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This Section Contains Commentary From Bob Meyer Which Has Appeared In Various Issues Of The Tuesday Barter Report.

 

From the desk of Bob Meyer.... 2013
December 10, 2013 Southern California Barter Fairs Scheduled This Weekend
December 3, 2013 �Partial Retirement� Is Growing Among Americans
November 26, 2013 Amsterdam Barters Beer To Street Cleaners
November 19, 2013 NATE Wants YOU�
November 5, 2013

Makers of Movie �Last Vegas� Like Aria Hotel�s Barter Offer

October 29, 2013 New Cornell University Study Reports On Analysis Of Going Green
October 22, 2013 NATE Eyes 2014 Convention
October 15, 2013 Here's Two More Bootstrapping Techniques For You
October 9, 2013 Here"s Two Bootstrapping Techniques For You
October 2, 2013 New Study Shows Similarities
September 24, 2013 Money 20/20 Financial Services Conference
September 17, 2013 Cable TV Ads In Los Angeles & Surrounding Areas On Trade
September 10, 2013 Small Business Debt Hits Six Year High
September 03, 2013 Birthday Cards Can Pay-Off
August 20, 2013 Las Vegas Becomes Epic Center For Barter Industry In September
August 13, 2013 Embrace Barter - Lessen Your Business Debt
August 6, 2013 "First Lady of Barter" To Receive Award At IRTA's Convention
July 30, 2013 America Still Works
July 23, 2013 America Still Works
July 16, 2013 Most Popular Barter Convention Venue Readies For Another Big One
July 9, 2013 Active International Negotiates Low-Cost Car Leases
July 2, 2013 The #1 Question In A Job Interview
June 25, 2013 Supercomputers Top Speed Unfathomable
June 18, 2013 An Incredible (Really Unbelievable) ROI
June 11, 2013 Hotels Going To No-Frills Approach
June 4, 2013 Dramatic Shift Occurring In U.S. Households
May 28, 2013 Here & There In The Barter World
May 21, 2013 Here & There In The Barter World
May 14, 2013 New UC Software Platform Announced By IRTA
May 7, 2013 31st ITEX Convention Scheduled
April 30, 2013 Canadian Revenue Agency Looks At Bitcoins
April 2, 2013 "Cupcake Wars" Food Network Winner Barters Via Trade Exchange
March 19, 2013 Venetian Resort Hotel Selected For IRTA's 34th Annual Convention
March 5, 2013 ITEX Increases Dividend, Now Yields 5.43%
February 19, 2013 Polish Barter-Baron Passes On
February 12, 2013 Small Business Chamber Creates Trade Exchange
February 5, 2013 The Key To Super Achievement
January 29, 2013 Barter Company Raises $214,000 For Newtown Effort
January 22, 2013 Great Entrepreneurs Have Two Key Qualities
January 15, 2013 IRTA Completes Another Record Year
January 08, 2013 Bank Card Delinquencies Fall To 28-Year Low
January 01, 2013 U.S. Cash Still King, Worldwide
   
   

From the desk of... 2014

 
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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 12/10/2013

Southern California Barter Fairs Scheduled This Weekend

* Orange County's TradeAmericanCard will hold its annual Barter Expo on Saturday, December 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Business Expo Center in Anaheim. Free admission and free parking is available.

Call 949-225-6000 for full details.

* The following day (Sunday, December 15), the ITEX Barter Fair will be staged from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the California Fruit Wine location in Vista, CA.

Call Ana at 619-472-2929 for complete details.

Younger Americans Fearful Of Entrepreneurship

In a new survey conducted by Amway�s Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER), Americans still see the U.S. as "friendly" toward entrepreneurship ? more so than the other 23 countries in the study. 

Americans also identify "more independence" as a top reason they wish to start an enterprise. And they do not cite a fear of failure as a chief concern that would prevent them from doing so.

But surprisingly, only 36% of Americans can envision actually starting their own business. Plus the research revealed that Americans under the age of 30 have less interest in pursuing entrepreneurship than do those of older generations. The younger people cited loss of reputation, bankruptcy, and financial ruin as concerns that stifle their ambitions.

Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos Knows How To Generate Buzz

On Sunday, December 1, the CBS 60 Minutes TV show, one of the top-watched TV shows on television, provided more than 15 minutes to its Amazon.com story, which included an interview with CEO jeff Bezos. (A 30-second spot during the show usually costs in excess of $100,000.)

That means the Amazon.com feature got about $3 million worth of "earned" media ? the cost Amazon would have had to pay to reach the 60 Minutes' 13 million viewers.

Thanks to all the Amazon prime air coverage (about futuristic drone delivery of packages) garnered on other outlets, many more millions of people talked about the company on Cyber Monday ? the biggest e-commerce shopping day of the year. Is it any surprise that Amazon's sales on Monday were up an astounding 44% over last year's Cyber Monday?

Top Four Least-Corrupt Countries In The World

Denmark, New Zealand, Finland and Sweden, are the four least corrupt countries in the world, according to Transparency International's 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index. The U.S. is listed as the 19th least corrupt country. Somalia, North Korea, and Afghanistan are the most corrupt according to the Index.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 12/03/2013

"Partial Retirement" Is Growing Among Americans

A University of Michigan study shows that more Americans are becoming partial retirees, when close to retirement age, in that they are taking up jobs that provide an income less than half the maximum annual earnings they had over their working lifetimes.

Partial retirement was virtually non-existent for 60-62 years olds in 1960. Today more than 15% of workers in this age group are categorized as partially retired.

Living Alone: Demographics Are Changing

Here are some statistics that reinforce the dramatic changes taking place in our country. Today some 27% of U.S. households now consist of a single person, higher than at any time in U.S. history, and up from 17% in 1970.

Just 20% of households are now comprised of a married couple with children, compared with 40% just 40 years ago. And 61% of "solo householders" in 2011 were previously married; this group tends to be older. (There is also a racial component, with the incidence of solo households higher among whites and blacks.)

The proportion of Americans never married has doubled since 1960. The average marrying age has also increased, to 28 for men and 27 for women compared with 24 and 22 in 1970.

Here & There ?

  • In Brazil, credit has soared over the last five years. The ratio of outstanding debt to gross domestic product jumped to 56% from 32%. Not really surprising as credit cards in Brazil have annual interest rates of 120%
     

  • Local breweries are booming in America. According to the Brewers Association, a trade group, the number of U.S. craft-brewers has skyrocketed from eight in 1980 to more than 2,400. Small brewers now account for about 10% of the U.S. beer business and provide 100,000 jobs.
     

  • The world's largest department store is Macy's 11-story building that occupies an entire block in New York's herald Square. On "Black Friday" 15,000 shoppers waited anxiously for the doors to open to start their holiday shopping.
     

  • The "Coin card" is making waves on the Internet by promising to slim down consumers' fat wallets by replacing their credit and debit cards with a single smartcard that can be used for purchases. Before making a payment, users choose which card they want to use by pressing a button on the Coin card.
     

  • U.S. colleges are presently drawing a record number of international students. Last year saw 820,000 attending, and the largest group came from China (236,000), nearly double the number of students from India, the second-largest group. USC (University of Southern California) is the most popular with nearly 10,000 international students.

    The University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign had the second-most international students with 9,800. Purdue University's main campus had 9,500 placing third, while New York and Columbia universities ranked fourth and fifth in the survey conducted by the New York nonprofit Institute of International Education, in partnership with the U.S. State Department.
     

  • U.S. hotel occupancy was 64.7% in October. The average daily rate (ADR) at U.S. hotels in October increased year-over-year to $113.48. The largest increases in ADRs were in Oahu (Hawaii) � up 11.6% to $291.12; St. Louis � up 9.5% to $98.05; and Houston � up 8.4% to $106.09.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 11/26/2013

Amsterdam Barters Beer To Street Cleaners

Here�s a new twist we haven't seen before. In Amsterdam city officials are working with alcoholics under a special program (devised to keep them occupied and away from disruptive fighting and noise-making), wherein they clean streets and city parks. In exchange for a day's work, they receive 10 euros (around US$13), a half-packet of rolling tobacco as well as five cans of beer ? two to start the day, two at lunch and one after work.

Barter's Value Will Be Discussed At Toronto's TEDx

Swappreneur Marta Nowinska, the founder of Toronto's swapping community, www.swapcity.ca, will be talking up the value of barter in Toronto on December 5. The venue for the TEDx gathering will be the Musk School for global affairs. Nowinska says her personal mission is raising the profile of the barter community, as well as pointing out the importance of today's barter economy.

Shop Small This Holiday Season

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is encouraging Americans to spend this holiday season by walking Main Street and shopping small, in support of local and community small businesses.

AMA Says Aspirin At Night Is Best

The American Medical Association says the secret to lowering your heart attack risk is to take a low-dose aspirin before going to bed at night, as opposed to taking one in the morning.

Note: According to the Mayo Clinic you should take a daily aspirin only if your doctor recommends that you do so. You should never begin daily aspirin therapy on your own.

L.A. Company Aims To Offer �Poolside Workspace� For Workers

"Poolsidepreneurs" was founded recently in Los Angeles, and they want to invent a luxury workspace for entrepreneurs. For $99 a month the members-only club offers entrepreneurs access to private pools, lounges, and meeting rooms at hotels around the country as a place to work. The company expects to open up 14 markets next year. (It's expanding on Starbucks' stores being used as a popular workspace!

