Did you know that having the attitude that of “I don’t need a financial advisor until I make gazillion of dollars” will end up probably costing you a lot of money

Posted on July 15, 2008. Filed under: -- Building Wealth, -- Money Help (in simple terms), -- Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |


Yep. Get on it! Not sure where to start? I like Vanguard personally. Good advice, low-cost expenses, and good returns.

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Austin POOLS and places to BE COOL and GET COOL…

Posted on July 13, 2008. Filed under: -- Uncategorized | Tags: , , |


By Molly Greaves

Believe it or not, living in Texas in the summer really isn’t as bad as it might seem. At least here in Central Texas.  Luckily though for us local yocals, there are a lot of AWESOME places to go and relax where you can enjoy the sun and your day. Here are some places to go right near DOWNTOWN, this doesn’t include floating the Guadalupe or Comal Rivers, Schlitterbahn, etc. 

 (Barton Springs)

)Barton Creek Greenbelt)

Auditorium Shores- 950 W. Riverside Drive  

Barton Creek Green Belt- Barton Springs Road

Barton Springs Pool- 2201 Barton Springs Pool

Caswell Tennis Center- 2312 Shoal Creek Blvd

Covert Park at Mount Bonnell- 3800 Mount Bonnell Drive

Deep Eddy Pool- 401 Deep Eddy Ave

Pease Park- 1110 Kingsbury St.

Rowing Dock- 2418 Stratford Dr.

Waterloo Park- 403 E. 15th St

Zilker Park- 2100 Barton Springs Road

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Austin THEATER and VENUE Guide

Posted on July 13, 2008. Filed under: -- Austin Related, -- Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |


by Molly Greaves

Austin is the LIVE music capital of the world, which is GREAT if you want to catch a concert or small live music show, but where is there to go if you want to catch the ballet, theater or a movie?

 

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema- 320 E. 6th St & 1120 S. Lamar Blvd

Austin Lyrci Opera- 901 Barton Springs Rd.

Austin Music Hall- 208 Nueces St. (that’s pronounced NEW-A-SIS, like Oasis)

Austin Symphony Orchestra- 1101 Red River

Ballet Austin Box Office- 501 W. 3rd St.

Butler Dance Education Center and Community School- 501 W. 3rd St

B. Iden Payne Theater- 300 E. 23rd St.

La Zone Rosa- 612 W. 4th St

Dobie Theater-Dobie Mall, UT campus, 2025 Guadalupe

Doughtery Arts Center-110 Barton Springs Rd.

The Hideout Theatre- 617 Congress Ave.

Off Center-2211 Hidalgo St.

Paramount Theater- 713 Congress Ave

Salvage Vanguard Theater- 2803 Manor Rd.

Scottish Rite Children’s Theater- 207 W. 18th St

The Vortex- 2307 Manor Road

Zach Scott Theater- 1510 Toomey Rd.

Zilker Hillside Theater

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Austin City Limits 2008! I Can’t WAIT!! Here’s The 3 Day Line-up

Posted on July 10, 2008. Filed under: -- Austin Related, -- On MY Calendar, -- Uncategorized, -- What MOLLY's Up To | Tags: , , , , , , |


 

By Molly Greaves

One of my friends, of over 20 YEARS now, called me saying she and her boyfriend are coming to see me for ACL this year.  I can’t wait for her to see how Texas Friendly Texas is! Ha.

They’ll be coming down from Vermont, where I grew up, so it should be fun. I live right around the corner from Zilker Park so we should be able to take full advantage of everything, which will make it easier with the heat too. 

Here are some pictures and the schedule…the first picture is Matthew Mcconaughey from Austin. What a hottie.

You can learn more here, but don’t forget to come back to my site afterwards!

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Real Estate Survival Guide–Top 10 List For Buyer’s and Seller’s In Today’s Market

Posted on July 10, 2008. Filed under: -- Real Estate Guide For Today's Market | Tags: , , , , , |


 

survival guide

 

 

 

by Molly Greaves

ARE YOU A HOME BUYER OR SELLER IN TODAY’S REAL ESTATE MARKET?

I thought this was important for you to know. MONEY did a “House Rules” article for those of you that areeither buying or selling in today’s market, since the real estate game has CHANGED. To WIN, you’ve got to learn the new rules. So here they are:

Summary and Points From June 2008 MONEY MAGAZINE

BUYERS

       1.  You cant time the bottom; you can pick a great house.

Face it, the house you buy today will likely be worth less next year. That gets some thinking about the bottom. Resist they say. It’s harder than you think, but this is the best buyers have had in 2 decades, with inventories up and mortgage rates low. Pace yourself, find a great place, and drive a hard bargain. Ignore the asker’s selling price and bid 10% below what comparable homes are selling for.

