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Saturday, September 26, 2009

ROTH Conversion in 2010

Many of us know about this, but the essence of this is captured in a very good article by Fidelity
please check it out
http://personal.fidelity.com/misc/framesets/iwarticle.shtml?pagename=VP0909roth

What are your views on ROTH IRA conversion , if you have a portfolio of Simple, SEP and other IRAS what would be the strategy, ALL , PART or NONE and why

Post your thoughts on ROTH conversion --

Thursday, September 17, 2009

More Money Management -

Expanding on previous topics on money management,
What has the crash in '08 taught all of us, what truly is a strategy , what are the variety of common products that a regular house hold can expose themselves, how important is to have a strategy in place ?
Say for example if a family makes 10,000$ a month, and spends 6000$ of it and retains 4000$ as savings what should be your strategy
Sit back and think if you have a clear idea in mind that
1000$ goes towards RISK Free CDs/banks/money markets
500$ goes towards Equity markets directly as stock purhcases - long term
500$ goes towards Equity markets directly as options purhcases - short term
500$ goes to Treasury securities
1000$ goes towards a diversified managed portfolio of mutual funds
500$ goes towards a high risk Hedge or Oppurtunities or Derivative fund
What is the risk spread you have
1500$ towards NO loss very conservative
1500$ towards Market oriented products - you do well if market does well
1000$ towards high risk instruments that are market agonistic

Im not saying this is a good strategy, but its a strategy better than having NONE and putting money in all CDs or bank accounts for the most infamous reason -" i dont have the time to manage"
WELL you had the time to make the 4000$ how hard can it be to split and put in buckets that formulate a strategy
STEADY monthly investment approach - enables dollar cost averaging across strategies that are at various market price points at various times
Its been a proven way and provides a discipline in investing and commitment
Now that we are in that subject,
Please post what would be your model strategy for say 5000$ monthly investment plan
If you have 5000$ a month to invest what would be your strategy
i think colloboration is half the work in investing so post your thoughts

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Strategies for Money Management

I think we all can agree making money is far easier than managing money
With 10 to 20 years of career and work experience around, our minds are focussed on progressing in ladders and focussing on new thing while we get paychecks and other forms of income but dont concentrate on managing the MADE MONEY
how to get better at this
what are the approaches
I understand the main followers in this blog have international exposure to markets from
Say US, INDIA, CHINA primarily
Given that as the premise,
How to better manage an create an intnerational portfolio diversified across currencies, vehicles, strategies,markets, philosophies, governments, growth segments
Lets start talking this week from topics on US markets

US markets
What are good strategies for investments
What are good products
What are efficient what are inefficient
What makes long term sense
Did the recent crash change the game of long term buy and hold
What strategies we need to apply for 2010 to 2015 ???/
What are the big wave segments

PLS POST share your thoughts for the COMMON good

Catching up -- Sorry for the no show for 2 months

Well - i think the startup syndrome affects me as well
active while i start and then doze off after the initial spike loses
sorry , i will try to catch up
Im trying to shift this blog's main topics of interest into money management in an interest to see if a lot of interaction would happen
i will start a thread shortly
Soon !!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mens Wimbledon Finals

Fedex vs Roddick
So how many of you thought it was going to be a wash for Roger playing Andy roddick
Yes he has done the same twice and should be a no brainer
Guess not, This was simply one of the best matches i have seen on tennis ever
yes federer could not break a set of andy roddick and the only time he did he won the championship
Roddick played a great game, the difference in the men was sheer mental calmness and maturity levels to play at ease and not commit errors.
When presented a break point Roger was able to convert, while Roddick had chances in second set at 5-1 tiebreaker, 5th set at 15-40 vs Roger's serves, that he could have easily converted to a championship, but the MENTAL toughness of Roger prevailed
A side note on some historic friendship, i went to watch TIGER WOODS at the Congressional Country club on his final day of the AT&T national PGA and he pulls his cell phone and texts some body before the tee off,
I later realize it was to ROGER saying - Way to go , its my turn now ,
These guys are TRULY in their LEAGUE of their OWN,
Its a sheer talent coupled with the capability to detach themselves from the crowd, attention around and just purely focus on the GAME makes them truly GREAT SPORTSMEN
My sunday July 5th 2009 was a rewarding and fulfilling one , thanks to Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Tiger Woods and Anthony Kim

People with Pets

Pet meds and insurance
Following my Costco addiction i saw this post in one of my fav deal hunting forum
Check it out
Use Costco Pharmacy for your pet meds. Save up to 88% over what your Vet charges!!
This should work on many medications that are used for people and pets.My 18 year old cat Spot is taking 2 Methimazole 5 Mg Tabs twice a day for his hyperthyroid. That works out to 120 pills a month.My vet was selling me the pills for $1.00 a piece which works out to $120 a month.I then checked a 1800PetMeds. They charge about $0.40 a pill, using a 20% discount code, which works out to be $48 for the month. To get free shipping, which applies to any order over $50, I had to order 2 months.I then checked at Costco. They charged $0.26 a pill. They also have FREE Pet Insurance for Costco members for medication which dropped the price down to $0.24 a pill. You fill out a short form at the pharmacy window when you drop off the prescription and enter you membership number to get the discount. It took me 5 minutes to complete the form. On top of all that they stocked a 10 Mg Tab which reduced the number of pills I needed by half and made the monthly total $14.40 which works out to a 88% saving.Petmeds only had the 5 Mg Tab.You can check the meds prices at Costco website [costco.com]. These prices do not include the Free Pet Insurance discount. You will have to check with your local Costco for the discount price.FYIThis might work for other discount pharmacy like Walmart. I did not check because I dont have a Walmart near my home but it would be cool to get them for $4 bucks.The next time your pet requires medication have your vet write a prescription and then shop around for the best price.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

MJ - King of Pop DIES --

MJ - Sad day
Michael Jackson suffers a servere cardiac arrest , LA times and TMZ reports he is dead
We grew up listening to Michael's music, in a way his music was gateway to english music as a young kid to me
Age 50 and severe prescription drug abuse suspected
Amidst all controversies he is a great a entertainer and great person
A great loss ---
I guess the nation and all prime time TV is mourning in Michael's memories

Moral Highground of US Politics

Election stump on moral high ground

From time and again, i have always witnessed US politicians portraying their picture perfect family on TV ads, national conventions, party speeches, fund raisers, rallies etc.

What are they trying to tell us, that they have a perfect family they uphold family values and they stand as an example to the community they try to serve

Hmmmm

REALLY .... NOT REALLY

I guess they are getting busy with their campaign staff, secretary or wifes of administration officials or staff members.

Well what is that with moral high ground that these politicians like to drum beat so much that people really care to vote for them ANYWAYS ????

I just dont get it

Politicians like

John edwards

Newt Gingrich

John Ensign

Larry Craig

Gary Condit

David Vitter

and a long list .....

most of them had a great issue with my FAV - Bill Clinton wanted to impeach him , drag him to trial and what not.

Well im not defending Bill, he has his own share of issues, but we vote or select a candidate to run in public office due to his quals not because if he is a model husband, father and family person.

Does not mean he can cheat and be a smart person, but being a moral upholder BUYS me nothing to chose a candidate

So all this HYPE over SHOWCASING the wife, the kids, the dog, has to STOP because its a waste of time

I come from a state in INDIA where my current chief executive of the state has 3 wives, ( 2 alive) and the previous exec was a never married , one time mistress and now turned a GAY women.

But you know what they do a KICK ASS job in running the government in the state, no body cares about their personal lives we just want good things to be done by the government to the state.

