Top 10 Personal Finance Myths

Unfortunately, one of the factors that will prevent many people from becoming financially successful is their own false beliefs about money and their personal finances. Take a look at my top 10 money myths, and hopefully you can avoid the consequences of believing in them.1. If I get a raise that bumps me into a higher tax bracket, I’ll actually take home less money.
Buzz – WRONG! Moving into a higher tax bracket only increases the rate of tax paid on the last dollars you earn. For example, let’s say you’re filing single, your old salary was $40,000 a year and your new salary is $43,000 a year. According to the Canada Revenue Agency’s 2010 federal tax rate schedules, when your salary was $40,000, your federal marginal tax rate was 15% and now with a salary of $43,000, your marginal tax rate is now 22%.The key to unlocking this personal finance myth is the definition of the word “marginal.” In this situation, your first $40,970 of income is still taxed the same way it was before you got your raise. With a $40,000 income, your take-home pay was $34,000 ($40,000 less 15% in federal tax). If you make $43,000, you will take home after federal tax a total of $36,407.90. This is because it is only the extra $2,030 above $40,970 which is taxed at the 22% – not the whole $43,000.2. Renting is like throwing away money.
Do you consider the money you spend on food to be thrown away? Or, how about the money you spend on gas? Both of these expenses are for items you purchase regularly that get consumed and on the surface they appear to have no lasting value, but they are ultimately necessary to carry about daily activities (unless you can walk or take the transit everywhere). Rent money falls into the same category.Even if you own a home, you still have to “throw away” money on expenses like property taxes and mortgage interest (and likely more than you were throwing away in rent). In fact, for the first five years, you are basically paying all interest on your mortgage. For example, on a 25-year, $300,000 mortgage at 5% interest, your first 60 payments would total about $105,000. Of that you “throw away” about $71,000 on interest payments and you only put $34,000 into equity of your home.3. You always get what you pay for.
Higher-priced items are not always higher quality. While there is sometimes a correlation between price and quality, it is not necessarily a exact correlation. A $2 chocolate bar may be tastier than a $1 bar, but a $10 bar may not taste significantly different from a $2 bar. When determining an item’s true value, look past its price tag and examine the true indicators of value. Does that generic Tylenol stop your headache? Is that home well-maintained and located in a good neighborhood? When doing a proper analysis, you’ll know when paying the higher price is worth it or alternatively, when it isn’t (and you’ll be on your way to understanding the principles of value investing).4. I don’t have enough money to start investing.
It’s true that some brokerage firms require you to have a minimum amount of money to invest in certain mutual funds or even to open an account. The truth is, it is easy to start investing with very little money thanks to online savings accounts. While traditional bank savings accounts generally offer interest rates so low that you would barely notice the interest you accrue, an online savings account will offer a more competitive rate based on how the market is currently doing. As of April 2010, it is common to find online banks offering 1-2% interest. With recent news that interest rates in Canada will be going up, we could be in the 3% range within a year or so. A 3% return is a pretty good return on your low-risk savings account investment when you consider that stocks historically return an average of 7-10% annually. Also, some online savings accounts can be opened with as little as $1. Once you’re in a position to start investing in stocks and mutual funds, you can transfer cash out of your online savings account and into your new brokerage account.Alternately, you could open a brokerage account with minimal funds through one of the online trading companies that have cropped up. However, this may not be the best way to start investing because of the fees you’ll pay each time you purchase or redeem shares (generally $10 – $30 per trade).5. Carrying a balance on my credit card will improve my credit rating.
