How to know if your Associates are HUMAN and not fakes!

how to know if your Associates are REAL HUMANS and not bot-generated fakes!

You’re getting it!  The importance of promotion that is. Fantastic!

You understand that consistent PROMOTION – and LOTS of it – is the KEY to making sales.

The more you PROMOTE the more sign ups you get, the higher the percentage of sales conversions.

There’s just one catch.

Not ALL promotion is equal.

Problem: Some slippery, sketchy vendors sell you guaranteed sign ups or say they will run your ads then send you fake leads.

Solution: Here’s how to know if your Associate sign ups are real.

When you promote the landing pages and run ads, the pitch is variations on this….

“Sign up as a free Worldprofit Associate Membership to get X free when you login.”

It makes sense that when a human being responds to this offer they would actually login to get what they were promised. Right?

So let this serve as a guideline to evaluate whether an Associate is real, and their level of interest.

1.  Login. When you get a new Associate sign up, they should login, if not right away,  within a few days.
No login ever? Seems fishy.  Human beings will login to get what they signed up for, while bots never login, they don’t care, they aren’t human.

2. Interaction. Once signed up as an Associate, a human logs in, and starts clicking around in their Member area or will interact and chat with the Monitors. One of the first things they do is want to get paid commission for sales referrals.  So they may access the Commission Report to enter their details on how they want to get paid commission. Updating their profile is a positive sign they are an interested prospect.

3. Action.  Associates who are an actual person, take action and will often enter a phone number into their profile.  This means they are real, they are interested in what we offer, and it would be a good idea for you to contact them. Reach out, offer help.

4.  Access: Associates who are human, will often login multiple times to access the basic services available to free Associate members.  You will know how many times an Associate has logged in by clicking on WHO’S LOGGED IN on the TOP MENU. Generally speaking,  the more they login the more likely they are to consider upgrading to Silver membership, or to purchase one or more of our advertising services. When they do, you as the Referring Sponsor Member, get commission.  Associates who have logged in many times, are good prospects to contact.

5. Authentication.  To help distinguish  Humans from Bots, we have a level of security called Authentication. This step requires an Associate who has signed up to click a CONFIRM link in an email sent to them to authenticate they are human   You can see the status of ALL your Associates in your Member area, including who has logged in, who has authenticated,  and learn more details by clicking on ASSOCIATES on the TOP MENU.

Summary: Fake leads, generated by computer robots don’t login, they don’t update settings in their member area, they don’t authenticate, they don’t DO anything. All they are is a name, and email address that will never interact or buy anything. Fake leads are a complete waste of money.  Sadly you think you are building your lead list, or email list but you’ve wasted your money on fake promotion.  Put simply, Bots don’t buy.

If you have purchased advertising from a source, when you start getting your leads, check the points on the list above to see if that source was a good one or a fake one.  Are you getting logins? Authentications? Interaction? Use that intelligence to weed out the fake advertising vendors from the legitimate ones who produce REAL sign ups.   Arm yourself with this knowledge so you aren’t wasting your advertising dollars on fake leads that will never result in sales.

Now when it comes to purchasing advertising, here are some general pitches to avoid.
Our experience and data collection has proven over and over again, that these types of vendors are NOT real lead sources.

When you see subject lines like these below, be EXTREMELY SKEPTICAL!

GET 1 YEAR OF BUYER’S TARGETED TRAFFIC TODAY ONLY 25 DOLLARS! 

TRAFFIC DEAL! GET USA TRAFFIC AND SIGN UPS 4 LIFE!!-$10.99

NEW!  GET 250 SALES IN 120 DAYS OR GET A FULL REFUND-$14.99/$9.99

SPECIAL GET 500 SIGN UPS AND USA TRAFFIC 4 LIFE $8.99

Get 1,000 leads $10

1500 Guaranteed Sign ups $49

I will add more examples when I see them come into my inbox, for now, use the information provided here to be smart in evaluating your lead sources.  New marketers often make the mistake of trying to buy instant success by way of mass purchasing leads/advertising. Take your time, learn how to market effectively and smartly, do your diligence, follow Worldprofit’s training system. We know what works and what doesn’t, we share that vital information with you.

