Business

Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)

Imagine waking up one morning to your dream job. You have been searching for a job for too long now. Then one day, a friend calls asking whether you are near town or not. Knowing that he is working in a reputable organization and could easily link you with the human resource, you quickly answer – yes – smiling widely as though he could see the joy that is now painted all over your face. Well, this was me, and I hurriedly prepared for the appointment that I had just secured. This was it, I thought. I have been looking for a job for too long, and today, my prayers, yes, my fervent prayers were finally paying off, I thought. Funny enough, I felt sick in my throat that there was something fishy about this whole meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel, a prestigious place that I had only set eyes on from afar until that day. True to my fears, it was another Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) scheme. My trust levels went down crushingly, and my hopes turned into something else. But wait, what is wrong with MLM?

I sat down gingerly and the man on the other side of the table rushed to introduce himself to me as my friend fiddled with his humongous phone, but I think he was taking a call. By the time my friend was done attending to his phone, or the call that had come on it, we were no longer strangers with my friend’s friend. The man asked me, after my friend had wittingly excused himself citing he was rushing to another meeting that he was already late for, if I took coffee or tea and if I took coffee how I liked my it prepared. The guy went ahead to prepare an Organo Gold cup of coffee for me anyway, despite my concerted effort, of course in a gentle manner, to air that I neither take coffee nor tea – seriously I don’t. That is when I confirmed my fears, it was one of those pyramid schemes and the man was an MLMer.

The conversation was ready to kick off, well, OG coffee was on the table and it looked like a professional business meeting. The prelude subsumed past experiences and my new friend explained how he had made it in life amid the peer influence that paralleled his life at campus. In every statement that he made, he mentioned something about a dream. He keenly stated how he had seen everywhere he went as too little to match his dreams. He had quit international jobs and flagged down gold-coated opportunities along the way. Finally, he had come to find out about Organo Gold products and the Multi-Level Marketing that could turn him into the millionaire that he always dreamt of becoming. Now he could see Organo Gold matching his dreams.

After I showed signs of uneasiness, as though I was getting late for some meeting, he quickly changed the course of the stories and started hitting the nail on the head. By that time, two other guests had joined us. Another tall and stout-looking man had also come to the seat next to us – he seemed to be listening to the stories, but at the same time busied himself with his smartphone. I listened keenly as the MLMer talked about how Organo Gold products had cured his ulcers and allergies. He went on further to praise the products’ abilities to cure cancer, help people lose weight, and assure longevity. All this, he said, is because of a component called Ganoderma. The marketing session was almost through, at least I thought it was, as the gentleman had flipped to the end of the brochure he had been using all this while. Then, the tall man joined the talk in a spirited manner confirming my fears that he was also an MLMer.

Apparently, there are levels in MLM and this tall guy was at sapphire level. He started off strongly asking who would have love to continue earning, what he called passive income, despite having quit or retired. The answer was yes from everyone. He then went ahead to state that if you are dependent and keep on working for someone your whole life, you are being leveraged. He jumped from one jargon to another displaying his marketing know-how. I have to admit, I was really impressed. I was. “You mean that MLM has really gathered a whole novel approach?” I mumbled to myself. I actually perceived everything he was explaining one big discombobulated matrix network that will ensure you are salaried so long as you are living. Finally, the talks ended and the marketers asked 20$ upfront before any of us could start journeying down the boulevard to success. At that instant, I connected the MLM with the infamous pyramid schemes. I do not want to add anything else to show you whether MLMs are right or wrong, because I hope that you have been reading in between the lines. MLMs will systematically dwindle…with time and most of my fears about this get-rich-quick scheme will be turned inside out.

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Android or Windows?

The song has always been about Android, iOS, Blackberry, and, recently, Windows, when it comes to phones. Consumers truly have a lot to weigh when it comes to choosing the best OS for their mobile phones. Some, however, and it’s sad to say, just buy whatever is available. Well, you have got to choose what is best for you, at least if you have the money to play around with and make a few decisions that are independent of financial status. You have to consider if the pixels, processing power, RAM, internal space, and supported apps truly serve you or regrets will follow shortly after leaving that shop.

Let us begin by looking at Android. What are the pros and cons? Why should I or shouldn’t I go for Android? Well, it is the most famous OS world over. Even the lowliest paid person on earth can afford a handset that runs on one or the other older versions of Android. Android-based handsets simply suit the wallet. This has led to widespread support and myriad apps for Android phones. Every possible app you can think of is available in Google Play. What’s more, you can purchase movies and music using Android phones from various sources. The level of customization offered by Android, both to hardware manufacturers and end users is high. Not all devices that run on the OS are the same. However, the mere popularity of the devices means that consumers can get accessories and third party apps quite easily. Importantly, the ‘Android experience’ has gotten better with every update release. It is now highly intuitive, good looking, and it has a wide range of variety.

