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The Retired Persons Guide to Making Money Online

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Success Working at Home

Do you want to start a home based business? Is it your dream to run your own show so that you never again have to listen to your boss? If this sounds like you, you are in a group of thousands of other people. It is safe to say that in some point in everyone’s life they dream of running their own business. The benefits and advantages of having a home based business are many. If you are lucky enough to ever have this chance you should really revel in it. Remember, not everybody can be so lucky.

But you are probably asking yourself if you can really have success with a home business. The answer to this question is simple, yes. If you know what you are doing and take your time, you can have success running a home business. Unfortunately, it is not always as easy as it may seem. You are going to run into problems from the very beginning, and there are going to be times when you think about giving up.

The first thing that you need to do when setting up a home business is to make a decision on what you want to concentrate on. In other words, WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS GOING TO DO? This is a question that can sometimes be hard to answer. The majority of people want to do something that they like, but at the same time they do not know how to get started. You need to remember that in order for your home business to be a success YOU HAVE TO LIKE WHAT YOU ARE DOING. If you don’t like your home business idea, why move forward in the process? You will simply end up in the same situation that you are in with your current job.

Also, a successful home business needs time to grow. You should never think that you are going to take off within a couple days of opening up shop. It is going to take you a bit of time to get your bearings and take off. For this reason, patience is very important to the success of your home business. With patience you will be able to wait out the rough times that are bound to show up time and time again. No home business starts making big time money in the first day. But if you take your time you will get to where you want to be.

Overall, you can have a lot of success with a home business. It may not be easy at first, but as time goes by you will become comfortable with what you are doing. Sooner or later you will be making profits on your own.

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

How and Why to Invest in Gold in this Economy

Republished from Money and Markets (October 5, 2006 edition):

At the height of the U.S. Civil War, the combined military expenditures of the North and South were running at an estimated $2.5 million per day – $29.5 billion a day in today’s dollars.

By the end of the war in 1865, $8 billion had been spent, the equivalent of $944 billion today.

To cover the staggering costs, taxes, tariffs and duties were raised to new highs. Tidal waves of government bonds were issued. Interest rates soared. Money was printed with reckless abandon, and inflation took off like a bat out of hell.

The result: By the end of the Civil War, both the Confederate and Union currencies had lost so much value that a pair of boots cost $2,361 in today’s dollars. Butter was the equivalent of $177 per pound.

No one wanted to hold paper currency, period. But the stock market, viewed as an inflation hedge, soared during much of the war, with some issues, especially railroads, rising 50%, 60%, 70%, or more.

Even so, some of the biggest gains were being made in the gold trading pit in New York: Between 1861 and 1863, the price of gold shot up from $20.67 to over $35 an ounce, a 75% gain.

In 1864, gold exploded to $53.35, or $800 in today’s dollars. It then went even higher, nearly tripling to $162.50 on September 24, 1869. That’s $2,252 an ounce in today’s dollars!

Prices finally retreated when President Grant broke the back of the bull market and the U.S. Treasury dumped more than $4 million of gold on the market. Still, the price of gold never fell below its pre-Civil War level of $20.67.

Jim Fisk and Jay Gould, who led the gold rally in the 1860s, are history. Twenty-four U.S. presidents have come and gone. The characters have changed, but the song remains the same …

Why Circumstances Today Are Eerily Similar to the Forces Behind the Civil War Gold Boom

The war on terror is costing the U.S. $200 million every 24 hours. To date, the war has cost $332 billion.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz estimates the total cost of the war will end up north of $1 trillion, including up to $300 billion in future health costs for wounded troops. That’s nearly 20% of our country’s current gross domestic product.

And in terms of expenditures per soldier, the war on terror is the most expensive war in the history of the U.S.

As in the 1860s, the national debt is now mushrooming out of control. Including government agencies and government-sponsored enterprises, it stands at $11.3 trillion today.

That’s more than $37,000 of debt for every man, woman, and child in the U.S.

The total IOUs the government is now liable for — including unfunded Social Security, Medicare, government pensions, military benefits, and more — is an estimated $54 trillion.

Meanwhile, much like during the Civil War, the U.S. dollar is coming under pressure, creating the equivalent of a financial black hole. In the past four years alone, the dollar has lost an average of 30% of its value against a basket of the world’s currencies.

As you can see from the chart, the U.S. dollar stands on the edge of a precipice, and it looks like it’s about to start plunging anew. This is why I think ...

Gold Remains Your Single Best Protection

To be sure, there are huge differences between the 19th century Civil War and the 21st century War on Terror. But the parallels in the economic environments are not to be underestimated, in my view.

I’ve long thought that gold could easily hit $1,000 an ounce. Today, I’m more certain than ever. Indeed, by the time this gold bull market ends, I’m quite confident we’ll see the yellow metal at more than $2,000.

Food for thought: Gold’s 1980 high of $850 an ounce would be the equivalent of $2,150 in today’s dollars if adjusted for inflation over the last 26 years. That’s unusually close to its peak in 1864.

