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Monday, April 30, 2012

Now Iron your Clothes with SteamRail

Research shows that we spend 160 hours a year pressing our clothes which would round up to around a year and a half over a lifetime. Ironing and creasing is a crisis that will send the most accomplished domestic woman in a tizzy. Will I ever spend a day without wasting a few hours in the laundry room? It is a question that bewilders every woman – homemaker as well as a professional. Considered to be the most dreary of all household chores, pressing comes only in third in line after cleaning the bathrooms and de-greasing the oven. It’s a pity that despite the gadget invasion in our lives, the iron is perhaps the only electronic product that has been clearly neglected by technology. Washing machines and dryers have clearly revolutionised the way we do our laundry but ironing continues to be as archaic.
Now, the question is if we want to while away the hours doing something as mundane as pressing or should we instead use that time to spend with our family and loved ones or just settle inside our cosy blankets with a book and some steaming hot coffee. The workers at Displaysense suggest that we do the latter. Their recently launched product will assist us in doing so. A British Company, Displaysense specializes in supplying mannequins and other related store accessories to plush Malls and stores all across England. Their recent creation is not a fancy store accessory that will lure you to the shop but a steam cabinet that will give you the much needed respite from all the pressing and creasing. Known as the SteamRail, it is a product “that is the first of its kind”, says Jim Moody, the Company’s spokesperson. An unconventional product, SteamRail is actually a steam cabinet that will crease 35 clothes and that too without an iron. Confused? Read on to know how!

The SteamRail and How it Works?

The SteamRail comes with a standing steam module, a tube and a cabinet. It is required of you to fill the steam module with the water. The water is converted into steam and is pumped into the cabinet through the tube. The decreased and wrinkled clothes which are hanging in your cabinet will get an adequate amount of heat and moisture. The process gets done in a jiffy, 9 minutes to be more appropriate, and what you have are smart creased clothes ready to be placed in your wardrobe. If you’re late for work just hang in there and let the SteamRail do all the steaming and ironing. Within seconds your will have fresh well pressed clothes that are ready to wear.
SteamRail Now Iron your Clothes with SteamRail
The SteamRail does come with a lot of baggage (module, tube, cabinet) but the fact that it can be folded and put under the bed and conveniently stored anywhere in the house makes it a very easy to use product cost.  While there are many ironing products that cost as high as £280, the SteamRail comes with a price tag of only £234. Very reasonable if compared to the other similar products available in the market.
The makers have sure spent a long time in developing this very unique product. Make sure that a SteamRail soon occupies a corner in your house so that you spend more time in other leisure activities than whining away in the laundry room.
June 7th, 2009

Modern camping tents and creative tent designs from all over the world.

Decathlon 2 Second Tent

It only takes 2 seconds to setup this tent. How? Just remove the plastic strap and throw it in the air. [link]

Car Tent

Unusual car tent designed to look like a car cover, so you can go camping in the city without being disturbed. [link]

Nyamuk Tent

Compact sleeping bag that transforms from full camping tent into hammock complete with mosquito net. [link]

Emergency Tent

Patrick Wharram’s Lightweight Emergency Shelter is a mini building that is easy to transport and can be erected almost immediately. [link]


Exciting new product that combines the timeless appeal of a tree house with the practicalities of an all weather tent, as well as the excitement of Aerial suspension to create a whole world of possibilities. [link]

Piilo Indoor Tent

Designed by Markus Michalsky “for the interior as a private secret retreat,” having this creative tent in your home will surely get some conversations started. [link]

Star Gazer Tent

The Star Gazer tent features unique skylines in the sleeping area to give you that feeling of sleeping under the stars but with the added protection of the tent. [link]

Dress Tents

Created by Robin Lasser and Adrienne Pao, the Dress Tent art project consists of wearable architecture and large-scale color photographs that merge the dress tent sculpture with its companion landscape constructing a fashion of place. [link]

Respite Tent

Respite is a shelter made for people on the move. It’s red nylon shell transforms into a hammock when you need to relax after a long day’s hike, and easily turns back into a tent when you need the rest. [link]


Dutch designer Dré Wapenaar has earned international fame for making the world’s coolest architectural tents. Nestled among the branches, up off the ground, there’s a nine-foot-diameter hardwood floor and groovy round mattress inside. [link]


Engineering Jobs!

Careers in engineering are popular due to the prestige, postive job outlook, and higher than average salary associated with this field.

If you're innovative and like a challenge, then engineering may just be the right career field for you. And when it comes to engineering, there are enough specialties to choose from that you are sure to find a fit.