Questions? Our Support Team is here to help you. Use us!
The link to access SUPPORT is on the TOP MENU click on SUPPORT.

Want to be a smarter marketer?

Attend the LIVE training on Friday mornings with George Kosch, these are the kinds of questions we answer, and information we share in Worldprofit’s training. Solid, good for you, practical information based on experience. Help not hype,  to keep more of your hard earned money in your pocket, while helping you grow our own successful online business.

Recap of Oct 12 Training. What you missed and how to access recording

Recap and Review: Worldprofit’s Affiliate Marketing Training with George Kosch presented LIVE Friday Oct 12,  2018.

George Kosch’s weekly interactive affiliate marketing and home business training is available at no cost to all Worldprofit Silver and Platinum VIP Members. George Kosch, CEO and Co-Founder of Worldprofit is also your personal coach and trainer, learn direct from one of the first successful .com business success stories,  and a pioneer in the Affiliate marketing industry. Questions and requests for demonstrations are encourage to make this training most meaningful to you.

Worldprofit Member Services:

Website Hosting (your own domain name)
Website Management (Editor) for your site allowing you complete control
Training company (video and LIVE training)
Cpanel Hosting
Link Cloaking
Ebook Creation Software
Landing Page Builder
Autoresponder (unlimited use)
Newsletter Software
Graphics Software
Image and PDF storage
Email Commander ( Confidence of Inbox Delivery )
Prospect Management
List Builders
Organization Tools
SEO Tools
Blogs
Lead Builders
Traffic Generation
Advertising with Verifiable Tracking and Data
Business Building Resources
Discussion

  • How to get on the TOP Sellers List
  • How to know which advertising sites are getting sales conversions
  • How to know if your Leads are REAL or FAKE.  What to watch for.
  • How to apply what you learn at Worldprofit to increase your sales in your own Affiliate programs

Training Topics

  • Promotion Strategies that work, persistency pays off
  • Lead and Traffic strategies
  • List Building, why this is critical to growing your customer base, and making sales now and for the long term
  • Who’s Logged in? What it is and how to best use this information.
  • Commissions are going out on the 15th, be sure to enter in your Member area how you wish to get paid.

What’s New – Updates and more

 Worldprofit’s LIVE Business Center
George provided a Member update, work continues on Worldprofit’s NEW LIVE Business Center compatible with mobile, tablet, PC.
This is GREAT NEWS for Members. You just need to PROMOTE to benefit from this latest innovation.
The more you promote the more Associates you will have logging in to chat with our Monitors.
Some of those Associates are likely to make a purchase and when someone you refer purchases, YOU get the commission.

We are looking for 10 nice people! 
We need 10 nice people to join Worldprofit’s Monitor team. What about you?
Complete training provided. Earn some nice perks (cash bonuses and leads and traffic).
You don’t need to know it all, and you don’t need to be a model, just be willing to learn and help others.
Submit a Support ticket indicating you are interested in the Monitor Training and we’ll send you complete details.

To our current Worldprofit Monitor Team – THANK YOU.  
On behalf of Worldprofit’s ENTIRE home business community we appreciate you!

SAVE as much as 60%!

Convert your monthly Silver or Platinum VIP membership to a ONE YEAR Membership and save as much as 60% over paying monthly.
Get a personalized quote by submitting a Support Form. Link is on the TOP MENU click on SUPPORT.
Loyalty is rewarded at Worldprofit.

Recommendations

Join Worldprofit’s Facebook Group   https://www.facebook.com/groups/worldprofit

Join Worldprofit’s social community site – share links, videos, blog, discuss, network  http://www.community.worldprofit.com

TIP: To increase the size of the text on your screen hold down the CONTROL button then scroll up or down with your mouse to enlarge or make smaller what you see on the screen.

Wrap-up:

Thank you to everyone who attended Worldprofit’s LIVE home business and affiliate marketing training Friday Oct 12, 2018 presented by Worldprofit Inc, hosted by instructor George Kosch.

