How Business Insurance Barrie Works


There are things that cannot be prevented as they are accidental for example, fire and road accidents cannot be prevented. When they do happen, however, the damage is done and you might not be able to pick yourself up again in terms of you and your business. It is for this reasons that people seek to insure themselves so that regardless of whatever happens you can always be compensated. Like in most places of the world, insurance is a business like any another. People seek to insure themselves by taking policies such as life, damage or even car insurance. In this article, we are going to inform you of the advantages of business insurance and where you can acquire the services from while in Barrie.


What are the benefits of business insurance?

To start with, business insurance is a tool for risk management that allows businesses to put the risk of losses to an insurance company at a cost. There are many benefits that come business insurance in Barrie and some of them are discussed below;

  • Guard against losses

Business insurance gives guard against losses to valuables and assets of the business. This is achieved when compensation is given in the case of any loss. This gives the business confidence that regardless of whatever happens, it will always get up and run again.

  • Sharing of risks

By insuring your business, the risk is shared. For instance, when a business starts to run at a loss, the insurance company can chip in and rescue the business from collapsing.

Other ways to which business insurance can be of value include the fact that the business can be protected from debtors, resources are effectively used and also provides assurance to both stakeholders and investors.


What are the types of risks that can be insured against?

There are various types of risks in business and some of the common ones are discussed below;

  • Legal risks

This is the risk suffered when there is a possibility that the business company can be sued or some of its officials for various reasons including misconducts and negligence. This risk applies to many businesses especially those that directly deal with customers.

  • Risk arising from finance

Financial risks are always on from the time that you invest you’re your first penny in the business to the time that it fully matures. The risk comes in when you don’t know whether the investment will be successful or loss will be incurred and that’s why you need to insure it.

Other types of risks include physical risks, intellectual property risks, and economic risks.


Conclusion is one that you must embrace for you to know that it is safe to operate your business as you always have the assurance that in the case of anything, your business is always sorted.

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Got A 3% Raise Without My Boss Knowing Iit

I got a 3% raise in January, and my boss doesn’t even know it. He does know about the 7% raise he gave me, but he has no idea I got 3% more on top of it.

My company has an ESPP plan — Employee Stock Purchase Plan plan. This is a benefit in which any full-time employee can buy a block of company stock by deferring a part of their salary.

ESPP plan participants don’t by the company stock at the market rate. The price of the stock is the 85% of the lower of the price either at the beginning or end of a 6 month period. The 6-month period runs from January 1st to June 30th, and then again from July 1st to December 31st.

For example, let’s say on January 1st, my company’s stock was $50, and on June 30th, it was $60. I’d buy the stock at $42.50 on June 30th (that is, 85% of the lower price, $50).

$50 * .85 = $42.50

If the stock went down during that period, then I would buy it at 85% of the lower price set on June 30th.

To get a favorable capital gains tax rate for ESPP shares, I’d need to hold the stock for two years, not the usual one year for typical stocks. Holding company stock for that long is not a great idea, considering that I already have a considerable amount of exposure to my company’s performance. As a result, I just flip the shares immediately, and realize, at a minimum, 15% on my money. It’s taxed as ordinary income because I sell it right away.

Currently, I defer 20% of my salary to the ESPP plan. That means that twice a year, I realize a minimum of 15% on 20% of my salary. That’s a 3% raise.

This isn’t even a great ESPP plan. I’ve seen plans where the stock price is set at the lowest price ANY time during the 6-month period, instead of just the first or last day. So if the stock was $50 on the first day of the 6-month period, but sunk to $40 in the middle, before springing back up to $60 by the end, the participants would buy at 85% of $40.

Anyway, my plan doesn’t do that. It’s my Stupid plan, and I’m sticking with it.

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Emergency Funds Part B: The Dark Side Of Emergency Funds

istock_000000615324xsmallWalkin’ around with 28 large in the bank makes me feel like a huge swingin’ dick. A nice wad builds confidence, pride, and a sense of security.

But there are downsides to having an emergency fund. Sides that are as dirty and insidious as any family secret.

Desensitized to windfalls

I have been waiting for our tax refund (about $3,200) since we filed in late February. According to my accountant, I should have gotten the check within 4 weeks of filing. So I went to the IRS’sWhere’s My Refund? website and found out: the $3,200 had been deposited in my account almost a month ago, way back on March 14… and I didn’t notice. Turns out that the refund accounted for a third of my March change in net worth, and I didn’t even realize it. Next year, I am not getting a direct deposit. There’s just no joy in it. I want to get my check in the mail. And next time, it won’t go unnoticed.

