Financial Counseling Center Review: 4 Stars

Financial Counseling Center Review: Introduction

In this review of Financial Counseling Center, we bring to a debt consolidation company located in Los Angeles, CA. Unlike most of the debt consolidation companies we have reviewed, Financial Counseling Center offers a fairly wide range of services. It isn’t all just about consolidating your personal debt. They’re focus is more on helping you improve overall financial life. Which is quite admirable and refreshing to come across. They have over 25 years of experience and have been BBB accredited for over 10 years. If you know anything about accreditation from the BBB, then you know that’s quite impressive. To hold that for over 10 years is no easy task. It means that Financial Counseling Center has held up its standard year after year. An effort that is truly commendable.

Other than Debt Consolidation, Financial Counseling Center is prepared ready to assist in all of the following.  Foreclosure/Mortgage Assistance, Student Loans, Tax Issues, Small Business Advisers, and Bankruptcy Assistance. Like I said before, their focus is not just on getting you debt free. Their focus is on creating financial stability in your life. With the services they offer  and the track record they have, they are definitely suited to do just that.


Financial Counseling Center Review: Web Presence

In Reviewing Financial Counseling Center, we found that they’re not hard to find! Especially in the online world. You won’t have to sift through pages of nonsense just to find a tether that might lead to their website. That’s probably the most frustrating thing I’ve dealt with doing research on a company. They have good ratings and supposedly everyone loves them, but you can’t find any trace of them online. That’s certainly not the case with Financial Counseling Center. No, they pop right up with everything you need to know about the company. Even before you click the website, there’s a sense of honesty and transparency associated with just putting it all out there. It also helps to see the pages of positive feedback from Yelp and other sites. Seeing that is very encouraging when considering a company to do business with. I believe that they even took the reviews from yelp and posted them on their websites. There’s an entire section dedicated to what people are saying about them.

As for the Website itself, it certainly serves it’s purpose and it looks good too. It has all the information you could possibly need if you were considering doing business with Financial Counseling Center. At the same time, it doesn’t bog you down with way too much info. Sometimes companies will put everything online. Making it just way too overwhelming to even deal with. Also, doing that hurts the company. The purpose of the website is to inform and connect the company with the consumer. If you put everything you know on your website, there’s no need for you at all. You kind of nudge yourself out. For the consumer, I guess that’s good, because they won’t have to pay for your services.

Financial Counseling Center Review: Consumer Testimonials

In Reviewing Financial Counseling Center, we gather a great many consumer testimonials. Here’s what some people had to say about working with Financial Counseling Center. One person said, “My wife and I sought financial counseling during our move to Los Angeles. We’ve so far been very pleased with their services, Their candor and their willingness to be open and honest with their clients. Although we are still in the middle of our engagement, I do not doubt we’ll continue to enjoy it.” Another consumer said, “Financial Counseling Center is a lifesaver!  I was fortunate to be introduced to Financial Counseling Center in May 2013 and felt comfortable immediately. I was facing what seemed like hopeless financial challenges and was very impressed with their calm and confident approach to my insurmountable situation. I am so grateful to the whole team for expediting my case with expert care and within unbelievably prompt timeline. These are extraordinary professionals! Earlier today, I spoke with one of the reps who graciously offered preliminary advice and recommendation about working together again to problem-solve. I highly recommend you do the same.” Another person said, “The Financial Counseling Center is a professional & easy-going company. Financial Counseling Center is very knowledgeable & helps put your mind at ease. They will answer all of your concerns while making the process very seamless.  I will continue to tell my friends & family about Financial Counseling Center!”

It’s always great to hear people sing the praises of company that deserves it. It’s always interesting to see how people compliment a company. Usually you can pick out things in reviews that will give you a hint of what the company is all about. I tried to get a testimonial that wasn’t positive. Just to mix things up and offer perspective, but I couldn’t seem to find anything. I scoured the web and could only find 5 star reviews. It’s definitely a first in my book.


Financial Counseling Center Review: Conclusion

Can we recommend Financial Counseling Center? Can we say that they meet the standards that we hold here at the Consumer Finance Review Board? We most certainly can say that. Judging from what we have uncovered and from what everyone is saying about then, we can definitely say that Financial Counseling Center is a place you can trust. In fact, I’ll go as far as saying they are like gem in a sea of dirt. Meaning, unlike a lot of companies out there, they aren’t just looking at you to suck you dry. They are a company that has the people’s best interest at heart, and they have the knowledge and credibility to back it up.

