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Real Estate Agent - What is It?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A real estate agent is a person that is used as an expert to facilitate the selling of real estate. In my opinion, a real estate agent should be open to new things, including innovative marketing ideas and cutting-edge changes that impact buyers and sellers. A real estate agent should be someone who listens to buyers, sellers and renters to figure out what the public hates about agents and proactively make changes in their own business plan accordingly. A real estate agent should have business hours that are applicable to other professionals that are paid thousands of dollars per transaction.

A real estate agent should practice their skills by using them everyday. A real estate agent should not be part-time in the business. This means they should not have a full-time job and sell real estate when they need some extra money. A real estate agent should be skilled at keeping their cool when something goes wrong. A real estate agent should be professional and never hang up on a client or another real estate agent, no matter what was said or done.

A real estate agent should be responsible to learn, understand and keep up with all marketing tools that could and probably should be employed in selling or buying a home. The fact that a real estate agent is "not comfortable with the Internet" when most homes are now sold via the viewing on the Internet by a buyer is no longer an excuse. A real estate agent should be diligent about understanding modes of communication and marketing via every type of media from which a buyer can search and ultimately buy a home.

A real estate agent should not have to turn on their fax machine when they return from the store. They should be in business, full-time, and be set up to do business anytime inside their business hours. A real estate agent should not leave town without backup and just leave a deal hanging as a result. No one cares that the real estate agent is on vacation other than the agent himself. A real estate agent should never tell a seller that open houses don't work, when in fact, open houses sell properties, everyday. A real estate agent should never be so in-the-box that they laugh at someone for discussing the use of a St. Joseph's statute. They shouldn't scoff at the fact that apple pie scent may or may not sell a house just because they don't want to go to the trouble to explain what may or may not work to the seller.

A real estate agent should not cry when a seller tells them that they no longer want to sell their home or that they are not going to use them to sell the home. A real estate agent should not steal yard signs from lawns or directional signs from subdivisions just because someone did not choose to list the house with them but a competitor. A real estate agent should not bash other business models. They should simply point out the things that they bring to the table and why they feel their business model works better.

A real estate agent should not open the house for a buyer and let them stay in there alone, just because the buyer looks nice. A real estate agent should always look at the identification of a buyer because they recognize that they are responsible for the seller's property. A real estate agent should always be grateful that someone is willing to pay them thousands of dollars for a job that has never been fully explained to the public as to how little knowledge an agent needs and how little you're trained when getting your license.

America is unfortunately the only place where all of these standards, or should I say the lack of standards, are applauded everyday as good and acceptable behavior. The public needs to be reminded that an overwhelming number of inexperienced, part-time real estate agents hold in their hands the fate of most people's largest asset. When will we put our foot down and say enough is enough... real estate is a real profession that requires skill, knowledge and a constant reach to perform strategies and results for clients.

The clients deserve better.

Why Student Loan Consolidation Programs Are So Popular Amongst Graduates

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A college education is viewed as a worthwhile investment, but it is certainly not cheap. The overall cost of 4 years at university can take 6 or 7 years to earn back as a professional, and with most students needing several loans to finance tuition and living expenses, the debt can take decades to repay. Little wonder student loan consolidation programs are so popular.

Surveys have shown that on average, students attending US colleges graduate with between $30,000 and $50,000 debt on their shoulders. So, in reality, their careers begin, not with progress in mind, but simply with clearing college debts. This can prove crippling in the early years of working life, when salaries are at their lowest.

But through a consolidation program, the balances on numerous student loans can be paid off in one go, and replaced by a single loan that boasts better terms and greater affordability. As always, there are some factors to consider before signing up to one.

How Consolidation Programs Work

Student loan consolidation programs are highly effective in replacing difficult debt terms with much better ones. On the face of it, it may seem that replacing multiple loans with one loan is hardly progressive, but with the right terms, it can save hundreds of dollars in payments every year.

Most students take on at least 5 loans while attending college, but as well as the individual balances owed, this also means 5 individual interest rates and repayment schedules. This arrangement means that costs are much higher than they need to be, and only complicates the task of clearing college debts.

But taking on one loan makes everything simple. One repayment date means less chance of repayments being missed, while one interest rate means interest is lower overall. And when student loans are replaced by a long-term consolidation loan, the monthly repayment sum is much lower.

How the Program Benefits Students

Other than lower interest, lower monthly repayments, and less pressure, a student loan consolidation program has a number of long and short-term benefits. The key is the fact that the college debt is marked down as having been repaid in full, even if it has been replaced by a consolidation loan.

Once the task of clearing college debts is accomplished, the credit score of the student is increased in their credit record. And with higher credit scores comes an entitlement to lower interest rates when applying for a loan.

Even while repaying the consolidation loan, there is more cash freed up to meet other bills and debts with. For example, a $50,000 debt may need combined monthly student loan repayments of $850 over 60 months; but over 120 months, payment on a single loan of the same sum fall to $420.

Sealing an Affordable Option

The whole idea of taking on a student loan consolidation program is that a crippling financial situation can be alleviated quickly. But real benefit can only be enjoyed when the right terms are secured. This basically translates to getting the most affordable option.

To accomplish this, there are some simple factors to look out for. The most obvious is the term of the consolidation loan, with the maximum term available for graduates being 30 years. This makes any debt affordable, though bear in mind that clearing college debts in this way means much more is paid in interest too.

But securing a competitive interest rate is another consideration. Searching online can reap good options, with comparison sites making that job all the easier. Just remember that the student loans being cleared are the priority, and reducing its monthly impact is the key to affordability.

Real Estate Search Engines - A Home Buyer's Guide

Monday, July 29, 2013

In recent years, real estate search engines have exploded in both popularity and quantity. It seems that every time you turn around, there's a new real estate search engine being launched or announced.

The use of real estate search engines has also skyrocketed. People go online by the thousands every day, conducting real estate searches through websites like Yahoo, Trulia and the others listed below. This usage will only increase as new search engines emerge, and as existing engines become more advanced.

This article reviews some of the most popular real estate search engines available today. But before we get to those reviews, let's cover some quick terminology.

What's a Real Estate Search Engine?

Here's my informal definition of a real estate search engine: "Any website that allows consumers to search for real estate listings." I think that's a basic definition we can all agree upon. Of course, there are many different types of real estate search engine, but in their basic form they all match the definition above.

Popular Real Estate Search Engines

Here's a list and summary of some of the most popular real estate search engines online today (with popularity measured by prominence in the marketplace, website traffic, and general buzz).


This is probably the most popular real estate search engine, just because it has been around the longest. When you land on the home page of REALTOR.com, you're offered a variety of real estate-related information. But the primary element on their home page is, of course, their real estate search engine.

To begin, you simply enter a city and state, provide some qualifying information like price range and number of rooms, and then click "Go." Once you get to the actual home listings, you can sort them by price, number of rooms, etc.

One thing I've always liked about REALTOR.com is the way the results are presented. You can view 10 homes per page, with thumbnail photo and basic information. This lets you "eyeball" shop and weed out any homes that don't interest you right off the bat. That way, you only have to click the "learn more" link for homes that you've screened first. A lot of the newer real estate search engines are map-based, meaning you have to click on an icon to see the house and details. I prefer to see a lot of listings at a glance and then "drill down" as desired ... but that's just me.


This website offers another map-driven approach to real estate search. As with most real estate search engines, you start the process by entering a city and state. After sitting through a map-zooming process that makes you feel like you're skydiving, you'll be asked for the usual follow-up parameters (price range, number of rooms, etc.). Properties for sale are presented as icons that you can click on to learn more about.

Personally, I didn't like the interface because it doesn't show as much data at a glace as other real estate search engines -- you have to sort of scroll around the map to find what you want, and that annoyed me. From my perspective, it seems to be another one of those websites that's so "slick" it's just plain hard to use. But that's just me!


Trulia bills itself as delightfully smart real estate search. Their "About" page offers a more detailed description: "We are a real estate search engine that helps you find homes for sale and provides real estate information at the local level to help you make better decisions in the process."

From the home page, you simply enter a zip code to see real estate listings for that area. You can also refine your search by price range, number of rooms or bathrooms, etc.

Like many real estate search engines, Trulia is powered by Google Maps. Trulia has customized the Google application to show pushpin icons for each property listing, which adds a nice visual element to the search.

You can use Trulia's real estate search engine with or without an account, but if you sign up for a free account you'll be able to save your searches for future convenience. If you like Trulia and plan to use it often, I recommend creating an account. It will save you a lot of time on future visits because you won't have to enter your search parameters all over again (unless you want to).

Yahoo Real Estate

Yahoo's real estate search offers a lot of information in addition to property listings. You can also find information on schools and neighborhoods through their site. But this is an article on real estate search, so let's stick with that.

From the home page of Yahoo Real Estate, you can search for homes, apartments, or even home values. For homes, you simply enter the city and state and hit enter. You are then shown a map with icons representing homes for sale.

Hover your mouse over an icon and it will show the listing price. Click on the listing price, and it will pop up a bubble with street address, a thumbnail photo, and a "learn more" link. To get around the map, you simply click-and-drag with your mouse (as with MapQuest or similar mapping sites).