Carrying a balance and paying it off slowly does not prove your credit worthiness. All this will do is take money out of your pocket and give it to a credit card company in the form of interest payments.If you want to use a credit card as a tool to improve your credit score, all you really need to do is pay off your balance in full and on time every month. If you want to take it a step further, do not charge more than a small percentage of your card’s limit because the amount of available credit you have used is another factor involved in the calculation of your credit score.6. Home ownership is always the best way to invest your money.
Just like all other investments, home ownership involves the risk that your investment may decrease in value. While commonly cited stats say that housing appreciates at somewhere between the rate of inflation and 5% per year, if not more, not all housing will appreciate at this rate. Owning a home is a major responsibility and there are easier ways to invest your money, so don’t buy a home unless you are attracted to its other benefits.Another factor is the psychological element – I once heard a partner of a large accounting firm say that he credits much of his wealth to the fact that his mortgage payment is “forced savings.” So, that’s true.. if you don’t think you have the discipline to invest the money you save from not having a mortgage… you’re probably not going to be better off financially.7. “I’ll save more later when I make much more money.”
That’s just another excuse for not saving, in fact, that’s a really lame excuse. Claiming that a higher income will be your source to good financial habits, is simply lame. You can need to take control of your own finances, now… not later.8. The stock market is tanking, so I should sell my investments and get out npw before things get any worse.
When the stock market goes down, you should really keep your money in the market. This way, you can ride out the dip and eventually sell at a profit. In fact, stock market lows are a great time to invest even more. Many seasoned investors consider a decline in the market to be a “sale” and take advantage of the opportunity to pick up some valuable investments that are only experiencing a temporary dip. You might want to do some reading on Benjamin Graham or Warren Buffet – who are both proponents of this method. A common expression out of Buffet’s mouth is “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful”.9. Timing the market is easy
You always hear successful stories of those who have timed the market and have made fortunes. We rarely hear of the thousands who time the market but lose fortunes. Studies and reports show that marketing timing does not work for 95% of us, unless you have money to burn, don’t try to time the markets.10. I’m young – I don’t need to worry about saving for retirement yet… or, I’m old – it’s too late for me to start saving for retirement.
The younger you are, the more years of compound interest you have ahead of you. Compound interest is like free money, so why not take advantage of it? Someone who starts saving and earning interest when they are young won’t need to deposit as much money to end up with the same amount as someone who starts saving later in life, all else being equal.On the flip side, you shouldn’t worry if you’re older and you haven’t started saving yet. Of course, your $100,000 nest egg may not grow to as much as a 20-year-old’s by the time you need to use it, but just because you may not be able to turn it into $1 million doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try at all. Every extra dollar you invest will get you closer to your goals. Even if you’re near retirement age, you won’t need your entire nest egg the moment you hit 65. You can still put money away now and make a considerable sum by the time you need it at 70, 80 or 90.

