How I Leased a $ 60,000 Car For Only $ 111 a Month and Why I Think Dealer Leasing is Dumb

The rational behind leasing a car is simple; you basically rent the car for a period of time then drop it off when the lease expires without any obligation (generally if the car is clean) or further costs.

What you are doing is paying for the depreciation of the vehicle during the lease. So, if a car is new and worth $ 50,000 today and in 3 years it's expected to be worth $ 30,000 then you as the lessee basically pay the depreciation of the car over the 3 years to the lessor and get a new car every 3 years.

Seems simple and smart, right? Wrong, I am going to show you a better way drive cars if you can raise a lump sum of money. For me it was obvious, I am in the business of raising lump sums of money to settle debt.

So a BMW M3 Cabriolet (convertible) is a gorgeous car, it's a driver's machine and is truly sublime. A few years ago, and after several years of very frugal living and driving cheap cars my accountant talked me into spending some money. And that was tough for him to do; after all he is the guy that told me cars are a colossal waste of money.

It was 2006 and I was looking for a 2003-4 M3. These cars were selling for $ 80,000 + brand new. I always buy used and private; for 3 reasons:

1) Let someone else pay the depreciation in the first couple of years

2) Dealers usually lie and just tick me off

3) You can usually negotiate a better price with private sellers.

In 2006 used M3 Cabs were selling for $ 50,000 – $ 60,000. A 2003 Imola red M3 Cab for $ 46,000, with low miles really caught my eye. It was cheaper then the rest and red was a rare colour on these cars; She looked stunning.

So I checked it out, drove it and was really impressed. It was my first real experience in a premium German car and I was sold hook, line and sinker.

There was a catch. It was a US car. No big deal right? Wrong, the car had not sold for a reason. It scared buyers. The owner had imported it as a "salvage title" meaning it had been written off in the US. But he had paperwork (albeit dodgy looking but, I verified it) to show that in the State of New Jersey when are car is stolen and written off, and the vehicle later recovered it gets a "salvage title" because the owner was already paid out by the insurance company.

In other states a salvage title means the car was written off in an accident. Salvage titles can not be sold in the US again. So it was not in an accident like most people would normally believe and everything including the VIN checked out on the Carfax report. In fact the car was in flawless shape and found by authorities in a shipping crate ready to go across the Atlantic. It was sold at an auction by the insurance company to my seller.

So the next step was to negotiate a final price. I knew the car was up for sale for almost 6 weeks because I was following the used car ads. That told me the seller was having a difficult time unloading the car because of its history. So I told him, "regardless of the asking price, this car would be very tough for me to unload when I needed to get out of it", and he knew it was true. I offered him $ 38,000 and after some negotiating we settled on $ 40,000.

I got a car everyone else was selling for $ 60,000 or more with lower miles (only 35,000 miles when I got it) for considerably less.

I enjoyed the car for about 36 months, put on another 30,000 miles and sold it for $ 36,000 (I fully disclosed the history to the buyer), my cost to carry the car for 3 years was only about $ 111 / m in depreciation to drive a premium German automobile.

Comparable used cars were leasing for about $ 900 / m with $ 5,000 down at the time I bought mine.

That's how I like to buy cars. It's easy and do not be afraid of private sellers and cheap car ads, check them out; sometimes there is a good reason behind it and nothing really to worry about if you do a little homework and dig deeper.

Posted in general | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on How I Leased a $ 60,000 Car For Only $ 111 a Month and Why I Think Dealer Leasing is Dumb

Insurance Agents Name Choices – Insurance Specialist, Financial Planner, or Life Advisor?

Are you one of the plain insurance agents? Agents often prefer to upgrade their title as an insurance specialist or financial advisor on their business card. Names like life advisor reflect positive experience and knowledge. Which of these different terms distinguishes you from being just one of the insurance agents? Here are 101 top choices to pick from.

There is a lot more to a name then may realize. Calling yourself an agent or sales agent makes you sound run of the mill. It also projects the sound of a salesman trying to sell you something. Few people enjoy feeling a person is selling them anything, it stinks of pressure. This is why in this list of different terms you will see how high words like specialist, expert, and professional rank. The prospect gets a completely new perspective, just by the title you give yourself! Prospects closely take notice when an agent jointly works with them in reaching a decision on what is the best plan of action. Prospective clients want to feel like they are part of the decision process.

Important internet search tip: to get an accurate count use quote marks around your term, "insurance specialist" will only give you that term in that exact order. Without the quotes you would also get all instances of people searching terms such as specialist insurance, specialist in writing insurance claims, specialist in automobile insurance sales, etc.

To give this article value, in front of each of the insurance agents distinctions is the number of current Google listings. This way you can easily see how often internet views "insurance agent" look-up terms like specialist, planner, representative, and. advisor. Please remember the Google count figures often change daily.

