Friday, December 31, 2010

Google Advertising - The Basic Landscape of AdWords

Google makes the vast majority of it's money through advertising revenues. More specifically Google generates advertising revenue through there advertising program known as AdWords.

The heart and soul of Google's advertising success is the ability to target advertisements to the target market. When a consumer searches for a product or service the most applicable advertisements will be shown to that consumer. Thus Google has introduced an unsurpassed relevancy to advertising.

Google advertisements are distributed through two main channels. The first, most effective, and thus valuable is the search based advertisements. The second and ever growing source of Google advertisements is through the content network.

Two AdWords Distribution Channels

Advertisers can place ads on content websites or search engine result web pages.


The search advertising or search engine marketing which is often abbreviated as SEM has and remains Google's bread and butter when it comes to revenue and advertiser success. The success of search advertising derives from the three R's of online marketing.

The ability to reach the interested consumer at the time of interest was never possible before AdWords. This ability to target both relevance, and peak interest is amplified by the ability to track the performance of almost every aspect of an advertising campaign. Advertisers can track almost anything whether it be time of day, location, demographic, search query, landing page, ad copy, or practically any other variable you can think of. This ability to track performance allows advertisers to hyper focus their advertising budget like never before.

Another big advantage of SEM is the notion that you only have to pay when a user clicks on your advertisement. Instead of the pay for display method of advertising Google search advertising only charges an advertiser if a user clicks on the ad.


Google search advertisements are not always clicked on. In fact the majority of the time a search user will elect to click on a organic search listing. So what is an advertiser to do once the user has left google and found a site or online resource with the information that they are looking for? Google came up with a solution.

Google partnered with online publishers and content providers through a program called AdSense which allows advertisers to obtain an enormous advertising reach via the websites participating in AdSense. Websites that partner with Google through AdSense allow Google to place advertisements on their website. Google in return shares the advertising revenue with the websites.

Related Articles

How Google Makes Money

Niche Article Essentials

Online Advertising - Spending Round-Up

History of Online Advertising

How to Change Servers (DNS) for Domains Hosted with

This is a simple step by step "how to" article describing how to change your domain name servers hosted in your hosting account.

Simple 7 Step Procedure

Below is the seven steps to change DNS in your account.

Step 1

First things first, go to and log in.

Step 2

Once you are logged into your account go to your account manager.

Step 3

From your account manager you need to find and select the Manage Domains option from the domain names drop down menu. An alternative route is through the manage your account list. 

Step 4

Select the site or domain you wish to change.

Step 5

Once you have identified and selected the applicable site you need to select the set name servers option by using the check boxes provided.

Step 6

Locate the blue colored name servers label heading. It should be located on the right side of the page. In the input box directly underneath you simply enter the desired name servers.

Step 7

Finally hit save.

Your Done!!

Related Articles

10 Links of Thanks

SEO - On Site and Off Site

Three R's of Online Advertising

Write Niche Articles that Set You Apart

Improve SEO with a Blog

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Credit Websites for US Consumers

There are three official websites that a US consumer can visit and access their free annual credit report. These three sites belong to (one each) the three major credit bureaus. I have listed the 3 credit bureaus below.

Three Credit Bureaus 

  1. Equifax
  2. Experian
  3. Transunion

The three applicable websites that allow consumers to obtain their free annual credit report (and more) are listed below.

Consumer Credit Reminder

I just wanted to let folks know, or at least remind them, that they will be able to get their credit reports just fine, however, they will not be able to obtain their actual credit score.

the credit score is something you generally have to pay for unless you make use of some sort of promotion or service in which you are generally going to have to give someone some sort of business somewhere.

Related Articles

DIY Credit Card Debt Settlement Plan

Three Principles of Debt Settlement

Lenders Will Reduce Debt

How Credit Card Companies Make Money

Friday, December 24, 2010

Keeping Up with Your Credit Reports? - You are Not the Only One

Many consumers like to keep an eye on their credit. Monitoring your credit report and credit score is a healthy habit of the financially savvy. It is a sign of smart personal finance and debt management habits. This is no secret.

What many folks don't know is that they are not the only ones looking at their credit reports, credit history, and their credit scores.

In this post I will provide a list that discloses some of the typical third parties that commonly access and consider consumer credit scores.

Third Parties That May Review and Monitor Your Credit

  • Employers
  • Potential Employers
  • Underwriters
  • Insurers
  • Anyone who receives a credit application from you.
  • Businesses considering or currently taking part in any sizable transactions with you.
  • People Involved with legal matters in court may need to access your credit history.
  • Residual billing services such as cell, cable, power.
  • Land Lords and Rental Agencies

Related Articles

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


As I have been stuck in bed with a gammy foot for the last few days, I have already broken my promise not to go on the computer.

Apart from watching the whole series of Porterhouse Blue on See Saw TV, what I have been doing is playing around with twitter, something I have been reluctant to do before now.

However, as a number of my friends say I should link up all my social networking sites such as facebook, the blog and linkedin, twitter seems a natural progression and one which, honestly, I should have joined months ago.

My twitter address is simple: @dylanjonesevans

By the way, if any one has any advice on tweeting, then it would be most welcome.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Creditors are Willing to Eliminate Debt - Find Out Why

It often comes as a shocking surprise to people when they learn just how much folks typically save through debt settlement.

People often do not expect lenders to be willing to eliminating tens of thousands in credit card debt for people who are in financial hardship. None the less it is true.

Lenders routinely agree to forgive 30% - 70% of outstanding credit card debt through debt settlement offers for credit card consumers who are unable to pay the full amount.

Why are Lenders Willing to Settle Credit Card Debt?

Lenders are will to do reduce the outstanding debt on credit card accounts for several reasons.

  • Unlikely to obtain full amount anyways.
  • Large cash payment.
  • The tax write off they will get for doing so.

Want to Learn More About Debt Settlement

If this post has sparked some interest then I suggest that you check out another article I posted not to long ago. It is a guide outlining a DIY Credit Card Debt Settlement Plan.

Related Articles

Cash Credit or Cell?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Business Basics - Understanding Risk and the Certainty of Uncertainty

Anyone who has been responsible for a business for some amount of time knows or quickly finds out that one of the biggest mistakes a business operator can make is not expecting to make a mistake. It can even get worst at times. Sometimes disaster will strike with no notice and no fault. This potential disaster, this uncertainty, this certainty of uncertainty is known as risk.

This post will outline some potential risks of doing business and more specifically the typical horizons of which risk tends to rise.

A key to risk management is to catch problems early. The best way to do this is to be looking for the problem before the problem even exists.