How to Kick-Start Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy

Developing a B2B content marketing strategy that aligns content messaging with your target audience is no small task. In fact, 88% of B2B marketers currently use content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy, yet only 32% have a content marketing strategy.The development of a fundamentally customer-focused marketing strategy will blaze a trail for a B2B content marketing strategy to reach new customer engagement and acquisition goals. By ensuring value is delivered to your customers, the B2B content marketing strategy will fall into place.Here are a few key tenets of B2B content marketing strategy to kick start the process for you and your team:1. Determining your content point of view. Here’s a hint: Make it customer-focused.2. Ensure once you start executing on content creation, you can measure your efforts. Another hint: Make sure it’s driving a tangible business outcome as well.3. Align your team’s talents with the type of content being created. Last hint: Not all marketers think the same way.Customer-Focused Point of View for Content Pays OffContent marketing strategies developed to engage customers with your brand start by aligning content with the point of view of your reader. Delivering information both that the customer sees as valuable and that aligns with your brand should be the underpinnings of every B2B content marketing strategy.In a recent study from Forrester Research, they provided the example of Kraft Foods launching a site (kraftrecipes.com) to share recipes and food ideas using their products. By shaping purchase decisions, encouraging buyers through the journey through value-driven content, Kraft Foods had buyers that were all-the-more inclined to purchase cream cheese for “that casserole recipe I saw online”. They delivered value to customers by encouraging a purchase decision as opposed to pushing a coupon.With a customer-focused point of view regardless of the buyer type (B2C and B2B buyers), position your content to deliver value to your customers. Similarly, through customer-centered content, you can actively shape purchase decisions through a B2B content marketing strategy that drives leads which, in turn, fuels revenue.Prioritize and Set Content GoalsIn a recent survey of content marketing maturity, Forrester found that 52% of B2B marketers were in the early stages of assembling a content strategy and executing it. While B2B marketers seem to be embarking on a more customer-focused approach to content development, a key tenet to a closed loop model for your B2B content marketing strategy is tracking buyer interactions with content at each stage in the purchase life cycle.Providing buyers with content that is useful and valuable to read, watch, or interact that encourages forward movement in the buying cycle is a B2B marketer’s dream. And yet if those interactions are not measurable, how do you know your content strategy and supporting tactics are effective?To kick start your B2B content marketing strategy that produces customer-focused content, ensure your team is taking a practical approach to content creation aligned with short-term goals. Meeting and rewarding these short term goals will push your team to drive increasingly buyer-aligned content. This will inevitably result in customer interactions that contribute to increased revenue. These longer-term objectives ensure content drives tangible business outcomes.Align Talent with Content CreationBalance your team to align strengths with content creation requirements. Buyer-aligned content that captivates, inspires and challenges is a different focus for most B2B marketers. Marketers whose background include a mix of product marketing, sales positions and even direct marketing may be challenged to make this shift.Climbing to new heights requires planning and preparation but it also mandates physical and mental stamina. Applying that principle to strategy development versus plan rollout and execution, B2B marketers need to consider skill assessment and training as a critical tenet of B2B content marketing strategy. When the team is ready to hit the trail, talent needs to be aligned with a type of content creation that sees through the buyer’s point of view, interweaves a compelling story and is appropriate to the content application.So, begin with your team to consider what content will deliver value to your customers. With this customer-focused lens, a B2B content marketing strategy will achieve the following:

Address buyer concerns to engage

Motivate them through the buyer journey

Build support from bottom-line-thinking executives.

Microsoft Dynamics Business Central for Manufacturing – A Viable ERP System?