AND THATS THE BOTTOM LINE

NOT SHOWING OFF YOUR WONDERFUL FAMILY AND CHEATING AT THE BACK OF THEM

GROW UP POLITICIANS




Monday, June 22, 2009

Metro Collision in DC

Metro Collision
Today a very unfortunate accident happened in red line metro line in DC metro area. Normal citizens who were tired of daily rains and shower decide to leave a bit early from their normal routines to get back to kids who were off from school for summer.
Boom, the train they travel ran into a stationary training waiting to get into a station.
7 passengers feared dead and many injured. This is an issue, lets look back and see how many times this has happened
See list below
Train collisions
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-on_collision#Accidents

The thought i cannot comprehend is there are numerous planes in the air, taking off and landing from runways across the country, large airports like Chicago, Atlanta, LA and SFO running very smooth.
Why does so little air head on collisions have occurred and so many train head on collisions happen
Check the list of Airline head on collisions
Planes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid-air_collision

I don't get it , when we can manage air traffic over satellites and wireless and other technologies how hard is it to manage train lines that run through all our infrastructure on a daily basis
Where are we slipping ????

Post your thoughts

Summer Movies in Regal

Summer ---

School is out and kids are bored if you are planning to take them out for a movie day
check this out --

http://www.regmovies.com/nowshowing/familyfilmfestivalschedule.aspx

Enjoy

Friday, June 19, 2009

US opinion on international elections

Passing judgement on international elections
Recently IRAN had its general elections and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared a landslide winner. Protests followed and world drew its attention.
Every body looked up to President Obama to pass a judgement on his view of the election results
I have a fundamental problem, what does US opinion on General elections on other countries matter ? I know we have a vested interest - no doubt,
But if India or Pakistan or Iran elects an official or a party for office the fact of the matter is no one can do any thing about it. To dispute it there are courts and judicial system much similar to US federal courts and supreme courts that certified George W Bush as the winner in 2000.
Looking back the election results certification in US so biased and carried out by officials who are all party biased and appointed by administrations from either side of the aisle
Where is really the independent election body that you can point to in US election system
There is NONE
I take a lot of pride to showcase the election machinery in India because the election commission and officials are non political party based Administrative officials.
They are very independent and represent the WILL OF THE VOTING PEOPLE
In the past 60+ years of elections in India, there has been many many times when powerful leaders may it be Indira gandhi, Rajiv, Advani, or any other leaders in south and west have either been overwhelmingly approved or rooted and thrown away from the legislative body.
What matters ???
THE WILL OF THE VOTING PEOPLE
In a democracy that reperesents about 600 to 750Million voters twice the size of the population of USA, the results this election was a testimony to demonstrate how common public issues mandates to administration.
The problem lies in the fact if the elections are not a fair process then an outside country cannot really do any thing about, the WILL of the PEOPLE must raise above and beyond the suppressing power of the VIOLATORS to establish the mandate
Whatever be the outcome of the Iran elections and people protesting it, no external nation can influence or change the way elections operate in that country unless change happens from WITHIN.

Cash for Clunkers

Cash for Clunkers - boosting car sales
Is this a good idea ?????
i think it is
Essence of the bill
If you have a old car or a truck that gives less than 18mpg and is worth less than 3000$ in value then you basically need to get off the car.
In times of tough economy we tend to fix the car for fear of a new car payment monthly and fix and run existing car, what we do here is delay the problem and cause excess gas consumption and affect environment
The govt has a right step to give away this voucher so that it allows people to motivate themselves to get out and buy
In EUROPE this was a huge hit in germany
How do you qualify
Following are the conditions
1. Trade in a car that has been registered and in use for at least a year, and has a federal combined city/highway fuel-economy rating of 18 or fewer miles per gallon.
2. Buy a new car, priced at $45,000 or less and rated at least 4 mpg better than the old one (gets a $3,500 voucher). If the new one gets at least 10 mpg better, you get the full $4,500.
How do you find what is your current fuel economy of your car
www.fueleconomy.gov

Post your thoughts

Thursday, June 11, 2009

First Time Home Buyers - is 2009 the year for you to get in ?

First Time Home Buyers
We know the story behind depressing real estate market, in every market correction there are significant oppurtunties for tremendous wealth to be made, may it be stock or real estate, commodities, precious metals etc.
Gold is a classic example i beleive when i came to this country we started buying an ounce of gold for 300+ dollars, following our hindu tradition we have been buying it every year during the auspicious buying occasion till this year at 936$ an ounce.
Every correction of a market presents great oppurtunities
So turning to real estate -
First time home buyers have the best time to enter
1- Active markets are having prices stabilized
2- Tax incentives still available
3 - Interest rates are around Low 5% even though it has shot from 4.5 to 5+ i forsee it coming down in in the 3-6 month period
4- Fall of 2009 is going to present some strong buying oppurtunities for first time home buyers
5 - Short sale inventory is selling fairly very quickly in market now
6 - Foreclosures are being picked up by investors very very quickly
Generally this is a good sign for the market to turn a corner
Now looking at DC metro market the overall activity has picked up
Open houses are attracting crowds, New house in the market - priced right attracts about 10-20 visitors in first 2 weeks, Contracts in about 30 to 60 days
Generally these are good indicators for people who are on the fence to get into the market
Now if you are going to ask me the prediction question, will the prices go up 10% a year
My cautious answer is going to be may be not
I forsee year 1 - 2010 to get around 3-6% growth, Year 2 -2011 around 4-5% growth
Generally the indicators in the economy has not changed a lot so getting double digit price growths is not looking to be true in my view
What is the RISK ????
I see lenders still giving FHA financing at 97% ltv 3% down, but protection gurantee via a FHA insurance for whcih the buyer pays fees upfront,
This to me does not sound or feel right, i dont get why banks like Wells or BAC is going in to this business, but this time the stop loss they have is the FHA insurance
Sitll a risk IMO
Post your thoughts

Monday, June 8, 2009

Horses and Racing

Horses and Racing

While growing up Horses, Racing meant or equated to gambling problem, addiction a very bad thing in India. I think the perception behind horses has nothing to do with addiction, they are beautiful animals i appreciated them all along. I was always fascinated to see the huge horses, strong legs and giant leaps they make in the Budweiser commercials. I saw one of those horses in San Antonio in Sea World few years back, up close, Magnificient and amazing.I think SEABISCUIT was a great story that turned the corner in appreciation around horses and started a lot of attention in that subject. Ever since i have been watching the Kentucky Derby and always rooted for the underdogs.

This year ofcourse the story is about MINE THAT BIRD

What an underdog story!!! In America its all about the underdog winning the glory, may it be KRIS Allen or David Cooke in American Idol or cursed teams like Boston Red Sox or Chicago cubs, people always want the Hollywood ending of the underdog story.