1. 10,600,000 = financial advisor

2. 6,690,000 = insurance agent

3. 4,280,000 = financial planner

4. 2,120,000 = investment advisor

5. 1,780,000 = insurance agents brokers

6. 1,600,000 = investment adviser

7. 999,000 = insurance guide

8. 735,000 = insurance specialist

9. 638,000 = financial expert

10. 604,000 = financial professional

11. 590,000 = financial specialist

12. 513,000 = life pro

13. 433,000 = insurance professional

14. 431,000 = health insurance agent

15. 322,000 = insurance expert

16. 271,500 = insurance salesman

17. 269,000 = life professional

18. 268,000 = life insurance agent

19. 253,000 = insurance consultant

20. 252,000 = insurance advisor

21. 244,000 = insurance sales representative

22. 219,000 = insurance manager

23. 218,000 = estate advisor

24. 217,000 = insurance executive

25. 189,000 = estate planner

26. 186,000 = independent insurance sale

27. 179,000 = insurance sales agent

28. 155,000 = insurance seller

29. 130,000 = insurance producer

30. 126,000 = investment representative

29. 120,000 = insurance authority

30. 119,000 = insurance representative

31. 112,000 = life agent

32. 107,000 = life insurance specialist

32. 104,000 = life specialist

33. 102,000 = insurance adviser

34. 89,900 = insurance sales manager

35. 86,200 = licensed insurance agent

36. 85,200 = insurance manager

37. 71,000 = health agent

38. 66,600 = insurance pro

39. 65,100 = insurance sales rep

40. 60,000 = insurance designer

41. 59,400 = insurance sales person

42. 55,600 = life consultant

43. 54,500 = group agent

44. 52,200 = ins agent

45. 50,100 = estate adviser

46. ​​50,000 = insurance pros

47. 46,800 = insurance counselor

48. 43,800 = financial pro

49. 43,400 = insurance salesperson

50. 40,200 = insurance sales specialist

51. 37,700 = life producer

52. 37,000 = insurance sales executive

53. 35,400 = independent insurance brokers

54. 34,700 = long term care professional

55. 34,500 = financial planning advisor

56. 33,900 = medical insurance specialist

57. 31,300 = health insurance professional

58. 29,300 = life insurance expert

59. 29,000 = insurance rep

60. 28,900 = financial planning advisor

61. 27,500 = health insurance specialist

62. 26,000 = health insurance advisor

63. 25,500 = independent insurance professional

64. 24,700 = employee benefits specialist

65. 24,000 = life advisor

66. 22,900 = life insurance advisor

67. 21,800 = life insurance sales specialist

68. 19,900 = life insurance professional

69. 19,300 = insurance producer

70. 19,200 = licensed financial planner

71. 16,200 = health insurance producer

72. 14,900 = insurance sales consultant

73. 14,000 = term life insurance broker

74. 12,800 = long term care specialist

75. 12,700 = annuity specialist

76. 12,500 = estate planning specialist

77. 12,200 = insurance marketer

78. 11,950 = life insurance representative

79. 11,900 = insurance planner

80. 10,600 = insurance sales professional

81. 10,400 = life insurance advisor

82. 10,200 = insurance writer

83. 9,650 = insurance recruiter

84. 9,480 = financial planning advisor

85. 9,030 = estate planning advisor

86. 8,570 = annuity broker

87. 7,520 = insurance general manager

88. 7,070 = insurance trainee

89. 6,800 = long term care insurance specialist

90. 6,670 = term life insurance agent

91. 6,440 = long term care insurance agent

92. 5,870 = licensed life agent

93. 5,300 = financial insurance agent

94. 5,270 = annuity agent

95. 5,080 = ins professional

96. 5,030 = medical insurance professional

97. 5,010 = disability insurance agent

98. 4,990 = employee benefits professional

99. 4,430 = mortgage insurance agent

100. 4,200 = disability insurance specialist

101. 3,900 = long term care agent

For your own sake, never tell prospective clients that you are one of 1,500,000 insurance agents licensed to sell life, health, annuities, and financial policies. The term insurance specialist or insurance professional immediately makes your prospect more confident of your abilities. However, please do not use the overused and abused terms of financial planner or estate planner unless you actually are qualified to be one.

If case, you are interested, here are more titles with over 1,000 Google entry occurrences that did not make the top 101 list. They include group health professional, ins specialist, insurance marketing representative, health insurance adviser, ins representative, term life insurance specialist, mortgage life insurance agent, insurance marketing specialist, disability insurance broker, life ins agent, term life agent, senior market specialist, life investment adviser, MDRT insurance agent, and insurance saleswoman.

Should you want to get more attention on major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Ask, here are some tips. On the front of your website entry page, use the title and first line to put a more descriptive term about the services you provide. Rather than announcing "insurance agent for many products", try this, "medical insurance professional and disability insurance specialist." Both these titles only have about 5,000 competing entries, which could include 3,500 to 4,000 weak ones each. Now it depends on following the advice given, and internet search engine skills you possess. An internet searcher might now find you in the top 100 listings for each of the terms! On an "insurance agent" search, with well over 6,000,000 listings, it might take a 24/7 week to find you listed toward the end of the heap.

Posted in general | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Insurance Agents Name Choices – Insurance Specialist, Financial Planner, or Life Advisor?

Advantages and Disadvantages of Long Term Care Insurance

Should You Buy Long Term Care Insurance?

Most people start thinking about the possibility of needing nursing care asf they hit middle age. Many have family or family who needed home health care, assisted living, or a nursing home. At this time, people learn about the high cost of long term care, and they wonder how it gets paid for.

