Sunday, September 16, 2007

Air Conditioning

Have you ever worked in a building where they have fixed air conditioning units attached to the wall and a fancy remote control to operate it with? Sure they seem great, but are they really?

For starters they only blow down and there is little left or right movement. Secondly and most frustratingly, they have an amazingly annoying habit of blowing all your documents and papers off the desk.

Lastly, they always seem to blowing on the person that doesn't want to be cooled, causing a mini office war.

There is another way of course, enter the portable air conditioning unit the saviour of the office!

This versatile cooling machine has done more for office employee relations than any psychiatrist could ever achieve. They have wheels meaning you can shift the focus of the breeze away from that cold blooded colleague and direct that cool breeze directly towards you. If you are reading this at home on a balmy evening you will be feeling that cool breeze in your mind right now. Nice isn't it?

Well guess what? You can buy a portable air conditioning unit for your home too!

If it's hot in the living room, wheel it into the living room. If you're not sleeping too well through those summer months, take it upstairs and have a peaceful nights sleep for a change.

Of course, you need to situate it relatively near a window so it can expel all the hot air outside.

People who have these in their home say it's one of the best purchases they have ever made, giving them a comfortable environment in which to work, relax and play.

For those of you that are concerned about the environment, and that should be all of us, you will be pleased to learn that most portable air conditioners are now CFC free meaning they do not exert any dangerous gases in to the ozone.

The one thing you should consider before buying a portable air conditioner is the average size of the rooms you wish to cool. This will determine which size of unit is right for your home or office.

Most online retailers have a room size calculator which will advise you on the right unit for you.

For those who like to splash out, many portable units come with a remote control so you can up and down the temperature from the comfort of your armchair or bed. Others come with a built in dehumidifier and some heat as well as cool.

It really is a versatile bit of kit and it's something that you shouldn't have to live without. There are many specialist air conditioning retailers trading on the web, where you can save money by buying direct, just don't forget to measure the room size first.

If you want to find an unbeatable range of portable air conditioning appliances then simply visit

All appliances are available on next day delivery and come with a 12 month guarantee.

QuickBooks Online Banking - Unmatched Transactions Defined

Using online banking with QuickBooks is a huge time saver, but not if there are problems with it. One common source of problems is downloaded transactions that cannot be matched.

When transactions are downloaded from the bank or credit card company, QuickBooks assigns each a “Matched” or an “Unmatched” status, then places all of them into the Online Banking Center’s QuickStatement. The “Matched” status means only one thing: you previously entered the transaction into QuickBooks, then when the transaction cleared the bank and was downloaded, QuickBooks “Matched” the downloaded transaction with the transaction already entered.

The “Unmatched” status is where problems occur. The “Unmatched” status actually means one of four things:

1. It’s brand new. The transaction was not previously entered into QuickBooks. If this is the case, enter the transaction now. QuickBooks will assign it the “Matched” status.

2. It’s different. The transaction was previously entered into QuickBooks, but in a different amount than how it cleared the bank. If you are sure you already entered the transaction into QuickBooks, scroll through the bank register to find it. Once you do, change the amount to the downloaded amount. QuickBooks will automatically match it.

3. It’s already downloaded. Sometimes clients accidentally overlap download dates, meaning that they download the same transaction more than once. If there are entries in the register that have a small lightening bolt in the Cleared column, these have been downloaded already. QuickBooks will not match them to transactions in the QuickStatement, even if they are the same transaction.

4. It’s reconciled. This is similiar to #3, but instead of being previously downloaded, the transaction is reconciled. To verify if this is the case, scroll through the register and look for transactions with a checkmark in the Cleared column. Again, QuickBooks will not match them to entries in the QuickStatement, even if they are the same transaction.

