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Hybrid and Electric Cars

Hybrid and Electric Cars

Honda has reached over a quarter of a million hybrid sales since 2001. Ford and Lexus are nearing 200,000 global sales each of their various hybrid cars. Clearly the market for these cars is expanding.

One of the early drivers for the shift in mentality about hybrids is the appeal that celebrities generated. Some celebrities, like Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Will Ferrell, and Leonardo DiCaprio, purchased hybrids in the early days of the vehicles to make a statement about what people can do for the environment. Back in 2006 there were fewer hybrids on the market, so the majority of celebrities helped to make the Prius the top seller as they were photographed with the sleek little car. As the number of hybrid models increased, so did the number of celebrities wanting to show they too were part of the new trend towards going green. When he turned 18, Justin Bieber was given a $100,000 sporty hybrid, the Fisker Karma, one of the most advanced, most luxurious electric cars available today. This has undoubtedly helped bring environmental consciousness to the young teen generation.

While celebrities made hybrid ownership trendy, the unpredictability of fuel prices coupled with the growing number of different types of hybrids has made the global consumer see the economic benefits of the hybrid. The Prius has perhaps the best record, getting roughly 50 mpg in town and 48 mpg on motorways. The Honda Civic gets about 40 mpg in town and 45 mpg on the motorway. The Mercury Milan and Ford Fusion average 38 mpg in town and on the motorway. As these cars have been around for longer, the statistics on them are more reliable, but new types of technology are emerging that will create all new types of vehicles. Honda has developed a zero-emission vehicle, the FCX Clarity, powered on hydrogen. Solar electrical cars, like the Solar Prius, include a solar panel roof. The two most intriguing new car companies are, Tesla, which has created an electric cars that are sleek, sporty, and completely electrical and the Fisker Karma, the first true electric luxury vehicle with extended range and the freedom to plug in or fill up. With the ability to toggle between the all-electric Stealth Mode or fuel assisted Sport Mode.

Given the higher cost of purchasing a hybrid, the typical consumer may ask how long it will take to break even. Since fuel prices remain unstable and the cost of both the vehicle and fuel vary from country to country, the results have a range that makes this a difficult question to answer. The lower cost hybrids usually take longer to break even, with the Prius taking roughly 7.5 years and the Civic Hybrid taking over a decade. However, the higher end luxury hybrids, like the Lincoln MKZ and Mercedes-Benz, take roughly 5 years to recover the difference in cost. The real difference is seen in the amount of money saved monthly as hybrid owners spend less time at the pump. Also, many countries offer tax incentives to make the hybrid more appealing.

Many car and gap insurance companies provide a preferred discount for hybrid owners, but several factors must be accounted for in cost, such as driving record and location. Despite the discount, the average insurance policy is higher for a hybrid because they tend to have more expensive high tech electronics and are more expensive to buy than the average car. However, studies show that the cars are as sturdy and safe as a typical car. As a technology still at the edge of innovation, those considering buying a hybrid should check the history of the model before making a final decision.…

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Offering Leasing Can Boost Sales

Offering Leasing Can Boost Sales

Businesses often use leasing finance so that they can get the equipment they need to operate, be it a new car or van, some new catering equipment or the computers and other IT equipment needed by their back office staff.

Why do businesses choose to lease rather than to buy? For some it is because they cannot raise the cash any other way, the banks not being as free with their money as they used to be. For others, who could raise the cash that way, they chose to go down the leasing route as leasing does not affect their ‘bottom line’ of credit in the way that a capital loan does.

Others go for leasing as it enables them to reduce their tax bill in a more favourable way than renting or purchasing (be sure to check with your accountant here if you decide to lease).

There is still another group who prefer to lease as this often includes yearly upgrades, something that can be very useful in fast moving areas like Computers and Information Technology.

The reasons for choosing leasing are therefore plain to see, so it makes sense, if you are a seller of cars, vans, catering equipment or computers to ensure that you can offer any potential customer the ability to acquire what they need using leasing finance.

Why the above may sound simple enough, it is not the sort of thing that is easy to set up with your (friendly?) bank manager. No, you need to talk to the specialists, those finance firms who have the structure and experience to help you help your customers.

In the UK there are quite a few players in this market place, so you do have a few to choose from (always better that way). What you need to look for is a company that is sound and most importantly customer focused and efficient. It must be said that many companies in this area are ‘helpful’ but this does not make them efficient.

To be efficient in the area of leasing equates to having the right structure and processes in place, the right IT systems. Plus above all, access to funds and a sympathetic attitude to financing businesses (at least as sympathetic as can be expected these days).

So, when deciding which leasing company to offer to your customers, give them all a ring, ask them how long it takes to make a decision (the good ones will be able to get back to you within hours and some even have ‘guaranteed’ levels of funding, different levels being set for different types of equipment and borrower).

You can also check up on how well they treat their customers by checking the Internet for reviews as well as their websites for testimonials and case studies. Reviews always have to be taken with a bit of a pinch of salt, but some of them are sure to be the truth. To assist here many companies today are even going to the trouble of having their testimonials independently checked (look out for the signs like those offered by verifiedcredible). In the latter cases you can be sure that all is OK and can believe what you read (a rare thing these days!).

