Why You Shouldn’t Take Over Payments for a Car Lease

So you want to buy a used car and you see an ad online from someone selling a vehicle looking for someone to take over payments and possibly even having the audacity to ask for a down payment?

Here is why you should either 1. Avoid doing this all together or 2. Negotiate with the person with the information I give you.

To keep things kinda simple, we’ll discuss in terms of a basic 3 year lease of a vehicle. We all know that any vehicle depreciates the most in the first year… pretty much in the first day you drive it off the lot, right? So the first year of the lease the car could depreciate at a rate of $700/mo., since this is where most value is lost. Now in year two, when depreciation slows down a little bit, you could only be paying $500/mo. Finally in the 3rd year it may only depreciate at a rate of $300/mo.  When you average that out over 3 years you will then be paying $500/mo. for your lease, so that will be your payment in the agreement.  The cost is under represented in year 1 and over represented in year 3.

So when a person is wanting you to take over their payment, they should really be giving you a down payment if you’re going to be paying part of their deprecation for year 1.  It’s really not fair for them to drive a brand new car and for one year and then try to have someone else pay into that year 1 deprecation. I would advise doing some research on KBB first if you are looking to take over payments to purchase the vehicle so you don’t end up paying more than what the vehicle is worth.

However, if your a taking over payments for a vehicle that is being purchased then this may be to your advantage since the opposite takes place. The entire car is being depreciated over a short period of time, 3-5 years. They most likely put a down payment, so that helps offset that initial depreciation when taken off the lot.  We all know that the car holds value after it has been completely paid off. In this case it could be advantageous to put a down payment if asked by the seller if the payments were high and there is only a year or two left to pay.

All in all, do your research and add up how much you’ll end up paying after all the payments. Compare that against the actual value of a car to see if you’re really getting a good deal or not.  Leave your comments below and follow me on Twitter @rayholt.

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Are You Paying Too Much for Health Insurance in California?

There’s a large number of Californian’s that do not have health insurance for themselves or their family. Of those who do, they may find themselves paying a hefty monthly premium for coverage for themselves or their family.

Health Insurance Plans that cover you and your family are known as the Individual & Family Plans (IFP) market. Carriers like Kaiser Permanente, Anthem, Blue Shield, and Aetna offer affordable plans for those who are covered by their employer or may be currently out of work and not on COBRA. Everyone’s situation is different, and depending on the coverage you want you’ll want to find a health plan that best fits your needs.

There are a couple of key points to look for when deciding on a health plan.

1. Are you on any prescription medications? If not, you may save money by choosing a health plan that does not cover brand name prescription medications, but will cover generics.  Just take a look at the plan descriptions that lists its benefits to be sure.  This is always a good place to start when looking to switch to a new plan.

2. Are you expecting to start a family? If you have no plans on having a baby anytime soon, then look at plans that do not cover maternity.  There are cost savings in non-maternity plans that you should be taking advantage if it’s right for you. Remember, you can always change plans at anytime. So when you’re ready to have some kiddos of your own take a look at the plans that include maternity.

3. Take a look at the deductible. Unlike a deductible for car insurance, this one applies towards your yearly medical expenses. So to see some real savings month after month get a high-deductible health plan if you don’t frequent the doctor or do not have any known medical conditions. This is usually best for active healthy individuals who only go to the doctor for routine checkups and if they think they broke something. A lot of people like not having to pay a deductible at all or somewhat of a low one. If you go to the doctor often, then this may be good for you since your insurance will kick in sooner. For those who don’t, you’ll get to pocket the money each month that your saving on your premium.

4. Don’t hesitate to talk to an insurance agent. Health insurance can get confusing and there are a lot of plans out there to choose from multiple carriers. It’s usually best to talk to a licensed health insurance agent to get their expert advice on what plan fits your needs. You can always shop online yourself using a website like www.ShopYourOwnInsurance.com that provides free health insurance quotes in individuals & families in California.

Follow @rayholt on Twitter and leave some comments below 🙂

The Difference Between iPhone 4s and iPhone 5

So you’re looking into getting the new iPhone 5?  Before you do, be sure to take a look at these key differences between the iPhone 4s and iPhone 5

First off is the new iPhone 5 comes with the A6 Chip. Which has been claimed by Apple as being twice as fast as A5. The A6 chip also offers graphics performance that’s up to twice as fast as the A5 chip.

The Apple iPhone 5 is now taller, but slimmer than its predecessor at a Height of 4.87 inches (123.8 mm), Width: 2.31 inches (58.6 mm), a Thickness of 0.30 inch (7.6 mm) and Weighs only 3.95 ounces (112 grams)… nearly one ounce less than the iPhone 4s.