Choose from over 25 official engineering specialties like; chemical engineering, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering.

In order to work as an engineer, there's no doubt you'll need to gain the proper education and training. A bachelor's degree is desirable, but it is possible to gain employment with an associate's degree or even a certification. That means you can start out without spending too much time in school and work your way into better positions. If you choose this route over the traditional bachelor's degree then it's possible to accumulate several years worth of experience early on.

Engineering Facts and Stats:

Engineering Careers: Engineers work alone or as a team planning solutions to problems. Computers are frequently utilized to aid in the planning process. The articles below will provide you with details on engineering employment options.

What is Engineering?

Engineering Specialties

Engineering Education and Training: Learn what it takes to become an engineer. Find out what the education requirements are and advanced licensing procedures.

Education Requirements for Engineers

Aeronautical Engineering Schools

Architectural Engineering Degree Online

Biomedical Engineering Degree Online

Civil Engineering Schools

Computer Engineering Degree Online

Engineering PhD Programs

Environmental Engineering Degree Online

Online Electrical Engineering Degree

Online Engineering Degree Programs


Why Become a Licensed Engineer?

How to Get Your Engineering License

Who is in Charge of Licensing Engineers?

The In’s and Out’s of the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam

What is the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam?

Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam

What Counts as Acceptable Engineering Experience for the PE Exam?

Engineering Salaries: Engineers earn considerably more than the average profession. The starting salary for an engineer is $40,000 and only increases from there.

>>>More Average Engineer Salary information

Featured Engineering Careers: The field of engineering has a wide range of career specialties, many of which require their own degree. Learn about a few of the top engineering career types in the articles below.

Aerospace Engineering Career

Architectural Engineering Career

Biomedical Engineering Career

Chemical Engineering Careers

Civil Engineering Career

Computer Engineering Career

Electrical Engineering Careers

Environmental Engineering Career

Forensic Engineering Career

Materials Science Engineering

Structural Engineering Career


Financial Planner Starting Salary

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If you're considering a career as a financial planner, you've made a good choice – this is projected to be one of the fastest growing careers over the next ten years, with an astonishing 37% predicted increase from the current employment levels. The highest level of growth in this field is expected to be in the market for personal financial advisors, due to the increasing number of baby boomers who will be entering their retirement years throughout the next decade.

Financial Planner Earnings

If you decide this is the career for you, you've still got time to pursue a bachelor's or master's degree in the field and still catch the growth in your industry’s sector.
While this growth is something good to consider, it’s not a guarantee that you'll get a job.

Because of the highly competitive nature of the field, new applicants will still need to have outstanding grades and a high level of understanding in the financial sector and the transactions they'll be handling. To gain experience in the field, many college students take on unpaid internships for a summer or two while they're earning their degrees.

However, this experience can be considered an investment in your future – since financial planners are generally well-paid, you should be able to make up for any debt you incur in the process.

In 2006, the average income of financial planners was $66,000/year. Of course, there are some earning differences depending on whether you become an analyst or a personal planner. However, for the most part, their salaries tend to be very closely aligned. The median salary range for financial analysts was $50,000/year to $90,000/year, with the bottom 10% earning $40,000/year or less while the 10% earned more than $130,000/year. Many analysts get bonuses depending on how well their recommendations and stock picks work out, meaning that the top analysts can make out very well indeed.

For personal financial advisors, the median salary range was between  $44,000/year and $114,000/year. The bottom 10% of planners made less than $32,000/year, while the top 10% earned more than $145,000/year. As you can see, there's a much wider discrepancy between the earnings of personal financial advisors and analysts. While this may sound like a bad thing, it actually makes sense in that you have the potential to earn more working as an advisor than as an analyst, since you'll likely earn commissions on the products you sell in addition to your salary.

The amount of money you'll make working as a financial planner is influenced by a number of other factors as well. Planners and analysts working in rural areas will earn less on average than those based in larger cities. If you make a name for yourself in a major financial center, like New York City or Los Angeles, you may find yourself managing multi-million dollar portfolios for individuals and businesses, reaping the rewards of the sizeable commissions that come with these accounts. You'll also find that your income is tied to your ability to attract and retain new clients, so it's important to work to improve your sales and marketing skills throughout your career.


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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Financial Planners

A financial planner typically prepares financial plans for his or her clients. The kinds of services financial planners offer can vary widely. Some financial planners assess every aspect of your financial life—including saving, investments, insurance, taxes, retirement, and estate planning—and help you develop a detailed strategy or financial plan for meeting all your financial goals. Other professionals call themselves financial planners, but they may only be able to recommend that you invest in a narrow range of products and sometimes products that aren't securities.