Notice that once the first two situations are resolved, QuickBooks automatically matches them. But in the last two situations, QuickBooks will not match the transactions; they are unmatchable. If you determine that some downloaded transactions are unmatchable:

  • Make sure that all matchable transactions are matched. You are going to delete the QuickStatement, and if you accidentally delete matchable transactions, you may later have to enter them manually.
  • Once all matchable transactions are matched, click Done.
  • QuickBooks will ask if you are sure you want to finish. Click Yes. You are now at the Online Banking Center main page.
  • Delete the QuickStatement by clicking the Delete button located near the lower right corner.

That’s it. Your unmatched problems are over, and you now understand the process better. This will help you circumvent future problems when using online banking with QuickBooks.

About the Author: Jennifer A. Thieme is a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor who loves to help people with QuickBooks. She brings unique insight, clear instructions, and over ten years of experience to all of her QuickBooks articles. Owner of Solid Rock Accounting Services, Jennifer's clients enjoy these same benefits on a personal and regular basis. You can too - visit and contact Jennifer today.

Stock Market Newsletters - Written By Hucksters Or Are Some Really Worth The Price?

My honest opinion is that none are worth the price, and some are indeed hucksters. Think about this with the advent of the Internet, absolutely anybody can publish an investment letter. The cost to publish it is tiny if you can put up your own website and send your own email one subscriber and youre in the black! No one regulates or oversees such folks all they do is publish their opinions through the Internet, and you pay perhaps $150 a year for the privilege of getting their emails. There are no guarantees that they are the smartest guys in the room, and who knows what kind of research they actually do (Look, I do a BLOG on my website, and thats effectively the same as doing a newsletter. The difference is that Im just not charging you anything to see it).

One of the big dangers is that many newsletter writers have monetary ties to the companies they recommend, which you do not hear about. This leads to serious conflicts of interest, and there is virtually no means to find out about it.

For whatever reason (I think because 1. Its the fad, and 2) Its easier) most stock investment letter writers today are chartists of one flavor or another. Well, as the one of the last of the Mohicans when it comes to believing that fundamental forces move the market, let me tell you a big secret among stock commentary letter writers: All the forms of chart reading, from Elliot wave charting to whatever flavor you choose, are simply and purely horse manure. There is simply no scientific support for them. Like palm reading, tarot cards and astrology, chart reading is highly subjective and open to the interpretation of the reader. One need only look to an assortment of Elliot wave experts and see that one looks at the chart of a certain stock and sees it will be heading upward in the future, while another views the same chart and foresees the stock heading downward. Most chart interpretation is based on patterns of squiggles in the chart lines, but how a chart appears is heavily dependent on the parameters of how you draw it. Seeing various head and shoulder or cup and saucer patterns are very much like Rorschach inkblot tests you project your thoughts and feelings onto the meaningless inkblot. Making decisions based on chart squiggles - Yikes!

The prices of stocks and commodities yoyo up and down with a general long-term trend in an upward direction, and it always has been so. Just because a stock or commodity price moves up for a week doesn't mean it will move upward for the next three months. Just because a stock or commodity price moves down for a week doesn't mean it will move downward ward for the next three months. In the same way, just because it was warm in New York for a week in January, it doesnt mean winter is forever banished. Just because we have a couple bad hurricane seasons back to back doesnt not mean all such seasons will be bad from now on (Just ask the morons that used to work at Amaranth - and the poor fools who had their money invested there). What a short memory we all seem to have!

So the next time your letter writer says Its the end of the world! The markets are going down to nothing Just wait and dont get too excited. It wont be long until another letter writer will proclaim Its a moon shot, the markets are going through the roof straight to the moon! Dont get too excited over that either....... The market goes down and everyone gets worried the market will implode. But after a few weeks of solid gains, the worry dries up and the market get overbought. What happened to all that worry?

Theres going to be loads of fast steep drops and sharp jumps in the stock markets, gold and silver from here on out, you can bet on it. These shakeouts are necessary to get weak players out of the market.