Oh, and the tax rebate stimulus will arrive soon. Ours will be $2,100. That’ll hardly move the needle. Ask me what I am going to do with it… nothing. If I needed $2,100 for something, I would have spent it already. I’ll use it when I use it.

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Net Worth Chart Updates

I finally updated my Net Worth page to use my new charts. I rolled my own because I like the idea of the NetworthIQ charts, but I think their implementation is just plain ugly.

So I made a big chart for the Net Worth page, in which you can drill down into categories, and toggle between net worth, assets, and liabilities. I also built a little badge that I put in the the right gutter of every page.

The charts are driven by the Data page, which I can update at any time from anywhere — no need to build a database entry form or FTP a data file or anything.

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10 Books I’ve Never Read

Lynnae over at has a piece on 10 books that changed her life. It’s part of a bigger “project” by Ryan Healy.

It’s specious to claim that only certain books have changed your life, though. Everythingyou read changes your life in one way or another. Even the tiniest phrase makes an impression. Sort of a butterfly effect for the brain. Besides the 10 or so books I have listed under “Required Reading” in the sidebar, I can think of lots of books that have changed my life. Lessee….

  • Dads & Daughters — Pretty good intro to why I am going to hate my kids when they’re older. Am reading this right now. I doubt I’ll finish before the library wants it back.
  • Dungeon Master’s Guide (2nd ed) by the late E. Gary Gygax — Counts as a book, right? Yeah, I used to be the Mayor of Nerd-town.
  • A Gamut of Games — This is more my style these days; a book of DIY games by revered American game designer Sid Sackson.
  • The Inferno by Dante Alighieri — I read this when I was working overnights at a gas station. It was a dark period in my life. I should get points for knowing his last name.
  • Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman — I carried this little bastard around with me for months, in an unsuccessful attempt at picking up crunchy chicks. Read it cover to cover, though.
  • Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco — I read this book because my dad loved it and I wanted to have something I could talk to him about. We talked about it for a few minutes. Mission accomplished.

That’s 6. That’s pretty good. Still thinking…

  • The Hitchiker’s Guide series — Classic. I still quote those damn things… “What’s wrong with being drunk?” … “Just ask a glass of water.”
  • Teach Yourself Perl in 21 Days — This book changed my life considerably. I got about half way through, wrote some scripts, and turned that knowledge into my career of quasi-programming.
  • Oxford English Dictionary (unabridged, compact edition) — Yes, it comes with a really cool magnifying glass… and I bought the CD version, too, in case I needed to look something up when I was away from home. It’s amazing what you’ll spend money on before you have kids.
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller — I laughed out loud when I read this. I’d read it again if I didn’t read so slowly. I can manage about 10 pages per hour.

There you have it. I am not much of a reader… I consider finishing Atlas Shrugged (sidebar) a major life accomplishment. It took me about 9 months to get through, even though I skipped John Galt’s speech, which saved me about 10 hours of my life.Objectivism is great and all, but the speech seemed to just repeate alot of Rand’s points that she had already made throughout the book.

If we count books on tape/CD, then I’ve read the Lord of the Rings series (unabridged), more Eco, a bunch of Michael Crichton books, and the unabridged editions of Angels & Demons and The DaVinci Code (which I’ll admit I loved). I got through about 2 CDs worth of McCullough’s John Adams before I broke down and signed up with Sirius satellite radio. No more books on CD for me.

What’s more impressive, I think, is the list of books I’ve bought but never read.

Looking around, I can see:

  • Cheese Primer — I doubt I’ll ever read it. I just have a penchant for quasi-reference books. I feel like I have to buy them or I won’t be able to access that knowledge. This is a very pre-internet way of thinking.
  • The Way Things Work — I’m curious enough about how things work to buy books, but then not curious enough to actually read them. I’ve also bought books on maths, antennae, electronics, LANs, and cooking.
  • A Briefer History of Time — WTF, Mr. Hawking? I thought this one was supposed to be in English.
  • 1984 — Promised myself I’d read this. Promises, promises.
  • Holy Blood Holy Grail — Bought this because of my love of The DaVinci Code. This book is the one Dan Brown supposedly ripped off. Just thinking about this book, I can barely stifle a yawn.
  • Nature’s Building Blocks — Interesting, but another “reference book” I thought I just had to have. Uh, wikipedia anyone?
  • The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana by Umberto Eco — Picked this up on the discount rack at Borders because it was by Eco. That was a waste of $4.99 + tax.
  • Financial Wisdom of Ebenezer Scrooge — Bought this as a filler for an Amazon order. Now I know better ways to fill out my Amazon orders.
  • Complete Fairy Tales of the Brother’s Grimm — Bought it when I found out my wife was pregnant with our first child. At the time, I was determined NOT to have princesses, Berenstein Bears, and Dora books in MY house. What bullshit thinking thatturned out to be.
  • Primitive Mythology — You can’t swing a dead cat in a Liberal Arts department without hitting someone who worships Joseph Campbell. I tried to go to His church, but I couldn’t get past the 2nd page.

Buying books makes me feel smart. Not buying them would be Stupid.

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Emergency Funds Part I: Stupid History

istock_000005835461xsmallLynnae recently pointed out the tremendous benefits of an emergency fund. When big, unexpected bills come along, there’s no scramble to put together the cash. There’s no need to reach out to friends and family, or reach for the credit card. No need to apply for a HELOC. There is a huge, and I mean HUGE, psychological benefit to having an emergency fund.

But having an emergency fund has a dark side. An insidious side that eats away at the benefits. I’ll explain those in Part 2 of this blog entry. But for Part A, a little history of the Stupid emergency fund, and a little insight into how I define an emergency fund.

History of Mr. Stupid’s emergency fund

When Mrs. Stupid and I built our house in 1999, we basically spent all of our savings. I had carefully planned for all the expenses, but then just as carefully, I tucked them up into little balls and threw our plans out the window, as bills for cabinet upgrades, AC ducts, sprinkler systems, and all manner of household items came rolling in. Building a house was more expensive than we had anticipated, so by the time we moved in, we were left with close to zero in liquid assets.

During the first couple of years, before our first child came along, we slowly rebuilt our emergency fund. We were making more than ever, but also spending more than ever, too. You wouldn’t believe some of the shit I bought during that time period.

Also during that period, my company’s stock price had hit rock bottom because of the dot-com bust. It was then that I started aggressively adding to my ESPP. Eventually, the share price rebounded to a sensible level, and I was making about 500% on my money. I would divert about $2,000 of my salary into the ESPP, and at the end of 6 months, it would be worth $10,000.

As with all gravy trains, this one ended. The ESPP shares repriced, but the damage to my emergency fund was undone. I had built up some substantial assets to play with. I set the target size of my emergency fund at $25,000, and have rarely dipped below that since. $25,000 should be enough to live off of for 6 months without any lifestyle changes.

Currently, my emergency fund is $28,605. It’s invested in a money market fund earning a sweet 1.63%. I suppose I could do laddered CDs or something to squeeze another point out of it.

Types of emergency funds

There are three types of emergency funds:

  1. Primary emergency fund — Strictly speaking, an emergency fund is what cash or cash equivalents you have direct, immediate access to. It is meant to be available in, well, cases of emergencies.
  2. Extended emergency fund — This is my money market cash plus the additional resources like loan markers, Roth IRAs, and education IRA monies.
    • Loan markers — These are loans I have blogged about before. One loan in particular, I don’t think I can ever get back, unless I have an emergency.
    • Liquid assets — This includes all stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds that I could sell without incurring penalties.
  3. Kidnapping fund — This is the money I would be able to put together if I had to pay kidnappers. This includes all assets I have access to… 401Ks, 403Bs, Roth IRAs, 529s, credit card cash advances, whatever it takes. It also includes most of my digits. If a kidnapper wants my thumb, then he can go Pope of Greenwich Village on it. The thumb for my family. Easy trade.

In Part B, I am going to talk about the downsides to having a large primary emergency fund.

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There Is No Deaf Kid In Kansas With A Bum Liver

I listed a couple pieces of furniture and an iPhone on Craigslistrecently. The furniture was nothing special, just some average stuff I thought I could get a few bucks for.

For each item, I received at least one creepy email that I decided must be part of a scam. It took a while and a conversation with a friend of mine to figure out what the scam was.

