Business Services

5 of the best items to buy from best buy

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eharprefinance june 2016The store’s slogan read “Expert service. Unbeatable price.” The best buy chain also claims that with more than 1400 stores at present that it “offers expert service at an unbeatable price more than 1.5 billion times a year.”

This is definitely true in a variety of products, specially on electronics. Here are the 5 best deals at best buy.

Televisions – Best buy is mainly an electronic retailer and therefore offers the best deals on televisions. Most deals will give you 25% off plus free shipping. For a further discount, look at buying your TV during thanksgiving or black friday. Apart from this, best buy offers a price match guarantee on local and online competitors.

Major Appliances – If your looking to purchase your next major appliance such as refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines, best buy will give you the lowest price. If you are unable to pay the full value up front, the store offers 18 months no interest financing for purchases over $599.

Apple Products – Best buy is a certified retailer for Apple products and the store offers greater discounts than the Apple stores.

Video Games – The store has a gamers club for the best pre order deals on new games. Most discounts range from $10- $20.

Four-Hour Flash Sale – At least once a month, best buy slash their prices on a four hour flash sale. This sale is only available for online purchases.

Tips for the first time car buyer

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eharperfinanceBuying your first car, can be filled with a lot of uncertainty. Investing in a car is a big responsibility and it is important you get it right the first time. Here are a few tips to help with the process.

Establish your budget – You should first know how much you can afford monthly, for your car loan. Start with looking at your cost of living, which should include food, accommodation, entertainment, fuel, car insurance etc.

Transportation needs – Figure out what your main transportation needs are and what you will need to transport. If you are using your car for travelling to uni and work on most days, you could opt for a 2 door hatchback.

Prioritize your wants – Your first time car, will not be your only car. Therefore, invest in a car that fits your needs now. Try to stay away from the expensive models with the pricey extras.

Research – Do your research on models you intend to buy. Online research is quite extensive and would give you a good idea of the pros and cons of the car you intend to buy.

Find a dealer – Locate a dealership and speak to a sales person. Find out what models are available within your price range.

Test drive – Take your car for a test drive. This is a great way to get a feel of the car and identify any features you might want added.

Price – Look at the Kelley blue book fair purchase price. This will give you an accurate idea of what you should be paying for your car in your area. You could also speak to a credit union separately or at the dealership.

3 Things to Consider Before Getting A Short-Term Small Business Loan

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It might be easy to get a short-term small business loan but there’s no doubt that it can turn out to be far more expensive than traditional loans.

The application for such a loan is usually done through a broker and the money is deposited into your account within a few days. You pay the loan back in a year either by daily or monthly payments.

Here are 3 things to remember before signing on the dotted line for this type of loan:

eharprefinance1: Check for fees

It’s vital that you know what additional fees you have to pay when you obtain the loan. In some cases, money lenders charge fees for a loan upfronts. Others will charge if you set up an automatic payments or miss a payment in the future. Check for these fees and how much it will cost too.

2: Know the APR

It must be pointed out that many money-lenders do not inform their clients about annual percentage rates for the loan products that they offer. For your benefit, if you do know the APR, this can help you to compare the cost of the loan to others. Also, if you want to know how much you can borrow based on the monthly payments that you can afford, there are a number of online calculators available online.

3: Check if they report to credit bureaus

It’s been known in the past that a number of money lenders do no report loan information to credit bureaus. This is despite the small business paying the loan off in full. Of course, without this option, a small business cannot build up credit in order to qualify for a traditional loan. Don’t get caught off-guard – check whether they report information before you do anything else.

The Perks of Hiring a Construction Consultant

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Construction ConsultantWritten by: Lyle Charles

Construction claims are known to be complicated. Not only that but when you involve the legal system and skip the settlement process, things can only get more stressful. Construction consulting services help relieve the stress and pressure that is placed on you when dealing with a claim. Here are some common reasons why you should hire an expert.

When lawyers handle the claim, it’s most likely going to be littered with verbiage that can be hard to grasp. Many times you will see a lawyer write claims that only other lawyers with experience would understand. This essentially keeps you out of the loop and can lead to misjudging the gravity of the situation. A simple mistake can cost you time and money. Construction consultants guide you through the claim and help you understand the ins and outs of it.