I think anyone who studies the fundamental facts and charts can do as well as some over paid letter writer. Most well paid stock market letter writers do not out perform the market, nor do they out perform the stock picks of monkeys armed with darts. I highly doubt those who track commodities or currencies do any better. There are studies done concerning the Hedge Fund operators, the most over paid by market advisors far, showing that they also, do not, as a whole, outperform the market. So why do some folks pay good money for newsletters, mutual fund managers and Hedge fund operators when scientific study shows they are no better in the long run than market indexes? I dont know there is simply no rational reason.

Personally, I think you might as well flush your cash down a toilet as invest in newsletters. You'd be much better off to just buy some gold or silver with the money. Or even better yet, grab a pen, develop a talent for writing BS, and then start your own newsletter, charge other people money and invest the cash you make in stocks or precious metals.

If you feel you just must read some of these newsletters to get ideas there are a number of free sites on the Internet like my BLOG. In addition, a good number of investment letter writers do still publish a printed version of their work, and many libraries still subscribe and you may be able to view them at your local library. There are plenty of free sources to get ideas.

Chris is an independent investor and his market comments can be viewed at:

Chris BLOG on investing in gold, silver, and stocks can be found at:

Chris Ralph writes on small scale mining and prospecting for the ICMJ Mining Journal. He is an independent investor and writes on that topic as well. He has a degree in Mining Engineering from the Mackay School of Mines in Reno, and has worked for precious metal mining companies conducting both surface and underground operations. After working in the mining industry, he has continued his interest in mining as an individual prospector. He can be reached at P.O. Box 3104 Reno, Nevada 89505. His information page on prospecting for gold can be viewed at:

Futures System Trading - How To Choose A System

If you are new to system trading, after reading my previous article ("Futures System Trading - Reality Check") you might feel a bit uneasy about the whole business. That's good because you should. There is a vast wild jungle out there with swamps scattered all over rather generously. One false step and you just said good-bye to a nice chunk of dough.

How then should you choose your system, you may ask. The short answer is: the same way hedgehogs multiply, that is, cautiously... The long answer is that you have three options and each of them can be good if used judiciously.

The first option and probably the best one is to find a vendor who offers his system through a broker (using Tradestation or Strategy Runner to generate orders) and charges you based on the actual profits his system makes in your account per month. That usually means a 10-20 % cut of real profits for the vendor. Vendors like that are few and far between and if you ever decide to choose one like that you want to make sure that you know how his system performed in the past in a real account and not on paper. The broker that handles vendor's business or the vendor himself should be able and even eager to provide this kind of information. If they can't, don't bother as this is usually an indication that you are dealing with some monkey business. If the system is new and there is only a limited amount of information about its actual past performance you may want to wait a quarter or two to see how the system is doing. Rush is never a good thing in these matters.

The second option is to buy a good system from a reputable vendor. You want to buy a system that is fully disclosed and it is very advisable to choose a system that has very little room for curve-fitting (no more than 1 to 2 parameters that are optimally adjusted in the backtesting process) over a system that has plenty of room for this. The latter are usually less robust than the former. If the system is not fully disclosed (i.e., it comes as a gray or black box) you will never know if it was optimized and to what extent. This is not good as it is rather easy to produce a system with a stellar past performance by curve-fitting it to the data. It is very naive to expect that the system designed this way will continue its stellar performance. The opposite is more likely, that is, the system, being not very robust, might unravel as soon as you start using it. Now, how to make sure that you are dealing with a reputable vendor? I would dismiss all hypsters as a rule. A good system can speak for itself, no hype is necessary. I would also avoid vendors who are not very forthcoming with information on the realistic system performance: for instance, they do not account in their advertising for the slippage and commissions in a realistic way. This can have grave consequences as the previous article was meant to show you. Particularly insidious can be 'non-fill' slippage occurring in systems that use limit orders. As opposed to regular slippage caused by the use of market or stop orders, the kind of slippage in question is not always easy to estimate and if not accounted for can lead to significantly inflated profits. It can even turn an essentially losing system into a great looking winning one.