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 11/19/2013

NATE Wants YOU!

If you're involved in the commercial barter industry in any way, the National Association Trade Exchanges invites you to expand your knowledge and contacts by attending their annual national convention. It will be held in Orlando next May 15-18, 2014.

For more details and registration information, click here.

Demand For Small-Business Financing Is Up

The demand for small-business financing increased 13% in October over the 2013 monthly average, according to Direct Capital's October Small Business Lending Demand index. This comes on the heels of a 12% climb in September, with year-over-year demand up nearly 25%. The October reading is a good indicator for the economy at-large.

Will Stagnation Become The New Norm?

Noted economists Larry Summers and Paul Krugman are arguing that the U.S. economy is in a permanent slump, in which high unemployment and slow growth (also known as stagnation) will be the new norm for the country ? and permanent.

They contend the situation revolves around inadequate demand. Because (a) the main engine of economic spending and growth "consumers, companies and the government" aren't spending as much as they could; (b) there is a slowdown in our population growth, and (c) borrowing by American consumers (who account for 70% of the spending in the economy) has been reduced after three decades.

Television?s "Shark Tank" Panel Believes In Barter

Shark Tank is the name of the popular ABC show where business owners pitch their companies to a group of high-profile investors, including billionaire Mark Cuban. Just for appearing on the show owners enter into a barter transaction by agreeing to give up 5% of their company or 2% of future royalties. Obviously the entrepreneurs believe that both exposure to seven million viewers and business advice from high-profile investors is worth the barter arrangement.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 11/5/2013

Makers of Movie "Last Vegas" Like Aria Hotel's Barter Offer

The movie Last Vegas, starring Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Klein and Mary Steenburgen, was shot for only two weeks in Las Vegas at the Aria Resort & Casino,* which figures prominently in the story. The Aria offered rooms and food in exchange for the exposure. It also helped keep the costs down before the production moved to Georgia to take advantage of that state�s tax rebates (another form of trade) for the remaining six weeks of shooting.

(* The Aria Resort & Casino is a colossal hotel complex, within the faux metropolis of City Center. It boasts more than 4,000 rooms and a 150,000 square-foot gambling floor.)

Barter Industry Professionalism Grows

At the recent 34th annual IRTA international convention in Las Vegas, a record number of individuals (twenty-four) took the Registered Trade Broker (RTB) and Certified Trade Broker (CTB) programs. The format for these educational programs had been successfully modified enabling greater participation.

It was another positive step forward in the building of professional expertise within the commercial barter industry. Two professionals, Kim Strabley (IMS) and Dea Allgood (BizX), were the instructors, mentoring the attendees. In recognition for their contributions to these industry educational programs, both Kim and Dea received the Paul St. Martin Award.

America�s Ongoing Changes Includes Greater Housing Separation

American families are moving to areas that are focused more exclusively on either the wealthy or the poor, according to a study by professors at Cornell University and Stanford University. The study called this trend �income segregation.�

Compared with 1970, when 65% of American families lived in middle-income areas, only about 42% of families lived in those areas in 2009. In 1970 only 15% lived in one of the two extreme types of neighborhoods (well-off or poor), but by 2009 that number had doubled to 33%.

Pakistan & Iran Bartering Efforts

These two countries have been exchanging electricity and commodities for years. Now their bartering efforts have been stepped up to include natural gas, which Pakistan needs from Iran to avert a gas crisis this winter.

Some U.S. Adults Get Majority Of Their News From Facebook

A Pew Research Center study concludes that 64% of U.S. adults get some news from Facebook. And about 30% get the majority of their news from Facebook, although they admit they also get some news from other sources as well.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 10/29/2013

New Cornell University Study Reports On Analysis Of Going Green

Going green neither boosts nor dents hotel revenues, according to a study released this week by the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research. The study monitored sales and rates at 9,000 hotels: 3,000 that had earned Sabre�s �Eco-Certified Hotel� label and 6,000 that had not. The analysis showed that, on average, the distinction made little difference in sales and rates.

�We can conclude that going green is compatible with existing quality standards of hotel service and that advertising green status doesn�t hurt a hotel�s revenues,� according to Cornell assistant professor Howard Chong. �But it may not help, either.�

BXI Trade Exchange Prepares Nationwide Offices Launch

Global Links Corp. (OTC:GLCO), announced that the company�s wholly-owned subsidiary, BXI Trade Exchange, is preparing to open 28 offices nationwide during the upcoming launch of its trade exchange platform.

All offices will open simultaneously upon the platform�s new launch, and eight additional locations are in negotiation to open in the near future.

BXI will have trade offices throughout California and Texas as well as in Oklahoma, Atlanta, New York, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Austin, South Carolina, Denver, Utah and Alabama. The company�s goal is to become the first barter exchange to have 100,000 members and generate up to $50 million in monthly trade volume.

China Plans 100 New Airports As Business Travel Explodes

The Global Business Travel Association predicts that China�s surging economy will push business travel spending to #1 in the world by 2016. (China�s Beijing Capital International Airport is expected to surpass Atlanta�s International Airport as the world�s busiest airport next year � 2014.)

The demand for air travel from China is expected to grow so fast in the next few years that several of China�s airports have had to double or triple their capacity, and the nation plans to build 100 new airports over the next decade.

Hotel Spa Spending Growing Faster Than Food & Drink Expenditures

Pampering yourself with a message, after checking in to a hotel, is growing faster than the sale of food and drinks. A study by PKF Consulting, a consultant to the hotel industry, reports that hotel spa services (massages, skin care services and personal training) jumped 5% in 2012 from the previous year. By comparison, the sale of food and drinks grew only 2.3% in the same period.

The growth could be due to an improving economy or the resurgent health trend in the USA, as Americans try to eat well and stay healthy on the road.

Millennials Will Be Working Into Their 70s Due To Debt

Millennials, people in their 20s and early 30s, will be working longer and unlikely to retire until age 73 (over 10 years later than the current average age), because of heavy student-loan debt, according to a new study. While the typical graduate has a �seemingly manageable� $23,300 in education debt nearly 3 in 10 millennials have had to move back in with their parents because they couldn�t afford to live on their own. Those are far higher percentages than the baby boom or Generation X cohorts ever experienced.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 10/22/2013

NATE Eyes 2014 Convention

The next annual convention of the National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE) is nine months from now, but their convention committee has already kicked off the efforts for its 2014 convention. It is scheduled to be held in Orlando, from May 15 to18.

The committee�s first item on the agenda is that of asking the trade exchange industry for input � topics of interest for the subsequent seminars and panels. The coverage at the convention will be tailored for owners, brokers and sales people.

Ideas/topics desired should be sent to alex@natebarter.com.

TAC Holiday Barter Expo Scheduled

Saturday, December 14, will be the day for the 2013 Trade American Card Annual Holiday Barter Expo. Tabletop displays for the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. event at the Anaheim Business Center can be reserved by calling 949-225-6000.

Study Says You Get Stupider When Working Too Much

According to Dr. Tasha Eurich, New York Times bestselling author, executive coach, leadership expert, and author of the new book Bankable Leadership, �We actually get stupider when we work too much.� Over a five-year study, University College of London epidemiologist Marianna Virtanen and her colleagues examined the relationship between long hours and brain functioning in British Civil Servants.  

Participants completed a variety of tests to evaluate intelligence, verbal recall, and vocabulary. Compared to those that worked 40 hours per week versus, those that worked 55 hours per week showed poorer vocabulary and reasoning. As a result, working fewer hours, taking more breaks and occasional vacations, can help us become much more productive. 

Consumer Spending Habits Shifting & Savings Rate Dropping Precipitously

Compared with 1973, Americans are putting a bigger slice of income to a home and less to food. And, according to an analysis of a consumer expenditure survey by the Labor Department, Americans aren�t socking away extra money for the future. Today�s savings rate is a fraction of what it used to be: 4.6% today versus 13% four decades ago.

Overall housing costs have risen to 32.8% of income from 30.8%, along with an increase in average home size to 2,700 square-feet from 1,400 square-feet. The average family shells out 12.8% at grocery stores and restaurants today versus 19.3%, although today�s average family size is 2.5 people versus 2.9 people in 1973.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 10/15/2013

Here's Two More Bootstrapping Techniques For You

Bootstrapping is the art of learning to do more with less. Entrepreneurs across America have repeatedly started successful businesses on a wing and a prayer, and one special ingredient: an understanding of the art of bootstrapping.

Last week we gave you two bootstrapping techniques. Here are two more tried and tested techniques:

  Hire student interns who are willing to forego a salary in exchange for work experience.

  Share office space with (or sublease from) a large company that will offer you access to conference rooms, office equipment, reception or typing services.

(For last week�s techniques, see Tuesday Report dated 10/8/13.)

Small "Mom & Pop" Businesses Spend 3% Online

The Boston Consulting Group reports that from all web companies selling ads to small businesses, the average �Mom & Pop� is only spending 3-percent of its marketing budget online.

New Book Co-Authored By Former Barter Executive

A unique (fictional) book on networking titled, 21 Days to Success Through Networking: The Life and Times of Gnick Rowten (Gnick Rowten is networking spelled backwards), is now hitting major bookstores as well as Amazon.com. Co-author Ron Sukenick was an executive in the BXI Los Angeles-headquarters office two decades ago.

