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AT&T Reports $6.7 billion loss for Q4 2011

AT&T posted a disappointing $6.7 billion loss for last quarter, most of which was due to a large fee for the failed T-Mobile merger, which cost the company $4 billion. The major underlying concern, however, is the lower profit margin on smartphone sales, which exceeded 25 million units last year. While riding the wave of smartphone sales will be a profitable move in the long run, the AT&T needs to boost its margin on them to have any hope of capturing the number one wireless provider spot, currently held by Verizon Wireless.

As competition becomes fiercer and smaller carriers like Sprint redouble their efforts to take a piece of the smartphone pie, savvy financial advisors are critical to developing strong policies and goals to take AT&T to the lead. An online degree in finance can provide you with the skills and knowledge to advise small business and major companies alike.

AT&T really needs to look into providing value-added services to its members, above and beyond the status quo for wireless services. As it stands, there isn't a whole lot to distinguish the two major carriers from another, and a wise financial plan would include new innovations to bring in new customers who are looking for more from their wireless provider.

While capturing new subscribers comes at a high initial cost, AT&T needs to focus on winning over new smartphone customers to help attain that coveted number one position. At the same time, it needs to work on improving margins on smartphone sales to help with its goal of buying more wireless spectrum to provide greater access to data coverage.

AT&T is already doing well on obtaining new subscribers, adding 717,000 subscribers for the fourth quarter, a big improvement over the estimated 570,000 analysts predicted, but these subscribers appear to be doing little to boost profits for the company.

As a trained financial advisor with an online degree in finance, you could be poised to suggest breakthrough service offerings to help boost retailers' flagging profit margins. Smartphones are the future of wireless, so emphasizing services to boost sales of these devices can help improve AT&T's financial outlook far into the future, eventually boosting it to the top of American wireless sales.

Who's your wireless provider and why are you with them? What can they do to keep you as a happy customer?

Credit Card Companies & Your Expired Debt…

If you are a bank looking for easy revenue, here is a brilliant business idea for you: offer to give credit cards to people with expired debts, so long as they agree to begin repaying the debts. Debt collector CompuCredit cashed in on about $15 million by doing just that last year, and other collection agencies were not slow to join in.

However, if you are an individual with expired debts, accepting one of these credit cards can turn out to be a very costly mistake. Each state has a statute of limitations that dictates how long a person is obligated to repay a debt. Once it has expired, it does not have to be paid unless a new agreement is made. Signing up for one of these credit cards can restart the clock, so to speak, requiring some or all of the expired debt to be repaid. For some, the cost of building credit may not be worth it.

This is just one of the ways that credit card companies and debt collectors try to wring more money out of people, and it takes a savvy mind to avoid all of the pitfalls that are laid out for us in today's intimidating financial market. An online degree in finance can help educate you on some of the common traps the average individual can fall into when it comes to credit these days.

It seems hard to imagine that companies can stoop to such incredible depths in order to make a little money, but since that is what they are in the business to do, some companies are all too happy to shun moral standards and do what it takes to increase profits. That is a large part of why our economy is the way it is today.

Being financially savvy however, is not the only reason to pursue an online degree in finance. There are so many rewarding careers in finance that can be attained by completing higher education. Financial planners, analysts and other financial guidance providers work one on one with individuals to help them achieve financial success, earning money while helping others. Now that would be a career to be proud of.

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