LINK TO RECORDING  http://www.worldprofittube.com/video.cfm?videoID=849

The next LIVE interactive training bootcamp with George Kosch is Friday Oct 19, 2018.

Need help? Worldprofit’s Support Team is here to help you 7 days a week.
Submit a Support Ticket, link is on the TOP MENU click on SUPPORT.

Worldprofit has Advertising packages and LEADS priced for every budget.

Worldprofit has Advertising packages and LEADS priced for every budget.

Promote any and all your Affiliate programs, effectively and affordably.

To order EXCLUSIVE LEADS, in your Member area on TOP MENU click on PROSPECTS.
We sell fresh leads from a trusted vendor we have worked with for years.
We load these leads daily so when they are gone, that’s it till our next order comes in.
These are people who have filled on an online form saying they are interested in a home business and have $100 to $300 to get started.
These leads can be used for ANY affiliate program not just Worldprofit.
Direct link:

Diamond Ad Rotator: Submit up to 5 URLS for ONE YEAR of TRAFFIC.
Perfect for those in MULTIPLE Affiliate Programs. You can change the URL as often as you like.
Traffic is real verified by weekly stats emailed to you.
In your member area on TOP MENU click on Diamond Ad Rotator
If you are logged in to your Member area this Direct Link will work:

Ruby Solo Ads
Limited bucks for advertising? Try our Ruby Solo Ads. We send your SOLO AD out to all 12 of our TOP Mailers.
One click marketing starting at $17.
In your member area on TOP MENU click on RUBY SOLOS
Direct link:

BEST RESULTS –  BEST VALUE according to our Members!
Affiliate Link Blaster 
– Submit your Ad and Link and it gets BLASTED for one year. Change your ad as often as you like!
Phenomenal value for ONE YEAR of Advertising as the TOP Featured Sponsor in our member based mailings.

Sapphire Solo Ads
Submit your 5 SOLO Ads and we will send then out to our lists and add to our rotation for ONE YEAR.
Change your Solo Ads as often as you like. VALUE! Set it and forget it.
In your member area on TOP MENU click on SAPPHIRE SOLOS.
Direct link: http://www.worldprofit.com/dealers/default.cfm?template=sapphiresolos/default.cfm

Traffic Blaster Packs: 
Traffic runs 24/7. Targeted Visitor Campaigns. Unlimited Visitor Campaigns. Pick the package right for you.
Direct link: http://www.worldprofit.com/dealers/default.cfm?template=trafficblaster/default.cfm

Gold Banner Rotator
Submit your 5 banners and get one YEAR of advertising in our rotator.
In your member area on TOP MENU click on GOLD BANNER ROTATOR
Direct link: http://www.worldprofit.com/dealers/default.cfm?template=goldbannerrotator/default.cfm

FastTrack – Join our Advertising Co-op.
We buy the ads, place the ads, and send YOU the LEADS in real time the moment they come in.
Easy way to advertise and get leads without fussing over where to post, and what to post.
http://www.worldprofit.com/dealers/default.cfm?template=fasttrack/default.cfm&MCatID=10

Here’s 90,002 reasons to never let your Silver or Platinum VIP Membership lapse!

Here’s 90,002 reasons to never let your Silver or Platinum VIP Membership lapse!

Did you know that http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com/?rd=lt7fzCja EVERY month you renew your membership you get traffic injections and solo email blast privileges?

Use this traffic for ZERO cost advertising for any and all your online opportunities.

Give up your membership and give up all this free advertising – and don’t think free means it’s not valuable!
These are all popular high traffic safelists and a captive business opportunity audience.

EVERY month that you continue your Silver Membership, you get FREE Ad Credits:

TrafficCenter.com  – 2000 visitors, 2000 banner views, 2000 text ad views
SafelisteXtreme.com  – 10,000 credits
DragonSafelist.com – 10,000 credits
Ultimate Safelist Exchange.com  – 10,000 ad credits
Traffic Ad Links.com – 10,000 ad credits

and

EVERY MONTH that you continue your Platinum VIP Membership you get even MORE FREE Ad Credits:

TrafficCenter.com  – 5000 visitors, 5000 banner views, 5000 text ad views
SafelisteXtreme.com  – 20,000 credits
DragonSafelist .com – 20,000 credits
Ultimate Safelist Exchange.com  – 20,000 ad credits + 2 Solo Ads To Entire Membership
Traffic Ad Links.com  – 20,000 ad credits + 2 Solo Ads To Entire Membership

Access in your Member area on LEFT MENU select ADVERTISING/TRAFFIC then click on TRAFFIC INJECTIONS and follow instructions there.