Below are seven common horizons where risk in known to arise.

Seven Potential Risks of Doing Business

1) Industry Demand

Perhaps this is the worst. Nothing is worst than trying to sell that of which no one wants to buy. Depending on your product and industry you may be likely to encounter a fluctuation in market demand (not in your favor). The best way to hedge this risk is to use one or a combination of three risk adverse safeguards prior to the strike of a lacking market demand.

a) Have savings and a cost cutting plan for the occasion and wait out the storm. Extra financing does not hurt.
b) Diversify your revenue and have plenty of sources
c) Tweak your revenue streams to yield a residual income

2) Outside Regulation from Authorities

Nothing sucks more then the government stepping in and suddenly squashing your means of making a living. The only way to beat them is to join them (aka getting into politics some how and beating them at their own game.)

3) Fluctuating Demographics and Populations

This can creep up on you if you have been in business for a long time. If the surrounding market population steadily gets older, or changes some how with out replenishing the "meat and potatoes" of your target market then you better move or find a new business.

4) Competition of the Third Kind

Everyone in business typically has a good nose for the direct competition. However if you are the unfortunate soul to encounter a new competitive technology that you have never seen before because ... well... they never existed before (aka new competitive technology) then you can be in for a very rude and humbling experience.

For example = NY Times meet my friend she is called "the Internet".

5) Long Term Supply Disruption

If you rely on something that suddenly goes out of style or perhaps worst is suddenly used for something totally different and totally more profitable thus increasing your costs out of your league then you are gonna have to figure out how to do what ever is smarter then what you were doing.

6) Loss of Competitive Edge such as Patent

Did you invent something? Time sure does fly huh?

7) Legally Taken to the Cleaners

Lawyers suck. No doubt about it. If one sees a way to gut you for everything you got expect a bill for at least twice that. This may be the worst and most infuriating.

Related Articles

Business Basics - The 3 Fundamental Functions of Every Business Explained

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Budget Bucket Saving

As the economy continues to struggle consumers and homeowners a like are starting to see the importance of increasing their savings and their savings rate.

I have taken the time to post some simple steps you can take to save more through a strategy known as budget bucket saving. This is a great personal finance tip.

Bucket Budgeting and Saving - Six Easy Steps

Determine Budget Categories

First you are going to want to categorize your spending. this is simple all you need to do is to set down with pen and paper and write down a list of spending categories whether its home expenses, clothes, entertainment, etc., etc.

Plan Tracking Method

Step two is to make sure you keep some sort of record of everything you spend. this can be done automatically through credit and debit cards.

Assign Budget Figures for Each Spending Category

The third step is to set a max amount for each spending category. Tell yourself that you may spend up to this amount but no more.

Start Living and Spending According to Budget

You may have to make some initial adjustments to your category budget amounts.

Once all budget figures are workable really focus on coming out ahead.

Monthly Bucket Audit

At the end of every month see how you did. If you have money left over in a category then scoop it up and dump it into your savings account. Do this with every "bucket".

Savings Bucket Management

You have to protect the savings from you and all that is around you. There are plenty of good reasons to spend that money but you need to get in the habit of making hard decisions.

You need to hoard that cash and focus on making sound financial decisions.

Related Articles

Hire Personal Finance Help

Bucket Saving Strategy - Home Finance Tips

DIY Credit Card Debt Settlement


As I haven't has a break since July, I am taking a whole two weeks off with no writing, blogging or work. 

May I take this opportunity to wish everyone who reads this blog a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Amidst the Ash of Subprime

A New Borrowing Era - Post Subprime

Following the subprime mortgage crisis, and the political and economic changes that it has caused, will you be able to rely on your mortgage broker?

This is an important question for potential home buyers to ask themselves because mortgage brokers and lending agents were a cause of the mortgage and foreclosure crisis.

Irregularities in subprime lending have played a large role in the current economic crisis.

Many mortgage brokers that forced borrowers to forge documents and escalate income levels to enable borrowers to qualify for a mortgage that they weren't eligible for. Theses borrowers took a home loan that they could not afford.

As a result these homeowners were the first to fall behind and lose their home to foreclosure.

If you are planning to take out a mortgage and you are not a financial expert, you can and should seek financial advice from a professional.

Just the same you want to make sure that you have some basic knowledge

It is important for you to be aware of the terms and conditions you are agreeing to at closing. Borrowers that have fallen prey to misleading mortgage brokers could have easily avoided such mistakes by taking the time to understand the mortgage terms on their own.

Be careful and don't allow yourself to be taken for a ride that results in you losing your home through a mortgage foreclosure sale.

Home Buyer Considerations

Mortgage lending has been the catalyst and factor allowing most of today's homeowners to own their home. Depending on your personal finances you also may one day take out a mortgage. In which case there are several factors that home buyers should consider before buying a home and taking out a mortgage. This article contains essential mortgage questions home buyers should consider when obtaining a mortgage.

Financial Questions Home Buyers and Mortgage Borrowers Should Seriously Consider 

Are you comfortable with the Mortgage loan term (15 yr - 30 yr)?

You have to decide whether you will opt for a 15-year or a 30-year loan term.

If you are opting for the 15-year loan term you have to make higher monthly payments but the rate of interest will be lower.

When you opt for 30-year loan term, you pay lower monthly payments but the rate of interest will be high. You get more time to pay off your mortgage.

Adjustable Rate or Fixed Rate?

If you opt for an adjustable-rate mortgage, your monthly mortgage payments will be less in the first few years. The rates will change as per the prevailing rates in the market. Thus your monthly mortgage payments will also differ.

If you opt for fixed-rate mortgage, your monthly mortgage rates will be fixed and predictable. This may make it easier for you to keep up with your financial obligations and stick to your monthly budget.

Does your income support the size of the mortgage?

Your income is undoubtedly an important factor that determines what size and type of a mortgage you can afford. It is important that you live within your means.

What is your debt to income ratio?

Your DTI or debt to income ratio is another factor that can help you to decide how much mortgage you should take out. The more debt you have the less you should consider borrowing.

What is Your Credit Score?

Your credit score has a big impact on the cost of borrowing. The better your credit report and credit score the better and more favorable your financing options will be.

If you think you will be able to improve your credit score in the short term then it may be worth the wait.

How big of a down payment can you afford?

The down payment that a home buyer is both willing and able to make is one of the most important factors considered by lenders.

The bigger the down payment is the cheaper the financing costs will be.

Is buying a home the best use of those funds?

There is no question that owning a home is one of the most beneficial purchases that people make. However before you purchase a home you still need to weigh the pro's and con's of the purchase as well as the opportunity cost.

