Microsoft Earnings Are Up

Microsoft had to pay out over a billion dollars from challenges with the Xbox 360 game consoles.  But even with that they still were up for the quarter.  It was good news for Microsoft shareholders today…

The software giant reported that profit grew 7.3% in its fiscal fourth quarter. Meanwhile, revenue for its fiscal year topped $50 billion for the first time.

Microsoft posted quarterly net income of $3.0 billion, or 31 cents a share, on sales of $13.4 billion, meeting analyst expectations. In the year-ago quarter, it had net income of $2.8 billion, or 28 cents a share, on sales of $11.8 billion.

For fiscal 2007, Microsoft earned $14.1 billion, or $1.42 a share, on record sales of $51.1 billion.

Charly Tracy, Microsoft senior finance manager, attributed robust sales growth to “strong execution by our partners and sales force.”

Windows PC software, Windows server software and Office saw revenue increases of 14%, 15% and 19%, respectively, compared with the year-earlier period, Tracy says.

Read the complete article on if you would like to learn more:

Kamaron Institute personal finance business references, tips and resources. 

A Presidential History Lesson

We can learn so much wisdom from studying history and all the great men and women who lived before us.  This is a little fun history lesson.  If you like math you could try to figure up the odds of this happening.  It would be hard to even figure out!  Not only is it odd that it was the same day but that it was a VERY meaningful day in both of their lives.  It is amazing.  OK, read on to figure out what I am talking about…

These two men were both signers of the Declaration of Independence, they were also both Presidents of the United States and they were also both great friends.

Did you know that both of these Presidents and friends died on the exact same day? Not only was it the same day but it was a very special day…

Jefferson died on the Fourth of July, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the same day as John Adams' death.

On July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Adams died at his home in Quincy. His last words are often quoted as “Thomas Jefferson survives.” Only the words “Thomas Jefferson” were clearly intelligible among his last, however. Adams was unaware that Jefferson, his great political rival — and later friend and correspondent — had died a few hours earlier on that same day.

The fact that both Adams and Jefferson, both of whom had been so instrumental in creating the Declaration of Independence, would die on the fiftieth anniversary of the date of its publication, is one of the greatest coincidences in history.

Education lesson resources from Kamaron Institute for parents and teachers.

Gas Prices May Go Higher

I'm sure everyone has probably noticed a spike recently in gas prices.  I've heard some comments lately asking why prices have gone back up on gas.  This article found on the USA Today website gave some reasons for the price increases and said they may go even higher through August…

Strong demand for gasoline and tight motor fuel inventories will push pump prices higher in July and August, the government said Tuesday, but oil futures prices eased Thursday, which may soften the pain at the pump.

Retail gasoline prices are expected to average $3 a gallon this month and climb to $3.07 in August, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a monthly forecast.

“This is due to a combination of rising crude oil prices, strong demand for gasoline and low gasoline inventories,” the analytical arm of the Energy Department said.

The average national price of a gallon of gas jumped 2.6 cents overnight to $3.026 a gallon, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Gas prices, which typically lag the futures market, have risen 7.7 cents over the last week after falling steadily from a late May peak of $3.227 a gallon.

Analysts say the closure of a refinery in Coffeyville, Kan., due to flooding, and the shutdown of a huge piece of oil processing equipment at a BP refinery in Whiting, Ind., sent prices in the Midwest and Plains states sharply higher, boosting the national average.

Read the complete article on if you would like to learn more:

Kamaron Institute personal finance business references, tips and resources. 

Changing Jobs – Self Promote?

People are constantly changing jobs now days.  It used to be that people stayed in one job for most of their career.  That is certainly not the case today.  So changing jobs is something that most Americans will do several times.  Do you self promote yourself?  Or how much should you self promote yourself?  These are great questions. 

Let's face it, it does require a little self promotion when looking for different jobs.  But how much is enough?  Many people have a problem with the thought of “self promotion.”  The most important thing is that you must be good at what you do.  That should be the number one thing.  But assuming you are good at what you do, you have to be able to communicate and show others that you are good.  This may require a little bit of self promoting.