To make sure you get ALL your traffic injections, make sure you have activated all your free traffic accounts.
On LEFT menu under ADVERTISING/TRAFFIC select TRAFFIC CONTROL CENTER.

Also….

As a Silver member you qualify for a Solo-Blast to 90,000 per month at no cost. That’s YOUR ad going out to 9,000 Members EVERY 3 days!
Access this on LEFT MENU select SOLO BLASTER to 30,000 then click on EmailBlaster Program.

PLATINUM VIP Members!  You qualify for even MORE  Solo-Blast privileges!
Platinum VIP Members can blast your ad (any ad) to 150,000 Members EVERY MONTH – that’s your ad going out to 15,000 members EVERY 3 days!)
Access this on LEFT MENU select SOLO BLASTER to 30,000 then click on EmailBlaster Program

Often Members are not aware of these additional valuable benefits of being a Worldprofit Member!

The Traffic is just one MORE perk, you also get access to 125+ online training lessons, LIVE interactive Weekly training, SEO tools, Sales Closing, graphics programs, Ebook Creators, PLR, Ad Swipes, HELP 7 Days a week,  recommended income programs paying 20 to 100% and so much more. Everything in your Members area is about helping you GROW your online business.

We teach you how to use the resources in your Member area to generate multiple streams of income.
Promote Worldprofit services, or promote your own programs, but USE the resources available to you.

One long time Member told us, “I can’t think for one minute about giving up my membership because I would LOSE money by having to buy services elsewhere” that are all included in  Worldprofit’s Membership.

Follow the bootcamp training lessons so we can get you on track for income from a number of trusted sources, or your own too – not just Worldprofit referrals.

Oh! And if 90,000 reasons isn’t enough – here’s TWO more great reasons to never let your Worldprofit Membership lapse!

We recently added a SALES FUNNEL BUILDER for our Members!
These are POWERFUL new money makers for you – keep 100% of what you earn!
So EASY to use, one click set up. Really. No fussing, they are ready to go now.

Your cost for this new service? ZERO. You don’t pay one dime extra – it’s INCLUDED in your Membership.
Plus, you can USE the products included in the Sales Funnels at NO COST.
We are adding MORE instant sales funnels as we research and select exciting new products!

Find the SALES FUNNEL BUILDER in your Member area,  on TOP MENU click on WEBSITE MANAGEMENT then on SALES FUNNELS.
Watch the help video and get started IMMEDIATELY.

Here’s reason 90,002 to renew your Silver or Platinum VIP Membership.

And then there’s the AFFILIATE LEAD GRABBER System added recently.
The Pros and Marketing Gurus will pay hundreds of dollars for this system that Worldprofit Members get FREE.

What have you got to do to get your hands on Worldprofit’s Affiliate Lead Grabber System?

Absolutely nothing more than just login to your Worldprofit Member area.

On the LEFT MENU under WEBSITE MANAGEMENT click on LANDING PAGE BUILDER.
Scroll down the page to Landing Page 29 (Affiliate Lead Grabber)

Last words are from long time loyal Platinum VIP Member, Garry Smith who said, “Worldprofit just keeps getting better and better!”

Nearly $13 billion wiped off of cryptocurrency market as major coins plunge

  • The price of major cryptocurrencies bitcoin, XRP and ethereum plunged on Thursday.
  • The move comes after the International Monetary Fund warned that cryptocurrencies “could create new vulnerabilities in the international financial system.”
  • Around $13 billion of value was wiped off of the cryptocurrency market in about three hours.
A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is seen on September 04 2018 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

Yu Chun Christopher Wong | S3studio | Getty Images
A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is seen on September 04 2018 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

The price of major cryptocurrencies plunged on Thursday with nearly $13 billion of value being wiped out in a matter of hours.

