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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 ????