I believe that the only honest way to account for this kind of slippage is by disregarding all the trades whose entry or exit prices were not penetrated by at least one tick. A robust system will survive this type of cleansing, a bogus one will not. I do this routinely with my systems, but alas, to the best of my knowledge, no one else does. If you are still wondering why, you may want to re-read my previous article. Another issue is regular slippage which should be estimated realistically depending on the particular market's liquidity. For instance, this kind of slippage is smaller for a market as liquid as the S&P500 emini futures (ES) than for the Russell 2000 emini futures (ER2) that also enjoys some popularity among traders. Finally, you definitely do not want to overpay for the system. I think that nowadays you should be able to buy a good fully disclosed system for less than $1000. However, most vendors still think that they can afford to charge more. I would avoid them. If a vendor really believes that he has a good system that is worth more, he can always generate a steady income either by employing the first option mentioned above or by leasing it (option three to be discussed next). Finally, it's good to check if a vendor offers a money back guarantee (at least conditional) for his system. Most will not, so those who do should, in my opinion, be given priority over the others. You can certainly agree that a vendor who offers some form of reasonable guarantee has more faith in his system than a vendor who shuns any idea of such a guarantee.

The third option is to lease a system on a monthly or quarterly basis. This is a good option, but very often not as good as the previous ones. Electing a system for trading in this way requires as much prudence if not more as in the other options, the reason being that when the year of using the system comes to a close you may end up paying much more for the system than you would by buying it outright and still have nothing to show for (see the previous article for an example of a situation like that). This is so, in part if not largely, because the subscription fees are absolutely not commensurate with the system actual performance, so be careful not to overpay. As a rule, I would avoid any vendors who charge more than $150 a month. The majority of them will hardly ever deliver profits to your account when all is said and done and so you want to be frugal as much as possible. Beware though of the common trap: people tend to think that if something is expensive it must be good. This is absolutely not true! A vendor who charges $300 a month for his system may not necessarily deliver greater profits than the one who charges only $150. The past hypothetical performance cannot be used as a justification for higher fees.

All systems are born equal every single quarter and the system is only as good as its next quarter and not its past 5 years. You also need to realize that unless a vendor backs up his claims of past performance with a Tradestation performance report, you should not put much faith in what he claims. However, even with the Tradestation report available you still don't know if the system has not been curve-fitted and so you might end up paying a lot for something that could be performing much worse than the past performance would indicate. It should not come as a surprise that this option is most frequently used by vendors. The reason is quite simple: they can keep milking you forever, no matter whether they deliver or not. Unlike in the first option where the vendor's fee is tied to your account's actual performance or in the second option where you can get a system for life for a one-time fee (and not only can you use it but even learn from it if the system is fully disclosed which is by far the best deal in this option), in the last option you are hardly ever in the winning position and so the only way to make sure that you do come ahead as a winner is to ensure that your subscription fee is as low as possible.

Waldemar Puszkarz, Ph.D., is a web veteran with 15 years of web surfing under his belt. By training, he is a theoretical physicist, but his interests are much broader than science and include trading financial markets, sports betting, poker, and researching online business opportunities. He is also an avid book reader and sports afficionado. Currently he is making his living mostly as a day trader. He has been in the trading trenches for almost a decade during which he has traded a variety of financial instruments. He is the owner and webmaster of ( which provides free common sense trading education and simple trading systems for e-mini and stock markets as well as reviews of honest online business opportunities in Meet HOBO ( section of his site.

Low Risk Investments Get Low Risk and Great Profits

Low risk investments are those investments that historically have provided good upside over time, along with low downside volatility.

With stock markets looking vulnerable, people are looking for a safe low risk investment.

Well, theres an investment medium with better upside potential than stocks and with far lower downside risk.