At around 10:23 a.m. HK/SIN, bitcoin had fallen nearly 5 percent to $6,303, while XRP and ethereum both tanked over 10 percent, according to data from Coinmarketcap.com. It’s not unusual to see bitcoin lead other digital tokens lower.

In just three hours, nearly $13 billion of value had been erased from the entire cryptocurrency market.

The drop comes amid fresh warnings from financial authorities about the rapid growth of digital coins and the potential threat to the economy.

“Continued rapid growth of crypto assets could create new vulnerabilities in the international financial system,” the International Monetary Fund said in a recent report.

Many cryptocurrency enthusiasts hoped 2018 would be a year that regulators warmed up to the idea of professionalizing the trading of digital assets through new financial products like exchange-traded funds. But the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has rejected several ETFs including a highly anticipated one planned by the Winklevoss twins. Other countries, including China, have come down hard on cryptocurrencies.

At the same time, the year has been marked by high-profile hacks on cryptocurrency exchanges as well as a number of scams tied to people carrying out so-called initial coin offerings.

All of those factors have meant that bitcoin, XRP and ethereum have not recovered to the record highs seen toward the end of 2017 and beginning of this year. On Thursday, bitcoin was more than 68 percent off of its record high of $19,783.21, which it hit on Dec. 17 of last year.

Americans have big retirement dreams, but their financial plans don’t back them up

Americans have big retirement dreams, but their financial plans don’t back them up

  • Many individuals see retirement as the “most liberating phase of their life,” when they can finally put family and friends, travel and hobbies first.
  • But financial insecurities, such as whether they have enough financially to really cover their needs, could stand in the way of those goals.

Businesswoman working, jar of money in foreground

Jamie Grill | The Image Bank | Getty Images

A majority of Americans expect their retirement to be the “most liberating phase of their life,” according to a new survey.

Yet for many, their financial plans have not caught up to their retirement dreams.

That is according to a new survey from TD Ameritrade, which asked 2,002 adults in July about their perceptions on aging and retirement.

Most — 81 percent — said they see their elder years as a time to pursue new goals. And 76 percent said they see themselves using that time to pursue passions they previously neglected.

Those priorities include spending time with friends and family, traveling abroad or taking up a hobby, in that order, according to the survey.

But many have yet to figure out how to match their retirement funds to those priorities.

About half of those surveyed — 51 percent — said they do not think they will have more than enough money in retirement to pay for their needs.

And 60 percent do not know how much they will need to save to fund their lifestyles beyond age 65.

Two of the biggest concerns in retirement: Social Security and health care.

Most survey respondents — 72 percent — do not believe Social Security will be enough to cover their retirement spending.

And most individuals said they were more worried about health-care costs and finances than death.

Declining health — particularly the loss of mental and physical abilities — also ranked high among people’s worries.

“Their perception is that they are not there [financially] and they don’t have the confidence that they’re going to be OK in retirement,” said Matt Sadowsky, director of retirement and annuities at TD Ameritrade.

Most individuals can rectify that using a two-step plan, Sadowsky said.

First, they need to make a financial plan and map out how they can make their nest egg last.

Next, they need to evaluate their retirement needs against their wants and wishes, he said.

Lifetime income — such as money from Social Security retirement benefits, pensions or annuities — can serve as guaranteed income to cover your recurring needs.

Saving More, Working Less

Saving More, Working Less  

For all your other expenses, you can tap money from your nest egg, he said.

Starting to draw down the assets you have spent years accumulating requires a “major shift in mindset,” according to Sadowsky.

“When you’re in retirement, you lose an important lever of the pay check,” Sadowsky said. “It’s less about growing and saving.

“It’s more about protection and income generation and planning for the unexpected.”