NeighborhoodScout is a different sort of real estate search engine. As the name implies, this website focuses more on neighborhoods than actual home listings. Here's how they describe themselves:

"NeighborhoodScout is a web-based patent-pending neighborhood search engine that uses neighborhood statistics to build neighborhood profiles that allow individuals and families to instantly find the best neighborhoods for them, in any part of the United States they choose."

So if you're relocating to a new area, this website might help you refine your search by narrowing it to a few select neighborhoods.

A Word of Caution

When using any real estate search engine, you need to understand they do not operate in "real time." The accuracy of a real estate search engine is determined by the age or "freshness" of their data, which varies from one search engine to the next.

Also, while a real estate search engine can be a helpful research tool, they do not take the place of a qualified real estate agent. If you are new to the real estate world, I strongly recommend that you have professional help when buying or selling a home.

* You may republish this article online if you retain the author's byline and the active hyperlinks below.

Off the Beaten Track in Tuscany's Maremma Region - Seven Reasons to Visit

There are many reasons, including the seven below, why Maremma in the south-west of Tuscany should be included on any itinerary of that stunning region of Italy, including its accessibility from both Florence and Rome.

  1. Physical landscape
  2. Maremma has a wild and diverse natural landscape that includes undulating hills covered in forests of pine, chestnut, beech and oak as well as pristine secluded beaches along its 250 kilometres of spectacular coastline. There are karst lakes with geothermal spouts, salt marshes and estuaries, some preserved as nature parks with a large variety of bird species, and then there are the Metalliferous Hills that ring the Gulf of Fullonica.
  3. Villages and towns
  4. Its tranquil hilltop villages, such as Pitigliano, with their towers, churches, stone houses, winding streets and artistic legacy, evoke the Medieval and Renaissance periods. Along the coastal areas of the turquoise waters of the Tyrrennian Sea are delightful fishing villages like Castiglione della Pescaia and Talamone where time appears to have stood still.
  5. Old traditions
  6. Life in Maremma is simple but rich. It moves to the old rhythms and many of the ancient ways still flourish. One such tradition is that of the butteri, the herdsmen of Maremma. The butteri once managed the area's distinctive long-horned cattle, and one might be lucky to catch a glimpse of them during festivals and on special occasions.
  7. Slow Food
  8. There is an inseparable connection between past traditions, ancient recipes and their slow food specialties like acquacotta, a delicious vegetable soup, and papadelle al sugo di cinghiale, a local pasta and wild boar sauce. The area is also known for its organic beef, caprini goats' cheeses, extra virgin olive oil and honey. The wines of the area have tended to be ignored but local vignerons are now producing some of the most interesting at far below usual Tuscan prices. One to try is Morellino di Scansano.
  9. Festivals
  10. Throughout the year are many historical and cultural festivals. The Balestro del Girifalco is a medieval pageant complete with costumes, banner throwing and a target shooting competition between 24 crossbowmen held on the 4th Sunday of May and the 2nd Sunday of August in Massa Marittima.
  11. Archaeological sites
  12. Maremma is noted for its ancient sites that date from the time of the Etruscans (7th-4th centuries BCE) who gave their name to Tuscany and mined extensively for copper and other minerals. They were known in the pre-Roman era for their towns, expertise in metal products and advanced industrial development.
  13. Recreation
  14. The Maremma offers beautiful beaches as well as plenty of opportunities for the nature enthusiast specially in the 17 000-hectare Parco Dell'Uccellini wher the visitor might happen upon wild boar, deer, buzzards, peregrines and seasonal birds. The Mountain Commission of the area has created a 400-kilometre network of tracks through the Alta Maremma and these allow for trekking on foot, mountain bike and horseback.

The Maremma is a relatively undiscovered part of Tuscany that has much to offer from its wild landscape, architectural and historical gems, farm-fresh cuisine and good wine.

How Debt Consolidation Loans For Bad Credit Can Solve Financial Heartache

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The pressure that can build up when trying to control mounting debts can be so great that bankruptcy seems to be the only answer. But it would be unwise to file an application unless it is completely necessary. But how can anyone deal with the problem? Well, a debt consolidation loan for bad credit management is probably the best option.

There is no doubt that getting a loan to clear existing debts is effective, but it is as important to get good terms on these loans as it is to get good terms on a normal loan. The challenge then is to find a lender offering low interest consolidation programs.

This is where the effort put into searching for the right debt consolidation loan company can pay dividends. But the starting point for all bad credit borrowers is to ensure they know where they stand before beginning the search for any loan.

How Consolidation Loans Work

The workings of consolidation may be a little confusing, but in fact the concept is very straightforward. Basically, all of the various debts are clumped together into a single sum, and bought out with a single loan. Therefore, the advantage of a debt consolidation loan for bad credit borrowers is principally that it creates a chance to restructure debts completely.

The issue with having several individual debts is that there are separate repayment sums with different interest rates due on different repayment dates. It can mean the pressure is practically constant. However, with a single loan the array of concerns is kept under much better control.

What is more, a low interest consolidation program means that the interest paid each month is much lower than the total combined interest paid for the 4, 5 or 6 individual loans. And, if the debt consolidation loan term is long enough, the size of the repayments can fall to as much as 50% of the combined total of the original repayments.

Check Your Credit Status

When starting to seek a company that grants debt consolidation loans for bad credit borrowers, the first thing to do is find out your actual credit situations This means getting a copy of your credit report and looking at the official score, and the reasons it was calculated.

There is always the chance that a score is inaccurate, with recent loan repayments perhaps not being noted, and sometimes even the full clearance of a debt. It is important that, should anything seem to be missed out, that the score is reviewed. Addressing the score can help in securing a low interest consolidation program.

If the score is accurate, then the information is valuable anyway since it is the key to assessing the terms of the debt consolidation loan. Remember, any consolidation company will look to buy out your debts completely and then receive repayments back, so the interest charged is important too.

Factors To Consider

It is not always necessary to find a company, with some lenders willing to provide debt consolidation loans for bad credit management purposes. However, this can depend greatly on the sum required, with large loans harder to secure from independent lenders.

Of course, as with all loans, providing some security can all but make approval certain. This can mean providing collateral, such as car or home equity. However, it is better to find a cosigner – someone that guarantees that monthly repayments will be made. Getting a low interest consolidation program is therefore easier.

However, when considering a lender, make sure they satisfy the highest standards set by the Better Business Bureau. Check their grade on the BBB website, and only choose an A+ lender for a debt consolidation loan.

Disability Insurance For Fee For Service Professionals

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Risks of A Long Term Disability

Let us first define what a "fee for service professional" truly is. There are thousands of possible occupations that could use this tag, the important part for this article is that you are clearly able to distinguish between a professional who generates income based upon his or her ability to perform a service, and somebody who is going to earn a salary for the year simply by being employed. People who have occupations that result in income only when he or she performs the duties of their occupation are considered fee for service professionals. Physicians only get paid after they have seen patients and treated them, lawyers get paid for working with clients on all sorts of legal matters, realtors get paid only when they sell a home, and consultants get paid for working with their clients. The systemic problem we have is that so many professionals don't realize just how vulnerable their financial worlds are. One long term disability could wipe out all of their savings in a short period of time, and most professionals don't realize that without them going to work their is no further source of income.

Some Professionals Understand

It is not entirely fair to say that all fee for service professionals don't understand how vulnerable they are. While some occupations seem to walk around with blinders on like consultants, salesman, and attorneys, physicians and nurses all understand just how vulnerable they are. There is a reason physicians buy disability insurance more than any other occupation, they see how people become disabled every day. While a computer consultant may think that if they can think and type that they can work, and physician knows that is just not true. Disabilities are most often illness claims, not accident claims. Many professions think of becoming disabled from a car accident or other accident, reality is that most claims come from illnesses like cancer, diabetes, back problems, heart disease, and hundreds of other diseases. Every professional needs to know that a disease does not care what you do for a living, and will most likely disable everybody in the same way, regardless of what you do for a living. I don't know any computer engineers that are still able to generate new business, and perform consulting services while dealing with something like ALS, Parkinsons, or cancer.

What to Look For as a Professional

There are a decent amount of quality disability insurance policies on the market today. Most of the good policies are Non-Cancellable and Guaranteed Renewable, and I believe you should also own a pure own-occupation definition of total disability. The real key, in my honest opinion, is the residual disability benefits offered to you. You need a disability insurance policy that has a very long recovery benefit, and most of the major carriers differ greatly when it comes to the recovery benefit. While many carriers have Non-Can benefits, and a few good one's also offer a pure own-occupation definition of total disability, there are only a couple that have a recovery benefit for the entire benefit period. Most disability insurance companies have to specify their recovery benefit period in the contract. Some will offer 6 months, some will go out to 2 years, but the best have a residual disability benefit that allows for an unlimited recovery benefit.