Strange coincidence? I don’t think so. It’s just another indication that the $2,000 level is not an unrealistic target.

By far, the most important thing to realize is this: Gold is the single best protection against the scenario we see unfolding. And, as an investment to hold for the next several years, I think it’s better than bonds, better than Dow stocks, and better than tech stocks. In fact, gold is a better long-term investment than any other asset out there, in my opinion.

Reason: Gold should hold its value more firmly than nearly all other assets during broad declines, and it should substantially outperform during major advances.

I believe that, long term, it has more upside potential than silver, oil, or copper. Gold is money … real money … real wealth. It has stood the test of time, like no other asset in the world. Its history goes back over 5,000 years. And its history should go on for another 5,000.

That doesn’t mean you should run out and put 100% of your money into gold. Far from it! Keep no more than 10% of your net worth in physical gold or the equivalent, using today’s gold bullion Exchange-Traded Funds, like the StreetTracks Gold Fund (GLD).

You might also consider putting another 10% into gold mining shares, where you get upside leverage on the price of precious yellow metal.

A few rules about gold investments though ...

Rule #1: Never invest in just one mining company. Rather, invest in a minimum of three at a time for diversification.

Rule #2: Stay away from mining companies that hedge more than 50% of their in-ground gold reserves, or their annual gold production. In a rising gold market, those so-called “hedges” could cause serious losses.

Rule #3: For gold mining shares, I like to use a trailing 10% stop loss to help reduce risk. Don’t lower the stop when the market moves against you. But raise it each time the stock gains 3% from your entry price on a closing basis. If you’re stopped out, don’t fret. Assuming there hasn’t been any serious adverse fundamental change in the company, there should be ample opportunity to get back in -- either on the next dip, or when the stock shows renewed strength.

Rule #4: Always keep the big picture in view. The gold strategies I’m talking about here are designed for your core, long-term portfolio. What the price of gold does from one day to the next should not be an issue for you.

You’re riding a major trend. Let it do most of the work for you.

Larry

This investment news is brought to you by Money and Markets. Money and Markets is a free daily investment newsletter from Martin D. Weiss and Weiss Research analysts offering the latest investing news and financial insights for the stock market, including tips and advice on investing in gold, energy and oil. Dr. Weiss is a leader in the fields of investing, interest rates, financial safety and economic forecasting. To view archives or subscribe, visit http://www.MoneyandMarkets.com

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

The booming work at home industry

More people leave the office grind behind to work at home.

Whether downsized, outsourced, or sick and tired of cubicle hell, more people are earning their living by working at home. The work at home industry is booming with a diverse lot of income earning opportunities. People of all skill and education levels can find a niche in this market.

Telecommuters

Technology has enabled former office rats to do their work at home. Armed with a computer, fax, and telephone, employees from back office data entry to management staff are able to perform part or all of their jobs at home. The telecommuting option is appreciated by workers as it allows them more freedom and control over the work day and more time to spend with families. Companies find that this set up often improves employee morale and productivity.

Net Work

Earning money via the Internet has become an increasingly popular option in the work at home industry. Chances are you know someone who sells merchandise on eBay. Many online merchants are working out of their homes. The Internet offers a wealth of opportunities for writers to earn a living at the keyboard. People with an Internet-based career often start on a part-time basis while working their regular office gig. Once their "web job" takes off, they escape the office grind for full-time work at home.

Home Work versus Home Base

Another option in the work at home industry is a home-based business where you go out in the field to provide services for customers. This is a wide open opportunity - think of any product or service that people need and, viola, you have a business. The senior population is exploding. Start an elder service that helps seniors with light housekeeping, grooming, and transportation. Two career families and busy folks in general equal a business for you running errands such as shopping, chauffeuring kids, and picking up dry cleaning.

You can strike out on your own with these home-based businesses or buy a franchise. Franchises offer a brand name people know and trust along with marketing support from the headquarters office. Start up costs can be out of reach for a lot of people, however, there are hundreds of franchise options in the work at home industry that will fit with small budgets.

Scam Alert

The Internet and print and broadcast media are full of ads for great-sounding work at home opportunities. Sadly, the work at home industry is full of scam companies that advertise high income home-based jobs. Some ads are specific while others are vague and keep you in the dark about the exact nature of the pie in the sky venture.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Do your research before you plunge into any work at home opportunity. Talk with others who are working at home. Check out franchises or Internet opportunities with the Better Business Bureau. Despite the scam artists, there are thousands of options in the work at home industry and one of them will suit you.

Sources:
funcareers, (funcareers.com)

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Avoiding Home Business Scams

How many times have you heard about a great home business opportunity? Probably more than you care to remember. But to go along with this how many of these home business opportunities ended up being a scam? Again, probably quite a few. Hopefully, you were never the victim of any of these scams. But unfortunately there are others who probably fell for these “opportunities.” The fact of the matter is that these scammers would not be wasting their time if they were not making any money. And as long as people continue to get mixed up in this business, these scammers are going to stick around to trick more and more people.