When hiring a financial planner, you should know exactly what services you need, what services the planner can deliver, and any limitations on what he or she can recommend. In addition, you should understand what services you're paying for, how much those services cost, and how the planner gets paid. Financial planners charge for their services in different ways: some charge either a fixed fee or an hourly fee for the time it takes to develop a financial plan, but don’t sell investment products; some are paid by commissions on the products they sell; and others use a combination of fees and commissions.

Financial planners may come from many different educational and professional backgrounds. If you’re considering using a financial planner, be sure to ask about their background. If they have a credential, ask them what it means and what they had to do to earn it.

Some financial planners have credentials like CFP® certification or CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst). Find out what organization issued the credential, and then contact the organization to verify whether the professional you're considering did, in fact, earn the credential and whether the professional remains in good standing with the organization. For a helpful list of various financial industry credentials (including the name of the issuing organization and any education or experience required to attain the credential), please read FINRA's Understanding Investment Professional Designations.

If the professional you're considering claims to be a CFP® certificant, visit the website of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. The Board is an independent regulatory organization that licenses financial planners as CFP® professionals. Check to see if the professional is certified as a CFP® professional and whether his or her certification has been suspended or revoked by the Board. You can also call the Board at (800) 487-1497 to obtain additional disciplinary information about the professional.

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards also has brochures – What You Should Know About Financial Planning and Questions to Ask When Choosing a Financial Planner – that will help you identify a financial planner who’s right for you.

Financial planners who give investment advise to their clients must register with the SEC or the appropriate state securities regulator. For more information about investment advisers, read our publication entitled Investment Advisers: What You Need to Know Before Choosing One.

Financial Planner Salary Expectations

Financial planning is a career opportunity that often attracts individuals who enjoy dealing with money and finances, who enjoy strategizing and planning for the future, and who enjoy working with others on a personal and long-term basis. Before embarking on a career in this field, a financial planner salary as well as the duties, requirements, and outlook for the industry should be explored in detail.

Job Duties
Financial planner jobs do vary slightly from company to company and from position to position. However, duties of a typical professional working in a financial planner career may include:
Assisting individuals in developing a plan for retirement Educating and developing a plan for individual estate planning Helping individuals meet their income and asset goals for the future through investment planning Educating individuals on personal budgeting and cash flow management strategies
Assisting small business owners in developing a plan for business succession
Some professionals will simply offer a plan for individuals to follow on their own while other professionals will work with individuals on an on-going basis to monitor progress and make revisions to a financial plan as needed. This is often left up to the discretion of the individual.
Want to know how much a Certified Financial Planner makes? Click here to get started!

Financial Planner Salary

Financial planner multitasking

A financial advisor salary or a financial planning salary is based on a number of factors. In some cases, income is derived purely from salary, but in many cases, the income of a financial planning professional will be derived in part from commission or some other type of performance-based compensation. Some professionals’ income is completed based on commission. Further, the income potential of a professional is determined not just by their on-the-job performance and their ability to earn new clients through their sales skills and financial planning skills. Other factors such as the geographic location of the individual, if a professional holds a special industry certification, and years of experience in the field also can affect income. A non-certified professional working in this field averages around $66,000 per year, and the salary range spans from $29,000 to about $101,000. This is among the most attractive finance salaries for non-certified professionals in the industry.
Check out our other resources to find out what can affect your financial planner career and future success in financial planning.

How to Become a Financial Planner
The terms financial planner and financial advisor are closely associated, and in some cases are used interchangeably. Often, an advisor denotes a professional who enjoy a more on-going or long-term relationship with clients, but this is not always the case. There are generally not education requirements in place to work in this profession, and there are not industry regulations enforcing minimum education requirements for professionals offering financial advice and guidance. However, this is generally a performance-based profession, and so the most successful professionals in this field, and those who consequently earn a higher financial planner salary, are those who do have the knowledge and expertise to provide clients with sound financial planning advice. So it is advisable to obtain a degree in a field such as finance, economics, accounting, or a related field. Certification in financial planning is also helpful in promoting higher income.