Ask Yourself One Question

If you were totally disabled for a period of one year, and one day you were miraculously recovered back to work full time, how long would it take you to achieve your pre-disability earnings level? Many fee for service professionals, when faced with this question, realize it would be a matter of rebuilding their entire business again. Clients and patients typically cannot wait for you to recover from your disability, and end up moving on to your competition while you are disabled. It may have taken you a decade to achieve the level of earnings you had before you were disabled, and it may be another decade before you get back to that level again. Many times you end up starting over when recovering from a long term disability, or even worse you may never financially recover. This is the exact reason why fee for service professionals need to have an individual disability insurance policy that has an unlimited recovery benefit. An unlimited recovery benefit will allow this person to receive monthly disability payments every month while they set back to rebuild their business.

Scary Thing About Some Policies

The scary thing about some disability insurance policies is that they require a loss of time or duties in order to pay any residual or partial disability benefits. Make absolutely sure that the disability insurance policy you end up purchasing does not require a loss of time or duties in order to pay a recovery benefit, or residual disability benefit. If the policy requires a loss of time or duties, when you are back to work full time the disability benefit would be over. As we just reviewed, it may be years until you financially recover, so make sure to buy a disability insurance policy that will pay you until you financially recover with an unlimited recovery benefit, not just until you physically recovery.

Real Estate Affiliate Program - Get Huge Real Estate Commission

Setting up a real estate affiliate program enables real estate agents boost sales because affiliates are anxious to send them leads. In return, the affiliates get paid the agreed commission per lead by the estate agent.

The agent and her affiliates benefit. They are partners in sales.

However, you will notice that real estate commission paid by most real estate affiliate program network fall within $5 to $15 per lead. This is a far cry from what is offered by many digital vendors especially vendors associated with clickbank.

Many Clickbank ebook sellers routinely offer as much as 50% of the sale price as commission to affiliates. Needless to say, such ebooks vendors get the most affiliates willing to promote their ebooks.

Why, you ask.

Well, a bigger commission percentage means more money for the affiliate. And more money means more people willing to sign up as affiliates.

Now to the question of huge affiliate commissions and real estate affiliate program.

Can real estate affiliate program managers similarly pay high real estate commission to their affiliates?

The answer is . . . YES.

Sure, affiliates cannot get 50% of the sale or rental price of a property as commission as they do with ebooks affiliate program. But it is possible to pay affiliates a large percentage of what the real estate agent gets as commission.

Remember: Huge commission = huge motivation

The bigger the reward, the bigger the effort affiliates put for at getting the rewards.

Greater motivation = Greater effort = Greater number of leads = More money for you the agent

Affiliates have the potential to drive sales through the roof . . . if you let them.

A City of Huge Affiliate Commission

Lagos Nigeria is a city of huge real estate affiliate program commission.

Agents routinely pay as much as 40% real estate commission to partners in sales.

Let me break down the real estate commission structure in Lagos Nigeria so you get the big picture.

Estate agents in Lagos Nigeria charge 10% of the value of the property as commission. This is a standard anywhere you go. It's almost like an unwritten rule.

These agents network with other agents to promote property at their disposal and in the process make sales. In return for this affiliation, the agent in charge of the property pay the affiliate (or agent) who engineered the sale 20% - 50% of the commission from the property.

In most cases, this sales partnership is informal in nature. It is usually based on simple gentleman agreement between the estate agent and other agents. It has not been structured into a formal affiliate program yet.

However, it is worth copying.

Remember: The greater the commission, the greater the motivation and the resulting sales.

Therefore this is a wake up call to real estate affiliate managers. The message is simple: Wise up. Stop paying affiliates peanuts. Drive sales ten fold by offering irresistible commissions.

Learn from ebook affiliate programs that have taken the affiliate program concept to a whole new level. Pay bigger affiliate commission.

And for you the aspiring affiliate, come to Lagos Nigeria . . . the city of huge affiliate commission.

The motivation is huge. Your pocket will sag with huge real estate commission.

Revel in a Legendary Normandy Vacation

Travelling to France for a Normandy vacation is the epitome of holidays in France. Situated along the coast of the English Channel to the north of France, this region is made up of five distinct counties. Each lends their rich, varied heritage, cultural tapestry and breathtaking landscapes to make Normandy a legendary land with green valleys, meandering rivers, spectacular coasts and lush forests. Holidays in Normandy will enthral you with some of the most beautiful countryside in France, with picturesque Norman villages and unique sites.

Scenic Countryside

Your Normandy vacation would be replete with views of the stunning landscapes, from the rugged cliffs at the coast to the hills to the valleys of the interior. The artistic Romantic movement of the late 18th century drew renowned painters such as Turner to admire the fabulous landscape and produce fantastic masterpieces on canvas depicting the Normandy countryside. His contemporary, Theodore Gericault, from the town of Rouen, was equally inspired by strong emotions evoked from an awe of the forces of nature which he translated into sweeping works of incredible art.

Later artists of great stature such as Claude Monet, the founder of French impressionist painting, further enhanced the general public's appreciation of Normandy scenes with his paintings of water lilies. Monet's water lily garden in Giverny is a focal point for tourists during their holidays in Normandy. All these striking colours, unusual light and dazzling scenery are as beautiful today as they were when first painted in the 19th century. Normandy's artistic heritage is now on public display in museums throughout the world.

Golfing Haven

The charming countryside is enhanced with world class golf courses that are spread all across the region. When you're embarking on golfing holidays in France, a Normandy vacation will bring you to some of the most striking courses in the land. Combine your golf with culture as you visit the numerous Abbeys, chateaux and cathedrals where you can enjoy the brilliant artistic and architectural legacy of Normandy. You can tee off in a golf course in Rouen, famous for its 100 bell towers and as the city in which Joan of Arc was martyred. You can later sample the Normandy haute cuisine with its predilection for apples, cider, shellfish and pommeau.

While you spend your holidays in Normany, you may want to stay in gites in Normandy. These are quaint cottages that are rented out by the owners for tourists and travellers. Fully furnished and equipped with all the modern conveniences, gites offer complete privacy in a self contained and self catering establishment. You can even keep in regular contact with your friends and loved ones through broad band internet access in many facilities.

When planning your Normandy vacation, make it a point to experience authentic French hospitality, generosity and warmth in villages and towns that dot the countryside. Your holidays in France will be filled with exquisite memories of the tranquil yet awe inspiring natural beauty of Normandy. Relax in premier gites in Normandy at Le Manoir Nezemet.

Debt Consolidation Loans: The Solution To Your Credit Card Worries

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

With the financial problems that credit cards can create, it is essential that a wise and careful card usage policy be adopted. But unfortunately, the vast majority of card owners only learn this after getting into hot water. Before starting over again, they need to clear existing balances. But how? An effective solution is a debt consolidation loan.

It is difficult to avoid spending a little too much via our credit cards, so lenders are willing to understand the situation when it comes to applying for a new loan. In fact, consolidation for clearing credit cards is recognized as arguably the best move a person can make.

And because the purpose of this loan is to help the borrower escape their financial trap, getting debt consolidation loans with bad credit is not a great problem at all. But what are the factors that should be considered, and what really are the chances of getting approved?

Why Consolidation Works

Understanding why a debt consolidation loan is such an effective method of clearing credit card debt is key to selecting the right consolidation program. The procedure is not complex, with the balances from each of the cards involved paid off with a single loan.

This means the debt is replaced rather than completely removed, but it also means that savings are made. This is because by selecting consolidation for clearing credit cards a single interest rate is charged on the single loan, not 5 or 6 individual high rates charged on 5 or 6 cards.

With the cards paid off, the credit rating of the borrower is immediately increased. This means the terms of any future loans are improved, so getting debt consolidation loans with bad credit has long-term advantages too.

Where To Source The Loan

There are two loan source options to consider when seeking a debt consolidation loan. The first is to apply to a general lender, while the second is to approach a debt consolidation company. Both have their positives and their negatives, but the right choice largely depends on your particular financial situation.

For example, a loan from a general lender is independently secured and carries with it all of the responsibility any other loan agreement has. Traditional lenders charge higher interest rates, while online lenders usually charge lower interest and grant a longer repayment term. The latter is best when using consolidation for clearing credit cards, which already have high interest applied to the sum owed.

However, when applying for a debt consolidation loans with bad credit, there are some limitations. If the debt is very large, then there may be some problem in securing the full amount required. This is where approaching a consolidation company is best.

Approaching a Consolidation Company

Consolidation companies are experts in their field, and this is why they are usually the best option when your credit card debt is very high. When the sum in question is above $50,000, for example, it can be a real struggle to restructure finances by yourself. But the company offers more than simply a debt consolidation loan.

Usually, they also negotiate with the card companies to reach a settlement. This can translate to real savings, but whatever balance is agreed is then bought out by the company. The next step is that the company takes control of your finances, taking monthly repayments to ensure they get their money back – at a profit.

The positive aspect of this arrangement is that the borrower must adhere to strict limits, which ensures the debt is cleared within a set period. Using consolidation for clearing credit cards is ideal, but the regimen these companies apply guarantees that the debt consolidation loan does not end up causing other problems.

Why Choose A Professional Arizona Real Estate Agent?

Monday, July 22, 2013

The increased purchasing power and made-easy process of obtaining mortgages and real estate have noticeably increased the real estate business. This approach has made real estate trade a booming business in the last decade.