New Report Shows "Income Inequality" Now An International Crisis

The latest World Wealth Report, compiled by Swiss bank Credit Suisse says the top 1% now control an astounding 46% of the world�s assets � and 86% of global wealth is owned by the richest 10%.

Meanwhile the other two-thirds of the world�s adults have wealth of less than $10,000, and Credit Suisse projects wealth for those in this bottom percentile will steadily fall over the next 60 years. Yet overall, global wealth has more than doubled since 2000, reaching a new all-time high of $241 trillion. In short, the rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 10/09/2013

Here's Two Bootstrapping Techniques For You

Bootstrapping is the art of learning to do more with less. Entrepreneurs across America have repeatedly started successful businesses on a wing and a prayer plus one special ingredient: an understanding of the art of bootstrapping.

Here are a couple of tried and tested bootstrapping techniques:

  • Ask major clients to purchase the key equipment that you'll need to service their account, and then lease it back from them.
  • 2) Offer shares in your company to vendors, landlords and key employees in lieu of cash, subject to federal and state securities law and acceptable dilution ratios. (Sam Walton used this tactic when starting Wal-Mart - and his former secretaries and office workers are now multi-millionaires.)

Barter Industry Attends Money 2020 Conference

Steven White, (CEO of ITEX, largest trade exchange in the U.S., www.ITEX.com ), Bob Bagga (CEO of BizXchange, www.bizx.com), Ric Zampatti (President of NATE*) and Gary Oshry (Treasurer of NATE*), were in attendance at the Money 2020 Conference held in Las Vegas October 6 - 9. The Money 2020 Conference focused on the macro trends for the financial services industry.

(*National Association of Trade Exchanges, www.NATEbarter.com)

Five Projects That Experts Say Will LOWER Your Home's Value

1.      Converting bedrooms into other spaces.

2.      Hot tubs.

3.      Colored trim and textured walls.

4.      Children's theme bedrooms.

5.      Too much landscaping.

What's The best "Alternative Investment" These Days?

According to the Historic Automobile Group Index, which tracks the financial performance of 50 rare and exotic classic cars, the value of classic cars has jumped 39% this year.  These cars have outperformed collectibles such as gold, wine, art, stamps and coins over the past ten years.

Although 75% of classic car buyers are based in the U.S., interest is rising in other parts of the world.

Ultra-High Net Worth Individuals Mounting

The global elite are sometimes referred to as ultra-high net worth individuals. And their numbers are growing quite dramatically. To be considered an "ultra-high net worth person" you would have a net worth of over US$50 million. Presently there are 98,700 such individuals, up from 14,200 from last year. 

Where do these global elite - very roughly the world's richest 0.00001387015% live? Mostly in one country: the United States.

Coming Next Week:
"Turning $40 Into Millions
"

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 10/02/2013

New Study Shows Similarities

A new study from JD Power & Associates, of more than 20,000 hotel guests from eight countries, confirmed that price and location are the top factors in picking a hotel. The only exceptions were the Italian travelers who ranked a hotel�s reputation above price, and Spanish travelers who ranked previous experience higher than price when booking a room.

Talent Is Undemocratic

If you work hard enough, the maxim goes, you can do anything. This is one of those notions that is so stupid it has to embody a deeply held belief. If you work hard enough, you can be a poet ? If you work hard enough, you can become a brain surgeon, a model, the president.

Obviously no one believes those things � meritocracy resists the fact of talent, because talent is not merited. Beauty, artistic ability, athletic gifts, big brains: these are all just things you�re born with, however much you may be able to develop what you�ve been given. Talent is undemocratic.

William Deresiewicz, American essayist and critic.Source: American Scholar blog (August 2012).

Bootstrapping ? A Different Way Of Thinking

Bootstrapping is the art of learning to do more with less. It's not about writing 200-page business plans, power lunching with venture capitalists or triple-mortgaging your home to pay legal and accounting fees. A company that is started and built around a culture of bootstrap management understands that all resources are scarce and that cash must be cherished.

Entrepreneurs across America have repeatedly started successful businesses on a wing and a prayer, plus one special ingredient: an understanding of the art of bootstrapping. Imagine building one of the most recognized brands in the winemaking industry with a few hundred dollars. That?s exactly how Ernest and Julio Gallo started in 1933 in Modesto, California. 

They were turned down for a loan by several banks, so they convinced local farmers to provide them with grapes, deferring payment until the wine was actually sold. They also convinced manufacturers to sell them crushing and fermenting equipment on 90-day terms. Today, the company started by those bootstrappers enjoys worldwide sales approaching one-billion dollars annually.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 09/24/2013

Money 20/20 Financial Services Conference

Some 4,000 attendees are expected at this year's Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas, October 6 to 9. The event focuses on the macro trends that form the common thread in payment and financial services innovation ? how consumers and businesses manage, spend and borrow money.

BXI Advisory Board Named

Global Links Corp (GLCO) has announced the formation of a strategic advisory board for the company's wholly-owned subsidiary ? BXI Trade Exchange.

The new board will include Chairman Saul Yarmak, President Frank Dobrucki, James Roohan, Terry Brandfass and Alan Elias.

Wealthy Say Retirement Can Wait

The wealthy are in no hurry to retire, according to the Spectrum Group, a consulting and research firm. Their findings contradict the notion that the well-off want to retire as soon as financially possible. Instead, the new study says they are far more inclined to keep working than lower income people. Some 31% of the wealthy said they wouldn't retire until after 70, and 15% said they would never retire.

190 Square-Foot Apartments Growing In Popularity

Demand for affordable, convenient housing in desirable neighborhoods has given rise to micro-apartments across the country. Saving on rent, the residents in these buildings also share kitchens. They all admit to having more active lifestyles, too ' not wanting to sit around in the limited space.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 09/17/2013

Cable TV Ads In Los Angeles & Surrounding Areas On Trade

Cable TV reaches approx 1.5 million cable subscriber households in and around L.A. area. Presently, there is $795,000 in cable ads available at on trade ' both 30-sec spots and 60-sec spots.

For more information, contact: Jay@BarterAdvertisingSolutions.com.

Looking For Sports Cars?

A new website you may want to check from time to time, for the buying, selling, or trading sports cars and coupes is www.SportsCars4Sale.com.

More Americans Are Living Alone And Liking It

Despite the economic woes of the recession, the U.S. Census Bureau shows that more people are living alone. People living alone make up 27% of U.S. households ? a marked increase over the 17% who did so in 1970. This rise of people living by themselves is the greatest social change of the last 50 years, here in the USA.

Best Time To Use Craigslist

More and more traders are looking into Craigslist as a place to trade. The best times to place an ad are on Friday evening from 6pm to 9pm, and mornings from 10am to 11am on the weekends. The weekends are best because most traders are looking to trade at this time. To go to the top of the list one must renew every 48 hours.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 09/10/2013

Small Business Debt Hits Six Year High

Small U.S. businesses took on more debt in the latest month study (July) pushing an index of borrowing (The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index) to a six-year high. More borrowing could signal more hiring ahead.

Historically, PayNet's lending index has correlated to overall economic growth one or two quarters in the future.
 

ITEX Holiday Fair Announced

The date for this year's ITEX Holiday Fair, the largest in Southern California, is Sunday, November 24.

For more information, call 909-592-7727.
 

Retirement Insecurity Has Worsened For Most Americans

The Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank, says the 401(k) system has been a dud for the vast majority of Americans ' with women, young people and minorities among the broad groups whose financial well-being is at risk because they're not saving enough.

For middle-income earners, the median balance in 401(k) plans as of 2010 was a lowly $23,000. Not surprisingly, 401(k) savings are clustered among the ranks of the affluent, with 72% of total savings held by the top 20% income group.
 

Less Than One Percent Of Restaurants Barter Thru An Exchange

The independent restaurant owner is under siege in our country. The way to help them survive is in your hands (trade exchanges). BarterNews extensively interviewed five restaurant owners, and reported their answers in our special report 'Why & How Savvy Restaurateurs Trade.'

The restaurant owners answered these questions:

1.    What percentage of your gross sales is barter?

2.    Where does your barter business come from?

3.    Does your restaurant issue scrip?

4.    What's your number one want from a trade exchange?

5.    Why aren't more of your peers using a trade exchange?

6.    What could exchanges do to better serve you?

7.    What is the maximum amount of business you can handle in trade?

These seven questions are just a small portion of the questions we asked the five restaurant owners. It was the most insightful report ever published and would be invaluable for your street sales staff, inside brokers, and anyone else interested in building their restaurant inventory. For the first time ever this report will be available, while supplies last, to trade exchange owners at a substantial discount.
 

Further details will be forthcoming.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 09/03/2013

Birthday Cards Can Pay-Off

Besides special events like Christmas, birthdays are the number one everyday occasion cards being sent to business customers. So if you own a business, try sending birthday cards to your customers. And, to make a greater impression, provide some type of discount to them during their birthday month. It will likely generate more business from them.

ITEX Declares Cash Dividend

ITEX, the largest trade exchange in North America with over 23,000 members, recently sent out the following announcement:

On August 30, 2013, the Board of Directors at ITEX declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.05 per share to be payable on September 20, 2013, to stockholders of record at the close of business on September 10, 2013.

