My First Experience with UBER

by Khaleef Crumbley on May 21, 2015

in Personal Finance

The other day I had to pick up my car from the mechanic. After 2 days and $700, I was less than excited about the idea of calling and waiting for a taxi – there aren’t too many taxi services in our area.

I reached out to my sister to see if she could give me a ride, but she was dealing with a stomach virus and was in no shape to drive. As I was just about to give up and call for a cab, my wife suggested that I give Uber a try.

Uber Review

Uber Taxi App Review

I downloaded the app and was prompted to set up an account with the service. The great thing about this is that you include a preferred payment method in your profile, so you don’t have to enter your credit card information each time you use the service.

Because of this, no money changes hands between you and the driver. He never even sees your payment information – Uber handles everything for both parties!

My Uber Review: What About the Features?

Once my account was set up, it only took a few seconds to request to be picked up near my house. They allow you to either enter the pickup address or let your GPS send your location to the driver. Once they connect you with a driver, you are given an ETA and can even track the exact location of the driver on a map!

I was told that my driver was 14 minutes away and I immediately spotted him on the highway near our home.

Once I walked to the pickup spot, I just watched both the map and the traffic while I waited. I knew what car to look for because Uber gives you that information when they first make the connection – you are also given the name and a picture of the driver along with his rating!

My wife asked me to text her once I got picked up, so I searched the app for the ability to text from within. Not only was I able to send her my current location, but I was also able to allow her to track the entire trip on a map!

If you don’t want to give someone that much information, you can just send them your ETA or (I think) just text alerts when you are picked up and dropped off.

The driver was very pleasant and the car was exceptionally clean! He was a former taxi driver and spent the trip explaining why he feels that Uber provides a better service for customers as well as a more desirable work environment for the drivers.

Based on my experience, I would recommend Uber to anyone who needs a quick ride and wants more options than a traditional taxi.

If you use this link to sign up for the service, then you get your first ride for free (up to a $20 value)! If you’ve used the service before, please leave your own Uber review in the comments’ section.


What Is The Point Of Private Banking?

by Ruddigar Simpson on May 21, 2015

in Banking

What is private banking? Is it reserved for only those who are wealthy enough to own a fleet of private planes? Absolutely not. Do not be mistaken. These programs are generally reserved for individuals with a high net worth, but that doesn’t mean only the one percent qualifies.

The term simply refers to a collection of wealth management services offered to people with substantial assets. The bank will offer this select group of clients financial solutions that require large investments and fiscal power.

Additionally, international travelers may find their private banking in Hong Kong easily transfers funds and benefits across borders.

The Myth of Astronomical Net Worth

You do not need to have millions in the bank to qualify for private banking. Of course, some of the most elite services may be invitation only based on accumulated wealth, but people with assets as low as $50,000 can find banks that are eager to work with them.

A more common threshold is around $250,000 in total assets. If you do own a private jet, you certainly qualify for many private programs. However, this astronomical level of wealth is not absolutely necessary.

Exclusive Benefits and Services

Naturally, private banking in Hong Kong and anywhere around the world has a long list of exclusive perks and services. The first and possibly most coveted is an unmatched level of privacy. The bank will not advertise your business dealings and keeps all record under heightened security.

Additionally, private accounts yield higher returns and typically out perform the market. The individualized one-on-on service with a carefully selected team of competent professionals is also a commonly praised benefit of this type of banking.

Paying for Those Perks

Banks, much like your business, are money-making enterprises, so you are probably wondering what the institution gains in return for the extra effort. Usually, these conglomerates will receive a small percentage of any assets you entrust to the bank. They also receive interest from large mortgages or other loans you acquire.

Furthermore, at this level, there is a high level of turnover amongst the tellers. This means you may have to work with someone new every few years instead of building a consistent relationship with one manager.

The Challenges and Obstacles

Some challenges of private banking in Hong Kong have existed since the inception of such programs, but many are the result of the recent financial crisis in 2008. In the aftermath of the fiscal meltdown, many international governing bodies implemented harsher restrictions and regulations on financial institutions.

This limits what the banks can offer as well as which personnel can advance in the system. As a result, there are relatively few highly trained professionals who are capable of managing private accounts.

Making the choice to switch to private banking in Hong Kong can be difficult, but it all comes down to the available services. Can you really use the financial solutions of the private sector?

For instance, if you are looking for a personal real estate loan over $1,000,000, a private bank is far more likely to approve it than your average commercial bank. Look at the options and choose what course is best for you and your assets.

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