Little Rishi

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Free Stock Analysis Checklist
Harry Domash, the author of Fire Your Stock Analyst!: Analyzing Stocks On Your Own (2nd Edition) has a free stock analysis checklist posted on his Web site. The tabular checklist lists the criteria (such as P/E, average volume, and so forth) you look at when buying and selling a stock, where to find that info at popular Web sites like Yahoo.com or MSN.com, the importance of the parameter, and what action to consider. It's a good checklist to use when analyzing a stock.

To access the checklist, see:

WinningInvesting.com: Stock Analysis Checklist

To sign up for Harry Domash's free investment newsletter:

WinningInvesting.com: Free Investing Tutorials by E-Mail


Note: I am an Amazon.com affiliate. Please also see Disclosures and Disclaimer

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posted by Little Rishi @ Tuesday, March 30, 2010   0 comments

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Sunday, March 28, 2010
Ultimate Money Blog's $100 giveaway
As part of the Ultimate Money Blog's giveaway, you can win $100!

To enter and for complete details, see:

Win $100 Cash at the Ultimate Money Blog


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posted by Little Rishi @ Sunday, March 28, 2010   0 comments

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Weekend Quote - Successful Man
A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him.

— Sidney Greenberg


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posted by Little Rishi @ Sunday, March 28, 2010   0 comments

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Saturday, March 27, 2010
Weekend Quote from a Book - Saving
Saving is good for us — for two reasons. One reason for saving is to prevent having serious regrets later on. As the poet John Greenleaf Whittier wrote: “ Of all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are ‘ It might have been.’”, “I should have” and “I wish I had” are two more of history’s saddest sentences.

Another reason for saving is quite positive: Most of us enjoy the extra comfort and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with both the process of saving and with the results— having more freedom of choice both now and in the future.

- Source: The Elements of Investing

by Burton G. Malkiel & Charles D. Ellis


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posted by Little Rishi @ Saturday, March 27, 2010   0 comments

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Free answer to tax questions from H&R Block on March 25, 2010
H&R Block is offering free tax advice on Thursday, March 25 between 12:01 AM CST through 11:59 PM. Their tax reps will be available to answer any personal tax-related question. You can contact them at the H&R Block's Tax Talk Line at 1-866-HRBLOCK. You can also reach them via e-mail taxtalk@hrblock.com advice during this time.

For additional info, see:

H&R Block Offers 24 Hours of Free Tax Advice

To file federal taxes free or for H&R Block Online Tax Solution Click Here


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posted by Little Rishi @ Wednesday, March 24, 2010   0 comments

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day (12 PM - 8 PM, Mar 23, 2010)
Today is Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day. Participating shops are offering a free cone from noon to 8 PM today.

For details, see:

benjerry.com: Free Cone Day


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posted by Little Rishi @ Tuesday, March 23, 2010   0 comments

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Sunday, March 21, 2010
Weekend Quote - Healthcare Reform
With the historic health care reform vote scheduled to happen today in the US, I thought it is a good time to re-use one of my old quotes regarding the Canadian healthcare system.

Like all things in life, Canada's universal health care system has certain disadvantages. However, Canada's universal health care system provides two substantial advantages that countries with US-like healthcare system can't claim to have:

1. Canada's universal health care system provides health coverage to all its legal residents regardless of their job status, income level, age, prior medical conditions and other factors.

2. No Canadian fears about going bankrupt due to expenses caused by illness/medical problems.


— Rishi


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posted by Little Rishi @ Sunday, March 21, 2010   0 comments

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Saturday, March 20, 2010
RiteAid Pharmacy Coupon - $25 gift card plus a chance to win free gas for a year (valid till 3/31/2010)
Through Mar 31, 2010, RiteAid is offering a $25 gift card on prescription transfer. In addition, for every prescription you transfer, you are also entered in a weekly drawing for a chance to win a year's worth of free gas ($2,600 value).

For complete details, see:

RiteAid.com: Prescription Transfer

RiteAid.com: Prescription Transfer Coupon


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posted by Little Rishi @ Saturday, March 20, 2010   0 comments

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Weekend Quote from a Book - Options Selling
An insurance company tries to weed out drivers that it deems to be prone to accidents. Some of these may get insured at higher premiums (to account for the higher risk the insurance company is taking on them), and some may not get insured at all.