The Most Expensive House Ever Built

Between 1922 and 1939, William Randolph Hearst built what came to be known as the Hearst Castle in San Simeon (CA). The cost of construction at that time was more than $30 million ' that would be $297.9 million in today's dollars.

BXI Sponsors Zanderboard Forum In Las Vegas

Traders bartering personal property and real estate this month from September 10 to 12 at the Zanderboard forum, will be filmed on site at the Alexis Park All-Suite Resort in Las Vegas. This event is being sponsored by the BXI trade-exchange headquarters in Las Vegas.

U.S. Hotel Occupancy Highest Since 2007

Hotel guest-occupancy for the year is 62.2%, and expected to rise to 62.9% in 2014. The foundation is in place for room-rate gains, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. There is also sufficient room inventory for more barter endeavors.

Effective Way For Trade Exchanges To Sign Up More Restaurants

The independent restaurant owner is under siege in our country. As a trade exchange owner, the way to help them survive is in your hands. But if they don't fully understand the myriad possibilities, you won't be able to sign them up. There is a very effective tool available, that will be noted in next week's issue.

It will be noted next week.  If you want to get a head start, e-mail bmeyer@barternews.com and mention 'restaurants' in the subject line.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 08/20/2013

Las Vegas Becomes Epic Center For Barter Industry In September

Two major events will be held in Las Vegas next month, occurring within a week of one another. On September 10 thru 12, the Las Vegas National Zanderboard forum will be held at the Alexis Park All-Suite Resort.

Attendees from across the nation will congregate for the three-day event, meeting with top traders to barter their personal property and real estate.

For more information on the Zanderboard event call Raye Turner at (404) 680-9790.

One week later, September 19 thru 21, the 34th worldwide International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA) convention will be holding court at the beautiful Las Vegas Venetian Resort Hotel.

For in-depth information on the IRTA convention, click here.  

BizX On The Move After Series A Financing

BizXchange has closed a $700,000 Series A financing round from prominent Seattle angel investors. The money will be used to accelerate development of scalable technology, including mobile apps and the BizX consumer product, and to facilitate rapid growth and expansion of its 2,000-member trade exchange.

A Record 21.6 Million Millennials Live At Home

Some 36% (21.6 million) of millennials, defined as 18- to 31-year-olds, are living at home with mom and dad. This is the highest percentage in four decades. The driving factor is declining employment with just 63% of that age group having a job ' down from 70% in 2007.

Men are more likely to stay on with their parents than women: 40% versus 32%. And college graduates are less likely than less-educated counterparts to live at home, especially after they turn 25. Unexpected expenses to care for live-at-home adult children is a burden that can force parents to make severe cuts in their own spending, delay retirement, and/or force them to dip into savings.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 08/13/2013

Embrace Barter - Lessen Your Business Debt

Interestingly, a study by the Small Business Administration says that from 20% to 25% of small businesses in the U.S. are 'non-borrowers.' That is, they do not use any credit. These firms have received virtually no attention from academic researchers, according to the study by Rebel Cole titled, Bank Credit, Trade Credit or No Credit: Evidence From The Surveys of Small Business Finances.

Thought: Maybe leveraging your small business into a big hole of debt isn't the best solution, even if that's what many of the 'experts' suggest. Embracing barter effectively circumvents the borrowing dilemma, and provides one with a powerful leverage (buying at variable cost) as well.

Consumers More Careful & Cautious With Debt, Too

American consumers are remaining stingy about carrying credit card balances and are making more of an effort to keep payments timely, trends that have helped whittle the rate of late payments on credit cards down to the lowest level in 20 years. In fact, credit card debt in the U.S. remains 16.5% below its July 2008 peak, according to the Federal Reserve.

Suburbs Growth Changing After 100-Year Run

In 2011, for the first time in 100 years, the rate of growth for USA's suburban population was actually lower than the rate of growth of the urban population. According to Leigh Gallagher, assistant managing editor of Forbes magazine and author of a new book The End Of The Suburbs, Where The American Dream Is Moving, a monumental shift is underway. With the American dream moving out of the suburbs, it could well leave home values behind.

Gallagher's reasons include:

  • Suburbs have spread too far out
  • Transportation costs in time and money for commuting is taxing
  • People want more organic suburbs ' new villages

Bottom line: the new desires are for urban centers where a closeness and easy walking to stores and restaurants is commonplace.

Legal Right To Own A New York City Taxi Is $1.3 Million!

The value of taxi medallions ' the legal right to drive a cab (the gaudy yellow taxis) in the city ' has soared to a record $1.3 million. The number of medallions is capped at 13,336 and it's unique, because a medallion is required. Therefore newcomers can't simply enter the market.

The good fortunes of taxi owners spring in part from an unexpected source ' advances in technology that have made it easier to find and pay for a cab ride. Credit cards and smartphone apps have served to enhance the value of established status quo, rather than its customary role of disruptor.

Cabbies have definitely benefited from credit card readers, which allow riders to pay with plastic. Statistics show that passengers leave bigger tips with cards, an average 20%, whereas with cash it is generally 10%.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 08/06/2013

'First Lady of Barter' To Receive Award At IRTA's Convention

The Hall of Fame Committee has announced that Lois Dale, barter industry veteran and past president of IRTA, has been selected to receive the 2013 Hall of Fame Award. The award will be presented at IRTA's 34th Annual International Convention, being held September 19 through 21, at the five-star Venetian Resort Hotel in Las Vegas. The Hall of Fame Committee is comprised of the former recipients of this award.



Lois Dale's 25+ years of advocacy for the barter industry was recognized by the famous American financial-journalist and host of Wall Street Week, Louis Rukeyser, when he dubbed her the 'First Lady of Barter.' Lois' trade exchange, Barter Advantage Inc., was a major factor in the New York City market for decades. She is congratulated on her well-deserved 2013 IRTA Hall of Fame Award.

$1.1 Billion Investment Dumped For 7-Cents On The Dollar

Imagine making a huge investment and then selling it for less than 7' on the dollar ' over a $1 billion loss. That's exactly what the New York Times experienced since purchasing the 141-year-old Boston Globe newspaper back in 1993 for $1.1 billion.

The new owner is businessman John Henry, 63, better known as the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox baseball team. He paid $70 million for the asset that declined in value due to the digital era changes taking place in today's world.

Lab-Grown Burgers Could Be Globally Transformative

In another decade or two it's conceivable that the world's population will be eating and enjoying laboratory grown beef. The first public tasting of the laboratory meat took place on Monday (8/05/2013). The research-bankroller of the project for creating meat fibers from beef muscle stem cells is Sergey Brin, the billionaire founder of Google.

Brin, along with others, believes that the world needs a way to produce meat that's less demanding on resources than rearing animals, and the ensuing continual environmental harm.

Wall Street Firms Taking Advantage Of Real Estate Foreclosure Crisis

Major investment firms have quickly become major landlords after buying tens-of-thousands of single-family homes in beaten-down markets ' and they say they are in it for the long haul. New research by Morgan Stanley predicts that the buy-to-rent sector will grow from $17 billion now, to $100 billion over the next several years. The two biggest players to date are the Blackstone Group, which has spent $5 billion (through a subsidiary) on 30,000 homes, and American Homes 4 Rent, which has spent $3.1 billion on a portfolio of nearly 18,000 homes.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 07/30/2013

America Still Works

Billionaire co-founder Paul Mitchell, of Paul Mitchell and co-founder of Patron Spirits, says today's current business environment is still as good as ever. (When he launched Paul Mitchell Products in 1980 inflation was 12.5% and unemployment was above 10%.)

The key to success according to Mitchell, 'If today somebody is very enthusiastic about their service or product and they can maintain that enthusiasm because they believe. Then yes, they have a chance to make it now, today, as well as any other year. And if I started today, could I do it again? Heck yes.'

Political Antics In Washington Affecting Americans

A recent poll by Pew Research Center found that the percentage of Americans who feel China is becoming the world's leading superpower rose from 36% in 2008 to 47% this year. The percentage of Americans satisfied with life in the U.S. is close to record lows, plus they are disgusted with political antics in Washington (DC) ' which 77% of Americans feel are harming the nation. The nation already is in the midst of an economic transformation that's upending the middle class, yet nobody seems to have answers on how to reinvigorate the economy.

Despite the feelings, one fact is evident. Income per capita in China is $4,940 (ranking 114th in the world, according to the World Bank). Nearly 170 million Chinese, equivalent to half the U.S. population, live in poverty.

Per capita income in the U.S. meanwhile, is about $43,000, or nearly 9 times the level in China. It takes money to be a superpower and there's no way for any country to overtake the U.S. in a meaningful way with such a huge income disparity.

What really has Americans bummed out is that living standards are lower than they used to be. Real income, adjusted for inflation, has fallen by about 9% since it peaked in 1999. That's a real life setback for millions of families who now have a harder time making ends meet.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 07/30/2013

America Still Works

Billionaire co-founder Paul Mitchell, of Paul Mitchell and co-founder of Patron Spirits, says today's current business environment is still as good as ever. (When he launched Paul Mitchell Products in 1980 inflation was 12.5% and unemployment was above 10%.)

The key to success according to Mitchell, 'If today somebody is very enthusiastic about their service or product and they can maintain that enthusiasm because they believe. Then yes, they have a chance to make it now, today, as well as any other year. And if I started today, could I do it again? Heck yes.'

