Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Is Degree That Important?

The previous generation often emphasizes on the importance of education in order to land a good-paying and secure job. In the past, it may be true. A degree 30 years ago was seen as a pre-requisite criteria to achieve success or a passport to high-paying jobs. However, does this belief hold in today's volatile world?

I grew up in a middle class family. My parents often tell me to do well in school and get a degree in order get a job in the office. Wear nice clothes, air-conditioned workplace... which appealed very much to me then as I saw my dad returning home from his job as a contractor feeling exhausted everyday.

Lack of maturity during my childhood years led me to believing that degree will eventually lead me to a comfortable life in future. It motivated me to study hard and achieve good grades to a certain extent. However, as time passed by, I realized the world was more complicated. The picture was not as rosy as painted by my parents. Especially after I entered University, where I learnt that companies looked out for many other factors besides your academic performance.

So why are the degree papers so highly sought after?

Education only serves as a headstart for most people. A better education profile will probably improve your chances of employment and secure a higher salary. I can't think of any further benefits. From the point you are employed, you are judged on your performance. No longer is the degree your trump card.

Have you heard of someone being promoted because he has scored 3As in his 'A' levels in the past? Or received a bonus due to excellent academic performance in the past? Promotion, pay increments or bonuses are based on performance. Its your performance that counts, not your degree.

Therefore, in my view, the degree is not really as important as made out to be. What truly matters is your work performance, not your paper qualifications.

P.S Please do not take this as an excuse for not doing well in school. There are still benefits of education.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Advertlets creates smiles for bloggers!

For profitable bloggers, a substantial sum of income will inevitably come from advertising. Other than Google Adsense, the undisputed #1 advertisement program for bloggers, Advertlets is the next thing on my mind, and should be on many others. Why should we participate in Advertlets? Firstly, its absolutely free! Secondly, it does not conflict with other advertising companies!

What makes Advertlets so special

Advertlets offers many forms of income, such as writing reviews or displaying their ad units on your blog. The various opportunities that Advertlets offers gives it an edge over other blog advertising companies.

In terms of ads, Advertlets offers much more relevant ads to the audience of your blogs compared to other companies, paying attention to even details like your country or location!

However, despite the efforts, Advertlets currently operate on CPM basis. While relevance of the ads serves to improve the number of clicks, CPM is very much dependent on the traffic of your blog. But, Advertlets has stated that CPC driven programs will be available in later stages. With the high relevance of their ads, bloggers are bound to benefit from the development of Advertlets.

What I like about Advertlets

As a blogging newbie, our pagerank is bound to be condemned to rock bottom. Afterall, traffic cannot be built overnight. While some companies only accept blogs that meet certain traffic requirements, Advertlets offers beginners like me hope and motivation. Thats why I did not hesitate to join this program, and strongly recommend beginners like me to participate!

Room for improvement

One sorely-missed feature of Advertlets would be the referral campaign, which many other companies offer. The absence of referral incentives diminishes the motivation to promote or recommend Advertlets to fellow friends in the blogosphere. This is a lose-lose situation.


Nevertheless, Advertlets has shown that it is one of the leading blog advertising companies in the region and surely one to watch out for in future. Once the CPC campaign is launched, I am sure Advertlets will blossom into one of the leading blog advertising companies around.

Definitely a blogger's choice. A must.

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Metro Closing Sale!

After the GST hike, the word "SALE" appealed to ever more people. And the phrase "50% and another further 30% discount!" literally send waves of people to jam up the place, as if the items were give-aways.

During my not-so-wise trip on a saturday afternoon, I managed to snapped up a Pierre Cardin top and belt plus a Goldlion top. Indeed, my total savings exceeded my spending. Pleased with my buys, I made my way to the exit and accidentally overheard this conversation.

Auntie #1: "Hey, Metro got sale! 80% discount!"
Auntie #2: "Really? So cheap?"
Auntie #1: "Ya. See the board? 50% plus further 30%"

I won't blame the education system for teaching them addition. However, they lack the understanding of simple financial concepts like discount. That is sheer financial illiteracy or pure ignorance. Please note, I am not criticizing their level of intelligence. And I am sure there are many others who are as gullible as them.

Effectively, the discount was 65%, not 80%. The word "further" made a big difference to the whole meaning. Though most people will see through the marketing strategy deployed by Metro, few are still in the dark.

Anyway, be it 65% or 80%, we are subconsciously practising the concept of minimizing expenses, which is beneficial to anyone except impulsive shoppers. I being a very calculative person where money matters (trait of an accountant), spent $170 for 7 items in few receipts over 2 days. Total savings that I've enjoyed amounts to nearly $300.

If you have any apparels or clothings to buy, don't hesitate! Go to Metro now! Just don't go in the belief of an 80% discount. :P

P.S. The discount does not apply store-wide.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Asset vs Liability

I have heard many positive reviews about the book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" written by Robert Kiyosaki. Driven by my interest and curiosity in financial success recently, I picked up the book at Times, and never regretted.

Being a thrifty saver (in other words a miser), I never buy the book. Not because it is not worth it, but due to the price. However, I have been dropping by Times to read the book using the identity of a perfectly random browser in the store.

One of the greatest lessons I have picked up (so far) is the building of one's asset column.

Asset (noun)
1. a useful and desirable thing or quality
2. a single item of ownership having exchange value
3. items of ownership convertible into cash

The aforementioned definition belongs to the dictionary. However, according to Rich Dad, asset is something that brings about future economic benefit. To put it simply, it puts money into your pocket in future. On the other hand, he defines liability as something that takes money away from you in future.

