Become a Young Investor Part One

Why You Should Become a Young Investor

If your asking yourself “Why should I become a young investor” than you’re not alone.  Our generation is being pummeled by a tough economy, an increasingly old population, and an education system failing to teach us skills we need to succeed.  Its more important now than ever to invest, and to do so early.

Want to know one of the most common misconceptions about investing? That it takes a ton of money, false.  It takes a couple hundred bucks to make your first investment, not thousands and thousands of dollars.  The very first thing you need to do in order to invest is do a little research.

We live in the information age.  We have the luxury of knowledge ; if we have questions for the universe, Google has complied the answers.  Do some research.  I’ve listed some great resources to get your started but if you don’t feel like listening to me, just google “how to invest”.  I promise you it will be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.

Compounding Interest

A Few Basic Tips

Okay, so here are a few basic tips to get you going.  The path to financial security starts right now.  The earlier you start investing the better, start right now.

There are some basic investing tips you need to know about.  I’ve already made it a point to mention the importance of starting early.  Aside from that here are some other basic tips you need to know.

  • Think Long Term

That whole get rich quick thing, probably not going to happen.  But you can live a comfortable life now and more importantly later on by investing some money.  Think about the end goal here.  I know we are young and our prefrontal cortex hasn’t developed all the way so we want immediate results.  Fight the urge, think long term.

  • Put Multiple Eggs In Multiple Baskets

The financially savvy term would be “diversify your portfolio”.  What this really boils down to; avoid putting all of your cheddar in one spot.  If you invest all of your savings in high risk stocks your just asking for trouble.  Having said that, don’t be afraid to take the occasional risk.  Being a young investor means we aren’t burdened with the responsibilities (dependents, mortgage etc..) that our older associates are.  If you want to invest a portion of your money in a high risk account I say go for it.

  • Do It Right Now

I don’t think I can stress the importance of investing right now.   Compounding Interest is one of the most powerful forces in the galaxy.  Warren Buffet, one of the richest dudes on earth, is worth $60 billion.  Of that $60 billion, $59.7 was added after his sixtieth birthday because of compounding interest.  

Well thats it for right now.  Tune in next week for Part 2.

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Reflecting On a Night At Barrel

A Night At Barrell

Last night I spent the better portion of my night at the Monkey Barrel.  Here is what I thought about my night at Barrel.

Improvements

Admittedly, in the past I haven’t been the biggest fan of Barrel.  Actually, I pretty much hated it.  The new renovations actually do a great deal to improve the setting at Barrel.  What renovations you ask?   Here are a few I noticed.

  • Bathrooms- I can’t tell you how many times I’ve urinated on the side of the building, in a sink,…..and even in a corner once.  Its about time the people at Barrel upgrade the bathrooms.  The mens room has seven or eight new urinals, I haven’t had to wait in line at all yet. Major improvement
  • Dance Floor- The dance floor at Barrel is always packed.  Its twice as large now as it used to be.  It still has the same hot, sweaty feel to it that we all know and love.
  • Decorations- So its pretty much always dark and musky in barrel so I can’t really go into particulars here.  It just seems a hell of a lot better then it did before.

Barrel is the perfect size bar.  Its big enough to walk around in, but small enough to find your friends if you get separated.  Theres a couple bars scattered through out with a couple bartenders at each one.

It usually only takes me a few minutes to hail down a bartender and get a drink which is a good thing.

Awful Bouncers

*Begin Rant*

My biggest issue with Barrel is the bouncers.  Last night a buddy of mine wasn’t let in because his black V-neck was “gang related”….seriously?  I mean, I understand you don’t want people wearing long black T’s- that makes sense.  But a tight fit standard black V-neck, its the male equivalent of the “little black dress”.

The bouncers are the “push,shove, and punch first, think later type.  I’ve seen a number of drunk helpless kids get pummeled, and thrown out on when they posed absolutely no threat to the customers of the bar.

Thats not even the worst of it.  I saw another kid get turned away for using a fake id…happens all the time.  What makes it awful is that the bouncers kept him there saying things like “mommy and daddy aren’t going to bale you out of this one will they”.  Sweet bro, you really told him.

*End Rant*

You should go to Barrel if:  You want to get really really drunk, dance, sweat, and possibly get tossed by bouncers.

Basic Web Coding Part 2

Coding Links

Links are a crucial part of the internet.  More so then you may realize.  Coding a link is a pretty basic process requiring the use of hte <a>tag.

There are a number of reasons you would need to “link”.  Perhaps you want to help your readers by linking to a cool article you found.  Or perhaps you want to link a number of documents together to make a website!  Its an exciting, yet simple process.

Check it out

Sample:

<a href=“ign.com”>Click Here To Go To IGN!</a>

If you were to code that up in your text editor, it would output this:

Click Here to Go To IGN! 

Coding Images

Every dynamic website needs some images to keep things interesting.  There are two ways to put images into your website using HTML.  You can either:

  1. Link to images locally (images saved on your computer)
  2. Link to images on the internet via URL (uniform resource locator

Here is a sample code for an image using a url:

<img src=http://www.amazoniaflowers.com/thumbnail.asp?file=assets/images/three%20gerbera%20daisies(1).jpg&maxx=350&maxy=350”/>

That URL just happened to be ridiculously long but it’s simply a matter of cutting and pasting.  If you were to put that code into a text editor it would output:

flowers

Unordered and Ordered List

Lists are just another basic function of any basic website, but like anything in HTML, a little creativity can go a long way.  In fact, most navigation bars (the menus on just about every website) are made up of unordered lists.

Unordered lists look like this

  • this
  • is
  • an
  • unordered list

Here is some sample code for an unordered list.

