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Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft

Identity TheftAre you being paranoid?

Some people consider being paranoid is normal if they deal with anything that involves the share of personal info.

That is particularly a case in online shopping and financial service applications.

Regarding online shopping – although sometimes considered as technophobia – the fear of technological advances, including the Internet – the paranoid of stolen private information is more often reasonable than not, particularly today.

Identity theft

One of the reasons people being paranoid about anything involving the share of personal info is identity theft.

According to Wikipedia, Identity theft is basically a term used to refer to fraud that involves stealing money or getting other benefits by pretending to be someone else.

This fraud causes damages beyond money – your reputation, both online and off line.

There are four type of identity theft, according to Wikipedia:

  • Financial identity theft: using another’s identity to obtain goods and services.
  • Criminal identity theft: posing as another when apprehended for a crime.
  • Identity cloning: using another’s information to assume his or her identity in daily life.
  • Business/commercial identity theft: using another’s business name to obtain credit.

All causing reputation damage, and most cause financial problems for the victims.

What identity thieves can do to you

Most commonly, they will use your identity to buy goods and services, as well as applying for credit.

The latter often causes severe problems, because your identity is linked to your credit report – when identity thieves apply for a credit (and of course, they will not pay when it’s due), it’s your name linked to the credit; Not paying the credit will not only cost you money, but also problems with the collection agents and ultimately, leaving ‘red marks’ in your credit report, decreasing your credit score.

Being paranoid, on lesser extent, actually helps you to deal with the risk of identity theft

Although being paranoid is obviously unhealthy, it does arguably help you being cautious is a good way to protect yourself from identity theft.

Many people who are victims of identity theft thought that it would not happen to them – unfortunately, they realise it when it strikes them.

There are ways to help you deal with identity theft, some of them available online.

Stop being paranoid, start being cautious

You can actually start a simple measure to protect yourself from identity theft – never, ever share your personal information with non-trusted and questionable third-parties, either in online shopping or financial service applications.

However, to ensure your reputation and credit report protected, you might want to consider the help of identity theft protection service providers. They are more than ready to help you protect your identity, both online and off line.

Some of the big names providing such services are Lifelock and TrustedID.

Which one is the most suitable solution for you? You can learn about Lifelock VS TrustedID from the Net.

I also suggest you to read Lifelock Reviews and other identity theft protection reviews to learn others’ experience with the service provider.

Last but not least, don’t apply for any credit cards or credit applications on sight! Managing your personal finance closely will naturally decrease the potential of identity theft.

Image by CarbonNYC.

What You Can Do to Improve Today’s Economy

With the recent developments on global economy, especially in Asian region, I suspect that recession will peak soon – we are certainly not there, yet.

The news on Asia stock sink and the similar situation in Dow Jones, New York confirmed that we are not at the recession peak.

Again, it’s all about mindset and psychology

People are paranoid and anxious these days with the economic turbulence and uncertainty worldwide. Every single news item can shake the entire region economic stability, causing (another) breakdown in stock markets.

The money problems and the pressure of negative outlook of economy and life is mounting, leaving people stressed, uncreative and unproductive. This alone affects businesses, and eventually the stock markets.

How you and I can affect the global economy

The butterfly effect – a small action in your local area can affect the bigger community overseas, and eventually worldwide. This is how the recession started and will end someday.

The stressed you will affect your relatives, friends, and colleagues. Your relatives, friends and colleagues will affect theirs, and so on. Soon, your local community is affected, and eventually the wider community is affected.

And who do you think start the recession in your region? That’s right – You and I.

You need to learn to cope in stressful times

Colin Allen of Psychology Today wrote an interesting article about the story of a woman who step up to cope with the stressful times, due to recession and the inability to achieve what she has been planning and envisioning about.

The idea behind Colin’s article is that in tough times, like today’s massive recession, people have to learn to accept uncertainty in order to cope and marvel life challenges.

Recession will end, eventually, and will start again later on – the cycle will always present as the place we live in is not an ideal world. There will be another war, there will be another shortage and again, there will be another recession.

You and I need to move on. Otherwise, the economy won’t rebound if the community and the government didn’t do anything positive and creative to cope the recession.

Again, it is simply a butterfly effect, as a small (positive) act can affect the global community in a good way. What’s more, confidence is contagious. You can start to cope your life’s pressure, and start affecting the people around you. Soon, you will see the economy, at least your local community’s economy, will be better somehow.

Image by polandeze.

Know About Money and Finance More May Help You Beat Today’s Recession

I am a firm believer that recession is more a mind game than a fact. Of course, the impact is real, but the real battlefield is in your mind.