With the additional height also comes the 4-inch (diagonal) Retina display, 1136 x 640 resolution, 326 ppi.

 

If you’re worried about compatibility with any accessories you have, well you should be… the new iPhone 5 features the Nano-SIM and not the Micro-SIM that was previously being used. In addition to this change, the phone now uses the Lightning connector and instead of it’s 30Pin connector used for the previous versions of the iPhone as well as the iPad. This means you’ll have to buy new docks.

As for FaceTime camera, the iPhone 5 has an increased resolution. Now 1.2MP photos can be taken, along with 720p HD video in addition the a backside illumination sensor. One nice little feature that the iPhone 5 is capable of is the ability to take still photos while recording video. There is now also the ability to enable face detection when taking pictures.

All this comes packaged up with a storage and travel case. So if you’re looking to enter into to iPhone market and buy your first iPhone this may be a good time. If you’re not concerned with the latest and greatest and perfectly content with your current iPhone then there’s no rush to get the iPhone 5. The iPhone 6 will probably be out in a couple months… kidding.

Follow me on twitter @rayholt or leave some comments below.

How To Fix JBL Creature II Speaker

JBL Creature II Speakers

I noticed when playing music through my JBL Creature II Speakers that the left speaker was hardly making any sound. I made sure the connectors were properly plugged in, as each speaker wire has a unique pattern on the connector that corresponds to its input in the subwoofer. My left one has a triangle pattern, while the right speaker has a square. Just to reiterate – the speaker does function, the green light is on, I hear faint music coming out, but it’s just not as loud as the other one.

Causes: Most likely caused by dropping the speaker. However, country music is also known to damage audio equipment – therefore it’s best to only play country music with acoustic instruments out in the country and away from society.

Shape Sorter

If you weren’t too good at putting the correct shape patterns into correct corresponding holes as a child you may be able to easily fix your speaker by simply making sure they are plugged in correctly and pushed all the way in (pushing in while turning the connector will ensure it falls into place). Just sayin’.

THE REAL FIX (Approx. 5min if that)

So, how to really fix this thing… you’ll need a small phillips (crosshead) screwdriver and some superglue. Unless your speaker is just completely blown out or damaged, what has happened is that the magnet has dislodged itself from where it is supposed to be which it now preventing the speaker from functioning correctly. Without getting into the complexities of how a speaker works, you need to set the magnet back into place.

Image

So… turn the satellite speaker that is no longer functioning correctly upside down so that you see the 4 screws. Remove them and then remove the base of the speaker.

Image

You should see remnants of the glue from where it should be. Now push the magnet all the way to the rear of the assembly so it looks like the picture above. To help prevent it from happening again you may want to superglue it. After you’re all done just reassemble it and start blasting some Skrillex.

Did you save any money from this fix? If so feel free to Buy Me a Drink. Don’t forget to Follow me on Twitter @rayholt

Content Piracy: Comedian Makes Over 1 Million In 12 Days

One of my favorite comedians, Louis CK, did a digital distribution experiment to sell his standup performance independently for only $5 on his own website and generated hundreds of thounsands of dollars within a few days, inevitably grossing over a million dollars soon after.  Louis CK states on his website “So it’s been about 12 days since the thing started and yesterday we hit the crazy number. One million dollars. That’s a lot of money. Really too much money. I’ve never had a million dollars all of a sudden.”

Ari Emanuel (the real life “Ari Gold” of Entourage) once thought the idea  that everyone would pay for content at a fair price was crazy. So how crazy is it really?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7-YsOzd4co

With recent events in piracy of content [Senate 968 “Protect IP Act” (PIPA) and H.R. 3261 “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA)], many don’t understand one of the better strategies to combat online piracy. The focus shouldn’t be stopping piracy all together, but to make it cost more to obtain an illegal copy vs. the legal version.

Louis CK’s stand up special comes without any digital rights management. You can freely distribute it and do whatever you want with it. He’s gone so far as to also create downloadable DVD case covers and CD labels for the people who want to burn it on disc and have a physical copy. It only sells for $5. So the time it would take someone to search through a peer-to-peer network, complete the download with a risk of getting a virus, or however you would get it, just doesn’t make that option appealing anymore. The approach is different, and  buy, own it, and enjoy that I directly contributed to the success of someone I am a fan of. Similar to this approach, is the recording artist Ronald Jenkees, who sells his own music through his website with use of Paypal.