Career Advancement Through Certification
The ability to earn a living as a financial planner is often dependent on a professional’s ability to attract new clients and to retain those who they have already established a relationship with. Often, this is more easily accomplished by obtaining the status of a Certified Financial Planner. This certification requires a professional to demonstrate industry knowledge by fulfilling education requirements, passing a stringent exam, meeting work experience requirements, and passing a background check. Those who meet these requirements can become a Certified Financial Planner, and this distinction allows a professionally to more easily demonstrate a level of experience and knowledge in the field to new clients. The requirements in place also provide certified professionals with the ability to better advise clients. The CFP salary on average is about $71,000, and so there is a financial benefit to earning the certification. Professionals should keep in mind that some employers require this certification for consideration for certain job opportunities. Further, those with the certification may enjoy the opportunity to mentor and coach those desiring to obtain the certification in the future.

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Related Careers
Before making the decision to pursue this job option and earn a financial planner salary, other related financial career options can be considered as well. Some of these other career options include those as a wealth manager, a wealth advisor, an investment advisor, a real estate investment advisor, a sales associate for financial planning products, a tax planning advisor, and more. Many of these related careers are those that providing financial planning services in a unique niche, whereas financial planners may offer focused or more well-rounded advice.

Financial Planner Salary Outlook
The desire to help others plan for their financial future in various ways can be achieved by working as a financial planner and earning a financial planner salary. This is a job that is often very rewarding monetarily and emotionally as well. It also offers room for advancement through the certification process. Professionals working in this field provide financial planning strategies that range from tax and estate planning to retirement and investment planning. These are financial areas that are constantly changing due to economic changes, legislative changes, and more, and so advice and guidance is in high demand. Further, with the growing population, demand for financial planning professionals is expected to grow over the next decade.

Certified Financial Planner Salary Outlook

Many individuals who have the desire to help others meet their financial goals and dreams on both a short-term and long-term basis choose a career as a financial advisor or planner. The requirements to enter a financial planner career are minimal, and many people will make the decision to take their financial planning career to the next level through a certification process. Before beginning the process of becoming certified, however, a closer look at the Certified Financial Planner salary is in order.

General Education Requirements for Financial Planner Jobs
It is important to note that financial planning in general is not a heavily monitored field. This is a job where a professional offers advise on retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning, and more. Often, a degree in a related field such as economics, accounting, financing, or other related field is recommended. Some employers may require a degree in these fields, but there are not steadfast requirements to work in the field and provide individuals with financial advice. However, many individuals will not trust just anyone for financial advice and guidance, and so taking the extra step to pursue a Certified Financial Planner status is often beneficial. Keep in mind that many of the jobs available to financial planners are commission or performance based, and so the ability to attract and retain clients through experience and expertise is critical.

The Benefits of Becoming Certified
For those interested in pursuing a financial planner career, getting certified as a CFP does have some significant benefits. The benefits of earning your certification include:
  • Attracting Clients. As a Certified Financial Planner, professionals have a designation in place that immediately tells potential clients that they have experience and expertise as a financial planner. This helps professionals to sell their skills to potential clients and attract more business.
  • Greater Job Opportunities. While in general there are not industry requirements in place for becoming a financial planner, some companies do require the CFP designation. So by earning this designation, more doors in the field may be opened.
  • Higher Income Potential. The Certified Financial Planner salary in general is higher than professionals who do not have a certification. This is due in part to the ability to command a higher rate for services due to showcasing experience and expertise. It is also due to the ability to attract more clients as well as more affluent clients.
  • CFP Coach. As a Certified Financial Planner, professionals with experience have the ability to take their career to a new level and becoming a certification coach themselves. This provides additional income opportunities as well as the opportunity to gain fulfillment through educating others.
How Certified Salaries Stack Up
The typical salary range of non-certified professionals spans from about $29,000 to about $101,000. The higher end of this spectrum generally reflects income from professionals with many years of experience or who work in a unique niche in the industry. The typical CFP salary ranges from about $36,000 to about $107,000. There is variation in this range due to years of experience, geographic location, and if specialization in a specific niche of the financial planning industry is pursued. The average income of a Certified Financial Planner is about $71,000, as compared to an average income of $66,000.

Steps to Earn A Certified Financial Planner Salary
For financial planning professionals who have decided to take their career to the next level, the process of becoming certified by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards is required. There are several steps that will need to be followed in order to obtain a certification, and these include:
Meeting Education Requirements. Education requirements may be fulfilled by enrolling in an approved program at any one of hundreds of colleges and universities across the country. Those with degrees in finance, accounting, or related areas may challenge the education requirements for a waiver. Those without a degree in another field may apply for a transcript review.
Complete the Capstone Course. Regardless of how the education requirements are met, all CFP candidates are now required to complete a Capstone Course prior to certification.
Pass the CFP Exam. After fulfilling education requirements and passing the Capstone Course, candidates must then sit for the CFP Exam. This exam is offered only three times per year, and takes about ten hours to complete.
Real-Life Work Experience. CFP candidates must also prove at least three years of real-life, industry-related work experience.
Pass a Background Check. Successful CFP candidates will also be required to authorize and pass a background check. This background check includes a review of job-related law suits that have been resolved or that are still pending, and it is designed to ensure only those of high ethical character obtain the CFP designation
Once the above requirements been met and the certification fee has been paid, a professional is granted the certification status.

