Embracing Uncertainty

If you ask investors, they will tell you one thing that they dislike. It is inexainty. Investors always fear uncertainty. In fact, they hate uncertainty. If you ask further, everyone will give different answers but the main reason why they hate uncertainty is that they do not like losing money.

That is right. Losing money is what we as investors want to avoid. However, avoiding uncertainty is not the answer. You see, life is always full of uncertainty. Therefore, taking risks is necessary in investing no matter what your background is. Tell me what kind of assets with no uncertainty at all. One common answer is placing your money in Certificate of Deposit. (CD). The proponent of this investment claims that your money will always accrue interest no matter what happens to the economy, oil price and other things affecting stock investment. But is that so?

Let me answer your question with another question. Why do different banks give you different interest rate for your CD? Sure, it is affected partly by their money supply and demand. If a bank can take in more money than it can loan, it will generally give lower interest rate. However, do you notice that larger established banks generally give lower interest rate than say, an internet CD from e-trade? The answer is uncertainty. Big banks are less likely to fall and therefore, investors are willing to accept lower return investing in their CD. On the other hand, internet banks are more uncertain to survive ten years from now. Thus, the higher interest rate. You see, when you embrace uncertainty, you will earn a higher return on your investment. How about risk? The risk here is that when you invest in small unestablished banks, it may go bankrupt and bring your money down with it. Sure, in theory, your money is protected up to $ 100,000 from FDIC. If you loan your money to a friend, he or she will always say that they will pay your money back, no matter what. But banks are not your friend. In fact, you friends who borrow money from you, can default on their payments.

That is the risk of investing in CD. While, the risk seems remote, it always exists. On the opposite side, investors who fear accidently will probably stuff their money in the mattress, approaching little or no money. This is an extreme example but as you see, getting rid of uncertainty does not look that good here.

Embrace accidently does not mean investing your money blindly. To get a higher return, you need to embrace uncertainty and be educated to minimize your risk. In our CD investment case, what should investors do? Well, for example, you can research the trustworthiness of your bank to sites such as bankrate.com. Once you are comfortable about the status of your bank, you can then invest in CD which offers higher interest rate. A little bit of your time will earn you quite a bit. This is what I called embracing uncertainty. You accept that uncertainty is part of investing but you need to be aware of the risks that you take in any kind of investment. From there, you can weigh your risk and reward and decide which the additional risk is worth investing or not.

Similar case can be applied to stock investing. It is full of uncertainty and there is no way around it. However, by being educated in the stock market, you can minimize your risk and can earn additional return in the process.

Turnaround investing validates this concept. You can choose to invest in a well-run companies with seemingly no trouble in the horizon. Or … you can choose to invest in companies with short-term trouble and wait for them to turnaround. In these two cases, investing in turnaround companies will give you greater return. This is due to the uncertainty of investing in companies with short-term trouble. As always, you have a decision to make. Life is full of choice. Would you rather invest in CD and avoid uncertainty even? Or embracing uncertainty and reap a higher return on your investment?

Education: The Military's First and Best Line of Defense

The idea now prevalent among some defense officials that formal classroom-based education is either expendable or unnecessary flies in the face of millennia of historical precedent. Brilliant strategists and military leaders not only tend to have had excellent education, but most acknowledge the value and influence of their mentors. The roll call of the intellectual warriors is sometimes the best argument in support of training armies to think: Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Robert E. Lee, Erwin Rommel, George Patton, Chester Nimitz.

In stark contrast we can cite familiar military leaders whose educations were, we say, lackluster: the Duke of Wellington (he beat Napoleon – barely – after a slugging 7-year campaign), Ulysses Grant, George Custer, Adolph Hitler, Hermann Goering, Josef Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Manuel Noriega. For these men, military victories were often a matter of luck over tactics, overwhelming force over innovative planning, and soldiers more fearful than their masters than of the enemy.

I am a moderate, neither "red" nor "blue," with leanings in both camps. I firmly resist a draft, but support (and was once part of) ROTC. When I read that Columbia University had voted overwhelmingly to ban the Officer Officer Training Corps from returning to the campus, I felt that the concept of academic freedom itself had been violated. It is not the university's place to impute value judgments or decision on moral issues. Instead, universities were intended to be places where minds could visit among a broad range of viewpoints, hopefully to pick and choose the best parts from among them. By banning a campus ROTC contingent, Columbia has denied students that choice, and as an academic I am ashamed for them.

ROTC has much to offer university students, including (sometimes especially) those not enrolled as officer candidates. As a thirty-something graduate student working on my master's degree, I enrolled and participated in two ROTC history classes being taught by a multi-decorated Marine colonel, himself a holder of a master's degree in history. The things I learned about military implications of the battles we studied, the social effects of each decision, and the pains taken by most leaders to secure better materiel and intelligence for their troops far exceeded anything taught in the history department's coverage of the same incidents. It was from that extraordinarily patriotic US Marine career officer that I learned, for example, that during the War of 1812 the US invaded Canada and, when it discovered it could not succeed, burned the national Parliament buildings. It was for that last action that British soldiers later pressed on to Washington and set fire to the US Capitol and White House.