Political Antics In Washington Affecting Americans

A recent poll by Pew Research Center found that the percentage of Americans who feel China is becoming the world's leading superpower rose from 36% in 2008 to 47% this year. The percentage of Americans satisfied with life in the U.S. is close to record lows, plus they are disgusted with political antics in Washington (DC) ' which 77% of Americans feel are harming the nation. The nation already is in the midst of an economic transformation that's upending the middle class, yet nobody seems to have answers on how to reinvigorate the economy.

Despite the feelings, one fact is evident. Income per capita in China is $4,940 (ranking 114th in the world, according to the World Bank). Nearly 170 million Chinese, equivalent to half the U.S. population, live in poverty.

Per capita income in the U.S. meanwhile, is about $43,000, or nearly 9 times the level in China. It takes money to be a superpower and there's no way for any country to overtake the U.S. in a meaningful way with such a huge income disparity.

What really has Americans bummed out is that living standards are lower than they used to be. Real income, adjusted for inflation, has fallen by about 9% since it peaked in 1999. That's a real life setback for millions of families who now have a harder time making ends meet.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 07/16/2013

Most Popular Barter Convention Venue Readies For Another Big One

The spectacular five-star Venetian Resort in Las Vegas will be the venue for the International Reciprocal Trade Association's (IRTA) 34th annual convention. IRTA expects to set new attendance records at this year's event, which is scheduled for September 19 thru 21.

For further information, contact Executive Director Ron Whitney at ron@irta.com or at 757-393-2292.

Addicted To Your Smartphone?

A study recently released by Harris Interactive gives a clearer picture of just how attached users are to their devices. Here's what the survey unveiled:

Nearly 3 in 4 U.S. smartphone users surveyed said they are within five feet of their devices most of the time.

More than 30% said they use their devices in movie theatres, and 12% of them said they use them in the shower. (Interestingly,12% believe their smartphones get in the way of their relationships.)

People also use smartphones during dinner dates (33%), during children's school functions (32%), at places of worship (19%), and perhaps most alarming, while driving (55%).

You'll Need Patience When Flying This Summer

The U.S. Department of Transportation reported that 79.4% of domestic flights arrived on time this year in May, down from 83.4% in the same month in 2012.

U.S. Economic Recovery Is Constrained

Historically, surges in home prices have resulted in what economists call a wealth effect ' increased spending based on individual perceptions of growing affluence. But this time around, the hangover from the housing crash has blunted that phenomenon, they say.

Previously, every dollar ($1) increase in home prices has generated 8-cents in consumer spending over the following 18 to 24 months. That figure has been cut in half during this recovery.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 07/09/2013

Active International Negotiates Low-Cost Car Leases

The largest corporate barter company in the world, New York-based Active International, has negotiated low-cost car leases for the California cities of San Jose, Los Gatos, Campbell and Mill Valley, through their corporate services division.

To read the complete story on Active's newly-designed web site, click here.

Shadow Economy In USA Is HUGE!

The shadow economy is described as a grey market made up of people who aren't on the official payrolls, but are finding ways to get by nevertheless. People with legitimate jobs (such as drivers, running small eBay businesses, nannies, landscapers, etc.) that would be ordinary work, if it were taxed. But because they're getting paid in cash, these people are not counted in the monthly job numbers.

Estimates from a University of Wisconsin-Madison study put this economy at the $2 trillion mark for last year, that's twice the amount estimated in 2009. In USA Today, the IRS cites lost tax revenue because of unreported wages at about $500 billion for last year.

Mark Cuban's Take On Small Business Failure

Mark Cuban of 'Shark Tank' TV fame, also the owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team and serial entrepreneur, says that small businesses don't fail due to lack of capital, but rather they fail because of 'lack of effort and lack of brainpower.'

'Cities Are Good For You'

According to author Leo Hollis, author of the book titled in the above headline, cities are the only place to live. In 2007, the U.N. announced that for the first time in human history 50% of the world's population lived in cities. This number is rising at the rate of 180,000 every day; and by 2050, it's projected that 75% of the world's population will live in cities.

Hollis's thesis is that the city is not a rational, ordered place but a complex space that has more in common with natural organisms such as beehives or ant colonies. This complexity theory advocates that our cities are less inventions than entities, evolving from the ground up. And the basic unit or cell is the street.

Mini-Apartments Appearing In California

The median-size U.S. home is more than 2,000 square feet, according to a Census Bureau report. But a recent residential and retail complex has been completed at a busy downtown Santa Monica intersection by a local developer specializing in building mini-apartments in urban centers.

Called 'micro units' these mini-apartments are 375-square-feet, or about the same size as a large recreational vehicle. They have the same design imperative ' fit as many features as possible into a small space, but don't make it claustrophobic. Rents start at $1,495 a month.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 07/02/2013

The #1 Question In A Job Interview

Dick Bolles is the author of the 1970 best-seller, What Color Is Your Parachute. (With 42 annual editions, it has sold 10 million copies in 20 different languages, and was named one of the top 25 books that 'have shaped readers lives' by the Library of Congress.)

In a recent interview he listed two important actions (for an interviewee) that will set them apart from others in an interview:

1) It's important to keep a weekly diary of accomplishments at your current job. This will make it easier to discuss your role in detail, when hunting for a new job opportunity.

2) As a finishing move Bolles advocates being bold, by ending the interview with this statement, 'With all we've discussed, can you offer me this job?'

World's Top Tourist Destination

The most visited city in the world, by international tourists, is Bangkok (Thailand) where some 16 million tourists will visit in 2013. That's according to the third annual Global Destination Cities Index released by MasterCard.

Bangkok beat London, last years #1 tourist destination, by less than 1%. And Paris is rated #3. Part of the reason for Bangkok's increase in visitors is that tourism in Southeast Asia has surged among the region's upper-middle class.

Foreign visitors to New York City, despite expecting 4.46 million fewer tourists, will spend a whopping $18.6 billion. Topping any of the other 132 cities surveyed. However, Tokyo remains the most expensive city.

Here and There '

Restaurant Industry: Almost $2 billion a day is spent at restaurants in the USA. (Spending is expected to top $650 billion in 2013.) Interestingly, 50% of U.S. adults have worked in the restaurant industry.

Travel Industry: Some 21 million people will go on a cruise this year. Carnival, after a year of mishaps, is offering 4-night cruises to the Caribbean for $38 a day.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 06/25/2013

Supercomputers Top Speed Unfathomable

A Chinese university has built the world's fastest supercomputer, almost doubling the speed of the U. S. machine that previously claimed the top spot ' underscoring China's rise as a science and technology powerhouse.

Their fastest super-computers (Tianhe-2, developed by the National University of Defense Technology) is capable of sustained computing of 33.86 petaflops per second, or 33,860 trillion calculations-per-second. The U.S. Energy Department's Titan machine is second, but far off the pace, as it achieved 17.59 petaflops per second.

Top Reason Why Customers Are Loyal To Small Business

It's quite simple: Receiving a smile and a greeting at an independent business was the most oft-cited reason consumers felt loyalty to that business, according to a recent poll of 2000 consumers. One-third of respondents cited excellent customer service as the reason they returned to the store/shop. The study also found that 3 out of 5 consumers (60%) are willing to shell out more to buy from an independent store, rather than a larger retailer.

Time For Making An All-Important Transformation

According to a survey at Bankrate.com, three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. The survey showed that about 27% of those had no savings at all and 50% had saved less than three-months worth of expenses (less than half the six months financial experts recommend).

What should one do? James Altucher, author and entrepreneur says people must start brainstorming and thinking of ideas by which they can provide services and value to other people and charge for it ' it's not that you want to make this leap. You have to make this leap!

Altucher says there are more opportunities than ever for one and two-person businesses. So start thinking about what has worked or interested you before (personally or career wise) and what hasn't, realizing that the transformation won't happen overnight.

And then prepare yourself: make sure you're physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually healthy. (This includes gradually powering those 'motivation batteries' of yours back up.) Do this and ideas will start to appear and opportunities will begin happening.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 06/18/2013

An Incredible (Really Unbelievable) ROI

According to CNBC's Rick Zantelli (on-air editor from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade), as reported on the 6/12/2013 program, for every $1 spent in Washington D.C. on lobbying efforts by various companies/organizations/entities the return is an astronomical $222 ' or a 22,000% return on investment.

Tom Greco's Mission Underway

Monetary expert Tom Greco has begun an ambitious 9-week informative mission, which begins in Europe. Succinctly, he will be spreading the word that there is an option to the growing worldwide debt crisis, which has been brought about through the central banks' deficit spending policies. The debt crisis option is the adoption and the building of widespread decentralized, community-based, credit-clearing networks.

You can follow Greco's efforts here: http://beyondmoney.net.

Peer-to-Peer Lending Growth Is Impressive

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending sites, the online clearinghouses where people are matched with investors in order to receive money for paying off debts, starting businesses or funding home improvements, are growing dramatically.