In this review of Financial Counseling Center,  the CFRB gives this debt consolidation company 4 stars. Check our resources page for a list of trusted companies, which have received 4 stars or better. Check Our Reviews page for more insight into trusted companies. Check our site for other  Financial Planning reviews. its great place to become more knowledgeable about the world of finance, and will shed some light on some of the scams out there.

Makras Real Estate Review: 2 Stars

Makras Real Estate Review: Introduction

In this review of Makras Real Estate we take a look at a company that is a little north of Orange County. Makras Real Estate is a company that provides Real Estate Services in San Francisco and the Bay Area. The Principal of Makras Real Estate is Victor G. Makras, who is a licensed Real Estate Broker. Mr. Makras has been active in the real estate field since 1976 and was elected President of the San Francisco Association of Realtors in 1989, an organization of over 4,000 members. They have achieved a BBB accreditation and a A+ rating for their services they have provided throughout the years. In Reviewing Markas Real Estate, I came across a code of ethics that they strive to abide by. I found this to be rather interesting. Though, I’m sure most companies have a code of ethics they abide by, Markas Real Estate is the first company I’ve come across who actually posts it on their website site. it allows the consumer to understand what they can expect from the company. It’s like every client is giving their own personal measuring stick.

In terms of the services that they offer, It’s all pretty much the same as you’d find anywhere else. What gives a company the upper hand in this industry is not the services offered, but particular location expertise. From the looks of it, Markas Real Estate knows the area well. Well, I certainly hope they would know the area well. They’ve been there since 1976.


Markas Real Estate Review: Web Presence

In reviewing Makras Real Estate we are reminded that having a strong Web presence is incredibly important in today’s world. Especially if a company is planning on succeeding. One big slip up I see all the time is not having a strong web presence. This mistake is mostly common with older company. Companies that built their foundation way back when. When the internet wasn’t even around and business consisted of nothing but papers, pens, and handshakes. When the internet came around and started to become essential to the world of business, a lot of companies didn’t jump on the band wagon. Not jumping on, hurt them greatly. Then there were the companies that did jump on, bur had no actual intention of utilizing this new and amazing tool. So they put of a webpage or too, just so they can say they did something. I’m not going to go as far as saying that the website Markas Real Estate built falls into that category, but it definitely could use some work. It’s incredibly simple and sort of difficult to navigate. Which means it turns people off from doing business with them. It’s definitely not something suitable for today’s consumers.

On top of that, the first few links associated with company are page filled with negative reviews. Which makes things a little confusing. They are BBB Accredited. How can a company with an A+ rating on the BBB have so much negative feedback. Has the Better Business Bureau lowered it standards? I think not.


Markas Real Estate Review: Consumer Testimonial

Here are some testimonials we found while reviewing Makras Real Estate. “The worst building management company I’ve ever had the misfortune of knowing. I signed a lease with three housemates, and Shiela Hagen looked us straight in the eyes and lied to us about the terms. Now, a year after I’ve moved out, they still refuse to take my name off the lease and put the new tenant on. Also, they claim there is a loophole that makes our building not covered by SF annual rental increase laws. They raised our rent every year by 2-3 times the city’s maximum amount. They are unresponsive to  building maintenance issues.
If I’d known what dirt bags they would turn out to be, I would have kept looking until I found another apartment. My advice to anyone considering signing a lease with Makras: Don’t do it.” Another consumer said. “Act like a grown-up with respect and treat people how you would like to be treated. We learned that in kindergarten. Best believe the word spreads fast. No one needs or deserves your attitude. Maybe consider a different career. This one is making you an ugly, nasty person. Glad I read these reviews and chose to not take an apartment with this crooked company. Fellow San Franciscans, Pay attention. Speak up and don’t take this sh!t no more! We pay too much to deal with turds like these people.” After reading these two testimonials, I’ve come to the conclusion that Makras Real Estate is being run by monkeys. No not really, but it certainly sounds like it. What happens to that code ethics that they are supposed to uphold. I guess they dropped it along the way.

