Best way to Investment Property Overseas


There is a lot of nerviness in the property market in Australia at the minute. Every newspaper or TV news broadcast seems to reference how the Sydney property market is reaching bubble proportions and that APRA need to continue putting obstacles in place so lenders don’t experience a mortgage debacle like what hit the USA in 2008, which we refer to as the Great Financial Crisis or GFC. Just last week APRA announced that lenders we to limit their interest only loans to 30% of their overall book. This comes in the wake of their book being limited to 10% growth per month of investment loans versus owner occupied loans.

With all the nervousness, what was interesting is how the government is thinking of allowing Superannuation to assist first home buyers with their deposit. Is this really going to help or is this a trap where young savers may lose their hard earned retirement funds if or when this bubble does burst. Since we can assume this will be for owner occupied purchases and we are looking at the long term, little pain should be felt and the upside would most likely be greater than the downside of being shut out of the housing market altogether. What is interesting is that APRA is putting roadblocks on the banks making investment lending more difficult while assisting first home buyers to get into the property market as soon as possible. I commend them for their diligence in wanting to help the first home buyer. I hope this turns out to be a winner.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not writing this to promote Aussie properties for first homebuyers but to point out that there is an issue with leverage in the Australian property market and it’s making its way into the Superannuation space for first home buyers. We’ve had financing in Super for about a decade now so this isn’t new. What’s new is that we are constantly looking towards Super as the silver bullet.

Tandem Uehling Financing is happy to assist with anyone’s mortgage and financing needs but I think the real winner here is the US property market. What shines there is the disconnect with Australia where the US can command rental income of over 10% and not have to pay more than a couple of hundred thousand for a great property in a great neighborhood that attracts growth as well. At prices like this from a property market that was rebooted in 2008, and the ability to command yields superior to Australia, why include the painstaking task to try to leverage?

What interested me about this philosophy of tapping into Super is that it plays into my belief that heavy leverage can hurt someone’s Investment Property in US exponentially to the downside as much as assist to the upside. This is why we prefer to build our US property portfolios, and Fund, without leverage. Since we are striving for maximum cash flow, the less we take away from our monthly income generation the more we keep for ourselves. This is the basis to why we believe in cash purchasing. Even though Australians are able to borrow in their Super to purchase property, we believe there is greater peace of mind knowing we won’t have interest rate sensitive obstacles affecting our investment style.

If growth was our primary objective then leverage can be valuable. Since income is our primary objective and we want to tame risk so Superannuation funds can feel comfortable investing with us, we limit leverage. We may add a small amount of leverage one of these days. Enough to help with growth but not enough to affect our investment decisions. Until then, let’s be happy that we can earn 10% cash flow with a growing asset pool.

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Business Invoices Forms Printing


The use of carbonless forms is associated with the retail industry but finds use in hospital and emergency services paperwork where copies of handwritten or typed orders are required instantly.

Several traditional industries use carbonless forms in order to expedite orders. A prime example is the service related companies that relies on multiple copies of dispatch orders or labels to be available to several groups.

If your company uses business invoices and forms, it is important to understand the benefits of these forms and how they can reduce turnaround time by preventing delays due to lost or misdirected paperwork. Carbonless business invoices forms also offer a significant reduction in cost as compared to paper forms or even owning a photocopier. Digital copies are reliable, but are prone to data theft and inadvertent deletion. While marketing and communication collateral such as  business brochures and business card printing are important, the forms and invoices that form part of a company’s daily functions need to be available from printing services Calgary at affordable prices.

At Calgary Economy Printers we offer you a range of affordable printing and copying services including the printing of business print collateral, copying and faxing. Our range of functional carbonless forms and invoices ensure that your business never needs to worry about spending thousands of dollars on photocopying, printing or the purchase of expensive print paper.  Calgary Economy Printers offers printing and copying services in Calgary where you can submit the form design of your choice and have carbonless forms printed in small or bulk quantities as your business demands.

Our carbonless forms are available as 2-copy, 3-copy, and 4-copy forms in a single color or in a two-color option. Choose from a range of ink colors, form colors and your own customized layout. These forms can be customized to any size of your choice with front-only or two-sided printing as well as convenient options such as sequential numbering, glued edges and customized padding. You can choose to customize your forms and view any special deals offered by Calgary Economy Printers.

