Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Accenture Acquires Cloud Sherpas To Enhance Cloud Consulting Chops, Especially Around Salesforce.com

Accenture, the worldwide consulting company, announced today it was buying Cloud Sherpas, a firm that specializes in helping companies incorporate cloud services like Salesforce.com, Google and ServiceNow into the enterprise.

Accenture did not disclose the purchase price.

It’s not a coincidence that this announcement came as Dreamforce, the enormous Salesforce.com customer conference, is taking place in San Francisco this week. The acquisition actually has a lot do with Salesforce consulting services.

Accenture already has a team of more than 2700 consultants devoted to helping with Salesforce integration. They will be adding 500 additional Salesforce experts with the Cloud Sherpas deal.

“The context is Accenture has been driving a cloud first agenda in response to clients focusing on the cloud increasingly as a platform to fuel transformation,” Saideep Raj, global managing director at Accenture told TechCrunch. The deal certainly helps expand the Salesforce consulting team, but it’s more than that, Raj said.

Cloud Sherpas also brings experience with Google as Google’s largest consulting partner and ServiceNow, a company that Accenture is seeing embedded in an increasing number of enterprise processes where service is a key component.

Cloud Sherpas, has been around since 2007 and has grown into a worldwide consultancy with over 1100 employees, who will now be part of Accenture. As soon as the deal closes. They will join the newly created Accenture Cloud First Applications team.

If cloud computing is supposed to simplify computing, you may wonder why it would require a consulting team to help implement cloud solutions, and that’s a legitimate question. Companies moving to the cloud have lots of issues around digitization and transformation, and working with existing legacy applications alongside cloud applications. There are also issues of more complex custom integrations with a product as sophisticated as Salesforce.

That’s where Cloud Sherpas comes into play. While Accenture has also been helping companies make this move to the cloud, even before the acquisition, this gives them a huge team of experienced consultants to expand that consulting unit with one stroke of a pen on a check.

Cloud Sherpas formed at a time when the idea of Software as a Service in the enterprise was just beginning to develop as a mainstream concept. While Salesforce.com launched in 1999, many of today’s biggest cloud companies weren’t even around at that point. It was a company well ahead of the market need in that regard.

“We saw several things including demand from users of technology, not just as it relates to corporate transactions, but enabling the user experiences around mobile technology. The cloud was uniquely suited  to this and we thought it was going to take off and resonate with users,” David Northington, Cloud Sherpas CEO said.

Over the years, the cloud services have gotten better, and the projects have grown increasingly sophisticated. Northington says that as part of Accenture, that should only accelerate.

Today, there is all kinds of complexity in spite of the cloud notion of simplicity. If you’re integrating  enterprise cloud service into an existing enterprise stack, it sometimes takes help. For instance, companies working with Salesforce Wave, the company’s analytics platform might need help connecting to the various data sources and create the kinds of custom reports a company might need.

But it’s more than helping implement a single service, it’s about stitching together a range of services from a single vendor like Salesforce or across services, and that’s where this combination could really shine, Raj explained.

Cloud Sherpas has raised over $63 million, according to Crunchbase.

How To Create a Business Plan for Small Businesses

At its most basic level, the Business Plan is roadmap for your business. It will outline your businesses goals, as well as how your business plans to achieve those goals. Good business plans take it one step further and create buzz about the future prospect of your business. In that sense, the business plan is as much about selling your business, as it is about carefully setting goals and planning how to achieve them. Poor planning and financial management are the leading causes of business failure – don’t fall victim to this easily avoided pitfall.

Composing a compelling business plan can be a nerve-wracking, and time consuming task. To help you get organized here is a logical outline of information that all business plans should include.

  • Executive Summary
  • Business Overview
  • Sales and Marketing Plan
  • Operating Plan
  • Human Resources Plan
  • Financial Plan
  • Action Plan

Free full version, The Small Business Accounting Kit 

The Surprising Reason So Few People Succeed At Building Wealth – Revealed!

Why do certain postal employees and teachers with ordinary incomes achieve financial freedom, while doctors and lawyers earning multiple times more income end up in bankruptcy?

The reason is more complex than most financial gurus teach.

The truth is there’s no magic wealth system or program that produces reliable results despite the over-hyped claims of marketers.