This Kamaron Institute article shares some interesting perspective on this subject.  If you are looking for a job or thinking about a job change, this will be helpful to you…

I know my book is good, and after talking with scores of authors about what it takes to sell a book these days, I realized that if I did not convey passion and pride about my ideas, how could anyone else?

So while I might not be a fan of the terminology, I believe that self-promotion is essential in today’s competitive landscape. And this is not just true for authors. It is true for anyone who wants to get ahead when there is someone equally qualified sitting in the next office, cubicle or home office, or in India.

Still, the language rattled me, and I wondered if it was possible to get the same kind of results in more subtle ways. I decided it was time to talk to some experts.

If anyone has given a lot of thought to the unseemliness of self-promotion, it is Peggy Klaus, the author of “Brag: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It” (Warner Business Books). Her philosophy boils down to this: we all have to master our own “bragologue,” an authentic and effective way to talk about our accomplishments, not just when we think we are in positions to self-promote. Though I was initially put off by her language, I gave Ms. Klaus a chance. I am glad I did.

If you want to read more, you can view the complete Kamaron Institute Job Market article by clicking the following link:

Kamaron Institute business news, educational career and parenting reference tips and resources.  

A Buyers Market for Home Buyers

If you are in the market for a new home, it is a great time.  There are so many homes for sale that deals are out there.  Of course, if you are also wanting to sell your home first then it may not work out as good.  But regardless, deals are out there to be found.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said that rates have dropped this week and they may continue to do so.  If you are considering a first time home purchase, now may be the best time.  Rates may not be what they have been the last several years but they are still historically low and there are lots of houses to choose from.  That makes for a pretty good combination for first time home buyers who are trying to find a deal…

Rising demand last week for loans to buy homes offset a drop in applications to refinance existing mortgages, leaving mortgage applications little changed from the prior week, an industry group said Thursday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its mortgage applications index rose 0.1% to a seasonally adjusted 619.4 in the week ended June 29, nearing its lowest level since mid-February.

The MBA's purchase index rose 2.0% to 437.3. But the refinancing applications gauge dropped 2.6% to this year's low of 1,687.2 on a seasonally adjusted basis.

“We've got a huge amount of inventory to work through, particularly of existing homes. but it looks like demand is holding up here,” said David Kelly, economic adviser at Putnam Investments in Boston.

The MBA's purchase index has been steadily rising, based on a four-week moving average, to its highest levels since January 2006, he said. New-home sales and housing starts looked stronger in the second quarter than in the first, he added.

Home sales might get a kick from falling mortgage rates.

To learn more on this subject, read the complete article below from USA Today:

Kamaron Institute personal finance business references, tips and resources. 

George Washington Carver – Creativity & Passion

When I think of George Washington Carver, the first thing I think of is peanuts.  I think that is because that is what I learned most in school about him.  And he did in fact invent many uses for the peanut.  At a time when many farmers were hurting, Carver showed farmers many different ways to use peanuts.  He saved many farmers by helping them make money and eat.

But George Washington Carver did way more than find uses for the peanut.  He had many other inventions and teachings.  But more than that he was a great leader for African-Americans at a tough time in history.  He was born a slave but died a man of great respect.  He was passionate and a very hard worker.  You know he must have had his share of problems and challenges but he over came them and made a great impact on on his country and the entire world.

George Washington Carver – Quotes

Learn to do common things uncommonly well; we must always keep in mind that anything that helps fill the dinner pail is valuable.” – George Washington Carver

Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” – George Washington Carver

No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving something behind.” – George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver – A Tough Start

He was born into slavery in Newton County, Marion Township, near Diamond Grove, now known as Diamond, Missouri. He was born on July 12, 1864. His owner, Moses Carver, was a German American immigrant who had purchased George's mother, Mary, from William P. McGinnis on October 9, 1855 for seven hundred dollars. The identity of Carver's father is unknown but he had sisters and a brother, all of whom died prematurely.