Consider this. Full time nursing homes can cost $ 50,000 a year or more. Home health care may not be that much less, depending upon the amount of services needed. Assisted living facilities cost less, but may still be a lot more than it costs to live on your own. And the government estimates that 40% of people who turn 65 will need some sort of nursing care during retirement years.

How does this get paid for? Medicare, the federal health insurance for seniors and disabled people, only pays for short term care. Medicaid does pay for nursing homes, and in fact pays for half of all of thee costs in the US. But in order to qualify for Medicaid, a person has to deplete most of their assets.

So some people purchase a long term care insurance (LTCi) policy because they want to protect their savings in case they need to go to a nursing home. There are also alternative ways to plan for this which other choose. And many people have not done any planning at all.

Disadvantages of Long Term Care Insurance

Who do some people choose LTCi alternatives? Why do many people do nothing? Look at some things that they may consider.

Insurance exists to manage risks. When you purchase an auto insurance policy, you hope you will not have to use it. With most LTC policies, it is the same. You could pay premiums for years, never need it, and get nothing out of your policy except the security of knowing you have it. Some LTC policies may have a return of premium feature but it is not common.

LTCi policies are complicated, and there are many different types. Some are more useful and flexible than others. So some types of coverage may not help you for the particular situation you are in. For instance, you may have purchased a policy that only covers a nursing home. But an illness may only require adult day care or home health care. Again, some policies will cover different types of care so you, or your family, can make a choice when the time comes.

Premiums are lower for younger and healthier people, but can go up over time. If you can not afford to pay premiums when you get older, it will not do you any good if you have to discontinue coverage. You have to make sure that you can afford the policy.

Advantages of Long Term Care Insurance

Of course, a lot of people do think LTCi is a great choice to make sure they have protected their assets .. And some features may even help them before they ever need to use it.

Some policies are tax deductible. Tax qualified plans can be deducted when you file taxes now. This makes the real cost of premiums lower than the price a company charges.

Assets are protected. If you want to preserve a lifetime of savings for yourself, your spouse, or your heirs, long term care is one obvious way to do this. With the right policy, you will not be forced to spend down your entire estate before you qualify for Medicaid.

You will have choices. Not every nursing facility or provider accepts Medicaid. You will be able to choose your private nursing home, assisted living facility, or home health care provider without worrying if they accept Medicaid payments. Some policies even offset the cost of care that is provided by family members.

How to Shop For Long Term Care Policies

It is important to understand how various policies work, how much they will cost, and which one will be the best plan for you. An experienced insurance agent can help you. You can also start looking by using a convenient online long term care insurance quote form. This will allow you to see competitive policies that are sold in your own local area.

Posted in general | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Advantages and Disadvantages of Long Term Care Insurance

New York Life Insurance Company Career – New Personal Financial Representatives Doomed?

New York Life Insurance Company is large and successful. If you think life insurance careers are easy, think again. If you think personal financial representatives are entry level careers, you are doomed. Want the true facts about life insurance careers and personal financial representatives? Read this article.

I remember that years ago 15% of the women entering life insurance careers were women. Today with some career life insurance companies like New York Life Insurance Company that figure is now approaching close to 50%. Moreover, in a business already flooded with far too many male and female life insurance agents, their recruiting figures are up. This is a marketing scheme. Change the name to possible applicants from life insurance agents to financial representatives and suddenly an image of prestige and easy money appears. However, ask yourself why the insurer's name is New York Life Insurance Company and not New York Financial Company. It is just a name game.

FACTUAL INFORMATION Recruiters of insurance agents or so called personal financial representatives have hardly been able to increase their retention rate during the first year and a half of the new recruit's career. 10 years ago, 86% of newcomers left life insurance selling during their first 18 months, now that figure is 85% leaving, 15% remaining. After four full years of gaining experience, only 7% remain, and gender is not a factor.

Why does a highly respected company like New York Life Insurance Company hire over 3,500 reps in 2008? Their figures show appointing around 3,200 in 2007, and expecting 2009 to produce 3,500 new financial representatives to train. To me that adds up to 10,200 inexperienced reps in 3 years. Does anyone logically look at the numbers? This financially solid company founded in 1845 has a total agency force numbering slightly over 11,500. 90% of these are certainly are not newer financial representatives. The common interpretation of new hires retaining a lasting career is False. My analytical studies of New York Life Insurance Agents indicate slightly elevated retention than others. A similar insurance provider loses at least 70% of their first year agents.

New York Life Insurance Company still has poor retention rates. However, during the past 10 years they have implemented a strategy few of their competitors have not been as successful at imitating. That strategic method means recruiting agents, "financial representatives" with a keen emphasis on a wide diversity of cultural backgrounds. This a rapidly expanding area underserved by agents possessing the same nationality and ability to speak the language. This strategy involves personal representation into Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, India, Asian along with Hispanic and African-American and other cultural residents.

Even though New York Life Insurance Company recruits excessive numbers of agents, to result with the skilled few, this is the same numbers game practiced by competitors. Factually, it is a profitable tradition for the insurance provider, as departing agents sacrifice 100% of premiums collected to the company. To the credit of New York Life Insurance Company is this distinction. For many years, they hold the prestigious recognition of having the most MDRT, million dollar roundtable members. This does not mean making anywhere near a million dollars. However MDRT selling principles and premiums are adjusted yearly and strongly enforced to make sure qualifying is left to many of the best of the best.

