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Get Started With Smart Investing

Investing at its most basic level is very simple. The idea is to make money work for the investor, rather than the investor working for the money. This may sound like a simple concept, but it is an important one because of the limitations that everyone faces. Without investing, most people can only earn money by working. If they want more money, they have to work more hours or find a higher-paying job. At some point, they are going to hit a wall, and their income will level off simply because they cannot work 24 hours a day. That is where investing comes in.Investing allows an individual to continue earning money 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. It does not matter whether they are working at their day job, mowing their lawn or simply doing nothing. In other words, investing maximizes an individual’s earning potential.Common misconceptions about investing
There are many misconceptions about investing, and unfortunately, they often discourage people from investing their money. Instead, they simply place it in a savings account and earn a pitiful return or worse yet; they stick their savings under a mattress. One common misconception is that investing is gambling. Nothing could be farther from the truth, but many people see it this way because some investors “gamble” by investing their money recklessly without doing proper due diligence. A true investor always performs a thorough analysis and only risks their capital when there is a reasonable expectation of earning a profit.Reasons to invest
There are many different reasons to invest, but they all boil down to one thing: making more money. This is not about greed; at least, it is not for most people. Investing is becoming a necessity because without a healthy investment portfolio, many individuals will not be able to maintain their current lifestyle once they retire. Why? Because the days of working the same job for 30 years and retiring on a fat pension are coming to an end, and the burden of planning for retirement is shifting away from the state and onto the individual. This is happening because governments around the world are tightening their belts, leaving the future of many pension programs up in the air. This makes the outlook grim for those who do not prepare. Investing allows individuals to take control of their own future and ensure financial stability in their retirement years.When investing
Good investing starts with skepticism and common sense. Get-rich-quick schemes are not real investing but gambling. The buyer beware principle applies the same way to investing as it does when making other purchases. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Leave the risky ventures to those who have the money to lose. Smaller investors should stick with established and reputable investments.Some good diversified investments
Apart from avoiding dangerous investments, prudent investing centers on diversity. There are several good ways to do this:Mutual funds are perhaps the best-known investment vehicle. Basically, they work by pooling money from different investors under active management. Those in charge of the fund will then invest it in whatever types of investments the fund is set up for. This can range from the very high to low risk. They are popular in part because the ease in which investments can be made once an account is open and the thought of having one’s money under constant management.Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are somewhat like a mutual fund in that they are a pool of money from different investors. However, they have some important differences. While mutual funds are under constant management and will try to beat the market, ETFs are designed simply to follow a market or index (through a basket of investments that will generally track it very closely). This could be anything from the S&P 500 to commodity markets. The main advantage of ETFs is that they require little active management and thus have lower fees than mutual funds. In addition, they can be bought and sold easily just like a stock, and give the investor greater control over when capital gains taxes taken. The drawback is that investor cannot hope to do better than the markets, although they will not do worse than them either.Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are for those who would like to be invested in property but not all the responsibilities that come with managing it. These funds also pool money but in this case invest it in property. While it is generally commercial property, there are REITs for all kinds of property. By law, they must pay out most of their gains annually.All of these instruments offer small investors great ways to diversify. However, they still need to be chosen very carefully since some are much better than others. In addition, follow the principle of not putting all one’s eggs in one basket. For example, if investing in mutual funds, choose funds that include different investment categories such a large and small capital stocks.Over time, prudence and patience with investments can turn them into a steady income that will give one a more secure future. For most people, this is the best way to really increase their net worth for those who have the patience.