       2. One reason to buy now: Mortgage Rates.

Homes are plentiful, and will remain so, but financing will be getting more expensive. Yep. True, the Fed slashed interest rates, but FIXED mortgages don’t directly follow the Fed. They reflect the bond’s market expectations about inflation, which remains a concern. The 30-year, now at 6.1% will likely reach mid-6% by December and 7% in 2009.   Today a $250,000 loan would set you back $1,500 a month. At 7%, a $1,500 payment gets you only a $225,000 mortgage.

       3.  Another reason to buy: Rates on Big Mortgages. 

Mortgages in amounts higher than $417,000 usually run a 1/5 of a percentage point above conventional products. But investors are shunning jumbos, which they claim now average 7.2% and are unlikely to drop this year.

       4.  Don’t buy Cheap; buy good schools.

You probably know someone who got a great deal on a foreclosure, but don’t forget, that when you buy a house, you’re also buying into a neighborhood.

They say that foreclosures tend to be bunched in areas where residents and speculators alike took out exotic mortagages to get into homes they subsequently found they couldn’t afford. That’s not a recipe for stability. Prices & quality could both decline further.   They also add to also avoid developments that popped up in the past few years. They too are likely to have a lot of riskly loans and little equity. Instead, go for the areas with the highly rated schools. They generally fare better in downturns, and that pattern is holding today.

       5.  Make sure your agent has your interest at heart.

The real estate game has a built-in conflict of interest since the listing agent and your agent both get paid by the seller. And these days, more sellers are offering cash to buyer’s agents. So, make sure you’re not being steered to a house that’s better for your agent than for you.

SELLERS

 

1.     Get real about price.

Too many sellers set their price based on yesterday’s market. Big mistake. They say to have 3 area brokers prepare what’s called a comparable market analysis. It will list asking and selling prices of similar homes, as well as amenities and sizes. If there is little inventory in your price range, list for what others are asking for.  If there are a lot of homes like yours on the market , then look to generate buzz. Set an asking price 10% below what homes like yours have been selling for. That raises the odds of getting multiple offers. If your market is really frozen and you need to drop the price, make one large cut. No baby steps.

 

2.     Age your agent—especially if it’s you. 

Selling on your own in an unprecendented slowdown means you’ll have to work awfully hard marketing your home. If you aren’t prepared for that, hire a broker. Avoid newbies. You want an agent who has been through good times and bad and who also has a track record that you can verify with clients.

 

3.     Pimp your house, hire a home stager.

To sell today, you’ve got to glam up your home. A stager will help get rid of clutter (especially clutter you don’t see); rearrange furniture to create attractive focal points; repurpose underused rooms, turning, say, that makeshift bedroom in the basement into a rec room, and pick paint and curtains that make room seem spacious. A consultation could run $200. Completing the plan could cost $1,000 or more. It’s worth it. If you live in Austin, I can be your consultant if you’d like. I have experience doing this.

 

4.     Cash will make your home look even better.

Instead of offering a cruise or plasma, offer something that will make your home more affordable, such as paying part of the buyer’s closing costs. In the MLS description of your house that agents can see, let them know you’re offering a $1000 bounty or 4% commission to the one that brings in the purchase. It will mean more knocks on your door.

 

5.     Underwater? Learn to swim!

   About 1/3 of those that bought last year or in 2006 now have negative equity. If a job or family issues compels you to move, your options aren’t that great. But, here are a few. First, you may be able to pursuade your employer to make you whole on the loan. Second, if the rental market in your area is strong, you can become a landlord and wait out the stump. Third, sell for as much as you can and then raid your savings for the difference. Short sales, in which a bank agrees to take less than is owed and release you from your debt, is getting a lot of media these days. A bank will only usually consider one if you’re at risk for foreclosure. Even then, it may say “No, thanks.”

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Austin’s Top FINANCIAL PLANNING FIRMS 2008

Posted on July 10, 2008. Filed under: -- Austin Related, -- Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |


This is just in alphabetical order as per the Austin Business Journal Book of Lists 2008. Typed up for you by Molly Greaves…because I care!!