Once you have decided on your leasing ‘partner’ you will be able to offer leasing services for your products, something that could easily result in many more sales, and that can’t be a bad thing can it.…

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Turn Up The Heat, Turn Down The Meter

Turn Up The Heat, Turn Down The Meter

The cold months of the year are normally when keeping the house comfortable can cut into your spending plan BIG time. So I will try to come in and save the day, and go over some things that can be done to aid in lowering heating cost. Hopefully I’m not too late. Some of these things are common sense, but not often thought about, and some are a little tricky so to speak. First up…


For crying out loud. On average you save 3% on your heating bill for every degree you turn your thermostat back, but that is easier said than done, and no one wants to sit in the house shivering. Hot months can change to cold without us realizing it. It’s time to switch to long pants and long sleeve shirts. Your head and your feet are two primary thermal indicators for your body, so one thing you can do to really stay warm, is to wear a knit cap and some thicker socks. With your head and feet warm you will be able to turn that thermostat down considerably.

Hold Your Breath!


Leaky windows can be a major culprit in high heating costs, so if this is a problem, you will want to take care of it right away. One way to know if you have a problem is to light a candle and hold it near the edge of your window. If it flickers then you know you have a draft problem.

You can use caulking to cover cracks in windows. You can also use plastic sheeting kits. You can use the plastic on the inside or outside of your windows to reduce costs.


One of the things you can use to seal your unused doors is clear tape. It keeps a lot of air from blowing in, and it is easy to apply and remove.

You can also use weather-stripping on your doors and windows that lead to a garage or a basement. You can weather-strip most doors for $15 or $20 but you will save much more than that over the winter.

You can also use something like a draft guard to keep cold air out.

Ventilation Fans

Whenever you use a bathroom or a kitchen fan, you are sucking the heat out of your house. While breathing is a beautiful thing, I’m sorry that I’m going to have to advise you to choke your house. Ventilation fans can greatly increase your heating costs.

You can get an anti-fog mirror in your bathroom if you don’t like your bathroom mirror steamed up after a shower. You can also turn on a hair dryer and dry your mirror streak free when it fogs up, and that will avoid heat loss.

Basements and Attics

Make sure that your basement and/or attic is insulated well. This can save you hundreds of dollars every single year in heating costs.

You can use a can of expanding insulation foam and go through you attic and basement sealing all of the small areas around your pipes. Covering your hot water pipes with cheap foam can also help cut down on heat loss.


Do you have a fireplace? A glass screen or front can reduce fireplace heat loss. You can also purchase a draft stopper (an inflatable pillow that you insert into the flue) and seal off your fireplace from heat loss very effectively.


Put a vent seal in your clothes dryer opening to keep heated air from leaving your home, and make sure that it stays closed when the dryer is not in use. This works better than metal flappers.


Check the ducts in your home to make sure that all of the crevices and cracks are properly sealed off, so that the heat from your house is not spilling into your walls or into your attic (if you have one).


Cover all drains. Yes ladies and gentlemen. Your drains will also suck heat out of your home. So whatever drains that you have, you should cover them when you aren’t using them. You can purchase rubber drain covers really cheap at your local hardware store.


Another avenue for hot air to escape your home is electrical outlets. You can cover your unused outlets by putting in child safety plugs.

Home Base

If your house is on a slab foundation, insulating around the base of your home can save a lot of money. You can do this a number of ways; foam boards, foam spray, etc. If this is expensive you can always improvise and shovel some snow against the base of your home (if it is available).

Be Strategic


Open up the curtains and blinds on the sunny …

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It Costs to Say Yes But it Costs Immeasurably More to Say No and Leaders Must Teach This Clearly

It Costs to Say Yes But it Costs Immeasurably More to Say No and Leaders Must Teach This Clearly

Despite the catchy but misleading lyrics, money is not the root of all evil.

However, the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. One powerful leader taught that to young potential leaders some two thousands years ago and it still stands true today. You will find the textual advice in Paul’s letter to Timothy, who welcomed and received and embraced the teaching.

If only the business world could see and understand this foundational truth, how much pain, suffering, embarrassment and heartache might have been avoided.

Knowing these truths is important, especially when we have had a procession of Parliamentarians trying to tell us that the Westminster system is wrong. It is not the system which is wrong, but the people.

An attractive able young leader, who had possessions, property, and substantial wealth, came to Jesus Christ.

Something was bothering him. He had a lot, but remained dissatisfied. He did not have what really matters.

“What must I do to inherit eternal life?” was his question to Jesus. He came to the right person with a vital question.

Jesus presented him with various commandments. Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honour your father and mother.

He quickly looked back over his life, and considered himself to be a good boy.

Jesus did not challenge his reply, but pointed out that there was one thing still to be done. Being that good, surely one more act was straightforward!

He listened to what Jesus had in mind. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.