Certified Financial Planner Salary Outlook
Financial planning is a growing field. Changes in tax codes, retirement planning strategies and laws, investment laws and opportunities, and more cause many individual to seek out assistance and guidance with planning for their financial future. The CFP designation not only allows a professional to earn a higher Certified Financial Planner salary, but also to demonstrate professional, experience, and expertise in the field.
'>>> Financial-Planner-jobs-in-Singapore


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

More than watch free online moives (3)

  • Who'd be want to watch free moive for online?
  • Next one found news Chinese and English Websites by Korea, Japan, Hongkong, Chinese,Thai and English videos ans movies'd new,old and show now.
  • Ah! Do you need better than internet connection? I'd be no good connection because wifi 7.2mp(download speed 0.6 - 1.9mp) would  be connection down.
  • Normal connection line a little bit 30mp,100mp and better than watch as fiber 100mp line.
  • If available for ipad.
  • ke! Must be watch for more than Videos and Movies.
  • oh!good or no bad,Must be watch for need advisory “he he”

Do u want link:

Suu Kyi Meets Clinton, Sees Start of ‘New Future’ in Myanmar

Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said she saw the start of a “new future” in the country, a day after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the nation’s leaders the U.S. is open to lifting sanctions if they grant more political freedoms and promote internal peace.

Suu Kyi, who spoke alongside Clinton after they met at her Yangon residence, said she was “so happy” Clinton had “very good” meetings with leaders in Myanmar’s capital yesterday. Clinton said she was encouraged by the political opening in the country, though much work still needed to be done to improve the rule of law.