1. Ames & Weinheimer 372-8118

2. Davila Buschhorn & Associates PC 258-6637

3. InNet Financial Group Inc. 328-7526

4. Kenty Yung Ozias & Associates 744-4800

5. Stabil Capital Management Inc. 963-6883

6. The Austin Retirement Specialist 302-5534

7. Thorton Capital Strategies LLc 891-7526

8.  Weaver Kading & Associates 231-8180

 

And why there aren’t 10? Just 8? That’s what I wonder. The only reason I have right now is because that’s how the Business Journal wanted it… I’m OK with that.

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So You Want To Be An ENTREPRENEUR? Don’t Jump In Unprepared…

Posted on July 8, 2008. Filed under: -- Book Summaries, -- Building Wealth, -- Entrepreneurship And YOU, . More Resources For YOU! | Tags: , , , , |


By  Molly Greaves: Another GREAT resource from The Acton MBA program website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Bubba,” he asks, “how in the world did you make so much money?” 

“It’s easy,” Bubba replies. “I make these widgets for one cent each, sell them for four 

cents each, and I sell about a million of them a day. You know, it’s amazing how 

much money you can make on a three percent markup.”

 

Some people portray business as a complex enterprise, requiring the mastery of 

impressive-sounding jargon, complicated flowcharts, and spreadsheets —  a “secret 

society” limited to Fortune 500 CEOs, highly paid consultants and business  

school professors…

This PDF also teaches you amongst other things…

There are three areas of knowledge that are critical for starting a successful business: 

1   In-depth knowledge of the competitive structure of an industry and a network of 

contacts within that industry; 

2  The skills to run the daily operations of a small, rapidly growing company; and 

3  The ability to raise money. 

As you begin a new career, think of yourself as being on a scavenger hunt with three 

bags labeled “industry knowledge,” “running a business” and “capital.” In each bag 

is a list of the items you (or your partner) will need to improve your odds of be- 

coming a successful entrepreneur. While others spend their time at their next job 

standing by the watercooler or having lunch with friends, you will be busy collect- 

ing the knowledge and relationships you need to launch your business. The more 

items you collect before you launch, the better your chances of success. 

Read the REST OF THE PDF HERE!

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Naïve Networking: How Wasting an Entrepreneur’s Time Can Spoil a First Impression

Posted on July 8, 2008. Filed under: -- Book Summaries, -- Entrepreneurship And YOU, Networking | Tags: , , , , , , , |


Posted by Molly Greaves, and found on http://www.actonmba.org

Naïve Networking:  How Wasting an Entrepreneur’s Time Can Spoil a First Impression 

 

The Call Entrepreneurs Dread 

“Hi, my name is Tom Matthews. Bob Smith suggested we meet. Is there any time in the 

next six weeks we could get together for lunch?” 

“Can we have lunch, just to get to know each other better?”  

You have no idea how much busy entrepreneurs hate to hear these words.  Despite 

knowing that the meeting almost certainly is a waste of time, common courtesy to the 

caller and “Bob Smith” means the entrepreneur has little choice but to squeeze something 

else into his eighty hour work week, meaning that work, family or charitable duties must 

suffer. 

Finally, it’s the day of the meeting. Thankfully, the entrepreneur’s assistant has managed 

to convert the lunch to a short meeting. 

“Nice to meet you.” 

“Nice to meet you.” 

“So how do you know Bob?” 

“We met a few weeks ago, and your name came up.” 

Another ten minutes are wasted on empty pleasantries, like the weather and the latest 

sports scores.  Finally the moment comes. 

“So what can I do to help?” 

“Well, I’m not sure.  I’m just trying to network with as many people as possible.  I’m 

thinking about changing careers.” (Heavy sigh from the entrepreneur.) 

“So what kind of job would interest you?” 

“Well, I’m not sure.  Something that’s really exciting and pays well. I’m really open to 

anything.” (Another heavy sigh.) 

 2 

Then, if you are really unlucky, the guest begins to recount, in agonizing detail, his life 

story.  This takes another fifteen minutes. Time moves slowly. Very slowly. Finally, the 

meeting is over.  Another half hour wasted.   

What’s wrong with this picture? 

So what went wrong?  Is the entrepreneur unsociable? Selfish?  No, not at all. Even the 

most charitable person wants to know – what’s in it for me?  Even if “what’s in it for me” 

is the joy of helping someone else. 

Basically, as an entrepreneur with a family and obligations to my community and church, 

every minute of every day is already taken.  That means there’s an opportunity cost for 

every new task accepted.  If you waste my time because you haven’t thought about your 

own goals, you are telling me that, at best, you are naïve; at worst, self absorbed.  Not 

exactly the best first impression. 