The two major P2P sites, Lending Club and Prosper, are poised to have their biggest year ever. In the first four months of 2013, Lending Club made more than $480 million in loans to more than 31,000 people ' roughly triple its numbers from the same period in 2012. Prosper made more than $50 million in loans in the same period, up about 20% compared to last year.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 06/11/2013

Hotels Going To No-Frills Approach

The next time you check into a hotel, don't be surprised if the front desk clerk and bellhop are the same person ' or if there is no clerk or bellhop at all. New York's Hilton Midtown, the largest hotel in the city with almost 2,000 rooms, will cease to provide room service and will lay off 55 room-service staffers in August. (This past October, the Hilton Hawaiian Village also dropped room service.)

Bottomline: Hotels, like airlines, are looking for ways to maximize ancillary revenues and reduce costs.

Overdrafts Accounted For 61% Of Bank Fees

The New York Times reports that overdrafts accounted for 61-percent of the fees banking customers paid in 2011, according to a report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The bureau conservatively estimates that the banking industry made $12.6 billion in such fees.

Americans' Wealth Hits New Record

It's taken several years, but data from the Federal Reserve show the total value of Americans' financial and real estate holdings hit $70.3 trillion in the first quarter of 2013. The biggest gains come from financial investments which amount to 82% of total net worth ' this category has recovered much faster than real estate.

While barely 50% of adult Americans' own stocks, the lowest level in 15 years, housing wealth has recovered from the recession. However, the total value of $20.8 trillion in housing wealth is still about $4.3 trillion below the peak levels of 2006.

Small Businesses Optimism Up

According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Index of Small Business Optimism, the recent May reading of the index is the second highest since the recession started in December 2007. NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg says Washington remains in a state of policy paralysis, while the stock market sets records.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 06/04/2013

Dramatic Shift Occurring In U.S. Households

In 1960 some 11% of U.S. households relied upon the woman as the chief or only source of income. Today it's more than 40%, a recent PEW study of census data shows, truly a massive jump over the past four decades.

ITEX Board Declares Cash Dividend

On May 31, the ITEX Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of .05-cents per share. The dividend is payable on June 20, 2013, to stockholders of record as of June 10 this year.

Consumer Optimism Growing On The Economic Front

The U.S. consumer sentiment hit its highest level in six years in May, reports the University of Michigan/ThomsonReuters findings. The data clearly suggests there will be a faster pace of growth in consumer spending during the year ahead.

Rebuilding Wealth Isn't Easy

A new analysis by the Federal Reserve reconfirms what many Americans already knew ' that the rebuilding of their wealth (aggregately $16 trillion) that disappeared from the third quarter of 2007 through the first quarter of 2009 is far from easy. Americans have been able to recapture only 45% of that amount on average. And most of the gains have come from the stock market, which benefits mostly the wealthier families.

U.S. Not Among The Happiest Countries

For the third straight year the U.S. failed to make the top-ten list of the happiest countries in the world.  The list of where the residents are the most satisfied with their lives, according to the latest Better Life Index report (released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) are:

10. Mexico

9. Finland

8. Canada

7. Austria

6. Netherlands

5. Denmark

4. Sweden

3. Iceland

2. Norway

1. Switzerland

Boom Times For Disneyland

Disneyland parks in California have announced the 4th hike in prices in the last three years (28% raise since 2010). Admission to the park for those 10 years or older, is now $92 per person; for age 3 to 9 it's now $86. Parking is now $16 per car.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 05/28/2013

Here & There In The Barter World'

  • A new, clean, modern website is up at: www.ITEX.com.
  • Another noteworthy accomplishment by ITEX is the 31 consecutive national conventions they've held. To our knowledge, no other trade exchange in the world has ever held even a fraction (10%) of the ITEX endeavor.
  • Monetary expert and barter ambassador Tom Greco has successfully reached the funding goal for his coming European effort ' generating the needed $4,000. Follow his progress by clicking here.  

A Worthy Goal Worth Trillions

Eliminating all forms of cancer would have an economic value of $46.5 trillion, according to economists Kevin Murphy and Robert Topel at the University of Chicago. That's more than 15,000 times the $3 billion that our nation now invests annually in cancer research.

Credit Card Defaults Decline

Americans did a better job of paying their credit card debit on time, in the first three months of the year. It's a period when many borrowers use income tax returns to tackle their holiday season debt.

PayPal To Be In 2 Million Stores

EBay's PayPal will soon be available in 2 million stores this year, according to David Marcus the president of the division. That's up dramatically (due to more in-store partnerships), from the 250,000 stores in which PayPal was accepted only a few months ago.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 05/21/2013

Here & There In The Barter World

The International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA) has announced the program schedule for their annual convention, coming this September in Las Vegas. For more information and registration, click here.  

International Monetary Systems (ITNM) earnings have been reported for the first quarter of 2013. For more information on the company and earnings, click here.

Monetary expert and barter ambassador Tom Greco continues progressing toward successful funding his coming European effort. With 8 days left he has $2,500 of the needed $4,000. Follow his progress at: http://igg.me/at/tomstour/x/31801 .

NFIB Marks 70 Years As America's Leading Small Business Advocate

Founded in 1943 (San Mateo, CA), the National Federation of Independent Businesses recognized the need to represent the little guy. Today the NFIB has more members and credibility than any other small group in history. Headquartered in Nashville (TN) since 1992, they continue to work to make America's entrepreneurs heard in Washington and around the country. Membership now stands at 350,000 small and independent businesses across the nation.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 05/14/2013

New UC Software Platform Announced By IRTA

The International Reciprocal Trade Association's 'Universal Currency' (UC) trading system is being moved from its present platform to a new enhanced version of the VBarter platform. Trade exchanges, that are members of IRTA, trade with one another using the UC currency.

For more information, click here.     

Weekly ITEX Internet Show

A weekly 2-hour ITEX show is now hosted from San Diego (CA), by Jack Warren.

For details, click here.

Thanks For Industry's Response For Tom Greco

A special 'Thank You,' to the people who took the time and effort to provide monetary assistance for Tom Greco's educational efforts, on behalf of the commercial barter industry.

If you missed last week's announcement, click here.

A Boost For Your Love Life

A new survey of 2,076 adults found that 88% of Americans are 'somewhat likely to be intimate' when taking a vacation with a spouse or partner. Only 12% said they are 'somewhat or much less likely' to be intimate on vacation. The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Expedia, one of the world's largest travel sites.

What's more, the study said couples who vacation three or more times a year are more likely to be satisfied with their love lives than those who take two or fewer vacations a year.

(The top city for intimate vacations, from another Expedia survey, was not Paris or Rome. It was Atlantic City, N.J.)

Price Of Vino By The Glass Is Rising

Restaurant Sciences, an independent firm that tracks food and beverage product sales, reports that wine sales by the glass is rising steadily. The reason? A tightening squeeze of wine inventories, coupled with swelling consumer demand for the alcohol. The U.S. is the top wine-drinking nation in the world ' by both volume and value.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 05/07/2013

31st ITEX Convention Scheduled

ITEX, the largest trade exchange in the U.S., will be holding their 31st annual convention next week in Orlando (FL), on May 13 thru 16. Some 140 professional traders from the company will be in attendance.

For more information, click here.   

America's Future Is Bright With 'Unleashing' Of Women's Potential

Warren Buffett is optimistic about America's economic future, as our nation's awareness of women's potential expands and accelerates. Buffett says as more and more women excel in the workforce their talent will increase America's richness.

Big'Box Stores Expand Services, Increasing Competition

Need to refinance your mortgage? Just put it on your shopping list ' alongside the jumbo paper towels and 6-gallon bucket of cat kibble ' the next time you visit Costco. Big-box stores are offering a growing number of financial services, including check cashing, reloadable pre-paid cards, small business loans and life insurance.

Ten million American households (1 in 12) don't have any checking or savings accounts, according to a 2011 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. And twenty-four million households (1 in 5) have accounts but also rely on alternative financial services, such as non-bank money orders, check cashing, payday loans, tax refund loans and pawnshops.

So major retailers are developing an ever-expanding menu of financial products aimed at this underserved population, a market that generates more than $78 billion annually in fee and interest revenue.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 04/30/2013

Canadian Revenue Agency Looks At Bitcoins

The Canadian Revenue Agency does not recognize a Bitcoin as a unit of legal tender. Instead, the CRA says purchases with Bitcoins are considered barter transactions, and should be reported as income.

In March, the U.S. Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network outlined the rules for buying and selling virtual currencies, making it clear that Bitcoin dealers are subject to existing rules that govern financial transactions.

Iran Will Barter Oil For Food

To circumvent oil sanctions from the West, Iran has announced it would move in another direction and barter through the private sector. A few days ago, Iran and Turkmenistan agreed to barter gas for food. Royal Dutch Shell, the European oil company, will pay its $2 billion debt to Iran through barter - sending large consignments of wheat via a U.S. company to Iran.

Nation's Economic Recovery Exceedingly Uneven

The recent findings and analysis of census bureau data by the Pew Research Center, which draws on the most recent statistics on wealth, shows the dramatic uneven nature of the U.S. recovery.

According to the new report, the richest 7% of American families saw their average wealth soar by 28% from 2009 to 2011, while the remaining households lost 4% of their net worth over the same period. In short: The wealthy owned stocks, while the other 93% had their wealth tied up in the plummeting housing market.

All-Electric Formula - Race Car Series Announced

Fully electric open-wheel racecars will be competing on the track in 30 cities globally, within the next few years. Currently, Miami and Los Angeles are the only U.S. cities. Other locations will include Rome, London, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Beijing and Putrajaya (Malaysia).