Does any of that make a difference? Indeed, I think it is crucial to national survival that soldiers and the public know the big picture behind events that becoming rallying later later. After 9/11, a precious few people asked the loaded question, "what have we done to incur this attack?" The overwhelming response was to stifle such questions – the US were the good guys, and those religious fanatics were angry because they were jealous of our luxury and wealth – and simply treat the attackers as nameless, inhuman enemies. There was no question allowed as to what the real problem might be, only that the US must attack them and annihilate aggression. But what competent physician, I ask, treats only a symptom but ignores the cause of the disease? According to numerous studies mandated by the UN and other agencies, the most important change that would most work towards eliminating poverty and war would be the universal access of women to an education.

We may "Remember the Alamo," but how many recall that Texas was either part of the US then, nor was it trying to become a state. It was seeking independence as a nation so it could maintain slavery, which Mexico had outlawed. When we "Remember the Maine," do we also recall that the ship was probably sunk by an engineering problem, and not from Spanish sabotage? That the war was pushed by US hawks and newspaper magnate William Randolph Hurst, knowing that a war would greatly boost newspaper sales? We must learn from history, because we are already doomed to repeating it. The 9/11 attack was carried out out predominately by Saudi Arabs, but the US response was to attack Iraq. Despite a preponderance of evidence that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, the American public still preferred the fabrications about anthrax attacks, WMDs, and terrorist training camps.

So what of military plans to merely enlarge the distance learning programs to replace classroom instruction? As a career teacher, I risk sounding like a ludite when I disparage distance learning. In my experience, there can be no substitute for a human-to-human interaction, where ideas can be immediately sorted, argued, and revised. Seeing the emotional expression of classmates when one discusses controversies ranging from "just wars" to the use of nuclear weapons to the pros and cons of a given policy simply can not be part of an electronic lesson. There is simply no substitution, for example, to having a combat veteran point out "I was there" in a class when another student has presented the sanitized version of a controversial event. That level of emotion will not come through a cable modem. We are already becoming extremely dependent upon the impersonal Internet, so how much more non-human contact can possibly be good for our psychological, especially empathic, development.

Historically, one of the first tragedies of war – after truth and diversity of opinion – is basic humanity. In wars, our soldiers do not kill Germans, French, British, Indians, Japanese, or Vietnamese people. Almost from the beginning, they instead fight krauts, frogs, limeys, savages, nips, or gooks. How much more difficult is it for a poorly educated soldier to understand the enemy when the enemy has been made subhuman? How, perfectly, can the war be won and, more important, peace maintained if we can not understand (but not necessarily agree with) the enemy?
It is unfortunate that the senior military officers so often bring the brunt of public hostility for actions made by civil authorities. The present administration is among the most academically impoverished in US history, while the senior officers are among the most highly educated. While it is true that some soldiers actually enjoy combat, the vast majority would welcome, nay embrace, a career of unbroken peace. The intelligent career soldier trains to protect that which he or she most values, knowing that wars are inevitable. Most pray that they need never fight, but stand ready to put their lives on the line should the rest of us need protection. Rather than reduce, compromise, or restrict education to these defenders, I would argue instead that they all receive free access to our universities and colleges. The academic world needs to get behind a unified message: education is not a privilege; It is the first and best line of defense.

Digital and Conventional Presentation of Content

Displaying content is extremely important for any marketing agency. Ultrathin tubes have long replaced the old-fashioned and expensive Cathode-ray tubes. Internet connectivity, live TV streaming, videos, and images are the future of signage and modern marketing. Shopping malls, shops, and all other businesses prefer electronic display over wallpapers.

Digital signage applications include high-resolution display devices that are easy to use anywhere, indoor or outdoor. The modern way of displaying content includes versatility and innovation. For example, an electronic display can run a combination of media including videos, images, and text that altogether deliver a specific message.

With the passage of time, the global advertising industry is growing bigger and bigger. The electronic display has become the need of every modern business. Some of the purposes digital signage serve are:

  • Informational
  • Commercial
  • Experiential
  • Behavioral

It is rightly said that there is no success without the content. Electronic signage is considered to be a new way of displaying content to an audience. It offers variety and a number of interesting features that allow users to be creative in content management. We often see digital signs at public places and retail stores. Therefore, it has a cultural impact on customers and viewers.

A question arises whether or not signage has emerged as a new and effective advertising source. The answer is a big yes as digital signage is gradually taking over the conventional and outdated advertising solutions. However, the significance of traditional display cannot be undermined as they are cost-effective. Commercial places should be well equipped with the information that might help customers make a purchase decision.