Outlook and mindset play a major role in how well you get through today’s recession.

Are you poor because of today’s recession?

Outlook and mindset operate just like the vague and highly relative statement, such as “I’m poor” or “I’m rich.” To the ones who make such statement, the right question to ask is “Are you satisfied of what you have right now?”

We all know that the rich-and-poor issues are focused on one thing – money. To modify the above question, “Are you satisfied of how much money you have now?”

I rarely see someone who loses his/her wealth and/or lifestyle can accept his/her condition well. Not because one doesn’t have any money, but because of the drop in lifestyle.

To make my point, consider this recent story of a recession victim in China – a billionaire lost two-thirds of her money, from approximately 8 billion dollars to 3 billion dollars due to the recent stock market crash. What do you think of this? Is she poor? no. Is she rich? yes. But she might not see the way you see the 3 billion dollars left on the table.

Indeed, many people are personally bankrupt because of the recession. But many more claim that they have gone ‘bankrupt’ and ‘poor’, which, in fact, they actually don’t – they just unsatisfied of the dropped lifestyle and net worth.

Learn more about money, survive recession better

Outlook and mindset can be influenced by the information and knowledge you acquire about finance, money and the economy.

The more you know about money and recession, the more you prepared. The more you understand them, the more you can do to face recession.

Although not all information is positive in nature, you can always benefit from others’ struggle in facing recession, and how they finally ace it.

Where to look for money information

I prefer blogs and forums to look for money information, because they are often offbeat and personalised – this will help me better personally.

What about news sites? I read the news, but only on a need-to-know basis. I prefer blogs and forums because they opinionate the news, which help me enhancing my outlook and changing my mindset. is one of the blog I stumble on searching for money info, offering blog posts, forums and resources on money. Although the forums and resources are useful, I particularly enjoy reading the blog posts.

Here’s some of my favourite posts from the blog:

Wherever you look for money info, just make sure one thing – you can beat today’s recession by knowing more about your money. Learning will opens up new thinking, and like it or not, it will emerges opportunities to benefit from.

All is coming back to you – will you ‘capitalise’ the information and knowledge you acquire?

Internet Marketing Neurofinance

Internet marketing in make money online industry is inseparable. The following are some common question marks that every Internet marketer and website owner have in mind in considering financial decisions to adopt Internet marketing strategies and tactics.

What is Internet marketing is all about?

Basically, people making money online are trying to make more money by selling more. And selling more is possible if their websites are visited by many. And to be visited by many, the websites need to be placed better in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

Why would people do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and pay for such service?

People want to rank better in the SERPs – SEO help this becoming a reality. Learning about SEO from authority sources, such as, allows you to have better understanding about SEO and make sense the SEO service and its fees.

What $1000 SEO company fee different from those that offer $100 for the same SEO service? Money get results. Business-wise, you can calculate the investment and its return by hiring an SEO company.

I believe that $1000 has more reach and better tactics than the $100 counterparts. Whenever your budget allows, hiring the top SEO service provider, such as Chicago Search Engine Optimization, will eventually paid off.

Can you Do-It-Yourself SEO?

Yes you can. However, from my experience with this site, DIY SEO will only take you to site optimization, nothing more, as the real SEO for SERPs needs you to spend a lot of time and effort to take your site to rank better.

Here is another reason for you to hire an SEO service provider, such as Search Engine Optimization Chicago: How does submitting this article to hundreds or directories and social media sound to you? If you think it is a hard work, the I definitely suggest you to hire an SEO service provider.


I suggest you not to seek the cheapest SEO service offers, as everybody claiming to be the cheapest SEO service is often translated into ‘incompetent’.

Seek SEO partner that offer you value for money and excellent support – beware of those SEO companies that use illegal tactics, as they might damage your website reputation and position in SERPs.

Information Liberates You from Your Mind Burdens About Money

Do you know that money is related to how much information available to you about any issues in your life?

Human loves things that are predictable. People trust what is seen rather than not – it’s humane. That’s why clairvoyant and fortune tellers are often two of the most interesting figures in our society – and many people in our society today believe them.

People worries about money – partly because of their mindset and knowledge on their situation is somewhat limited.

Information availability on money issues, such as how to get out of debt fast, how to get rich quick, how to save money, and so on, is important to a large group of people. The more you know, the more you understand and worry less about money.

Or is it?

Know more, worry more – but revelation is liberating

Unfortunately, the wealth of information that you acquire or enconter during your search for answers on money issues might put more question marks and worry in your life. This is due to the fact that if you learn more, you know more; if you know more, a great chance that you are becoming more worry than not.