Is that why candidates running for election / offices always pitch them as the underdogs. In a way the underdogs are the favorites always, Remember the NEW England Patriots and St.Louis RAMS in 2001 - there you go thats an underdog story you will never forget.
So turning back to horses .....Mine that Bird and Calvin Borel were an amazing package, this horse blew my mind away. It starts last and then picks up midway in the race and has a compelling finish, its unbeleivable. Watch the videos and you be the judge
Kentucky Derby 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv8x9x5A49s
Belmont Stakes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udUIxsuWE3w

Preakness
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gONkLlsu8Z8


There was one thing to be proud of, the SUMMER BIRD that won the BELMONT was owned byDR KK and Vilasini Jayaraman, Indian Doctors who have been breeding horses for 25 years.


http://www.belmontstakes.com/contenders/summer-bird/

Congratulations to KK and Vilasini Jayaraman

Monday, June 1, 2009

Spelling Bee and Indian Americans

Spelling bee and Indian kids - A History
Ever watched the Scripps spelling bee and wonder why is this competition crowded with Indian kids,where did this obsession around competitive spelling orginate among indian kids ???
So a little digging deep into the history and seeing what has been going on for the past 2 or 3 decades
The first Indian American to win a spelling bee was Balu Natarajan in 1985
Balu inspired others, who in turn became role models for more would-be champions. Since then 8 indian kids have won the championship in the last 25 years. Last Year Bee Champion was Sameer Mishra and runner up another Indian kid - Siddarth Chand
Sameer was motivated when his friend Anurag Kashyap won in 2005 and was coached by older sister Shruti, a three-time national bee participant.
Siddarth was a huge favorite going in this year though he finished in final 6.
This year winner Kavya appeared the 4th time and this was her last chance to win.
Her role model was Nupur Lala, who won the bee in 1999 and was featured in the documentary “Spellbound.”
Altogether there have been eight Indian-American champions, including six of the past 10.
Apart from winning there have been some child prodigy/ celeberity like Samir J Patil who finished 3rd when he was 8 years old, Samir unfortunately never won but finished second when he was 11 years old
He then went on to gaming shows in TV as a a celeberity,
He by far is my favorite in the competition
Check this videoand you would know why
http://www.truveo.com/samir-patel-leaves-his-mark-on-the-spelling-bee/id/3185202870

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Options Trading vs Long/Short ETFs

Options vs Long/Short ETFs
In a turbulent market where many hedge managers use option instruments manage decent returns are there any common investor instruments that we could use rather than navigating complex Option contract instruments ?
I think the Long/Short ETFs could be a decent instruments to check out
In a crashing market, Short ETFs have proven the best class last year from a performance stand point, some returning over 100% returns
Consider the Long / Short ETFs pitfalls before going into this model
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/3-Pitfalls-Of-Leveraged-And-etfguide-14933372.html?.v=1

Consider some research behind the Bear Market ETFs
You can spread the Long and Short at 60 to 40 based on what direction you think the market is headed
http://finance.yahoo.com/etf/browser/mkt?k=8&c=etf_bm&f=0

Have fun, happy investing and also post me any new ideas you may have to play ???

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

ZILLOW on iPhone

Zillow on iPhone
For those Zillow users to compare property values, recent sales, sales metrics, performance graphs, Zillow has come up with their iPhone app
I think for the fellow agent community its a really good value/tool to use, Unfortunately im a Bberry user
""
Get curbside real estate data from the comfort of your car, or as you walk, with the free, new Zillow iPhone App. See Zestimate® home values, for-sale listings, home details, historical data, and more on 88+ million homes - not just those for sale - through this GPS-powered app that moves with you.
""

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Indian Elections - Are you missing it

Indian elections -
The last phase of the indian elections are tommorrow, many of us who live outside miss out the voting and representing the democractic process, here is a way to do it
http://www.nrionlinevote.com/index.php
http://www.voteindia.in/

check it out
Its interesting --

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cold way to LAYOFF employees in Singapore

Layoffs in Singapore
Check this out
http://www.your-inner-voice.com/FireDrill.html
Is this cold or what --

April 11, 2009
window.google_render_ad();
A fire alarm rang at 4 pm in a large office campus when almost all employees were present ( approx 5,000 people ).
As per past fire-drill practices, the entire office was quickly evacuated within 3 minutes, and all employees gathered outside the complex in designated areas waiting for further announcement.
Before long, the fire drill officer in-charge made the following broadcast over their loud-speakers system :
" My dear colleagues : With sincere regret, I have been asked to announce that for many of you, this will be your last evacuation drill with us. Due to the on-going recession and bad business climate, the company is laying off almost 50% of its staff. So when this announcement finishes, I ask all of you to move back into the building. And if your swipe-card does not work, then it means that you have been laid off, in which case you will not be allowed inside, and all your personal belongings will be couriered to you by tomorrow.
The company is using this innovative, never-before approach as we do not want to choke our email system with lay-off notices and farewell messages going by the thousands, and we also wish to avoid any fighting inside the office and the consequent security issues for all staff.
We hope you have had a rewarding career with us. Now please move back in... and good luck ! "

Sunday, May 10, 2009

BlackBerry App world - FINALLY -- how long did we wait ???

App World
After such a long wait, Blackberry has come out with their app world
Equivalent to you iPhone App store, i said equivalent - not a comparable service by any means
But its a start,
Lacking developer community is a big disadvantage that works in Google and Apple's favor
But since RIM is going to cater a lot of business users, i would imagine the top rated and selling apps from the other 2 platforms will be ported to Blackberry platform
so we will have a limited choice but a choice of most needed apps
www.blackberry.com/appworld
download and enjoy ---

Update ---

i downloaded an app and tried to uninstall the weather app, Blackberry throws an error message saying the device has to reboot

OMG - what is wrong with RIM why dont the get how to create apps on a mobile o/s platform

How hard is to copy APPLE, dont need to invent, can you not copy ??????????

Huhhhhhh

Friday, May 8, 2009

Gross National Happiness - Is this truly a measure of a nation's success

What is the true measure of success as a country
We in America are very very conscious about GDP, our position in the world to remain a leader to sustain a growth in GDP to avoid economic contraction with only 400M people is truly an amazing feat. No doubts or questions about that, Countries like China and India thriving and buzzing in econonmic boom with over 1B people still are halfway behind the United States
But does GDP really equate to a true success as a whole nation and this applies not just to the US but to China, Japan,Germany and India
Does it really ???
I watched Michael J Fox's documentary, an incurable optimist
It was a great 1 hour tv show, really enjoyed it
He covered Bhutan - neighbouring country to India but never focussed to learn or look into them to get any thing out of them
It was amazing how this small tiny country measures their success by Gross National Happiness
So i set out to learn what GNH is
GNH has according to researchers 7 components
Economic Wellness:
Environmental Wellness:
Physical Wellness:
Mental Wellness:
Workplace Wellness:
Social Wellness:
Political Wellness:
Bhutan as a country has set out to get an A+ in each of these categories
Some simple examples of well-being/wellness
Each individual has to walk 3 miles a day
Sale of all tobacco products banned in Bhutan
No traffic signals in the country
Signboards to constantly remind you to be happy all over

It was a different view point it may well adapt/suit a 700k population and certainly not India and china the 2 large neighbours
But there is always some thing good to learn from every thing
To learn more about GNH
http://www.grossnationalhappiness.com/

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Loudoun Job Fair -

JobFair in Loudoun
for those who are looking to get a decent job closer to home here is an oppurtunity
lot of govt jobs as well
http://wolf.house.gov/?sectionid=278
check it out

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bottled Water Disaster - Slide Show below says it all

Bottled Water
Is this good as a practice ? I recently came across a presentation that just stunned me
http://www.slideshare.net/gchalliday/bottled-water-disaster
The sheer numbers behind this briefing is scarry
so do we really need to drink bottled water apart from the environmental concern it has look at the dark side on its cancer causes - way too many
What are your thoughts ?
im very interested to hear from you all

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sixth Sense - Nothing about Shyamlan or the movie

Sixth Sense - Yes the one we dont have - check it out --
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUdDhWfpqxg
This is incredible
Truly Amazed

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Few Cool things i saw this week --

Cool things of the week -
1 - New website with a new idea - www.weddingbetting.com - people make wedding announcements and we guess how long will the marriage last
2 - WJLA news report on a coupon clipper
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2009/04/28/dnt.coupon.lady.wjla

Check it out
Sada

Are we entering a Government 2.0 era

What is Government 2.0
Its a steal of an acronym from Web2.0, Enterprise2.0 commonly called for a interactive, collaborative form of using the channel may it be the internet, web, applications, video, forums etc, Some thing that allows the user to interact back with the provider
With that said, Is President Obama truly beginning to extend it to Government
The latest appointments of Vivek and Aneesh for the nations CIO and CTO job truly is a testimonty to his committment to bring leadership in technology to open up Government for colloboration
Todays Nations address on his 100 days milestone was spent over an hour to answer questions in various issues such as War,Security, Swine flu, economy, Auto makers, Pakistan, Border control etc. Obama addressed a variety of issues and provided oppurtunities for more questions and he has done over 5 such town hall type of press conferences. Such high numbers in the first 100 days in office of a President is not typical
I sat back and started thinking why not a Government2.0 model
One may question, We pay tax and we also participate in government and do the work ????
Well you have a choice not to participate in the government and have no traceability or voice in tax payer dollars or participate and make your voice heard
As a simple example we have Police services to provide us the protection we need and they are paid of the tax dollars we pay the local state and county governments, Still dont we set up neighbourhood watches in collaboration with the local sheriff ?
We volunteer to the local fire and rescue even though they are funded via property taxes / fire/ems taxes, Why do we do it , we do it because we care for our local community.