Why Should we care if we can use Dynamics Business Central for Manufacturing?Given the disruption of the past year, a lot of businesses are investigating ways to work remotely and in a hybrid work environment. There are a few technologies that manufacturing companies need to use that don’t work well remotely. One of them is ERP systems. That’s why we should care about Dynamics Business Central for Manufacturing.If you are looking to replace an ERP system because you want to ensure it facilitates remote work, cloud ERP is where you need to look. My experience is almost entirely with what is often called “SMB” or Small and Medium Business manufacturers.There are not a lot of good, modern cloud based ERP systems in the mid-market / SMB space. There are even less that really support manufacturing. That means that the best cloud systems are priced out of most manufacturers budget.Oh, In case you are wondering, Microsoft defines SMB as businesses with less than 250 computers. That’s a pretty large manufacturer.What is Business Central?In the simplest terms, Business Central is the new brand name for Microsoft Dynamics NAV. In all the ways that count this cutting edge new cloud based ERP is the old Dynamics NAV reimagined in the cloud.Microsoft did not shirk on the technology either! They have a boat load of money, and they were willing to spend a lot of it on Business Central.The full name of the product is Dynamics 365 Business Central. That 365 should look familiar, because it appears on Office 365, Microsoft 365 etc…This does mean that Business Central is part of the same suite of products you might already be using for your Outlook email, Teams communication, Microsoft Word or Excel productivity tools. And yes, that is a big advantage to Microsoft. It doesn’t mean that it will work in Manufacturing however – so that remains to be seen.How does it compare with more traditional manufacturing ERP?I recently wrote a blog comparing Dynamics Business Central for manufacturing with a pretty well respected mid-market pure manufacturing ERP called Infor Visual ERP.I worked extensively with Visual ERP for almost 20 years (ironically I never sold a copy in all that time). I ran the firm that people who had trouble with the system came to for help.When I migrated my business away from Infor Visual, I investigated a lot of products. I settled on Dynamics NAV (which later became Business Central) after significant research.By 2014 we had started switching Visual ERP customers Microsoft Dynamics NAV manufacturing. There are a few small areas that Visual might do a bit better in. That is more than overcome by two main factors that make Microsoft Dynamics Business Central for manufacturing really shine.CustomizabilityDynamics NAV and now Business Central are extremely easy to program, which let us enhance it in ways you absolutely could not with Visual. It’s so easy to program that we are essentially giving away “Missing” Visual features when we sell the product.This customization let us plug any holes we found. It also allowed us to do the one thing Visual customers always cried about. We could make small, easily maintained, incremental changes. We could adjust the system to make it work better for the customer.We avoided any kind of massive programming (although in my time I’ve seen other partners who didn’t avoid the same). We focused on making really useful changes that allowed the customer to get rapid benefits. This made a huge difference to customers. It can be a game changer when a very small change saves staff hours every week.Dynamics 365 AppSource AddonsMore or less related is the existence of addons for Microsoft Dynamics products.When we first started selling Dynamics NAV for manufacturing, there was no AppSource. AppSource is like the Google Play store or Apple Apps store. It’s a place to go and rapidly (in seconds really) install addons.In the early days these addons existed, were certified by Microsoft, but did not exist in any central location. Today things are even better. With Appsource we can really enhance Dynamics Business Central for manufacturing. I mention a couple of those modules below.Wait! I have to get AddonsThere are 2 schools of thought about ERP systems. You want to get a really good ERP system with: great accounting; inventory control; purchasing and sales; CRM; scheduling; shop floor execution etc… Imagine you wanted to get a similarly priced personal item. Say you wanted to get a vehicle and a camping trailer. You went to 2 dealerships. A Ford and the other GMC.In our fake and hypothetical Ford dealer they sell their F150 truck, with a Ford Radio, Ford Tires, and a Ford brand camping trailer. This specific ford’s rims are totally custom and don’t fit other makes of tires. Nobody makes a radio that fits their dash. The trailer is OK but not the best you’ve seen. The trailer hitch is custom built for their truck. You have no choice. But wait! It’s all in one warranty so if anything goes wrong you can blame them and they have to fix it!GMC sells their big truck by itself. You can choose which tires you get, so you want Michelin tires. You can add a radio, and decide to get the more expensive but awe inspiring Bose Radio. They don’t sell trainers, so you buy an Airstream. You would never complain about GM not making their own tires or radio, and you would never want the Ford where you had no choice but to get what they sell.Why do you want an ERP that forces you to get their proprietary versions of things instead of buying the best you can afford?Out of the Box Manufacturing Features in Business CentralDynamics Business Central manufacturing capabilities are identical to what was in Microsoft Dynamics NAV manufacturing.There are a set of core modules in the Essentials edition of Business Central. These include: sales orders, inventory and purchase orders; assembly management; jons (project accounting and management); and warehouse management.Some customers use the Essentials version exclusively. It works fine depending on your mode of manufacturing (see below).Upgrading to the Premium version adds extra capabilities. You get Bills of Materials; Routings; Machine and Work Centers; Capacity Planning; Production Orders and other purely manufacturing oriented features.Premium also adds Service management, which is used in the Engineer to Order space quite frequently, but not often in regular manufacturing.Detailed Features in Manufacturing – in the Premium VersionProduction Order Management