Instead, the wealth building process is mundane and practical – like a series of hurdles you must jump over, without tripping up – no different than building your own business or achieving any other serious economic goal.

The hurdles are:

  • Commitment so that you prioritize everything necessary to build wealth; otherwise, life will just get in the way.
  • Plan based on proven principles that actually work, and it must be uniquely designed to fit your skills, resources, and interests.
  • Action because nothing happens without persistent, disciplined action over sufficient time to reach the end goal.

I know that doesn’t sound nearly as sexy as the “hidden secrets of the rich” sold by marketer types, but it is timeless wisdom that actually works.

People want to believe in get-rich-quick and overpriced weekend bootcamps because they promise to deliver that “secret missing ingredient” that previously held you back.

The secret is there are no secrets.

 

The wealth system that works today is the same program that worked 250 years ago because people haven’t changed. The principles are the same, and only the details have changed with time.

The hurdles you must clear to reach your wealth goals are timeless, and the fact that nearly everybody trips up on one of these hurdles remains the reason why wealth remains for the select few.

It is just human nature.

For example, just consider the second hurdle and all the difficulties hiding behind your wealth plan and the eduction required to develop it.

There’s no proven quality standard in financial education. There’s no vetting organization to separate good from bad, and most people don’t have enough financial background to spot a fake or tell quality from junk.

Who can you trust? How do you know?

It’s a serious problem.

The truth is all the information you could ever need to know for achieving financial freedom already exists, most of it for free. In fact, we’re overwhelmed by information.

But if you bought every wealth building program you’d never make any money because you’d be so tied up in knots trying to unravel the confusion and figure out which way to go that it would be difficult to commit to a direction and get started.

Here’s the reality. Each one of the 3 hurdles listed above is required to achieve wealth, and each hurdle is surrounded by landmines just like the planning hurdle described above.

Fortunately, there is a scientifically proven way to engineer your life so that you achieve financial freedom in 7-15 years by clearing all of these hurdles.

Below are some free articles excerpted from Seven Steps To Seven Figures – a complete wealth building system…

Building wealth isn’t rocket science, and it’s not a revolutionary secret of the rich.

It’s about all the simple things WE THINK WE ALREADY KNOW like commitment, plan, and action, BUT DON’T DO PROPERLY.

Think of it like a chain where your wealth system is only as strong as the weakest link.

For every 100 people reading this tutorial you’d be lucky to see more than 1 person clear all the hurdles without breaking at least one link in the chain. It’s not difficult. You just have to know what to do.

Who would you rather be? One of the 99 who fail? Or the one who succeeds?

Below you’ll find a list of our most recent articles about wealth systems & programs providing you with additional strategies and information so you can take the next step…or jump straight to 7 Steps To 7 Figures here.

Newsmax’s 100 Most Influential Business Leaders in America

The competition between businesses changes every day, mirroring the affairs between the nations they are set in. Similar to countries competing for power and impact around the world, businesses influence the pace and direction of globalization now more than ever.

Although a company’s sole purpose is to make a profit, wealth was never the sole driving force behind its growth or survival. Instead, successful companies rely on intelligence and creativity in the face of competition. Quotes from America’s past successful business leaders almost never attribute wealth to success, and instead cite innovation as the key to survival and power.

Henry Ford, for example, said, “The only real security that a man can have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, expectance, and ability.”

Today, intelligence and creativity are often trump cards in the marketplace. Instead of providing physical goods, many companies now reinvent products on digital platforms. A book can now be read and shared online instead of in print, for example. As a result of the new digital realm, information and its derivative goods have only become more prevalent in business, while physical products and money have not always kept pace.

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Below is Newsmax’s list of the 100 most influential business leaders in America. This list takes into account each candidates’ net worth, the company’s brand value, and the positions in both their relevant industries as well as the global business market. For the purposes of this ranking, the leaders themselves don’t necessarily have to be American born, but instead must lead businesses that are U.S.-based. Furthermore, influential business leaders do not necessarily need to hold the position of CEO.