If your are considering the purchase or sale of property in Arizona it is always advisable to go through a proper professional and expert Arizona real estate agent. Most people are unaware of the intricacies involved in a real estate transaction and an inexperienced real estate agent can not just increase your cost but also may not be in a position to assist you properly with legal issues. It is definitely wise to do proper research and choose an experienced real estate agent who will have a perfect understanding of one's specific property requirements.

A good Arizona real estate agent is well trained, understands the real estate business and is an expert in the art of property negotiations and trading. They are always updated with the latest information about the neighboring areas and the facilities available there. They will provide you with information regarding the property-size and other shortcomings as well as the advantages of it.

An inexperience Arizona real estate agent without the knowledge of your taste, preference, style and budget will drag you from one house to another. Such approach from these agents not only rob your money and valuable time, but you also often miss the chance to get to see the best suitable properties for your needs.

But the scenario is different for a professional and expert Arizona real estate agent.
They would generally fix an appointment with the customer and discuss with you about your needs and requirements as well as specific property details. This gives them a good understanding of your requirement. Accordingly the agent would provide you with regular updates for immediate recognition of suitable property according to your requirements.

Most professional Arizona real estate agentswork within a wide network and are capable of taking customers all round the State of Arizona. They have good contact of both the buyers and sellers and the agents play a crucial role in finalizing the deal. Any good real estate agent would take full responsibility for facilitating any transaction that has been initiated by him.

Another important job done by these professional real estate agents is the Market value
assessment. People interested in buying or selling Arizona real estate property would get the most accurate valuation for the property from these agents who conducts a most scientific and logical market comparative analysis.

The online real estate directories are the best source for people looking for expert and professional Arizona real estate agents. You can just specify the city or area in Arizona where you wish to sell or buy a property and a real estate directory would show up the real estate agents doing business in that area.

Land As a Historical Legacy

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Land is indeed a historical legacy as it signifies the heritage from the past. Land has always been the major cause of wars among nations as it represents power. Its possession is highly esteemed since it entails a propagation of one's values, culture and religion through control of land Thus land has acquired historical legacy as it has been conquered by different people.

With the historical aspect to land its value only increases. People also buy land according to its historical value. Land is protected too and considered as national sites by governments to preserve its historical legacy. America was discovered by Christopher Columbus and the vast territory of the country has been subject to conflicts and wars with the Indians in the past. It can be said that land has a memory of its own. The state of Washington for example is named after General Washington who was commander in chief in 1770's in military campaigns for American Revolution. Since many battles have been fought and many lives lost to achieve Declaration of Independence, land's value has soared dramatically.

America has made the nation by an act of their own free will to liberate themselves from British colony. The aggregate area under the sovereignty of the jurisdiction of the united state is 9, 06500 km. Thus, this vast area has an ancient heritage of struggle and desire for freedom. Land in America is symbolical of liberty and if one owns land it is even more valuable. The history of America is one denoting autonomy and freedom from bondage. Visionaries found in this land a place for virtuous life to help the oppressed of all lands. People across the world still view America as a land where they can fulfill their wishes. This is also known as the American Dream. This intrinsic concept of land as liberty has appreciated its value. Immigration to America is one of the great migrations of human history. Thus, the land was highly prized and still is. Land is mostly needed for production and the limited portion is filled with people in crowded cities like New York and Los Angeles.

In the past, the American Indians have occupied almost the entire landscape of North and South America. Since their economy was mostly based on intensive cultivation of domestic plants, this has safeguarded land from pollution and destruction. Land was not used for industrial purposes by these people. They principally lived on farming before European contact. Precisely because land is a precious natural asset, many battles have also been fought to appropriate the plains and acquisition of territory in North America. Although land was frequently obtained through agreement, force was also used. The Anglo-American campaign against the Indians had a momentous effect on land expansion as these lands were needed for widening plantations. In 1830, the Indian Removal Act called for the transfer of all Indians east of Mississippi to lands west of river. In 1900's, an Act allowed president of U.S to parcel tribal land called allotments. It was a mechanism to acquire more Indian land Thus we can see that land is at the center of much conflict as it cannot be dissociated from its historical side which only highlights its worth.

Land represents its people, customs and above all its history. Whenever people buy land they are eager to know about its history so as to live in harmony. The past defines the nature of the land Without history, a land is barren. So, by preserving land history is perpetrated and along with it the financial value of terrain.

Anthony Comorat Examines Benefits Of Portfolio Management

Anthony Comorat works as a wealth management director in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. For over twenty years he has worked to serve investors offering his professional services to help people manage their portfolios, make decisions about their investments and risk tolerance, and offer financial and investment advice. Since moving to Florida in 2002, Anthony Comorat has worked at three banks and has been responsible for the management of customized investment portfolios for high net worth and ultra-high net worth families.

Today successful wealth managers need more than ever to understand the importance of investing wisely, understanding and managing risk. Anthony Comorat builds portfolios designed to match risk to client investment tolerances. He has years of experience acting as a portfolio manager. But what exactly does a portfolio manager do? Portfolio management is making decisions about investment mix and policy. Investment managers make investment decisions based on investment objectives, which determines asset allocation. For individuals and institutions it is more important than ever to assess investment risk against potential growth and expected returns.

Anthony Comorat meets with clients quarterly to examine the performance of clients' investment portfolios. He reexamines his clients objectives and adjusts investment and finance suggestions from there. This form of portfolio management places Anthony Comorat into the category of active management. There are two forms: active and passive. Being an active manager, Anthony Comorat manages a portfolio through decisions based on market research that attempts to determine if the existing consensus view is correct.

Some people want to make their own investment decisions, and Anthony Comorat is the type of professional to respect that do-it-yourself spirit, but ultimately, he would recommend people seek the advice of experts who know the ins and outs of investing. With years of experience, Anthony Comorat knows people have a lot to lose.

Individuals who want to invest wisely need the professional experience and in-sight of portfolio managers. They present their clients with appropriate investment plans taking into account the need for income, family budget, age, and risk-taking abilities, among other investment policy concerns. Anthony Comorat also has experience working with fixed-income and knows high return investment also come with high risk. That is why portfolio managers work with individual clients; to minimize the risks involved in investing in order to make profits whether aggressive or conservative.

When looking for a portfolio manager, it is important that the manager understand the financial goals of each individual client. Anthony Comorat looks at the objective of each client and makes customized investment decisions from there. Anthony Comorat counsels clients on investment plans and decision designed to generate the greatest potential return while attempting to minimize risk in light of investment goals and objectives.

Resolving the Real Estate Investing Fear Factor

If you're a new real estate investor who has thought about real estate investing but have been due to a nagging feeling that you are certain the market will collapse once you step in and you will lose all your money; guess what, you're not alone.

Fear grips every new investor; and no one successfully investing in real estate today would state otherwise. It's common for potential real estate investors to miss out on incredible opportunities for no other reason but an overwhelming sense of fear.

Okay, so let's address some of the most common fears and see whether we can help you to become less anxious, and maybe take the plunge into real estate investing after all.

Negative Cash Flow

Hey, the idea behind investing in real estate is to make enough money to cover operating expenses and loan payment with some left over to deposit in the bank. Having to feed a property won't cut it; no investor wants to feed a rental property.

Believe it or not, this fear one might be the easiest to manage because it's straightforward: simply run the numbers before you buy. Obtain the property's last twelve months income and operating expenses, calculate a mortgage payment, and plug the results into a spreadsheet or real estate investment software program to determine cash flow. If the cash flow is negative, so be it, otherwise dispel the concern and move ahead.

Just be sure to use realistic rents, a vacancy rate (even if the owner claims full occupancy), operating expenses (don't forget replacement reserves), and a loan payment to compute your annual cash flow.

Also, never walk away merely because the property indicates a negative cash flow. Dig a little deeper and look for ways to manage the cash flow. Many rental income properties simply go negative because of poor property management; you might have a probability of raising rents and cutting operating expenses. Who knows, you may even discover a real opportunity overlooked by the current owner.

This Isn't the Right Time

Yes, for any number of national or international events, potential investors often feel it would be advantageous to wait for better times before making an investment in real estate.

But real estate investment has little to do with the economic climate at the time you buy. Foremost, consider the long haul. Economic depressions come and go, but how will the investment property impact your future rate of return? That's what counts.

If it helps, bear in mind that unlike the fluctuating stock market real estate has a profound record for steadily appreciating. Perhaps not overnight, and not without an occasional bump, but historically, real estate value does go up over time.

Losing Your Money

Of course, you wouldn't want to tap into your savings to make maybe the largest financial investment of your life only to wind up losing it all.

The key, however, is to study and research. Learn about the property you want to invest in, and the area where you plan to invest. Look for sources of information like seminars, college courses, real estate software, and real estate investing books. Get an expert appraisal of the property from an investment real estate professional or property appraiser. There's always some risk when real estate investing, but developing a plan with knowledge will negate most of your uncertainties.

Tenant and Management Hassles

Okay, it's true. No one wants the headache of having to repair a refrigerator or to fuss with an unruly tenant; and its understandable why that concern does prevent many people from becoming real estate investors. But life is always a series of trade offs, and trading off an occasional migraine for potential future wealth is generally worth it.