Carbonless forms and invoices are the smart choice to keep your print costs at a minimum and to ensure that your business and brand identity is communicated on every form used as part of your everyday function. Choose Calgary Economy printers for the added bonus of having these forms printed quickly and at affordable prices.

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3 Reasons To Hire A Professional Landscape Designer Before Any Landscaping Project


Hiring A Professional Landscape Designer Will Save You Time & Money!

I’ve been doing Calgary landscaping projects for many years now and the most frequent statement I hear from homeowners is that landscape designs don’t really matter because if the construction contractor knows what he’s doing – “it’s all good”.

Another reason I often hear is the construction contractor will design and build for me.

And the most popular reason goes to: “Sorry, It’s too expensive” – which basically means that you don’t think of it as a valuable investment.

While these are all respectable points, my gut response is always: “Good luck”.

Here are 3 Reasons Why Hiring a Professional Landscape Designer Will Be of Great Benefit To You

1. Only a Professional Landscape Designer, is a True Landscape Designer

It’s easy to just put a bunch of lines on paper and call it a design drawing – what most self-proclaimed designers think. But without any formal training in the details of landscape design, we, in the trades industry, call it: ‘chicken-scratches’.

I can go on and on but I think you get the point. You can’t have someone who learned a CAD design software just draw something random on paper and call it a ‘landscape design’ because, in the end, only a landscape designer can be the landscape designer.

Has this self-proclaimed designer taken a proper site analysis? i.e. Shoot grades

No, not just looked and guessed “oh, you’ll need a two feet wall” – I mean actually taken elevation shots to see how the existing land is shaped?Have they really listened to your personal needs and come up with a solution that not only is aesthetically pleasing but fully functional?Have they dissected the details of how different elements work within a yard – i.e. the Dominant element in conjunction with sub-dominant and subordinate elements?

What about properly defining transition spaces and destination spaces? How about a conceptual framework for the overall project?

2. A Good Professional Landscape Designer HAS Formal Education and Experience

In the last 10 years in being in the landscape design and landscape construction field – from a university master’s degree in landscape architecture to working as a landscape labourer, to working in an architectural firm, to working for landscaping companies – I’ve seen it all and there is a BIG difference!

How do design educators think? How do landscape architects think?  How do landscape contractors think? and How do landscape designers think?

Calgary Landscaping

I’ve also learned very quickly when specifically working with landscaping trades for about 6 years now, what quality workmanship is and what a ‘corner-cut project is.

I’ve seen my design vision for space come to reality and it’s the most gratifying feeling ever.

I’ve also seen my design vision for space turn into a nightmare, and that is not as pleasing to see. By hiring a professional landscape designer you will partner with someone who has the education, and the experience to back that education, so to help you avoid making mistakes they’ve encountered in the past.

You also want the landscape construction contractor to have a reliable track record – not Joe Blow (poor Joe – he’s always being singled out) contractor who started his landscaping companies with a truck and a lawnmower because he needs his weekend beer money.

3. Hiring A Professional Landscape Designer Comes With a Price

I get it. When you think that a designer just draws a pretty picture (if they actually do) and to have to pay them $800, $1000, or even up to $3000 for it – On the surface seems a bit ridiculous when you don’t understand the details that (should) go into it – Everything from site analysis to form and function – a typical home-owner (not all) often question it.

The thing to understand is nothing in this world is free. Remember that. And if you’re planning to spend money this summer on landscaping your yard, you have to ask yourself: whether I’m going to spend $5000 or $150,000 on my yard, Should I have on paper what I’m going to be paying for?

Because the last thing you want is a miscommunication with the contractor regarding your agreement – so not only will it tell you what you’ll be getting but also acts as a contract between you and your landscaping contractor. Note: Often times landscapers will even waive the cost of the drawing if you decide to use their services.

Take a look at some of our landscape design portfolio and you will clearly see the professional difference that sets us apart from the rest.

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Why Water Jet Cutters?


Water jet cutters offer a very effective and versatile method for accurately and consistently cutting a range of materials. They are powerful enough to be able to cut through Metal Stamping. They are flexible and precise enough to be able to cut complex shapes. Also, they offer an additional benefit with the capacity to cut three-dimensional shapes.

This method is suitable for cutting through thin materials or thick materials. It is good for cutting through materials that are covered in rust. It does not use heat for cutting so the level of thermal deformation is negligible and it does not produce any potentially harmful fumes during its use.

