Goodman said.He also revealed what led him to have a tattoo of famous cartoon character Popeye.”In 2004, when I was driving Australia, Darren Lehmann was then making drinks and he was a player then and he says ‘You…we like you. We will give you a nickname and he was telling me all the players’ nicknames and after a few days, he went, you are Popeye and everybody calls me Popeye and I’ve even got a tattoo of Popeye now.”India have so far played in Manchester, Cardiff, Bristol, Nottingham, London and Leeds. Kohli’s men will next play the first Test in Birmingham and that will be followed by Test matches in London, Nottingham, Southampton and then again back to London for the final Test at The Oval.last_img read more

Gold true story: How independent India won its first Olympic gold

first_imgThis Independence Day, Akshay Kumar is back with another film that is high on patriotic pride. Gold, directed by Reema Kagti, revolves around independent India’s first Olympic gold win. This feat was achieved by the Indian men’s hockey team on August 12, 1948.While Gold has been inspired by true events, the makers have taken certain creative liberties. Before the film hits the theatres tomorrow, here is the inspiring story of the victory at the 1948 Summer Olympics in 10 points:1. The Indian men’s hockey team won the country’s first Olympic medal as a free nation in 1948 at the 14th London Olympiad.2. The London Olympics was the first Olympics held post World War II. It was held after a gap of 12 years, with the previous one being the 1936 Berlin Olympics.3. The India team that played in the London Olympics was a brand new one, with all the great players from the earlier gold-winning team, including top goal scorer Dhyan Chand, having retired.4. The captain of the new team was Kishen Lal, with KD Singh (Babu) being the vice-captain. This was the first time when India marched holding the tricolour, as a free nation, in the opening ceremony at the Wembley Stadium.5. India played its first match against Austria. The Indian team beat the Austrian team hollow, with the scorecard reading 8-0. They went on to defeat Argentina 9-1. India was victorious against Spain in the quarterfinal (2-0) and against Holland in the semi-final (2-1).6. The final match was played against Britain. Indians took on their former rulers and won in style, defeating the British 4-0.advertisement7. This was the fourth consecutive gold medal for the Team India in the sport, and its first as an independent nation.8. After the Indian team’s victory, free India’s first High Commissioner to England, VK Krishna Menon, gave the players an official reception at India House. The team was also sent on a fortnight-long goodwill tour of Europe, where they visited France, Czechoslovakia and Switzerland.9. Incidentally, Pakistan was also contesting as a free nation for the first time, and there were strong chances of an India-Pakistan final. However, Britain defeated Pakistan in the semi-final and went on to play India in the final match.10. When the victorious team returned to the country, they received a grand welcome. The victory celebrations went on for days and came to an end in Delhi, where Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and President Rajendra Prasad attended the winning team’s exhibition match at the National Stadium.ALSO READ | Gold vs Satyameva Jayate: Which film will win box office battle?ALSO WATCH | Akshay Kumar is the real ‘Khiladi’ of Bollywoodlast_img read more