However, it's also true that in time you will learn to deal with and manage most issues in your sleep. If not, you can always hire the services of a reliable property management company to deal with it for you. For about ten percent of the rental income, a property manager will do all the dirty work; the advantage being that it will relieve you of the time and stress of having to deal with tenants and repairs and in turn puts matters like late rents into the hands of experts.

Lack of Real Estate Experience

Just because you have not yet purchased an investment property should not keep you from real estate investing. In this case, locate a real estate agent who specializes in investment property to assist you.

When it actually comes time to buy a rental income property, you'll be surprised to discover that it's not as insidious as it looks, and tapping into the mind of an expert will increase your comfort level significantly. But the keyword here is investment property specialist. A real estate agent who just sells houses won't benefit you; you want a real estate professional with true real estate investment experience.

It's Time to Get Started

Granted, the hardest part about jumping into real estate investing is getting started. We're great at making excuses, and there are always numerous reasons to put off starting something new.

Yes, we want to be cautious. It's better to put the breaks on and approach real estate with adequate knowledge. So if you're struggling, here's my suggestion: learn, research, and plan. Educate yourself about real estate investing, learn about real estate in general and more specifically about your specific real estate market, and develop a road map about the financial security you hope to achieve.

Afterward, pick out that first rental property, make a purchase, and then take over as manager. If you've stuck to your investment plan goals, calculated the numbers, did your due diligence correctly, and work diligently to increase income and control expenses, in time you'll be able to move on to bigger and better properties.

After all, that is the nature of real estate investing.

The Legacy of Operation Ajax

Friday, July 19, 2013

Iran has always played a pivotal role in world politics. It was once a world-class empire, it is strategically located at a crossroad between Europe, the Near East, and Asia, and it has the world's second largest petroleum reserves. In the 18th and 19th Century, it was the battleground between imperial rivals Russia and Britain in what came to be known as "The Great Game". In both World Wars, Iran held a strategic position and was pivotal to the Allies' victory. In 1951, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) controlled Iranian petroleum production. Little of the company's profits went to Iran and the AIOC's Iranian workers were severely mistreated and underpaid. On April 30, 1951, everything changed. The Iranian parliament, with the support of Prime Minister Mossadeq, voted to nationalize Iran's oil. The following years would change Iran, America, and the world forever.
In Stephen Kinzer's book All the Shah's Men, the author prefaces the book with the discourse of an Iranian woman,

'Why did you Americans do that terrible thing?' she cried out. 'We always loved America. To us, America was the great country, the perfect country, the country that helped us while other countries exploited us. But after that moment, no one in Iran ever trusted the United States again. I can tell you for sure that if you had not done that thing, you would never have had the problem of hostages being taken in your embassy in Tehran. All your trouble started in 1953. Why, why did you do it?'

This woman's statement gives us a glimpse of Iranian sentiment regarding American involvement in the 1953 Coup, codenamed Operation Ajax; an event that to this day few Americans know about. Are her statements accurate? Did the United States really destroy a democracy? Examining her claim will show that her views hold some truth, and that her sentiments reflect a deep resentment among Iranians. This examination will summarize the Iranian-American interactions that culminated in Operation Ajax, examine the effects of the 1953 Coup, and determine that the Coup was detrimental to Iranian-American relations; specifically, the Coup hurt American credibility, resulted in anti-American sentiment, and directly led to the Hostage Crisis of 1979.

A Brief Look at the 1953 Coup

In 1950, Iran's economy was in a state of depression. Contrarily, the flourishing Anglo-Iranian Oil Company was pumping oil from Iranian soil with the help of Iranian workers, yet it was the United Kingdom who benefited the most. The company paid the British government more in income taxes than it paid Iran in royalties. According to Pollack, "[The AIOC] lied and manipulated its books to underpay the Iranian government to the tune of billions of dollars...violated the terms of the 1933 concession...paid [workers] 50 cents per day...[while workers had] no vacation, no sick leave, and no disability compensation." The anger and resentment over the AIOC, as well as Mohammad Reza Shah's attempts to centralize authority in his hands led to the establishment of the National Front.

The National Front's confrontations with the Shah, and later the British government, led to the American involvement in Iran that culminated in the events of August 1953. There were two different presidential administrations in America during the time period of the National Front, and while these administrations held the same ideology, they undertook different policies towards Iran. The Truman administration's black-and-white image of the Cold War led to its support of the National Front and Mossadeq's efforts. He was worried that British demands would lead to the Iranians turning to the Communists for help. Furthermore, Truman recognized that the National Front was a nationalist movement, a not a Communist movement. This mentality led to closer relations between Iran and the United States during this period of the Nationalization Crisis, including defensive pacts, monetary aid, and more pressure American on the British government to compromise with the Iranians.
In 1950, ARAMCO, an American oil conglomeration, agreed to a 50-50 profit split between it and the Saudi government. At this point, the Iranian parliament, known was the Majles, attempted to workout a compromise with the British. The British refused. This refusal, coupled with ARAMCO's deal, eliminated any moderate solution and led to the drive for nationalization, resulting in the Majles's nationalization legislation, which was passed on April 30, 1951.
The British were furious. Their government plotted attacks as well as a coup attempt in Iran, but the Americans once again stepped in supporting the Iranian cause, as fears grew that a British invasion would lead to a similar Russian invasion. Yet, regardless of America's pro-nationalist stance, Mossadeq denounced any American intervention in Iranian affairs.

Britain then attempted to take the nationalization issue to the United Nations. Mossadeq's speech to the world community in defense of his actions was compelling and he won the admiration of the American people and the United Nations. The United Nations declared then that the nationalization crisis was an internal issue. This was one of Mossadeq's greatest victories. Yet the British felt humiliated and were still unwilling to compromise.

At this point, an internal power struggle in Iran led to Mossadeq's de facto control of the government, and the Shah's defeat and escape to Rome. It was now that the British attempted a compromise, but Mossadeq was unwilling, making him seem stubborn, particularly in the eyes of newly elected President Eisenhower.

One of the turning points of this conflict came with Eisenhower's inauguration as President of the United States. Mossadeq thought that Eisenhower would be even more sympathetic to his cause, but he was mistaken. Eisenhower also took a black-and-white approach to the Cold War, much like Truman, but the discrepancy can best be summarized by the phrase, "you're either with us, or against us." As far as John Foster Dulles, the Secretary of State (whose brother, Allen Dulles was the head of the Central Intelligence Agency) and President Eisenhower were concerned, Mossadeq was against them. Initially, Eisenhower was sympathetic to Mossadeq, but Secretary Dulles convinced him otherwise. The issue was exacerbated by Mossadeq's threat to side with the Soviets if the British-Iranian dispute were not resolved.

On August 15, 1953, the CIA, operating from the American Embassy in Tehran, underwent its first operation: Operation Ajax. The undertaking sought to depose Mossadeq and re-install the Shah as the autocratic leader of Iran's government. Through the dispersion of money and the gathering of crowds, the operation was successful, and Mossadeq was defeated.

The Myth of the 1953 Coup

"At a time when America is telling the world its aims are to bring democracy to the whole plant, the Mossadeq era proves all of America's protestations to be a long lie." - An Iranian Blogger

Many Iranians denounce America's involvement in the 1953 Coup, but did the event destroy a democracy and is the United States to blame?

First, it is important to note that Mossadeq had a near autocracy during his rule. After the deposition of the Shah, Mossadeq was given near-autocratic powers by the Iranian Majles. Second, the United States had previously made efforts to help the Iranians, but Mossadeq seemed unwilling to reciprocate. Finally, it was Iranians who carried out the Coup with CIA support; it was not an exclusively American undertaking; there was then a great deal of disaffection with Mossadeq in Iran, particularly among Iran's political elite. In terms of CIA involvement, the Americans only used $100,000 and British intelligence to engineer the Coup.

Mossadeq was certainly not a perfect leader. He possessed many character flaws that hurt his cause. His antics may have been received with favor in Iran, but internationally, they made him a spectacle and a laughing stock. Mossadeq also became increasingly isolated and trusted no one, particularly his fellow Iranians. This led to his denouncement of those who voiced any opposition to his plan as traitors and British conspirators, thereby deepening his opposition base. Mossadeq was also uncompromising; he was unwilling to broker a 50-50 deal with the British, a deal which Truman appealed to Mossadeq to accept. His inflexibility particularly after this incident led Eisenhower and his administration to believe that the only solution to the Mossadeq situation was to depose Mossadeq and place a more easily influenced leader in Iran.