How this technology works

It is a surprisingly simple concept that has been developed to a sophisticated and highly effective level through the application of advanced engineering concepts and technology. This is a process that has been through a process of rapid development and continues to become more effective as new technology is developed. The cutting effect is achieved through water containing an abrasive material, often small pieces of garnet crystal, being fired out from a very narrow nozzle at incredibly high velocity. This high-powered jet is able to cut through materials with a high degree of accuracy and precision. As a result, it has the versatility to be used across a wide range of industrial applications.

With the development of more advanced design and manufacturing systems, the ability to utilise this method for complex and project specific designs has increased. Computer-aided design is able to be used to easily create templates which are then used by automated cutting machines. The type of computer systems that are now able to process three-dimensional graphics has broadened making it possible for companies involved in a wide range of areas using industrial design and manufacturing to take advantage of this.

The technique is very effective for cutting steel, stone, ceramics, aluminium, glass, wood, plastics, and laminates. Because of the capacity of the process to be automated, it is able to complete cutting tasks consistently, as well as for cutting large numbers of items using an electronic template. This has led to water jet cutters being used across a wide range of work environments, from the shaping of domestic materials such as granite bench tops and glass splash-backs in kitchens, through to larger scale industrial and mass production manufacturing settings.

This technology has been further developed with the greater flexibility provided through more advanced movement of the cutting jet. It is an environmentally friendly method. The finished edges are smooth and rounded. It does not produce burrs of Metal Stamping. It may not be the fastest method of cutting, but it is able to cut thicker materials than most other methods.

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Teeth Whitening Melbourne

WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR TEETH WHITENING KIT


Are your discoloured teeth eclipsing your beautiful smile? Have you noticed lately that your teeth are stained due to prolonged usage of caffeinated beverages, alcohol, and smoking? Sunshine Dental Group in Melbourne offers Teeth Whitening Melbourne services to restore the shine and dazzle back to your smile.

Consult with your dentist. Your dentist can provide a thorough assessment and determine the best course of treatment for you. Your dentist will take into consideration several factors like the causes of discolouring or staining or your teeth, your overall lifestyle, examination of your gums and teeth to determine their healthiness. From there, they will determine if teeth whitening is the most ideal solution for you.

Teeth Whitening Melbourne

Teeth Whitening Melbourne

Ideally, your teeth whitening treatment will commence in a dental clinic. However, with an increasing number of people preferring teeth whitening treatment in the comfort of their homes, your dentist can offer home teeth whitening kits customised for you. This kit offers you the flexibility of doing your whitening treatment at your preferred time. These home teeth whitening kits are a great option for people wanting to whiten their teeth in the comfort of their homes at their own leisure time.

Your dentist will take moulds of our teeth and create custom fitted trays for you. Along with your customised teeth mould trays, you will be given a whitening gel as well. Your dentist would thoroughly explain the working of these trays to you and resolve all the doubts you have. The home teeth whitening kits are fairly simple to use. All you need to do is fill this teeth mould tray with the whitening gel each evening and wear this tray for about 30-45 minutes depending on the intensity of your treatment. The duration of this treatment is usually for 2 weeks; however, it can vary a bit depending on the intensity of the treatment.

A lot of over the counter teeth whitening springvale options are available these days at the pharmacy such as whitening toothpastes, teeth trays and gels. Toothpastes can help eliminate the stains, but they are not as effective as the teeth whitening gels. Over the counter whitening gels might contain harmful chemicals like hydrogen peroxide that might cause harm to the teeth and gums. Over the counter teeth trays are not custom made but are one size fits all, they might result in patchy colouring of your teeth if it does not fit perfectly. Very often the home teeth whitening kits purchased online do not publish their ingredients. Using such kits can be harmful to your teeth.

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armored vehicle costa rica

A Brief Insight into the Detailed Process of How a Car is Armored


Armored Vehicle Ratings – What do armor ratings mean?

Are you considering utilizing an armored vehicle? Perhaps you are heading to an area of increased risk and want to understand more about Armored Vehicle Hire, or are considering armored vehicle Costa Rica.

There are two main primary standards used to rate armor – The NIJ and the EN standard.

