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The student loan crisis isn’t as bad as it seems

This item was filled under [ Finance ]

Believe it or not, a new study says that student loan borrowers are doing just fine.

Earlier this month, when President Barack Obama announced a plan to give more student loan borrowers access to an income-based repayment plan, he illustrated the trouble college students and recent graduates face by telling the story of a woman named Ashley from Santa Fe. Ashley, the president said, wrote to tell him that at not even 30 years old, she’d given up on her future because she “can’t afford to have one.”

But Ashley might be an exception, according to a new report from the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution.

While much has been made about the nation’s trillion dollars worth of student loans, which now exceeds American’s auto and credit card debt, the study finds that there’s little evidence that a crisis is looming. “Our analysis of more than two decades of data on the financial well-being of American households suggests that the reality of student loans may not be as dire as many commentators fear,” the study says.

The nation would be approaching a crisis, says the report’s co-author Matthew Chingos, if ...

You Won’t Believe What Some Bosses Ask Workers To Do

This item was filled under [ Business ]

Have you ever wished you could flunk a boss for being so bad at his job? Or perhaps you'd assign your manager an A grade if you could, because of how well she treats you and your team. A new CareerBuilder survey provided workers with an opportunity to do just that – evaluate their bosses' performance and give them a grade from "A" through "F."

While more than 6 in 10 (63 percent) U.S. workers say their manager deserves an "A" or a "B," 1 in 7 would assign a "D" or "F" (14 percent). Here's the full breakdown: 

A: 24 percent B: 39 percent C: 23 percent D: 9 percent F: 5 percent


Getting good grades for communication
If bosses want to boost their grades, they need to study up on good communication skills. According to the survey, workers who interact on a regular basis with their bosses tend to give them higher ratings than those who have more silent managers.

Thirty-one percent of employees who interact several times a day in person with their boss assign them an "A," compared to just 17 percent of workers who engage with their boss once a day or less.

The ...

The Latest Gender Gap: People’s Views About Taxes

This item was filled under [ Finance ]

 

 

 

 

 

A new survey revealing key differences about how the sexes view their taxes. WalletHub"s 2014 Tax Fairness Survey, released last week, had its share of predictable findings:

Four out of five respondents think the U.S. tax code is "complex" or "extremely complex." Nearly two out of three want corporations to pay higher tax rates than individuals pay. Nine out of 10 think income from investments (interest, dividends, stock gains) should be taxed at least as much as wages. (The survey didn't ask people whether they'd like to pay more taxes, but we can probably guess what the answer would have been.)

Reading between the lines of the predictable answers, WalletHub stumbled upon a few interesting differences between how women and think the tax code should be arranged.

Asking what factors were most important in a tax system, WalletHub gave respondents three choices -- taxes calculated to encourage economic growth, to promote "equality" or to promote "fairness."

WalletHub noted that male respondents were "more likely than women to have responded tax equality is most important." Yet overall, only 21 percent of respondents favored making "equality" the defining characteristic of the tax code, and 61 percent said "fairness" ...

Need More Blog Content Ideas? Try These 5 Suggestions

This item was filled under [ Marketing ]

Need More Blog Content Ideas? Try These 5 Suggestions image Need More Blog Content Ideas Try These 5 Suggestions  600x253There is not a specific content strategy that works for every single blog. They all have a very specific target market, requiring content that engages that blog’s particular audience. What works for one blog might not work as effectively for another. This requires each blog owner to test various content approaches to determine what performs the best for their particular blog.

Here are five content suggestions that can be used to help give you some blog content ideas:

1. Offer a Free Giveaway

Want to build a following of loyal readers? Give something away for free on your website! People love free giveaways, but you don’t need to break the bank to attract attention to your free giveaway.

Come up with something that your target blog reader will see a value in, and this doesn’t necessarily mean monetary value. Sure, it could be a physical product such as a t-shirt or prize, but it can also be an eBook jam packed full of useful information that they will want to get their hands on.

Use your giveaway to gain an action ...

Big Data: Time for new approach to analysis

This item was filled under [ Technology ]

The Big Data problem is accelerating, as companies get better at collecting and storing information that might bring business value through insight or improved customer experiences. It used to be a small specialist group of analysts that would be responsible for extracting that insight, but this is no longer the case. We are standing at a nexus between Big Data and the demands from thousands of users – something that we call “global scale analytics” at MicroStrategy. The old architectural approaches are no longer up to the task and this new problem needs radical new technology. Continuing with the old approach Big Data will fail to reach its true potential, and just become a big problem for companies.

Analytics applications now regularly serve the needs of thousands of employees to help them do their job; an employee can need access to hundreds of visualisations, reports and dashboards. The application must ready for a query at any time, from any location and the results must be served to the user with ‘Google-like’ response times; their experience of the web is the benchmark by which they judge application responses in the work environment.

With this ...