Clinton Meets Suu Kyi

“This will be the beginning of a new future for all of us provided we can maintain it,” Suu Kyi said before embracing Clinton on the veranda of the lakeside home where she spent 15 years under house arrest. “Because of this engagement, our way ahead will be clearer and we will be able to trust that the process of democratization will move forward.”
Clinton is the highest ranking American official in half a century to visit Myanmar, also known as Burma, which has been run by generals since 1962 until an election last year. A political detente would allow U.S. and European companies greater access to a market of 62 million people who have relied on neighbors China, India and Thailand to expand one of Asia’s smallest economies.
‘Good, Friendly’
Clinton said the U.S. will provide assistance to groups providing microcredit, health care, English-language training and help for land mine victims. The programs will cost the U.S. $1.2 million, according to an administration official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.
“History teaches us to be cautious,” Clinton told reporters. “We know that there have been serious setbacks and grave disappointments over the last decades and we want to see a sustained reform effort that produces real results.”
Suu Kyi called for international agencies to help improve health and education in Myanmar, one of Asia’s poorest countries. She also said her country aims to maintain “good, friendly” relations with China.
“If we go forward together I’m confident that there will be no turning back from the road towards democracy,” Suu Kyi said. “We are not on that road yet but we hope to get there as soon as possible with the help and understanding of our friends.”
Suu Kyi House
Clinton and Suu Kyi strolled through a yard in front of her two-story house, where dozens of local and foreign journalists had gathered. A barbed wire fence ran along the lake, erected after an American man swam to her home in 2009, a move that prompted the generals to add a year onto Suu Kyi’s house arrest.
Clinton told President Thein Sein yesterday the U.S. would loosen restrictions on engagement by the World Bank and United Nations after he released political prisoners and engaged Suu Kyi in dialogue, she told reporters yesterday. More measures would follow, including an upgrade in diplomatic relations, if Myanmar takes additional steps to ease political repression and demonstrates reforms will last, she said.
“We will certainly consider the easing and elimination of sanctions as we go forward in this process together,” Clinton told reporters yesterday in Naypyidaw after meeting Thein Sein. “We know more needs to be done, however, and we think that we have to wait to make sure that this commitment is real.”
Clinton is visiting with ethnic minorities and civil society groups before departing later today.
‘Cripple’ Reform
“This is a potentially game-changing visit, but there is no way that the U.S. can even begin to compete with China while keeping incredibly tough sanctions in place,” said Thant Myint- U, a former UN official who has written two books on Myanmar. “Sanctions not only block U.S. companies from doing business in Myanmar, but also cripple any moves toward serious economic reform.”
After meeting Thein Sein and other senior Myanmar officials yesterday, Clinton flew to the former capital, Yangon, and toured the Shwedagon Pagoda, the nation’s holiest Buddhist shrine and the site of a crackdown on protests by monks in 2007.
Locals, tourists and monks strained against a line of security guards to take Clinton’s picture as she walked through the temple, stopping to sign a guest book, ring a bell three times and pour water over the head of a Buddha statue. Clinton smiled and waved to the crowd, which applauded as she and State Department officials walked barefoot through the temple grounds.
Supporting Reforms
Clinton later hosted Suu Kyi for dinner at the residence of the U.S. charge d’affaires. The Nobel laureate said Clinton should support reformers in Myanmar’s government and encourage officials who are sitting on the fence to join them in fighting hardliners opposed to more political freedom, according to a U.S. official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.
Suu Kyi, 66, will run in an election for the first time after her party voted to rejoin the political process on Nov. 18. Last month, she said Thein Sein was “very genuine in his desire for the process of democratization.”
Suu Kyi said she attributed the political shift to internal resistance, international pressure and Myanmar’s 2014 chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
‘Need for Change’
“Some people in government now, who used to be very high officers in the military, also began to see the need for change,” Suu Kyi said in a video chat with the Council on Foreign Relations on Nov. 30. “I think they began to see Burma couldn’t go on this way, they would have to change and I do believe there are people in the government and in the military who want to do what is best for the people.”
Thein Sein told Clinton his government would release more political prisoners, sever military ties with North Korea and seek new ways to ease violence with ethnic groups seeking more autonomy, the U.S. official said. The president told Clinton that China remained a critical partner and he hoped sanctions would be lifted so Myanmar can obtain more investment, aid money and training, the official said.
U.S. sanctions against Myanmar have been tightening since 1988, when then-President Ronald Reagan suspended aid and banned arms sales after soldiers killed about 3,000 student protesters, according to an estimate by Human Rights Watch. A series of congressional acts and presidential orders since then have banned imports, restricted money transfers, curbed aid money, frozen assets, prevented engagement from agencies like the World Bank and targeted jewelry with gemstones originating in Myanmar.
Amnesty International said Myanmar has released at least 318 political prisoners this year and that more than 1,000 remain imprisoned. In Kachin state in northern Myanmar, soldiers have looted food from homes, fired indiscriminately into villages, and forced civilians to serve as porters and human minesweepers, according to Physicians for Human Rights, a U.S.- based group of health professionals.
Myanmar’s citizens earn an estimated $2.20 per day on average, about seven times less than the per capita income in neighboring Thailand, according to International Monetary Fund statistics. The country was ranked third-worst in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index released this week, with only North Korea and Somalia seen as more corrupt.
Boycott threats prompted companies such as PepsiCo Inc., Levi Strauss & Co. and Apple Inc. to pull out even before then- President Bill Clinton banned new investments in 1997. China, India and Thailand have accounted for most of the investment into Myanmar, pouring more than $25 billion into ports, power plants and pipelines to capitalize on the country’s natural resources and strategic location on the Indian Ocean.
“This year, I’ve seen more foreigners than any other,” said Aung Than Oo, 47, who has been a taxi driver on Yangon’s tree-lined boulevards for 21 years. “We like this government because it’s given us a little bit of democracy. Things are slowly changing.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Ten Kate in Bangkok at dtenkate@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net