Though, we must be fair to Makras Real Estate. Not all of the reviews were negative. Here’s a positive one. “I’m pretty sure others who gave bad review to Makras Real Estate have their reasons, but to me, everything always went fine. We had some minor issues with the unit (a broken store, broken window, small stuff) and they always responded and fixed the issues quickly. Replacing the broken window took a little more time than expected due to their regular window company, so they pay us a pizza as an apology. So 5 stars because Pizza!” Even the person who had a positive experience acknowledges that there were issues.


Makras Real Estate Review: Conclusion

So can we recommend you do business with Makras Real Estate? Well, we can definitely say that they do have quite a bit of experience, and a good rating with the BBB. At the same time the majority of people online are saying to run the other direction. So it’s definitely a gamble. Whether that gamble is worth taking or not, we say no. There’s a ton of other companies out there that are far more trustworthy that offer the same services.

In this review of Makras Real Estate  the CFRB gives this Real Estate Company 2 stars. Check our resources page for a list of trusted companies, which have received 4 stars or better. Check Our Reviews page for more insight into trusted companies. Check our site for other  Financial Planning reviews. its great place to become more knowledgeable about the world of finance, and will shed some light on some of the scams out there.

21 Inc’s Mining Chip & How to Tax Bitcoin

It’s kind of interesting to see how quickly things catch on in this life. whether it be a new phrase kids are saying, a new way of wearing clothes, or a revolutionary piece of technology that opens up a whole new world of possibility. Regardless of what it is, people are eager for new ideas. Ideas that will further life as we know. Everyone is part of the ever advancing thing that we call life. Everyone is eager to grab on and hopefully take a little bit for themselves. That’s the great things about advancements in technology or in any industry for that matter. The second something is release, there’s always people who will want to take it and advance it or use it to create something else. When you really think about it. Advancement creates opportunity. Bitcoin is probably one of the most revolutionary things that we have had in a remarkably long time. It’s changing the currency game in an incredible way. Right now, everyone is grabbing onto the coat tails, trying to further it, and make something of their own. Which is a real treat to see. The People over at 21 Inc. are really doing some wonderful work.


21 Inc.’s Mining Chip

2015 might be the year of the Bitcoin start-up. The record-holder for the most well-financed Bitcoin company in history, 21 Inc.’s $116 million venture capital treasure chest is now starting to bear fruit. Which is always a great thing for any company achieve. Yesterday, 21 Inc. has released plans for their new and revolutionary Bitcoin mining chip called the 21 BitShare, according to the Wall Street Journal. If you’re unfamiliar with bitcoin mining, i’ll tell you what it is.  Bitcoin mining is the processing of transactions in the digital currency system, in which the records of current Bitcoin transactions, known as a blocks, are added to the record of past transactions, known as the block chain. Bitcoin mining happens on the CPUs of individual computers, with more cores and greater speed resulting in greater profitability. After that, the system became dominated by multi-graphics card systems, then field-programmable gate arrays and finally application-specific integrated circuits, in the attempt to find more hashes with less electrical power usage. It has become hard for prospective new miners to start. This adjustable difficulty is intentionally created to prevent inflation. To get around that problem, individuals often work in mining pools. So what is a mining chip and how does it effect the bitcoin world?

21’s vision was not to just  “build a chip”, but create a “full technology stack around the chip” that would include reference devices, data sheets, a cloud backend and software protocols.The 21 Bitcoin Computer itself features a command line interface and Python 3 library, a 128 GB SD card and a suite of pre-configured software designed to work with the bitcoin blockchain. But, using these building blocks, the company is encouraging users to dream up cool and new things. That’s exactly what people have been doing. The amount of things people have conjured up so far is quite incredible


21’s Mining Chip: The Results

. Noted bitcoin advocate, Andreas Antonopoulos has built  an experimental Wi-Fi captive portal that accepts bitcoin payments for Wi-Fi minutes. The bitcoin world has previously made attempts to share Wi-Fi with bitcoin payments. While one firm we looked at set up as a bitcoin payment option alongside traditional payments at public hotspots, the other took a different approach and employed networks of Wi-Fi providers incentivised with bitcoin. 21 Inc’s device allows a different method again – potentially allowing anyone to sell their Wi-Fi. Just take moment and think about that. They took a service that is costly and held in contempt by mostly large corporations, and made it accessible to the public in a new and exciting way.