Debt Settlement Basics

Debt Settlement

Debt settlement can be defined as resolving distressed loans and debt through a pay off agreement between both creditor and borrower. Typically the debt to be payed is drastically reduced and the new reduced amount is paid immediately in one large payment.

Settling debt and financial obligations is a great way to get rid of unsecured debt that has accumulated from credit cards and or other high interest unsecured debt that one may have.

Who Performs or Negotiates a Debt Settlement Agreement?

A debt settlement agreement must be approved by both the lender and the borrower. As this would imply all that is needed for a person overwhelmed with credit card debt is a means to contact the lender as well as a lender willing to settle.

However many consumers have been known to hire debt settlement firms and or debt settlement lawyers or debt settlement counseling agencies or even a friend better suited to to do so. Having said this there is no reason what so ever that you should not partake on this task on your own if you feel you are able to so adequately enough.

You can successfully obtain a debt settlement arrangement all by yourself if you are willing to put in the time and effort. Prior to this post I posted a DIY article outlining how to settle credit card debt. If you are interested in getting rid of credit card debt than that may be a helpful resource and worth taking a look at.

I also wanted to make sure that everyone realizes that negotiating with credit card lenders is no easy task and should be given considerable consideration and effort.

Related Articles

Cash, Credit, or Cell

How Credit Card Companies Make Money

DIY Credit Card Debt Settlement

Borrowers who are amidst a financial hardship and can not make timely monthly payments on their credit card debt can benefit from debt settlement. Distressed borrowers are able to avoid bankruptcy as well as reduce the total amount owed by successfully negotiating a settlement with their creditors.

This post discuses how consumers of credit card debt can obtain debt help and a debt settlement offer on their own.

How to Obtain a Debt Settlement Agreement with Your Creditors

1. Raise the Cash

Before you can seriously entertain the idea of settling your debt you need to have some serious cash.

This may mean saving for a while. Many people are only able to do this by defaulting on their credit card payments.

The lender already has a monthly payment arrangement with you that you have most likely defaulted on sense you are in the current predicament that you are in.

The lender is not going to be quick to jump to another monthly payment plan and is certainly going to want more then you would have to pay in a lump sum agreement.

2. Determine Your Settlement Target

Typically a debt settlement agreement is anywhere from 20 - 70 percent of the outstanding balance that is owed to the lender.

Figure out what percentage you are able to pay. Is this amount realistic?

Rationalize how you are going to lay these cards out on the table once you get on the phone.

For instance if your dealing with a 8,000 dollar acct and you have 5,500 dollars that you can some how muster then in terms of debt settlement you are doing pretty well. Here I would suggest offering 3000 and no higher the 3500 to 4000 dollars in this initial round of negotiations.

3. Make the Initial Contact

When you do get on the phone and you get that first rep on the phone you can probably expect to hear "NO". This does not really mean "NO" this will almost always be the case because you are most likely talking to somebody not able to say yes.

Try to go around them if you can, this comes surprisingly natural to some but it can also be like moving a mountain depending on your personality and how long of a lunch break your rep on the other end took if any.

What you can do is to collect as much information as possible. Important information would be the time the reps id info and the questions and responses that accumulate between you and the rep. It does not hurt to let it be known that you are in fact recording information and responses.

4. Find a Decision Maker

Remember that it is not easy finding a decision maker who can approve a settlement offer. The longer you have been in default the easier it is going to be to get a settlement offer. However it is never going to be easy to find a decision maker which is what you really want.

Once you do get a decision maker on the phone you should be able to get a settlement offer at some point.

Sometimes you will have to correspond by mail. This is especially true with bigger banks.

If you get a offer through the mail continue correspondence and lender communication via that outlet of communication.

5. Getting the Agreement

Generally they will send it in the mail.

You need to look it over of course and sign it and send it back with the payment but only after you know that the representative has signed it as well.

Then you can count on that credit card account and card to be useless.

Cash For keys

Foreclosure sales are at all time highs.

Homeowners are losing their homes everywhere. Many people who lose their home to foreclosure have to move, and thus incur significant expenses and moving costs. This is a financial hardship in itself but is often endured while the former residents are already amidst a current financial hardship which has caused them to default on their mortgage payments and fall victim to foreclosure in the first place.

A program called Cash for Keys was developed to address this homeowner difficulty.

Cash for keys offers homeowners and renters who must move due to foreclosure financial aid and foreclosure relocation assistance.

How Cash for Keys Works

The lender or mortgage servicer offers the occupant who must move due to a foreclosure financial assistance through a conditional agreement.

The occupant must agree to move out by a certain date.

The occupant must agree to leave the property in acceptable condition.

If the occupant follows all requirements of the agreement they are given thousands of dollars in foreclosure relocation assistance and financial aid.

Typical Cash for Keys Amount

The exact amount received through a cash for keys like program is variable.

The typical amount will range from 1,000 - 5,000 dollars.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Borrowers with overwhelming financial obligations can obtain debt help through a chapter 13 bankruptcy given the borrower has income and is able to make good on their financial obligations through a feasible and fair compromise with the existing creditors.

What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

This bankruptcy chapter is the legal process of restructuring the debt under the supervision of a trustee.

This is not a liquidation like chapter 7 bankruptcy. Instead this chapter of bankruptcy restructures the existing debt of the borrower by developing a feasible and fair payment plan. Creditors are paid according to the plan developed in the chapter 13 bankruptcy process.

Key Points of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

The repayment plan will be for a term of about 3-5 years.

Chapter 13 will stop foreclosure.

The mortgage payments will be due as usual after you file and the back owed portion will be part of the chapter 13 repayment plan.

Designed for individuals or unincorporated businesses.

Other Important aspects of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is not a pleasant or relieving experience. Nor is it cheap. There are many consequences which carry a long shelf life and the consideration of Bankruptcy should be done so with extreme care, time, responsibility, and the proper resources and guidance such as a qualified attorney.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows businesses to obtain debt relief by restructuring the existing financial obligations of the distressed business. This type of bankruptcy is ideal for businesses that would be profitable if not for unmanageable levels of debt.

What is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?

Chapter of bankruptcy that is used for businesses that have to much debt but are worth more as an operating business then the sum of all proceeds that could be raised from a total asset liquidation sale.

How Chapter 11 Works

A trustee will overlook the reorganization of the debt and efficiency of a business.

Once this process is complete the business is simply to follow the terms of the restructured debt agreements.


Bankruptcy is not usually thought of as a nice or relieving experience, nor is the process of bankruptcy cheap. There are many consequences to bankruptcy that can last a long time.