Thing a 1000 times bigger, if you participate in the government with the doors opened up by our new administration i think its a great oppurtunity for us to colloborate, make our voices heard and contribute to a significant way we do things
Score cards, Ratings on congressmen, senators are example , online blogs about positions taken by politicians are important, Rather than hearing the one way SPIN given to us by the Political pundits in FOX, CNN we should participate and share opinions and views and there are channels to promote them
If these channels gain momentum then the government will have no choice than to hear them
When an AP, Fox, CBS, Politico news reporter gets a seating , the days of having an Online blog moderator in that conference room is not too far away.
It could be an independent forum or a syndicated columnist forum,the thoughts shared is really the key
Participate, Collaborate and Contribute,
Thats the only way you can make a difference, Paying taxes alone will never bring any change

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Allergies Alert

Allergies Alert

Welcome Spring and Nice weather and ofcourse lots of POLLEN

For some allergy sufferers like me, a few tips could be useful. Check airquality before you plan an out door event or activity.

The Weather Channel provides an easy daily email alert to get pollen forecast, just like you check weather before you plan some thing, check the pollen forecast before you plan an out door stuff.

Try to build resistance, Fight it, i have found doing a lot of cardio during the allergy season helps me to fight resistance, may it be running , cross trainer, elliptical, or cycling try to do as much as you can

Obviously good eye drops, nose sprays does help, Cingular has been working for me past season.

Yesterday i was in a restaurant and a mexican waiter offered me a MEXICAN medication and told me it fixes the allergy attacks, i have my doubts but im going to try- what the heck, it has to be either drugs or better medicine to fix the allergy i go through, both ways its better than what i have now :)

TWC link for Pollen allerts

http://www.weather.com/outlook/health/allergies/weather/20166?from=TWCAlerts&cm_ven=CAS&cm_cat=twcalerts_l&cm_pla=chktdy&cm_ite=allergies

Another couple of pointers, Keep your car exterior and interior clean, wipe out with some disinfectants as much as you can, while driving keep the internal air circulator to be on, Change cabin air microfilter to get better airquality inside the car

I know the first 4 weeks of spring is miserable, but hey im not going to give up i will be outdoor, i will SNORT the freakin pollen and do whatever i want to, I keep thinking what if i gather a full bottle of POLLEN and SNORT it like BLUE MAGIC from American Gangster

What do you think will happen, any one wants me to try ????

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Elections in India

Elections in India
Indian general elections to elect the members of parliament is considered the largest democratic election process in the world. The elections covers about 700 to 750Million voters this year and its done in over 6 phases in different sections of the country and no counting or results are published until all elections are over.
Its a key factor as one states results does not influence or sway others as it happens in American between East and West or Midwest states
Although a multi party system is followed, there are three national level coaliations that are competing in the elections and there is stark differences amongst them in the way to run the country forward
Congress - Pure capitalist - western oriented approach - Secular
BJP - Capitalist with a Indian flavor - pro west but relegious fundementalism deep rooted
Third front - Mix of many idealogies - Heavy Socialism in their brains - against the rich for the poor/middle class - Should i say more Obama like :)

Given these choice the Indian public are going to be making some crucial decisions in the next few weeks to re-write their destiny for the next 5 years

Given that i stumbled on a site that i think is very interesting to provide data on the elections and the participants in the elections
Check this out

http://myneta.info/

Post your comments on Elections, Candidates, Constituencies, Agenda etc --

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Travel Alert - spirit air deals back on

Travel alert
Spirit air deals are back on
If you want to do Miami this summer this might be a good time to go
June 1st week is 9$ one way - i think thats expensive than getting to the airport --
http://marketing.spiritair.com/sales/current.php?p=1
Post if you have any other travel deals
Im hungry for travel this year, will start as soon as the wife is back in country in JUNE

Idol Update

Idol Update
So after the disco week yesterday, i sat back and thought who are really the weakest links in the competition and who could make it to the top 3
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=April+21+2009+idol&aq=f
My Votes would be
Adam Lambert
Allison Iraheta
Danny Gokey
I predict the winner would be Adam Lambert - he is truly a performer
Today would be the last day for lil rounds, matt girrurd, anoop desai ( bottom 3)

Post your thoughts --

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Travel Deal Alert - London --

Travel Deal
For those of you planning to make a trip to Europe this summer, this by far is the best deal i have seen to london so far
Please check it out
http://www.britishairways.com/travel/offerus201/public/en_us

Post any other Mexico, Carribean, Europe travel deals you may have

Sunday, April 19, 2009

CNN iReporters in India

CNN iReporters in India
So if you would like your unique photography skills to be put to use and displayed and reviewed and rated, turn it into CNN iReports, its a great way to get visibility to your picture skills
There are some beaming beautiful pictures of india here.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/TRAVEL/getaways/04/17/travel.snaps.india/index.html
Check it out

Saturday, April 18, 2009

TWO Indians for TOP Technology Jobs in Obama Administration

TOP IT JOBS in US Govt goes 2 Indians --
http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2009/04/18/ap6307426.html
So for all the folks in DC metro, its a moment you could namedrop now
as the CIO of DC Govt and CTO of Virginia have got the CIO and CTO jobs in Obama administration
Congratulations to Aneesh & Vivek
Post your comments

Some of Best of Best stuff --

Best of Best
We always look for best of best in various thing, so i thought i would collect, gather from Fortune, Money, Time etc and post a few of them that might be useful for all

Best iPhone Apps
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2009/moneymag/0904/gallery.Money100_iphone_apps.moneymag/
Best Places to find a Job
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2009/moneymag/0904/gallery.Money100_jobs.moneymag/
World Cleanest Countries
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2009/moneymag/0904/gallery.Money100_jobs.moneymag/

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring&Summer Destinations

Spring&Summer Destinations Whats cooking for this season ?
Do you have any favs , any tiny hidden secrets or locations that is worth checking out this summer
A friend of mine recomended US White water rafting
www.usnwc.org/
Check it out ,it appears to be neat and its on my list for this summer
Memorial Day is approaching
July 4th is approaching
Any suggestions for really good Camping spots we have done a quite a few them, are there any where we can camp in the beach, so that we can knock 2 birds in one trip
Post your tips to plan for a better use of this summer