Android’s open source OS comes in various versions: ice cream, froyo, and jelly bean. The system is developed by a huge community of programmers who are devoted to releasing new and friendly applications into Google Play on a daily basis. The code keeps the developers hooked and devoted. Google had over 700,000 apps in 2012, competing closely with Apple, which was also bragging of the same number in its store. At this point, I just have to compare what Windows has managed to accumulate in its store, some 200,000 apps. Only. So in terms of software, Android is leading. However, vulnerabilities are high because of the high number of apps. In fact, some claim that Android is leading the race towards the wrong direction. Critics also suggest that Android stands as the most vulnerable OS to mobile malware. If that is a threat or not, I will you to decide.

By now you already know that Windows has an uphill task before it can beat Android, or even iOS, at least in terms of apps and software sleekness. However, it will not be fair to leave it at that, because the PC tech giant is not doing badly when it comes to hardware, especially considering that Nokia develops its hardware exclusively for Windows, not Android, or iOS. The latest Lumia, 1020, has a quad-core processor, good screen, and quite frankly the best camera that worries Google and Apple. Interestingly, Windows has a big AMOLED screen that is further furnished with Nokia’s Clear-Black technology leaving the phone to stand out above the rest. I think you are now seeing where my phone analysis and opinion poll are leaning. Lumia 1520 is dazzling compared to 1020. The best thing about Lumia, that leaves Android to be runners up is the fact that the phone won’t slow down or require you to keep on clearing the cache and list of previously running apps for it to be fast. In fact, Lumia will not even drain your battery for leaving apps running in the background. Without saying much, Windows, ahem, Lumia is greater than Android, but it needs to do more to woo developers to develop Windows-based apps. Till then, let me keep juggling with my not too fast phone that supports too many apps.

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Investing in the Stock Market

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Many people shun the stock market and assume that investing is a preserve for the rich, famous, and those who don’t have anything to do with their plethora of wealth. That notion is wrong. Everyone can invest, not just those who are well off. Almost everyone can set aside some small cash to invest, close eyes on it, and end up with more money than the original investment. Simply put, frolicking the stock market is not out of reach for anyone, but for those who have weak financial faith that they can grow their money. Investing is relatively simple, and the outcomes are sweet and plentiful. By acquiring shares of listed companies, you will have saved money for essential things such as education, retirement, business – or you could transfer the benefits to your family members so that they become the most cherished investors. Investment basics will assist elevate your…

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Investing in the Stock Market

Many people shun the stock market and assume that investing is a preserve for the rich, famous, and those who don’t have anything to do with their plethora of wealth. That notion is wrong. Everyone can invest, not just those who are well off. Almost everyone can set aside some small cash to invest, close eyes on it, and end up with more money than the original investment. Simply put, frolicking the stock market is not out of reach for anyone, but for those who have weak financial faith that they can grow their money. Investing is relatively simple, and the outcomes are sweet and plentiful. By acquiring shares of listed companies, you will have saved money for essential things such as education, retirement, business – or you could transfer the benefits to your family members so that they become the most cherished investors. Investment basics will assist elevate your financial status, not just as a beginner in the stock market, but also as an ardent investor.

Good financial planning stands as a rule of the thumb for a successful investment.  Investments are long-term, and you should pay yourself before plunging money into the stock market. Make sure that you do not accumulate debts because all the money is in the stocks or some securities. Even if you are into investing, do not deprive yourself of basics, but cut down on unnecessary things and luxuries. Do not buy or pay for anything that you don’t need to have. Some of the biggest and wealthiest investors did not live lavishly at first, but led a frugal life because of their seriousness in investing and accumulating wealth. If you receive direct deposits from your employer, consider channeling a certain amount of every pay directly to your investment account. This will reduce many temptations that may make you squander the money in unnecessary things or excessive expenditures.

Read widely on business issues on a regular basis before you invest. You have to understand the available investment options, and reading financial publications and other related documentation religiously will help a great deal. This will also help you know how to assess financial statements, scrutinize stocks (for valuations, quality, growth potential, financial strength, etc.), as well as how to evade pitfalls and scams related to investments. Some of the most reputable business publications include the East African Business Weekly, the Business Daily, and Investors Business Daily. There are several bloggers and websites out there who also provide credible information concerning the stock market such as Richmanagement.co.ke, Tsavo securities blog, etc. Also review international authoritative websites such as Yahoo! Finance and CNN Money. Warren Buffet is a classic example of success in the investment world – he had read more than one hundred books on investment before he was twenty.Image