Bankruptcy is a legal process and decision so one should discuss bankruptcy with there own qualified attorney.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a legal process which exists, and was created, as a debt solution for those who are overwhelmed with debt, and further, this chapter of bankruptcy is intended to help borrowers who have no feasible way of complying with the terms of the debt in it's current form. 

This chapter is able to provide consumers help with debt and financial hardship.

How Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Work?

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a legal process of liquidation of the borrowers assets in which the proceeds are used to repay all or a portion of the debt owed to the creditors.

Liquidation bankruptcy is available to both businesses and individuals.

The Process of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

The first step of the process of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is the petition submitted by the borrower. The petition includes a detailed financial package that outlines the assets, liabilities, and expected earnings of the borrower.

Once the court has the filed petition a trustee is appointed to the bankruptcy by the court.

The trustee will then organize and carry out several meetings with the creditors to determine the allocation of the future proceeds from the liquidation of the debtors assets.

The liquidation of assets is executed and the proceeds are distributed as planned.

Other Important aspects of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Remember that bankruptcy is a last resort and is not a pleasant or relieving experience. Nor is it cheap. There are many consequences which carry a long shelf life and the consideration of bankruptcy should be done so with extreme care, time, responsibility, financial consideration, and the proper resources and guidance such as a qualified attorney.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Currently in Linkoping, Sweden, acting as an external examiner for a Ph.D entitled “The Dynamics of Innovation and Knowledge-Based Regional Development”.

It examines how geographical regions as diverse as Silicon Valley, California and Linköping, Sweden have been the sources of new technology and endogenously created innovations. In particular, it studies the dynamics of specific regions or clusters of businesses in developing the capability to engage in more innovative activities and new business formation and to experience higher employment growth than others.

This dissertation’s main findings are that

(a) regional leadership involving the building of alliances with triple-helix actors (government, industry, academia) is crucial for initiating a knowledge-based regional development process
(b) a consensus space is a catalytic mechanism for ensuring the speed and effectiveness of regional development
(c) lowering the barriers for the actors involved boosts participation and the rate of innovation, and
(d) users’ perspectives are essential for social, institutional and commercial innovation.

This dissertation’s main implications are that knowledge-based regional development’s initial stages require leadership that:

(a) builds alliances and establish an arena for the triple-helix actors
(b) analyses the regional barriers to the commercialisation of knowledge
(c) utilises both endogenous and exogenous resources.

Obviously some implications for the Welsh economy and where we can get such leadership which is sadly lacking at the moment. I look forward to discussing this more detail later.

...and yes, it is bloody cold!

Bankruptcy Basics

This post will discuss the fundamentals of bankruptcy.

The goal of bankruptcy is to settle debt that has become unable to be settled in it’s current form.

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal action available as a debt solution to those who have become overwhelmed with debt and financial hardship.

There are several types of Bankruptcies each with their own unique qualities, purposes, eligibility, guidelines, rules, cost, and proceedings. All of these different types and variables with in each type of Bankruptcy have and will change with time as new legislation and laws are introduced or modified. Also the proceedings and details of bankruptcy may differ from state to state.

Bankruptcy is an issue that should be discussed with a lawyer who is qualified.

Bankruptcy and Homeowners

Many homeowners have turned to bankruptcy in response to their financial hardship. Homeowners are able to use bankruptcy as a way to stop foreclosure.

Bankruptcy will stop any currently scheduled foreclosure sale of a property tied to the bankruptcy. Just the same most bankruptcies will only delay the inevitable and homeowners should use caution and take great care when considering bankruptcy.

Three Main Types of Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - This Chapter is often referred to as a liquidation Bankruptcy

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy - This type of Bankruptcy is often referred to as Business bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy - This Chapter of Bankruptcy is focused on restructuring the debt

Related Articles

Debt Help and Debt Solutions

DIY Credit Card Debt Settlement

Small Business Marketing - A Warning to Small Business Owners

As you may or may not know there are many outlets for dentist, family physicians, lawyers, and any other common local business owners to obtain professional help with advertising, marketing, and related efforts and needs.

What you may not know is that there is most likely no other consumer with in the marketing and advertising industry that is more sought out by marketing firms then this target market.

The reasons behind this is simple.

They meet the perfect sales and marketing business model.

Professionals such as yourself have a lot of money and excellent sources of cash flow. This is true of many folks. There are much bigger and fatter wallets out there that firms don't bother with because those “wallets” don't have the other key characteristic.

The consumer (you) has no idea of what to expect or what is possible in terms of results, cost (margins or the premiums you guys pay), or knowledge of what is involved in terms of providing the marketing and advertising services. This is really appealing when  you couple that notion with the idea that you guys are as busy as you can possibly be. No time to explore your options.

These services, that local dentist and other medical professionals buy into, will charge very high prices for services the sales guy will promise to do for you. The services provided will often be much different and will account for much less of the firms cost then probably any other type of expense.

On top of this they will be sure to lock you down on some sort of residual service that will be about as much as a cell phone bill or a little less. This is so that in large volume the fees will add up but the amounts are small enough that the customer (you) will more or less forget about, not think about, or perhaps not care about. The margins are enormous.

If you own a small business you may find it more beneficial in both a financial sense as well as the overall marketing performance.

Related Articles

Articles of Organization - LLC

How to Market and Advertise Small Local Business

Articles of Organizaton - LLC

In the wake of the economy and the correlating loss of employment that has effected many Americans more and more professionals are taking matters into their own hands. Folks are going into business on their own and many of these folks plan on starting a LLC to work under.

This is generally a smart decision as a LLC provides some legal protection and limits exposure to both legal and financial liability.

To form a LLC one must first write and file the Articles of Organization.

The Articles of Organization is the most important document of an LLC. In fact this document is what makes an "LLC" a "LLC". Given this notion it has been suggested that anyone whom starts an LLC take great care and concern when writing the Articles of Organization.

This article is here as a step by step guide outlining the fundamental process and components one needs to follow in order to write and structure the "Articles of Organization" for an LLC. The exact requirements for this document vary from state to state so you need to use this guide along side  your own research.

How to Write the Articles of Organization for an LLC 

Article 1

First section consists of just some very basic information; the LLC name.

Article 2

The second section is a outline and description of who will manage the LLC.  Nine times out of ten this is the members of the LLC.

Article 3

The third section is dedicated to the members, managers, and resident agent of the LLC. The members are the ones with a financial stake in the company. The members generally are the managers as well. However in the case that the managers of the LLC are different from the members then the managers need to be listed. Finally the resident agent needs to be listed. Along with the names of all the applicable individuals the addresses as well as any contact info that you wish to include.