A new agent is not a financial representative . This is where calling a new agent a financial representative or financial advisor, hurts all the truly experienced and knowledgeable professional personal financial representatives and planners. New York Life Insurance Company mentions on their website regarding new recruits the opportunity to provide vital insurance protection and financial advice. Be honest here. An agent trainee is barely able to properly perform prospecting and life insurance sales effectively. This explains why industry turnover is so great. Selling life insurance to cover death expenses or pay off a mortgage is a far cry from providing the accurate financial advice of a professional. Likewise obtaining a variable contract license to sell investment products does not mean an agent has the ability to do so properly.

A true financial representative must be very qualified to give advice. This often means meeting semi-wealthy to wealthy prospects and advising them how to lay out their entire financial situation. The planning could involve rearranging hundreds of thousands of dollars of assets. Given the economics of the near past, even some of the best financial planners have been given the cold shoulder by clients seeing their wealth accumulation slashed in half. New York Life Insurance Company certainly has some of the best experienced financial representatives in the business. However, most of these pros average 10 years of continued education and specialization while earning various designations as proof of their abilities.

An agent trainee is in the wonder years . Just selling enough insurance to survive the critical beginning years is a challenge few can master. Taking agents living in a $ 45,000 income area environment and getting them in front of million dollar clients is truly throwing them in the furnace to be burned. All salespeople have a comfort level of selling starting with prospects close to their own level. After sales skills and product knowledge, this level gradually increases. Few new agents comfortable with clients making $ 50,000 a year can quickly adapt to working in the $ 200,000 + yearly income bracket clientele. Ordinary middle class Americans do not need a financial representative, the service of a hard working life insurance agent will do fine.

Can a new financial representative make it? Although New York Life Company provides quality training, it can not guarantee success. My previous insurance career and 25 years as an insurance advisor analyzing mountains of agent data says NO. However if a rep already has most of the following qualities or characteristics I could be convinced to say a 50/50 chance at best. You must enter the business in good financial condition, no loaded up credit cards, and hopefully a decent nest egg. If you have the ability to speak fluently a second language and are going to concentrate on your ethnic group that is a plus.

You must realize the average insurance agent earns around $ 25,000 yearly in the early stages, so you have to view this career as a step building process. Very few insurance agents or financial representatives, percentage wise, earn $ 100,000, especially during their initial four years. While product knowledge and most selling skills are learned over time, other career makers must already exist. An extraordinary dose of never-ending determination to break the odds, backed up with phenomenal self-confidence, plus a lack of fear and rejection are required prerequisites. Add to this the ability to take everything you are initially taught as a grain of salt and then revise it to perfection.

Never are you in the business as a company representative, you are in business for yourself. Financial rewards only come to those that separate themselves quickly from the failing masses. IF you still really feel you have what it takes after reading this article, a New York Life Insurance Company Career could become a reality.

Posted in general | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New York Life Insurance Company Career – New Personal Financial Representatives Doomed?

Auto Body Repair Estimates Demystified – The 5 Most Common Items on a Repair Estimate

So you've decided to get an estimate from a local body shop. These days, most body shops will use a computerized estimating software to write your estimate. If the shop you have chosen does not use a computer to write your estimate that should be cause for concern. This is not meant as a jab at those long time owners and technicians and I am not implying they are "backward" or "luddites" or ignorant. Its more for accountability. Computerized software is now standard in our industry and insures a more uniform, unbiased and accurate appraisal for how long things take to repair. For instance, I was talking to a shop owner just a couple days ago who was remembering with fondness the good old days when he would routinely get 15+ labor hours to repair frames on cars that nowadays he only gets 4-5 hours on. The truth is however that 4-5 is the more accurate and fair rate (depending on the job of course it could be more or less). And since consumers and insurance companies are billed by the hours on an estimate the old days of falsely inflating hours are gone.

When it comes to auto body repair the vast majority of line items on an estimate will be one of 5 things:

1. R & I. This is shorthand for "remove and install" and means to take something off your car and then to re-install it later. Parts that are not damaged may need to be temporarily removed to access another part that was damaged or more often so the panel it is taken off of can painted properly. For instance, say your electric motor for your window stops working. The interior trim panel will need to be temporarily removed for to gain access to the motor to see if it can be repaired (not likely!) Or replaced. Or perhaps a molding needs to be removed from your door before it is painted only to be put back on later when the paint dries. One caution here is that if panels are being painted and you're not being charged for R & I the shop may be taping them up which can actually cause peeling or flaking months or years later. So do not be surprised if for instance a headlight needs to be removed to properly paint a fender. You should actually be more concerned if its not. FYI: R & I times are typically set to industry standards by estimating software and are not discretionary.

2. Repair. Repair (aka 'Rpr') is the most discretionary item on an estimate and typically the amount of time it takes to repair something will be underlined or asterisk-ed (*) to indicate this. This is where an insurance adjuster might say a dent will take 3 hours to fix and a technician might say it will take 4. There's no hard and fast rule here and this needs to be negotiated between insurance adjusters, shop estimators and possibly even the technicians doing the job. My dad who has been in the industry almost 40 years taught me a long time ago that a dent which is about the size of a man's fist should take about 3 hours to repair. From there you can adjust up or done for various things like a body line that runs through the dent (add an hour) or the dent has no creases and is accessible from the inside and therefore can be mostly popped out (subtract time). The reason these times are so important is that insurance companies are paying shops based on the number of hours on the estimate.