The NIJ (the U.S body) is considered the world leader for ballistic testing for armor, they perform a full range of tests and provide details of the results in their armor standards. These show the range of protection offered by the different pieces of armor tested, from low powered hand guns, up to armor piercing rifle rounds. They provide 8 classifications of protection known as threat levels which are Class I, IIA, II, IIIA, III, IV, V & VI.

armored vehicle costa rica

In other regions, predominantly Europe they are typically rated as levels B1-B7 using the Standard EN1063 scale. Both scales are similar in how they rate protection. Armor is typically tested at ranges from 5 meters to 15 meters, depending upon the class/rating and weapon. The class most likely to be found utilized and available on LATAM armored vehicle Costa Rica for rent is Class NIJ IIIA/ and EN standard B4. This will defeat .44 Magnum rounds, 9mm, 12 gauge shotguns and lesser threats.

Higher rated armor is available though always at a premium and is often dedicated to those at an increased level of risk. Class NIJ III/B5 is capable of defeating 7.62 rounds from a Kalishnikov rifle at 5 meters. The ratings then go up to counter significant caliber threats. At the B6/NIJ IV level and above the armor is designed to stop multiple 7.62 up to 30.06 AP (Armor Piercing) and Penetrator rounds and are also resistant to explosions.

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pool cleaning Santa Rosa

Finding The Best Pool Cleaning Agency


The summer is back with its scorching heat and it’s time to take a dip in your pool.

Sitting by the poolside with Santa Rosa’s exclusive wines is an experience unparalleled. The warm yet dry weather urging you to splash right into the pool.

Having a pool in the backyard definitely calls for some cleaning efforts. Raking out the leaves is an easy task, but when it comes to scrubbing the tiles and maintaining pH level, it’s best to have a bit of expert advice.

Sit back, relax, sip on your Long Island iced tea and let the professionals handle the pool.

Here are the top tips we have gathered for finding the best pool cleaning agency near you.

Top Tips to Find The Best Pool Cleaning Agency in Santa Rosa

While the good ol’ recommendations of friends goes a long way, there are several questions you must ask yourself while selecting a pool cleaning Santa Rosa agency. These tips will help you find the best of the lot.

  1. Recommendations:

There are definitely people in your neighborhood who also have a swimming pool. If you’re looking for a new agency for the maintenance of your pool, don’t hesitate to pay your neighbors a visit. Their advice might save you a lot of valuable time and headache.

If you find yourself unlucky in that aspect, ask the owner of the agency to provide you references who’ve used the service. Calling a few people and gathering details on punctuality and professionalism manifested by the employees can go a long way. If the references have been using the service for quite a while, then rest assured they’re good to go.

  1. Background check

If you’re looking for a pool cleaning agency near you in the local directory, doing a simple background check is essential. A few clicks on the internet can tell you a lot about their services in Santa Rosa, previous customer reviews and average ratings.

  1. Proper Business License

A legitimate agency should have a proper business license. You would be flabbergasted by the number of agencies that masquerade as a real business without any proper credentials.

Make sure you don’t have to pay for the repair of any accidental damage caused to your pool or backyard by the agency employees. It is your house and you should not be accountable for the mistakes of others. Double check on the insurance they provide, it is very crucial.

pool cleaning Santa Rosa

  1. Experience Matters

Nowadays it has become very easy to purchase some pool cleaning supplies, obtain a business license and call yourself a pool cleaning agency. The number of unqualified people who pass themselves off as pool cleaning service providers is shocking to say the least.

If the agency lacks experience, it is as good as useless. It would be rather wise to spend the extra few bucks and choose the established and reputed agency over the one with a questionable amount of experience in pool cleaning.

Pool cleaning is more than skimming debris off the surface of a pool. A good agency should have quality grade equipment and excellent customer service. A well-established business has a permanent office and uniformed employees.

  1. Get Quotations

Getting a price estimate for your requirements is essential. You can always get a free price estimate for your pool cleaning service by calling them up. A representative will come to your house to survey the filtration system, size of the pool, etc and provide you with a detailed estimate.

Gathering a few different estimates is a preferable practice as it allows you to choose the best option. Remember to find what all is included in the service and if any indispensable service is going to cost you extra.

  1. Offer service packages

Just like your local salons and hairdressers, the best pool cleaning agencies in Santa Rosa also offer service packages at an attractive price point. Before you get too carried away by the shining discounts, ensure that you’re not skipping on any vital service or repairs.

