Gardening Corner: Killing Moles Softly and Other Winter Preps

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Now that the last annuals are shriveled up with the first frosts (you folks in zones 8 and up don't count - damn your eyes for having an extended season), it's time to for winter cleanup and other chores. Killing Moles Softly* To say that hate hate hate the miserable little bastards would be an understatement, and we're not about understatements here.  We hatessss thems, little molesess... This nice article from Gardening Blog discounts traps and makes the case for alternative methods like CO2 gassing and lighting 'em up with propane explosions.  Sounds risky, but fun: What you do is pump propane down into the mole hill like the suffocating method, and then… and then… you light it on fire. Boom! You burn them up or burn … [Read more...]

Are You Too Old to Take Out Life Insurance?

There's a reason for this photo**

his isn’t a straightforward question, because the answer is often going to depend on your personal circumstances. If you do reach an advanced age, and you haven’t got any life insurance, then you need to think about if you really need it, keep reading at HBF. Generally speaking it’s better to take out life insurance when you are younger as the premiums are more affordable and you will have less problems applying for a policy. That being said, not everyone needs a policy when they are younger. If you don’t have any dependents then there may not be anybody to benefit from your life insurance. It may be that you acquire dependents later on in life and that you suddenly find yourself in a position where life insurance is a … [Read more...]

Tales from the interviewing trenches: Details matter! (Career tip #17)

Maybe should ditch the bowler hat and cane, but otherwise a finely dressed gentleman ready for a job interview

For want of a nail, the war was lost. For want of trimming your nails, the job was lost. That's right.  Go into an interview with nasty overgrown nails, and someone might notice, and not in a good way. What does that say about you?  It's a little details, but the job you're applying for might be all about details.  Don't do regular grooming, and who knows what else you might miss?* It's all about the basics: Wear a nice suit and tie, if it's a professional position.  Guys, that does doesn't mean a polyester-blend blue blazer with brass buttons, dockers and a garish tie.  A modicum of fashion sense might not help, but it won't hurt, neither.   Ladies, a well-tailored suit will always win the day.   If not a professional … [Read more...]

Unintentionally Hilarious Ticker Symbols (not MOO)

"Here's a toast to getting the hell out of Shickshinny!"

Some companies might have been smoking a little of green stuff, considering some of the oh-so-clever and unintentionally ticker symbols  Others, on the other hand, might have needed to. At one time, the thought here at 101C was that the new proliferation in marijuana stocks might lead to some creative ticker-naming.  'Twas not to be.  BONG is not, as it turns out, a chain of medical pot dispensaries with branches in Colorado and Washington, but  an eminently sensible Swedish packaging company, making environmentally responsible gift boxes out of leftover meatballs and herring bones.  POT is a Canadian mining giant, and not an unattractive dividend stock, for those unmindful of the commodities cycle and with a strong stomach for … [Read more...]

Tips on Choosing a Point of Sale Terminal for Your Business

Vintage Point Of Sale system

  A point of sale terminal is a necessity for any retail company if it plans to be efficient. There are a large amount of offerings from many different companies. Certain offers, such as those from Shopify address a particular need in the business. Other companies try to cover more ground, offering a wide range of products, but allowing you to choose which one suits your business the best. By and large, not a small undertaking for the profit-minded entrepreneur.  You have to take time in considering what point of sale solution would be best for your business based on a number of different factors such as: What does the Business Need? A needs assessment in terms of what the company requires from a point of sale system is your … [Read more...]

Should you consider Buying Life Insurance for a Child?

"The Sick Child" - Edvard Munch, 1885-86

  Indeed, should one think about life insurance for their children?  Well, if you do have any cash to spare though then life insurance for your child is certainly something you can consider for various reasons.  ( more at ABL ) Your child may become ill later in life You probably don’t want to think of it as a possibility but the sad fact is that previously healthy children can encounter health problems as they get older. Once a life insurance policy is in place it will not be cancelled so this may be a very valuable lifeline for a child who would struggle to get life insurance in adulthood, due to heath issues. Of course this is only going to apply if you purchase whole life insurance for your child and you have to … [Read more...]

There’s Money in Them Thar Mortgage REITs… Or so It Would Seem

* "a substantial amount of ARMs"  ... hehehehe

Set a Google Finance stock screen for a few fun parameters like high profit margin, and you're in for an enjoyable afternoon of sieving through balance sheets and income statements.  Fun for people like recovering PF bloggers looking to write a semi-coherent post on how plunk down a few thousand on a steadily profitable, high-net margin, dividend-paying equity. Right, then... Set the control criteria for a Net Profit Margin of 20% to 50%, a 52-week stock price change of no more than -10% to an upside of 35%, dividend yields from 2% to 15%, and a price-to-earnings ratio varying from 10 to 15.  Throw in a market capitalization range from $40M to less than $1 Billion - because we believes that small-caps are more nimble and profitable … [Read more...]

Five Essential Moves when Starting an Online Store

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As the US economy improves consumer confidence is rising along with it, according to Internet Retailer, with 87 percent of consumers planning to shop online about the same or more than they did in 2013. With 91 percent of those shoppers purchasing small ticket items - typically classed as purchases under $500 - there is plenty of room at all levels for an online retailer to find a comfortable niche. Whether you are showcasing your own handcrafted products or importing and wholesaling to other businesses or anything in between, there are some tips and tricks to smooth eCommerce launches. Getting Ready to Launch Opening a new business takes a lot of preparation, and even if you're still waiting for various permits, certifications, and … [Read more...]

Finding Work as Stay-at-Home Parents

Working from home: pajamas optional

Earning side money for a for a mom or dad that is staying at home with kids is a great way to balance the personal and professional side, as well as a way to earn good money without having to leave home. You can either look for jobs by location or by field of interest, but best be prepared for the many obstacles and potential scams along the way. Start with skills you have One of the most obvious ways to find a telecommuting position is concentrating on your past expertise, and how well that fits  with an unsupervised, remote worker application.   In today’s market there are many career fields that are suitable for remote workers, such as some aspects of  public relations, freelance writing, bookkeeping, tax accounting, programming … [Read more...]

“Unsold” Cars and Fun With Stock Screens

... wouldn't mind finding this at a country auction...

Gloom-and-doom sentiment abounds on the internet. You can stumble across it with not even a diligent search.  A click here and there, and eventual perambulations resulted in a look-see at this alarming article from ZeroHedge: Where the World's Unsold Cars Go To Die Lots and lots of photos, mostly of staging areas at ports around the world, including Baltimore USA and Civitavecchia in Italy, some taken through Google Earth, some from regular stock photos. The basic premise of the "article"[1] is that since there are untold thousands (hundreds, even!) of parked cars in these areas, that new cars aren't selling well or fast enough.  *NO ONE* is buying new cars.  New cars are beyond the reach of the SHRINKING middle class.  … [Read more...]