-Ref:Bloomberg- Posted using BlogPress from my 4GiPhone

Uneven road to doing business in Burma

Foreign businesses face formidable challenges in making sure their investments in Burma are not only profitable but also based on internationally accepted principles
MDG : Burma : A vendor talks on phone in her shop in Dala, Yangon, Myanmar
A vendor talks on the phone in her shop in Rangoon, Burma. Photograph: AP
Businesses are interested in Burma because the country is rich in natural resources and has a vast pool of young people eager to work and to consume. They have been restrained because Europe and the US have imposed sanctions on the country ever since the military regime refused to recognise the opposition's victory in the 1990 elections.
But times have changed. The president, Thein Sein, has introduced political and economic reforms, the Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi led theNational League for Democracy (NLD) to victory in parliamentary elections on 1 April, and last week David Cameron called for a suspension of sanctions. Given the current mood, the question is no longer whether business should invest in Burma – sanctions will eventually get lifted – but how?
With my colleagues, I spent a week recently in Rangoon to understand and explore how new investment in Burma can be consistent with internationalhuman rights standards. Reflecting on conversations with business leaders, diplomats, academics, human rights activists, journalists and development workers, it is clear the road ahead will be uneven. The challenges investors face in making sure their investments are not only profitable but also based on internationally accepted principles are going to be formidable.
The NLD's response to future investment plans will be crucial. Many potential investors say they have stayed away from investing because the NLD backed sanctions. The party says it welcomes "responsible investment". In her book Letters from Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi – who is due to visit Britain and Norway in June – wrote that the best investment is one in the future of democracy. Stressing how human rights issues are intertwined with business decisions, she wrote: "If businessmen do not care about the number of political prisoners in our country, they should at least be concerned that the lack of an effective legal framework means there is no guarantee of fair business practice, or in cases of injustice, reparation."
Burma has a staggering array of problems. Human rights activists mention fertile land being grabbed from farmers for commercial purposes. Workershave challenged management at a few plants, but their rights remain under threat. Major concerns remain over the use of forced labour in some parts of the country. Investors know too little about their likely local business partners or their antecedents.
Besides, there is competition. Think of Burma as a crowded cafeteria with eager waiters and chefs busy cooking. The restaurant is loud and messy, with some patrons eating with chopsticks, some with their fingers. The waiters don't wear the same uniform, they aren't unionised, and nobody knows the hours they or the chefs are expected to keep. It isn't known if the women get the same wages as men. The food is not organically grown, and much of it is imported and expensive. There are inexplicable surcharges.
In this metaphorical restaurant, there are a few seats at the back, where tables with white tablecloths are laid out with knives, forks and napkins, with overpriced wine on the menu. There are no patrons there yet, but it doesn't matter to the owners, because other patrons have kept the kitchen busy. Those patrons are companies from China, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, with interests in oil, gas, shipping, light manufacturing and other resource-based industries. Burma is reminiscent of India and China in the 1970s: its bureaucrats regulate and control the economy as in India, just as they control China's politics, then as now.
The starting point for investors should be the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, adopted unanimously in 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council. The principles stress states' obligation to protect human rights as well as the corporate responsibility to respect rights, and the need for remedies where governance gaps exist.
Some key issues in Burma include access to land, workers' rights, the role of security forces, the quality of partners, the business environment, and the impact on communities. In practical terms, it means that when companies want to access land – as owners, leaseholders, or tenants – their human rights due diligence should include securing the free, prior informed consent of the affected people.
This isn't easy in a country where arbitrariness is the norm and where marginalised communities have been voiceless. Similarly, it means that in making hiring decisions, companies should recruit workers without discrimination and recognise their right to associate freely and bargain collectively. It means ensuring that investors do not partner business groups with an unsavoury record.
Much will depend on how Burma's government acts to avoid the resource curse that many countries with abundant natural resources have faced in the past. But foreign investors – potential and existing – will have to act in an accountable and transparent manner. Burma offers the opportunity to put human rights at the heart of investment and development decisions. The country's long-suffering people deserve no less.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

USAA and State Farm Are Top Insurers in CX Ratings

March 1, 2012

This post examines the 14 insurers included in the 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings.
USAA was the top rated insurance carrier followed closely by State Farm, which are the only two insurers to receive “good” customer experience ratings. Seven insurers received “okay” ratings while five carriers at the bottom of the list­­—Travelers, 21st Century, MetLife, American Family, and Liberty Mutual —received “poor” ratings.
The overall insurance industry is in the middle of the pack for customer experience; its average rating places it eighth out of 18 industries. Temkin Group also analyzed the changes between 2011 and 2012 and found that insurers made the largest improvements, earning more than a five percentage-point gain since last year. Two insurers—Famers and Allstate—made double-digit gains and eight others made at least some improvement since 2011. Only two carriers—American Family and Travelers—experienced sizeable year-over-year declines.

2012 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings!

Temkin Group has just released the 2012
Every company makes mistakes now and then, but how willing are customers to forgive the company when it happens? Forgiveness is a valuable asset that companies earn by consistently meeting customers’ needs.
We introduced the Temkin Forgiveness Ratings last year to gauge which companies are earning this important element of loyalty. The 2012 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings include 206 companies from 18 industries and is based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.
Congratulations to the top firms in this year’s ratings: USAA, Hyatt, credit unions, H.E.B., Hy-Vee, Dollar Rent A Car, Chick-fil-A, Publix, Costco, and Amazon.com. Of course, not every company enjoys such a high degree of forgiveness from their customers, especially the companies at the bottom of the 2012 ratings: Citigroup, Charter Communications, HSBC, Chrysler dealers, EarthLink, Bank of America, Comcast, Quest, and US Airways.