Article 4

Finally the agents office address must be documented. This will be filed as the registered office of the LLC that will be on file.


Flintshire and Wrexham, the two counties in the North East of Wales, have always been seen as the industrial powerhouse of the Welsh economy.

With global companies such as Toyota, Airbus and JCB located in the area it has, in the past, been rightly described as one of the main manufacturing regions of the UK. However, the region has performed the worst of all the areas in Wales over the last decade.

If we examine what has happened to the prosperity of the region since 1999, we find that the relative GVA/head has fallen from almost parity (99.3 per cent) to 84.6 per cent in 2008.

That is the largest drop in GDP/head of any part of Wales.

Not surprisingly, overall GVA has grown by only 31 per cent during 1999-2008, the worst performance of any part of Wales. In contrast, the overall Welsh economy grew by 47.2 per cent over the same period.

So what has happened?

Back in 1999, the production sector accounted for 47.2 per cent of the Flintshire/Wrexham economy as compared to 27.8 per cent of the Welsh economy. By 2008, this had fallen to 37.4 per cent. Whilst nearly twice the level for the Welsh economy, this decline has not been matched sufficiently by growth in other sectors.

Most notably, it would seem that whilst being the most populous part of North Wales, there has been very little growth in the public sector within the region. For example, whilst the contribution of the public sector to the overall Welsh economy grew from 26.9 per cent to 30.7 per cent between 1999 and 2008, the relative contribution in North East Wales grew from 18.3 to 19.3 per cent.

Therefore, whilst the rest of Wales benefitted from the largesse of the Labour Governments in Westminster and Cardiff Bay, Wrexham and Flintshire did not.

Of course, the real question is whether the area is still sustainable as a manufacturing base or will it continue to decline? Certainly, the fact that, during this period, the area did not qualify for the highest level of European grant probably made it more difficult to attract other inward investors to the region.

At the same time, it does demonstrate a failure by WAG to capitalize on the strong manufacturing base already within the region and ensuring that it not only stayed but actually expanded. Certainly, the powerhouses that were the Deeside and Wrexham Industrial Parks are a shadow of what they were in the 1990s.

The question for WAG is whether it should designate North East Wales as a “manufacturing zone” for Wales and look to develop a coherent strategy for its growth and development. Certainly, with nearly 40 per cent of the economy dependent upon production industries, there is at least a base from which it can grow, and if the UK Government is serious about the revitalizing the manufacturing industry, then there is no reason why Wrexham and Flintshire shouldn’t be at the vanguard of such a policy.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


With the development of a second nuclear power station at Wylfa in Anglesey almost guaranteed, it is worth reading this article in this week’s Economist, which looks at whether “big is best” in the nuclear industry?

In fact, the article suggests that the multi-billion pound cost of large nuclear power stations may be prohibitive to private investors in the long run and that the industry is now looking to new approaches.

And rather than relying on huge, traditional reactors costing billions, it is turning to small, inexpensive ones, many of which are based on proven designs from nuclear submarines or warships.

There are clearly challenges, as the article points out in some detail, but the greatest disappointment from reading the article is that the UK seems to be out of this technological race, with most of the development taking place in the USA, which has not seen a nuclear plant come on stream for fourteen years.

Could this concept work?

Well, it would seem that none other than Bill Gates is backing a US firm called TerraPower, which is working with Toshiba to design a small reactor based on a “travelling wave” design. According to the report “Once kick-started with a tiny amount of enriched uranium, it would run for decades on non-enriched, depleted uranium, a widely available material. This will be possible because the nuclear reaction, eating its way through the core at the rate of about one centimetre a year, would gradually convert the depleted uranium into fissionable plutonium—in effect “breeding” high-grade fuel and then consuming it.

According to the Microsoft owner, nuclear power has historically been dogged by five worries: safety, proliferation, waste, cost and fuel availability. “This thing is a miracle that solves all five,” he says in the report.

And if Bill Gates is backing this technology, how many would bet against the concept working? More importantly, is the UK nuclear industry geared up to take advantage of this new cheaper alternative?

Sunday, December 12, 2010


There has been some discussion on the state of the Welsh economy following the release of the GVA data. Much of this has been on the state of the overall Welsh economy, although given my academic interest in regional economic development, I am starting to examine the data for West Wales and the Valleys which, unfortunately, is only available to 2008.

Two of the more interesting long term findings are discussed here.

As suggested last week, West Wales and the Valleys is the only region previously in receipt of Objective 1 funding which has seen its relative prosperity decline during the last decade. In contrast, Cornwall has now overtaken the region, despite being well behind us in 1999 and is continuing to grow.

The question is why?

In 2003, I was appointed as a special adviser to the Welsh Affairs Select Committee to examine European Structural Funds. At the time, the committee took evidence from representatives from the other three  regions on how they were managing the funds and, if my memory serves me right, what stood out from the Cornish evidence was the way that they were fully interacting with the private sector.

Could it also be that Cornwall demonstrates that a more local approach to the spending of European funding works better i.e. at a county level. I have made this point on several occasions - that the majority of the next round of Convergence funding should have been allocated on a  county basis in Wales rather than managed centrally by WAG. Unfortunately, it was ignored.

Perhaps the question is why the prosperity of West Wales and the Valleys which grew between 2004 and 2005, began to decline again after this period. Could it be that this is linked directly to the decision to abolish the WDA back in 2004, especially as the WDA were responsible for many of the support programmes at that time?

Certainly, it may be time for another inquiry into the spending of European funding by the Welsh Select Committee (although I doubt that I will be asked to advise this time round!)

Secondly, if we look at what has actually happened to the components of the West Wales and the Valleys economy between 1999 and 2008, we see that the overall regional economy has grown by 46.6 per cent, or £7.7 billion. However, we must not forget that a quarter of that growth would have come directly from the £2 billion of European and match funding provided for the Objective 1 programme.

Indeed, if we look at the impact of the public sector components as a whole during this period, they account for 40 per cent of the total growth in the West Wales and Valleys economy. Whereas the public sector was 25 per cent of the region's economy in 1999, this had grown to 29 per cent by 2008. This is despite the fact that Objective 1 was predominantly available to grow the private sector.

The region, of course consists of the largely rural West Wales and the industrialised Valleys, both very different areas economically. In the rural areas, there has been a catastrophic decline in agriculture of 75 per cent during the period 1999-2008. Compare this to a growth of 22 per cent in the agriculture sector in Cornwall during the same period.  Whilst hotels and restaurants have grown by 41 per cent, this is still below the growth of the region despite the funding available through the Wales Tourist Board and European grants.  In Cornwall, this sector grew by 60 per cent despite contributing far less to the economy as compared to West Wales and the Valleys (which may surprise many given the Rick Stein type image of the Cornish resorts).