1. Warren Buffett,  Berkshire Hathaway Inc. — Referred to as the Oracle of Omaha, Buffett is the CEO of diversified holding company Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and is the third-richest man in the world. Although Buffett’s position is not a major source for job creation, he has continued to inspire and influence the worldwide economic market with his trading approaches. Buffett’s net worth is estimated at $65.7 billion, and he was listed as the 14th-most powerful person in the world in a recent Forbes ranking.

2. Rupert Murdoch, News Corp and 21st Century Fox — Although Murdoch recently announced he would be stepping down as CEO of 21st Century Fox, he will still hold power and influence in the company as executive chairman. Murdoch is also CEO of News Corp, which succeeded News Corporation. In the past, he’s been named by Fortune as the second-most powerful person in business, whose assets include media outlets such as the New York Post, Fox Broadcasting company, The Wall Street Journal, and multiple successful news publications spanning in Australia, America, Europe, and Asia.

3. Larry Page, Google — CEO and one of the co-founders of Google, Page is in charge of the most powerful and influential company on the Internet today. Ranked No. 3 in the world by Forbes for most valuable brands, Google generates some 2 million Internet searches per second. Page has taken the simple idea of a search engine company and maximized its market and projects to engender ambitious new technological advances such as Google Glass and driverless cars. Along with being one of the world’s richest men, Page also has a staggering 96-percent approval rating among employees at Google, according to Glassdoor.com. While balancing employee happiness along with ambitious creative projects, Page has managed to continue to increase Google’s profits, with its net income rising 17 percent to $3.93 billion in the recent three months leading, according to the BBC.

4. Tim Cook, Apple — CEO of the most valuable brand in the world, according to Forbes, Cook has continued to show leadership in the revolutionary tech company. Filling the shoes of American tech pioneer Steve Jobs after his death in 2011, Cook did not stumble in his new position as CEO, but continued to direct Apple in the direction of the future. Under Cook’s direction, the tech giant has broken into two additional markets including smart watches and music streaming services. The Apple Watch is popular among politicians and celebrities, while Apple Music is cruising up to compete with streaming giant Spotify.

5. Jeff Bezos, Amazon — Founder and standing CEO of Amazon.com, Bezos revolutionized how the entire world shops online. In addition to serving as the largest online retail outlet in the world, according to Forbes, Amazon has made its way into many different markets. Under Bezos’s direction, Amazon now sells tablets, video-streaming services, and is also experimenting with drone-based delivery methods. The company’s use of advertisement on delivery boxes is another advance in the field of commercial advertising as well.

6. Sheldon Adelson, Las Vegas Sands Corporation — With a fortune estimated by Forbes to be around the $28 billion mark, Adelson is an investor, philanthropist, business magnate, and chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. His company operates Las Vegas’ The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center, as well as the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. He is also a well-known name in the Republican Party, gaining influence over the years as a result of his generous donations.

7. Charles and David Koch, Koch Industries — The Koch brothers run the family business, the second largest privately owned company in the country. With Charles as chairman and CEO and David as executive vice president, Koch Industries hauled in an estimated revenue of $115 billion, according to Forbes. The Koch brothers are also well known as political mega-donors, offering up more than $100 million to fund right-wing causes. They were once dubbed by The New Yorker as “the billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.”

8. Steve Schwarzman, The Blackstone Group — As co-founder and CEO of the global private equity and financial advisory firm The Blackstone Group, Schwarzman has an estimated fortune of $12.9 billion, according to Forbes. He is highly involved in philanthropic causes, donating $100 million to expand the New York Public Library and giving $150 million to Yale University earlier this year, The New York Times reported.

9. Jack Welch, General Electric — Retired businessman Jack Welch was CEO and chairmen of General Electric from 1981 to 2001. During his career at the company, GE’s value rose 4,000 percent, according to TheRichest.com. GE’s revenue grew from $25 billion to $130 billion while Welch was with the company, according to Business Insider.

10. Satya Nadella, Microsoft — Inheriting a massive company from outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer, Nadella has brought some of the magic back to Microsoft’s onetime renaissance under founder Bill Gates. Although he is still young in his position as CEO, Nadella has acted quickly to bring Microsoft up-to-date by cutting ties with Nokia and creating apps that operate with Linux and Mac to tap into the markets of the Android and iPad devices. It’s a quick shift in direction from Nadella that makes Microsoft the second-most valuable brand in the world, according to Forbes.

11. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook — After the film “The Social Network” pushed him into the international spotlight, the Facebook co-founder and CEO only continued to rise in popularity. Named one of the youngest billionaires by Forbes with a net worth of $34 billion, 31-year-old Zuckerberg’s influence will only continue to grow. Facebook is ranked No. 10 on the list of the world’s most valuable company brands, according to Forbes.

12. Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs Group — CEO of investment banking firm Goldman Sachs Group, Blankfein manages $911.5 billion, and was named the 27th-most powerful person in the world, according to Forbes. Blankfein was also named the third most powerful person in business by Fortune in the past.

13. Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobil — President and CEO of the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, Tillerson led Exxon Mobile to $4.9 billion in profits within it first quarter beating previous expectations. Tillerson was ranked as the 20th-most influential person in the world, according to Forbes.

14. Brian Roberts, Comcast Corporation
— In addition to serving as the chairman and CEO of Comcast, Roberts personally controls 33 and 1/3 percent of the voting rights of the company. He also chairs the board of directors of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. The attempted $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable may not have worked out, but Comcast has a renewed commitment to revamping its business in order to ensure it stays the largest cable company in the United States.

15. Paul Singer, Elliott Management Corporation
— As the founder and CEO of hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation, Singer oversees more than $25 billion, according to Forbes. He ranks No. 16 on the Forbes list of highest-earning hedge fund managers and traders, and has an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion. Singer is also active in the political and philanthropic arenas, donating to the Republican Party and even serving on the Honorary Delegation to accompany President George W. Bush to Jerusalem in 2008.

16. Larry Ellison, Oracle — Ellison, a computer programmer and entrepreneur, is a cofounder and CEO of software manufacturer Oracle Corporation. Under Ellison’s leadership, the company has been able to out-sell IBM, making it the second-largest software vendor. It raked in $29.6 billion in software revenue alone in 2013, according to PC World. Oracle Corporation now competes just under Microsoft, which continues to hold the spot of the largest software vendor. Ellison is the fifth-richest man in the world according to Forbes, with a $54.3 billion net worth.

17. Donald Trump, The Trump Organization — Trump’s accomplishments and image span from his real estate company to his successful television show to his very own board game. Trump is not just a person, but a brand, and now that brand is running for president. Since announcing his candidacy earlier this summer, Trump has promised to take his business expertise and apply it to America as a whole. Although some of Trump’s businesses have filed for bankruptcy in the past, according to Vanity Fair, the billionaire has time and time again overcome any fiscal danger and turned his companies around. With Trump’s net worth at more than $10 billion, he has certainly made himself into a household name. Trump is currently ahead in the polls for the Republican nomination for president with 32 percent of the vote, according to a September CNN/ORC poll.

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18. Bill Gates, Microsoft, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — Gates was ranked the seventh-most powerful person in the world by Forbes. Gates is also known as the richest person on the planet with a net worth estimated at $78.5 billion.

19. Michael Bloomberg
— Successful businessman and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg shares experience in politics and business alike. Bloomberg was named the richest person in New York state with an estimated net worth of more than $33 billion, according to Business Insider. Bloomberg currently owns 88 percent of his company Bloomberg LP, which he started in 1981.

20. Wilbur Ross — An investor and businessman who made his billions advising bankruptcies and restructuring flailing companies, Ross is a force in the steel, coal, telecommunications, foreign investments, and textiles industries. He spent 25 years with Rothschild Inc’s bankruptcy practice and then founded investment firm WL Ross & Co in 2000. It was acquired by Invesco in 2006. He has spent the recent years turning around troubled banks, first the Bank of Ireland and then the Bank of Cyprus.

21. Jeff Immelt, General Electric — CEO of the ninth-most popular brand in the world, according to Forbes, Immelt and GE manufacture everything from jet engines to medical equipment. Immelt has been with the company since 1982.

22. Doug McMillon, Wal-Mart — CEO of Fortune’s No. 1-ranked business out of 500, McMillon got his start at Wal-Mart unloading boxes on the loading docks, according to Business Insider. He is also ranked as the 29th-most powerful person in the world, according to Forbes.

23. Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola — CEO of the third-most valuable brand in the world, Kent manages Coca-Cola, which is widely known as the best-selling soft drink in the world, according to The Huffington Post.

24. John Chambers, Cisco — Although he stepped down from CEO to executive chairman last month, Chambers has served as CEO of Cisco for 20 years. During his reign, the CEO made Cisco one of the most respected companies worldwide, ranking No. 15 on Forbes’ list of most valuable brands in the world.

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25. Carly Fiorina- HP and potential 2016 GOP presidential nominee — Fiorina climbed the ranks as an executive at AT&T and then Lucent Technologies, Inc. before becoming CEO of Hewlett-Packard in 1999. As the first woman to lead a top 20 company, Fiorina oversaw HP’s massive merger with Compaq — one of the largest tech mergers in history, according to Forbes. She has now moved on to politics and, thanks to a recent bump in the polls, has secured a place in the second Republican debate schedule for Sept. 16.

26. Ginni Rometty
— CEO of IBM

27. Indra Nooyi — Chairman and CEO of Pepsi Co

28. Evan Spiegel — CEO of Snapchat

29. Mary Barra —CEO of General Motors

30. Elon Musk — CEO of SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity

31. Bob Iger — Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company

32. Steve Easterbrook — CEO of McDonald’s Corp

33. Howard Schultz — Chairman and CEO of Starbucks

34. Jamie Dimon
— Chairman, president, and CEO of JPMorgan Chase

35. Randall Stephenson — Chairman and CEO of AT&T

36. Gary Kelly — CEO of Southwest Airlines

37. Brian Moynihan — CEO of Bank of America

38. Sam Zell — Chairman of Equity Group Investments

39. James McNerney — Chairman and CEO of Boeing

40. Kenneth I. Chenault — CEO of American Express

41. Jack Dorsey — Co-founder of Twitter and Square

42. Carlos Brito — CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev

43. Meg Whitman — CEO of Hewlett-Packard Company (HP)

44. Marissa Mayer — CEO of Yahoo

45. Michael Corbat — CEO of Citigroup

46. Mark Parker
— CEO of Nike

47. Mort Zuckerman
— Co-founder, executive chairman, former CEO of Boston Properties, as well as owner and publisher of the New York Daily News

