e-rewardsI got the following email invitation from a credit card company this morning:

Share Your Opinion and Earn Wyndham Rewards Points

As a Wyndham Rewards member, we’re extending an exclusive invitation to you to join the e-Rewards® Opinion Panel and earn valuable Rewards, including Wyndham Rewards Points, just for participating in surveys that are pre-screened to match your interests.

Enroll today and receive 350 Bonus Wyndham Rewards Points* when you complete your first survey within 90 days.

Wow – free points for answering surveys? That sounds good, right? But is e-Rewards legit? Hmm. Off to search…

Is e-Rewards Legit?

I like to cut straight to the heart of the matter when searching and what I really wanted to know is whether e-Rewards is a scam. So I typed in “e-rewards opinion panel scam” and hit the go button. The first result was the e-Rewards website so I disregarded it and clicked on the next three results. Here’s what I found:

Back in March 2010, Frugal Girl posted a comprehensive review saying “E-Rewards is a legit survey site, but their E-Rewards Dollars are not the equivalent of real world dollars, because rewards offered are inflated in value. However, E-Rewards pays about $2.30/hr…” What? $2.30 per hour? Hmm. Moving on to more opinions…

SurveyPolice gives e-Rewards a 3-star rating based on 151 user reviews. In the five comments on the first page, which span 2/12/14 – 3/5/14, the star ratings range from three to five. Not bad but not great – moving on…

Over at reviewopedia, I found that “Overall E Rewards is a legitimate program and if you have the time you can use it to collect some decent rewards.” Well, that’s somewhat encouraging. There’s no date on the post, however, but the oldest comment is from 2007 and a lot may have changed since then. The recent comments are not too encouraging – on the first page, 19 out of 20 of the comments posted between 6/28/13 and 3/11/14 included a star rating and nearly half (8) are just one star. Add in the two star reviews (4) and the percentage of negativity jumps to 63%! With only one 5-star rating and just two 4-star ratings in nearly a year, I’m thinking folks are not experiencing much success there.

But Do I Want My Info Collected?

My time is worth way more to me than $2.30 per hour so e-Rewards surveys are definitely not worth doing from an earnings potential standpoint. If I could get into completing surveys as a form of entertainment, they might be worth doing if I had extra free time to burn sitting at my computer. But after more thought, I realized that the bottom line for me is I really don’t want to give out so much information. I’m not sure what all they ask and they probably assure you that your answers are anonymous, but do I really believe that? And what about the pre-screening questions?  One commenter complained about “…frequent “you don’t qualify” long after they have accumulated significant information…” Well, I don’t want to give out “significant information” – do you?

And then another commenter says, “Just a warning: E-Rewards will sell your personal info to JUNK MAIL companies. They sold mine to Universal Subscriptions and I began receiving junk mail, seemingly out of nowhere, soon after I signed up and completed a few surveys with E-Rewards. I asked the magazine company who had subscribed me, as I am very careful with my personal info, and they referred me to the above-mentioned junk mailers, who collect personal data and provide it to magazine and catalog companies. Think twice about joining E-Rewards unless you want real-life spam in your real life mailbox!”

Just what I need, more junk mail in exchange for wasting valuable time giving out info I probably don’t want to give out anyway! So, I’ve deleted the e-Rewards Opinion Panel invitation.

How about you? Do you have any experience with e-Rewards?

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passive investingInvesting in the stock market is a great to make more money as well as fund a new business. But, there are challenges with investing that many investors, both new and old, sometimes overlook. In this post, I will give you a few tips on how to overcome these challenges with ease.

Find A Mentor

If you aren’t sure how to get started, you need to talk to an investor. This is someone who can tell you about all of the stock market and even suggest some options for where to invest your money. But make sure the person you are entrusting with your money is someone you can trust. Do some homework on them. The last thing you want is to fall victim to a scam and lose your hard earned money.

Where To Invest

One of the places you might want to look is an online broker. Some of these services offer discounts to those who are new to investing. If you use a broker in your city, you might have to pay a small fee. A benefit of using an online broker is that you don’t have the high fees, and you can see every day what is taking place in the stock market.

With that said, you have more control over your investment if you do most of the work on your own. Don’t start with multiple accounts because it can get confusing. This is also a way that you can lose a great deal of money before you realize what’s taking place.

Start with one or two companies that you are familiar with. When you see how these businesses do in the market, you can slowly add one or two more. Make sure you do research on the company before investing. If the company seems to have people who want to pull their money out of it, then you don’t want to get involved.

Start a portfolio so that you know how much money you have spent and how many accounts you have. This can be a benefit later on if you get out of investing and want to start back if you need the money.

How Much To Invest

Deciding on how much to invest is a personal choice. You have to know how much you can afford to invest at first, and then as ongoing additional purchases. Some investments will have a minimum amount that you need to put up, and there are some that will let you invest as little as possible so that you don’t risk losing a lot of money if the stock goes down.

Once you have enough money in your account, then you can sell your stocks. This will be the money that you have to start your business. Keep some money aside if you plan on buying more stock at a later date to upgrade the business or to expand. People like Sukanto Tanoto invest money in businesses while seeing remarkable results because they take the time to do research.

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