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Do you plan to buy a home in the next 12 months?


Keeping up with what’s happening in the real estate market can be confusing and also a bit of a chore. The interest rates go down, the interest rates go up, or they look like they’re going up or going down. And meanwhile, your cash flow can sometimes be just as unpredictable.

Renters and homeowners each have their own sense of pluses and minuses, but for those who don’t own, it’s not easy to make such an important decision as whether or not to buy a house.

Sure, it’s one of the most personal choices you can make in your life, and much of that decision is based on finances, another very personal issue.

So Xoom, a global leader in the money transfer business, conducted a survey of its customers recently and asked this very important question: Do you plan to buy a home in the next 12 months?

The results of the survey showed an overwhelming majority, 67 percent, answered no. Some 18 percent of the respondents in the survey said maybe they would buy a house while almost as many, 15 percent of those who answered the survey, said yes, they intended to buy a house in the next 12 months.


Argentina and Germany Collide Again


History repeats itself again in the World Cup when Argentina and Germany collide in the World Cup Final for a third time. For Argentina, the journey to their fifth World Cup final was a long and difficult one, requiring a nerve-wracking semifinal victory over a stubborn Netherlands team, winning on penalty kicks, 4-2, on a drizzly evening in Sao Paulo.

Maxi Rodriguez, Argentina’s third and final substitute, provided the winning penalty kick against the Netherlands to set up yet another showdown with Germany.

Argentina is back in the World Cup final for the first time since 1990, when it lost to Germany on penalty kicks. In the only other World Cup final meeting against Germany, Argentina won, 3-2, in Mexico City in 1986, led by Diego Maradona.

Argentina, which has not lost in five World Cup semifinals, is 2-2 in World Cup finals. Argentina won its other World Cup in 1978, defeating the Netherlands, 3-1, in Buenos Aires.

The final against Germany figures to be dominated by two of the top scorers in the game, Lionel Messi of Argentina and Germany’s Thomas Muller.

And you can score too with Xoom, the easiest way to send money to Argentina.


Which Filipino languages do you speak?


Watch your language. Which one? Someone added them up and found that there are more than 6,500 spoken languages in the world. That, of course, is a whole lot of words. But did you know that there are more than 170 spoken languages in the Philippines?

One of the most culturally rich nations in the world, the Philippines is diverse in both ethnicity and language.

That prompted Xoom to dig deeper. Xoom, a global leader in the money transfer business, conducted a survey of its Fil-Am customers recently and asked them about language. Xoom asked this question: What Filipino languages do you speak?

The vast majority, 69 percent, said Filipino/Tagalog. Cebuano, spoken by about 20 million Filipinos, was identified by 19 percent of the respondents in the survey. Some 10 percent of those surveyed about what Filipino languages they speak answered Ilokano, the main language of the Northern Philippines and spoken by about eight million. Ilonggo, which is spoken in several provinces, and Kapampangan, spoken by about 2.8 million, showed up in the survey with eight percent of those who responded.

About 15 percent in the survey said they spoke other Filipino languages while 20 percent said they spoke no others.


Argentina-Dutch Semi-Final Preview


The machine that is Lionel Messi faces its biggest challenge so far in the World Cup as Argentina tackles the dangerous Netherlands in a semifinal that will surely have far-reaching effects.

Messi, who is tied for the goal-scoring lead among players still playing in this high-scoring World Cup, will run straight into yet another great offensive player, the Dutch superstar Arjen Robben.  Robben has scored three times. Messi has four goals, the same as Thomas Muller of Germany, another semifinalist. James Rodriguez of Colombia is the World Cup’s leading goal-scorer with six, but Colombia lost in the quarterfinals. Neymar of Brazil has five goals, but he is out of the World Cup because of a fractured vertebra.

Meanwhile, Argentina has its own injury problems. Angel Di Maria, who is an offensive complement to Messi, has been ruled out of the Netherlands game after he injured his hamstring in a 1-0 quarterfinal victory over Belgium. Gonzalo Higuain scored the only goal, so he may be asked to take some of the offensive pressure off of Messi, who needs some open space to work his magic.

Create your own magic with Xoom, the easiest way to send money to Argentina.