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

India Investment Oppurtunity -

India Investment Oppurtunity -

Following up the Currency conversion topic, for those of you who want to chose to invest in india now, please find below a good option that you may consider

http://www.tatamotors.com/fixed-deposit-scheme.htm

Thanks to Rajini for the contribution --

Invest wisely, Calculate risk, reap benefits, grow wealth

Post any other options you may have

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

WISH EVERY ONE A HAPPY TAMIL NEW YEAR

Anaivaraikkum Iniya Tamizh Puthandu Nal Vaazhthukkall

Monday, April 13, 2009

Akshaya Tritiya 2009 Falls on Monday April 27 2009

Akshaya Tritiya
Borrowed from Wikipedia --
Akshaya Tritiya, variously spelt as Akshya Thiritiya, Akshaya Trutheeya, Akshaya Tritiiya and also called Akshaya Trithi, falling on the third day of the bright half of the lunar month of Vaisakha of the traditional Hindu calendar, is one of the four most auspicious days of the year for Hindus.
The word Akshaya, a Sanskrit word, literally means one that never diminishes, and the day is believed to bring good luck and success. It is widely celebrated in all parts of India by different sections of the society irrespective of their religious faith and social grouping. The day is particularly considered auspicious for buying long term assets like gold and silver, including ornaments made of the same; diamond and other precious stones; and the real estate. The legend states that any venture initiated on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya shall continue to grow and bring prosperity. Hence, it is normal to see many of the new ventures, like starting a business, ground breaking for construction etc on the Akshaya Tritiya Day.
Hype around Akshaya Tritiya
Buying gold is the most important aspect of this day these days
So where to buy gold
You can buy in local gold stores
If you would like to buy online
http://bullion.nwtmint.com/
http://www.gaithersburgcoin.com/index.htm -- Local to DC Area
http://www.mayjewelers.com/

If there any other places to buy please post

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dollar cost averaging - DCA

Dollar cost averaging - DCA

What is dollar cost averaging, should we follow it as a methodical approach for investment


So what is a DCA


Its the method of investing a fixed dollar amount at regular intervals weekly,monthly, per paycheck, in a particular investment or portfolio, regardless of its share price. In this way, more shares are purchased when prices are low and fewer shares are bought when prices are high


The key here is to select an investment vehicle or a portfolio that is very well diversified, managed, reviewed in periodic intervals and re-structured based on market leading indicators,drivers etc
There are many options for that, you can look into Target time funds from TRowePrice, Fidelity, TIAA-CREF etc or Managed portfolios from Amex, Fidelity, Merril Lynch, charles schwab etc
So why is DCA very important
It imposes a regime and spreads the risk in buying points, Say you felt 10,000 is the bottom of the market ( atleast i thought) and invested a heavy sum at 10,000(DOW) it could prove to be a dangerous strategy rather if you spread out 1000$ every paycheck into a very diversified portfolio from DOW 10,000 to 7000 levels and back up from 7000 to 8000 levels the spread would be lesss risky and also at various different spike points in the market that the average yield will be better
If you could wait and invest all your money at DOW sub 7000 , in my opinion you should not be doing a day job rather work in managing money !!!!!
So 401k contributions are a great example of dollar cost averaging, even if you chose to you cannot time the market as your employer will auto credit it to your account and it will be allocated immediately based on your model. well you can always allocate to CASH and the split and dice it if you are a PRO, But staying out of the market in CASH has its negatives too,
when you sit out and dont enjoy the 1, 2,3% daily spikes thats really when the portfolio hurts
So i want to learn about your thoughts on DCA and how you have efficiently practised it and been successful
Give me your thoughts

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Travel Alert

Travel Alert
Virgin America has announced some great deals from IAD to across the country
Great value cannot pass up, Atleast i cannot, grabbed a IAD to LAX deal for Memorial weekend deal for 219$ round trip, thats more than what i would spend gas,toll, eating and back in car to NJ/NY.
Check it out
http://www.virginamerica.com/va/priceToFlyAct.do
LAX to BOS - 79 one way - WOWWWWWW thats HOTTTTTT
Check out these sample (each way) fares from Washington, D.C.:
Las Vegas ... $109-$119*
Los Angeles ... $109-$119*
Orange County ... $109-$119* (service begins April 30)
San Diego ... $109-$119*
San Francisco ... $109-$119*
Seattle ... $109-$119*

Get Wifi, you can chat with fellow travellers via your console,
FLY DOMESTIC IN STYLE !!!!!!!!!!
Thanks Sir.Branson -- I have switched from Southwest to Virgin

Tax Time in America - April 15th 2009

Tax Time in America
Its that time of the Year April 15th is approaching, and Im running around to collect my returns from the CPA, verify with all the statements make the IRA and other contributions and see the total damage…. Not bad I think im getting money back this time, thanks to all the zero deductions and excess contributions ahead of time.
So we scream and complain about taxes all the time, We pay federal, state, county, social security, medicare, property, business, sales, telecom,911 taxes etc
Yes when we see too many line items no one is happy, but I wanted to compare our tax table to other leading nations in the world, this is what I found.
Seeing through I don’t think we are that bad, ofcourse there are better examples like Singapore, but we cannot compare them to us, may Singapore to Fairfax county – that too MAY BEEE…..
USA
Average 10 year experienced SW Professional makes 90,000 to 130,000 USD

0 to $16,700 10% of the amount over $0
$16,701 to $67,900 $1,670.00 plus 15% of the amount over $16,700
$67,901 to $137,050 $9,350.00 plus 25% of the amount over $67,900
$137,051 to $208,850 $26,637.50 plus 28% of the amount over $137,050
$208,851 to $372,950 $46,741.50 plus 33% of the amount over $208,850
$372,951 no limit $100,894.50 plus 35% of the amount over $372,950

UK
Starting rate for savings: 10%*
£0-£2,440
Basic rate: 20%
£0-£37,400
Higher rate: 40%
Over £37,400
Canada
Average 10 year experienced SW Professional makes 75,000 to 100,000 Canadian dollars
15% on the first $38,832 of taxable income,
22% on the next $38,832 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $38,832 and $77,664),
26% on the next $48,600 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $77,664 and $126,264),
29% of taxable income over $126,264.
Provincial taxes like US state taxes are an average of about 8 to 14% on top
Australia
Average 10 year experienced SW Professional makes 80,000 to 125000 dollars
Taxable income Tax on this income
$0 – $6,000 Nil
$6,001 – $34,000 15c for each $1 over $6,000
$34,001 – $80,000 $4,200 plus 30c for each $1 over $34,000
$80,001 – $180,000 $18,000 plus 40c for each $1 over $80,000
Over $180,000 $58,000 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000

Singapore – Lowest
Average 10 year experienced SW Professional around 100,000 to 120,000 dollars
Taxable income Tax on this income
$0 – $20,000 Nil
$20,001 – $30,000 3.5c for each $1 over $20,000
$30,001 – $40,000 350 plus 5.5c for each $1 over $30,000
$40,001 – $80,000 $900 plus 8.5c for each $1 over $40,000
$80,001 – $160,000 $4300 plus 14c for each $1 over $80,000
$160,001 – $320,000 $15,500 plus 17c for each $1 over $160,000
Over $320,000 $42,700 plus 20c for each $1 over $320,000

Japan
Tax Base (Yen) Tax
1 - 1,950,000 5%
1,950,001-3,300,000 10%
3,300,001 - 6,950,000 20% of base exceeding 3,300,000
6,950,001-9,000,000 23% of base exceeding 6,950,000
9,000,001 - 18,000,000 33% of base exceeding 9,000,000
18,000,001 and over 40% of base exceeding 18,000,000

INDIA
Average 10 year experienced SW Professional makes 15,00,000 to 20,00,000 rupees In India, Individual income tax is a progressive tax with three slabs.
No income tax is applicable on all income up to Rs. 1,50,000 per year. (Rs. 1,80,000 for women and Rs. 2,25,000 for senior citizens)
From 1,50,001 to 3,00,000 : 10% of amount greater than Rs. 1,50,000 (Lower limit changes appropriately for women and senior citizens)
From 3,00,001 to 5,00,000 : 20% of amount greater than Rs. 3,00,000 + 15,000 (Rs. 12,000 for women and Rs. 7,500 for senior citizens)
Above 5,00,000 : 30% of amount greater than Rs. 5,00,000 + 55,000 (Rs. 52,000 for women and Rs. 47,500 for senior citizens)
Surcharge -- we have invented tax on tax - thats really unique no one has this
A 10% surcharge (tax on tax) is applicable if the taxable income (taking into consideration all the deductions) is above Rs. 10 lakh (Rs. 1 million). The limit of 10 lacs was increased to Rs. 1 crore (Rs. 10 million) with effect from 1 June 2007 for corporate assessees