Lead Gen 101: How to Create an Intuitive Website Conversion Path

first_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack If you’re getting your website visitors to sign up for anything on your website — an ebook, a whitepaper, a webinar, a newsletter, a blog subscription, etc. — you need to create a conversion path.Easily build and embed forms on your site. Try HubSpot Forms for free.A conversion path consists of five elements, four of which live on your website:A call-to-action – A button or text that lets website visitors (prospects) find your offerA landing page – The page that advertises your offer and includes a formA form – Website visitors fill out this form in order to receive your offerA thank-you page – Your new leads see this page after completing your formA confirmation email – Makes it easy for your leads to reference your offer any timeMany companies forget about one or more of these elements, which means that 1) they will lose out on leads, or 2) they will get lots of leads, but the user experience will be poor once the lead converts.First, let’s dive into the pre-conversion elements of your conversion path:1) Call-to-ActionA call-to-action (CTA) is a text or button anywhere on your website or blog that links to your landing page.Your call-to-action should:Make it clear what you’re offering.Include a verb (e.g. “Download” or “Claim” or “Sign Up”) to elicit action.Stand out on your page. Diverge from your company’s typical color scheme if necessary — you want people to notice your CTA.Be above the fold — don’t make people scroll down to see it. An exception might be your blog, where you can add slide-in CTAs or bottom-of-the-post CTAs.Match the offer on the landing page so the visitor doesn’t get confused.You should place CTAs throughout your website, especially on your homepage and blog, to make sure that people that enter your website via search engines or social media see the offers you have available. Always test your CTAs to see how to make the clickthrough rates as high as possible.2) Landing PageOnce people click on a CTA, they should land on … a landing page. (Intuitive, right?) Your landing page should:Make it extremely clear in the headline exactly what the offer is. Don’t try to be too witty or clever here — just get to the point.Include an image of your offer (even if it’s an abstract representation — text only is boring).Have clear and concise copy.Include bullet points outlining what’s included in the offer or benefits of receiving the offer.Have a form above the fold.3) FormYour landing page should almost always include a form — otherwise you’re giving away free content without learning anything about your website visitor, and you’re probably not going to generate many leads that way.The length of your form will depend on a couple things:The offer’s stage in your buying cycle – For example, if you’re giving away a free checklist or infographic, you might only want to collect first name, last name, and email. But if you’re giving away something more substantial like an ebook or whitepaper, indicating that people are further along the research process, you may want to ask for more detailed information.How many leads you generate – If your sales team has too many leads to sift through every one, add more fields to your forms so your reps can better qualify each lead, and know which ones are worth calling. And yes, this is an awesome problem to have.4) Thank-You PageCongratulations, you’ve generated some leads from your forms! After they fill out the form, you need to send them somewhere. Redirecting them to your homepage would be a jarring experience (“Wait, did the form submission work?”). But simply replacing the form with their offer (e.g. a download link) would be a missed opportunity for you, since they’ll get their offer and then leave your website right away.Instead, create a thank-you page.Your thank-you page should:Include the promised offer.Let your new leads share your offer with their friends via email or social media.Include a follow-up offer, ideally for whatever the next stage is in your buying cycle.Be personalized. On this thank-you page example above, the lead’s name and company name are both subtly included on the page to make it feel like the page was built just for them. You can easily do this with HubSpot’s Content Optimization System.5) Confirmation EmailMake it easy for your leads to reference your offer later by sending them a confirmation email. Your confirmation email should:Be personalized! Include the promised offer, or a link to the thank-you page where they can obtain the promised offer.Reveal the next step your leads should take. In the example above, we want leads to share the content with their friends. If this offer were later in the buying cycle, we might include a CTA to whatever’s next in the buying cycle. It depends on the offer.Provide an easy way for leads to share your offer on social media.That’s it! Your next step should be to create a lead nurturing campaign segmented based on things like your leads’ interests, demographics, location, etc. But that’s another story for another day. Want to share this post? Here are some ready-made tweets:Click to tweet: How to Create an Intuitive Website Conversion Path – by @DianaUrban at @HubSpot #marketingtip #leadgenerationClick to tweet: Great walkthrough of how to set up your website to generate leads – #marketingtip #leadgenerationClick to tweet: Website Conversion Path = CTA + Landing Page + Form + Thank-You Page + Confirmation Email. Learn more – #marketingtip Originally published Mar 5, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 Conversion Rate Optimizationlast_img read more

Working Remotely? Try These 26 Tools for Better Communication, Collaboration & Organization