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 04/02/2012

"Cupcake Wars" Food Network Winner Barters Via Trade Exchange

Mamie Doyle and her brother Ross own Miss Mamie's Cupcakes, a bakery located in Marietta (GA), just off the Marietta Square. They recently won first place and $10,000 on the Food Network's 'Cupcake Wars.'

The owners of the award-winning bakery frequently work 80 hours a week and are savvy entrepreneurs as well, utilizing a top trade exchange in Atlanta www.thebartercompany.com to quickly move their delicious product. Proudly, they proclaim, they never sell a day-old cupcake.

NATE Convention Next Month

Independent trade exchange owners will be meeting once again for their annual convention. This year it will be held at the beautiful Wyndham Riverfront Little Rock. This year's efforts will be hosted by Southern Barter Exchange, one of USA's leading independent trade exchanges.

For further details and registration click here.  

Small Businesses Want Immigration Reform Too

Most small firms want the government to overhaul the immigration system to attract more talented workers and entrepreneurs, according to a survey by the Small Business Majority advocacy group. That viewpoint aligns them with technology companies, which have long been pushing for immigration reform.

Car Rental Rates Vary Widely

Cheapcarrental.net reports that in the nation's top-50 destinations the car rental rates have a wide variance. For example, the average car rental in Los Angeles over the last twelve months was $30 a day. In New York the average daily price was $72. The best deal in the nation is found in Milwaukee, where the rental cost was $27 a day.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 03/19/2012

Venetian Resort Hotel Selected For IRTA's 34th Annual Convention

The thirty-six story, all-suite, five-star world renowned Las Vegas Venetian Resort Hotel will be the venue for the International Reciprocal Trade Association's 34th Annual Convention. The upcoming event will be held in six months, September 19 through the 21. 

To register or for more information, click here.  

What's Needed For Retirement?

According to a new study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, if you don't have a company pension coming, you'll need to save eight to twelve times your annual income to ensure a comfortable retirement. The institute found that just 22% of households, with workers aged 55 to 64, had retirement savings of more than $250,000.

Writer's Answer Not The Usual One

The column Money Talk by Liz Weston, which appeared in the Los Angeles Times Business Section on March 17, provided a different look to the age old question of buying a home versus renting.

Here's her answer:

'You would think the recent economic unpleasantness would have cured people of the idea that homeownership is right for everyone all the time. In reality, much of the financial benefit of homeownership comes from the 'forced savings' aspect of paying down a mortgage. Homes do tend to appreciate in value over time, but on average the appreciation usually doesn't exceed the overall inflation rate.

'Plus, homes are expensive to own and maintain, which can dramatically reduce the return on your investment. Investments in stocks and stock mutual funds probably will give you a better return over the long haul, and you'll never have to buy a new roof for them.'

Another Dramatic Change Due To Technology

Thirty years ago, nearly half of 16-year-olds had a driver's license ' their passport to independence. By 2010 that figure had dropped to 28%, according to research from the University of Michigan. The cultural shift is largely the result of technology that keeps teens connected to one another and the coolest new stuff without ever getting into a car. The research, in short, deduces that the Internet has made the freedom that comes with a license anticlimactic.

Carmakers are worried and quickly shifting their priorities. In the past, it was about horsepower and torque. Now it's about technology, connecting to smart-phones, and fuel efficiency.

Entrepreneur's Never Short On Ideas

Two Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, frustrated by the shortage of visas that keep some of the world's brightest science and engineering minds from building companies on dry land, have hatched a plan labeled Blueseed. Their strategy is to build a start-up colony in the Pacific - by parking a cruise ship 12 nautical miles off the coast of Northern California in international waters. Foreign-born entrepreneurs would live and work on the ship, building start-up companies within commuting distance of Silicon Valley.

Under the conditions of living off-shore, foreigners wouldn't need the work visas that are so hard to come by. Instead they would get business tourism visas that would let them ferry back and forth to Silicon Valley once or twice a week.

Blueseed's current plan is to lease (not buy) a cruise ship that could house 1,000 entrepreneurs plus crew. The ship would have cafes, a gym, co-working space, ship-wide high-speed Internet access, medical professionals, and a private security force. Entrepreneurs could share a cabin for $1,200 a month or get their own for $1,600. They would also hand over a 6% equity stake to Blueseed. The founders are hoping to cash in when the entrepreneurs introduce the next Apple or Facebook!

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 03/05/2012

ITEX Increases Dividend, Now Yields 5.43%

On February 26, 2013, the Board of Directors of ITEX Corporation approved a 25% increase in the company's quarterly cash dividend to a new dividend rate of $.05 per share. It will be payable on March 20, 2013, to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 11, 2013. The annualized dividend yield based on average closing price of ITEX's stock for the trailing 12 months is 5.43%.

The Number Of Super-Rich Continues To Grow

There were 2,000 billionaires (U.S. dollars) on the planet in 2012, 185 more than 2011, according to Wealth-X, an organization that tracks the super-wealthy. These fortunate few have a combined fortune of $5.5 trillion, equal to China's GDP. Average age is 63, and 1 in 10 are female. The U.S. has 408 billionaires and China is second with 317.

Despite a financial crisis that has affected many in the U.S. and worldwide, the super-rich haven't reined in their travel spending. According to Conde Nast Traveler's, luxury hotel companies are actually expanding at a record pace to meet the demand.

Our Amazing World

Researchers have created a way to store data in the form of DNA, which can last for thousands of years. The encoding method makes it possible to store at least 100 million hours of high-definition video in a cup of DNA. (Information obtained from Computerworld.)

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 02/19/2013

Polish Barter-Baron Passes On

Polish businessman Aleksander Gudzowaty, 74, the CEO of barter-trade firm Bartimpex died in a Warsaw hospital on February 14. He founded Bartimpex in 1992, a commodity trading company, and in so doing leveraged his Russian relationships. (At one time, he represented the entire Polish textile industry in Moscow.)

He had vast experience in trade with the Middle East, and Russia. He bartered foodstuffs and industrial products in exchange for gas from Russia's Gazprom. He was ranked ninth on the list of the wealthiest Poles in 2008, with a fortune of $3.8 billion. Forbes magazine named him as one of the most influential people in Central and Eastern Europe.

Clinton Earns Big Money On Speaking Circuit

What do former presidents do upon retirement? Many put on their speaking hats and earn a small fortune. That's exactly the path Bill Clinton has followed, and in the last ten years he's pocketed $89 million in speaking fees.

Three Years Has Passed, Has Anything Changed?

In our February 23, 2010, Tuesday Report lead story we reported on 'the biggest problem for small business owners.' Guess what? It's now three years later and the biggest problem mentioned back then is still the biggest problem. And ' the intelligent embracement of barter is a major step toward solving the problem!

To read the article, click here

Trump Plaza Sells For A Song

Despite all of Donald Trump's rhetoric over the years, he's had some real losers, too. Here's one of them: Trump Plaza, which he built in 1964 for $210 million, was sold for $20 million last week. At one time it was the boardwalk centerpiece of Trump's Atlantic City empire. 

Immediate Actions To Take For Experiencing Identity Theft

According to the Law Enforcement News, these are the numbers you always need to contact if you're a victim of stolen identity.

Equifax: 800-525-6285 or www.equifax.com

Experian (formerly TRW): 888-397-3742 or www.experian.com

Trans Union: 800-680-7289 or www.transunion.com

Social Security Administration (fraud line): 800-269-0271

When identity is stolen, you also need to contact the IRS for a 'personal identity number.'

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 02/12/2013

Small Business Chamber Creates Trade Exchange

The Delaware Small Business Chamber (DSBC) has started a trade exchange to help local small businesses increase their sales while decreasing their use of cash for needed products and services. The DSBC charges lower fees than the typical trade exchange, i.e. 2.5% transaction fees on the buy and sell. (Typically, trade exchange fees are 6% up to 10% on each side.)

For more information, click here.    

A Hospitality Network For Adventuresome Travelers

There are more than 4 million globetrotters and backpackers in 80,000 cities, who want to share their homes with you at no cost. Now there is an online hospitality network (www.Couchsurfing.org) that connects travelers to free places to stay, all over the world.

The Super Bowl For Women

The 85th Annual Academy Awards show, slated for February 24, is called the 'Super Bowl for Women' because the TV audience skews female. Last year more than 39 million viewers watched the broadcast, and more are expected to view this year's presentations.

All of the show's commercial time has been sold out since before Christmas, with 30-second spots going for $1.7 to $1.85-million. What's the reason for the hoopla? It's because the 'Oscar' audience has a high concentration of well-educated and affluent viewers, with plenty of disposable income.

Satisfied Senior Citizen Says Thanks

BarterNews received an e-mail this week from a long-time, devoted Canadian reader. He wrote:

Dear Bob,

As an avid reader of BarterNews for many years, I recently bought your Restaurant Report and also your Entrepreneur's Package. That helps me, being retired, while bartering on a personal basis with hotels and restaurants. Keep up the good work.

A Comprehensive Resource For College Education Information

Here's a project (http://www.Graduate-School.PhDs.org/education-index) we came across that is a powerful resource for anyone wanting to further their knowledge about a college education, including both undergraduate and graduate programs, in the U.S. today.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 02/05/2013

The Key To Super Achievement

Authors Camille Sweeney and Josh Gasfield interviewed dozens of superachievers and profiled their models in a new book titled, The Art of Doing: How Superachievers Do What They Do and How They Do It So Well.