Kal Penn Joins Obama administration

Kal Penn -
For those of you who dont know him - i wonder who does not know him, He is the INDIAN version of SETH ROGAN & Jonah Hill of the Jewish clan put together in one.
About Penn, his great works are Harold Kumar series, Namesake, National lampoon van wilder recently in The HOUSE.
So what is this pot smooking, weed wacking, mostly nude dude going to do for the country
I have no idea, but it will be fun watching him on CNN giving public affair tips when AC360 carefully listens to it, It would be a good cast if LOU DOBBS interviews KAL PENN
or even more interesting Bill Oreilly and Glenn Beck to interview Kal Penn
that would be ultimate
Most interesting fact i found about KAL PENN
Kal Penn is a vegetarian, and ate soy patties instead of hamburgers during the filming of Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Suburbia Vs Metro Living

Suburbia Vs Metro Living
What are the 10 things that will call you out as a Suburb dweller vs a Metro dweller
Im a part of the American suburbs so lets try to put a list of things that marks who we are :)
  1. We never use front door to enter and exit our house, we use garage doors instead
  2. There is a coat closet next to the garage as opposed to near the main door or both
  3. When it rains we worry about grass to cut and happy about not watering the lawn, When it snows we worry about driveways to shovel
  4. We Store STUFF in our garage and park cars in our driveways,We store more STUFF in our basement
  5. We make an home theater, excercise room, wet bar in our basement which we never use
  6. We have living and dining rooms in the house which we never use
  7. We buy STUFF from member clubs in huge sizes and numbers
  8. We keep a second refrigerator in our garage to store more COLD STUFF
  9. We dream of living in cul-de-sacs, We hate HOAs yet we live in them
  10. We see our neighbours when we pick mail, put trash out or cut grass

So the METRO folks , Tell us what makes you one ?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring Break - NEAT EATS

Spring Break - NEAT EATS Special
Since we are on spring break ( atleast DC metro), i thought i would come up with a list of really neat places to check out and grab a bite with your kids for lunch a special evening dinner or some thing you want to try out new
Keep in mind when you come to my blog you are not going to find any thing fancy and expensive, i could suggest them, but lets stick to the theme - Find cheap good stuff and should be cool
Im sorry i wish i can write about other areas but im going to have to restrict to DC metro because thats my area --

MiddleEastern-Afghan-Kabob places
Charcoal Kabob - herndon
Lebanese Butcher - fallschurch
Ravi Kabob - Arlington
Moby dick - all over the place
Nizam - TURKISH - Vienna

American
Elevation Burgers - Falls Church
Five Guys - All over
Potbellys - all over
Cosi - all over
If you go down to VA Beach Area
Check out Schlotzsky's DELI -

Mexican/South American
El Pollo Rico - Arlington and Herndon
Chipotle - All over
Guajillo - Arlington

Indian
Saravana Palace - Fairfax/centreville
Angeethi - herndon
Mayuri - Reston
Masala Country - centreville
Jaipur - Fairfax

Italian Pizza
American Flatbread _ Ashburn
Vapianos - Dulles town center
Vocelli Pizza
Ofcourse PapaJohns

Chinese/Japanese/Korean ( I know each dont get along with other but im putting them together)
Sunflower - Vienna
China Star - Faircity mall - Fairfax
Panang - DC - Malaysian - ROTI CANAI awesome
Sichuan Village - DC -
Lighthouse TOFU - KOREAN BBQ SOUP place - Annandale
Malaysia Kopitam - DC - malaysian
Singapore Bistro - DC
Vit Goel ToFu - Korean BBQ - Annandale
PadThai - Fairfax
Thai /Vietnamese and other asians
Burapa Thai - Ashburn / Leesburg
Busara Thai - Reston/Tysons
Tara Thai - Tysons
Pho -- Come on too many of them to mention - Just go get a hot soup

OTHER VARIETIES
Jamaican Chicken cafeteria in Farrugut West metro eatery/food court
Teddys Roti SHop - http://www.teddysrotishop.com/
Panam - Family restaurant - GREEK - Panam shopping center - Fairfax
Narita - SOUP - Japanese - Vienna
Oriental Regency - Tysons - CHINESE

These are some of my pics what are yours
post if you have good suggestions for restaurants

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Common Cost Savings in Costco

Costco - My life saver

For those who know my shopping habits, mentioning Costco should not be any surprise but what are some of the small secrets i buy from Costco that still beats every one else in price

  1. Movie tickets - 2 for 15$ - normal tickets in theater are 10$
  2. Free AIR fill in Car tires(Tire Center) - normally it costs 75cents in a gas station
  3. Bolthouse Carrot juice or Naked Naturals - Cheaper than any retailer
  4. 32bottles of water - 4.59 - beats every one else
  5. Home and Auto insurance - BEATS all competitors in market
  6. McCormick and Shmick - Restaurant cards 100 $ cards for 80$
  7. Starbucks gift cards - 100$ worth cards for 80$ ( even starbucks does not offer this)
  8. Postal stamps- Forever stamps 41 cents - 100 of them -small discount dont know of the top
  9. Free EAR hearing test - You get a free test to check your ears
  10. Bed and BreakFast inn gift cards - 100$ cards for 80$

and definitely the last and most important

FREE SAMPLERS on SATURDAY AND SUNDAY -- Love itttttttttttttttttttt

Go costco --- If you have any interesting FINDS in Costco than the usual toilet tissue, paper towel,milk, egg, bread etc

POST It - it has to be a NICHE product -

Friday, April 3, 2009

Right to bear arms - Lets question - Why do we need to

Right to Bear Arms
In wake of today's shootings Lets question ourselves
Why do we need to have the RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS
http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/04/03/binghamton.shooting/index.html

Coming from a country of a billion+ people where right to bearing fire arms is very restricted privilege, i was first struck in dismay the ease in which any one can buy a gun in America

Who gives this undeniable right to bear arms that cannot be taken away ?

Amendment 2 of the US constitution Right to Bear Arms.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed


I get the right the thought behind it etc
But this was ratified in 1791, we have come a long way from then where we have structured police force, army, reserves, FBI, Neighbourhood watches etc to guard and protect us.
The primary interpretation of the Amendment is disputed,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution
Wiki says the neutrality of the article is questionable, we cannot even agree on the meaning of the subject.
What did our most recent President do about Second amendment in the midst of VA Tech shootings

""In 2004, President Bush, through the Justice Department under Ashcroft, also issued Whether the Second Amendment Secures an Individual Right, a lengthy memorandum which traced the historical development of the Second Amendment supporting its earlier conclusion. The memo stated:
The Second Amendment secures a personal right of individuals, not a collective right that may be invoked only by a State or a quasi-collective right restricted to those persons who serve in organized militia units ""


What is Obama going to do ?

