Discounted Cash Flow Modelling to Achieve Personal Financial Goals

A discounted cash flow or DCF model is a style of calculation linking streams of future money flows to lump sum amounts. Discounted cash flow models have a range of business-related applications, and are used extensively by economists, accountants, actuaries, engineers, business valuators, finance professionals, and others.

For example, a company may wish to finance a project if (and only if) the Internal Rate of Return exceeds 10% per year. The anticipated development costs for the project may be large for the initial year. On the other hand, significant revenues are anticipated for Year 2 onward. The company directors rely on a DCF model to help determine whether or not the project's Internal Rate of Return exceed their 10% threshold.

Discounted cash flow models also have important applications in everyday life that are often overlooked. For example, consider auto dealers who advertise low finance rates to prospective clients. From a car buyer's perspective, low finance rates are understood to be good, since they mean lower monthly payments. By using a DCF model, a buyer can determine the monetary value on the low finance rate offer.

Everyday use of a Discounted Cash Flow model would include (but would not be restricted to) the following:

  • Mortgage Refinancing: For homeowners with a fixed-rate mortgage, refinancing often debts paying a penalty. A DCF model can be used to calculate whether the interest savings exceeded the penalty cost
  • First-Time Home Ownership: First time home ownership involves many new costs, and can be intimidating to many of us. A DCF model can help by comparing long term home ownership costs against rental costs
  • Lease or Own Vehicle: A DCF model can help car shoppers in their decision whether to buy or lease a vehicle

Examples of these and other everyday applications can be viewed at the author's website.

Through the above (and other) practical applications, Discounted Cash Flow models can assist all of us in achieving our personal financial goals.

Technology in Education

Technology has moved at a fast pace over the last decade. Wouldn’t you agree? As a result, many technologies have replaced the need for human resources in some fields, and it has also impacted education drastically.

Before delving into the impacts of technology on education however, consider:

· How travel agents have been largely replaced by online reservation systems.

· In 1901, Charles Holland Duel stated that “Everything that can be invented has been invented”. This was over one century ago, where numerous inventions had yet to be patented and trademarked.

· The number one focus on this list of technological impacts, is how computers and the internet has affected lifestyles and education. Everything can be shared in an instant, and snail mail is no longer the main method of communication. In the past one had to wait a few days before receiving a message, unless a phone or fax were used.

In the 21st century, educational institutions have moved with the times by integrating technology into learning. After all, our educational systems are a critical part of societal norms.

Here are some of the key ways that technology has broadened teaching horizons:

Traditional colleges have adopted online methods of learning, which is otherwise known as online colleges. No longer do students have to relocate from thousands of miles away to get a quality education. All that’s needed is a computer and connection to the internet to plug into online learning.

This has opened up numerous doors for working adults who have previously been restricted by time and resources. The technology of online videos or recorded tutorials allows students to study on their own time, whether day or night.

A study by US News purports that nearly 6.1 million students were enrolled in online college course in 2011. This number is expected to grow as the stigma of online certification has somewhat been lifted due to its increasing popularity in the workplace.

Other ways that technology affects education include the student’s ability to research faster than ever, compared to pouring over books in the library. As an example, a study by the Pew Research Center suggests that digital technologies have helped students to become more self-sufficient researchers.

Educators too have integrated technology into learning, with the distribution of course material and online video, voice, or written tutorials for student references.

Finally, there has also been a dynamic shift in the communication between students and teachers via online, social and digital mediums.

How to Encourage Your Customers to Leave a Consumer Product Review

A consumer product review can be a wonderful tool when it comes to helping you build your sales, but it does not do you much good if you can not convince any of your consumers to leave one when they go! Knowing your consumer product review to work for you requires you to have consumers that are willing to take that extra five minutes out of their day to let you know what they really think. Here's how you can convince them it's worth their time and effort:

1) Offer a small discount on their next purchase to consumers who fill out a consumer product review after they have received their product. This is guaranteed to bring you the results you want-who can say no to saving money? Just remember to keep the discounts within the limits you can afford. It's one thing to offer a 25-50% discount on their next purchase to everyone who gives you five minutes out of your day, it's quite another to look at the cut that's going to take out of your profits when they actually use it.

2) Offer to place them on your mailing list to receive further discounts or coupons after they have filled out a review. You've seen it before; "Answer three easy questions about your shopping experiences and join our mailing list to receive discount coupons and special offers." Again, all of your consumers are essentially cheap at heart; if they were truly satisfied with their experiences they would be happy to have the opportunity to save money in the future. (Hint: Let them know exactly what you'll be sending them, and if you can give them a look at a previous mailing. This eliminates the fear of SPAM.)

3) Spend money to make money. There are a number of companies that offer professional consumer product review services; for a fee they will review your products and put a professional review onto your site. If this makes you flinch, relax. There are plenty of companies that do it. The reviewer gets a free product and fifteen to twenty dollars, you get a great review to show to your returning customers. Everyone wins!

4) Be sure to ask for their contact information when they register for your forum so you can contact them regarding a bad review, but do not go overboard. An e-mail address will suffice, and it will inspire more confidence in your clientele that you're not secretly planning to load their mailboxes up with SPAM.

5) Include a product review card and a website address where they can post a consumer product review with your products when you mail them. While these surveys often find their way into a trash can, every once in a while you'll find someone who's willing to fill it out-and every completed survey is an extra ace in the hole for you.

Many consumers look at a request for a consumer product review and cringe, thinking, "I do not have time for this." It's going to be up to you to convince them otherwise, and these tricks and tactics will get you off to a great start.

Using Large Aperture Settings – Digital Photography Tips

If you want your photo to be as sharp as possible then you are going to need to learn some good information about how to use the aperture settings in your camera. Improper use of this in your camera can make for photos that are not as great as they possibly can be.

There are many different measurements in photography. The measurements are measurements mostly of light and the amount of time that the photo is exposed. The aperture is something that you really should try to understand. The aperture what controls the amount of light that is let into the camera.

In photography, light is critically important and controlling it correctly will make your photos much better. The aperture is measured in F-stops. There are different values ​​of aperture that can be large and small. A larger aperture will let more light into the camera for exposure. Because more light is let in you can expose the image faster and then use a faster shutter speed. This can really be useful when you are taking pictures of fast movement and need a fast shutter speed. Also, using a fast shutter speed will ensure you do not get the camera shake effect from your hands.

Another great tool that you can do with using a large F-Stop in your aperture is that it can make your image sharper. What the larger aperture will do is make the depth of field be much smaller. This will make whatever is out of the small depth of field be out of focus. This can make the background be very out of focus and the depth of field area will be in focus. Even if you have the object in focus slightly out of focus, since it is the only area of ​​the image that is in focus it'll look much more focused. Of course, you always want to make sure your photo is as focused as possible.

Using a smaller f-stop for your aperture will require the opposite of what the larger aperture does. Because the smaller aperture will make less light to expose the image, it will make you need to use a slower shutter speed to expose more light. What happens with a smaller opening as an aperture is that the light that is let in will be much more directed and then will make for much sharper images everywhere. A small aperture can make for very sharp images through the entire z axis. This will make the background in focus and the foreground in focus. This is great when taking landscape photos or photos of large fields like football fields where you want the entire picture in focus.