The standards of the construction industry change due to the fast-paced business environment surrounding it. Don’t get left behind and make the wrong decisions. Claims consultants will help suggest the right courses of action to make for each type of claim.

Negotiations are vital in a successful claim. There are times where the claim won’t even make to court saving you the stress of stalling a project. The best resolution will come from the best negotiations.

A deep analysis of your case is also recommended to understand the needs and volatility of the claim. Seeking out construction consulting will give you peace of mind as you won’t have to make decisions that could affect the outcome by yourself.

Tips on Managing Risk in Construction Projects

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The due diligence performed during construction claim analysis is the same kind that should be performed before the project starts. Performing these basic checks will help avoid risk altogether. Even though some risk is unavoidable, accidents do happen after all, you can safely manage most risky situations with the proper checks and balances in place.

Perform Risk Assessment

Hire neutral construction advisory services to review everything, from plans to scheduling, and look for consistency. Construction projects will involve multiple contracts between many companies, and specific mentions of both payment and timing will be important in the event of a dispute. Careful contract preparation is a crucial part of the pre-planning phase and ensures everyone knows the work they are required to do to get paid.

Document Everything

Another key concern, especially in smaller outfits, is documentation. Documentation saves one’s legal life so-to-speak. It may be a good idea to acquire insurance to cover parts of the project as well. It’s also helpful to have an independent party review any existing contracts for outdated language. It’s common for companies to use forms that are sometimes years old without having updated any of the legal language until a dispute occurs. Even if the law is on your side, make sure the work contract reflects that.

Allocate Risk Appropriately

Upon review of the project, just before ground can be broken, it’s helpful to designate certain parties and responsibilities to help allocate risk. The designer, for example, should only be responsible for design-related projects. This helps put power in the hands of those best positioned to use it for the benefit of the project.

Bio: Lyle Charles Consulting helps construction firms manage risk through claims analysis and mediation. For more information on construction project management, search for Lyle Charles.

The Many Roles of a Construction Consultant

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A consultant is merely someone who has years of experience in a particular industry. Consultants aren’t just experts. In the case of construction, a consultant may perform many duties on site besides evaluating the project. For instance, during disputes, consultants may act as a construction expert witness to help tell your side of the story in layman’s terms to a jury.

 

Expert

A consultant is firstly someone who has expertise in the field of construction. Some have many years occupying jobs at every level, others have owned and managed contracting companies, and still others have particular specialties (like steel fabrication) that fill important niches in the construction zone. That enables a consultant to fill the role of construction expert witness, project manager, turnaround supervisor and other key roles involved at every level of the construction process.

 

Mediator

Disputes are fairly common in construction, and most require little more than a claim to resolve. Occasionally, larger disputes between personnel or vendors can cause hiccups in the plans that throw off deadlines and ultimately cost money. In these cases, mediation is the preferred method to solve disputes. Construction mediation is much faster than trial, does not require legal representation and typically leaves all parties feeling as though they got what was owed to them. Plus, you don’t risk everything on an outcome that is difficult to predict.

 

Manager

Consultants often fill the role of managers, especially in turnaround scenarios. These key personnel sign off on plans, place orders for materials and oversee the entire schedule. Consultants are well suited to this role because their experience informs their decision making.

Bio: Lyle Charles has experience mentoring leaders in the construction industry. Lyle Charles Consulting can help manage commercial or residential construction projects and claims. Contact Lyle Charles for more information.

3 Ways to Boost Your Monthly Income

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woman standing with open arms amidst falling moneyIf you are preparing for a special event

or are planning to raise fund for an upcoming big expense, it might be a good solution to start seeking alternatives to boost your income. Some simple or out-of-the-box ways might be available to raise some additional money. These are listed below.

Start Freelance Work

Various sites online propose effective solutions for people to sell their skills by doing additional projects and raise funds. This is done either by bidding on projects or creating pages where buyers would be able to contact sellers for particular products and services. One would only need to be aware of which skills might be in demand and to tap on that.

Cover your car with advertisements

This is a new method of advertisements that allows individuals to earn up to 1000 dollars a month by just placing ads on their car. The persons selected for this would then just have to travel their normal route regularly. The selection depends on the area that the person lives in.