However, once the newly-acquired information you have ‘settled’ in your brain, you start to shed a light on your money problems. Revelation does liberate you from yourself – your belived myths, your mindset, and your ignorance about money issues.

For example, you want to renovate your home, but you don’t have a strong DIY skills. You might want to look on the Net for information on your personal interest, such as Home Improvement and learn a great deal. The wealth of information overwhelm you, and you start to think that DIY is not for you and consider that it’s better to pay somebody else more money than save money through DIY. However, not for long, the information about home improvement sink in your mind, and create a new understanding and mindset about DIY – you CAN save money.

Another example of higher importance – suppose you were suffering from a certain illness, and worry that it could be cancer. You can seek info on the Net about Cancer Signs, and learn whether your illness is a possible cancer or not. The new-found information shocks you, and shake your view of your future and the money involve in any medications, but you soon gather yourself up and start check yourself up to GP, then look for second opinion while start budgeting about financial issues of your illness. Financially ready, now you can fight your illness – thanks to the knowledge you’ve just acquired.

Money and information – almost all information is funneling into one issue: money

You notice from the examples – can be real life situations – that almost all information is eventually end up to one issue: money.

Again, I would like to insist you this statement: Money is not everything, but everything needs money. Not entirely accurate, but you can get the point. Referring to the examples above, from home improvement to cancer signs, all information leads to to one action: manage your personal finance better (and more strict).

Seek knowledge (information), as knowledge will set you free.

Inspiring Rags to Riches Stories

New rich, or Nouveau Riche in French, refers to people who ‘made it’ from nothing to something in term of financial authority.

Stories about noveau riche are always be rags to riches stories. This wiki about Nouveau Riche explains that rags to riches stories are always be inspiring to us.

Rags to riches stories are motivational, mindset changing and focus on the end line, rather than the journey.

Example of rags to riches stories

Arguably, Bill Gates is the Nouveau Riche most prominent example.

Although his relatives are one of the most successful figures in their business and profession, Bill’s journey is not as smooth as you might have thought. A Harvard drop out, Bill with friend Paul Allen founded Microsoft, the software behemoth. Today, Bill is the richest man in US and number 3 in the world.

Bill Gates story might not interest other as he seems not ‘that rag’.

My favourite story of ‘the real’ noveau riche is that of Gurbaksh Chahal, a serial entrepreneur whose one of his businesses, BlueLithium, is acquired by Yahoo! for $300 million.

Gurbaksh is a school drop out at 16, and his parents, Indian immigrants, struggled financially for years. Today, Gurbaksh, 25 years old, has a net value of $100 million. Although not a billionaire (yet), his story is more ‘down to earth’ and might inspire people better than the Bill Gates story.

Why rags to riches stories are inspiring?

Rags to riche stories are inspiring due to:

  • Role models – they can make it, and so do you.
  • Success stories motivate people to follow the noveau riche footsteps and follow the dos and don’ts during the rags to riches journey.
  • Affirmation – positive stories create positive mindset and they are definitely suggestive. This will lead to people who are into the success stories to actually be better in their financial mindset and performance.

How to go from rags to riches?

Noveau riche main ability is to garner opportunities when they are unearthed. Consider this opportunities as gold rush, and the noveau riche is the gold mining pioneer.

Basically, the right opportunities at the right time are always present – people call this luck, I call this window of opportunity.

The most prominent way to go from rags to riches is through entrepreneurship – although professionals can achieve great success and go from rags to riches, the authorities of noveau riche are all entrepreneurs.

Business opportunities, such as this Nouveau Riche opportunities, are more likely to born new riches than not.

My favourite business opportunity is being a social entrepreneurs in South Africa – great opportunities for great minded entrepreneurs that eager to help local community to have better welfare by opening prospect business with the help of social investors.

It’s all about mindset and mentality

In going rags tor iches, resilience and perseverance is needed. 95% of people fail because they lack resilience and perseverance.

Noveau riche is all about money and minds.

Does Short Term Financial Fix Can Really Solve Financial Problems?

Most people would do anything to solve financial problems, as financial problems almost always come along with relationship problems.

As money is still a taboo topic today, financial problems are getting worse by not having a constructive and honest conversation about money.

An article by Psychology Today explained that although money is an emotionally loaded topic, it is still taboo topic to talk in family conversation. The result, as financial problems strike, is that most family ‘blindly’ take any financial help on sight, often in the form of unsecured loans.

Personal loans, mostly short term, are often viewed as a solution by family facing financial hardships. Come in the form of payday loans and cash advances, personal loans offer short term remedies for those financial problems.

This is where the problem lies.