We also examined industry averages and found that grocery chains have earned the most forgiveness from consumers followed by retailers, appliance makers, and parcel delivery services. But consumers are not very likely to forgive mistakes by credit card issuers, Internet service providers, and TV service providers.

We examined how individual companies are rated relative to their industry peers. USAA holds the top two spots, outpacing its credit card and banking peers by more than 30 percentage points. USAA also outpaces the insurance industry by more than 20 percentage points. Credit unions, Hyatt, US Cellular, Dollar Rent A Car, Chick-fil-A, and Bright House Networks are also more than 15 percentage points above their industry averages. Five companies fall 15 or more percentage points below their industry’s average Temkin Forgiveness Ratings: Chrysler dealers, Citigroup, Travelers, Charter Communications, and RadioShack.
We also analyzed changes from the 2011 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings. The research shows that consumers are more forgiving this year than they were last year. Led by banks and insurance carriers, all 12 industries that were in both the 2011 and 2012 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings showed improvement.

Sixty-eight of the 139 companies that were in the 2011 and 2012 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings earned double-digit improvements and four companies improved by more than 25 percentage points: TD Ameritrade, Lenovo, USAA, and credit unions. Ten companies lost ground over the last year with the biggest drops coming for Citigroup, Continental Airlines, Travelers, Sears, Holiday Inn Express, and The Hartford.

Hong Kong realestate (1)

  Photo by Kenny Lok
Hong Kong is World's Top Financial Centre 
It is the first Asian city to be No.1 - pipping US, UK and Singapore
Hong Kong has claimed pole position in a ranking of the world's financial systems this year, beating the United States, the United Kingdom, and close competitor Singapore with the help of strong initial public offering (IPO) and insurance activity.
It is the first Asian financial centre to top the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Financial Development Index, leapfrogging traditional powerhouses from fourth place last year.
The US, UK, and Singapore came in second, third, and fourth respectively, after dropping a notch each.
'Hong Kong's ascent to the top of our index marks a major milestone,' said WEF USA chief operating officer Kevin Steinberg.
'While Western financial centres are understandably focused on short-term challenges, this report should serve as a wake-up call that their long-term leadership may be in jeopardy.'
The index ranks 60 economies based on factors such as financial sector liberalisation, business costs, financial stability, listing activity, and bond market development culled from various years, depending on data availability.
A sharp improvement in activity in non-banking services such as IPOs and insurance boosted Hong Kong's overall score considerably.
Between 2008 and 2010 for example, it beat all the other economies to attract the highest average amount of IPO proceeds.
This helped Hong Kong overtake the US even though the latter's score was almost unchanged from last year's.
While financial stability was still a concern for the US, it remained a strong financial intermediary with its advanced foreign exchange and derivatives markets. It also recorded robust merger and acquisition activity.   - 2011 December 15  SINGAPORE BUSIESS TIMES
World's Most Expensive Office Space
World's Most Expensive Residential Street 

The Seriously Rich
Hong Kong's billionaire tycoons enjoy a status close to royalty in Asia's wealth-obsessed financial hub.    - 2010   AFP
Office Rentals in Hong Kong rose by 28.5% last year
World's most expensive real estate market
  -- 2011 March 23   SCMP
IPO Central
Retail Haven for the Rich Mainlanders
The Chinese are Buying
Hong Kong Bosses Toughest in Asia Pacific
Hong Kong bosses are the toughest in the region and expect staff to work during their holidays, a study has found  - but maybe that's why they are amongst the world's richest!  
survey of more than 1,600 professionals in the finance, accounting and human resources sectors across the Asia-Pacific region found that 68 per cent of employers in the city expect their staff to be available while on annual leave or after work hours... "Hong Kong's work ethic is intense."
Finance professionals in Hong Kong said they felt they had to stay connected in case there was an emergency, but also because they could keep in touch through technology. Some said they just could not switch off.
Hong Kong bosses expected the most from middle managers, the survey found, with 76 per cent saying middle managers should be available all the time, compared to 47 per cent for senior managers or directors and 23 per cent for junior or entry-level staff.
A positive result for Hong Kong employees was that if they did work during their holidays or outside office hours, most were compensated.  --  2011  April 17  SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

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