Stock Market Data – Where to Gather Information For Investing

When you’re a new investor, experts will tell you over and over again that you need to do your research before you should give one penny of your hard earned money to the stock market. The only problem is that many new investors are generally clueless when it comes to gathering stock market data. If you’re motivated to have a successful investing experience, but a little overwhelmed when it comes to choosing where you take your tips and information from, it’s important that you know the best places to look for advice and market information.

With the explosion of online brokerage sites and resources for investing on the internet, it only makes sense that this would be one of the first places that people look for stock market data. While there is no shortage of information about daily market fluctuations and advice about the most advantageous positions to assume, it’s important to realize that information published on the internet isn’t regulated by any type of stock market authenticity authority. This means that anyone with five minutes of trading experience can publish charts and recommendations that are virtually useless, but if you’re new, you’re not likely to know the difference.

Many new investors have plenty of ambition when it comes to investing, but they lack the time to really get educated about how the market works. Because of this dichotomy, they are attracted to sources of stock market data that can keep up with their fast paced lives. For this reason, they often turn to so-called expert analysts that have shows on television news channels for evaluations of the strength of the market and recommendations about which stocks are a good choice. While these personalities usually have legitimate credentials, they are often wrong, and should be taken with a grain of salt.

Of course, the best place to get stock market data is from the market itself, which means that all new investors should get into the habit of reading daily stock reports and learning how to quickly interpret the data they contain. If you haven’t yet made your first investment, make a list of acronyms of top stocks to use as practice for monitoring. If you’ve already got a small portfolio, use these acronyms instead. Learn how to spot the range of trading to get an indication of the general momentum of the market and pay attention to more than one trading platform if you can.

Extreme Sampling – Process Testing in Promotional Marketing

“Dad. I think I just flushed my underwear down the toilet.”

I just sat there … looking at my nine-year old son, searching for words that seemed stuck in a mental quagmire of wonder and disbelief.

Finally, as nonchalantly as I could, I asked, “So … how did that happen?”

“Well, when I sat on my pen it broke and got ink on my underwear. So I thought if I put some soap in the toilet and flushed it … the turbo action would be just like the washing machine and get the ink out. I forgot the toilet like, eats everything you put in it.”

Wouldn’t it be great to be nine again? We could just test out … no wait, implement any idea that came to our mind knowing we were backed by the full faith and credit of mom and dad. But, in the world you and I live in, a creative or logistical faux pas costs real money and carries real consequences.

I used to believe Extreme Sampling involved two steps.
1) Product Testing.
2) Instruction Scrutiny.

I was wrong.

My son’s exercise in creative thinking caused me to re-think my position and now I believe there are three steps to Extreme Sampling. Step 3 is, “Process Testing”. Process Testing is where you focus on logistics, distribution and final outcomes. In short, you conduct a trial run to the best of your ability to prevent, “Flushing your underwear down the toilet.”

Case in point. I recently sent a client some waterless tattoo samples. The client tested them and found that they worked perfectly. They ordered 50k. Unfortunately, they did not test them through the bindery equipment on which the tattoos would be affixed to a card. Turns out the tattoos were too thin for the machinery to pick up and place properly. This could have been remedied by using a thicker stock … had we known. Instead, they’re affixing them by hand, which costs more. (Insert flush sound here).

Forcing yourself to test the process will help you think it through and avoid problems. For instance, that umbrella you want to give everyone at the conference. You’ve tested the product and scrutinized the instructions. Now let’s test the process. The conference is in a city to which most people will fly. Grab your suitcase. Will that 4 foot umbrella fit?

Daily, marketers fail to test the process and find out too late that the product, premium or incentive … won’t fit in the bag, the box, the envelope or the suitcase. Or they find out at the worst possible moment, that leaving the chocolate parting-gift in the van, in the sun, all day … was a no-no.

Here’s a few things to think about regarding step #3 of Extreme Sampling:

Carton Weight: Having UPS deliver five 40 pound cartons to your office is one thing. But can the person in your office who is in charge of getting those cartons to the event – lift 40 pound boxes? We often under-pack cartons for our clients based on how much weight THEY want to lift.

Effects of Heat/Cold: Can it melt or freeze? Do you need to keep something cool or warm at the event prior to distribution? And for how long? Our chocolate vendor ships with ice packs to prevent melting in transit. But if the chocolate is not stored correctly once you get it, well, you’re flushing your underwear down the toilet. Will those snow globes freeze and break? Will the deodorant in the personal care packs liquefy in the heat?

Time/Timing: Your logo glowing at a night event on a t-shirt, tattoo or hat will look really cool. But, if you’re placing your bets on a solar-powered, glow-in-the-dark item, make sure your event has daylight hours built in so the product has a time to charge up.

Fulfillment: If you are going to have a fulfillment center do anything with a product …make sure you give them samples to test before you place an order.

Rules & Regulations: If you’re distributing your item at a conference, will the item be accepted by the airlines in checked or carry on luggage? If you’re mailing your item, does it conform to postal or other delivery rules and regs? Some stadiums have rules banning noise makers. Some fairgrounds have rules banning balloons. Contrary to the creative thought process, when you stand to loose money or worse, your job – it’s better to ask for permission than to beg for forgiveness.

I’d share more but I just spotted Junior headed out back with a lawn chair, balloons and my helium tank. I’m sure the word ‘”tether” isn’t something he’s thought of … yet.

Internet Marketing Mentoring Strategies – Is You Marketing A Messy?

Odds are, if you’re not making any money form your marketing campaigns, than you’re probably all over the place. A solid marketing campaign should be clean and efficient. So how do you tell the difference between an organized campaign and a chaotic mess? Well that’s what I’m here to help you out with. This based on my 5+ years of experience and I hope you find this helpful.

The #1 Problem – Consistency

Consistency – or lack there of. To make sure I’m consistent with my marketing efforts I used a DAILY marketing schedule and I stick to this religiously. It doesn’t matter what’s going on, the sky could be falling for all I care, if it’s on my daily list, it needs to get done, PERIOD! Don’t let “how you feel” dictate your actions, your actions should be results driven. I know that doing tasks ABC will produce results XYZ…so you better believe I’m doing ABC…I’m singing the alphabet every damn morning. Consistency is the life blood to your business.

Problem #2 – Targeting

Whatever product or service you sell, think about all the potential markets you can target. Let’s take acne for example: when I think acne, I think teenager having the worst breakouts ever…but acne is not only a “teenager” issue. There are plenty if adults who struggle with acne every single day. Make sure to cater your marketing efforts to as many different niche customers as possible. If you write an article about teen acne and how you can help, than write another about adult acne and how you can help.

What I’m getting at is this: if your marketing efforts are too narrow, than you’re leaving tons of money on the table. Conversely, if your marketing is too broad, than you may be spreading yourself thin in your efforts to cater to everyone. You need understand your market and understand how to best reach them.

Problem #3 – Money

We’re not all made of money. Not all of us have a million dollar marketing budget. Knowing this, novice marketers try tons of different marketing strategies at once and their back in that (lost) mess again. Don’t go throwing crap on the wall and hoping something sticks. That’s not the way to go about it. Sit down and look at what it is that your are doing. Pick just 2 or 3 marketing methods and concentrate on these until you’ve mastered them. To the point where you’ve streamlined them. Don’t let your lack of funds stunt your business growth by trying to doing every possible strategy you can think of. Just chose a few strategies and be consistent in your efforts. When you make your first sale, roll it back into your marketing budget. Rinse and repeat and before you know it, your bringing in the cash! I hope my Internet Marketing Mentoring strategies will help you get your marketing off the ground and give you tons of consistent traffic to your site.