Personal loans themselves are actually useful and purposed to help people. However, taking loans without proper money knowledge will eventually make the financial hardship even worse. This, in turn, creates a general opinion that personal short-term loans are negative and should be avoided whenever possible.

I viewed the negative reputation of personal short term loans is a misled perception. The high APR is often considered as the main culprit of many financial hardships, thus receiving negative reputation. The facts often prove the otherwise. The limited knowledge and wrong mindset of the borrowers are the actual culprit.

Personal loans as short term financial fix

Most personal loans are installment loans – a certain amount of loan should be paid back at the definite due date until all the total amount are paid off. This, in itself, is actually helping borrowers to cut the headaches and avoid late payment penalties. Some personal short term loan providers are even allowing you to pay off loan whenever you can, thus limiting the amount of interest paid.

Although short term loans are notably higher in APR than traditional loans, the fast approval and low credit score-friendliness are strong appeals for people and family with immediate need of cash.

Short term loan CAN solve financial problems

Short term loans, with the right attitude and knowledge, can solve financial problems, as well as relationship problems.

I suggest you to learn about the good debt and bad debt. Good debts put money in your pocket, while bad debts take money from it. In other words, use your personal short term loans not as your source for personal shopping and debt clearing, but for cash management enhancing purposes, such as securing profitable side business deals.

As long as you understand the concept of good debt and bad debt, short term loans offer options for your personal finance management endeavour.

Credit Card Minds

Many people think credit cards as the temporary solution for their long term financial problems. What I mean by financial problems is not financial hardship, but financial knowledge.

Credit cards main selling points are convenience, cashless and rewards. People sign for credit cards for those perks.

While credit card offers today is interesting – some offered 0% APR on Purchases, even 0% on everything – many people will eventually build up their credit card debts.

The question – why with all of the free and 0% offers some people still in deep credit card debts, that take years to clear and have to pay hefty amount of outstanding plus interest?

The answer – it is ‘humane’ that people always want more. Along with bad personal financial management, bad spending habit and wrong money mindset, here are why people stumble on credit card debts.

  • You make more money, you spend more money
    People always want to get rich. However, people forget that being rich doesn’t mean you have a lot of money. For some, being rich is status – no matter how much debt they have. Some of status symbol is credit cards. Having a strong financial knowledge will help you to make more and spend not too much.
  • You spend what you see and always want what you don’t see
    “If you have $100 in your wallet, how long will it last?” Most people will answer, “Right away!” Not many people have the strong will to spend carefully of their cash. Most of us need the cash to be ‘secured’ from ourselves to investment instruments, such as deposits or mutual funds. Credit cards alleviate this problems.
  • Convenience often makes you go loose
    Fast food is convenient – you can eat as you go. This, not considering the content of the fast food itself, will cause people to eat more, simply because of the convenience. This also applies to credit cards. Convenience in credit cards will likely cause you to spend more than you should.

I don’t recommend you not to have credit cards. Credit cards are actually very useful in our daily lives. However, I strongly recommend you not to have credit card outstanding debts.

Having a credit card today does offer you perks, such as:

  • 0% is always a good deal
    0% APR on Purchases, 0% APR balance transfer, free annual fee, and even 0% everything – the competing credit card issuers mean benefit for us consumers.
  • Convenient
    Convenience is credit cards main selling point – credit cards is easy to carry and secure – if anything goes wrong, call your issuers to block the cards.
  • Reward is, well, rewarding
    Frequent fliers, hotel deals, dining deals, cash backs, and other rewards are lavishing frequent shoppers.
  • Saving with credit cards
    You can save a lot of money if you know which credit card issuers offering what – Go to credit card comparison websites to learn more which issuers are the right ones for you.

I strongly recommend you to have the right mindset before applying for any credit cards, to get all the benefits of credit cards, such as savings, and avoid all the problems that most people with credit cards have, such as outstanding debts.

How Health Insurance can Actually Give You Better Physical and Financial Well-being

According to, there are 16 per cent of US resident this live without health insurance. As that will affect directly to the person without the insurance, in the long term this will affect US economy in the future.

If you one of them that have not protected by proper health insurance, consider applying for one. You need to protect your greatest asset – your health – in order to protect your and your family well-being. Even the sense of security in having an insurance is actually helping you being more healthy, as psychological issues play major role in health.

The role of health insurance in personal neurofinance

Consider this snapshot fo the article from

How are psychology and medicine linked?

Seven of the nine major causes of death–including tobacco use, alcohol abuse and poor diet–stem from behavior. Between 50 and 70% of all visits to physicians are for problems rooted from psychology and mounting evidence proves that psychological intervention can be useful in treating a wide range of problems, from AIDS and asthma to obesity and osteoporosis.