Agile Manufacturing

Version Management

Inventory Planning

Demand Forecasting

Machine Centre Management

Capacity Planning

Finite Loading

Production Bill of Materials

Production Scheduling

Supply Planning
Modes of Manufacturing for Business CentralI tend to think of manufacturing ERP projects in terms of the mode of manufacturing being used. There are different definitions from different organizations (mainly APICS) but these are the ones I tend to see and my take on how good Business Central for manufacturing is for these modes.Engineer to Order – ETOThis is my favorite. I worked at an ETO for a few years before starting my own business. Dynamics Business Central for Manufacturing includes a really powerful project accounting module called Jobs. Since ETO manufacturers are really project manufacturers, this jobs module is a solid foundation. There are a few additional addons that I strongly recommend (including one that we created) to make the fit even better.Overall – Business Central for ETO is really good.Make to Order and Make to Stock – Production ManufacturingMake to Order and Make to Stock are usually two separate modes of manufacturing (and they are) but I combine them into one mode I call Production Manufacturing. The out of the box manufacturing modules that are part of Business Central Premium work great for these businesses. Many of them also want the addins that I list below – which are great extra features.Job ShopsJob shops tend to come in the biggest variety and tend to actually not fit that well into either ETO or Production Manufacturing. I’d want to see the Job Shop to see whether it’s more of a micro-production shop (very common – I call these “repetitive job shops”) or whether it’s more of a custom mini-project manufacturer like a light ETO.These businesses vary a lot in what they make. A food co-packer is technically a job shop. So is a welding service business, a small machine shop etc…Whatever the case, it is a good fit for Dynamics Business Central for manufacturing.Process ManufacturingProcess Manufacturing is usually related to making one of the following:

Cosmetics

Chemicals

Nutraceuticals

Pharmaceuticals

Food manufacturing
Process manufacturing needs some heavy duty addons for Business Central to work properly. This is outside my comfort zone to be honest. The regulations and batch manufacturing processes are really unique. I have a few colleagues that I send these kinds of prospects to. Those addons for Business Central are extremely good, and handle this industry very, very well.Graphics Arts ManufacturingPrint Manufacturing is it’s own sub-type, really a form of either Job Shop or Production Manufacturing depending on what they make. These businesses don’t work as well out of the box with Dynamics Business Central for Manufacturing. They usually fall into these categories.

Commercial Print (magazines, business carts, posters, flyers etc. – a real Job Shop)

Folding Cartons (think a toothpaste box, or cereal box. Can be production or Job Shop)

Flexible Packaging (these companies make the plastic bags you get consumer goods in)

Labels (could be a wine bottle label, or a shampoo bottle, or your aspirin).

Wide Format (think huge banners, giant photographs on walls in a mall etc.)
This mode of manufacturing has a really great addon for Business Central called PrintVis. PrintVis is a Print manufacturing MIS software addon that turns Business Central into arguably the best Print MIS in the market.Add-ins Recommended by MeMy team has reviewed many addon solutions since we started working with Business Central for manufacturing. Here are our top choices:InsightWorks Shop Floor Insights (SFI)This is a manufacturing execution system for collecting job costing data (time), production reporting and materials use in real time. Comes with a nifty scheduling tool also.InsightWorks Warehouse Insights (WHI)This product is my favorite wireless barcoding solution for warehouse management. It runs on most of major brands of wireless devices used in warehouses today. I think it’s a great mid-level warehouse management solution.Netronic Visual Production SchedulerFor those who need a a graphical drag and drop scheduler, Netronic is the industry standard for Business Central. Their Visual Production Scheduler is more or less for visualizing and manually editing the schedule. The Advanced Production Scheduler is more robust and will do best fit scheduling.ConclusionWe’ve taken a look at using Dynamics Business Central for manufacturing in this article. I’ve had the opportunity to oversee the implementation of this system in more than 50 companies, and so far, so good. For that SMB manufacturer with 20 employees who work in the office and 60 that work in the shop – this is a great system. We’ve got a few customers with 500+ total employees using it very successfully. We also have a few with 10 total employees, and they are able to make it work.If you are a manufacturing company that is in the small or medium market (again – less than 250 computers) looking for ERP I strongly suggest you look at Microsoft Dynamics. I can confidently say that as an ERP Dynamics Business Central for manufacturing is a great fit.