Before I tell you about the scam, here are the complete texts of the emails from the demanding buyers (minus the names/email addys):

————creepy buyer #1————
Thanks for getting back to me.Am interested and i will like to buy this item so please do withdraw the advert.I will also like you to know that i will be paying via check due to the distance as i am located in Kansas.I will need you to provide me with the following information to facilitate the mailing of the check.1.Your full name
2.Your mailing address(Physical)
3.Your phone number.I will also like you to know that you will not be responsible for shipping,i will have my shipper come over as soon as you have cashed the check,Am definitely buying it from you and it would be sad for me to have the payment in the mail only to be informed of the its sale…..Await your response as soon as possible.Thanks
————creepy buyer #2————
Hi, Thanks for the prompt response to my enquiry, I want to buy it, I would love to come and check it but My Son would be going for a Kidney transplant in the next few days and as a good father i have to be at his side with the mother. Pls do withdraw the advert from Web i dont mind adding $50 for you to do that,so i would be rest assured that the item is held for me.I should believe it is in good condition as stated.I will be making the payment via a Certified Check , which my secretary will send across to you. I’ll be picking the item from you, My Mover will be coming to Pick it from you once the Certified Check has been cashed. Pls I will need both your name and physical address along with you phone number to issue out the payment.
————creepy buyer #3————
Thanks for the prompt response, i’ll like to make an instant purchase right away, i will send a draft via my bank to cover the cost as am satisfied with the item. I will need the details of whom & where to mail the draft. It will be delivered by the United Parcel Service within 2 days. Please note ‘ups’ do not deliver to P.O.Box addresses.The require detail needed are : Name to be on check, Address to deliver the draft and your phone number in case i might have someone call you on my behave because i am deaf. Kindly delete the posting as am totally committed to buying from you to save me cost.

Each email shared some similar characteristics. The sender:

  1. Was a follow up to an initial email that asked if the item was still available.
  2. Had some form of hardship: deafness; son needs a new kidney; living in Kansas.
  3. Wanted me to remove my listing right away so noone else could buy the item.
  4. Would send a bank check.
  5. Was in a hurry.
  6. Would have someone else deal with me (shipper, mover, hearer).

I consider myself pretty savvy when it comes to selling stuff online (I’ve bought and sold many items successfully on Craigslist and eBay before), but the problem with these emails was not immediately obvious to me. They just sounded wrong.

So I asked a friend of mine who used to manage a bank. Here’s how it would go.

A few days after responding with my name and address, I would get a check from the buyer. The check would be for the wrong amount, and the error would be in my favor. It might be for $100 more than I listed the item for, or it might be 10 times the amount (a “decimal place error”).

Being a good person, I email the buyer and tell them that they sent the wrong amount of money. Now I’ve taken the bait.

They would respond to me with apologies. They’d say since they were in a hurry, could I please just deposit the check and refund the difference to them, minus a small amount for my inconvenience.

This is where timing and my ignorance of the banking system comes in. I deposit the check and wait what I think is the appropriate amount of time for it to clear — probably 3 or 4 days. I check my bank account and the check shows up as “cleared”.

So then I send the buyer a money order for the difference, minus a little piece for myself. The shipper or packer or whatever never shows up. The furniture stays in my basement, the iPhone stays in my kitchen.

I wonder what happened; maybe I even email the buyer a few times. I never hear back from him.

About two weeks later, I notice that my account has been debited the amount of the original check. I call the bank and ask them WTF? They tell me that the check was returned with insufficient funds. Now I am out the entire amount of the original check.

This scam works because of two factors:

  • Convenience — To keep you happy, banks will make a check’s funds available almost immediately after you deposit it. If your bank took 10 days to free up those funds, you’d find another bank. The funds availability policy of your bank has nothing to do with when the check actually clears. By actually clears, I mean the physical check is returned to the buyer’s bank and that bank responds by sending funds to the my bank.The buyer’s bank is often a small credit union or a bank on the other side of the country, so it takes the maximum amount of time to clear (it can take weeks in some cases). Yes, in our banking system, checks still move physically from the depositor’s bank to the withdrawer’s bank.So my bank tells me the check has cleared, when in reality it was only telling me that the check wasn’t a fake and it was being sent back to the buyer’s bank. When it finally arrives and gets processed at the buyer’s bank, it’s too late for me to recover the money I sent him.
  • Greed — If the item was listed for $100, and I get a check for $1000, the buyer might offer to let me keep $50, as long as I send him the $850 difference. People want to believe that they can get something for nothing. I’m supposed to think I am lucky that I am keeping a couple of bucks without having to do any work for it.