Whenever overlooked, these small details come back around as a hefty bill for your wallet. Owning a pool must be a fun and relaxing experience, not a worrisome one. Being vigilant is all it takes to circumvent these problems.

  1. Offer repairs and other services.

Pool cleaning and basic maintenance are weekly tasks. Regularly scheduled maintenance are sufficient for basic hygiene. Nevertheless, there might be other problems which might occur once every blue moon.

From tasks such as finding a latent leak or repairing the pumps, motors and water heater to ensuring pH level maintenance and salt system repairs, an ideal pool cleaning agency should be able to readily and efficiently solve these problems.

  1. Expectation Setting

Asking the right questions will help you choose an agency which is better suitable according to your needs.

It’s important to be on the same page when it comes to expectation setting. The pool cleaning company that you hire should understand your requirements. There’s a big difference between a complete pools cleaning versus just rectifying the chemical levels. You would also prefer the company to conduct a follow-up a few days later, just to ensure everything is fine.

  1. Call for emergencies

It is always going to be beneficial if your agency tends to emergency calls. “Hosting a pool party tomorrow but the filtration system has gone haywire? No problem! It’ll be up and running in a couple of hours” is what you’d like to hear from the other side. Knowing that the company will deliver even on short notice is definitely desirable.

Conclusion

Kids and adults alike, everybody loves swimming pools. Being affiliated with a top agency saves you from all the cumbersome headache and technicalities related to maintaining a pool. The best pool cleaning services in Santa Rosa, including us, understand your needs and leave no room for any compromise in any area.

May it be simply scrubbing the tiles of the pool or a complete system check, we provide an all-round solution so you can spend quality time with your loved ones without worrying!

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WHAT CROSSFIT IS . . . AND ISN’T


What CrossFit is, and what people often perceive it to be, can be quite different.  This often leads to frustration when new clients join a CrossFit Pittsburgh Affiliate with specific goals in mind that don’t line up with what CrossFit is designed to achieve.  One area where we see this a lot is with fat loss.

WHAT CROSSFIT IS . . . 

CrossFit is a fitness program that will help you get into the best shape of your life.  It is constantly varied.  That means you should never be doing the same thing every day. The movements that make up CrossFit Pittsburgh workouts are functional.  Generally speaking, the movements will train you to be better at life, sport, military, etc.  Finally, CrossFit is performed at high intensity meaning you are putting your max effort into a workout in order to produce fitness related results.

Regardless of where you are starting, CrossFit will increase your work capacity. That means you will be able to accomplish more work without having to rest. You will be able to accomplish more work at various amounts of time doing an infinite number of different tasks. You will get stronger, you will get faster, you will become more coordinated and have better balance.

WHAT CROSSFIT ISN’T . . . 

Notice that the description of CrossFit does not include anything about losing weight or fat loss. CrossFit increases your ability to use your body in a functional manner. Nowhere does it say CrossFit will increase your work capacity while you lose weight. CrossFit’s definition does not state that you will perform constantly varied function fitness at high intensity while also shedding those extra pounds.

Yes, weight loss is often a by-product of doing CrossFit. However, CrossFit is not a weight loss program. In fact, some people gain weight through CrossFit because they add muscle to their body.

CrossFit Pittsburgh

CrossFit isn’t a dietary program. Zone, Paleo, Weight Watchers, Does It Fit within Your Macros are all dietary programs.  CrossFit talks about eating properly in its “Fitness in 100 Words,”

“EAT MEAT AND VEGETABLES, NUTS AND SEEDS, SOME FRUIT, LITTLE STARCH AND NO SUGAR. KEEP INTAKE TO LEVELS THAT WILL SUPPORT EXERCISE BUT NOT BODY FAT.”

However, this is not part of the definition of CrossFit.  This is part of what CrossFit believes is necessary to be FIT.

This is often the disconnect we see with people new to CrossFit. They join a CrossFit Affiliate with the belief that they will suddenly drop weight, lose belly fat, and get ripped just by showing up to do workouts 3-5 times per week without changing their diet. Unfortunately, you cannot overcome a bad diet simply by doing CrossFit. Three months in, new individuals see an increase in work capacity (what CrossFit is designed to do), but don’t see a loss in body fat (because they never changed their diet). They think CrossFit isn’t working, so they quit.