When George was an infant, he, a sister, and his mother were kidnapped by Confederate night raiders and sold in Arkansas, a common practice. Moses Carver hired John Bentley to find them. Only Carver was found, orphaned and near death from whooping cough. Carver's mother and sister had already died, although some reports stated that his mother and sister had gone north with the soldiers. For returning George, Moses Carver rewarded Bentley with his best filly that would later produce winning race horses. This episode caused George a bout of respiratory disease that left him with a permanently weakened constitution. Because of this, he was unable to work as a hand and spent his time wandering the fields, drawn to the varieties of wild plants. He became so knowledgeable that he was known by Moses Carver's neighbors as the “Plant Doctor.”

One day he was called to a neighbor's house to help with a plant in need. When he had fixed the problem, he was told to go into the kitchen to collect his reward. When he entered the kitchen, he saw no one. He did, however, see something that changed his life: beautiful paintings of flowers on the walls of the room. From that moment on, he knew that he was going to be an artist as well as a botanist.

After slavery was abolished, Moses Carver and his wife Susan raised George and his brother Jim as their own children. They encouraged George Carver to continue his intellectual pursuits and “Aunt Susan” taught him the basics of reading and writing.

Since blacks were not allowed at the school in Diamond Grove and he had received news that there was a school for blacks ten miles south in Neosho, he resolved to go there at once. To his dismay, when he reached the town, the school had been closed for the night. As he had nowhere to stay, he slept in a nearby barn. By his own account, the next morning he met a kind woman, Mariah Watkins, from whom he wished to rent a room. When he identified himself “Carver's George,” as he had done his whole life, she replied that from now on, his name was “George Carver.” George liked this lady very much and her words “You must learn all you can, then go back out into the world and give your learning back to the people,” made a great impression on him.

At the age of thirteen, due to his desire to attend high school, he relocated to the home of another foster family in Fort Scott, Kansas. After witnessing the beating to death of a black man at the hands of a group of white men, George left Fort Scott. He subsequently attended a series of schools before earning his diploma at Minneapolis High School in Minneapolis, Kansas.

After high school, George started a laundry business in Olathe, Kansas.

Pick up some books on George Washington Carver if you want to learn more.  We can learn so much by studying his life.  He didn't start off with much, but with passion and hard work, he did great things.

Education lesson resources from Kamaron Institute for parents and teachers.

Helping Women Succeed in Business

This is a fantastic organization.  Women all over the country have entrepreneurial ideas and dreams.  But many are lacking the money and the experience to go after their dreams.  This organization has a great system in place to help women without a lot of money to make money through their own business…

Known as a “kitchen incubator,” La Cocina (la-koh-SEE-nuh) is a shared-use space created two years ago to provide a platform for women entrepreneurs without assets. Offering a low hourly rate for access to 2,200 square feet of restaurant-quality kitchen space, the nonprofit La Cocina also provides training from high-profile mentors and technical assistance on creating business plans and building marketing programs.

“There’s an entrepreneurial gene,” said Valeria Perez Ferreiro, executive director of La Cocina. “And we are finding amazing entrepreneurs who are already cooking or have a product that is so promising that it deserves to be seen in the market and that we think has a chance for success.”

Ms. Salazar, 32, was one of the first participants in La Cocina and is one of its bigger successes. Her company, El Huarache Loco, makes traditional foods from Mexico City.

Working with intensity, she needed to produce 700 of her trademark huaraches, the bean-filled cakes, for her weekly booth at a farmer’s market and hundreds more for Carnaval San Francisco festivities over Memorial Day weekend. She also prepared fish and shrimp ceviche as an employee stirred 30 gallons of carnitas in a brazing skillet for a catering job for 100 people.

“I come here to learn all the business, and I need to learn more every day,” Ms. Salazar said, while dicing pounds of tomatoes for a salsa roja. “Tomorrow, I have three parties. So if I do this tomorrow, I know I can do something by myself.”

If you want to read more, you can view the complete Kamaron Institute Job Market article by clicking the following link:

Kamaron Institute business news, educational career and parenting reference tips and resources.  

Are You Supporting A Parent?

There are a lot of people today who are supporting their parents.  There are different levels of support but many Americans feel a heavy burden on their shoulders as they are completely supporting their parents who once supported them.  If you are in this situation, you may be able to claim your parent as a dependent and get a tax break. 