3. Replace. Replacing parts, sometimes shorthanded to 'repl,' is not a discretionary item on an estimate and is governed by industry standards or what shop folks call "book time." If the book / software says it takes 3.5 hours to replace that bumper then that is what the insurance company will pay. No more and no less. It is pretty well standardized with only slight variations depending on which software is used and then it only differs by very little.

4. Sublet. Sometimes there are things that an auto body shop will send to someone else (typically a mechanic who takes care of more under the hood items) to perform and this is categorized as sublet. Popular things for shops to sublet out are air conditioner recharging and 4 wheel alignments when the suspension is damaged. The reason this is sent out typically is that the equipment and space required for these operations are not cost effective for a body shop. And when it comes to deeper engine repair, oil and paint do not mix! Oil and grease can quickly ruin a paint job. So, shops that say they can do "everything" typically can not do everything well.

5. Miscellaneous. Under this category will go small charges like "hazardous waste removal" (about once a month we pay someone to pick up and dispose of our hazardous waste in the safest way possible) and "car cover for overspray" which pays for paper, tape and plastic to cover the vehicle during the painting process so paint over spray does not go all over the windows or adjacent panels.

Posted in general | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Auto Body Repair Estimates Demystified – The 5 Most Common Items on a Repair Estimate

Five Power Closing Techniques for Insurance and Financial Advisors

So, you have made it through the prospecting game. You made your cold calls, sent out your mass mortgage mailers, invited people to your coffee-sponsored seminars, you qualified responders as being serious prospects and have set the appointment.

Now what? You have done all this work, are you sure you are going to get their business? In this article are 5 closing techniques to help you solidify the deal and make the sale.

1. Quality Demonstration – If you are going to take the time to give a demonstration, be sure that you listen to your potential client's needs and interpretations of what they expect to get out of your appointment. There is nothing worse than explaining variable life insurance and all the different cash options and disability waivers … to find out they only have a budget of $ 50 per month. So, listen and then tailor your demonstration to focus on their needs and to solve whatever void they need filled. Do not get too wordy. The best demonstrations have few words, but are very poignant.

2. Small-closes – Throughout the demonstration , try to get periodic "buy ins" and acknowledgments that you are on track with solving their needs. Ask for their opinions, ask open ended questions; be sure to engage the potential client. If you can make many small closes throughout the sales process, then when it comes time to pull out the application, they will not be shocked or caught off guard. When they ask a question, re-state their question. This does two things: it lets the potential client know that you are listening to their concerns, but it also restates to them what they have just said is their need. So, when the time comes for you to discuss possible solutions, such as term insurance to cover the mortgage, or a wrap-around disability income policy to substitute the rest of their income, then they can not back out and say that it is not a concern.

3. Between 1 and 10 – This has got to be one of the greatest closing lines ever. It is easy to do, and it forces the potential client to sell themselves. When you have finished your demonstration, you simply turn to your client and ask them, "Between 1 and 10 … 10 being 'I am ready to fill out the application and never worry about how my family will financially survive if something should happen to me '… or 1 being' I wish you would leave my house right now '…. where do you fall? And no matter what they tell you, you ALWAYS answer, "Really, a" # "? Why so high? "Even if they tell you a" 4 "…. you answer," Really, a 4? I thought you would be a 3, you had your arms crossed and did not seem interested in anything I was saying. Why are you so high? What made you choose a 4? "

And then let them answer. Even with a low number, they will point out the features that they liked. They will point out the solutions that worked best. They will also tell you what they did not like … and then you can move forward from there. If they were turned off by the price …. them give them other options. If they were turned off by the fee structure of A-share mutual funds, then tell them about B or C shares.

4. Suggest / Recommend – This is not so much a closing technique as it is a phrase that sets you apart from others by presenting you as the expert. Think about the times you have heard people use this phrase with you. Typically most large oil changing stations will say at the end of their "12 point inspection", "I recommend you flush out your steering fluid or use a fuel injector cleaner". What happens is that, they are recommending this to you, which gets you thinking, "hmm … they are the experts, perhaps I should listen to them". Versus someone saying, "you NEED to do this." That phrase turns us off. "I do not NEED to do anything!" When you are sitting with a prospective client and you have finished your demonstration and they have agreed that they need to begin a college savings plan, or invest in a sound life insurance policy, the next phrase out of your mouth should be, "As your Financial Representative, I suggest we get started with ….. "or" I recommend that we ….. ". It sets you up as the professional that they will trust.

5. Take the sale away -This phrase sounds like the opposite of what you want to do, but rather than chasing someone for the sale, make them ask you for it. Statements like, "I do not even know if you will qualify for this …. why do not we fill out some of the medical questions to see if we should even move forward with underwriting." Or if they balk at the initial deposit to open a college plan or annuity, try saying, "You know what? Maybe you are right. This college plan does not seem like the right fit to help you cover the cost of your children to go to any school they want to …. why do not you check out state savings plans through the bank … I believe that enrollment period starts in 6 more months ". This gets the person thinking, "Well what is wrong with me? I want to fit in, I want to belong." When you push something, it moves away from you …. when you pull the same item, it comes towards you. Another move you can make … if someone says that the premium is more than they want to spend, you can always say, "you know what, maybe you are right, but why do not we go ahead and get you underwritten, see if you even qualify for this low of a premium, as you could come back rated. Then once you are approved, then we can determine which policy will work best for you. "

It takes a little time to change your thinking, especially when you are just starting out. But give it some time, and practice these steps. You will see clients becoming more attracted to you as a professional.