Your job as an option seller is to go through this exact same process. Just as most drivers do not have accidents, most of your options will never go in the money. However, as in insurance, a few bad accidents can be bad for the bottom line. An insurance company, therefore, tries to reduce the chances that one of its drivers will have an accident by checking factors such as driving record, age of the driver, type of car, etc. As an option seller, you will go through this exact same process except instead of drivers, you will be studying a market's “driving record”, historical tendencies, current and future fundamentals, etc. While an insurance company can in no way guarantee that the drivers it selects will not have accidents, it certainly can help its business by selecting only drivers who have what it considers a low chance of being in an accident. Thus it can lower its risk and increase its profitability. You can too.

- Source: The Complete Guide to Option Selling, Second Edition

by James Cordier & Michael Gross


Note: I am an Amazon.com affiliate. Please also see Disclosures and Disclaimer

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posted by Little Rishi @ Saturday, March 20, 2010   0 comments

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010
CNBC's Call the Close Game - Prize: 2010 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible
As part of CNBC's Call the Close game, you have a chance to win a 2010 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible.

As part of this game, you need to guess the close for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) index and S&P500. Your guess for the S&P 500 will be a tie-breaker if needed.

You can play the game daily. Active calling hours are from 4:30p ET each day until 1:00p EST the next trading day. Game ends April 1, 2010 at 1 PM EST.

For details, see:

CNBC.com - Call the Close


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posted by Little Rishi @ Tuesday, March 16, 2010   0 comments

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SmartMoney's annual Market Madness Tournament - $1,000 cash prize
SmartMoney's annual Market Madness Tournament is underway. As part of this tournament, you can pick your brackets of 64 stocks for a chance to win a $1,000 cash prize. Registration ends Mar 18, 2010.

For details, see:

SmartMoney.com - 2010 Market Madness Tournament


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posted by Little Rishi @ Tuesday, March 16, 2010   0 comments

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Sunday, March 14, 2010
Weekend Quote - Seeking
If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.

— Nora Roberts


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posted by Little Rishi @ Sunday, March 14, 2010   0 comments

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Saturday, March 13, 2010
Justice Federal Credit Union Scholarship Competition for high school seniors and college undergraduates
As part of its Scholarship Competition, JFCU is offering scholarships to high school seniors and college undergraduates.

Deadline: April 2, 2010 by 3 PM EST

Eligibility criteria:A student must:

- Have established his own account in good standing with Justice FCU

- Be enrolled as a high school senior with acceptance to an accredited college or university for Fall 2010

Or

Currently be enrolled in a degree program and have completed 12 credit hours of coursework at an accredited college or university

- Achieved a minimum 2.5 GPA (cumulative on a 4.0 scale)

- Describe need for financial assistance to continue your education

- Submit a personal statement

For complete details, see:

Justice Federal Credit Union Scholarship Competition

To download application, see:

Justice FCU Scholarship Competition - Application

For all scholarship-related posts, see:

Scholarship-Related Posts


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posted by Little Rishi @ Saturday, March 13, 2010   0 comments

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$100 bonus for opening a free BB&T Bank checking account
For a limited time, BB&T Bank is offering $100 for opening a free checking account with no minimum balance and monthly maintenance fee. To get $100, you either need to set up and receive at least 2 direct payroll deposits (of at least $10 each) within 90 days of account opening, or make 3 online payments of at least $10 each within 60 days of account opening. Enter promotion code AFJAP at the time of account opening at BBT.com. Account must be opened by 03/31/2010 but the offer could be withdrawn earlier as well.

For complete details:

BB&T: $100 Checking Account offer


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posted by Little Rishi @ Saturday, March 13, 2010   0 comments

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Weekend Quote from a Book - Thoughts
When Henley wrote the prophetic lines, "I am the Master of my Fate, I am the Captain of my Soul", he should have informed us that we are the masters of our Fate, the Captains of our Souls, because we have the power to control our thoughts. He should have told us that ether in which this little earth floats, in which we move and have our being, is a form of energy moving at an inconceivably high rate of vibration, and that the ether is filled with a form of universal power which ADAPTS itself to the nature of our thoughts we hold in our minds; and INFLUENCES us, in natural ways, to transmute our thoughts into their physical equivalent.