We believe it is the responsibility of the CrossFit Affiliate to provide nutrition education along with CrossFit. At Industrial Athletics, we talk about diet, we’ve held seminars about diet, we put videos out through The Stronger Revolution on how to control your diet, and we offer dietary counseling through the Coach’s Corner.

However, at the end of the day, it is your responsibility to change what you eat.  Everyone knows that cookies, soda, pasta, alcohol, and other processed foods are not good for you. Everyone knows that you should eat fruits and veggies as often as possible. If you choose to do CrossFit without changing your diet, if you choose to remain uneducated on what you should and shouldn’t eat, if you don’t talk to your CrossFit Affiliate owner about your diet, then you should not expect to reach a fat loss goal simply because you started working out.  It may not happen.

Your CrossFit Affiliate will control what you do to increase your fitness level and be able to do more work for a longer period of time. Your CrossFit Affiliate cannot control how you fuel your body once you leave the gym. That’s on you!

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How to Obtain AN AUS Driving Licence


Awards Driving School is one of the best known driving schools in the Queensland area, and has a well-deserved reputation for employing only the best driving instructors in Queensland.

You might think that we would say that, but we have the proof to back it up. The national average driving test first time pass rate is 41%. At Awards, our Queensland driving instructors achieve a first time pass rate for their pupils of 61%. That’s why our slogan is “pass fast, pass safe”. If you want to pass your test the first time (and you do, don’t you?) you have a far better chance with our driving instructors in Queensland than with any other driving school.

It doesn’t matter how young or old you are. If you’ve never stepped behind the wheel of a car before, our Queensland driving instructors will ensure that you feel comfortable from the moment that you begin.

online driving lessons Queensland

The Provisional Licence

There are three main steps towards getting a full AUS driving licence. To begin with, you need a provisional licence, before you can learn to drive on the roads. Obtaining a provisional licence is a simple matter of completing Form D1 on the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) website. You can also get this form from a Post Office.

You’ll need to supply a couple of passport photographs, together with proof of identity such as a passport, proof of address, and your National Insurance number. You have to pay a fee of $50.00. You should receive your provisional licence within a week, and then you can begin your online driving lessons Queensland with our driving instructors in Queensland.

Pass Certificate

In order to obtain your Pass Certificate, you will need to pass both the theory and practical driving tests. As you have already seen, with our driving instructors in Queensland, your chances of a first time pass are way higher than the national average. Your Pass Certificate acts as a temporary driving licence and is only valid for two years.

The Full Licence

At the end of the two year period, you can apply for your Full Licence. You have to complete another Form D1, supply two passport photographs, proof of identity, proof of address, and your National Insurance number. You will then be issued with your Full Licence which is very like a credit card, and has your photograph on it. You can use this as proof of identity when it is required for other purposes.

One thing to note is that, if you do not apply for your Full Licence at the end of the two year validity of the Pass Certificate, you will have to undertake both the theory test and the practical test again.

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How Kidnap And Ransom Can Be Successfully Resolved


Our Executive Is Missing: Kidnap and Ransom Basics for Security Professionals

The first of a three-part series to help protective professionals understand how K&R can be successfully resolved.

Preparing for the worse is part of every security professional’s repertoire especially when it comes to planning for failure. This three-part series is designed to enhance understanding of how kidnap and ransom negotiations work and your role in the event the unthinkable happens. Cyber Security leaders with a significant global high-risk footprint know that a kidnapping may not be a question of “if” but a question of “when”. It may happen when you are not directly responsible for covering your employee or their family and therefore least able to prevent it – when they are alone and most vulnerable. Learning what to expect in those first hours of an abduction will help you avoid becoming a bystander when your leadership is most needed.

Kidnap 101:

Kidnapping is a significant weapon of influence and source of funding for criminals and terrorists from South America to Southeast Asia to Africa. Kidnapping is the unlawful seizure and detention of a person usually for a ransom. That latter part of the definition, “usually for a ransom”, is the beacon of light the skilled negotiator homes in on and exploits to accomplish the mission – the safe release of the victim.

Cyber Security

The international kidnap phenomenon is a “good news, bad news” scenario. The bad news – Kidnapping is a burgeoning crime flourishing in countries where police and prosecutors are unable or unwilling to address it. Consequently, the kidnapper perceives his plans as low risk, high gain. The good news – The captor’s motivation in most kidnappings, is money. The kidnapper’s purpose is monetary rather than bringing harm to the hostage. Therefore, hostages retain their value when they remain alive. This critical dynamic provides the negotiator with the leverage and influence needed to liberate the hostage.

