100 Words On: The Baffling Allure of the Eiffel Tower

Originally built as the grand entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, today the Eiffel Tower is the undisputed romantic symbol of Paris and most-visited paid monument on Earth. Even so, that didn’t stop more than 1000 travelers in a recent survey from bestowing la Tour Eiffel with the dubious honor of being the world’s most disappointing tourist attraction. So, are sightseers who diss the Iron Lady philistines — or is beauty

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100 Words On: The Importance of Making a Good First Impression

Like it or not, when it comes to evaluating others, people tend to form an opinion within 30 seconds of meeting someone for the first time. Unfortunately, that resulting initial impression is generally extremely difficult to reverse should we start out on the wrong foot — which is why negative first impressions often lead to lost opportunities. Ironically, the best way to ensure you’ll make a great first impression is by

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100 Words On: The Dangers of Loitering in the Comfort Zone

It’s human nature for us to want to spend as much time as possible in the proverbial comfort zone. And why not? It takes courage to walk away from the dependable familiarity and security that waits for us there; for many, sometimes that’s even true in adverse situations, such as a failing relationship. Unfortunately, it’s impossible for us to grow, be creative, and lead truly fulfilling lives when we continually play

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100 Words On: Why Window Seat Fliers Are the Happiest Fliers

You may be surprised to know that many airlines are now charging extra money for a growing number of window and aisle seats. And while I might consider paying extra for a window seat, I’m still trying to understand why anyone would ever pay extra for an aisle seat, considering the physical abuse they often get from passing carts, stewardesses and passengers.

The bottom line: Sitting in a window seat affords

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100 Words On: How to Quit Dreaming and Start Doing

Robert Louis Stevenson said that there can be no fairer ambition than to excel in talk. And while that may be true for the dreamers in life, successful people know the world will always depend on doers — folks who are motivated to follow through and turn grandiose plans into reality. Dreaming alone is never enough; you need ambition too. That means setting measurable goals and mustering the courage and fortitude

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100 Words On: Why You Don't Always Get What You Pay For

One of the most popular financial tips that people routinely dispense to others is, “You get what you pay for.” Perhaps that’s why many folks erroneously believe they can’t go wrong by paying more for something — whether it’s a fancy meal, designer jeans, bottled water, or a host of other products and services. That’s not always true. There are plenty of examples — education and gasoline are two of the

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100 Words On: Why It Pays to Sleep on It Prior to a Big Decision

When you’re facing an important financial decision, there’s something to be said about taking a night to think it over. That’s because, when it comes right down to it, most financial decisions aren’t emergencies — although a lot of folks might think otherwise. Unfortunately, people often feel compelled to throw caution to the wind and make expensive purchases — either on impulse, or under the gun of a high-pressure salesman —

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100 Words On: Why You Should Resist Borrowing from Your 401(k)

Roughly 3 in 10 people now borrow money from their 401(k) retirement plans. Generally, you can borrow half your account balance — up to $50,000 — for as long as five years. True, it’s among the cheapest loans available because the interest rate is typically the prime rate plus one percent, and interest is paid to yourself. Even so, the risks are steep; not the least of which is the loss

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100 Words On: Why the Customer Is (Almost) Always Right

Almost everyone has asked a restaurant, bank, or other business to redress a particular grievance. It’s debatable whether the titular idiom of this post should be credited to Marshall Field or Harry Gordon Selfridge, but it’s true nevertheless. Indeed, businesses that depend on returning customers typically bend over backwards to keep them satisfied. However, they also understandably draw the line when it comes to unreasonable, abusive and/or unethical patrons. After all,

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100 Words On: Why You Should Never Cosign A Loan for Anyone

Cosigning for a loan is one of the dumbest financial moves you could ever make. By cosigning, you not only assume liability for the borrowed money, but you also make it tougher on yourself to qualify for large loans — regardless of your payment history — because lenders still include cosigned loans as part of your overall debt load.

The bottom line: If a lender refuses to loan money to

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