While there is a great deal of evidence and claims that the Coup was not solely fueled by the CIA, the organization did act as a catalyst and was responsible for placing the Shah in power after Mossadeq's fall. Keddie states that "the coup could not have succeeded without significant internal disaffection or indifference, but without outside aid it would not have occurred." The CIA unified Mossadeq's opposition and armed them with money and information, allowing the Coup to take shape. As opposed to restoring power to the Iranian parliament after the Coup, the CIA supported a more malleable figure: the Shah, thus guaranteeing that Iran would become an authoritarian state. This later came to be seen as evidence that America did not want democracy for the Middle East, but rather wanted to control the region.
Regardless of the truths and myths of the Coup, the sentiments of the Iranian people determined the event's impact on Iranian-American relations. Neither the realities nor the actualities of the events of August 1953 matter when dealing with such an emotional issue. While many argue that it was not solely the actions of the CIA that led to Mossadeq's toppling, the myth and political folklore created from the event tell a different tale. Many Iranians regard Mossadeq as "an uncorrupted modernizer and democrat who defied the imperialists." Iranians also conclude that Iran would be a democracy today were it not for the events of 1953. While the idea seems far-fetched, as Mossadeq was a near autocrat during his rule, he was still democratically elected and his powers were derived from the Iranian parliament. The emotional nature of the incident led to the status of Mossadeq as a martyr and a symbol of American treachery. Among the burgeoning Iranian blogs, many place pictures of Mossadeq without any text on significant dates associated with the popular leader as a show of morning over a lost opportunity. The caption of one blogger read, "In honor of Dr, Mossadeq, a man who never betrayed his own people..."

The Legacy of the Coup

"...Operation Ajax has left a haunting and terrible legacy." - Stephen Kinzer

The Coup has had many repercussions on American-Iranian relations, reaching from anti-American ideological positions to historical occurrences, such as the Hostage Crisis.
The ideological products of the 1953 Coup include anti-Americanism and an obsession with foreign intervention in Iran. The ideologies did appear before the Coup, but they were strongly reinforced and solidified by the events of August 1953.
First, the anti-Americanism found in the Iranian Revolution and during the Shah's time can be attributed to the actions of the CIA and the Coup's placement of the Shah as despot of Iran. While it is important to acknowledge that the British were involved in the Coup, not only did the Iranians think very little of the British, but also the United States was "seen as a betrayer and not just an old enemy." Prior to the Coup, the United States was very popular in Iran. But because the Americans were responsible for the Shah's dictatorship and for supporting him throughout his reign, the blame for the Shah's actions fell on America. The Shah thereby became a symbol of America's intervention in Iranian affairs. The conspiracy theories that Iranians had perpetuated turned out to have truth behind them: "...the United States did help to overthrow Mossadeq, and it was culpable in the establishment of the despotism of Mohammad Reza Shah that succeeded him." The event led to a lot speculation about how Iran would have been without Mossadeq's removal. It became commonplace for Iranians to claim that were it not for the 1953 Coup perpetrated by the Americans, Iran would be a flourishing democracy, an economic powerhouse, and even an American ally. Furthermore, the Shah's atrocious repression of any opposition, as well as his corruption are blamed largely on the United States. The Shah's actions were so horrific that in 1976, Amnesty International stated "no country in the world has a worse record in human rights than Iran." In 1977, Jimmy Carter came to Iran supported the Shah, proclaiming that Iran is "an island of tranquility in a sea of turbulence." America's support of the Shah regardless of his actions was a sore point that Iranians did not forget.
Second, the Iranian focus on imperialist intervention can be attributed to Mossadeq's obsession with foreign involvement in Iranian affairs. The Coup proved the presence of foreign collusion in Iran, an obsession that would blind politicians and Iranians from the political and economic woes of Iran. The paranoia it created acted as a unifying force against the meddling foreigners, particularly the US and Britain. While Iranians had previously held such ideas, the Coup confirmed those notions. Furthermore, the events of 1953 taught Iranians that taking an extreme position would be the most successful method of action. Even though Mossadeq's extreme position led to his downfall, he achieved the status of a martyr, being even more popular after his downfall than before. Khomeini adopted this technique during the Revolution of 1978-79.

The historical products of the 1953 Coup are key to Iranian-American relations. Much of the anti-American and anti-Western activities carried out by Iranians before and after the Revolution can be attributed to what is seen as America's act of betrayal. Specifically, the 1953 Coup is responsible for the Hostage Crisis. The hostage-takers' capture of the American Embassy in Tehran was an attempt to stop history from repeating itself, as the 1953 Coup's base of operations was the American Embassy. The Iranian students who stormed the Embassy did not want to be subject to further actions against their best interest. Massoumeh Ebtekar, the spokesperson for the hostage takers said, "In the back of everybody's mind hung the suspicion that, with the admission of the Shah to the United States, the countdown for another coup d'├ętat had begun. Such was to be our fate again, we were convinced, and it was to be irreversible. We now had to reverse the irreversible." The students who stormed the embassy allegedly had copies of the memoirs of Kermit Roosevelt's (a key operative of the Coup) called Countercoup during the time of the hostage-taking. Furthermore, the students also believed that the hostages could be held as collateral to insure that the Americans would not engage in another coup attempt. The Coup's creation of the Hostage Crisis showed the lasting impacts of August 1953.
Operation Ajax initiated a shockwave that changed the Iranian landscape greatly. The deeply rooted anti-American sentiment of the past and of the present is fueled by the 1953 Coup, and the Hostage Crisis was a direct attempt to stop a repeat of Operation Ajax. The installment of the pro-American Shah following the Coup may have seemed to create stability in the Middle East, but in the long run, a deep-rooted distrust of Americans was created; a distrust that is proving hard to overcome.


"Operation Ajax taught tyrants and aspiring tyrants there that the world's most powerful governments were willing to tolerate limitless oppression as long as oppressive regimes were friendly to the West and Western oil companies. That helped tilt the political balance in a vast region away from freedom and toward dictatorship" - Stephen Kinzer

In All the Shah's Men, Stephen Kinzer gave a review of what a handful of American historians said regarding the Coup. Mark Gasiorowksi said, "U.S. complicity in [the Coup] figured prominently...in the anti-American character of 1978-79 revolution, and in the many anti-American incidents that emanated from Iran after the revolution, including...the embassy hostage crisis." Mary Ann Heiss stated that the Coup showed the United States' lack of interest in what is best for Iranians. Keddie stated, "...However exaggerated and paranoid some charges by Iranians may be, suspiciousness and hostility have their roots in real and important occurrences."
Indeed, the American deposition of one of Iran's most popular figures, and Time Magazine's Man of the Year in 1951 (beating out the likes of Winston Churchill, President Truman, and Dwight Eisenhower), provides evidence of the self-advancing position of the United States and the disinclination towards policies that would benefit the people of the world.
It is important to take some lessons from the 1953 Coup. For one, foreign intervention in internal affairs rarely produces positive effects; it destroys the credibility of foreign governments and further pushes a country into isolation. A regional or global hegemony must be mindful of the people's perceptions of its actions. What one government may declare as the only rational option, others may consider a gross injustice.


BP, BP Statistical Review of World Energy. (2005, June), 8.

Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah's Men (Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons, 2003), ix.

Nikki R. Keddie, Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2003), 123-124.

Kenneth M. Pollack, The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict Between Iran and America (New York: Random House, 2004), 52.

Pollack, The Persian Puzzle, 53.

Pollack, The Persian Puzzle, 55.

Pollack, The Persian Puzzle, 56.

Pollack, The Persian Puzzle, 57.

Pollack, The Persian Puzzle, 59.

Pollack, The Persian Puzzle, 63.

Pollack, The Persian Puzzle, 63-64.

Nasrin Alavi, We Are Iran (New York: Soft Skull Press, 2005), 37.

Pollack, The Persian Puzzle, 68-69.

James L. Gelvin, The Modern Middle East: A History (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 279.

Moyara de Moraes Ruehsen, "Operation 'Ajax' Revisited," Middle Eastern Studies 29, no. 3 (1993): 8-9.

Pollack, The Persian Puzzle, 63.

Keddie, Modern Iran, 130.

Pollack, The Persian Puzzle, 69.

Alavi, We Are Iran, 35.

Alavi, We Are Iran, 36-37.

Mostafa T. Zahrani, "The coup that changed the Middle East: Mossadeq v. the CIA in retrospect," World Policy Journal 19, no. 2 (2002): 1.

Kinzer, All the Shah's Men, 215.

Keddie, Modern Iran, 131.

Pollack, The Persian Puzzle, 68-69.

Gelvin, The Modern Middle East, 281.

Gelvin, The Modern Middle East, 282.

Alavi, We Are Iran, 40.

Alavi, We Are Iran, 36.

Pollack, The Persian Puzzle, 70.

Zahrani, "The coup that changed the Middle East," 4.

Gelvin, The Modern Middle East, 280.

Zahrani, "The coup that changed the Middle East," 4.

"How to Change a Regime in 30 Days," The Economist, August 14, 2003, 1.

Kinzer, All the Shah's Men, 204.

Kinzer, All the Shah's Men, 213.

Kinzer, All the Shah's Men, 214.

Kinzer, All the Shah's Men, 214.

How to Find a One Percent Real Estate Broker

Real estate brokers operate all across the United States. Some individuals operate on a national level, but most operate on a local level. If you live in or around the Los Angeles area, it is likely that you would seek assistance with selling your home from a real estate broker.

If you haven't already selected a real estate broker, how do you intend on finding one? There are a large number of individuals who select the first real estate agent that they come across. This is a costly mistake that many homeowners make. If you want to profit from the sale of your home, you are encouraged not to make the same mistake.

When selecting a Los Angeles real estate agent, there are a number of factors that you should consider. One of those factors should be the agent fees. In the Los Angeles area, there are a number of different real estate agents. These agents are all likely to charge different fees. Most real estate brokers base their fees on the sale of your home. This fee is often a preset commission percentage.