Become a Mystery Shopper or join a focus group

Being involved in market researches is quite lucrative. Several people can earn up to 300 dollar per focus group participation. In order to enrol, you might want to gather information from a local market research agency and they would ask you for information to assess whether you would be eligible. Mystery shopping is quite selective but people who get involved in it would need to provide their opinion on products and get paid for it.

Walter Bigelow Wriston: An Influential Wall Street Giant

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By Phineas Upham

Walter Bigelow Wriston was president of Citibank from 1967-1970, and served as the bank’s chairman until 1984. He would become one of the nation’s most prominent names in banking, helping to expand Citibank’s operations in commercial and residential sectors. Although he retired in 1984, he did not stop his activities in the financial sector, and is credit with a few innovations we still use today. Born in Middletown, Connecticut, Wriston grew up as the son of a historian who would eventually become president of Brown University. Walter B. Wriston graduated from Wesleyan College in 1941, after which he served four years in the U.S. Army. When he received his honorable discharge in 1946, he joined the rank and file of First National City Bank, the bank that would become Citibank.

Wriston worked his way through the bank, and developed a reputation for being knowledgeable and influential. Under Wriston, Citibank developed home mortgage credit-card services. He invented and deployed the world’s first ATMs, machines most of us still use today. When President Reagan took office, he tapped Wriston as the chair for his Economic Policy Advisory Board from 1982-89. During and just after his time as chair, Wriston published two important books on economic finance and philosophy. The first came in 1986, Risk and Other Four Letter Words, detailing how industry and banking have shaped the modern world. He also penned The Twilight of Sovereignty in 1992, which explores how the instant access to information is changing the modern world.

Wriston received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004, and he died one year later at the age of 85.


Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or Facebook page.

How to protect yourself against credit card hacks

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As per a Consumer Reports Survey carried out in 2012, 22.5% out of five thousand consumers who have received notice of a security breach have found out that they were victims of identity fraud. There are certain actions that you might take to protect yourself in case you find out that your account has been subject to a data breach.

creditcard-87874698

Get a Replacement Card

If you have been informed that you are involved in a data breach, immediately demand that the company get you a new card or you would close down the account. The company should be able to meet your demand.

Daily Check Your Account Online

Finding suspicious activities and disputing them promptly is the best way to be able to solve any issue. Check your account everyday when your new card arrives for a least one month.

Freeze your credit

If you find out that you are the victim of a data breach, you can call the three main credit bureaus and request to freeze your credit report. This would ensure that nobody would have access to your report without your prior consent. In extreme cases of real breaches, you could also freeze your accounts.

Order your credit reports

As per the law, you are eligible to one free credit report each year. If you are a victim of fraud, you would probably to eligible for more regular free reports. Even if you have not been a victim yet, you might be cautious by getting reports every quarter year.

How to Fight a Dispute Over Materials

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If you know anything about construction, it’s that problems arise.

Imagine you are working on a skyscraper project and you are the structural steel expert.

A shipment of steel was supposed to arrive from Pittsburgh. Emphasis on “supposed to arrive,” because it didn’t. Turns out, the order didn’t go through, and this is the fault of the steel supplier. They are denying any fault.

Time is running out and you are facing deadlines regarding the original project. What is the best action to take?

If you attempt construction claim preparation on your own, are you prepared to sink the man hours needed to complete the claim adequately? Or maybe it’s better to wait for the next shipment of steel to arrive?

The best answer for the structural steel expert in distress is this: resolve the problem! Everything else is details, and it’s management’s goal to help resolve the problem and put everyone back to work.

Now, preparing a claim might be necessary, and it might be the best step. If anything a claim is a solid way to document that something happened that was not the structural steel expert’s fault. So, claim preparation might be a wise step. But if all this distracts you as a builder from the process of completing your other projects on time, you must also be wary of the penalties of going past a deadline.

If fines are more expensive than a lawsuit, go with the lawsuit. If the lawsuit is more expensive than taking some late fees, take some more time to work with the company that made the mistake.

Bio: Lyle Charles Consulting specializes in commercial and residential construction, and Lyle Charles is a structure steel expert and certified expert witness.