Justin Guy, developed a system which  harnesses the 21BC to sell retweets on Twitter. Additionally, a developer going by the username “21JD21″ has created a Reddit-like link-sharing site built with the 21BC that charges users to post links, comment and up-vote or down-vote. BitLink, as the project is called, pays out to whoever posted the link or comment being voted on, thus giving greater rewards to the most active posts. Other projects have previously sought to monetise social media, for example, with a Bitly alternative that rewards users in bitcoin. Called Cred, the application encourages readers to share content through specialised links that generate rewards – effectively, the application inserts its own advertisements into the user experience. This is huge if you really think about it. So many people is today’s world rely heavily on social media as a platform for them to grow their business. Some are even making quite the profit by using things like social media sites already. This could propel the online business world forward greatly.

Joe Pickrell is testing the 21 Bitcoin Computer (21BC) for different novel use cases involving human genomes. One project aims to predict phenotypes (which can include your physical characteristics and health, among other things) and/or probabilities of contracting a certain disease from a specific type of text file (VCF) containing a gene sequence. Pickrell explains on his GitHub page that the tool requires a genome sequence in a VCF file and allows users to predict phenotypes of the person to whom the genome belongs. Specifically, this command line tool pulls a phenotype prediction model from an external server in exchange for bitcoin and then returns the prediction. There you have it. Bitcoin is even in some weird way effecting the field of medicine.

21’s Mining Chip: The Mobility

Another aspect of this new revolutionary technology that is definitely noteworthy is the fact that the chip is primarily for smartphones. In this company model, consumer devices like smartphones will be mining Bitcoin silently in the background while receiving small distributions from a managed pool of bitcoin earnings. This evolving vision of the future leads to a new “infinite stream of digital currency,” creating a growth of micro-transactions. This model will facilitate a new form of digital commerce and inter-connectivity that the current traditional financial system can only dream of. To be able to see the technological advancements that have taken place in the last 10 years alone is mind boggling. Everything we mentioned above can be done from the comfort of your toilet seat.


How do You Tax Bitcoin?

I think one of the toughest challenges that bitcoin is currently facing is maintaining it’s uniqueness. It came of the market as this incredibly revolutionary technology, claiming that it was completely different from conventional currency. Regardless of all the claims that were made, people are still people. Meaning they are going to want to attach accountability to something of this magnitude. Which is completely understandable. Bitcoin is advancing quickly and influencing many. The Big question now is “How do you tax Bitcoin?” Approximately 15 million bitcoins have been issued so far, and they are currently valued at about $430 each.. The algorithm is designed to generate 21 million bitcoins, and experts anticipate that the last bitcoin will be issued sometime between 2110 and 2140. Bitcoin is designed to be used as a currency, though some hold it as an investment. The difficulty is that governments have taken a variety of positions on the nature of bitcoin for tax purposes. Some countries, including those in Europe, have classified bitcoin as a currency for consumption tax purposes, meaning that the various value-added taxes do not apply to bitcoin exchanges, while others, such as Australia, have not. Similarly, the U.K. sees bitcoin as foreign currency for income tax purposes, while the U.S. regards it as property.

By refusing not classify bitcoin as a currency for income tax purposes, tax authorities effectively treat bitcoins as any other property. Meaning that those who buy items with bitcoins must report any gain on the transaction associated with a change in its value. That is, it is treated like an investment, regardless of how the owner actually uses it. It is as if they sold their bitcoins for cash and then used that cash to make a purchase. If the bitcoin has gone down in value, taxpayers might not be able to deduct the losses, because they could be considered personal. Thus, anyone using bitcoin as a currency has to keep track of each bitcoin’s cost so that he can accurately calculate gain or loss. It doesn’t even necessarily sound like a legitimate system. I think the governments just wanted something in place to feel control.

It’s a really unfortunate thing when you see the governments of the world try and take something that is a product of the people and bend it to their will. I don’t see this as the only issue bitcoin will face. Bitcoin is changing the game and that’s bound to upset a few people. You can definitely expect to many more issues arise in the future.  Check our resources page for a list of trusted companies, which have received 4 stars or better. Check Our Reviews page for more insight into trusted companies. Check our site for other  Financial Planning reviews. its great place to become more knowledgeable about the world of finance, and will shed some light on some of the scams out there.