As previously mentioned, real estate brokers are all likely to charge different fees. Each commission percentage is likely to vary. The amount of commission a broker will receive will have a significant impact on the amount of money that you profit from the sale of your home. In the Los Angeles area it is possible to find a one percent real estate broker.

A one percent real estate broker is an individual who assists homeowners and only charges them one percent commission. In the United States, it is often difficult to find a one percent real estate broker. This is because most real estate agents charge a higher commission. If you are interested in finding a one percent real estate broker in the Los Angeles area, you have a number of ways to do so. You can begin by using the internet to your advantage.

There are a large number of online resources devoted to providing internet users with valuable real estate information. These online websites may include real estate directories, business directories, or online phone books. By searching these directories, you could find the contact information of a large number of area real estate agents. To determine whether or not a real estate broker can be classified as a one percent real estate broker, you may have to contact them directly.

If you are able to find a real estate broker's online website, you may be able to determine immediately whether or not they are a one percent real estate broker. Even if you determine that a particular broker is a one percent broker, you are still encouraged to meet with them directly. In addition to finding a real estate broker based on their fees, it is also important to determine their level of experience and their training. This should be done in a face-to-face meeting.

If you are interested in finding a one percent real estate broker, you are encouraged to get started today. Until you find that broker, you are advised against signing any legal contracts that bind you to a broker or an agent that charges more than one percent.

Insurance Professionals: Are Good Writing Skills Required?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Are good writing skills required of insurance professionals? That is an interesting question. If good writing skills are not required of most insurance professionals, they should be. As an insurance professional, you have not just set up a stand on the corner of the block. You are not just calling out to passers-by to purchase your insurance policies. True, you are selling a product, but the product you are selling comes with a lot of "the written word" - especially before the sell is made.

How do insurance professionals get the word out about their products? Web sites, billboards, advertisements in newspapers and phone books - the list could go on and on. Each of these forms of advertisement requires some kind of writing. Your insurance company's Web site and brochures include the most writing. Your goal is to sell insurance policies, but you also want to make sure you clearly explain the different kinds of insurance policies to your potential customers in terms they can understand. The world is your audience - your potential clients - so your writing has to be understood by everyone.

Even if your advertisement simply includes the name of your insurance company, your name and contact information, and a catchy phrase - as most billboard, newspaper, and phone book advertisements do - don't you want that catchy phrase to be well-written? If you have good writing skills, you will be able to keep it simple and make it pack a punch at the same time.

If you are an insurance professional whose job requirements include writing - any kind, any length - and your writing skills are not quite up to par, you may want to consider taking a writing course. Writing courses are offered online or at a local college. Or, you may want to get your writing down on paper first, then have someone who is skilled at writing take a look at it and offer suggestions or make corrections.

Follow In the Pioneers' Footsteps On Everest Base Camp Trek

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mount Everest, the tallest peak in the world at 8,850 metres above sea level, has become one of the world's most legendary adventure holiday destinations. Every year brings new stories of personal triumph from those who have shown the determination and resilience it takes to journey through the region, whether on an Everest Base Camp trek or an attempt on the summit itself. But several decades ago it had never been ascended successfully, and only a century earlier than that it was barely known to the outside world. The summer of 2013 sees the 60th anniversary of the historic ascent of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, who reached the summit on May 29 1953, and those who visit the region during this time can trace the legacy of that legendary journey in a number of locations. Here are some of them.

Namche Bazaar

The communities that travellers pass through on the Everest Base Camp trek route are understandably proud of their region's grand heritage, and for those who take the time to search them out while making the trek, there are plenty of reminders of that heritage. In Namche Bazaar, the Khumbu region's unofficial capital, where trekkers traditionally spend at least a day resting and acclimatising before continuing on their way, the history of Sherpas who have climbed Mount Everest can be traced at the Mount Everest Documentation Centre. Connected to the illuminating Sherpa Culture Museum, the centre presents images and press clippings about the individual Sherpas who have reached the great mountain's summit - starting with Tenzing Norgay himself.


Another favourite destination to visit while making an Everest Base Camp trek is Thyangboche Monastery, a site made famous by its stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains - and its part in the Everest legacy. Tenzing Norgay was born in the vicinity of the village of Thyangboche, and during his teenage years was sent to the monastery to become a monk. Had he stayed, the history of Everest exploration might have gone very differently, but he found that the monastic life was not the path he wished to follow, and became involved in mountaineering instead. Because of its connection to the region's mountaineering history, and its position on the route to Base Camp, the monastery has become a popular place for hopeful mountaineers to make offerings and appeal to the local deities for a successful journey.

Khumbu Icefall

Higher up on the Everest Base Camp trek route, the villages and monasteries give way to a landscape of rock and ice, but even these seemingly stark environs offer a glimpse into the challenges faced by the early Everest climbers. Khumbu Icefall, an awe-inspiring sight about a seven-hour trek from Base Camp, presented one of the most dangerous obstacles to those hoping to tackle the mountain's summit: a constantly flowing cascade of ice from the Khumbu Glacier. Seeing it up close and knowing that is a challenge for even today's climbers makes it all the more impressive that Edmund Hillary successfully crossed it in 1953.

Real Estate Investments - Just How Risky Are They?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Real Estate Investing Just How Risky Is It? What Can You Do About it? What's the real scoop? Why are there so many real estate investment seminars making the business look easy, while real estate investors I know are experiencing something more involved?

It does not matter whether I am listening to radio, late-night TV or Saturday morning infomercial, I can always discover a real estate program promoting fast ways to make big money, and I wonder if I am missing out on something? So what is going on? Am I overlooking important learning opportunities with these money-making training sessions? One is left with this message: If it is this easy to make money in real estate, then why isn't everyone doing it?

It appears is that we are receiving the upside of the business: good deal making techniques, and the periodic great deals. We need to realize the limitations of what we are seeing and to understand what we are missing with many of these training seminars. That is not to say that there isn't money to be made in real estate and that one cannot make a good living with real estate investments. There are great techniques for acquiring and developing good investments on a number of levels. And the business can provide you much satisfaction and freedom. However, you can trust that there is more to the real estate business than what is presented in the typical real estate seminars.

The more successful businesses are structured and have developed business models (methodologies) to work by. They provide controls over accountability, guidance, risk management, legal protections, and quality assessment (assurance) to ensure that their products and services meet their customer needs. We have all heard the comment, "Oh, you are in real estate. Isn't that kind of risky?" The answer, of course is that it can be, and for many, it often is! Does it have to be so risky? No! But, have you ever attended a real estate seminar in which the presenters discussed risk management or assessment? Why not? Doesn't it apply?

Real Estate gurus often tell their audience what they want to hear, rather than the broader picture of what they may need to know. We all need to know the positives and the value of good real estate techniques. However, isn't there a need to provide a more complete view of real estate business, including asset management, standard business practices, and checks and balance, not just investment techniques alone? For example, would you appreciate some advice on effective property management? Don't you want to know more about what to do in tough times or when you are getting in over your head; how to advert bad decisions, and how to expand your business and how to protect yourself? Every business person has good and bad times. But not all businesses go under because of hard times. Most of the businesses I know deal with risk management, either on a formal or informal basis.

My Recommendations: Here are three (3) key things you should develop for your business. While they apply to all businesses, they particularly apply to real estate:

A. Vision for your business

Martin Luther King said, I have a dream! Likewise, you need a dream and a vision of what you want from your business. Writing it down and keep your vision honed.

B. Well-defined Business Plan (cradle-to-grave)

If you don't have a plan for your vision, how are you going to have your vision come true? Your plan should include a description of your objectives and actions for the start and completion of each major program or project you are doing.

C. Risk Management Plan

It is your duty to minimize your risks, and maximize your successes. It is much easier to make changes in direction early on, before you have to pay the price in dollars later! Risk Management is about diversifying your options (not putting all your eggs into one basket), identifying best and worst case scenarios, reviewing your performance regularly, having a backup plan, when your master plan fails, and finally learning from your mistakes!!

A) Create a Vision for your business You create your vision through the following:

Values you uphold for your company

Purpose of your company

Goals which detail how you are going to accomplish what you want to do.

Taken collectively, these three provide you with your Business Vision, or Mission. After think about these three areas, you should write out your mission statement and your goals and objectives for your business. A business vision is not cut in stone. As your business grows, so will your vision.

B) Structure Your Business How do you start planning your business and identifying your activities? You can take classes, read books, and talk with professionals and mentors. To ensure that you have thought of all issues regarding your business set up, it is a good idea to write down these 6 interrogatives to help you capture the whole of it:

Who, What, Why, When, Where and How

All six can assist you with your planning. For example, in general, you will want to define Who is involved, Why you are doing the business, What you want out of your business, How you plan to get there, When you plan to start (timetable), and Where (location) you expect to operating your business. Below is an example of a structured business model. How detailed and thorough you are in its use, depends upon the maturity and size of your business. You will want to define your tasks and detail to the degree required to manage your business. However, the four Phases are generally accepted categories. For more information, you can, of course, attend classes, go online and search for business models or business methodologies, or consult our web site http://www.globalrealestateinvesting.com later:

I. Analysis Phase:

- Define your vision and mission

- Define your objectives, according to your mission

- Identify your resource requirements (people and materials)

- Identify real estate for your business development

- Define a risk management model

II. Design Phase: Define a plan or prospectus on paper (include marketing and staging approach as part of the design)

Select real estate - determining current and future value of investments for purchase or sale, according to your plan

Collect data on required resources (people and materials) and their costs

Create a total cost estimate for each effort (often called a Work Breakdown Structure-WBS).