One thing Ari was 100% correct on was the shift from distribution being the power to content creators. Now these content creators have the ability to distribute their content directly to the end-user, and cuts out the additional costs of all the people in between.

References:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7-YsOzd4co
https://buy.louisck.net/news

Top Ten Qualities of the Successful

Simply, here they are:

1. Optimism. Think positive.
2. Faith. Believe in yourself, God and your country.
3. Planning. Know what’s important each day; set your priorities accordingly.
4. Determination. Have the courage to stand alone when taking the big risks in life.
5. Vision. Think big, dream big, keep success in your mind.
6. Attitude. If you think you can’t, you’re right. Winners have positive attitudes.
7. Goals. Set goals. Plan how to achieve them.
8. Perseverance. Try and try again until the goal is achieved. Never give up.
9. Knowledge. Learn to accept your mistakes, but make them only once.
10. Enthusiasm. Choose work you like. Enjoy the challenges.

Now get out there and do work!

What’s Up with the Toyota Supra?

Nissan has brought us the new Skyline, we’ve seen reworks of the Mustang and Camaro, but no new Toyota Supra?

While driving home on the 101 freeway through Thousand Oaks I saw in the distance an unfamiliar car on the road. My first thought was “wow, that’s exactly what the new Toyota Supra should look like”.

Lexus LFA 101 Freeway Thousand Oaks California

As I got closer, I quickly noticed it was the Lexus LFA.  So I’m curious why Lexus, a division of Toyota, decided to enter the sports car market with a completely new vehicle with such a high price tag ($350,000) when they have the legacy of the Supra to uphold. Just the mention of the release of the Supra would generate enough interest to sale the vehicle with little marketing costs.

Lexus LFA

Riding at the Track

Last year was the first time I had ever taken my motorcycle to the track. Everything about the whole trip was non-stop fun!  I’ve gotten to a point where I’m highly considering wanting to join the AMA and start racing.

Laguna Seca Yamaha Appreciation Day

It was a random  idle weekday when I received a text from my friend Robert who informed me of a heavily discounted track day put on by Zoom Zoom Track Days called Yamaha Appreciation Day. I quickly rushed to a computer and signed up right away so I would not miss out on this opportunity. A previous year I was invited but was not able to get out of work (you’d thinking working at a motorcycle shop they would have leniency for taking a day off for this, right?) I didn’t want to go entirely anyways, because I wanted to get a newer motorcycle before going to the track. I didn’t want to crash the motorcycle I currently had (2002 Yamaha R6). So now I was all out of excuses and ready to commit to the track after years of friends and other fellow riders encouraging me to take the step.

It was the day before the weekend trip to Laguna Seca and time to make the final preparations for the trip. I shouldn’t have waited till the day before, bad idea. I needed to do an oil change, change my tires, get a hold of tire warmers, motorcycle stands, a suit, boots, and figure out how I was going to get my motorcycle from Fresno, CA to Monterey, CA. I ran around town calling friends to see who had things I could borrow and visited Wilson’s Motorcycles to pick up oil and motorcycle grips. I was able to negotiate a deal with a friend to get some Pilot Power One racing slicks that had about 2 track days left on them and he also had a suit I could borrow.

I made it back to my house with the collection of items I needed. I quickly put my bike on stands, took off the wheels, and headed back to have the racing slicks mounted on the tires. Now I rushed back to my place to start the oil change and any final preps. So after that was all done I started up the bike for a  quick test ride. That’s when I noticed my brakes weren’t working well at all. Kind of an important element of riding a motorcycle at the track. $#%&! My fork seals are leaking with brake fluid dripping down onto the brake pads. The motorcycle shop is now closed and I’ve got to think real quick if I want to still go to the track.

What would the pros do? Just simply ride their backup bike or mount up some new forks. Well I didn’t have that luxury, but I did have a friend with an 06 R6 as well 🙂 So I made the call to see if I could borrow his motorcycle for the weekend. I got his bike to my house and was contemplating what to do. Do I just ride his bike? No, it’s not insured and he owe’s way too much on it for me to want to be responsible. So I decided on a fork swap.

I have both bikes up on stands in the garage and start taking off the forks from mine to put on to his and vise versa. 45 min later I was good to go. I cleaned the brake pads and calipers and now for another test ride. Everything is great so far… but brakes are still not at 100%. The brake fluid must have compromised the integrity of the brake pads. I simply took the brake pads off of the spare bike and put them onto mine and now I’m finally good to go.