His face fell. He became very sad, and off he went. Our faces reveal a lot.

It was not his reluctance to sell everything he had that was the issue, but his unwillingness to obey Jesus.

For this wealthy young man who had such potential, had he surrendered to Jesus Christ, he would have become one of the richest men in the entire world, and also a member of that select band of disciples of the Son of God.

Sandy Shaw…

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Get the Best Home Equity Loans For Trouble Free Refinancing

Get the Best Home Equity Loans For Trouble Free Refinancing

Buying a house has become an increasingly difficult proposition over the years. One of the main reasons of this has been the rising costs of residential properties and plots. The only way you can buy a house today, is by taking a home loan. The only problem with home loans is that the repaying sometimes takes its toll. Many homeowners struggle under the weight of their mortgages and loan repayments. If not handled properly, it can lead to events of foreclosure which might make the entire purpose of taking the loan redundant. This is where home equity loans can be used. Home equity loans are similar to taking a fresh loan off the same property to pay the debts.

In terms of real estate, equity means the difference between the market price and the liabilities that are attached to the property. This means that in case of a sale, whatever remains after paying off the mortgage is the equity. This can be obtained as a loan from the lender without selling the house. This is called a home equity loan. These are similar to a second mortgage, making it easier for you to help refinance your loans without having to deal with another lender.

There is a mistaken opinion amongst homeowners that the only way to refinance a preexisting mortgage is by selling off the house. This is baseless. It must be said that homeowners can avail themselves of home equity loans without having to put their houses on sale. This goes a long way in dispelling any mistaken notion that seems to permeate the home equity loans industry.…

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The Causes and Effects of the Current Mortgage Crisis

The Causes and Effects of the Current Mortgage Crisis

The mortgage crisis is an ongoing economic and financial crisis which has been triggered due to an increase in delinquencies and foreclosures. It is more likely to have a strong affect on people who have bought a home during the early years of this century. Many home loans were given to people because of an occurrence of a housing bubble along the two coats of the United States from the years 2000-2005, as a result of which loans were granted at sub-prime rates to many people.

The prices of houses increased at an unbelievable rate and as such every person wanted to own a house and hence began borrowing at really low rates of interest to build a home with the belief that because the price of their house will only continue to increase in the future, they can easily refinance for lower payments. However, this bubble burst during the end of 2005 and has lead to several foreclosures with people having to move out of their homes because of their inability to make payments.

People landed up with owning low value homes and loans that were greater than the market price of their homes leading to a very unstable financial situation. Thus, it has created a financial crisis in all these areas and has also caused an adverse affect on the country’s economy by affecting the rental market all along these places. This issue still is a major problem with many people being rendered homeless and as such measures are still being taken to ensure that this issue can be completely resolved.…

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Information on the FHA Mortgage Program

Information on the FHA Mortgage Program

Is the federal government doing anything about the U.S. economic situation? How will those with bad credit get a new mortgage loan? What is the FHA Mortgage Program?

We all know that the economy is in tatters. Even as it starts to recover quietly from the loan mortgage burst that destroyed everything along with Wall Street, people still have a lot of problems especially regarding their homes. Millions of foreclosures have already happened and Millions more are poised to happen. But the government is trying to stop this by creating a stimulus program for loan modification. Also, for those who need to get a home mortgage but are in dire straights in terms of their financial situation there is the FHA Mortgage Program.

The FHA or Federal Housing Administration is a federal funded entity that aims to help Americans who need to get housing. It provides loans to such financial challenged people. The guidelines of the loan give borrowers great benefits because of the lenient qualifications. Also, one of the best things about approved mortgages is that it is fully assumable; such security is valuable to any family especially during these times when interest rates are reaching for the sky.

The US Federal Housing Authority gives loans not only to those who need to buy homes but also to those who need refinancing for their old home mortgage. It also helps homeowners to change their ARM into a lowered rate refinance that makes sure there is a fixed set for every monthly payment up to the point when the all mortgage payments are completed. If one refinances this way, they can rest assured that the rates they can cash out of will be between ninety-five to eighty-five percent of the loan value. Another great thing is that lenders will require a smaller down payment, just two to five percent of the total loan value is required.

Each kind of approved mortgage by the authority is specialized and should be applied for independently. The ability to handle the payments in light of one’s monthly expenses is what is focused when determining qualification. Unlike traditional loans, credit scores are just secondary considerations that do not have as much impact. The important thing on how to qualify is to compute one’s DTIR or debt to income ratio. These two conditions are vital for a borrower to get into the program: first of all, one’s expenses in his or her monthly mortgage payments should not be more than twenty-nine percent of one’s income (gross); secondly the total debts of the applying borrower should not be more than forty-one percent of his or her monthly income.

The FHA mortgage program can be gotten by those living in both urban as well as in rural locations. They are not actually the ones that give out the money for the loans. Banks and lending institutions still provide the financing. The Federal Housing Federation just pays for the insurance that covers the loan and this is why lenders are able to provide such lenient requirements. This might just be the solution to your financing dilemma.…