A Low Risk Investment

You may not have considered land as and investment - but it is PROVEN To be one of the safest investments in terms of downside risk. Land is also one of the best investments you can make, in terms of capital growth potential.

When most investors look at low risk investments, they normally look at bonds, money market funds, savings accounts, and blue chip stock mutual funds. Land however has proved itself as a low risk investment - and in the right location, land yields extraordinary gains.

An Example of Big Profits

Since 1997, the price of prime Costa Rican land locations are up 500% - and many investors have been doubling their investment in just a year or two!

The downside on this low risk investment has been minimal, as prices have risen year on year. Prices look set to continue upwards for the foreseeable future - as Costa Rica has become the main hot spot for Americans looking to retire overseas.

Lets look at the two things needed for big profits and low risk when investing in land: Right Country and Right Location

All investors want to make big gains - but most sensible investors know theres no such thing as money for nothing and the location of the land provides the risk in land investing.

To make capital growth from land investment, and to maximize your capital gains, you need to buy land that is ripe for development. This means the land to build on is located in a sought after area and this requires research and homework.

In our example of Costa Rica, theres plenty of building going on - and you simply need to position yourself at, or near these developments.

Low Risk Investments and Diversification

Spreading your investment portfolio into several different asset classes, to maximize capital growth potential, is a good idea. Land can provide the perfect diversification - and land is an easy to understand, low risk investment.

Unlike stocks or equities, with land you own something real - and land has historically risen in value in countries with developing economies. Our example of a low risk investment is Costa Rican land - as it has provided better returns with lower risk than stocks.

Huge gains and low risk - what more could you ask for! In fact, the gains have been huge in comparison to stocks.

Check out this low risk investment for yourself - and youll see that an investment in Costa Rican land not only provides low risk - but its also a great way to build long term wealth.

FREE Guide! - The Secrets of Building Wealth in Real Estate and Land.
Learn how to invest in land with low risk for long term capital growth.

Visit our website and grab your free report now!

Become a Mompreneur: 10 Money-Making Ideas for Moms at Home

Many moms struggle to find a way to earn some extra income and still have flexible time to devote to family. Whether youre interested in part-time work or want to start a full-time business at home, here are ten business ideas that can fit into the busiest of schedules.

1. Virtual Assistant Virtual Assistants provide administrative services to small businesses that dont have in-house staff to handle these duties. A variety of tasks can be offered at an hourly rate or on a per-job basis ranging from contact database management and writing and sending business letters, to designing brochures and newsletters and coordinating mass-mailings. Realtors and small business owners make good target clients for these kinds of services.

2. Freelance Writer Freelancers write articles for newspapers and magazines. Most articles require research, must be well-written, and suited to the style of the publication. Pay can vary widely from $.10 - $2.00 per word. Businesses also contract freelance writers to create reports, press releases, advertising copy, and other special projects.

3. Computer Tutor Computer tutors teach students how to navigate the internet, access email, set up a new computer, and use programs like Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Quickbooks. These services can be delivered one-on-one or in classes held at local adult learning campuses, retirement centers, and churches. Tutors can charge by the hour or a fee for class registration.

4. Pet Sitter Pet sitters provide in-home pet care while pet owners are on vacation. Typical service offerings include feeding and playing with the animals, yard or litter box cleanup, and dog walking. Pet sitters usually charge a per-visit fee.

5. Infopreneur - Infopreneurs sell information in the form of books, e-books, special reports, teleconferences, seminars, workbooks, and video programs. You can take advantage of your expertise in business, hobbies, or virtually any subject matter by hosting a website to sell your information products.

6. Ebay Trading Assistant Trading assistants provide a service to members of their community by acting as sales brokers on eBay. These brokers contract with clients to list items for sale, collect fees from buyers, ship the items and then keep a percentage of the profitsusually between 30-50%. This is an excellent service to offer people who are not computer savvy yet have items they would like to sell online. EBay offers a complimentary directory where trading assistants can promote their services.