Colombia-Brazil Superstar Showdown


For Colombia and Brazil, the World Cup games get bigger, the stakes get higher, the pressure rises and two superstars are simply taking off like rockets. Colombia goes up against host Brazil in a World Cup quarterfinal showdown that matches two of the most electrifying players in the global competition – James Rodriguez of Colombia and Neymar of Brazil.

Rodriguez has been a revelation and he has scored in all four of Colombia’s matches. The 22-year-old, who has put Colombia’s in its second quarterfinal since 1990, has a World Cup-leading five goals and Colombia has outscored its opponents by an overwhelming margin of 11-2.

Rodriguez has scored or assisted on seven of the goals and he is easily the new, breakout star of the World Cup.

Neymar is also just 22 and he has scored four goals while carrying the heavy burden of responsibility as the face of Brazil as the World Cup host country. Brazil is looking for its sixth World Cup title and Neymar is generally acknowledged as the one who must make it happen.

But Colombia stands in the way. And you can score too with Xoom, the easiest way to send money to Colombia.


Argentina’s World Cup Dream Alive


Argentina’s World Cup dream is alive and well. Argentina and Belgium, who both worked late for their victories in the Knockout Round, have a date to meet in the World Cup quarterfinals.

Better late than never, Argentina scored the second-latest goal in World Cup history to knock out stubborn Switzerland and move on to face Belgium in the quarterfinals. Belgium scored twice in extra time to defeat the U.S., 2-1.

Argentina was a heavy favorite against Switzerland, so the only real surprise was that Lionel Messi didn’t score the winning goal.

Angel Di Maria scored in the 118th minute and Argentina took a 1-0 victory in Sao Paulo in the Round of 16, ending a match that seemed destined to end with penalty kicks. But after a Swiss turnover, Messi outmaneuvered the defense, saw Di Maria on the right side and sent him a pass that Di Maria planted in the left corner of the net.

Messi attracted Swiss defenders all day, on many occasions three at once. And although Messi did not score for the first time in four World Cup matches, he was responsible for the winning goal.

Argentina has now won each of its four World Cup matches by a total by a one-goal margin. Messi has scored four of Argentina’s seven goals.

You can join in and keep Argentina with Xoom, the easiest way to send money to Argentina.


Where is your next vacation destination?


Talking about a vacation is one of life’s great pleasures. The planning, the anticipation, the expectations, the excitement, that’s all so much fun it should probably be included as part of the trip.

If nothing else, taking time off and enjoying a vacation experience is a great opportunity to sharpen up your picture-taking skills. But of course, there’s so much more to a vacation, starting with figuring out where to go.

So Xoom, a global leader in the business of money transfer, conducted a recent survey of its Fil-Am customers and asked this question: Where is your next vacation destination?

Visiting family and friends was the choice of 30 percent of the respondents in the survey. Hitting the beach, that was the answer from 14 percent of those who took part in the survey. And nine percent wanted to get away, choosing a vacation in a foreign city such as Paris or Rome.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, five percent answered that they preferred a ‘staycation’ as their next vacation. The roller coasters and raging waters at an amusement park were chosen as their next vacation by two percent in the survey.  And a full 29 percent were undecided. Maybe too many choices.


So It’s Switzerland’s Turn to Worry About Messi


It’s Argentina and Switzerland in the knockout round, but there could be another subtext to this Round of 16?  Maybe. If there really is anyone who worried about Argentina for having to dig deep and work some bugs out of its approach, such as scoring late to win, there are once again two words to consider: Lionel Messi.

Argentina defeated Nigeria, 3-2, to close out Group F unbeaten, then waited to find out its next opponent in the Round of 16. Switzerland jumped up claimed it as the runner-up behind France in Group E and that puts the Swiss directly in Argentina’s path.

So it’s Switzerland’s turn to worry about Messi.

Argentina’s biggest star scored two more goals against Nigeria – he now has four – and almost single-handedly propelled Argentina into the knockout round on Tuesday in Sao Paulo.

But it’s true Argentina has had some close-calls, beating both Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran by one goal, both low-scoring games – 2-1 and 1-0. The other characteristic? Messi scored a goal in them both. He tied with Brazil’s superstar, Neymar and Germany’s scoring machine, Thomas Muller, with a World Cup high of four goals.

Be a superstar with Xoom, the easiest way to send money to Argentina.