Monday, February 13, 2012

Reach Millionaire Status Faster by Using Online Calculators

The person who declares they need no assistance whatsoever when it comes to managing money is most definitely the first person who would stand to benefit the most from such help. Even if you stick to prepaid debit cards and coupon cut like crazy, you'll never know whether or not you could improve your personal finances without checking it out. While paid financial advice and accounting is expensive, online tools and resources are almost invariably free. Specifically, free calculators that you can find on the World Wide Web are especially useful when it comes to managing money better, considering their accessibility and reliability.

Here are a few to help get you started:

Tax Withholding: While fat refunds in April are great, there's no guarantee you're going to get everything back if you rakishly withheld more than you needed to all year around. To reduce the amount of money you send Uncle Sam that gets lost in the system, use the IRS withholding calculator.

Credit Card Repayment: It's hardly in your long-term best interest to be paying massive amounts of credit card interest through low-to-minimum monthly payments. Use the Federal Reserve's credit card repayment calculator to find out how much you need to be paying every month to pay as little interest as possible.

Fuel Economy Finder: Before buying your next vehicle, or any vehicle you ever purchase in the future, use the Department of Energy's Fuel Economy Finder to find the most fuel-efficient and therefore cost-effective automobile in your price range. With gas prices going nowhere but up, this is a critical step toward living a more economical lifestyle.

Retirement Planner: What may seem like a reasonable amount of money being squirreled away for retirement every month may wind up being a paltry retirement plan if you didn't take the time to browse all your options. Use the Bloomberg Retirement Calculator to accurately project how much you're going to need to save relative to specific plans.

Home Energy Saver: Built for the Department of Energy, the Home Energy Saver is one of the most widely used online services provided by the federal government. Utilizing the data you enter regarding your energy usage habits at home as well as the cost of energy in your region and any and all steps you're taking to lead a more energy-efficient life, this handy calculator will recommend ways for you to further reduce energy waste in your home.

You may think you're doing everything you can to be smart with your money, but don't be so certain until you run your numbers through online calculators. These objective, autonomous, and above all free tools are certain to show you ways you could be doing more to save and handle your personal finances more responsibly.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Facebook going public for $100 Billion market value

This week seemed memorable for me in many ways: the coldness in Helsinki -22, meeting with entrepreneurs, feeling the buzz of the neurons working and new information flowing, I even changed to the newest version of facebook the so called TIMELINE as strange as it sounds we are living memorable changes I predict that someday not soon we might even have to pay even if it is one $1 per month to keep our facebook accounts. Would you pay it to save and rescue your memories and your pictures? or it might be that the site stays free and keeps making Millions on advertising and gaming... The day my TIMELINE went public Facebook made a much-anticipated status update on Wednesday: The Internet social network is going public eight years after its computer-hacking CEO Mark Zuckerberg started the service at Harvard University.

That means anyone with the right amount of cash will be able to own part of a Silicon Valley icon that quickly transformed from dorm-room start-up to cultural touchstone (and believe me if you have the money we have to do it... be ready).

Facebook will probably make its stock-market debut in a week, a month or maybe even three or four months but it will become one of the world’s most valuable companies. Facebook, which is now based in Menlo Park, Calif., hopes to list its stock under the ticker symbol, “FB,” on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq Stock Market.

In its regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook Inc. indicated it hopes to raise $5 billion in its IPO. That would be the most for an Internet IPO since Google Inc. and its early backers raised $1.9 billion in 2004. The final amount will likely change as Facebook’s bankers gauge the investor demand.

Joining corporate America’s elite would give Facebook new-found financial clout as it tries to make its service even more pervasive and expand its audience of 845 million users. It also could help Facebook fend off an intensifying challenge from Google, which is looking to solidify its status as the Internet’s most powerful company with a rival social network called Plus.

The intrigue surrounding Facebook’s IPO has increased in recent months, not only because the company has become a common conduit to share information about our lives.

Zuckerberg, 27, has emerged as the latest in a lineage of Silicon Valley prodigies who are alternately hailed for pushing the world in new directions and reviled for overstepping their bounds. In Zuckerberg’s case, a lawsuit alleging that he stole the idea for Facebook from some Harvard classmates became the grist for a book and a movie that was nominated for an Academy Award last year.

Following the model of Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Zuckerberg set up two classes of stock that will ensure he retains control as the sometimes conflicting demands of Wall Street exert new pressures on the company. He will have the final say on how nearly 57 percent of Facebook’s stock votes, according to the filing.