More from Personal Finance:
Do this to strengthen your retirement savings in 2019
Women are losing sleep over this retirement savings fear
Use a less-is-more approach to win at 401(k) investing

WATCH: This is how long $1 million will last in retirement

Predicting Social Security’s 2019 COLA

Each and every month, more than $81 billion is paid out in benefits by the Social Security Administration (SSA).  Of this money, three-quarters winds up in the hands of retired workers, many of whom lean on Social Security as their major source of income. Or, to put this in another context, America would be facing a serious elderly poverty crisis if Social Security weren’t offering a guaranteed monthly payment to seniors who’ve earned the prerequisite 40 lifetime credits needed to receive a benefit.

The most important Social Security date of the year is nearly here

With more than three out of five aged beneficiaries reliant on the program for at least half of their monthly income, there’s perhaps no event that has more significance than the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) announcement by the SSA, which comes out during the second week of October (Oct. 11 this year). COLA is nothing more than a fancy term to describe the “raise” that beneficiaries will receive in the following year as a result of the rising price of a predetermined basket of goods and services (i.e., inflation).

Two Social Security cards lying atop a fanned stack of cash bills.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

Between the very first Social Security retired worker payout in January 1940 through 1974, Social Security benefits were arbitrarily adjusted by special legislative bills passed by Congress. However, since 1975, as a result of legislation passed by the Nixon administration in 1972, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) has been the program’s inflationary tether. This index measures the spending habits of urban and clerical workers across eight major categories and dozens upon dozens of subcategories to determine the “raise” that all beneficiaries — retired workers, survivors, and the disabled — will receive in the upcoming year.

One of the more interesting things you may not realize about Social Security’s COLA calculation is that only three months are taken into consideration. The average reading of the CPI-W during the third quarter (July through September) of the previous year acts as the baseline figure, while the average reading from the third quarter of the current years is the comparison. If prices rise year over year, then beneficiaries receive a COLA that’s commensurate with the percentage increase, rounded to the nearest 0.1%. If prices were to fall year over year, which has only happened on three occasions (2010, 2011, and 2016) since the CPI-W was tied to the Social Security program in 1975, benefits remain the same from one year to the next. Thankfully, benefits cannot be reduced due to falling prices.

What does Social Security’s 2019 COLA look like so far?

So, what can aged beneficiaries who depend on Social Security to make ends meet expect for 2019?

The word inflation spelled out by dice in front of a calculator and multiple rising charts in a newspaper in the background.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

As a refresher (because I know how exciting CPI-W data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics can be), here are the CPI-W readings from the third quarter of 2017:

  • July 2017 CPI-W: 238.617
  • August 2017 CPI-W: 239.448
  • September 2017 CPI-W: 240.939

If these figures are added up and divided by three, it yields an average CPI-W for Q3 2017 of 239.668.

Now, here’s how the first two months of the all-important third quarter of 2018 have turned out:

  • July 2018 CPI-W: 246.155
  • August 2018 CPI-W: 246.336

As you can see, these figures are notably higher than the readings from the third quarter of 2017. Although we’re still missing data from the month of September (which’ll be released on Oct. 11, 2018), the average reading from the third quarter of 2018 so far is 246.246, or 2.74% higher than last year. When rounded to the nearest 0.1%, it yields an increase of 2.7%, which would represent the biggest COLA since 2012.

Predicting September’s all-important inflation reading

But what about September’s inflation data? The biggest question mark is what sort of impact, if any, Hurricane Florence would have on inflation. Even though hurricanes are disasters from a human perspective, they tend to have a positive impact on inflation. When hurricanes strikes land or cross major bodies of water, they can particularly disrupt the energy industry, leading to refinery and/or production shutdowns that ultimately push fuel prices higher.

A hurricane over water bearing down on land.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

Last year, the refinery and production disruptions caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were singlehandedly responsible for adding what I’d suggest was about 50 basis points in COLA. In other words, instead of Social Security recipients netting a roughly 1.5% COLA in 2018, they received a 2% COLA, thanks in part to double-digit increases in fuel oil and gasoline prices after both hurricanes.

Now, the tricky part in figuring out September’s inflation data is that Hurricane Florence didn’t hit the Gulf of Mexico, which is generally the worst-case scenario for the energy industry. This makes predicting its impact on the energy industry a bit tougher. However, weekly retail gasoline and diesel prices from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) may hold some clues.