Although money remains far and away the most common kidnap motivation, political demands including publicity, release of prisoners and welfare items have also been used as ransom criteria. Nigerian groups have taken hostages to force oil companies to provide economic assistance to local villagers. Journalist Danny Pearl was taken to pressure the Pakistan government not to support the U.S. In all cases, the kidnapper’s goal is to force a third party to do something; usually to pay money. Holding the hostage and threatening harm empowers the kidnapper. Nevertheless, victim companies and families have control and influence since they control what the kidnapper wants – money. The overriding theme a negotiator messages is; “If you harm the hostage you won’t get what you want.”

The Early Hours:

The initial stages of a kidnap are marked by both limited and conflicting information. You will normally have more questions than answers when your employee’s whereabouts are unknown. You may be nowhere near your protectee nor responsible for their welfare when you get a call indicating they or their family member are missing. Therefore, your priority must be to confirm that a kidnapping truly occurred.  Event Security professionals who maintain viable tracking and locator technology enjoy a significant advantage here. Immediately engage a pre-selected K&R professional, who you or your company have already vetted. These professionals often come out of federal law enforcement or specialized firms and are extensively trained in crisis negotiations. Your consultant should be able to demonstrate dozens of successful resolutions to ransom, extortion and barricaded subject scenarios. Next, prepare for the worse-case scenario by planning for the abductor’s initial call.  Next, assist the consultant, your company and the employee’s family to decide who should take the initial ransom call.

The Communicator:

As a protective professional you should have a crisis management plan that includes a K&R response protocol. Part of that protocol should be an understanding that if a kidnap occurs, a K&R consultant will want to select a communicator to engage with the captor. The role of the communicator is that of a mouthpiece for the victim family or company and to act as a conduit to the kidnapper. The communicator has limited authority and must project subordination to the final decision makers when conversing with the captors. Adherence to company or family objectives and gathering accurate information are important aspects of the communicator’s duties.

When helping to select a communicator remember that the person must be: Willing to accept coaching; Loyal to your client’s company and its policies; Emotionally stable; and, an excellent listener. The communicator is not a debater but more of an influencer and persuader who conveys honesty and resolve while trying to avoid confrontation.

The ability of the communicator to maintain a low key, calm and patient business-like demeanor is imperative. One of the communicator’s key tasks is to establish a window of contact with the kidnapper. The communicator can exert a degree of control and minimize the necessity of being continuously available by arranging a specific time frame for contacts with the captors. If the captor attempts to make contact outside of the arranged time, the communicator must not acknowledge the contact thereby using a classical conditioning approach to influence the captor to abide by the agreement.

Prior to a scheduled contact the communicator will prepare and rehearse under the supervision of a trained K&R negotiator. Objectives are set out for each contact. The communicator must be prepared to play both defense and offense. The communicator will be coached on how to respond (defense) to anticipated topics the captor may broach. At the same time, the communicator will be armed with three or four key points (offense) to work into the conversation. The conversation will be scripted with key words and phrases prominently posted on situation boards in the negotiation operations center (NOC). You can facilitate this operation by acquiring and securing a NOC that is quiet and convenient for all.

Once a decision is made as to where and to whom the initial call will be directed the key messages must be readied. Your K&R professional will help draft a message for the company or family that is designed to convey three things to the captor: 1) A willingness to communicate; 2) The need for proof of possession/proof of life; and 3) A requirement for a reasonable delay. You should prepare the communicator for what’s coming – A high financial demand, a deadline, threats, and a warning to not involve law enforcement.

Up next: The second article in this series will address interaction with law enforcement, families, and the media.

Contact Us to speak with our Subject Matter Expert Kidnap and Ransom Consultancy Team

The original article was first published by Security Magazine

About the authors

Steve Romano and Frank Figliuzzi help lead ETS Risk Management, Inc. They consult with global clients on Crisis Negotiations, Kidnap, and Workplace Violence. Steve was the FBI’s Chief Hostage Negotiator and a Vice President of Control Risks. Frank was the FBI’s Assistant Director for Counterintelligence and a Fortune 100 corporate security executive. Frank also works as a National Security Contributor for NBC News.

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