Review the labor and cost estimates with other key members for confirmation, make modifications to your estimates, as necessary.

Consider developing your real estate in workable phases

Establish checkpoints to review performance, and test your results with the market

III. Development / Renovation Phase Perform construction / renovation / project management projects according to your plan

Regularly hold brief reviews with key members to confirm your progress

Make changes to your work activity according to review recommendations

Prior to completion, make a test walk through of the properties to ensure work is to Plan (Review development and staging activities)

Complete work (punch-out) and any final updates for final review

IV. Implementation Phase Review plan for staging property(s) and Marketing approaches

Make corrections to the plan, based on review results

Document lessons learned from our real estate developments

C) Develop a Risk Management Plan

Are you having trouble keeping your activities under control? Are you continually overrunning your budget? Did you complete a renovation project or manage a year of lease/rental income that should have provided you a good profit, but ended up giving you little to no real profit? If so, then you need to define a Risk Management Plan:

Risk Management is a tool that is not referred to enough in managing real estate businesses. It can be critical to the survival of many businesses. Most people think of "risk" when they think of real estate investing. So, why would you not develop risk protection for your real estate business?


The process of analyzing exposure to risk and determining how to best handle such exposure.

The decision to accept exposure or to reduce vulnerabilities by either mitigating the risks or applying cost effective controls.

So, what is at risk?: Your time, your money, your physical assets, and suits against your assets and integrity. For real estate, Risk Management can be viewed as performing a series of risk protective activities at periodic times during your property development efforts, starting from the day you start your business to its operations and ultimate sale. [Creating a contingency plan, having access to attorney services, and incorporating your business are part of your Risk Management Plan]

If you are doing your job correctly, you should be able to determine before your begin a real estate project:

Anticipated profit you will take for your effort

Current value of the investment

Future value of the investment upon completion

Completion Time for the investment effort

Can you say this now? If not, you are not really ready to renovate a property for sale and profit!

Here are examples of how I have used risk management techniques in my real estate development activities. I always keep in mind that good locations and good residents are my most important assets.

Example #1-building cost reductions: Year 1999, Purchase of two 4-unit buildings as one property in good area; units were section 8 in need of major TLC (deferred maintenance and a classical diamond-in-the-rough ).

Purchased low, required inspections, negotiated with Seller on $10,000 post-inspection cash return for improvements Talked with landscaper on removal of overgrown bushes. They wanted $2,500 for effort. I declined. Within 6 weeks, using a chainsaw (no massacre here), I trimmed all bushes, creating a bonsai effect, placed mulch on beds using free mulch from a community resource center, and planted flowers. Renovated each apartment on a unit-by-unit basis as tenants left; upgraded exterior with new landscaping, decorative painting, and artistic fixtures Sold both buildings to local LLC for full-market price, $100,000 profit within 6 years

Risks managed: Materials and Management costs were kept low, so that tenant income and sale profits are maximized, using sweat equity.

Example #2 Seller Creativity during a Buyers Market: Year 2006 Sale of Historic Home in a financially-stalled historic district (tough sale for a tough period).

Reviewed listings and purchased bank-owned double with extra lot, very close proximity to local university and hospital Re-converted badly-designed double to original single-family home Installed high-end kitchen and bath cabinets, using discounted display cabinets and counters from a local home improvement store. Installed discounted high-end lighting (commercial lighting company provided 50% discount for using his services for my renovations); restored ornate doors and woodwork, landscaped yard, planted flowers During sale period (Buyers Market): extended my potential client market to include both residential and commercial clients; introduced my listing to Real Estate mangers for local hospital and university. Received excellent offers from the hospital and a professional person with the Air Force.

Risks Managed: Ability to sell home in a marginal area for a very good price during a Buyers Market; Expanded client base to both commercial and residential through location of home, provided several sale options, including Seller financing to help motivate Buyers.

Example #3 Management for Protection and Income Maximization: Year 1977 - current Use preliminary telephone and interview screening and credit screening for all applicants; following this up by directly personally contacting employers, landlords, and relatives Establish rules and conduct requirements verbally and in written Leases; provide checklists, support policies, and show residents that I care Remain strict with Lease requirements, rent payments, and the rights of other residents. However, I remain flexible and supportive of residents needs; making repairs as soon as possible; providing simple courtesies such as asking about the family, their interests, needs; I always tell residents that we appreciate their presence. When residents have established a good rent-payment history and start having trouble paying rents, I am flexible and work with them. I have created notarized payment plans, have created agreements to spread payments over periods of time, and have had residents work for me on occasion. I consider the comments You are the best landlord I have ever had to be the highest compliment and a definite risk management safety comment.

Risks Managed: Maintained residents for extended periods (maximizing profits); Ensured that residents knew who I was and that I was responsive to their needs and concerned about their well-being. This provided security, as residents were less-likely to be upset with management or damage the property, or move-out! It also builds a good tenant base, as word-of-mouth provides you with good residents.

I hope that this information has been helpful.

So, just how risky is real estate investing? . . . . . .only as risky as you are willing to make!

For more information, visit my website, www.globalrealestateinvesting.com

Effective Ways In Making Money Online

It is becoming increasingly popular for people to make money at home doing online jobs. This is ideal and appealing for most people because of the convenience that comes along with the job. For individuals having their own families that include kids, this is even more desirable because it promotes more time spent with family members. Individuals who intend to make money at home online can choose to manage their own time and work at any given time that is more convenient for them. However, there are some exceptions to this, such as if you are making money online with a boss or a company that requires a fixed work schedule.

There are several ways on how to make money online. You can choose among these according to your experience, your interest and your general preferences. First you can build a website that you can cultivate wherein you can earn cash from the clicks on the ads on your site. With this you’ll have to choose a specific niche in which you can focus your website on, and you’ll have to do proper keyword researches to make it work. In maintaining the website you will need to post high-quality articles related to your niche. Proper SEO techniques should also be utilized.

If you know how to make and design websites, you can opt to work for someone or start an online business yourself that provides website design services. Nowadays, most businesses expand into the online world for easier access for their customers and such design services is highly needed. There are also many businesses that already have websites of their own that badly needs improvement. Depending on your abilities, you can also take on graphic designing to provide logos for companies as well as other graphics needed for the promotion of different businesses.

Another option is to become a writer. There are several sites wherein you can submit articles and you will be paid fairly for your submissions. You can control how much writing load you’d like to take on per week as well. Aside from these, you can also write for blogs and internet marketers. You can even choose to write your own eBooks and you can publish them online as well. There are various tips and techniques you can use that you can find in the internet, both free and paid in order to improve your writing and to improve your sales as well.

Editing jobs are also available in order to make money at home online. You can edit photos as well as videos. Another excellent way on how to make money online is to start an online business. There are many small businesses online that are flourishing nowadays. You don’t even need to have a huge capital. You can start small, open and online shop and utilize the power of social media sites to get known. Eventually, as long as you dedicate enough time and appropriate marketing strategies, your business will grow. You can either create a new product, or go into retail industry, which is much easier.

How To Efficiently Sell Your House?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Selling a house fast all by myself can be very challenging. There are so many things you need to consider. As a matter of fat, to sell my house fast can be almost impossible in some areas of the country. To be able to sell my house fast, I need to make some impressive modifications so as to attract potential buyers. In this article, I will give you relevant tips on how to make the house impressive in the eyes of potential buyers.

Simple house modifications to make
• Examine the house inside out and take note of the things that need to be repaired. Repair immediately any broken or damaged parts such as leaking pipes, dripping faucets, damaged decking, torn window and door screens, and the like.

• Organize every detail of your house giving much particular attention to your closets, cabinets, and other storage spaces. For the time being, you have to get rid of extra furniture and other things that make the house look cluttered. To seriously sell my house, I have to make it glossy and organized.

• Keep the house thoroughly clean before allowing prospective buyer to view your house. You have to remember that if your house is clean, then you will be able to make an impressive lasting impression in the mind of prospective buyers. Clean everything including windows, window panes, tiles, and every corner of the house. Make sure that the furniture is free from dust. See to it that the floors are thoroughly waxed and that cobwebs are removed. Repaint the house if possible too.

• One particular area of the house you should give special attention to is the entrance area. You will most likely sell your house fast if the entrance area is clean and attractive. To further beautify the area, you can place some pots of flowers. Make the entrance area attractive and spotlessly clean.

• Make your house free from bad odor. The very last thing a homeowner would want is to have an odorous house. Keep the house well ventilated and use a light scented air freshener. This way, you will be able to make sure that fresh aroma is coming from your house.

These efforts can significantly help you in selling your house in just a little period of time. If you have already tried all of these things, but you are still having difficulties selling your house, then it’s time for you to consider the service of property for sale experts.

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