first_img Remote Working Topics: 16) Skype Yeah, we all use it. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. It’s still a great option for chatting with folks all over the world.17) Uber Conference With Uber Conference, no more wondering who joined the call, who said what, or what the heck your meeting PIN number is. It also allows screen sharing and has a mobile app.When You Want to Collaborate (or Just Chat)18) Slack This super-fast-growing startup’s product is great for real-time communication for one-on-one conversations or with everyone on your team. You can also organize chats by subject, and integrate activity from Github, Trello, Pingdom, etc. I like the thought expressed here that Slack is as close to a virtual office as you can get. (Pro Tip from @lvanmullem: You can create one channel for every client, and invite only the people on that project to be on that channel.)19) HipChat Like Slack-lite, you can use this for always-on team chats and everyday water cooler talk.20) Flowdock This is similar to Slack, and also integrates with Jira, GitHub, Basecamp, Asana, Assembla, Trello and a lot of other apps. When You Want to Organize Your Stuff21) Google Drive I love Google Drive, but it does tend to update rather frequently, which means that just when you’ve figured it out and have all your things organized, it changes. That said, it’s free, stores and organizes all of your stuff, and you can work on the same document with multiple people at the same time.22) Dropbox Sharing large files doesn’t work so well over email, which is where Dropbox comes in. It’s also a great tool for organizing freelancer work. Just have the freelancer upload their documents into monthly folders and message you when their work is in.When You Have to Manage a Team23) GitHub Wiki Savvy inbound marketing companies use GitHub Wiki for employee onboarding by organizing helpful resources for new employees. Pro Tip from @zzawaideh: “We have the last person to join update the guides as they go through them.”24) Time DoctorNeed to keep a close eye on how your team is spending their time, for client billing or productivity purposes? Time Doctor can help you do just that.25) Harvest For keeping track of time and expenses, this is a simple few-frills tool.26) iDoneThis I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can’t remember what I did yesterday. iDoneThis solves that problem for individuals and teams by sending a “digest” of what everyone did.We all work a little differently and each of us has our own list of challenges. But what we have in common as successful players in the industry is this: We’re all problem solvers. And when the problems have to do with getting organized, we’ve got our favorite tools to help solve them.What’s in your toolbox? Share your favorite in the original thread. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img Originally published Apr 8, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated August 25 2017 One of the best parts about being in marketing is that most of us can work anywhere and everywhere — as long as we have an internet connection, it’s relatively easy for us to get most our day-to-day work done. To publish that blog post, send that email, or set up that email nurturing workflow, we simply need to connect to Wi-Fi and get to work. But an internet connection doesn’t solve everything we need to accomplish during the day. Often, we need to communicate with team members, project managers, and freelancers — and when you’re remote, that communication can get a little … messy. To help make it easier for their employees to have flexible work arrangements, many companies are discovering and implementing new tools and resources. To help you figure out which tools might be handy for your team’s work arrangement, we compiled some of the best ones my friends on the discussion boards suggested for remote working. Check ’em out below.When You Need to Stay Organized1) Asana Asana lets you create and delegate tasks, organize tasks into shared projects, chat within each task so conversations stay organized, and add attachments from Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive. It also has calendar features, dashboards for projects, and your very own to-do list.2) Assembla Project management for web developers seems to be Assembla’s niche, though it could handle project management for just about any type of freelancing. It tracks tickets, time, and produces reports, simplifies product releases and bug fixing, and says it’s “easier to set up than Jira.”3) Basecamp Use this project management software to help you arrange your calendars, set meeting schedules, track assignments, and store documents.4) Confluence I wouldn’t call this a project manager, exactly, although it could be. It’s more of a team manager, keeping documents, notes, best practices, product requirements, and plans all in one easily searchable place. Pro Tip from @Jason_Ephraim: You can also use the Gliffy integration to do quick wireframes.5) Glip For task management, shared calendars, file sharing, annotating images, and real-time group chat, Glip is a strong tool. It also helps that all those chats are fully searchable.6) GitHub Web developers will love this product, designed to build software with remote teams with code review and management for open source and private projects.7) Jira Another project management tool primarily for developers that allows you to assign and track work. It also has a handy mobile interface for project management on the go. Not clear as to whether it is, in fact, harder to setup than Assembla. (If you know, tell me in the comments!)  8) Podio Part project manager, part Facebook for companies, you can use Podio to keep track of what you need to do, and chat while doing it.9) Sandglaz This lean project and task management software allows you to assign tasks by person or by category, filter to see who’s working on what, and communicate (or change plans) with your team in real time. This software was built to make planning, prioritizing, delegating and seeing what you’ve already done fast and simple.10) Taskworld Taskworld’s sweet spot is managing projects and keeping track of tasks and subtasks. Its evaluation feature lets you measure and give feedback on job performance, setting it apart from other similar project management programs.11) Trello A very simple tool for making notes on what needs done and who should do it. It’s like a team post-it-note board on steroids.12) Wunderlist Marketed more as a personal to-do list for your phone, Wunderlist is also used by some of us to keep track of client work.When You Need to Talk Face-to-Face13) GoToMeeting When I need a reliable online meeting program, this is my “go-to.” (See what I did there?) It hasn’t embarrassed me in front of a client once. Screen sharing is easy and call quality is usually really good. 14) Google Hangouts A lot of us use it because Google is ubiquitous, and usually the most convenient option — especially if you’re using Google Calendar to manage your schedule.15) This tool is great for fast and easy screen share meetings.last_img read more