Saturday, October 24, 2015

Solved unable to sign in Norton Identity Safe problem

I use Norton Internet Security as the security solution for my home computers, and use the Norton Identity Safe that comes with it to store my web accesses identity information.

Few days ago, when I tried to open my vault in my web browser as usual, I found out that I can't login to Norton Identity Safe.

The symptom is like this:

When I tried to open the vault, I saw this "Get started" pop-up window.

Fine. Click on the "Sign in" button, I was required to provide my email address and password as registered with Symantec to continue.

I keyed in the email address and password, and the window showed it was connecting to the server. The next screen, instead of logged in, it went back to the "Get started" screen again.

I used the same email address and password to login to Norton website, I was able to login without any problem. This means that my email and password combination to login to Norton is correct.

After numerous trial and error, finally I discovered the solution!

Here is the trick: you need to logout from Norton Internet Security before you can successfully login to Norton Identity Safe.

To logout Norton Internet Security, open the application, then click on your email address shown in "Sign in as" corner, and click OK.

After that, go back to the web browser to open the vault.

This time, after entered my email address and password, I finally saw this familiar window:

Key in my vault password, and the vault is opened.

By the way, once successful login to Norton Identity Safe, you will automatically logged in to Norton Internet Security as well, even though you have logout just now.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Six lessons that project managers could learn from elephants

Elephants are majestic creatures that have remained mysterious to humans though they have been domesticated thousands of years ago.

Tales of their bravery and intelligence have been carried through generations which can teach us a few things about community life.

Startups with brilliant plans and experienced project managers sometimes fail to implement their tasks or time or fail to recognize business opportunities and fall behind others.

Here are a few lessons that project managers can learn from these intelligent animals who have managed to survive for centuries in the midst of harsh environmental changes and pressure from human settlements.

1. Learning from mentors

Like a calf learns its first lessons humbly from its mother and other senior cow elephants in the herd and hones its survival instincts, project manager should also display humility before experts more experienced than them. Expertise and experience of seniors will help project manager avoid problems and maximize potential of success.

2. Awaiting recognition

The present trend among people is to work hard and achieve success at a faster pace to be considered as achievers in society and workplace. In this thirst for recognition and quick fame people fail to take time to appreciate efforts of others which have helped to bring them to this level. The ideal work culture should be to let your work speak for itself instead of hankering after glory.

3. Developing a thick skin

People in general lack a healthy attitude towards criticism and comparison and tend to develop negative reactions. The right approach would be to develop thick skin like an elephant which is extremely tough and take criticism in a positive manner to improve work standard and use it as an enriching experience.

4. Optimal use of strength

Just as an elephant uses its massive strength to pull a tiny shrub or a large tree with the same deftness, a project manager also should know where to use their expertise. Each individual is endowed with strength and ability to perform tasks and project manager has to recognize these abilities of team members and put them to effective use.

5. Effective communication

Elephants communicate with each other continuously to stay in touch and also to discuss about vegetation and water resources. In digital age man has much more tools of communication in hand to share ideas and convey progress reports. The key lies in sharing details at appropriate times to manage project progress.

6. Surviving against adversity

As firms grow and expand there will be bigger challenges for project managers as they will have to compete against bigger brands and people more experienced than themselves. Strong managers have to develop survival instinct to give a fair fight to all opponents and complete project successfully.

(Note: The above is excerpted from the Project Portfolio Management Playbook published by Thinking Portfolio)

Monday, October 19, 2015

CIMB CashLite and the calculation of effective interest rate from flat interest rate

I was called by CIMB and offered a credit card linked personal loan (a.k.a. cash advance facility) called CIMB CashLite at the flat interest rate of 3.99% for a tenure period of up to 4 years (48 months).

I was told that there are no fees involved (cash advance fees, processing fees, etc.) other than the flat interest rate. Of course, there is still a catch: every monthly instalment need to be paid promptly, or else there will be penalty charge (late payment charge) and finance charge on the outstanding payment.

I was also told that there are no lock-in periods or early settlement fees for this loan. Early settlement can be made by calling to their customer service.

Is the interest rate of 3.99% looks attractive? So far, this is the lowest credit card linked personal loan rate offered to me. Not long ago, I was also offered by HSBC at an interest rate of 4.99% which I had rejected.

To quickly calculate the effective interest rate, what I need is MS Excel. Google Sheets or Docs To Go spreadsheets in my Android phone can do the same calculation too.

Open a new worksheet, and key in the information for loan amount (principal), the flat annual interest rate, and the number of repayments.

For example, a loan amount of $10,000 at the flat annual interest rate of 3.99% over a period of 4 years is as below:

The total interest payable is =B1*B2*B3/12. This is because 3.99% is the annual rate, so we have to divide 48 months by 12 to get 4 years, and apply the 3.99% per annum rate to it.

The total repayment is =B1+B5. This is very straightforward.

The monthly payment amount is =B6/B3. This is also very straightforward.

Once we obtained the monthly payment amount, we can calculate the effective interest rate with this formula:

And the effective interest rate I got is 7.46%.

Back to the question: is this interest rate attractive?

I would say it is quite attractive to me.

If I take the loan and make an investment with CAGR of 3.99%, I would have gain 1694.09 from a 10,000 principal 4 years later. Deducting the interest paid of 1596, I still made 98.09 from it. That is 0.98% of 10,000.

If I take the loan and make an investment with CAGR of 10%, I would have gain 4641 from a 10,000 principal 4 years later. Deducting the interest paid of 1596, I will make 3045 from it. That is 30.45% of 10,000.

So, you guess, did I actually take up this offer by CIMB?

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.