4:00am comes way too soon! I was so excited that I was restless and not able to get much sleep. I quickly awoke from my slumber, since I really never fell asleep for more than an hour at a time. I did load up everything in the truck the night before and just had to wait for my friend to come over and help me put the bike on my hitch trailer. The chaos from the past 12 hours had settled and it was an easy drive to the track.

For those of you who have been to the track, even as a spectator, you know how exciting it is to crest over the peak of the road that leads to the entrance of the track. From this point you can nearly see the entire track spanned out across in the valley.  Since we were a little late getting to the track we quickly unpacked and unloaded the bikes, quickly went through inspection and got out on the track. It had rained the night so the track was wet. This was an advantage to me since there was a pace bike that was taking us around the track slowly because of the wet conditions.

The day continued and the track dried off and with each session I’m starting to get a feel for what riding a sport bike is really like.  I never thought I was fast on the street even though at times I rode faster than the average rider. This was a whole new level of riding. No worries about breaking the laws, getting hit by oncoming traffic, or the many other variables of riding on the street. Which each session of riding I became more comfortable with the track. I was learning the lines and remembering braking points.

Everything about this day was exciting, except the expense aspect that sat in the back of my mind. One of the best parts of the day was knowing that I get to wake up and do it all over again.

The next day wasn’t as chaotic of a rush to get on the track. The bike still needed to go through inspection, but since we had a garage everything was sitting ready to go. Yesterday’s goal was to make it to the next day. Today there was no goal except just to have fun and be safe. I was moved up to the A group and really started having some fun pushing my limits.  I was amazed how fast some of these riders were, or how fast and young they were. I found it amusing to be lapped by a 14 year old Redbull Rookie Cup rider that was on a Yamaha R1. It surely made me wish I had gotten an earlier start in motorcycle racing.

Google Plus Project

I just started using Google Plus and it’s been pretty intuitive. I’m not a huge fan of Facebook so I’m really hoping Google Plus gains some leverage in the social networking world. I’m sure there are concerns with them having a prominent role in nearly everything online and even with mobile devices. I can’t even begin to comprehend the amount of data that Google is collecting and I’m sure many of us have our concerns that the information is personally identifiable. I do use Google Apps for my business and have my Android phone hooked up with that Gmail account. There’s an app for Google Plus I’ll be using once I get it configured. All in all, the impact that Google Plus will have I am not sure of at the moment. As it gains momentum I’ll have a better understanding.

If you currently have Google Plus feel free to add me. Those of you who don’t follow me on twitter and simply post “@rayholt invite me to Google Plus!”

Google Wonder Wheel

Have You Tried Google’s Wonder Wheel?

I think Google’s Wonder Wheel is perfect for finding niche keywords. I find it to be one of the easiest ways to drill down into a niche and find a micro niche when I’m trying to target in on some new markets. It’s a simple and quick way to brainstorm and just get the ball rolling on some possible potential micro niches and keywords. Here is an example of drilling down on some terms related to backup software.

First I search the term “Backup Software” using Google’s wonder wheel. Software is a huge market and backup software can be considered a market all in itself. This is way too broad of a search term and wouldn’t be considered a niche. But with Google’s Wonder Wheel I can instantly see other related searches that are relevant to my term “Backup Software”. This makes finding a niche, or micro niche a lot easier for me.

Google Wonder Wheel - Backup Software

The term “Backup Software” brings up 8 different related terms. Some may be considered a niche, while others may not. I think it may be safe to say: if Google is suggesting these, they may be considered relevant terms with some good organic search traffic.

As you can see to the right, it will start showing search results, such as NovaStor’s NovaBACKUP in the paid results, or  Wikipedia’s list of backup software. Since this is too broad of a search term I continue on.  I then select on “Server Backup Software” to drill down a little deeper into the niche to give me some more ideas on relevant search terms that are related to the backup software market.

Google Wonder Wheel Server Backup Software

Here I am presented again with some more search terms that are related to my initial phrase “Backup Software” and the sub-topic of “Server Backup Software”. So again, here are another 8 good ideas for possible micro niches. Always take a moment to look at the right hand side search results to see if there are a lot of competitors. Some you will find there are ads, while other times you may find there are not people that are displaying ads for these key phrases. Make note and jump over to Google’s Keyword Tool to determine the amount of traffic any of those terms are getting.

Google Wonder Wheel Server Backup Software Review

Keep drilling down until you find something you want to pursue. What’ really fun about Google’s Wonder Wheel is that it follows your “train of thought”. You can be 30 links deep into the Wonder Wheel and can always trace back to how you got there. Only if there was a way to do that with day to day thoughts.

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