I am way too Stupid to fall victim to my own greed and desire for convenience. I wonder how many times these work, though.

In both cases, I ignored the emails because the tone and directness kinda creeped me out. I sold the items to people who sounded sincere.

No Comments Posted in Deaf Kid
Spend Your Tax Rebate On Free Food

I thought Tuesday’s news about free cheese might be an aberration.

But now McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts are getting in on the free food craze. And they’re hoping to convert your excitement about free food into cash money in their pockets.

According to an article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, McDonald’s will be giving away free Southern-style chicken sandwiches “around May 15″. For McDonald’s the idea is that around the time tax rebate checks arrive, a free sandwich will draw you into the store and you’ll spend some of your new-found cheddar on the side items like fries and Cokes. Folks will be feeling temporarily flush, goes the thinking.

I’ve already blogged about what I am planning to do when folks are feeling this way. I just didn’t realize it extended to $2 and $3 menu items. I would have thought higher-end retailers would be trying to take advantage.

And Dunkins will be giving away a free donut to customers who buy a cup of coffee on tax day (April 15). Sweet.

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Gas For Less

If you live in the northeast, you probably shop at Stop & Shop. Several of the Stop & Shops near where I live have opened branded gas stations.

The prices for gas are pretty good. Today, with a store card, you can get regular unleaded for $3.11 per gallon. That’s about 7 or 8 cents less than the nearby stations.

What you probably also know is that if you spend $50 or more in the store, Stop & Shop prints out a coupon for $.10 off per gallon of gas at their stations. It says so right on the coupon:


Now, $.10 off per gallon ain’t much. Even when I fill up the minivan, I only save a buck fifty or so. But the best part is being able to tell your friends you bought gas for $3.01. Twist that knife in over a beer why dontcha.

But the hack is this: The $50 minimum purchase isn’t really $50. It’s $50 before store savings are calculated. So if your total at the grocery checkout comes to $45, but $5 of that was Card Savings, you get the coupon anyway.

I was at the register when my order came to $46. I frantically looked around for a $4 item to buy so I could get the coupon. I figured the worse sin would be to buy a copy of Dianetics to put me over the top — I’d probably go to frugality Hell for doing that — so I said forget it. When I bitched to the cashier, she told me how the cut-off is calculated. Nice!

Combine this with my other grocery-related hacks and you’ve got the fixin’s for a seriously Stupid shopping trip.

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One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure

True story. Back in the mid-90’s, when I worked at a financial services company, I worked with two lottery winners. No, they didn’t win by flipping coins. They did it the old fashioned way. They got lucky.

I think of these guys every time I go into a convenience store. Inevitably, there’s an overflowing barrel of trash by the door, mostly made up of discarded lottery tickets.

The first guy was a big winner. He had won a million dollars a year or two before I met him. He took the annual payout, so after taxes, he was netting about $20,000 per year. I was only making $36,000 per year at the time so I asked him why he was still working. He shrugged and told me he was supporting most of his family, too, so he still had to work. Fair enough.

The other guy won $100,000 in the lottery. I think it was Megabuck’s second place prize at the time. He won it with 9 other people that each put in $10 every week to buy 100 tickets. When they won, each person got $10,000.

I remember telling him that was cool, but asked him who was going to pay the taxes on the winnings. He told me that after the group won, they set up a corporation of some kind, and each person got $10,000 from the corporation.

But then he told me that he didn’t pay taxes on any of his winnings.


Turns out, you can deduct gambling expenses against winnings. This includes scratch tickets and other ticket stubs that you had bought during that year.

What this guy did was hang around outside of convenience stores and collect losing tickets that people threw away. He told me that he collected $10,000 worth of losing tickets so he was able to write off all of his winnings. All he had to do was keep those losing tickets for, I guess, 7 years or so, to ensure that he could defend the write-offs in case he got audited.

Genius? You bet.

Stupid? With a capital “S”.

Shady? Sure. But I guess the statute of limitations is up so I can blog about it now. Plus I don’t even remember his name. I just remember that he was one slick mutha. And knowing him, he probably spent about that much on lottery-related shit anyway.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, I guess.

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