48. John G. Stumpf — CEO of Wells Fargo

49. Lowell C. McAdam — CEO of Verizon Communications

50. Ken Langone — Co-founder of The Home Depot

51. Gerald Hassell — CEO of The Bank of New York Mellon

52. Sergio Marchionne — CEO of Chrysler Group LLC

53. Richard Davis — CEO of U.S. Bancorp

54. Mark Fields — CEO of Ford Motor Company

55. Richard Anderson — CEO of Delta

56. Frederick Smith — CEO of FedEx

57. Greg Creed — CEO Yum! Brands

58. Brian Krzanich — CEO of Intel

59. Richard Fairbank — CEO of Capital One

60. Stuart Gulliver — CEO of HSBC

61. W. Craig Jelinek — CEO of Costco

62. Douglas Oberhelman
— CEO of Caterpillar Inc.

63. David Abney
— CEO of United Parcel Service (UPS)

64. Alex Gorsky — CEO of Johnson & Johnson

65. Doug Parker — CEO of American Airlines

66. John Donahoe — CEO and president of eBay

67. Thomas Montag — COO of Bank of America

68. Michael Dell
— CEO of Dell

69. Charles R. Schwab
— Founder of Charles Schwab

70. Ellen Kullman
— CEO and Chairman of DuPont

71. Leslie Moonves — CEO of CBS

72. Robert Marcus — CEO of Time Warner Cable

73. Joseph Hooley — CEO of State Street Corporation

74. James Smith — CEO of Thomson-Reuters Corporation

75. John Bilbrey — CEO of The Hershey Company

76. Alan Lafley
— CEO of Procter & Gamble

77. Ajaypal Banga — CEO of MasterCard

78. Abigail Johnson
— CEO of Fidelity Investments

79. David Abney — CEO of United Parcel Service (UPS)

80. Reed Hastings — CEO of Netflix

81. Dan Schulman — President of PayPal

82. Oprah Winfrey — Founder and CEO of OWN

83. Jeff Weiner — CEO of LinkedIn

84. Steve Feinberg — CEO of Cerberus Capital Management

85. Carol Meyrowitz
— CEO of TJX Cos

86. Charles Scharf
— CEO of Visa Inc.

87. Marillyn Hewson — CEO of Lockheed Martin

88. Timothy Mayopoulos
— CEO of Fannie Mae

89. Samuel R. Allen — CEO of John Deere

90. Melinda Gates — Co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

91. Gary Cohn — President and COO of Goldman and Sachs Group

92. Brian Cornell — CEO of Target

93. Robert Niblock — CEO of Lowe’s

94. John Wren
— CEO of Omnicom Group

95. Kevin Ryan
— CEO of Gilt Groupe

96. Tim Armstrong — CEO of AOL

97. Shellye Archambeau
— CEO of MetricStream

98. John Wendell Thompson
— CEO of Virtual Instruments and Chairman of Microsoft

99. Martha Stewart — Chairwoman of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

100. Brady Dougan — CEO of Credit Suisse

Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com

Wealth Building Books – Foundation & Creation

I hand-picked the following wealth building books as the best resources (in my humble opinion) for developing the habits and attitudes that lead automatically to wealth. This is the easiest and most certain path to financial freedom that I know – simply by shifting your habitudes. Each of these books offers a slightly different perspective on the subject so look them over and see which one is most compelling for you…

The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s WealthyStanley and Danko completed extensive research on millionaire habits with the intention of forming a marketing strategy to sell to the wealthy. What they discovered was so surprising it became a New York Times bestseller and perennial favorite. I honestly thought I was a freak until I read this book and realized my habits were typical of millionaires.

 

The Millionaire MindThe reason I like Stanley and Danko’s books so much is they are the only ones in the group who researched actual millionaires to determine the correct habitudes. Many authors use conjecture and anecdotal evidence. These guys used hard research.

Stop Acting Rich: …And Start Living Like A Real MillionaireThis is the third and most recent book in their series on millionaire habitudes. It rounds out the trilogy for fans of the previous books.

How to Be RichIf you want to learn about building wealth there is no more authoritative teacher than J. Paul Getty. Surprisingly, this book provides down-to-earth actionable habitudes that you can implement in your own life.

The Wealthy Barber, Updated 3rd Edition: Everyone’s Commonsense Guide to Becoming Financially IndependentA straightforward approach to the most basic habitudes to build wealth. A classic in the field.

 

The Richest Man in BabylonNo library on wealth building for the “normal” person would be complete without this classic parable. The principles taught are basic and timeless at the same time.
Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of WealthI’m not a big fan of Harv Ecker’s marketing practices but there is no denying the addition this book makes to this subject. I include it grudgingly with the warning to stick with the book only and not get roped into his marketing funnel for upselthls from the book.

 

Think and Grow RichThis is a classic and a must read. I’ve personally read it several times and will read it to my children someday. It is that good.
Rich Dad’s CASHFLOW Quadrant: Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial FreedomRobert’s “Rich Dad” series is a bestseller for a reason. My complaint is his books became quite repetitive and were short on actionable advice. I recommend this one because it teaches some very important principles that make a unique contribution to the literature.

Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence: Revised and Updated for the 21st CenturyI still remember the first time I read this book. Actually, my wife and I listened to it as a book on tape while taking a long drive. It stimulated many great shifts in thinking and clarified my stance on consumerism while bringing clarity to the process of how simple the road to financial freedom really is.

EverBank Review – Exclusive Review of EverBank Online Banking

Hey Everyone, Josh here again for another Modest Money review! Today, we are going to go over one of the fads that seems to be sweeping the world, online banking. Now, there are a lot of online banks out there, and I understand the need for them. However, as with any other product, there are some good online banks and some that aren’t so good. I’ve been hearing a lot about EverBank in the personal finance blogosphere. So, I figured I’d take a look and see what I find.

EverBank Short Review

EverBank Pros – EverBank hosts all kinds of banks accounts ranging from your standard check and CDs to high yield money market accounts. Also, interest rates on money market accounts are far beyond interest rates found on competitor money market accounts. Earning more always works for me! One thing that I find really neat is that you can write checks directly from your money market account. This is a feature I haven’t seen with any of their competitors.