11 Travel Gadgets For 2014

When travel planning in 2014 it is essential to choose the best gadgets technology has to offer to take along with you. The best travel tip for choosing travel gadgets is to go for the smallest, greenest and most functional gadgets you can.Below you will find a list of my recommended gears:1. CameraAlthough Smart phones can take photos a good camera is important if you want to capture quality images on your travels. Try the Pentax K-30 camera which is water proof, shock proof and can take the heat and the cold.2. AdaptersWhen traveling to foreign countries you can encounter different electrical systems and currents. Take along the Universal AC Travel Adapter which can be used in 150 countries.3. Protection for your Smart phoneTake along the high-impact Pelican i1015 Protect and Play iPhone Case which will protect your iPhone, iTouch or iPod from just about everything except water. The case which has a polymer shell is heat resistance, chemical resistant and will protect your device if dropped. Pelican made protector is essential for travellers. The Lifeproof iPhone Case is another sturdy option which is waterproof and bullet proof!4. Solar RechargerIf you want to go green or will be travelling somewhere where there may not be electrical connections then a solar Mi Suny recharger at is perfect for recharging iPhones.5. Luggage TrackerThe Trakdot Luggage Tracker sells at $50 plus $13 for an annual subscription and when and if your luggage goes missing you just connect the GSM monitor to an app on your Smart phone and just like a GPS you’ll find your luggage.6. HeadphonesFor those long train or bus journeys when you want to disconnect from the surroundings and listen to some good music, take along a good pair of headphones. They may be more bulky than earphones but they cut out outside noise and will help you get some sleep in noisy airports, hostels or stations. If you’d rather have a more compact piece of technology then splurge on the Logitech UE 900s, noise canceling earbuds.7. Smart PhonePerhaps the most important technology device for travellers is a Smart phone which can hold apps to help you navigate, find places you’re looking for, calculate your spending, book transport and accommodation and even translate.8. Torch/lightThis low-tech technology gadget for travellers may seem obvious but it always comes in handy. A good, compact torch is essential when travel planning. It can be used simply to find things in the dark in a hostel dorm room, read on a dark train or make your way through Europe’s medieval streets at night.9. WiFiYou can’t always rely on hotels or cafes for your Internet connection. Take out a private subscription at PrivateWiFi.com and you’ll be able to log in to your own WiFi wherever you are using a private code. Prices start at $10 a month.10. Watch PhonesThe latest gadget and apparently the toy set to be the next-big-thing in technology is the Martian Voice Command Watch. Is it a phone? Is it a text message device? Is it a watch? No it’s all of the above! The Passport, G2G and Victory models have silicone straps and can be voice activated; they are Bluetooth-enabled and use both Apple’s iOS and Android platforms.11. LaptopA laptop is a must have travel gear. It is a means of staying in touch with family, friends and business partners, backing up travel photos or simply to while away time at Airport lounges. I use mine for almost everything, so I went for a relatively powerful laptop but for normal use a light laptop or tablet could do.Choosing the right gear to travel with doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Making a few smart choices and limiting yourself to what you truly need will give you all of the benefits that technology can bring while avoiding most of the downsides.

Best – Guess Predictions For Intermediate – Term Home Pricing: 5 Guesses!

After, over 15 years, as a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, in the State of New Year, I have come, to believe, perhaps, the one, reality, of real estate, is, it is consistently, constantly changing, in a variety of ways! For a few years, we have been experiencing, near – historic, low, interest rates, as well as, unprecedented impacts on the world economy, created by several factors, but, perhaps, the single – biggest one, being, the ramifications, etc, created/ causes, as a result of this horrific pandemic! Although, no one, knows, for sure, what will occur, I feel it might be useful, to consider, and provide, my best – guess, in terms of home pricing, in the intermediate – term (This period is usually, considered, to be, from about, two – and – a – half years, to about 5 to 7 years). With, that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 5 of my guesses/ predictions.

1. Interest rates/ mortgage rates: Basic economics, past trends, etc, should indicate, interest rates, will not remain, at their current, historic – lows, for any substantial period of time. It has already, existed, for longer, than normal! We are already, witnessing, inflationary ramifications, caused by economic policies, of the past, few years, as well as, artificially – low, prolonged period of this, interest rate, policy, etc! I would expect, sometime, in the next year, or so (unless some, unforeseen – stress occurs), for, these to riser, gradually, and, for, the current, record pace, of home price rises, to either, level, or, grow, at a far – slower pace, or, even, come, back – to – earth, somewhat! This change directly impacts mortgage rates, and, when these are lower, it makes, more expensive houses, more affordable!

2. From sellers market to: Historically, the real estate market, is cyclical, and we are, currently, undergoing, a prolonged, sellers market, with buyers, out – numbering, inventory! It would make sense, to expect, the trend to change, from this approach, to, first, a more – balanced one, and, perhaps, even, at some stage, to a buyers market!

3. Supply and Demand: Like most economic commodities, real estate is based, on the Laws of Supply and Demand! This means, the more demand, the higher, the prices, and when it dwindles, prices drop! Most expectations is to see, a gradual, return to the cyclical conditions, often, witnessed, and experienced, in the past!

4. Impact of inflation: Traditionally, houses, have been considered, one of the best hedges, against inflation! However, with the steep, recent increases, which have far increased the rate of inflation, wouldn’t it make sense, for, these, to eventually, become, more level, etc? While, many anticipate, inflation, in the relatively – short – term, we will probably, return, to more predictable levels, in the intermediate – run!

5. All real estate is local: One of the challenges, to making these predictions, is, real estate, is, often, local, in – nature, and, different regions, and, even, neighborhoods, out – perform, others!

Although, I feel, these are most likely, to occur, remember, they are, merely, best – guesses, and no one has a Crystal Ball, etc! Proceed, cautiously, and aware, and align, your needs, priorities, perceptions, etc, with your personal comfort zone!