The authors say that the most important thing that all superachievers shared was that they all had great self-awareness. They questioned themselves, and when superachievers hit an obstacle or a roadblock, they were able to pivot and get through. Instead of blaming someone else or making some minor tweaks, they really took a very careful look at their assumptions and biases, and that allowed them to reinvent themselves.

Delayed Retirement Now The Norm

The Conference Board surveyed 15,000 individuals and found that nearly two-thirds (62%) of Americans between the ages of 45 and 60 say they plan to delay retirement. That's up from 42%, just two years ago.

The reasons include financial losses, layoffs, and income stagnation sustained during the recession and recovery.

Barter Business Opportunity In South Florida

Looking for existing barter network or seasoned barter professional to work with large regional chamber of commerce, along with BarterR.com and Barter.us, to conquer the barter industry in South Florida.

Please call 954-485-3255.

Super-Rich Laker Fans Are Traders Too

A courtside seat to see the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team is a hot commodity in Los Angeles. For one season seat the cost is $116,000. Westwood One radio mogul Norman Pattiz has four courtside seats, located between the Lakers bench and the scorer's table, that he's owned these seats for 25 years.

Pattiz once temporarily traded two of his seats to billionaire Haim Saban in exchange for unlimited use of a private jet.

Barter + Career In Public Relations

An upcoming pubic relations job fair, where students are paying $80 each to attend an all-day 'Real World' Career Fair February 22 in Atlanta, needs a dose of reality, according to a blog by O'Dwyers. They report on inside news of the public relations business, and recently pointed out the use of barter in that industry.

'Doing PR for a restaurant on a barter basis is one way to start a PR firm. Handle PR in return for meals, which cost the restaurant almost nothing. Plenty of things can be bartered including possibly cars, apartments, clothes, etc. Knock on doors, is our advice.

'Barter is a big but largely untold factor in the business world. Students who take unpaid internships are engaging in barter ' exchanging their time and effort in return for a learning experience and a blurb on their resumes.'

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 01/29/2013

Barter Company Raises $214,000 For Newtown Effort

Counseling services through The Cove Center For Grieving Children will be possible for many Newtown (CT) families because of the efforts of nearby barter company Barter Business Unlimited (www.bbubarter.com). BBU has raised $214,000 trade-dollars from the company's barter members and trading partners (other barter companies).

Service Sector Growth Pushes Union Membership Lower

Union membership in the U.S. fell to its lowest rate since 1916 last year, dropping to 11.3% of the workforce, from 11.8% in 2011. The reasons for the decline include: (a) new laws that have reduced the power of unions in Wisconsin, Indiana and other states, and (b) the growth of the service sector, where organized labor has a small presence.

Hometown Money Book Is Updated

The 1995 first edition of the Hometown Money book, has been updated by its author Paul Glover. Glover is the founder of the community currency-system known as Ithaca HOURS, which was established in 1991.

For more information on Glover and his book click here. (www.PaulGlover.org)

National Zanderboard Planned

Direct traders will soon be meeting for another real estate and personal property session on the Zanderboard. It's scheduled for February, in the Atlanta (GA) area.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 01/22/2013

Great Entrepreneurs Have Two Key Qualities

According to Ben Horowitz, a founding partner of the venture capital firm Andressen Horowitz, the entrepreneur is vastly more important than the idea. That's because if the idea is lousy, a great entrepreneur will see that quickly and then change the idea.

Horowitz says all great entrepreneurs have two key qualities ' brilliance and courage. The reason for the first one (brilliance) is obvious. The second one, courage, is important because the other virtues that everyone wants to see in successful people ' honesty, integrity, etc. ' all flow from courage. And if you don't have courage in times of stress, then honesty, integrity, and other virtues can quickly go by the wayside.

Active International Supports Families Of Newtown Tragedy

Active is joining with other barter companies in raising and providing funds for The Love for Grieving Children organization. The corporate barter company will contribute $50,000 in Universal Currency trade dollars to provide counseling for all those who are suffering.

For more on Active International click here.   (www.ActiveInternational.com)

Geithner Blames Greed For Financial Crisis

Outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner explained in a leaving interview with the Wall Street Journal why he's uncomfortable with accusations that bankers haven't been punished enough for the financial crisis. 'A huge part of what happened across the system was just a mixture of ignorance and greed, or hope over experience, and not illegal. Most financial crises are not caused by fraud or abuse.'

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 01/15/2013

IRTA Completes Another Record Year

Annette Riggs, President of the International Reciprocal Trade Association, reports that 2012 was another productive year for IRTA and UC, as both organizations surpassed their numerous goals for the year.

Riggs says that IRTA and UC will continue to pro-actively advocate for both the barter and complementary currency sectors; she looks forward to another fruitful year in 2013 filled with creative new initiatives that will benefit members' business and the commercial barter industry in general.

For the complete story, click here.

ITEX Brokers Board Meet In Seattle

In a couple of days, on January 18, the Board of Directors of the ITEX Brokers Association (IBA) will be meeting in Bellevue (WA). The IBA Board is elected by its members and consists of seven members ' two brokers from three regions and a president. The group initially gathers alone for a day, prior to the following day's meeting with ITEX senior management.

For more info on ITEX, click here.  

Happy-Meal Toys Exchanged For Books

During 2013 and 2014, about 15 million non-fiction books will be provided to kids in England through the nation's 1,200 McDonald restaurants. The reading literacy program will be promoted for five weeks at a time, over the two-year period. It's estimated that only one in three children in England now have books in the home.

Global Media Ad Spending Hits $519 Billion

Media ad spending, worldwide, grew 5.4% to just under $519 billion in 2012. This growth rate is expected to continue at the same levels through 2016 topping out at $628 billion.

How To Shape Your Leadership & Corporate Culture

An excellent 43-page booklet, 'Neuro-Networking: How Neuroscience Will Make You A Better Networker,' by Dave Kinnear is available on Kindle Press for $2.99. In the e-book, Kinnear explains how to build authentic networking relationships through trust. It can be ordered through Amazon.com.

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 01/08/2013

Bank Card Delinquencies Fall To 28-Year Low

Another sign the economy is slowly recovering is a report by the American Bankers Association. They report that delayed repayments of bank-card loans dipped to the lowest level since the 3rd quarter of 1994 ' falling to 2.75% of all accounts.

Here & There In The Barter Marketplace '

  • Word of Mouth Marketing has added a barter exchange feature  (www.GoBuzz.me) to its platform.
     
  • A 30-year barter veteran, and a member of several trade exchanges, told BarterNews that BizXchange's (www.bizx.com) recent Christmas Holiday Fair in Seattle was the best of the five in which he has exhibited. He cited the overall atmosphere and attendance at this past holiday fair, as well as the event's organization and superior offerings, as the reasons for his top rating.
     
  • Jack Zufelt, a national motivational speaker who has appeared at various barter conventions over the years, is appearing in a film titled, Openings ' The Search For Harry.

And You Thought Real Estate Prices Were High Where You Live?

In Hong Kong, ownership of a parking lot space might go for as much as $385,000! Parking has long been a prized commodity in land-scarce Hong Kong, as tenants outnumber parking slots in residential buildings 20-to-1. Pushing the prices even further for parking spaces resulted when the government placed a 15% tax on real estate being sold to nonpermanent residents (namely wealthy buyers from mainland China).

In comparison, a 600 square-foot apartment (purchased outright) is about $577,000. And if residential properties in Hong Kong are sold within six months of acquisition, another 20% tax is charged. Therefore, investors channel their money into parking spaces, where certain (taxing) rules didn't apply. 

(Editor's note: A taxi license in Hong Kong will cost up to $900,000!)

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 01/01/2013

U.S. Cash Still King, Worldwide

The U.S. Bureau of Engraving & Printing reports that the fiscal year ending October 2012 had a record production run ' printing 3 billion $100 notes. It's believed that the majority of those $100 bills are being held overseas, where they're globally recognized, widely accepted and the easiest way to store wealth.

And for those in the U.S., who are faced with bank deposit rates and yields on U.S. treasury bills at record lows, savers miss out on very little interest if they choose to hold cash rather than invest it.

BBU Trade Exchange Providing Assistance To Families of Newtown

Barter Business Unlimited (BBU), a Connecticut barter company close to the recent Newtown tragedy, is busily raising trade dollars within their exchange as well as through the barter industry's two trade associations, NATE and IRTA. Their goal is to collect and provide $200,000 or more to the non-profit organization known as Cove Center for Grieving Children, (www.covect.org).

Reportedly, Debbie Lombardi's BBU (www.bbubarter.com) is closing in on their six figure goal, having already raised over $150,000.

Small Merchants Disenchanted With The Online Coupons

Small businesses are souring on daily online deals. Companies such as Groupon and LivingSocial make money by selling discounts for restaurant meals, manicures and resort packages, then splitting the revenue with the business offering the coupon.

However, an October survey by online entrepreneur-hub Manta, showed that 82% of 1,087 responding small-business owners do not intend to run daily deal promotions this year. Only 3% said such campaigns have garnered them repeat business, while 11% said they either lost or made no money on the coupons.

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