Not everyone qualifies to do this but it is certainly worth checking in to…

To qualify as a dependent, your parent's income can't exceed the amount of the personal exemption. For 2007, the cut-off is $3,400. In most instances, Social Security benefits aren't counted. But if your parent receives more than $3,400 from other sources, such as pension benefits, interest and dividends from investments, or withdrawals from retirement savings plans, you can't claim her as a dependent.

Francis Degen, an enrolled agent in Setauket, N.Y., says the income requirement prevents most taxpayers from claiming a parent as a dependent, because even a small pension will make the parent ineligible.

In addition to the income test, you must provide more than half a parent's costs for food, housing, medical care, transportation and other necessities, says Cynthia Jeanguenat, an enrolled agent in Virginia Beach. Even if all your mother's income is from Social Security, you can't claim her as a dependent unless you pay more than half her living expenses.

Your mom doesn't have to live with you to qualify as a dependent, as long as she meets the income test and you provide more than half her financial support, says Donna LeValley, a tax lawyer and spokeswoman for J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax 2007. If your mother lives with you, you can include a percentage of your mortgage, utilities and other expenses in calculating how much you contribute to her support, LeValley says. You can find a worksheet in IRS Publication 501, available at

To learn more on this subject, read the article below from USA Today:

Kamaron Institute personal finance business references, tips and resources. 

Dale Carnegie – A Self-Improvement Legend

Anyone interested in self-improvement has probably read something by Dale Carnegie or at least heard of him.  His life made a difference through his speaches and writings.

His most famous book is How To Win Friends and Influence People.  It is a true classic on dealing successfully with people.  There have been many “people skills” books written since Carnegie's book but almost all reference this classic.  If you were going to only read one book on “people skills” this would probably be the book to read.

But one of my favorites is the book called How To Stop Worrying and Start Living.  If you struggle with worry in your life then pick this book up.  It is awesome.

Carnegie was an early proponent of what is now called responsibility assumption, although this only appears minutely in his written work. One of the core ideas in his books is that it is possible to change other people's behavior by changing one's reaction to them.

About Dale Carnegie

Born in 1888 in Maryville, Missouri, Carnegie was a poor farmer's boy, the second son of James William Carnagey and Amanda Elizabeth Harbison. In his teens, though still having to get up at 4 a.m. every day to milk his parents' cows, he managed to get educated at the State Teacher's College in Warrensburg. His first job after college was selling correspondence courses to ranchers; then he moved on to selling bacon, soap and lard for Armour & Company. He was successful to the point of making his sales territory, southern Omaha, the national leader for the firm.

Perhaps one of Carnegie’s most successful marketing moves was to change the spelling of his last name from “Carnegey” to Carnegie, at a time when Andrew Carnegie was a widely revered and recognized name.

Great Quotes by Carnegie

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do.”

Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”

Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it… that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.”

First ask yourself: What is the worst that can happen? Then prepare to accept it. Then proceed to improve on the worst.”

Education lesson resources from Kamaron Institute for parents and teachers.

Most Families Have Both Parents Working

Our world has changed in many ways over the last decades.  Today, most moms and dads both work.  Both parents work in way more than half the American families with young kids.  The next biggest group is still the dads working and the moms staying at home raising the kids (and this is certainly an important job!).  It may seem there is a large group out there where the moms work and the dads stay at home but that is actually still a very small percent. 

This article gives some great statistics that you might find interesting…

Times have certainly changed since the days of “Leave It to Beaver,” when Ward Cleaver, in a business suit, won the bread and June Cleaver, in an apron, served it. But we are far from being a “Mr. Mom” society, too.

In 62 percent of married-couple families with children under 18, both the father and the mother are employed, according to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A sizable 31 percent adhere to the traditional ’60s sitcom mold, with the father being the sole wage earner.

A mere 5 percent of the fathers are not working while the mother is employed, the data show. The statistics are silent on which of these fathers are jobless by choice.

But it is clear that the urge to earn remains strong among fathers, and that a man’s ego may suffer a blow if he decides to stay home.

If you want to read more, you can view the complete Kamaron Institute Job Market article by clicking the following link:

Kamaron Institute business news, educational career and parenting reference tips and resources.