Posted in general | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Five Power Closing Techniques for Insurance and Financial Advisors

Owner Operator Insurance 101 – Lease Agreement Requirements

In today's ultra-competitive marketplace the stakes are higher than ever. One poor decision can prove fatal to the business aspirations of the ill-prepared entrepreneur. Careful planning and meticulous attention to detail are requisite to success. Nowhere else is this more true than in the world of the independent contractor. Without the large cash reserves associated with the corporate world, the success of the individual Owner Operator is in constant jeopardy. This article is the first in a series aimed at explaining some lesser known facts that can help you make better business decisions right from the start and build a more secure foundation for your business.

For an Owner Operator looking to break into the trucking business, it is often more economically feasible to start out running under a larger motor carrier's operating authority. Keep in mind that not all motor carriers operate the same way, and not all motor carriers may operate with your best financial interest in mind. If you allow yourself to get caught up in "just getting signed on somewhere" and forget to read the fine print, you may be setting yourself up for failure.

When negotiating your rate per mile and reviewing your lease agreement with a motor carrier there are a few things that you should take into consideration in order to better manage your exposure to financial threats and ensure your overall profitability.

What expenses are they passing on to you, and do they use an escrow?

It is not uncommon for a motor carrier to share some or even all of the deductibles on their Auto Liability and Cargo Insurance with you, the owner operator. They can do this in one of two ways. They can either pass the responsibility for the deductibles directly on to you through your lease agreement, or they can withhold money out of your settlement in an escrow account. This means that in addition to the standard $ 1000 deductible you already have on your Physical Damage policy, you could also be responsible for up to $ 2500 each, or more, on your motor carrier's Liability and Cargo policies. They can also escrow money above and beyond the deductible amounts for a variety of other purposes including taxes, permits or even fuel advances.

You can minimize your risk of incurring the insurance related expenses by using Deductible Buyback coverage. Deductible Buyback allows you to combine all of the deductibles you are responsible for and reduce them to one smaller amount, typically $ 500. Otherwise, pay attention to the use of escrow accounts and be sure to monitor how much they have held. If and when you terminate your lease, you will likely have to ask for that money back or risk losing it completely.

What insurance can they actually require you to carry and what should you carry?

The simple answer here is that they can require you to carry any coverage their risk managers see fit. Although the state you live in may not specifically require you to carry certain coverages, the motor carrier can make those requirements a provision of signing a lease agreement. You are an independent contractor choosing to enter a mutual agreement with the motor carrier. By signing the lease agreement you are saying that you understand and choose to accept their requirements, whatever those may be. The most common insurance they will require will be some sort of personal injury protection.

However, any insurance coverage that they may require you to carry is most likely aimed at reducing their exposure to the risk of you passing expenses onto them. Since these expenses would initially be yours, it is in your best business interest to carry the coverage.

The more common and more affordable form of personal injury protection is called Occupational Accident or Occ Acc. Occ Acc is similar to Workers Compensation in that it covers you or your driver for medical expenses resulting from work related injuries. A typical Occ Acc plan will carry some amount of disability coverage as well. The main difference between Occ Acc and Work Comp is that an Occ Acc policy has a specific pre-determined limit of coverage ($ 500K, $ 1 million, etc). Work Comp limits are determined by individual state statutes.

What form of liability coverage are you required to carry on yourself?

When you are leased to a motor carrier and operating your truck "in the business of trucking" you are covered by their Auto Liability coverage. Also known as Primary Liability, this coverage insures you and the motor carrier for property damage and bodily injury that you cause to another party and for which you are liable. Since your truck is a commercial vehicle designed for the business of pulling freight, Primary Liability covers it most of the time. However, since you own the truck, there will be times when you may use it for things other than "the business of trucking". Because of this, it is important to carry a secondary form of liability coverage.

Usually referred to as "bobtail" coverage, there are actually several different forms of secondary liability coverage that can be used. Your motor carrier may require a specific form, so it's important to understand the difference.

Non-Trucking Liability, NTL: Covers you when you are "not in the business of trucking". It does not specify whether you are pulling a trailer or bobtail.

Bobtail Liability: Covers you when you are bobtail. It does not specify whether or not you are in the business of trucking.

Unladen Liability: Covers you when you are not loaded. Does not specify whether you are bobtail or deadhead or if you are "in the business of trucking" or not.

Note that these are all liability coverage. This is only coverage on you to pay to other people for bodily injury and property damage that you may have caused. This coverage will never pay you for damage to your own equipment. Damage to your equipment is covered by Physical Damage coverage. Most motor carriers do not have requirements on your Physical Damage coverage, but it is still a good business decision to have it.

Understanding these different forms of coverage is extremely important to an Owner Operator when entering a lease agreement. Before signing your name on the dotted line, ask yourself the questions presented in this article and consider which of the different forms of insurance could apply to you. Investing in the right kinds of coverage early on can help you minimize your risk of facing catastrophic financial situations down the road. As evident in today's business economy, it is better to be financially proactive and prepared than to wait for disaster to arrive.