If the poet had told us of this great truth, we would know WHY IT IS that we are the Masters of our Fate, the Captains of our Souls. He should have told us, with great emphasis, that this power makes no attempt to discriminate between destructive thoughts and constructive thoughts, that it will urge us to translate into physical reality thoughts of poverty, just as quickly it will influence us to act upon thoughts of riches.

- Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill

Source: Automatic Wealth I: The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind-Including: As a Man Thinketh, the Science of Getting Rich, the Way to Wealth & Think and Grow Rich


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posted by Little Rishi @ Saturday, March 13, 2010   0 comments

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Friday, March 12, 2010
$1,000 US Bank scholarship for high school seniors and college undergraduates
As part of its Internet Scholarship Program, U.S. Bank is offering $1,000 in scholarships to 40 high school seniors (graduating in the 2009-2010 school year) and college undergraduates.

Deadline: March 31, 2010

Eligibility: A student must be:

- A high school senior planning to enroll or a current college freshmen, sophomore or junior at an eligible four-year college or university participating in the U.S. Bank No Fee Education Loan Program;

- Enrolled by September 2010;

- A United States citizen or permanent resident alien

For complete details, see:

U.S. Bank Internet Scholarship Program

To apply online, see:

Application - U.S. Bank Internet Scholarship Program

For all scholarship-related posts, see:

Scholarship-Related Posts


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posted by Little Rishi @ Friday, March 12, 2010   0 comments

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Book Review - Stop Acting Rich: And Start Living like a Real Millionaire
Having read The Millionaire Next Door, I was excited to go through Stop Acting Rich: And Start Living like a Real Millionaire when I received a copy of it. After reading the book, I found the book to be fairly good and would rate it as 3.5 on a 5-point scale. I would have given this book a higher rating had I not read The Millionaire Next Door, or I had found a lot of new information in this book. For most part, the book seemed like an extension of the Millionaire Next Book with the inclusion of updated data, and greater focus on the lifestyles of the rich people.

About the Author

The book is written by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley who is a bestselling author of several books, including The Millionaire Next Door, The Millionaire Mind, Marketing To The Affluent, Millionaire Women Next Door, and Selling To The Affluent. He is considered as an authority on the lifestyles and behaviors of the affluent, and has been quoted several times in the popular media, including Forbes, Fortune, Time, and other magazines. He has also appeared several times on shows like the Today Show, 20/20, and The Oprah Winfrey show.

About the Book

Stop Acting Rich: And Start Living like a Real Millionaire consists of 243 pages of content (plus a few additional pages devoted to Appendices, etc) and the following nine chapters:

Chapter 1 - The Difference between Being Rich and Acting Rich
Chapter 2 - Everything You Think about Rich is Wrong
Chapter 3 - Do the Shoes Make the Man?
Chapter 4 - Brother, Do You Have the Time?
Chapter 5 - Keeping Up with Your Spirits?
Chapter 6 - The Grapes of Wrath
Chapter 7 - The Road to Happiness
Chapter 8 - Getting Out of the Poorhouse
Chapter 9 - All that Glitters Is Not the Millionaire's Goal

The book focuses on the differences in the spending patterns of the three different categories of people:

- The glittering rich: these are small percentage of truly rich people such as athletes and celebrities. These are the people who can spend lavishly on multiple luxury cars, yachts, watches, and houses, and still have enough money left over because of their huge financial fortunes and incomes.

- The millionaires (of the millionaire next door types): these are the people who became millionaires because of their frugal living. Being financially independent, getting recognized among their peers, and living within their means is more important to these people than wearing and flaunting luxury brands.

- The aspirationals: these are the vast percentage of people who aren't rich but try to appear rich by consuming expensive brands. These are the people who try to emulate the glittering rich by living in expensive neighborhoods, patronizing high-end retailers and restaurants, and buying premium watches, cars, and wines. Their emphasis is on looking rich rather than accumulating riches.

The main point of the book is that if you want to become wealthy, stop spending on expensive brands under the assumption that that's what most wealthy people do. Although the media has been claiming that the recent financial crisis and recession has forced many people to embrace the concept of frugality, according to the author, the slowdown is just a temporary blip and most people will resume their hyperspending lifestyle once the economy improves.