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Fake It Till You Make It: 5 Ways to Boost Your Credibility at Work

This item was filled under [ Business ]

In corporate America, perception is reality. Others form impressions of us in seconds: the clothes we wear, our body language and the words we use. Do you want to be seen as a credible, knowledgeable expert in your field?

How do you make sure your brand sets you up for real success? Here are five ways to ensure the image you project is one of a trustworthy, competent professional, even if you’re just starting out. (Click here to tweet this list.)

1. Dress for the part you have, not the part you want

This is the opposite of the more traditional saying, “Dress for the part you want.” For a young professional, this means you should dress to look older than you are. But this doesn’t always work.

I remember spending thousands of dollars buying stuffy jackets and pantsuits that were often designed for much older people. Not only did that make me look frumpy, it caused other people to mistrust me. It was obvious to them that I was a young woman pretending to look like I was in my 50s. — Jessica, an IT consultant in her mid-twenties

A more reasonable approach would ...

Technology in education: Then, now and the future

This item was filled under [ Technology ]

The use of technology in education is not exactly a new or recent phenomenon. It dates back to the 1960s when Stanford University professors experimented with using computers to teach maths and reading to young children in elementary schools in east Palo Alto. What started as an experiment in delivering education has since evolved into the specialist field we have today, with potential for an even brighter future – reports claim that the education technology market will be worth $107bn by 2015 and will experience a 15 fold growth over the next decade.

Education technology has moved on, especially in the last few years, from the stage of experimentation to a stage of adoption, with tried and tested products, measurable results and burgeoning commercial opportunities. But with the share of digital in the total education market still only at 2 per cent (compared with 30 to 40 per cent in other ‘content’ industries), there is still a massive growth opportunity, with many reasons for education technology companies and innovators to be excited.

Recent advancements in technology and innovation in education technology have not only improved access to education, they have also enhanced the learning ...

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Top 5 Most Common Errors On LinkedIn That Make You Look Bad

This item was filled under [ Business ]

Most people don't enjoy working on their LinkedIn profiles. They'd much rather be relaxing or pursuing other interests instead of staring at a computer screen trying to optimize their online presence. It's hard enough working 40+ hours each week. Taking away from our free time to develop our professional identity online sounds boring - which makes it easy to put off. 

Brand or BE Branded: Why A Crummy LinkedIn Profile Hurts Your Career Identity

For years, I've been telling professionals, "Brand or BE branded," when it comes to your online presence. It started when I was speaking to a group of executives. They questioned the importance of having a well-developed profile. Wasn't their name and job title enough? My answer was as follows:

 

When you fail to create a full LinkedIn profile, you are telling the professional world one or more of the following: A) You aren't tech-savvy enough to know how to use social media. B) You don't have any truly notable accomplishments. Or, C) You have something to hide. To sum it up, not branding your career success online is a rookie mistake.


As you can imagine, the ...

Cash Deals for Homes Reach Record With Boomers Retiring

This item was filled under [ Real Estate ]

Mike Trafton bought a house in a suburb of Boise, Idaho, where he plans to retire. He made the deal without signing a stack of mortgage papers.

Trafton, 55, and his wife Cindy, 54, paid $400,000 in cash for the 3,200-square-foot house in Eagle after selling their 4,400-square-foot home in a Portland, Oregon, suburb for $680,000. Like a growing number of baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, the Traftons had no desire to get a mortgage.

“I feel better about owning my home outright,” said Trafton, who’s moving to a region with an average of 200 sunny days a year and skiing in the winter. “At this stage in our lives, we can afford it, and it’s better than having a monthly mortgage payment hanging over us.”

U.S. home-price gains have restored $3.8 trillion of value to owners since the beginning of the real estate recovery in 2012, according to Federal Reserve data. A record number of Americans are using that equity to pay cash for properties, avoiding a mortgage process that has become even more onerous in the wake of the 2007 housing collapse. In the first quarter, 29 percent of ...

Tagged with: [ ]

5 Signs You’ve Got a Great Business Idea

This item was filled under [ Business ]

Do you have an idea for a new business? While you may find it easy to generate many new business ideas, it isn't as easy to identify which ones are truly stellar.

How do you know when you've come up with a fabulous business idea? We asked successful business owners what key characteristics point to a great business idea. Here's what they told us. 

It fills a need and solves a problem

One simple sign of a great business idea is that people want it and need it.

Wade Gilchrist, startup consultant and host at TechStartRadio.com, said he likes to tell startups that they should identify a problem that is currently not being solved or is not being solved well. If your idea is a better solution than those currently available, and there is a way to prove it's a moneymaker before a long and expensive development process is undertaken, it could be a great business, Gilchrist said. 

And don't think your idea has to be especially innovative, said Ebong Eka, a small business expert and television personality. "Too many entrepreneurs believe that good business ideas have to be unique or the first of its kind," he said. “That only ...

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