Posted in general | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Owner Operator Insurance 101 – Lease Agreement Requirements

How To Start A Roasted Corn Business

Corn roasting is a simple yet very profitable small investment business. The successful corn roasters make full time living working just the summer months.

To start a roasted corn business you will need to acquire permits and business licenses from the health department and from the state. The following is a typical checklist to start your business.

1. Decide the size and the scale of the operation.

2. Decide on the menu for your concession business.

3. Purchase your equipment and tools.

4. Register your business.

5. Apply and obtain all the required licenses and permits needed to run a food concession business.

6. Secure events and have fun running your concession stand.

Permits, Licenses, and Inspection

Every state has laws governing business licenses and permits. Most likely, you will have to register your business with the state agency, so you can do business in the state. A tax ID number, business license number, and tax registration number can be issued to your business, depending on the state in which you are operating. You should verify with the city or county that the business location is zoned for that activity. You must have commercial liability insurance, both for your business and for your vehicle and trailer.

Health Department and Food safety

As a business owner and a food worker, you will be preparing food for other people. Contact the health department of your county or state to receive a copy of a food safety guide that will help you greatly in learning more about food safety. Roasted corn is considered a less hazardous food, but if you are going to sell potatoes and turkey legs you may have to pay higher fee.

Start-up Costs of a Corn Roaster Business

Brand new corn roaster with warranty: 10,000- $ 12,000.

Used corn roaster: $ 5,000- $ 8,000.

Additional equipment and accessories: $ 1,200- $ 2,000.

Used van or truck: $ 2,000- $ 10,000.

Food cost for first two events: $ 300- $ 1,000.

Event sign-up fee: $ 800- $ 3,000.

Fuel, utilities, and miscellaneous: $ 200.

Equipment Required to Start a Corn Roasting Business

A professional corn roaster, minimum 200-500 corns per hour.

Hot plate for melting butter

Steam table for storing cooked potatoes and turkey legs.

Two 20-lb. propane tanks

Fire extinguisher

Commercial quality tent

2 tables,

Hand washing unit (portable) very easy to assemble one

Mics. Little things

Google "Corn Roasters" and search for companies that will help you get started before buying the equipment if you are strapped for cash. One of the company Texas Corn Roasters help.

How to Find Events and Festivals

There are many sources for finding festivals and events, such as your vendor friends, the local Chamber of Commerce, auto racing, fairs and festivals, flea markets, rodeos, and theme parks. The Internet is one of the greatest sources for finding events. Many good sites provide this information. Always send a professionally done proposal with your application if you want to beat the competition.

Suppliers and Producers

Suppliers and produce wholesalers are your key to success in this business. You can not afford to buy the food from retailers, so you must find producers capable of providing you quality food at wholesale costs. Every state and big town has a local supplier who delivers food supplies to local restaurants. "Wholesale food distributor" in the Yellow Pages is a good place to start. Corn is cheap if buy from a wholesaler.

Serving food at the festival

The way you serve can also improve your business. You will need certain condiments for every item you server. For instance sale, black pepper, Cajun spice, garlic powder, lemon pepper and more.

Signage

You have probably heard the saying "flash is cash." It is very true when it comes to the festival business. You could have the most delicious food, best prices, well-trained staff, and a festival with thousands of people. If your booth fails to attract customers ,, it is probably the poor signage.

Tribal knowledge

Like many other small profitable business the roasted corn business is run by tight lipped vendors who do not share tribal knowledge. There are not any website, or sources for a newbie to find any information. The tribal knowledge could help you make extra 25K a year. Of a Very Is there Helpful Book "Earn An Entire Year's With cron Reviews living Roaster", That Covers This Business With Very Granular Level Of Details. It is worth buying.

If you plan on making your concession business a full time job, consider an RV that can tow your corn roaster trailer and getting on the list of concession vendors that follow a fair rout.

Accounting and numbers are also very important aspect of this business. Festival Concession business offers financial and personal freedom like no other small business does.

Posted in general | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on How To Start A Roasted Corn Business

VW Fox – Made Out of Pineapples

I've reviewed so many cars over the past six months or so, that I may have been guilty of getting used to the thrills and spills of driving fast ones. If this is the case, my assignment this week brought me back down to earth – very slowly might I add – with a bump. The car in question is the Volkswagen Fox – the baby of the German manufacturer's fleet.

The car has a 0-60mph time of … wait … for … it … 17.5 seconds. Top speed is 91mph and no, there is not a turbo attached to the puny 1.2 liter engine. Yet to lambaste the Fox for being slow and unexciting is to completely miss the point of the car. The giveaway is in the model name of the car I tested – the Volkswagen Urban Fox. You see in this time of petrol prices soaring, roads becoming more congested and the car being the global warming villain, the Fox could well be where the smart money lies when it comes to getting around town.

I do not like to use the word 'cheap' but there's no other way to describe the Fox, with prices starting at £ 6,430 to be precise (in the UK I should add). To get four brand new wheels onto the road, with a Volkswagen badge adorning your car for this money is quite simply a remarkable feat. The cost saving does not end there either, with the Fox falling into insurance group one – the cheapest banding around. Fuel consumption almost looks made up with combined urban and extra urban figures of 46.3mpg.