The book contains a lot of data that challenges the various assumptions about the spending behavior of the wealthy people. According to the author, the aspirationals should stop acting rich as their hyperspending is detrimental to their net worth. What's worse - their hyperspending isn't helping them much even on the happiness scale compared to the actual millionaires. Instead, they should emulate the behavior and lifestyles of the millionaire next door types people who aren't glittering rich but have accumulated substantial wealth by avoiding hyperspending and living within their means.

What I like about the book?

This book is a good compilation of various misconceptions about the spending patterns of most rich people. While most people focus on the lavish spending of the small percentage of the glittering rich people, most millionaires are value-oriented who aren't affected by the constant pitches of advertisers to consume expensive things.

And the author illustrates his points with many several interesting anecdotes and personal experiences. For example, based on his experience as a caddy at public and private country golf courses, the author found that despite earning substantial incomes, most private club golfers never tipped their caddies. In contrast, most public club golfers not only tipped him but they also offered to buy him hot dogs and drinks for lunch.

Some of the interesting takeaways and quotes from the book are:

- Our society has confused the consumption of certain elite brands with true success.
- There's a difference between looking rich and being rich. Most people who look rich, actually aren't rich.
- Despite their lavish lifestyles, even the glittering rich people live within their means
- While the aspirationals don't mind spending on luxury brands and items, they become ultra frugal when it comes to tipping or spending on things that do not display their socioeconomic success and superiority.
- Between 1997 and 2006, more than $70 trillion in realized or reported income was generated by US households. However, only 3.5% of these households are in millionaire category (with investments of at least $1 million).
- In America, the proportion of people who owned boats in 2005 exceeded the proportion who left an estate of $1 million or more in 2007 by a ratio of nearly 5 to 1.
- Most people take celebrities and athletes as their role models instead of emulating the people who achieved wealth and success by working hard and living non-flashy lifestyles.
- Most millionaires are value-oriented and spend moderately on a wide spectrum of things, including clothing, haircuts, cars, homes, and so forth. Most of them also don't own a vacation home or a boat.
- Basic rule for building wealth: whatever your income, live below your means.
- Most millionaires don't have to "wear wealth" to impress other people. Instead they receive greater satisfaction from activities that involve social interaction with family and friends.
- Millionaires involve themselves in activities that are complements to wealth: analyzing their investments, studying their businesses and product or service industries, and so on

What I dislike about the book?

As mentioned earlier, if you have read The Millionaire Next Door and read popular personal finance blogs like ChristianPf and Get Rich Slowly, there's not a whole lot new you will learn from this book. The central idea of the book is that most people need to embrace the concept of frugality if they want to increase their net worth but the book spends too many pages, emphasizing this point. As a result, the book often feels repetitive, with a lot of pages devoted to the preferences of rich people in terms of wine, watches, houses, and so forth. Infact, if you read Chapter 1, which I felt is the best chapter in the book, you pretty much get the entire summary of the book.

Final Word

If you haven't read The Millionaire Next Door, Stop Acting Rich: And Start Living like a Real Millionaire is a good book. This book is especially useful for younger people and other people who try to imitate the lifestyles of celebrities and athletes. The book emphasizes the importance of simple living in increasing your net worth. It provides a nice reminder that the key to accumulating wealth is not to act rich but to live within one's means.

I have received complimentary copy of the book. Please also see Disclosures and Disclaimer

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posted by Little Rishi @ Wednesday, March 10, 2010   0 comments

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Sunday, March 7, 2010
Weekend Quote - Success
The road to success is not crowded. Because while most are looking for ways to take, the truly successful people are finding ways to give. With a giving attitude, every situation is an opportunity for success.

— Author Non-known


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posted by Little Rishi @ Sunday, March 07, 2010   0 comments

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Saturday, March 6, 2010
Weekend Quote from a Book - Debt
Whereas a freeborn Englishman ought not to be ashamed to see or speak to any man living. But poverty often deprives a man of all spirit and virture: ' tis hard for an empty bag to stand upright, as Poor Richard truly says. What would you think of that Prince, or that government, who should issue an edict forbidding you to dress like a gentleman or gentlewoman, on pain of imprisonment or servitude? Would you not say, that you are free, have a right to dress as you please, and that such an edict would be a breach of your privileges, and such a government tyrannical? And yet you are about to put yourself under that tyranny when you run in debt for such dress! Your creditor has authority at his pleasure to deprive you of your liberty, by confining you in gaol for life, or sell you for a servant, if you should not be able to pay him!