The best way to avoid a home business scam is to thoroughly research each opportunity before you move forward with it. This means doing much more than simply reading a bit about it online. You may get lucky and end up with a good home business opportunity, but chances are that you will not. Not only will you want to read what is available on the site itself, but you will also want to search for other information as well. Check with third party review sites and on message boards and forums. You may find out soon enough that a certain company has been reported as being nothing more than a scam.

You may also want to check with the Better Business Bureau if you are thinking about getting involved with a home business opportunity that you are not sure of. They will be able to tell you if they have any complaints on file. If they do, you will want to avoid the opportunity at all costs. But if it appears that a company is doing business the right way, you can continue your research.

Before you decide to do anything, attempt to get in touch with the company that you are interested in. Can you get them on the phone? Do they respond to your emails? If you cannot even talk to a company before you start, there is no chance that they will be around when you need them. This is one test that you can run early on in order to ensure that you are dealing with a reputable company. If you do happen to get an employee on the phone ask them questions in order to get some feedback on the company. Anything that will give you better insight into the home business opportunity is a good question.

Overall, home business scams are all over the place. Do your part in putting them out on the street by not falling prey. The best way to do this is through extensive research and questioning.

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Monday, October 02, 2006

Selling Information Products for Online Income

Knowledge is Wealth (if you sell information products)

Selling products or services isn't the only way to make money online. What you know can earn you a nice income. People are always looking for information to help with a problem, to educate them, or to entertain them. There is big money in information products on the Internet. The potential for huge profits are great because you have low startup costs and no inventory.

The most common information product is an eBook. An eBook is simply information in an electronic rather than paper format. Other information products include:

streaming video viewed on a web page
audio files on tape or CD
pod casts
access to web pages where info is stored
printed books, CDs, DVDs sent to buyers.

Computer + Topic = Information Product

Big money in information products happens because the process is very easy to create. Choose an interesting topic, put fingers to keyboard and in a little while you've created an info product. If the topic is really hot, you may start earning income hours later. Internet technology provides 24/7 sales and delivery of product. Automate your site so you can sell the product, process the payment, deliver the item via email, and follow up with the buyer later to check on customer satisfaction (and sell more stuff!).

What makes a good information product?

Practically any subject can net big money in information products. How to start a business, self-improvement techniques, career advice - if you can think of a topic, there are probably people willing to buy the information product you put together.

Use your interests and expertise for subject ideas. Search online forums to locate people who might be interested in your information product. Offer to send them a free copy of your info product. This will spark sales and lead to referrals for you.

No writing experience needed.

You don't have to be Pulitzer Prize material to create information products. There are millions of works in the public domain that you can republish and sell. These include non written items such as art, photos, old films, and historical speeches. You can even hook up with a talented writer to help you create an information product and pay him a flat fee or percentage of the profits.

You could make a video of yourself or another person demonstrating a skill (cooking, crafts). Budding musicians can record their songs and sell them as an mp3 download. There's even a guy who records himself reading nursery rhymes and sells the CD to parents with small children.

Product Promotion

A lot of fledgling book authors and musicians sell their books and CDs from the back of their car trunk. For online information products, your web site is your car trunk. Create a site specifically for selling your information products. Participate in affiliate programs to increase site traffic and sales for your items.

Sources

"The Best Product to Sell Online," (entrepreneur.com)
"Selling a Product on the Internet," (2createawebsite.com)
"What is The Perfect eBay Product???," (skipmcgrath.com)

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Retired Persons Guide to Making Money Online

If you are retired you have a great opportunity to make money online. After all, you will have as much time as you need in order to make sure that you are a success. Unlike other people that try to make money online, you will not have to work another job in order to stay afloat financially. You can make this work to your advantage, and be making money online before you ever thought possible.

Listed below are a few tips that you should follow if you are retired and looking to make money online.

1. The first thing that you will need to do is make sure that you have enough knowledge of the internet to be successful. Some retirees never used the internet in the past. If you do not have experience online there is no reason to give up on your goal. Simply get connected and start dabbling. For assistance you may want to purchase a book or two on getting started online. These will give you basic information on the internet, and what you need to know to get started. You may also want to take a course at a local community college. This is a great way of getting first hand instructions from a professional.

2. When you are ready to go, the next thing that you must do is make a decision as to how you want to make money. Do you want to start an online business? Or do you want to use affiliate programs to make money? Some retirees find that the easiest way to make money online is to bring their past work knowledge into their venture. This way they already have knowledge on the industry. This is a great option that you should consider.

3. After getting your business idea in line, you will need to set up a business and marketing plan. This will help to keep you on track during your quest to make money online. By having a business plan in place you will be able to stay on track no matter what is thrown at you. And a marketing plan is very important so that people know you exist.

4. Stay patient when trying to make money online. Just like anything else you are going to run into problems along the way, and you will probably feel like giving up. But by staying with your plan, you will reach your goals soon enough.

Overall, retired people can make a lot of money online. If you are in this situation, you will want to follow the tips above in order to get started. By doing so you will be on track to making money online, and supplementing your income.

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