7. Knitted Creations Knitting is a hot trend with plenty of opportunities for generating income. If you create hand-crafted scarves, blankets, sweaters or hats, you can sell them on eBay, consign them with local boutiques or set up a booth at a local crafts fair. You could also teach knitting classes in your home, through local adult learning centers, or at craft stores.

8. Kid Taxi If youre already taking your own kids to and from school, why not get paid to taxi other peoples kids? Many parents would be happy to spend some cash to make sure their kids get to and from school safely.

9. Resume Designer Resume designers help job seekers by crafting professional resumes and cover letters. Resumes can be created using special software or with templates and a basic word processing program. This service is in demand with college students and all kinds of job seekers. Fees range from $50 - $250 depending on the level of work involved.

10. Custom Recipe Books Every family has sacred and favorite recipes that deserve to be preserved for future generations. Creating a custom recipe book involves compiling recipes in a keepsake book using a word processing program and your creative skills. These books make great gifts and could potentially be ordered by everyone in the family tree. Books can be printed at a local copy shop or through an online publishing service such as

If you decide to start your own business, contact your county business license department and apply for the necessary permits. Fees range from $50 to $200 and the application process is relatively simple. There can be many tax advantages with a home-based business so be sure to save receipts, track any business-related mileage, and develop a solid system for accounting. Soon you could find yourself enjoying the financial and emotional rewards of business ownershipall on your own terms.

Stephanie Chandler is the author of The Business Startup Checklist and Planning Guide: Seize Your Entrepreneurial Dreams! and founder of, a directory of resources for entrepreneurs. Subscribe to the newsletter for hot tips and small business tools by sending an e-mail to

Global Forex Trading - Lesser Known Facts That Can Lead To Your Personal Wealth

Global forex trading is a lesser known facet of money making or wealth creation among the general population. You will no doubt hear about stock markets and share prices daily and also about oil prices and other commodities, but when it comes to forex trading, there is much less publicity on this compared to stock market trading and futures. However, it is a fact that the global forex trading market actually dwarfs the stock markets and even the commodities market.

At any one time, more than $2 trillion of currencies are transacted every day on the global forex market.

What is helping forex market to reach that distinction of being the largest tradeable market is that forex is tradeable at any time of the day for every day- 24/7 ! Compared to stocks and shares or commodity markets that have specific opening and ending trading times. By necessity, forex markets are available for trading anytime since price of currencies changes and fluctuates everytime. This makes it possible for the trader who has the acumen to profit from these price fluctuations.

Another characteristic of forex trading that can catapult you into wealth is the application of the system of leverage. In wealth creation, leverage accelerates your ability to create wealth from a small amount. Many people are attracted to trading stocks and shares on margin because they can get leverage on a margin account. For example, by margining your stocks and shares, you can get a leverage of 50% to 75% of your stocks so that if you have $100,000 worth of stocks and shares, you may be able to get additional margin to trade worth $50,000 to $75,000. But compared to forex margin accounts where you can get leverage of 20 times to 50 times, which is common and even up to 100% margin in some special cases.

Leverage is a main key to forex trading wealth, and is a powerful tool that can cuts both ways. You will need a good education in forex trading to gain the edge and be profitable consistently. Otherwise this immense leverage can work against you and gets you wiped off and even move into bankruptcy even faster than it can help you become a millionaire.

It is this leverage that draws people to forex trading, giving it a tint of speculative activity. While one cannot deny that there are many speculators in the forex market, there are many traders who are able to extract continuous and consistent profits trading the forex market for a living. This group of people constitute 10% of the forex traders, and the key element with them is their ability to take advantage of the price movements either as day traders, swing traders or position traders.

Are you getting a part of this personal wealth from forex trading? Discover how you can build personal wealth through forex trading by visiting my blog "Make Money Forex Trading" or visit