EverBank Cons – Minimum account balances to start an account and to avoid fees are a bit high for me. To open a money market account with them for instance, you have to start with at least $1,500 and to avoid the monthly fee, the minimum balance is $5,000.00.

EverBank Overall – EverBank is a fairly well known bank with plenty of resources. They are also FDIC insured, which gives it’s customers a bit of piece of mind. There are benefits to investors in money market accounts as they generally have high yields. Also, it’s pretty simple to open an account. The only read draw back that I’ve found is that the accounts require high minimum balances. That being said, I would consider this to be a great option for money market investors that want higher yields, but not the best option for standard checking, savings and other forms of accounts.

EverBank Long Review

Now lets get into the good stuff. EverBank has been really grabbing the attention of consumers who like to invest their savings with rather large returns. In the beginning, they offer a 3% return on money market accounts as a promotional rate. After 6 months, that return is reduced to 2%. If you’re in the market now, you know that these are incredibly high returns. I would even venture to say that they’re the largest returns I’ve seen on money market accounts since before the great recession years ago! Also, when it comes to money market returns. EverBank guarantees that your account will be in the top 5% listed on BankRate.com as far as returns are considered. That’s a pretty strong guarantee! The top 5% guarantee is on money market and checking accounts which is a big plus!

OK, now lets talk about fees. Lets face it, any bank charges fees. That’s how they stay in business and offer us the services that make managing our money easier. When it comes to their checking accounts, they boast that they come with no monthly fees, no ATM fees and no annual fees. They also refund any fees charged by other ATMs if you maintain an account balance of greater than $5,000.00.

When it comes to money market accounts, they make it pretty difficult to figure out their fee structure on their website. As a matter of fact, all I was able to find on their site is that their Money Market accounts are free. However, after further research, I found that the accounts are only free under conditions. I’ve read several reports of $8.95 monthly fees if accounts do not maintain a minimum balance of $5,000.00. Because there are so many free money market accounts out there, if I didn’t have $5,000.00 to put into it, I’d have to search for another company to work with.

Another thing you really need to think about when it comes to choosing a bank no matter if it’s online or off, it’s important to know that you’re working with a reputable bank. That being said, I’ve read some very mixed results with regard to the reputation of EverBank. Those who are higher profile generally tend to love working with them. Even some regular consumers like myself have a lot of good things to say. However, I’ve also read a few complaints about differences between what the website says and what the mailed in terms say. For instance, I read one report that the website said you needed a minimum balance of $1,500.00 to avoid a $4.95 monthly fee. However, when that individual got his paperwork in the mail, he read about the $5,000.00 minimum balance with a $8.95 fee being avoided.

In EverBank’s Defense To The Above Mentioned Matter

After being upset, that person wrote a blog post about his experience and was contacted by the big wigs at EverBank. When he was contacted, he was informed that EverBank had multiple servers and at the time he signed up, they were in the process of changing terms on accounts. Because the server he had accessed and applied for the account through had not yet been updated, the terms came out different online than they did in print. EverBank claims to have cleared this matter up. I’ve only found one complaint about this. No one else online seems to have experienced any related issue.

My Overall Thoughts Of EverBank

When I started my research on this company, I grew very concerned with discrepancies in what consumers were told online and what was printed and mailed to them. I was also a bit concerned about the fees not being outwardly mentioned on their site. However, after I dug a bit further into what they have to offer and how reputable they really are, I was shockingly pleased. The bottom line is, EverBank was designed for consumers and businesses alike that have $5,000.00 or more in a savings or money market account. You don’t necessarily have to have that much money in the account, but without it, it may not be what you’re looking for.

When it comes to checking accounts, there are no monthly or annual fees. Not to mention, this is the first bank I’ve come across that’s willing to refund fees that ATMs from other banks charge. When it comes to the checking accounts, as long as you’ve got $1,500.00 to start your account with, I can’t see why you wouldn’t want to start an account with them!