Post your comments about this irrestibale urge to bear firearms and to also harm innocent



Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tip of the Day - Sending Credit Cards to India

Tip of the Day
Credit cards to India
Many of us send a add-on card to parents who live back home in India for their convinence and usage. Nowadays most retail outlets, travel agencies, gas stations ( or should i say petrol bunks) accept Creditcards.
As a matter of practice i have been using this service for about 5+ years and have changed Card providers for various reasons including false fraud alerts that declines transactions in India often.
One major factor i consider is the Foreign Transaction fee ( or exchange rate adjustment) or whatever the bank/card provide wants to innovatively call it
Read this link below --
http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/cc/20050624b1.asp
Visa/ Master charges 1% for servicing the foreign transaction and card providers add a heavy 2% on top and used to charge 3%
Enter WAMU - then i found WAMU that gave add on cards to be used in India for 1% fee.
Well they went belly up and Chase bought them to change policy to3% ( i used to have add on Chase cards to begin with)
Also WAMU would only add 1 additional card per account - well that was a useless rule !!!!!!

Finally after some more research found CAPITAL ONE, the super market for Cards
CAP ONE gives you Master card ( i know visa is preferred in india...) that can be used in India for ZERO percent foreign transaction fee
Yes ZERO, i dont know how they do it as it means they need to suck up the 1% charged by Mastercard.

But as you can imagine, i care less, my transactions made by FAMILY from india at 50 to 51rs a dollar with Zero percent conversion fee looks really good

Now will you save money using this TIP

Post your comments

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Biggest But Most Successful PONZI scheme in our lifetimes

Guess the biggest PONZI schema of our lifetimes
Before we begin the guessing game, lets first try to understand what a PONZI scheme is ?

A Ponzi scheme is a fradulent investment operation that pays returns to investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors rather than from any actual profit earned. The Ponzi scheme usually offers returns that other investments cannot guarantee in order to entice new investors, in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent.
The perpetuation of the returns that a Ponzi scheme advertises and pays requires an ever-increasing flow of money from investors in order to keep the scheme going.
The system is destined to collapse because the earnings, if any, are less than the payments. Usually, the scheme is interrupted by legal authorities before it collapses because a Ponzi scheme is suspected or because the promoter is selling unregistered securities. As more investors become involved, the likelihood of the scheme coming to the attention of authorities increases.
The scheme is named after Charles Ponzi who became notorious for using the technique after emigrating from Italy to the US in 1903

Now Let us look at what our Social security system does
Collect SS taxes from younger generation to pay off the older generation
Is not SS the biggest PONZI scheme ever, but sure yeah, a regulated, governed and mandated Ponzi scheme, where the contribution is not attracted but forced.

So is Madoff the biggest Ponzi or is the US Govt that busted him is even a bigger Ponzi

Post your thoughts ?

Why do we use HOTTTTT Water for Laundry

Hot Water and Laundry

why do we set the temperature closer to the scale of 10 ( 1 to 10) when setting up clothes in a washer, is it the feeling that hot water makes the clothes clean better ? or does it kill germs ?

Consider this

90% of the energy consumed in a wash cycle is to produce the hotwater, not the agitator, not the motor in the washer, just simply hot water

Read below

http://www.sustainlane.com/reviews/some-like-it-too-hot/ZTVL3CXWFX4VYDOULXRS2YLSDLRU

Change the way you wash clothes, Save utility bills

Are there any more eco-friendly money saving tips post here ---

RASIKA - Orchestra/concert in South Riding, VA -- May 9th 2009

Subject:OPEN-Rasika Concert on May 9, 2009 at Freedom High School, South Riding, VA

Greetings from OPEN! We hope all is well with the OPEN community. The fifth OPEN-Rasika concert is scheduled to be held at Freedom High School, South Riding, VA, on May 9 at 5.30pm. Please note the change in venue. Please mark your calendars and call the following people for tickets as soon as you can (over 100 people missed the concert in 2007 due to its being sold out). Kumar: 703-327-6907
Chox: 703-378-5878
Sushila: 703-716-2545
Suresh: 703-430-3677
Sundaresan: 703-798-3962
Latha: 703-830-2359

Please forward this to your friends who are new to the area or are not aware of the OPEN-Rasika concert. We thank our friends in Rasika for toiling through weekends of practice to put on a great show. We look forward to another sold out concert, an evening of golden oldies, Ilaiyaraaja 80's and Rahman 00's. Clips from previous years' concerts are at the OPEN web page;
direct links are below.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfXljI2wpbA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_76XMMjQm90
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TopjOXQbL-8

We now have approval as a non-profit foundation in India, with the attendant tax exemption for charitable donations under the Indian tax code. Sriram Sankaran, one of the founders of OPEN, is now located in Bangalore; Arvind Balaraman, one of the first members, is now located in Chennai; and these two are driving projects in India. It would be great if members of the OPEN community ask their friends and family in India to contribute towards our common cause. Our projects continue in 2009: 1. We supplied benches and desks; and scholarships for 80 students, at a total cost of $4000, to Ganapathy Girls High School in Chennai. 2. We added a new school to our list: The Lady Willington School in Chennai educates a large number of children of fishermen. This school had a student top the State in one subject of the Board exams. We provided $3000 to this school for scholarships. 3. We continued our partnership with IGNITE and provided $9000 for scholarships for Polytechnic vocational students. We are becoming a large part of IGNITE fund-raising and we would like to continue this deserving program. We will continue funding benches and desks at the Garodia high schools and scholarships for nursing students in partnership with the NGO Kaingkarya.
Our ability to fund these projects depends on your generosity.
We request that (tax deductible) contributions payable to "OPEN Inc." be sent to:
Kumar Thiagarajan
25470 Gimbel DriveSouth Riding, VA 20152
Shankar Nagarajan
15 Eagle TerraceJefferson, MA 01522
Ramprasad Santhanakrishnan
810 Graywyck DrSeven Fields, PA 16046
If you would like your contribution to go towards the "Educate a Child" program, please mention it on your check memo section. Please consider investing in India's future. To delay may mean to forget.
Sincerely,
Kumar Thiagarajan
Sriram Sankaran
Rajesh Ramadoss
http://www.openindia.org/

Slumdog Millionaire - DVD Release today

Slumdog - DVD release today
Those of you have not watched the Oscar sensation and AR Rahman's musical mastery, here is the DVD today for you
Check it out in BB, Netflix, Red Box
http://www.blockbuster.com/browse/catalog/movieDetails/370506

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tip of the day - Rally Softens and Good week to get in

Tip of the day
So all bull riders are going to sidelines this week i think, and there are soft oppurtunities to get in
All those folks who have been keeping the IRA contributions for CY2008 scarred to see when to invest in , this week might be a good week to get in
I think the markets are going to soften afer 2 weeks of rallying and digest some of the bad news in earnings, auto and energy sectors.
World markets are reflecting similar sentiments as well, so if you are keeping those deferral checks aside worried about the bull run, this week might present some oppurtunities to put it to work
Im not a big stock picker , i rely on ETFs and managed portfolios
but some to watch this week are

USO
FXI - china
FXP - china
Moderate allocation - PCA
SPDR DJ Global Titans - DGT
Speciality Real Estate - ETFs

are some i think are at very attractive price points

Post your thoughts

1- HAS THE REAL ESTATE MARKET IN DC METRO AREA Bottomed out ???
2- Are we seeing renewed interest among buyers ???
3 -Is 2009 Spring / summer going to be the official lows of the RE slump we have faced so far ?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tip of the Day - Express Dollar to RUPEE transfers to India

Express Dollar to RUPEE transfers to India
With the Dollar reaching over 50Rs / INR ( for those who are interested in Xfer to India)
what are some of the best options to get a SAME day gurantee of rates to "time the transfer"
I evaluated
Money2india
Remit2india
and other SWIFT bank based wire options, i beleive the following is the most guranteed route among the ones available --

STATE BANK OF INDIA
(http://www.statebank.com/rem_faqs.htm#2)
1 - Open a SBI US Checking or Money market account in NewYork branch of SBI
1a - Open a SBI NRO or NRE Savings account in SBI NRI branches in India ( Chennai,Bangalore etc)
2 - Link your current US checking account to SBI checking for intra bank transfers
2a - Link your US Checking account with India SBU NRE or NRO account ( done by SBI for you)
3 - Move money into SBI USA account and park it there for a good transfer rate
4 - When rate is good call SBI or initiate a transfer through a FAX request

YOU GET SAME DAY RATE TRANSFER Guranteed

This by far is the most predictable route i have seen so far
If you have any other options please post now for a discussion ???????????????

