love affair

Americans Are Rekindling Their Dangerous Love For Credit

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/americans-are-rekindling-their-dangerous-love-for-credit-2013-9

credit card spendingFueled by a burgeoning economy, shoppers have slowly but surely rekindled their love affair with plastic. A new MasterCard analysis shows that in 2012, U.S. credit card volume grew by $172 billion year-over-year, an increase of 8.4%.

We’ve pretty much done a complete 180 since the onset of the recession. Back in 2008, Americans shifted more than $140 billion from credit to debt card spending.

You could say consumers are simply feeling more secure about their ability to handle credit card bills these days. But looking closer at the study, we found two dangerous signs that we could be getting in over our heads again.

More than half of credit users say they continuously carry a balance on their accounts and 54% of consumers say they use credit for rewards, up a full 9 points from 2008.

Credit lenders are incentivizing overspending and consumers are clearly taking the bait.

Already, we can see the effect rewards are having on credit use. The average credit card transaction is only $93, signaling that consumers are leaning on credit even for everyday purchases in order to get rewards.

Warning Signs

Credit perks are all well and good if you’re planning on paying your card down each month. But what’s the point in cashing in credit rewards if you’re dragging your credit score down and running the risk of paying late payment fees in the process?

There’s real danger in relying on credit cards just for a fe! w extra cashback points. First of all, carrying balance on your credit card is one of the easiest ways to lower your credit score. You’re basically telling lenders that you’re willing to rack up charges without having the means to pay them off in quick fashion.

“The amount of debt a consumer carries tends to be highly predictive of future credit performance because the amount a person owes has a direct impact on her or his ability to pay all their credit obligations on time each month,” says Barry Paperno, consumer operations manager for myFICO.com. “While having debt doesn’t automatically put someone in a high-risk category, as balances increase, the probability of having difficulty making payments on time each month increases.”

In an ideal world, everyone would pay down their credit card balance in full each month. Realistically speaking, most experts recommend keeping your total debt load at one-third of your available credit limit.

We’d recommend going even further. A recent FICO report found that people with the highest credit scores typically carried debt loads less than 7% of their total limits.

A good rule of thumb: If you’re about to use a credit card, just ask yourself if you’d be making that purchase if you were using cash instead. If the answer is no, chances are you’re better off keeping that card parked in your wallet.

 

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Monday, September 16th, 2013 news No Comments

How Technology Actually Saved A Paper-Based Small Business

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/ilm-corporation-survives-rise-of-computers-2013-6

Jason Cohen

People have predicted that technology would destroy Jason Cohen’s family’s company for decades. Document management does sound pretty old-fashioned. But Cohen, recently named Virginia’s Small Business Administration Small Business Person of the Year, has managed  not just to keep his company alive, but also to turn technology into an opportunity.

ILM Corporation was started in 1976 with technology for converting hardcopy materials into electronic files and manage them. As more companies started keeping their own digital files, however, business started drying up.

Soon after Cohen joined ILM in 1992, the staff had shrunk from hundreds to only six people. It was a rough period.

“You don’t avoid the pitfalls,” Cohen told Business Insider. “We all go through them and a good friend of mine once said, ‘tell me what change isn’t bloody, ugly, and messy.'”

Cohen started turning things around after buying the company from his parents in 2001. While technology had killed some jobs, like picking  up The Washington Post at 2 A.M. to digitize it, technology also opened new opportunities.

“Our love affair with paper has diminished somewhat in terms of how we’re using it,” Cohen says, “but the amount of information has expanded exponentially.”

These days people expect that information to be accessible faster than ever.

 

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Monday, June 24th, 2013 news No Comments

We Don’t Plan to Build Apps for WinPho8

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5968080/google-we-dont-plan-to-build-apps-for-winpho8

Google: We Don't Plan to Build Apps for WinPho8If you’ve been holding out for a Gmail or Drive app on WinPho8, you’re all outta luck. Google has announced that it has no plans to roll out Windows Phone 8 software for the major Google apps.

Speaking to V3, Clay Bavor, product management director at Google Apps, explained:

“We have no plans to build out Windows apps. We are very careful about where we invest and will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8. If that changes, we would invest there, of course.”

Instead, Google plans to concentrate its efforts in iOS and Android apps:

“In 2012 we’ve laid some of the ground work and really improved the experience of our core apps on mobile devices, such as adding native editing of spreadsheets for both iOS and Android apps.”

Like Google Maps, which is now back on iOS. So, if you have an intimate love affair with the big G, look like WinPho8 still isn’t for you. [V3]

Image by AP

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Thursday, December 13th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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