Manufacturing has declined by 2.5 per cent during this period in West Wales and the Valleys. Whilst some may point to the long term decline of manufacturing being reflected in this data, it must be pointed out that, across the UK, manufacturing GREW by 2.5 per cent during the same period. However, given that the European Structural Funds largely ignored the sector during this period, that should not be surprising.

More analysis later this week as I go through the data (if the Ph.D exam in Sweden doesn't take too much time!)


Earlier this year, I made the economic case for Powys, noting that it had fallen behind the rest of Wales during the last decade and should have been included as part of the Convergence region that qualified for £2billion of European funding.

The data that has emerged from the Statistics Office last week has reinforced this view even more.

In 1999, the GVA relative to the rest of the UK for Powys was 75.0 per cent, as compared to 77.3 per cent for Wales.

Fast forward to 2008, and we see that Powys now has a relative GVA of 63.1 per cent as opposed to 74.1 per cent for Wales.

Therefore, whilst the Welsh economy has grown by 47 per cent for the period 1999-2008, it has only grown by 31 per cent in Powys. Agriculture, in particular, has been hit hard, with a 75 per cent reduction in its contribution to the local economy.

If, as some politicians have stated, West Wales and the Valleys is to receive a third round of funding, then there is now a clear an unequivocal case for Powys to be included as part of this region.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Warren Buffett - Talking Plain Sense to the Plain Dumb

This is a interview with Warren Buffett.

He has made numerous pleas, public appearances, self-less efforts, a rich man's challenge that has gone unanswered, and campaigned tirelessly to no avail.

Shame on us.

Please allow me to explain.

The Bush tax cuts have been quite a controversy in congress. I have posted on the topic a few times. Just the same the conflict is this.

The Bush tax cuts are set to expire. Obama as well as most of the democratic party have fought tooth and nail to keep the tax cuts for the middle class or 97% of the American people. However the Republican party and the republican voters have been opposed to getting rid of the Bush tax cuts for the very rich.

Despite the very rich, the top 3%, already paying proportionately lower levels of taxes then the poor and middle class, they think the rich deserve to pay less then everyone in our country's time of need.

Here are the highlights of the vid you need to understand.

Buffett Internal Office Poll

Buffett asked the 18 employees in his executive office (assistant, receptionist, janitor, everyone he sees on a daily basis) to partake in a survey of personal tax rates. 15 participated. Including Buffet there was 16.

Out of the 15 participants the mean (average) tax rate was 32.9% of income. About 1/3 of their total income goes to taxes.

Warren Buffett paid a tax rate of 17.2%. Warren admitted that he does not pay a tax guy or accountant.

His employees pay over a 90% higher tax rate. 90 plus percent. There is no one in his office that pays a lower tax rate then the second richest man in the world. It is this privilege that is being protected by the republicans and the republican voters.

Warren Buffett Campaigned for The Middle Class

Warren took an initiative, a self-less initiative to campaign against the current corrupt system. He has made numerous public appearances via interviews, talks, and the like to try and educate the American people of this unjust tax system.

Yet FOX News has got their viewers trained. He was unable to convince the Republican middle class to support a middle class tax break and a wealthy class increase that would barely put them even with the middle class. I just don't get you people. I use to think it was sad.


I just don't like you guys.

Warren's Challenge to The Rich.

Warren offered a 1,000,000.00 dollar prize to any billionaire that could prove that they paid a larger tax rate then their office assistant.

No one could. NO ONE!

What is it... what is it that you people don't get? Make no mistake... It is you.

97% of us were going to get a tax break and finally make the rich pay at least the same amount as us. They should be paying tons more. But instead you choose to carry this burden on your own back. I wish I could do more to separate myself from you people. You are destroying your own country because you have to watch FOX.

This is what really gets me. After reading this post you will still feel you have made the right decision. I am so upset and disappointed with each and every one of you, me, and the United States of America. We don't deserve to make any decisions. We don't deserve to be a superpower. We are idiots. You people who voted for your republican congress and have given Obama nothing but crap for trying to stick up for you. You are an idiot.

Watch it for yourself. You have nothing to say. It is over. Don't you dare comment here if you are a republican FOX News watcher.

If your in the top 3% then by all means speak your mind. You, after all, are a freaking genious. I have to hand it to the rich, the lobbyist, and the republican politicians. You guys are obviously right. We don't deserve it.

here is the video...

I am so ashamed... I don't think I could look Obama or Warren in the eye at this point.

I am so sorry, forgive us.

- Finance Guy


Yet another company is looking to break the monopoly of the large UK telecommunication businesses in providing access to superfast broadband.

According to a recent press release, Arqiva has teamed up with Alcatel-Lucent to conduct a high speed (50Mbps+) trial of next generation Mobile Broadband technology in West Wales.

The trial will deploy LTE technology in the Preseli Mountains using 800MHz radio spectrum, which has been freed up as part of a Digital Switchover from the old analogue TV spectrum. It mirrors an almost identical trial on the Caradon Hill area of East Cornwall, which is being conducted by Clear Mobitel.

As Preseli Mountains communities are dispersed and have low population densities which can't be reached economically through existing fixed line ISP networks, the trial aims to demonstrate the economic and technical viability of a neutral-host wireless network (i.e. it will offer wholesale access to ISPs) as a route to extending broadband coverage into 'NotSpot' locations.

Given that WAG is currently exploring how it will spend the £240 million on superfast broadband infrastructure, this is yet another solution that could, and should be considered.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


It is incredible to consider that some Welsh politicians actually went on record yesterday to shamefully state that qualifying for a third round of money as one of the poorest regions in Europe as "good news".

For crying out loud, should any self respecting Welsh person really believe we should be in this position after a decade of devolution?

More relevantly, have any of them stopped to think why, despite spending the billions of pounds of European money over the last decade, the Welsh economy continues to go backwards?

The fact that the private sector, mainly for narrow ideological reasons, has been largely excluded from developing projects during the last two rounds of European Structural Fund projects is probably one of the key reasons why very little economic progress has been achieved during this time.

For example, one of the major investments during the Objective 1 period was the Technium programme and much has been written about the so-called "Fields of Dreams error"  that was made in committing money to this scheme i.e. if you build it, they will come. I know because I have consistently been one of those critics of the way this project was developed.

