Saturday, December 15, 2012

What are Reverse Mortgages ?

A normal mortgage is where a home owner takes a loan against property where the lender pays the borrower only a fixed percentage (60-70%) upfront . In case of Reverse mortgages, the house/property owner surrenders the title of the property to the lender. The lender in return does not pay the entire sum but a regular amount per month for an agreed duration during which the owner of the property continues to use the property. On the death of the owner and the spouse, die during the period of the RM scheme, the lender will sell the property, take its share and distribute the rest among the heirs. The reverse mortgage is named thus because the payment stream is “reversed.” Instead of making monthly payments to a lender, as with a regular mortgage, a lender makes payments to you.

Usually, RMs are available to those above a specific age, say 60 years. The aim is to convert an immovable asset, like property into an income-generating one while continuing to use it. The amount of income is predetermined as is the contract period. If the property-owner outlives the agreement period, the monthly payments will stop. How is the income for property-owner determined? There are three crucial factors property value, the period of the payout and the rate. The property is evaluated by professionals employed by the lender, and revalued after a period of time and the fixed income amounts are changed accordingly. In countries where the geriatric population is rising (such as Japan and Western Europe), RMs are popular. However, while it looks simple, lenders expose themselves to certain risks thanks to a variety of factors such as mortality, interest rates and real estate price changes. For the property owner signing away the roof over his head creates fears of loss of asset, eviction and inability to bequeath property. Besides, the legal, taxation and other regulatory aspects are still not clear.

Advantages of RM:
It helps you maintain your financial independence and standard of living
Allows you to remain in your home and retain ownership till you or your spouse is alive
Disadvantages of RM
The options can be confusing
They may be costlier than Loan against property

Friday, December 7, 2012

Effective Presentations

There are four essential steps to take to ensure that presentations in different situations are successful and effective. They are Preparation, Gaining and keeping attention, maintaining interest and closing positively.

  • Informal presentations
  1. Define the desired outcome ( check out support of key team members, if appropriate).
  2. Set the agenda ( circulate if appropriate).
  3. Gather the data.
  4. Spell out the benefits.
  5. Summarize financial justification.
Effective Presentation Techniques Help you stay ahead of competition
  • Formal presentations
  1. Check out the venue and set up (numbers attending, lay-out, equipment available etc, and so on).
  2. Check time available for your presentation and how you will be introduced.
  3. Check out who will attend and get background on them.
  4. Rehearse your presentation (and check on slides, and so on).
  5. Expect to be nervous (but remember that nerves will fade after a few minutes).
  6. Try to meet attendees before your session so that you will know them.
  • Gaining and keeping attention

  1. Informal presentations / meetings

    • Fix the best (most convenient / distraction free ) place.
    • Only start when you have the complete attention of others.
    • Agree start and finish times.
    • Ensure there are no interruptions.

  2. Formal presentations / meetings
  • Make sure the audience is ready and seated before you start.
  • Deliver your opening sentence positively to command attention.
  • Maintaining interest
a. Informal presentations / meetings
  • Don’t waffle; stick to the point.
  • Involve other people.
  • Focus on good news and benefits.
  • Mention key opportunities / results / issues
  • Convince by showing financial justification
  • Talk with conviction.
b. Formal presentations
  • Tell people why the subject is important to them.
  • Tell them the topics you will cover
  • Advise them of the decision / approval you expect, if appropriate.
  • Use flip-charts/slides/computer presentations/videos to hold audience
  • Use key words on slides.
  • Don’t read your presentation.
  • Demonstrate your own conviction and enthusiasm in words, voice and gesture.
  • Spell out benefits.
  • Present factual evidence ( not opinions).
  • Demonstrate financial justification.
  • Show that potential problems have been identified and overcome.
  • Handle questions as arranged and authoritatively.

IV. Closing positively

a. Informal presentations / meetings
i. Close with agreement to the outcome you want
ii. Agree who will do what by then
iii. If there is no agreement, try to ensure that some positive action is taken towards your goal.

b. Formal presentations / meetings
i. Ask for the approval, order or action you want to conclude your presentation.

V. General advise on presentations
a. Rehearse, rehearse and rehearse

b. Use slides or flip-charts, if possible
i. Help structure presentation.
ii. Allow audience to focus on key points.
iii. Let you look at audience while elaborating on the key points.
iv. Keep information on each slide to a minimum (20 words or fewer figures).
v. Make sure type of slides is big enough to be seen clearly.
vi. Show slides in correct order (and number them).
vii. Use visual stimulus, such as cartoons.

c. Work on your presentation style
i. Entertain your audience with anecdotes, illustrations, and examples.
ii. Vary your voice (tone and level).
iii. Use jokes sparingly if at all.
iv. Avoid bad language, risqué jokes, and so on.
v. Avoid excessive walking about or extravagant gestures.
vi. Involve your audience; let them question you, but also question them; don’t hold on to fixed ideas, listen.
vii. Let them hear, see and does; lecture, visual aids, worked examples/syndicate discussions, and so on.
viii. Don’t apologise.
ix. Relax.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Vegetable Hakka Noodles

Interesting variation of veg hakka noodles :-)
1 packet - Maggi noodles
french beans some carrots some spring onions
1 tsp - maggi taste maker
2 to 3 tsp - soya sauce
salt to taste
8 tbsps - oil
soya and chilli sauce to taste

  1. Wash the vegetables. and cut them in strings and fine stips
  2. Boil the noodles with sufficient water, some salt and 1 tbsp. of oil till the noodles are soft. Drain out the water.Pour some cold water (2-3 glasses) so that they do not stick together.
  3. Heat oil in a sufficiently big kadai, add the chopped onions and fry on a medium flame till they are transparent.Add the vegetables, Maggi and salt to taste.
  4. Cook on a medium flame till the vegetables are tender but also crunchy.
  5. Add the noodles, sauces and finely chopped greens.
  6. Mix well. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Serve hot. 
PS : Forgot to take the snap , next time i will :-)

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