<ul>

<li> list item one</li>

<li>list item two</li>

<li>list item three</li>

</ul>

Well there you have it.  Now you can code images, links, and lists.  Your well on your way to coding websites!

Basic Web Coding Part 1

The Basics of Coding

So about a year ago, my junior year of college, I started seriously thinking about life after college.  I was doing my research into what employers look for in young job prospects.  Perhaps one of the most necessary skills of the future is the ability to code.  I am not saying you need to be able to engineer software; I’m just saying you should know basic “Markup Languages”.  Do not be intimidated, it is really easy.  If I can do it anyone can do it, keep reading and I promise you; by the end of this article you will grasp the basics of coding!

HTML

HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is the backbone of the world wide web.  Let me break it down for you as simply as I can; the internet is a giant (like ridiculousley) large collection of text documents.  When you strip down any website, its really just a bunch of text.  Dont’ believe me? Right click your mouse…than click “page source”.  All of that text is what makes a website.

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Keyword Finding Tools

Keyword Finding Tools You Need

 

There are a plethora of ways to find  quality keywords; here are some of my favorite keyword finding tools that will help you increase visibility.

  • The Keyword Tool: The Keyword Tool is found in the Adwords interface. Its primary use is to find more keywords to add to a PPC campaign but its also an excellent keyword finding tool to use.  You can narrow down your results by specifying broad, [exact], or “phrase” mathces.
  • Ubersuggest: Ubersuggest will give you an exhaustive list of keywords  listed alphabetically.  Ubersuggest also has an uber sweet feature allowing you to store your keywords in a side panel to access them later.
  • Soovle: Soovle acts as a “search engine compiler”.  Putting a query in soovle will bring up just about every relevant search engines autosuggest results.
  • Google Trends:  This is less known keyword finding tool but a really nifty one if you ask me.  Google trends allows you to see if a keyword is rising or falling in popularity (trending); It also lets you to see how often a word has been queried over a specified period of time.

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Intro To Link Building

What Is Link Building

Link building used to be the cornerstone of SEO. Although many would argue that its not quite as important as it used to be, its still a pillar of any quality SEO strategy. To put it as simply as possible; link building is the process of getting links back to your site.  There are all sorts of different ways to get links back to your site, before we really dig into “what is link building” keep in mind that the best way to get links; is to have quality content on your page.

Link Building Diagram
Think Of It Like This
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4 Things Every CMAT Major Should Be Able To Do

1: The Ability To Speak In Public

Sounds like a no brainer right?  After all, we are “communications” majors.  We’ve thrown a ton of money at a degree that teaches us to speak and interact with our peers.  By the time you graduate from SU, all CMAT majors should be confident in their public speaking ability.

I think this is one of the most under rated skills to possess.  I’ve met a lot of people in my life who are just bad at speaking.  Speaking in public doesn’t necessarily mean presenting in front of a class.

It just means conveying a message effectively and efficiently to your audience.

2: Write Captivating Content

A few years back, one of my professors told me “You better know how to write by the time you graduate”. Well I’ve known how to write since first grade thankfully.  I think what he was trying to say was “You better know how to engage readers with words”.

There’s a big difference between knowing how to write, and knowing how to engage readers with captivating content.  

3: Leverage Social Media For Business

Its no secret that a well thought out, optimized social media marketing campaign can do wonders for a business.  We, as communications majors, need to be social savvy (which is why we should get a hootsuite certification for this class).

So how do we get people to interact with our social campaigns?  Its easy….just them ask them too.

People love expressing their opinions and letting the world know how smart they are.  All we have to do is ask them.

For example.  I help manage the “Salisbury Rugby Facebook Page”.  Last week I had about fifty comments and one hundred seventy five unique visitors to our team website by posting this as a status.

“Which National Championship Squad Was The Most Dominant”.

People ate it up.  They were commenting, re-commenting, debating, and getting involved.  It was easy, all I had to do was ask for their opinion.

4: SEO 101

The landscape of public relations is in the process of dramatic change.  Public Relations students with a professional understanding of search engine optimization will be valuable assets to the companies who employ them.

Why is SEO so important?   VISIBILITY

At the end of the day thats what SEO is all about.  Online visibility.  As Public Relations professionals were going to expected to manage what people think of our companies.  One way to get our company name out there is to optimize our web pages for search engines.

How To Engage Readers On The Web

Start With Your Headings

Writing for the web is much different then writing for traditional print media.  Readers are impatient, easily discouraged, and lazy.  If someone clicks on your web page, and they see a long paragaraph with no headings or images, guess what they are going to do?

Leave you webpage.

Placing visible headings at the top of each paragraph makes it easy for readers to quickly scan your material and locate what exactly they want to read.

Break Up Your Paragraphs

When your writing for the web, paragraphs should never ever ever exceed four lines.  Remember, readers are lazy…if they see long paragraphs they aren’t going to read your stuff.  It just looks too boring.

We live in the age of Twitter and microblogging.  We express our feelings 140 characters at a time.  Don’t expect anyone to read paragraphs that are more then a few lines long.

xz

Conversational Tone

Write like you speak.  Don’t try to impress everyone with your robust vocabulary and super technical insight.  Using a conversational tone appeals to everyone.

Ever heard of Ernest Hemingway?  He would have been an excellent web writer.  Here are his thoughts on using big words.

“Does he really thing big emotions come from big words?  I know them (big words) all right.  But there are older and simpler and better words and those are the ones that I use”.

Got it?  Don’t use big words.  Write as if you are having casual conversation over a cold beer.

Images/Videos

Multimedia is an excellent way add layers to your content.  An excellent article is just that…an excellent article.  When you plug in some relevant images and videos; your doing that much more to keep readers hooked.

Heres a video on why writing great content is so important to Google (SEO).

Entertain

Entertain people.  Write about things people will want to read about.

Now Go Write Some Content!