Yet the simple fact of the matter is that if you let a red-tape obsessed Welsh Assembly Government run by civil servants with no commercial experience develop and manage an incubator unit, what do you think is going to happen?

The same applies to scores of other projects from business support to regeneration projects.

Rather than being seen as an investment to generate further wealth and jobs, European money has been merely been seen by public bodies as a bonus to their budgets with no real thought given as to whether that funding would generate long term sustainable growth.

More detailed discussion on this issue next week but, for the weekend, let me leave you with the following table, which shows which UK sub-regions have grown (or not grown) during the period 2000-2008 when West Wales and the Valleys received £1.3 billion of Objective 1 funding and a further £700 million of public matched funding.

As the table below shows, the relative prosperity of West Wales and the Valleys went down by -3.1% during this period, despite the fact that around £2 billion of European and public money was spent in the region.

Compare this to the performance of the other regions that were in receipt of European Objective 1 funding at the time and their performance. Cornwall increased its relative prosperity by 9.0%, South Yorkshire by 1.9% and Merseyside by 0.3%.

Can anyone try and explain why this is the case - that other regions in receipt of Objective 1 funding managed to grow their economies whilst it has declined in West Wales and the Valleys?

However, the real concern, and the one that Welsh politicians should really be worried about, is the fact that the prosperity of East Wales has declined by -5.2% over the same period.

In 2000, the region was almost at the same prosperity level as the UK economy. By 2008, it had declined to 94% of the UK's average prosperity. This is despite the so-called "devolution dividend", a doubling of the Assembly's budget and responsibility for economic development being firmly in the hands of our own Minister in Cardiff Bay.

Therefore, if the economic powerhouses of Cardiff, Wrexham and Flintshire are one of the five worst performing sub-regions of the UK, then the Welsh economy is in serious trouble.

More importantly,  if anyone still thinks that the naive document that makes up the Economic Renewal Programme is the answer to this decline, then god help us.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I had a couple of phonecalls yesterday suggesting that the Director General for the Department of Economy and Transport was about to stand down from his position and was being moved sideways to oversee a "special project". 

There have been no official confirmations yet from the Welsh Assembly Government but given the way the jungle drums are beating loud and clear, there is little reason to believe that this rumour is not true. 

Given the criticisms that have been levelled at the senior management within the Department of Economy and Transport, including this article on Saturday, this revelation would not be a surprise. 

It may even justify awarding Andrew Davies the AM of the Year title at Monday's Welsh Political Awards!

One can only hope that Ieuan Wyn Jones now has the courage and foresight to avoid recruiting the successor from the rest of the senior management team in his department and will go out to open advert to fill one of the most important jobs in the Welsh civil service. 

Unfortunately, I very much doubt that will be the case.


As I have been in London all day, I missed this morning's announcement regarding the GVA figures for Wales, which showed that we remain firmly rooted to the bottom of the UK prosperity league table.

Having the detailed tables now to hand, I need to spend some time analysing the data before posting anything substantial on the figures and as I am currently reading a Ph.D dissertation that I am externally examining in Sweden next week, it is not a priority!

However, the following table does demonstrate the regional disparities that exist in the UK and how the situation has become comparatively worse in recent years in Wales whilst improving in Scotland and Northern Ireland.


The term "deja vu all over again" may be a famous US sporting quotation, but that is exactly the feeling within the upper echelons of higher education in Wales at the moment as talk of consolidation and mergers permeates the senior common rooms of Welsh universities.

Take, for example, this article from the Guardian in 2000 looked very carefully at the scenario developing in Wales at that time.

A decade later, we now have a Minister for Education in Wales who is still carrying the torch for mergers, but in a far more forceful way than his predecessors. 

The interesting aspect is whether the advice being given at the time by the top civil servant in the Department of Education still holds true in the Assembly Government today namely "They are independent institutions - we can't make them do things." Given the speeches emanating from DCELLS over the last few months, probably not! 

Of course, Wales is not the only part of the UK to look at mergers as a way of increasing efficiency within higher education. 

The University of Manchester and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) formally merged in 2003 to become the largest university in the UK. However, the merger was generally supported by both institutions and funded by £65 million of extra funding secured from government and regional bodies, money that is now probably not available from the Higher Education Funding Council in Wales (HEFCW) or the Welsh Assembly Government for the 3-4 mergers that may be on the cards. In fact, this paper on the process in Manchester may have important lessons for any potential mergers in Wales and I sincerely hope that advice is currently being taken from those who, at the time, put together a very difficult marriage in the North West of England.

A year earlier, there had also been talk in the air about a potential merger between UCL and Imperial to create an academic powerhouse in London and there was much debate about this move amongst commentators in the sector. One of the most coherent notes on the subject was that produced for the Independent by the Oxford academic Alan Ryan who suggested that bigger universities did not necessarily mean better universities. As he wrote back in 2002:

"How big are the best American universities? Harvard has 6,500 undergraduates, Princeton 5,000, Stanford 6,600; Oxford 11,000, ditto Cambridge, ditto UCL. Imperial looks much the same size as Harvard, with 6,700 undergraduates and 2,700 graduates, although Harvard is overall much bigger than Imperial – its professional schools in law, education, business, government, medicine and dentistry add another 6,000 students....The best undergraduate teaching in the US is at places like Williams College – where there are 2,000 undergraduates and a devoted faculty. Williams has an endowment of £900m, and charges £17,000 a year in fees; so does Stanford, with £6bn in the endowment and a £1.2bn turnover.

Alan Ryan's argument that size is not related to academic excellence still holds true today. 

Harvard - the best university in the World - currently has 6,700 undergraduates (Harvard College) and 14,500 graduate and professional students. The second best university - Caltech - enrolls approximately 950 undergraduate and 1,200 graduate students and employs about 300 professorial faculty. MIT, third on the world list, enrolled 4,232 undergraduates and 6,152 graduate students for 2009–2010. Of course, all three (and Stanford and Princeton) are private universities but the point remains valid in the context of "big is beautiful". Indeed, a large number of my colleagues in Cardiff University still bemoan the fact that a top ten research position was sacrificed on the corporate altar of getting a medical school (University of Wales College of Medicine) and, as a result, membership of the Russell Group. As a report in the Times Higher back in 2009 noted "The University of Cardiff insists that there is a simple explanation for its slide down the Times Higher Education Table of Excellence - its merger with the University of Wales College of Medicine in 2004. This year's rankings, a spokesman said, simply did not compare "like with like". The University of Wales College of Medicine was 48th in the table at the time of the 2001 RAE. If the two institutions had been combined back then, "we would, we believe, have been 22nd - exactly the same position as we are now in the table in 2008", the spokesman said."