The internet is used widely across the globe. And the information provided on a computer allows us to check back and reach the content easily. It is easy to change and manage content on digital devices. Your success depends highly on how you are advertising your business. Therefore, use digital signs to promote and advertise your business or cause. Digital signage is expensive as compared to those simple and static display means. However, digital display has become mandatory for rapidly growing businesses.

The display industry cannot keep itself apart from technological advancements. However, some of the old-fashioned signage is still being used by many businesses in developed and developing countries. For instance, a banner or a decal is a very simple type of signage. The presence of highly advanced electronics signs could not outsmart old-fashioned sign systems. However, it is recommended to use the digital and interactive form of signs which can captivate the attention of customers.

What's The Difference Between A Reseller Program And Affiliate Program?

Many people ask me what's the difference between becoming an affiliate or a reseller? What's the simple answer? Let's say there is a resellers and an affiliate, they both sell the same digital service for XYZCO; However, there are significant differences between each person's agreement.

What is a Reseller? A reseller creates a reseller account with XYZCO, and then solicit (proprietary) for customers to sign up under it for products or services. The reseller can sometimes provide the technical support for his or her customers and in some cases manages the billing directly with his / her clients then the order is fulfilled by the reseller company. Many companies offer while label solutions and ever customer support can be included to look like your service. With digital products, you get paid by your clients $ xxx.xx amount then your reseller fulfills the order charging you your wholesale reseller rate $ xx.xx so you make the difference on each order. Customers deal with the reseller directly, and sellers may set their prices at any level they choose.

What's an Affiliate? An affiliate is strictly an evangelist for our service. He or she refere customers or traffic to XYZCO, where they open their own accounts with the affiliate's special code to let us know who referred them. Affiliates are paid on commission by XYZCO and the current rate is an ongoing percentage of referred sales. Many affiliate programs pay a one-time commission; However, companies like SendPressReleases.com – Send Press Releases affiliate program offer a free program to sign up and you get paid forever on any of your referred clients allowing you to build a real affiliate business with digital products that sell.

There are pros and cons to each type of account, and which is right for you will depend upon how much time you would like to invest.

Key Points to Consider When Becoming a Reseller;

Getting started as a reseller is very easy and can be done within a few minutes. I would recommend taking some time and do a little research on the type of monetization terms each reseller program offers. Many key points for both reseller and affiliate can be the same and really come down to your potential profit and success with the individual program.

  1. How long does the software track client visitor cookies? Most reseller software will have a tracking cooking so if you refer someone using a referral tracking link, it will keep a record if they then purchase for up to 30/60/90 days and sometimes longer. Many people take time to get started and execute an order so this defiantly is a very important factor.
  2. Many reseller programs will pay you for your first referral that orders but then the terms might change. Ideally you would like to get paid on that client whenever they order.
  3. Simply said, read the terms a reseller provides you and see if they are fair and profitable. There are many types of reseller businesses that you could start so first you need to identify which type of reseller business model is right for you. Maybe the overall key factor is reselling something you have an interest or passion in? Choosing a reseller for the profit is not always a bad idea either!

Key Points to Consider When Joining an Affiliate Program;

  1. Minimum payment threshold, this can be the amount you must generate before a payment will be released to you for your affiliate marketing efforts. The payment threshold can vary from program to to program and can be anywhere from $ 5 to $ 100 and in some cases if you do not meet the terms (within 120 days as an example) you would forfeit your affiliate earnings. I would recommend learning the terms before joining any program no matter how great the initial profit model looks.
  2. Are the products you want to become affiliated with profitable and easy to process? This might be a very good question to ask your-self. Keep an eye out for shockingly high transactions, yes, sometimes Internet marketing is like pyramid schemes and if an affiliate program sounds too good to be true, it probably needs a closer look.
  3. Make money type of products and MLM. I am sure you know someone in one of these product categories, maybe they are even making money. Do not do it. Move in another direction, the statistics and numbers do not lie. These type of programs work on your greed and in many cases do not provide a products that justifies the potential. Do your homework ..

What's a Better Affiliate Program or a Reseller Program?

This is the questions you need to determine yourself. With each comes their own set of pros and cons. With a reseller program you might have more of a standard business that you can grow over time, however an affiliate program is easy to get started for free in many cases and can be a great part time business or second income.

Here is some statistic to reflect upon while you consider your options;

  • Affiliate marketing spend matches $ 5 Billion in the US
  • Affiliate marketing drives a whopping 1% of the country's total GDP in the UK.
  • Approximately 15% of all digital media industry's revenue comes from affiliate marketing.
  • In 2016 over 80% of brands utilize affiliate marketing.

Why Does it Have Setup Fee?

Many reseller and affiliate programs will charge a setup or account fee to get started, and yes this is very common. Reseller programs that offer you a great program, support, even white-label client support to assist and help your clients for you on your behalf. This can be a fantastic situation and can allow you to operate your own business and have it sully supported by your affiliate reseller company. I find digital products that are in high demand, that also offer your clients support in your behalf are some of the best most effective programs.