It is a waste of time to use personal interviews to learn about an industry or decide what 

you should do with your life.  A stranger or casual acquaintance doesn’t know you well 

enough to give you personal career advice and general career advice isn’t very valuable.  

If you want to learn more about an industry, it’s more efficient and effective to read about 

the industry first and then interview front line workers—not bother a CEO with general 

questions. 

Save interviews and interactions with busy entrepreneurs until you know exactly what 

you need.  Someone who can help you naturally becomes your mentor, so make it as easy 

as possible for them to help by having a specific request. 

But, But, But…… 

“But don’t entrepreneurs want to make new friends?”  Sure, but at their own choosing, 

not as a social obligation because it’s rude to refuse to see you.  Sometimes random 

meetings do lead to long lasting friendships, but the odds are against it. 

“But I just need someone to listen to me.” Sorry, that’s not an entrepreneur’s 

responsibility.  That’s the job of a spouse, friend or counselor. 

“But I need to learn more about your industry.”  Fine. Read a book. I’ll even send you a 

list of books by e-mail. Surf the internet. Talk to salespeople and operators.  I can’t tell 

you enough about my industry in thirty minutes to do you much good.  You need to do 

hours and hours of reading to even scratch the surface. 

“But I’d like to meet influential people.” So would I.  That doesn’t mean they want to 

meet me. 

“But I’m really talented and wonderful.”  I’m sure you are. Now do something to prove 

it.  Like doing your homework before you burden busy people with meaningless 

interviews.  

 

 It’s Not about You 

“Can you introduce me to Michael Dell? I’d like to ask him some questions about the 

computer industry.” 

Amazingly enough, just last year an incoming student made this request.  He never 

stopped to ask whether Michael Dell would have any interest in meeting him. Or what 

Michael would have to push aside to make time for such a meeting.  He never stopped to 

consider how much personal capital it would take me to set up such a meeting or what the 

cost would be to me if he wasted Michael’s time. 

The first rule of “networking”—by the way, I hate that word – is that you must put 

yourself in the shoes of the other person.  Why would they want to meet you?  How can 

they help with the least possible expenditure of time or effort?  How can you make such 

an encounter enjoyable for the other person? 

If you cannot recast your idea of networking: “Here’s what I need;” into one of humble 

service:  “I’ve got something to give to the world, and with just a little help from you I 

can make my dream a reality;” you shouldn’t expect to get far.  Bottom line: You cannot 

expect the world to revolve around you and what you need. 

Some Suggestions 

The suggestions below will help you get the most out of personal interviews: 

1. Do your personal soul searching and industry homework first

Take a personal inventory.  Take aptitude tests.  Ask those who know you well what 

you do better than most.  Do whatever it takes to narrow your search to a few 

industries.  Read about these industries and the leading companies and people. 

Personal interviews with teachers, entrepreneurs and executives should not be used to 

narrow your search or learn about jobs or industries.  A stranger or casual acquaintance 

doesn’t know you well enough to map out your career. This is a very inefficient use of 

a busy person’s time. 

2. Be specific about what you need. Make sure the other person understands how a 

little effort on their part can make a big difference in your life. 

READ THE REST of the PDF here!  

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Grow Your Business on the Web—This Should Be A Good Class

Posted on July 7, 2008. Filed under: -- On MY Calendar | Tags: , , , |


by Molly Greaves

I met the folks “throwing” this event, and thought I should sign up. Bet I’ll learn something worth my 30 bucks…

 

Grow Your Business on the Web
Purpose: How to use your website as a marketing tool by combining marketing concepts with web technologies,platforms and methods such as search engine optimization, search engine marketing, blogging for business, social networks and other web sites This beginning course is directed at new and existing small businesses who want to learn more about status of web technology
Time: 11:30 AM – 1:30  PM
Location: 5800 N MoPac (Compass Bank)
Fee: $30 per person
For Information: 512-928-2425   
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So, Your Debt Is All on Credit Cards?

Posted on July 7, 2008. Filed under: -- Building Wealth, -- Credit Cards and YOU | Tags: , , , , , , |


by Molly Greaves

Say you have 6 credit cards that all have large balances on them. What you want to do is pay the MINIMUM on all 6, and then you pay extra on the card with the highest interest rate. 

Stop adding purchases to your credit card, and you’ll be out of debt before you know it, you’ll be debt free, and hopefully livin’ large.

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