Therefore, it may be difficult to argue that mergers will necessarily lead to better universities in Wales, as other forms of collaboration (such as joint research centres) could have the same result. 

Another point being made about the potential Welsh HE merger is in relation to access. i.e. that mergers will open up greater opportunities to those from deprived backgrounds. However, I came across a fascinating article that highlighted a study showing that students from disadvantaged backgrounds and those entering higher education from state schools are less likely to drop out if they are studying in a small university or college.

GuildHE – the body representing these smaller institutions - has argued that the more intimate and supportive environment of smaller universities and colleges such as those represented by is better suited to students from disadvantaged backgrounds and those who may be first in their family to enter higher education. The level of support provided makes these students less likely to drop out than they would be if studying in a larger institution.

So is there a case for mergers within higher education in Wales? 

To date, much of the arguments have been about political imperatives rather than on securing a structure that is best for the future of the Welsh university sector. 

Fortunately for the Assembly Government, the accountancy group PWC has only recently developed a position paper that examines the merger debate in Higher Education. According to the company, mergers tend not to be popular within the HE sector because they: 
  • have usually occurred in response to crisis, and not in pursuit of the strategic prize that might be available 
  • are often associated with a loss of institutional identity and there may be a perceived trade-off between the greater scale that comes with merging, and the pursuit of the core institutional mission
  • are complex, difficult to plan and execute successfully and there have historically been relatively few large scale mergers among universities and therefore inevitably the knowledge that resides within the sector is limited.
Indeed, PWC do offer a number of options for HEIs to work more closely together (see below) and these range from informal collaboration to full merger. 

One could ask whether any of these models might work just as effectively for the Welsh HE sector and, more relevantly, whether any studies have been undertaken by HEFCW to examine all the strategic options.

Fortunately for those wanting greater change, the paper does present a clear roadmap for higher education mergers, describing the potential benefits to universities that go through the process. These include:
  • Securing cost efficiency - The economies of scale achievable from combined functions, adoption of common processes, and the removal of duplication within back office administrative functions. For example, property and infrastructure efficiencies; synergies from subject/module analysis, which eliminates duplication; lower stakeholder engagement costs across for example the HE sector, public sector providers and student services; andr educed management costs, including lower costs associated with executive team and governance arrangements.
  • Optimising scale of operation - Seeking size and scale may be another factor that underpins merger initiatives in the current environment. In the context of a merger, size and scale may be aimed at gaining scale in specific elements of an organisation’s operations and using these elements to increase competitiveness and might include breadth of subject teaching offering; geographic spread of operations; and research strength and depth.
  • Brand leverage - Benefits may be achievable around brand and particularly the greater leverage of brand for the legacy organisations. For example, association with a stronger more established brand may improve market positioning and unlock benefits in terms of attractiveness to students.
Of course, these are all business benefits for the institutions and, as such, it must be up to the individual organisations to determine whether a merger will give the new organisation a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Perhaps the most important lesson from the PWC paper is that mergers simply cannot happen overnight in response to political imperatives alone.

Over the decades, research has consistently shown that a majority of mergers and acquisitions in the corporate world are considered unsatisfactory by their stakeholders, are outright failures, or fail to match the companies’ previous organic performance. The record in the public sector is no better. The National Audit Office reported earlier this year that over 90 reorganisations including mergers, have taken place in government. The report concluded that given the lack of a co-ordinated and rigorous approach, the success rates for public sector mergers is very low.

Therefore, planning is critical and if mergers are to occur within the Welsh Higher Education sector, they must be carefully planned. In particular, determining a clear strategic rationale is especially important in the context of the HE landscape due to the diverse forms and functions of institutions and the differing levels of underlying performance. 

Whilst mergers may an easy option in terms of political imperatives for higher education in Wales, the actual implementation may be much harder to achieve, especially if there is uncertainty over the actual business case for such mergers, which has yet to be properly made by the Welsh Assembly Government.

As the merger of Manchester University and UMIST has demonstrated, mergers can be undertaken successfully within Higher Education in the UK but the question remains whether that was the exception rather than the norm. The Manchester merger was also driven by the institutions themselves rather than any political pressures. Indeed, the "big is beautiful" argument has yet to be coherently made by anyone within higher education in Wales or, for that matter, by anyone in Government.

The main message for university mergers in Wales is that it simply won't happen overnight. Indeed, there will be an enormous amount of planning that needs to take place if they are to happen, it may disrupt the higher education system in Wales for years to come and, more importantly, there is no guarantee of any success at the end of the process.

If this process is to take place in Wales, then all the evidence from the PWC study shows that considerable time and effort is needed for merger planning, execution and then post merger integration. When two universities merge, then strategic intent, culture, leadership, governance, academic reputation, people and communications will be as crucial as cost synergies, technology and infrastructure support. And even if all that is achievable, can such factors be executed without sufficient funding resources to "oil the deal"?

To date, none of these issues have been discussed in the political arena but if mergers are the only feasible option available to the university sector in Wales, then they are all issues that must be taken seriously by all the stakeholders in Welsh higher education, especially the Assembly Government.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hang On... (This is Going to Be Fun)

It just hit me that it has been a while since I posted anything fun or playful.

For all you new readers who have just found my finance blog if you stick around and pay me a visit from time to time you will learn that I like to mix things up by throwing you folks a little fun time.

Typically I will stumble upon a video clip that makes me laugh out loud (that is typically a good sign that it is worthy of Finance Guy Fun) and will feature it on my blog. I like to do this kind of thing from time to time because finance and business can be a bit taxing at times and I just think it is a good idea to take a break from the norm and have a bit of fun.

This run at showing you some fun is a bit different. I wanted to mix up the fun mix up by developing and posting a simple application or game. This one has always been one of my long time favorites.

Any guesses?


Hang Man - The Classic Spelling and Word Guessing Game

I hope you guys enjoy it. It took me a sec to get this all formatted correctly. Let me know if it works for you. Actually tell me if it doesn't work, and leave me alone if it does.


Hang Man Brought to You by Finance Guy
Play Hangman

If you are able to beat it at least a few times in a row please leave a comment and let us all know how long your streak lasted.

If you are in the mood for some other time wasters I have a few cool sport clips that are worth checking out. For instance there is this really cool baseball clip of an absolutely wild play at home plate and there is also a middle school football clip that will just leave you speechless.

Also a Celtics fan dancing like I have never seen one dance before. That clip makes me laugh all the time.

If you are in the mood to sit back and relax then watch the charlie brown holiday special. I have the full episode on site; you should check it out!!