Blimey this is starting to make a lot of sense. The Fox is quite tall too, so despite the diminutive length, the driving position is not too dissimilar to that of a larger 4×4 vehicle. The advantages of making the car tall, are not limited to the driving position, as headroom and legroom are also boosted by the extra inches up top. There's plenty of glass around the car, making all round visibility excellent and parking a doddle.

Outside of its favored habitat things do go a bit awry with the Fox – particularly on the motorway. Now before you shout "the little thing's not meant for the big roads!" if we're being objective, there's going to be occasions when you're going to leave the big smoke and hit one of the multi-laned snakes cutting through the country. By-passing (no pun intended) the 0-60mph time, the Fox is – and I hate using this word as much as 'cheap' – slow. An overtaking maneuver requires the forward planning of a chess master and snooker champion all in one. Changing from fifth gear to fourth made little difference to my forward motion and worryingly, nor did a further shift down to third.

The tall sides also act as a pair of very large hands that grasp hold of every gust of wind or buffeting from a passing lorry, making the Fox a wee bit skittish in the outside lane. However, once off the motorway, the Fox feels far more assured navigating country twists and turns, thanks to a longer wheelbase than most in its class and wider track. In fact, rather than welding the accelerator pedal to the floor, a gradual motion combined with a neat gearbox brought great rewards in the great outdoors.

Parked up against it's rivals the Fox sits comfortably in the 'not ugly' bracket but struggles to make it into the 'pretty' range either. As with Volkswagen's other small hatchback the Polo, the Fox is subtly styled compared to its rivals, in this case the Citroen C1, Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 107. Yet there is something more grown up and civilized about the Fox when viewing it alongside the almost immature stylings of the other city cars.

An interesting fact for your next pub chatter – Volkswagen are committed to reducing the environmental impact of producing cars and are keen to promote recycling and greener vehicles. In the case of the Fox, it's built in Brazil where the Curana plant grows. Fibers of this plant from the pineapple family are mixed with a recyclable synthetic material which makes the material for the roof lining and rear parcel shelf. No the car is not edible.

The Fox has been manufactured using the latest laser welding technology which means it's a very rigid car helping it garner 4 stars in the Euro NCAP crash tests and features ABS as standard. Optional extras include alloy wheels, air conditioning and a CD player.

The Fox has a big fight on its hands, not necessarily from its competitors, but from the car it replaces – the much loved, and cute Lupo. Either way, the evidence is clear. Next time I get behind the wheel of a 2.0 liter turbo'd monster, I'll be wishing I was a far sensible human being and was driving a Volkswagen Fox.

Posted in general | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on VW Fox – Made Out of Pineapples

Minnesota Claims Adjuster Licensing – 3 Steps to Become a Licensed MN Insurance Adjuster

Minnesota residents interested in becoming an insurance claims adjuster will first need to obtain the Minnesota adjuster license. Non-residents interested in working claims in Minnesota may also be required to obtain this license before obtaining an assignment. This is a state that typically yields a high number of residential, commercial, and auto lines claims due to wind, hail, and ice. Cat adjusters are well served by holding this license. Follow these 3 steps to obtain and maintain your claims adjuster license in Minnesota:

Step 1) Observe the Licensing Requirements

Residents of Minnesota must be 18 years of age. No experience, sponsorship, or bonding is required. Residents must take and pass the Minnesota adjuster exam. The most comprehensive Minnesota adjuster license, the Fire, Allied Lines, and Casualty Adjuster, can only be obtained by taking the Fire, Allied Lines and Casualty exam administered by Promissor. State exams can be difficult but exam study packages are available that greatly increase the passing ratio among testers.

Reciprocity: Non-residents who hold a license in their home state can obtain the Minnesota license reciprocally. Non-residents who do not hold or can not obtain a license in their state of residence must pass the Minnesota adjuster exam given by Promissor. Once again, exam study packages greatly assist in ensuring you pass the test the first time.

Step 2) Obtain the Adjuster License

To become a licensed Minnesota claims adjuster, you will need to complete and submit the Minnesota online adjuster application through Sircon and pay the $ 50 licensing fee. Certification that the Promissor exam has been passed must be submitted electronically by the License Exam Administrator. In place of passing results from the Minnesota Adjuster examination, applicant must submit via fax, documentation of passing results for an equivalent adjuster examination taken in another state, in order for their application to be processed.

Step 3) Maintain the License

Licensed Minnesota claims adjusters must renew their license every two years. The initial Continuing Education requirement is 15 hours for the first two years. Thereafter, 30 hours are required to maintain compliance for each two year reporting period.

Summary: Residents of Minnesota who plan to adjust in Minnesota must first obtain the Minnesota adjuster license. The Fire, Allied Lines, and Casualty Adjuster license is this state's most comprehensive license and requires an examination through Promissor. Exam study packages can provide very helpful prep assistance and drastically increase test success percentages. This busy claims state's license can also offer an attractive license for non-resident independent adjusters. Additional Information Licensing for, Refer To The Complete Online , Book To Become of a Licensed MN Claims Adjuster .

Posted in general | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Minnesota Claims Adjuster Licensing – 3 Steps to Become a Licensed MN Insurance Adjuster