Even before the IPO was filed, Zuckerberg was shaping up as his generation’s Bill Gates — a geek who parlayed his love of computers into fame and fortune. Forbes magazine estimated Zuckerberg’s wealth at $17.5 billion in its most recent survey of the richest people in the U.S. A more precise measurement of Zuckerberg’s fortune will be available once the IPO is priced and provides a concrete benchmark for determining the value of his nearly 534 million Facebook shares

The IPO will also mint hundreds of Facebook employee as millionaires because they have accumulated stock at lower prices than what the shares are liked to be valued at on the open market. Facebook employed 3,200 people at the end of last year.

Depending on how long regulators take to review Facebook’s IPO documents, the company could be making its stock market debut around the time that Zuckerberg celebrates his next birthday in May.

The IPO filing casts a spotlight on some of Facebook’s inner workings for the first time. Among other things, the documents reveal the amount of Facebook’s revenue, its major shareholders, its growth opportunities and its concerns about its biggest competitive threats.

The documents show, as expected, that Facebook is thriving. The company earned $668 million on revenue of $3.7 billion last year, according to the filing. Both figures nearly doubled from 2010.

“The company is a lot more profitable than we thought,” said Kathleen Smith, principal of IPO investment advisory firm Renaissance Capital.

Although she considered Facebook’s numbers “very impressive,” she said Facebook needs to talk more about where it sees its growth coming from.

“What new areas of business is it expecting to pursue beyond display ads?”

What’s not in the documents, yet, is Facebook’s market value. That figure could hit $100 billion, based on Facebook’s rapid growth and the appraisals that steered investors who bought stakes while the company was still private.

Facebook heads a class of Internet start-ups that have been going public during the past year.

The early crop has included Internet radio service Pandora Media Inc., professional networking service LinkedIn Corp. and daily deals company Groupon Inc. Most of those Internet IPOs haven’t lived up to their lofty expectations. The list of disappointments includes Zynga Inc., which has built a profitable business by creating a variety of games to play on Facebook. Zynga’s stock fell 5 percent below its IPO price on the first day of trading.

Facebook stands apart, though. As it rapidly expands, people from Silicon Valley to Helsinki Finland people use it to keep up with news from friends and long-lost acquaintances, play mindless games tending virtual cities and farms and share big news or minute details about their days. Politicians, celebrities and businesses use Facebook to connect with fans and the general public.

It’s becoming more difficult to tell whether going to Facebook is a pastime or an addiction. In Europe, Facebook visitors spend an average of four hours per month on the website each month, more than doubling from an average of 2 hour per month in 2008.

More than half of Facebook users log on to the site on any given day. Using software developed by outside parties — call it the Facebook economy — they share television shows they are watching, songs they are playing and photos of what they are wearing or eating. Facebook says 250 million photos alone are posted on its site each day.

To make money, Facebook sells the promise of highly targeted advertisements based on the information its users share, including interests, hobbies, private thoughts and relationships. Though most of its revenue comes from ads, Facebook also takes a cut from the money that apps make through its site. For every dollar that “FarmVille” maker Zynga gets for the virtual cows and crops it sells, for example, Facebook gets 30 cents.

For all of Facebook’s success, the company has had its share of troubles. It went through a series of privacy missteps over the years as it pushed users to disclose more and more information about themselves. Most recently, the company settled with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over allegations that it exposed details about people’s private lives without getting legally required consent. And the legal fights over Facebook’s origins have been embarrassing and sometimes distracting, though Zuckerberg has consistently denied allegations that have depicted him as a ruthless weasel.

Zuckerberg has made it clear he isn’t especially keen on leading a public company. He has said many times that he prefers to focus on developing Facebook’s products and growing the site’s user base, rather than trying to hit quarterly earnings targets in an effort to keep investors happy.

In a letter included in in Wednesday’s filing, Zuckerberg paints a rosy, idealistic picture of Facebook.

“Facebook aspires to build the services that give people the power to share and help them once again transform many of our core institutions and industries,” he wrote.

Zuckerberg also pledged to stay true to Facebook’s scrappy roots even on the road to becoming a multinational corporation.

“The word “hacker” has an unfairly negative connotation from being portrayed in the media as people who break into computers,” he wrote. “In reality, hacking just means building something quickly or testing the boundaries of what can be done.”

Zuckerberg has surrounded himself with other savvy executives, who are often more experienced. They include Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, who helped build Google’s advertising business before Facebook lured her in 2008. Facebook’s finance chief is David Ebersman, a former executive at biotech firm Genentech.

Amid the buoyant optimism about Facebook’s prospects as a public company, some analysts see troubling parallels to the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, which turned into a devastating bust in the early 2000s. The biggest fear is that some investors will become so enamored with Facebook’s brand and brawn that the will try to buy the IPO share with little financial analysis or recognition of the risks so let´s all be aware.

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