According to the EIA, we’ve witnessed a very modest uptick in gasoline and diesel prices over the past month. In the four weeks between the weeks ending Aug. 27 and Sept. 24, the average price per gallon for all grades of gasoline rose from $2.906 to $2.923. Meanwhile, the per-gallon price for diesel increased from $3.226 to $3.271 over this same time frame. Some of this increase could be season-based (i.e., Labor Day travel), and some might be related to Hurricane Florence. Comparatively, weekly gasoline prices ranged from $2.701 to $2.80 in September 2017.

Why does this matter so much? Put plainly, energy inflation and to some extent shelter inflation, provided the bulk of the heavy lifting last year, and they’re liable to do the same this year.

So, what’s my 2019 COLA prediction? Given that gasoline prices are heading higher, but only by a single-digit percentage from September 2017, and that Florence appears to have only minimally impacted the energy industry, I’ll be looking for COLA to come in at 2.8%. Though it’s not going to make anyone rich, it’s certainly one of the more robust raises seniors will have seen in a long time.

The $16,728 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook
If you’re like most Americans, you’re a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known “Social Security secrets” could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $16,728 more… each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we’re all after. Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies.

5 Warren Buffett Principles to Remember in a Volatile Stock Market

5 Warren Buffett Principles to Remember in a Volatile Stock Market

5 Warren Buffett Principles to Remember in a Volatile Stock Market

The market has fallen quite a bit this week — how would Warren Buffett react?

However, instead of panicking, it’s important to take a step back and assess the situation from the standpoint of a rational, long-term-oriented investor. And there’s no better rational long-term investor to learn from than Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) CEO Warren Buffett. Here are five principles that the Oracle of Omaha uses during volatile markets that you can implement in your own investment strategy.

Warren Buffett speaking with the media.

IMAGE SOURCE: THE MOTLEY FOOL.

The stock market is unpredictable — all the time

In his most recent letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Buffett said: “The years ahead will occasionally deliver major market declines — even panics — that will affect virtually all stocks. No one can tell you when these traumas will occur.”

The takeaway: The stock market is unpredictable, and large price swings are normal. And to be perfectly clear, this applies to the upside as well. I’ll spare you the statistics lesson, but a gain of 45% or a loss of nearly 23% on the S&P 500 in any single year would not be considered unusual. Manage your expectations (and your reactions) accordingly.

Over the long term, there’s only one direction the market will go

“Successful investing takes time, discipline and patience. No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time: You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant,” Buffett has said.

While stocks can be wildly unpredictable over shorter time periods, they are surprisingly predictable over long periods. Over periods of several decades, the stock market has generated annualized returns of 9% to 10% per year. Since 1965, the S&P 500 has produced annualized total returns of 9.9%, for example, and this includes the dot-com bust, Black Monday in 1987, and the Great Recession. The point: Even the worst crashes are rather meaningless when it comes to long-term returns.

What if you’re already enrolled in your 401(k)?

If you’re already enrolled in your 401(k), then you’ve taken the most important step. But that doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax just yet. Most employers set the contribution rate fairly low — typically around 3% — which won’t be enough in the long term if you want to save enough to retire comfortably.

That means it’s your job to determine how much money you should contribute to your retirement fund. At the very least, make sure you contribute enough to earn the full employer match — otherwise, you could be leaving money on the table. Then try using a retirement calculator to figure out how much you should save each month to reach your long-term goals.

It’s a good idea to test out a few different calculators to get a better estimate of how much you’ll need. All calculators are different (some factor in Social Security benefits, for example, and they may or may not account for factors such as taxes and inflation), and you’ll likely get different results depending on which one you use. Keep in mind that all of these numbers are estimates, but they’re a good starting point.

Once you have a ballpark idea of how much you should be saving each month, adjust your 401(k) contributions accordingly. Also remember to tweak your contributions when you experience any important financial event, such as when you get a raise or start a new job with a higher salary.

It’s easy to put off retirement saving for another day, waiting until you start earning more money or have more time to sit down and figure out how much you should be contributing. But the longer you wait, the more valuable time you lose — and that could ultimately cost you tens of thousands of dollars down the road.