Discounted Cash Flow Modelling to Achieve Personal Financial Goals

A discounted cash flow or DCF model is a style of calculation linking streams of future money flows to lump sum amounts. Discounted cash flow models have a range of business-related applications, and are used extensively by economists, accountants, actuaries, engineers, business valuators, finance professionals, and others.

For example, a company may wish to finance a project if (and only if) the Internal Rate of Return exceeds 10% per year. The anticipated development costs for the project may be large for the initial year. On the other hand, significant revenues are anticipated for Year 2 onward. The company directors rely on a DCF model to help determine whether or not the project's Internal Rate of Return exceed their 10% threshold.

Discounted cash flow models also have important applications in everyday life that are often overlooked. For example, consider auto dealers who advertise low finance rates to prospective clients. From a car buyer's perspective, low finance rates are understood to be good, since they mean lower monthly payments. By using a DCF model, a buyer can determine the monetary value on the low finance rate offer.

Everyday use of a Discounted Cash Flow model would include (but would not be restricted to) the following:

  • Mortgage Refinancing: For homeowners with a fixed-rate mortgage, refinancing often debts paying a penalty. A DCF model can be used to calculate whether the interest savings exceeded the penalty cost
  • First-Time Home Ownership: First time home ownership involves many new costs, and can be intimidating to many of us. A DCF model can help by comparing long term home ownership costs against rental costs
  • Lease or Own Vehicle: A DCF model can help car shoppers in their decision whether to buy or lease a vehicle

Examples of these and other everyday applications can be viewed at the author's website.

Through the above (and other) practical applications, Discounted Cash Flow models can assist all of us in achieving our personal financial goals.

Introduction to Teaching English in Japan

Would you like the chance to spend some time in Japan but feel turned off by whistle-stop package tourist trips? If so, teaching English may be the answer. There is no better way to get to know a country than by living and working there. By teaching English you become a part of Japanese society, rather than just an observer looking in.

Teaching English is big business in Japan. Despite the collapse of the so-called bubble economy Japan remains one of the richest and most sophisticated nations on the planet, and this status is largely due to its success in overseas trade and investment. Thus, to get ahead in Japanese society, proficiency in English is a significant advantage. Add to that the fact that being able to speak English is simply considered cool and the huge demand for English teachers becomes clear.

Don’t Japanese people learn English at school?

Yes they do. Usually for 6 years or more. The problem is that, unlike most of the school curriculum, English isn’t taught particularly well. Japanese schools tend to follow traditional teaching methods in which the teacher stands at the front and lectures the class. Students are expected to absorb rather than question. The method produces excellent results for subjects like history and mathematics, but not for communicative, participative skills like language. School English education is likely to consist of lots of reading and writing, lots of grammar practice, but very little – if any – spoken communication.

Do I need to speak Japanese?

Not at all. Of course, if you can pick up a little nihongo (Japanese) it will make your daily life easier, but it won’t help one bit as a teacher. The reason is that the most effective way of teaching language is to use only the target language. Thus the only language used in English lessons is English.

How do I start?

Well, you could simply buy a ticket to Japan and start looking for work. Unfortunately, without a work permit, that strategy is illegal. Unless you have a Japanese spouse you need to find a job that will sponsor you for a visa. It is possible to travel to Japan as a tourist and approach a few of the numerous schools advertising for teachers asking if they are prepared to sponsor your visa application.

It helps to undergo some TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) training before looking for work. Not only will this give you some basic teaching skills and confidence, but it also shows potential employers you are serious about teaching and not just a backpacker looking for some financial re-fuelling.

TEFL courses are advertised in most English speaking countries. The more useful ones are provided by working English schools and offer face-to-face teaching practice with real learners.

Accommodation

If you are employed by the JET program or one of the big English school companies they will more than likely arrange accommodation for you. You are of course free to find your own housing if you so wish.

Living in school-found accommodation has the advantage of an English speaking contact to sort out repairs or other problems. The disadvantage is that it’s difficult to quit a job that may not be for you while living in their accommodation. I have also heard of at least one school that charges its teachers a significant premium over market rental rates for use of its accommodation – so beware!

There are several English speaking accommodation agencies advertising in the free English language press, and these generally provide decent accommodation, but at a price.

An alternative favored by many single English teachers are the so-called “gaijin houses” (literally foreigner’s house). These are basically hostels that rent out basic, but adequately comfortable, rooms mainly to non-Japanese clientele. Usually bathroom, kitchen and sometimes communal sitting room are shared. Gaijin house advertisements are to be found in the free English language press.

Australian Outback Vacations In Nullarbor

If you want to experience the ultimate in road trips, look no further than the Nullarbor Plain. Nullarbor is derived from two Latin words meaning "no trees" and this is a very accurate description of the area. Although arid and barren, there is not only incredible beauty in this land, but also lots to see. Covering 77,000 square miles, Nullabor is one of the largest semi arid Karst deserts in the world. The gateway to the desert is the Nullarbor Roadhouse, a motel and service station located next to the historic Nullarbor Homestead. North of here are the Murrawijinie Caves which can be toured with National Parks officers. The desert is home to a large network of caves which are dramatically cut into the rocks, and are often multiple kilometers wide.

East of the roadhouse is the Head of Bight, a popular whale watching spot. Here southern right whales can be viewed from May to the end of October as they congregate in groups of up to one hundred individuals. Boardwalks take visitors to lookouts where they can see the whales and also enjoy the breathtaking view of the cliffs that drop from the Nullabor Plain into the ocean below. Another area that should be a stop on all itineraries is the Nullarbor Bunda Cliffs, a series of lookouts that stretch for over two hundred kilometers.

Along the way, try a stop in Iron Knob, and trace the town's importance in the steel industry at the Mining Museum. More than just a place to stop for services, Nundroo offers excellent fishing, surfing, and local history. If you are interested in Aboriginal culture, stop at the Ceduna Aboriginal Arts and Culture Center, where you'll find authentic art and gifts, and the Language Center that is working to preserve the many varied Aboriginal languages.

How To Fix Sputtering Marketing

Is your marketing generating a steady stream of sales leads?

If not, ask yourself this question: Do you have a marketing plan?

You may know what your business goals and objectives are. And you probably have a website and some advertising. But without a game plan, your marketing activities are reduced to a few unconnected activities that are unquestionably to produce the results you want.

A marketing plan helps you tie all your marketing activities together and keeps you focused so that you can create a roadmap that will lead you to your objectives.

And a simple, one-page marketing plan will take you a lot further than no marketing plan at all.

So what should your plan be based on? You can start with these basics:

1. Identify Your Marketing Goals

What specifically does your marketing need to achieve for your business to thrive? How many new leads do you need each week? What percentage of those leads do you need to convert to sales? What is your revenue target?

2. Create A Marketing Strategy

Take a look at your goals. Now what is your overall approach and position in relation to your goals and competition. My marketing strategy uses an educational approach. By providing people with useful information and ideas, I get an opportunity to demonstrate the value I provide and establish my credibility.

3. Set Up Your Marketing System

Create an action plan. Tie all your marketing activities together into a system that reflects your marketing strategy. The idea is to have everything working together as one.

4. Creation And Implementation Of Your Marketing Activities

Now that you have identified what your marketing activities will be, it's time to take each marketing activity and figure out who will create and implement it and when.

5. Fine Tune Your Marketing Tools

Your marketing activities require the use of one or more marketing tools. These include your website, your marketing messages and things like article marketing. To get your prospect's attention, you need to ensure your marketing tools are really ready to cut through all the marketing noise.

Creating a written plan may seem intimidating but as you can see, you should be able to hammer out the basics in a few hours.