Source: The Way to Wealth

by Benjamin Franklin



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posted by Little Rishi @ Saturday, March 06, 2010   0 comments

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Friday, March 5, 2010
Book Review - The Tax Lady's Guide to Beating the IRS and Saving Big Bucks on Your Taxes
Like most people, I dread filling out my tax returns and want to minimize my taxes. So was eager to go through Roni Deutch's The Tax Lady's Guide to Beating the IRS and Saving Big Bucks on Your Taxes: Learn How You can Pay Less Money to the IRS by Beating them at their Own Game.

Overall, I found the book to be quite good. The main point that Roni Deutch is trying to make throughout the book is that people can minimize their taxes by having a better understanding of tax rules and good record keeping, so that they can take advantage of all the exemptions, deductions, and credits that are available to them. To that effect, Roni Deutch succeeds in her objective.

The book consists of the following 12 chapters (or "rounds" as Roni Deutch calls it, using a sports analogy):

1. Feeling Intoxicated? Dude, You are Paying Way Too Much in Taxes
2. First Steps: Mama, Don't Let Your Kids Grow Up to Be Sloppy Record Keepers
3. Armed & Dangerous: The More You Know, the Less You Pay
4. 1040 Treasure Map or 1040 Survival Guide? You Decide
5. Addition by Subtraction: The Sweet Science of Tax Deductions, Exemptions, and Credits
6. The New American Dream-Tax Tips for the Self-Employed
7. Fight for Your Tax Savings Diploma
8. Answer the Bell: Keep the IRS Out of Your Investment Portfolio
9. The Main Event-Now You're Ready to Rumble!
10. Boom! Eliminating Tax Debt...Or Surviving an IRS Audit
11. Help in the Ring: Should You Hire a Tax Trainer?
12. Tax-Cutting Tips You Can Take to the Bank

Each chapter is well-organized, and focuses on a wide variety of personal income tax-related topics, including:

- Record keeping
- What is considered taxable income?
- Different filing statuses
- Which IRS form to use for filing your taxes? (whether to use 1040EZ, 1040A, or 1040?)
- Tax-tips for the self-employed
- Taxability of different saving options for the college (including 529 plans, Coverdall Savings Account, Prepaid tuition plans, and UGMA)
- Taxability of interest, dividends, and retirement accounts
- Wash sale rule
- Traditional versus Roth IRA
- How to file for an extension, and amend a tax return
- IRS collection options (tax levies, liens, property seizures and so forth)
- Different audit types
- Audit red flags

What I like about the book?

Overall, I found the book to be a good primer on federal income taxes. This book is for anyone who doesn't know much about personal income taxes and wants to get a basic understanding of it. While you can find most of the information in IRS publications, the book presents the information in a well-organized and easy to understand language. It's pretty comprehensive, covering a wide range of topics, and is filled with many tax tips, charts and interesting fast facts.

What I dislike about the book?

Based on the "Beating the IRS" title, I had expected the book to contain advanced topics and tax planning strategies to minimize taxes. However, the book is light on such topics and strategies. For example, the book briefly explains the wash sale rule but does not discuss how you can easily end up with a wash sale if you trade options. The only thing that the book says regarding options is that

"Finally, the (wash sale) rules also cover contracts or options to acquire stock".

As a result, if you have been doing your own taxes or if you already have a good knowledge of taxes, this book will serve more as a refresher rather than providing a lot of new information. However, in all fairness, considering the complexity of tax code, I don't think any single book on taxes can meet the tax needs of everyone.

Final thoughts

Overall, this book is a useful, beginner's guide on personal income taxes. The book emphasizes the importance of good record keeping and the fact that tax planning is a year-round activity rather than something that's done just before the April 15th deadline.


Note: I have received complimentary copy of the book. Please also see Disclosures and Disclaimer

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posted by Little Rishi @ Friday, March 05, 2010   0 comments

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Favorite Quote
"Work is worship".
                - Author Unknown
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