From the article snapshot above, we can learn than most health problems related to psychology. In the other way around, health problems can affect your psychological well-being due to stressors, such as difficulty in paying medical bills and other financial strains.

It is safe to assume that all physical and financial well-being are led by and leading to psychology issues.

How health insurance can give you better physical and financial well-being

Of course, health insurance is not a medicine. However health insurance can have a placebo effect to the insured.

Taking a personal individual insurance can help you protect your financial well-being and give you the sense of security, leading to better physical and psychological well-being. The effect of those is similar to the placebo effect I mentioned earlier.

Also, having you as a health insurance sales leads, insurance agents will take a good care of you and your needs throughout your insurance account lifetime. This, in itself, will act as an added sense of being well taken care of. Just make sure that you choose the right Insurance Company and the right agent.

I recommend you to seek recommendations on health insurance providers that offer exceptional coverage and support.

The Need to Protect Your Income

The issue of income protection has been in everybody’s mind for long, especially in tough times. It is obvious that people always looking for a form of save haven for their hard-earned money.

A question that often being raised is, “if anything happened to me, will my family or others that depend on me be able to survive?”

Nobody can deny that sometimes we forget about what is best, not only for us, but also for our loved ones. Some people has a motto of ‘work hard, play hard.’ Even though everybody’s life is his/her own to decide, people often forget the priorities in life. People need to secure the fruit of their labour first, then ‘play hard’ on the remaining, later on.

Sadly, people do love tarrying – ‘I will do it tomorrow’ seems to be the norm in society. People realise their true priorities after misfortunes or unfortunate events happen – bankruptcy, downsized, disability, sickness and even death. Then, people start panicking and taking any advices they can get from, that unfortunately, not always the best advices you should receive.

Consider the following statement about protecting your income.

…a recent survey …found that 25 per cent of Americans are worried about losing their jobs within the next six to 12 months because of weakening economic conditions, while 28 per cent are concerned about losing their income because of an accident or illness that would make them unable to work. The study also revealed that 41% of employees with 401(k) or similar retirement accounts would be willing to borrow from such accounts to cover lost income.

The survey does describe the economy outlook today, and people do have all their right to be worried. A form of income protection, such as income protection insurance, is needed to minimise your worry and turn your energy to seek other income alternatives, such as starting out businesses, instead.

I would like to recommend you to start protecting your income and your asset more sooner than latter, and set a plan of action to be implemented for, at least, 6 months period. This will create a physical and psychological safety net that let you prepare for the worst.

If you looking for ways to protect your income, look to the people you trust or income protection specialists for advices. A word of advice, though – always look for a second opinion. Do your homework, and doing the right thing will eventually ‘save’ yourself and your loved ones.

Again, stop worrying and start acting today, before you regret that it is all too late.

The cost of children

The costs start before birth, in extra doctor’s visits (and anti-emetics) for the mom-to-be. They spike during the hospital stay and remain high through the diaper-and-baby-food stages, the ever-larger clothing, the field trip money, and eventually college. Kids are expensive; the cost of a child born this year and raised in the Midwest: $183,510, not including college, according to this calculator. And they give an extremely poor interest rate. Financially speaking, having children makes no sense. So why do people do it?

Common wisdom is that children make you happy. But psychological research indicates that’s not true; as described in this Newsweek article, childless couples have the same amount of emotional wellbeing as people with children and tend to be more satisfied with their marriages. Children offer companionship, but so do spouses and pets. Children, in fact, seem to come with no other rewards and some serious drawbacks: the sacrifice of time and self-identity, the additional responsibility, and especially the pricetag.

With that said, however, most people have or plan to have children, even though they can’t specifically say way. This Plain Dealer article describes the attempts of semester after semester of college students to figure out why people should want to have children. They fail. But chances are, most of them went on to have children. I plan to have children, even though I know my life would in some ways be richer (literally and metaphorically) without them. Why?

Since there’s no rational reason to have children, the answer lies in the irrational: in our biological roots. It’s likely that having children is an instinct buried so deep that we don’t recognize it as an instinct, the way we automatically look toward sharp movement or loud noises, but we obey it anyway. Part of the definition of natural selection is that traits that enhance an organism’s chance of passing on its genes tend to spread in a population. What trait would enhance those chances more than the tendency to want to have children? By definition, a species that didn’t have urges towards procreation would shortly be wiped out. Humans have spread out over the globe not just because of our tools and our intelligence, but also because of our population.

It is a fact that the best decision, financially speaking, is not to have children. But that’s not what most of us will do. And that’s a good thing. It’s healthy for us to want things other than riches, healthy to know that there are important things in life other than money.

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