He went on further to explain why the rich gets richer whereas the poor gets poorer. It is all but a simple logic. The poor mistakes liability as an asset, and incurs costs in future, reducing the purchasing power for real asset. The rich correctly identifies and buys assets, and generate more money which in turn is used to purchase more asset.

Therefore, according to Rich Dad, to get rich, one must build a good foundation of assets in order to generate future cashflows. This is perhaps what they call "making your money work for you". Effortless money isn't it?

Now the trick is, can you identify assets correctly?

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Where's the income?

As a full-time undergraduate, the income options are limited. By income, I exclude allowance, which is what your parents give for no work exchanged.

Passive income is one option. Network Marketing or Insurance are just some of the opportunities to build passive income. However, to build a steady stream of passive income, a lot of attention and effort is required in the starting phase. As undergrads, we probably cannot afford the time, energy and attention.

While full-time jobs are almost impossible, what are the common jobs that generates income for undergraduates?

Weekend sales promoters are rather common, especially in the IT-products market. Brands like Canon, Epson, Acer have weekend sales promoter to push sales during weekends.

Temporary sales promoters are also very common e.g. roadshows and IT fairs. You are only required to commit for a few days.

I've worked in PC-SHOWs before, earning around $500 in 4 days. Although the pay is good, the income is not regular. How long can the one-time $500 last you?
In my opinion, Tuition is by far the best option available to any undergraduate. If you have good time management, earning a regular yet attractive income from tuition is possible.

Good pay-per-hour ensures a decent pay despite the short hours worked. Flexible schedule allows the undergraduate to manage time efficiently.

Moreover, as undergrads, we have higher credibility, and naturally higher chances of being engaged. I was paid $33/hr for three of my six tuition students in the past few months! The monthly income was hovering in the lucrative region of $2K.

There are many other options available too. I merely discussed about the common opportunities that is available.

The challenge is, how well can you manage your time in order to earn yet achieve the desired grades?

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Paid to read mail or refer friends?

During my army days as a combat clerk (PES A, no ChaoKeng), I faced emails on a daily basis. Be it arrows from superiors, mindef newsletters, joke of the day from colleagues, I read them in great detail. During the 2 years, I almost developed a phobia of emails. I will frown at the sight of 15 new messages in the inbox

We all have interacted with emails one way or another. But other than the joke of the day, emails are a horror. Junk, Spam or Arrows.


I saw the concept of Paid Email in early 2007 when EmailCashPro advertised on newspaper and inside the MRT. I thought, finally we are given some incentives to read the mail. Without much thought, I went ahead with the program, without fully understanding how the program works.

The program was hugely disappointing. The incentive seems non-existent. Each paid mail from ECP you read will only entitle you about 0.65 cents. As if things weren't bad enough, they only have around 10 mails for me to read the whole month.

Thats when I went to find out more about ECP. Many people who managed to hit the minimum payout amount of $10 has built a considerable downline. This makes me wonder,

Are we paid to read mails or refer friends? (See the banner below)


Of course, this is a legitimate program as people who worked their way to the $10 target are duly rewarded with the cheque. But, how many will eventually reach the seemingly impossible figure of $10.00 in their account balance?

Perhaps only those people who are leveraging on the 100s of referrals reading mails while not getting paid themselves.

Now to me, this program is all about getting referrals. The reading mail part can be completed once in a long while. I read the 18 paid emails spanning 2 months in 30minutes and got paid around 11cents.

If MLM-related activity is your cup of tea, then this program is tailor-made for you. Build your downline and create the stream of passive income now!

What's a better business than one that's free?


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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Rewards for Sharing

Weeks ago, one of my friends asked me to help him find an MP3 from a local band. I went to Imeem to do a search, and to my surprise, many others were the same MP3 as well, which was not available in huge media sites like BaiDu. Therefore, I "recorded" the song from Imeem using my "self-discovered method".

Just before sending, the angel within me sounded...

"Why not upload to a file sharing site and share with the many others who want the file? Anyway I only need to upload once."

Immediately, YouSendIt.com came to my mind. However, YouSendIt only stores my file for 7 days. Thats when I googled for other alternatives and came across Easy-Share.

# Unlimited capacity for your files.
# Files kept 30 days after last download
# Maximum file size 100MB
# Earn $0.001 per download*
*conditions apply

Learn more about the program here

Even though the monetary reward appears pathetic, and definitely not a tool for getting rich, it seems like a reward for helping others. I immediately signed up for an account and uploaded the mp3. I posted the URL for people at Imeem to download, as well as inform my friend about it. Within 3 days, there were over 500 downloads and I had around US$0.50 in my balance.

Since then, I have been using this service whenever I want to mass send a file to a group of recipients. In my few weeks of usage, I have accumulated over 2000 downloads and rewarded with approximately US$2!

Interesting right? Never thought of being rewarded for sending your friends stuff? I thought it was a scam too. After all, file-sharing is linked more to legal issues than rewards.

But wait, whats there to lose when its just a free service? :)

Click here to start sharing now!

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Online Money-Making Opportunities

Dear readers,

I, like you, am often amazed at how much people earned from the internet. Just recently, I came across an article in the heap of old newspaper featuring Ewen Chia, the undisputed #1 in the world of affiliate marketing. As I glanced through his impressive achievements in the article, one sentence particularly took my attention -- he has made a million dollars....

Singaporeans are generally more skeptical of such money-making opportunities. "If its too good to be true, it most probably isn't true" However, I decided to risk my valuable time to prove this statement wrong.

Of course, I don't expect to be as successful as Ewen Chia, but surely there must be dollars lying on the floors of the internet, waiting to be picked up by me. Wish me luck!

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