Friday, March 27, 2009

Simple Things -- Significant Results

Be Environment Friendly

Simple things that we can do to be more environment friendly

" When going to a fast food or take out eatery only take the number of spoon,fork,knife and napkin you need to eat

Dont gather plastic ware, paper stuff for your friends, wife, girlfriend or significant other, Just GRAB YOUR OWN Stuff and eat and throw away

Dont waste plastic or paper, it reduces trash, saves money for the fast food and will make you feel better that day

**Simple decisions leads to Significant contributions ***

HIGH Yielding CD Interest Rates

High Yielding CDs

So in this market if you want to move cash away in a very secure place such as a CD that gives a very high yield , where do you turn to
Well there are options such as CITI - 2.6% 12 month rate, but is 2+ percent good enough
Heck no , atleast for me !!!!

So i went out on my exploring once again
Checking out financial institutions OBVIOUSLY secured, insured
Here is what i got - Dont worry i have money in one of the institutions,
There are some catches, conditions , easily acheivable - NO PAIN NO GAIN , My friends
Check it out

http://www.highyieldcheckingdeals.com/

Post your comments on high yielding interest investment options

Sada

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Coupon Clipping & Self check out counters - What do you all think --

Coupon Clipping & Self Check out
Most stores have self check out these days.
So what happens if you carry a coupon for say a 2$ off Gillete razor cartridge or 50cents off a tooth paste to one of these self check out counters
The machine reads - Do you have any items under your cart ? ( Who carries a large cart to a self check out register - none - mostly we carry under 10 items we are lazy lets admit - big cart.....we want some one else to ring us up, we dont want to do it by ourselves)
DO YOU HAVE ANY COUPONS ?
You say YES, please scan coupons, Scan your Gillete 2$ coupon it takes it off your bill,
Please deposit your coupon in the box ( you are supposed to put your coupon in a collector)
So im like why dont i put a small piece of paper in it and see what happens - tear the top part of the coupon some useless piece of paper and put it in the coupon collector
DO YOU HAVE ANY COUPONS ?
Say yes and use your same Gillete coupon for another razor or cartridge
I think you get the message.....
Im not for advocating some crazy coupon misuse scheme ....
But check it out next time you are in a 24 hour harris teeter or BJs or safeway or any of the other selfcheck out friendly stores
You may not be that lucky in Costco - they dont take any other coupons except for theirs so dont try there, you can eek a DIME out of that store !!!!!!!!!

****Post your experiences on innovative coupon usage in various retailers ******

Tip of the Day - TOTD

Vacation & Operating expenses
I have always wondered why do I incur twice the cost when i travel on vacation
I know many of you are like - what do you mean
im cheap and i dont like to pay at 2 places when im only at one location. So i explored to see what can i cut when either me or my wife or both travel and not stay local to our home location
I wanted to make a list of what i dont use when im away
  1. My cars
  2. Cell Phones
  3. Cable TV/ Satellite TV
  4. Home Phone
  5. My Internet connection
  6. Oh yeah of course Gas, Electricity, Water and Sewer
  7. Blockbuster or Netflix subscription for videos
  8. Gym memberships

Ok thats all i can think of now

I began calling each one of them - called

Costco Auto insurance - Cars can be placed on vacation / comprehensive only plan where in your car is covered for insurance if any thing happens in a parked state on your drive, no collision on road, but any vandalism, act of nature - covered - Savings - 80$ a month

Cell Phones - Both Sprint and AT&T were nice to put me on a 10$ monthly vacation disconnect mode - savings - around 200$ a month !!!!!

Home Phone - Both verizon and vonage can place your phone on vacation disconnect no charges - savings around 25$/per line per month

Comcast Internet - Yes only 5$ charge a month - savings 40+$ a month

Satellite Dish - Dish network at 5$ a month vacation disconnect - Savings 75$ month

Blockbuster - 12$ a month - we can hold the subscription by going to account settings online - no need of calling

Golds Gym - Oh year vacation disconnect allowed and it saves 35$ a month

GAS, Electricity and Water - I dont mess with them, i leave it on as i dont want my pipes to freeze also is by a per use basis so not much of a cost savings

LAST THOUGHT - NO matter you or on a contract or not all services allow vacation hold/disconnect -- JUST ASK and For sure it saves you $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

**********POST YOUR COMMENTS *********

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Easter Egg Roll Announcement

White house Easter Egg Roll
Small Announcement for tomorrow
The tickets for the Whitehouse Easter Eggroll is issued online this time
Those who need kids to take to the Whitehouse for this event , simple click away tomorrow
Check it out ........
http://www.whitehouse.gov/eastereggroll/

Our Obsession around STUFF

Obsession around Stufffffff
We all have our share of obsession around stuff,
Stuff could be any thing, wealth, objects, shoes, cars or comforters, bed in bags
Where does this start to get into us ?
Being a Kid ?
Teen
Youth
Adult
What stage ?
Always wondered but the following Performance by the legend George Carlin about stuff is truly a master piece -
Enjoy --
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvgN5gCuLac

Post your thoughts about STUFF

Ordinary Idea Extraordinary Results

Read the Title Again

Im talking about a simple burger franchise called FIVE GUYS
What is unique about this store - NOTHING --
Absolutely !!!!!
Its a Hamburger Joint that sells some really good burgers and fries
Its predictable, cheap and Hell yeah they throw free peanuts when you wait to get your burger
They were 5 stores for 15 years and then became 250 stores in 5 years
What is so amazing
Consumers/people like predicatability - its like the Honda accord or the Toyota camry in car business, no new innovation, really monotonous design boring models , but PREDICTABLE
Five guys is that when you are in mood for a Greasy ( not so much ok peanut oil i get it) Juicy burger with some CAJUN fries, Hit 5 guys up , its blissssssssssssssss

Topic of the Day - TOTD - i like to call it

Investment
I would like to start my first blog around a piece of investment tip which i think is very interesting
In time of uncetain economy and people not knowing where to put their money in, here is a simple and easy way to "stash your cash"
A married couple or family can invest upto 5000$ times 2 ( 5k electronic and 5k paper bonds) per SSN per Calendar Year.
Current Interest rates offered for the 6month period is 5.64% (exempted from state and county income taxes)
Historic Rates are

11/1/2008 5.63722
5/1/2008 4.84
11/1/2007 4.27836
5/1/2007 3.73
11/1/2006 4.56232


Thats not too bad is it ????

Link -
http://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/products/prod_ibonds_glance.htm

I Bonds -
what do you know about them ?
I Bonds are a low-risk, liquid savings product. While you own them they earn interest and protect you from inflation. You may purchase I Bonds via TreasuryDirect, at most local financial institutions or through payroll deduction. As a TreasuryDirect account holder, you can purchase, manage, and redeem I Bonds directly from your Web browser
$5,000 maximum purchase in one calendar year.
If you redeem I Bonds within the first 5 years, you'll forfeit the 3 most recent months' interest; after 5 years, you won't be penalized.
Interest earnings are exempt from State and local income taxes, but are subject to State and local estate, inheritance, gift, and other excise taxes.
Interest earnings are subject to Federal income tax.
Interest earnings may be excluded from Federal income tax when used to finance education (see education tax exclusions).

Post your thoughts about this ????