Scotiabank Gold American Express Credit Card Review

Hey everyone, thanks for joining me for this week’s review! Today, I’m going to bring it back to Canadian credit cards with the Scotiabank Gold American Express credit card. This one has gained a bit of buzz lately in the blogosphere. So, I figured I’d review it to see what it was all about. As always, this is going to be a nothing held back review! You’re about to learn the good, bad and ugly for the Scotiabank Gold American Express travel rewards credit card!

Scotiabank Gold American Express Credit Card Short Review

Scotiabank Gold American Express Credit Card Pros – If you’re looking for a credit card with a decent size spending limit, you’ve found it here. The maximum spending limit for this card is $5,000! Also, it has a pretty low annual fee, weighing in at only $99. However, the biggest perks associated with this credit card is the rewards. You can earn up to 4 Scotia Rewards points on qualifying purchases (I’ll go over what that means in the long review below), and 1 point for every standard purchase. You’re able to redeem the rewards for travel purchases, gift cards and more. It really is a great rewards program.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Credit Card Cons – The interest rate is a bit high, but that’s to be expected when it comes to any rewards credit card. However, this isn’t the highest interest rate out there for sure, and there are ways to avoid the interest when using rewards credit cards. I’ll explain the best way in my long review.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Credit Card Overall – Overall, this is a great credit card. The lender behind it is a trusted one, it comes with great rewards, a great spending limit, and an annual fee that’s lower than most of the competition. The only draw back is the interest rate. However, when it comes to rewards credit cards, we come to expect higher than average interest.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Credit Card Long Review

OK, now it’s time to dig deep into the details. Because the most important factor of a credit card for most people is cost, that’s where I’ll start. First off, the Scotiabank Gold American Express Credit Card comes with a $99 annual fee. In line with it’s competition in the travel rewards credit card industry, this one definitely stands out as one of the lower fee options. At least when it comes to the annual fee. The interest rate on the other hand, well, it kind of blends in with the rest.

The standard interest rate on this card is 19.99%. It’s not incredibly high, however, it’s not the lowest either. I’d call it average. However, if you own credit cards, you know that standard interest rates aren’t the only interest rates you should be concerned with. Cash advance and balance transfer interest rates may come into play depending on how you decide to use your new card. That being said, on the Scotiabank Gold American Express card, these rates are both 21.99%.

I promised that I would explain to you how you can avoid interest entirely, and here it is. It’s simple, pay your balances off as soon as you create them. Interest only can be charged to you if you carry a balance past the grace period. If you pay your credit card balance off every time you get paid, chances are, you’ll fall well within that grace period and never pay a dime in interest on your debts.

Now, let’s talk a bit about rewards. After all, if it wasn’t for the incredible rewards it offers, chances are, you wouldn’t be interested in this card. The Scotiabank Gold American Express card rewards operate on Scotia Rewards points. They work just like any other rewards program. Spend money, earn rewards! However, it’s how quickly you can accumulate these points and how much you can redeem them for that makes this rewards program so valuable.

With the Scotiabank Gold American Express Credit Card, you can earn up to 4 Scotia Rewards points for entertainment, gas, grocery store, and dining purchases. That covers most of what we all buy on a regular basis! So, on the vast majority of your purchases, you could be earning 4 Scotia Rewards points. Of course, outside of these categories, you’ll still earn Scotia Rewards points. As a matter of fact, you’ll get 1 for every dollar spent!

Once you’ve accumulated enough points, it’s time to redeem them, but what can you redeem them for? This is a travel rewards program. That being said, you can redeem your points for qualifying travel based purchases, like airfare. You also have the option to redeem the points for gift cards and other miscellaneous rewards.

Finally, let’s talk about the bank itself. The truth is, it doesn’t matter how good the perks are printed out to be if the company is known for not fulfilling it’s promises. That being said, Scotiabank is one of the leading lenders in Canada. They’ve made a name for themselves as having some of the best customer support surrounding their very secure products. When it comes down to it, there are few to no lenders that are better than Scotiabank.

Should You Apply For The Scotiabank American Express Card?

Well, that all depends on you. What are you looking for from your credit card? Are you financially responsible enough to pay your bill completely off every time you get paid? How often do you travel? The bottom line is, if you want a credit card with a good spending limit and great travel rewards, you’ve found it! However, with great perks come great costs if you’re not careful. That being said, the Scotiabank American Express Card card is reserved for financially sound individuals.

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