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How to Learn To Trade Forex in the Shortest Possible Time

If you are aiming to get into currency trading, you should first learn to trade forex. Of course, when you are doing capital investments, you should initially at least know how to open and close transactions. In foreign exchange trading, dealing makes no difference and so you have to make sure you are knowledgeable and well rounded about transactions.

How could you learn to trade forex? Basically, there are many means on how you could learn currency trading. Before taking any measure, it would be important to note that indeed, you should open your mind to learn about dealing such transactions. You could take crash courses at several centers, you could take tutorials and hands on learning sessions with your willing brokers or you could simply learn by yourself.

It is not impossible to learn to trade forex by yourself. Prior to making any moves, it would be imperative that you first understand that foreign exchange is quite an easy concept if you would only get to comprehend how the system and the processes work. To learn by yourself, you could opt to educate yourself through books, online tutorials and even self-help videos. Scout the market for self-help learning materials in print and in videos. There are also online learning sites that provide effective guides and learning sessions.

If you could enroll in specific courses for forex trading, it would be more advisable. You do not need to be confined to learning in long durations. These days, there are actual crash courses that would only require you to spend a few hours each day for a limited period of time to get to know and understand the transactions better. Nowadays, some of such courses are also offered through distance learning, meaning, facilitators would send you modules for self learning and then guide you in making use of such materials.

Lastly, as mentioned, using the resourcefulness and knowledge of your forex broker is one way how you could learn to trade forex. You could always ask your broker to explain to you the dynamic of the trade. By paying attention, you would realize that through simplified explanations by your broker, you could actually learn how trading is done and closed. Thus, informally, you are learning. It is also more like a more hands-on and actual training.

If you are aiming to grow your capital, you should strive to understand well how currency is traded. Learn to trade forex and see how you could make your investment further attain its potential.

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Does Going Green Really Make Good Business Sense?

If you’re like me, the whole notion of going green conjures up an image of a gathering of 60’s hippies (remember them) wearing sandals and carrying placards saying Save The Planet. Well, maybe you’re not as outdated as me, but you should get my general drift, going green is for far-left radicals demanding everyone lower their carbon footprint this very instant. Mainly because climate change and global warming are serious issues, which should be addressed by everyone, or the planet is going to hell in a handbasket fast – like, right now!

Perhaps that’s the extreme view of going green and one that bares little resemblance to the modern day practices of recycling, composting and conserving energy to lower our impact on the environment. The whole concept of going green has taken on an “individual” playing field where each one of us can lower our dependence on our finite natural resources – many of which are not renewable. We each can consume less, change our driving habits, recycle more items and lower our power/electricity usage. We can also plant more trees and/or support organizations which are trying to save the environment.

But what about businesses or companies – how do they fit into this green picture?

Just like an individual, companies can act or put into practice certain procedures which lessen their impact on the environment. This really doesn’t have to be anything earth shattering (probably the wrong word to use) but simple actions which can make a significant difference. I was totally shocked when I read on a leading green guide website that roughly 50% (that’s half) of the trees harvested in North America actually goes into the production of paper. Just imagine what all this cutting does to wildlife habitat and/or deforestation.

Even more surprising was the fact that it takes one tree to produce around two cartons of typing/faxing paper and IF just 5% of companies chose to send faxes via email (paperless faxing) it would save over ONE million trees per year. Plus, you have to factor in the whole environmental cost of producing that paper in the first place – in order to make paper it takes over 1,000 different chemicals and countless kilowatt hours of energy.

To complicate matters even further, one has to realize in the United States (as well as other countries) producing energy often means burning more coal, which releases some nasty chemicals into the atmosphere such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and carbon dioxide. Producing more of these chemicals gives us more smog and acid rain. Ouch.

One way for companies, both big and small, can help the environment is to go “paperless” or develop a “paperless office” by relying on new technologies like digital faxing and filing. Computers and email have really changed the business workplace and have greatly lessened our dependence on paper. Records, files, communications, faxes… can all now be stored electronically or in digital form. This “paperless office” can be further enhanced by “cloud” services where all your information is stored on remote third party servers.

We also have virtual PBX (Private Branch Exchange) services where most, if not all, our business calls and communications can be handled via computers and the web. This includes Internet or email fax which can be completely paperless. Such a small change as getting rid of the old traditional fax machine can go a long way in making any company greener.

However, the question still remains, is all this green stuff good for business. The answer has to be a definite yes. Forget about the environment for a moment, on a purely operational level, consuming less energy, going paperless, utilizing digital filing… will make your company more efficient and cost less to run. Saving money is always good for business. So too, is doing things in the most modern efficient way possible – especially if your business relies upon swift communications with employees, customers or clients.

Then of course, we must not forget the whole PR benefit of going green. Emphasizing this green label on your products and services will definitely create more awareness and generate more business, especially among customers who now demand a greener alternative to many of the products/services they use or consume. Many companies are jumping on the “green bandwagon” just for this reason – it’s simply good for business.

While this may be perceived as a bit devious or even manipulative, if these companies can back up their claims with green actions, which truly benefit the environment, then in the end, their motives don’t really matter because we all win. Lowering our dependence on non-renewable resources and/or consuming less energy can only be seen as a good thing. Good thing for the environment. Good thing for business. Now, where did I put those blessed sandals.

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Poker Games Online – Expansion in Console Gaming!

Playing poker has become a worldwide phenomenon. Its popularity has grown tenfold in the last 2 years with the release of TV poker channels such as that on ESPN and SkyPoker.

All you need to play poker is a pack of cards, but to be good at poker you need a cool, mathematical mind and a certain psychological ability to read your opponents play. The ability to put your mind to the test has been one of the biggest factors in the addictiveness of the game of poker, as people test them against poker virgins and the world's best players alike.

One of the many reasons why the poker industry has become so marketable and profitable is the many guises that poker games have been available in. Poker game box sets, for example, have been available for many years now. They include life-like poker chips and a table cloth to help recreate the saloon or casino experience. Together with the recent explosion of online poker and poker TV channels, this has provided a platform for poker to expand globally and enable us all to see poker as more than just a form of gambling.

As the age of technology moves forward, with advances in computer simulation and graphics, this has provided a more modern platform for playing poker.

As well as the many online poker sites available, there has also been an increase in the release of poker games on gaming consoles such as the Xbox and Playstation2. With the Xbox offering providing the ability to play online and offline. In the offline multi-virtual player option, it enables poker to be reached by those of us who do not own a PC or broadband connection, but are attracted by the graphical interface and the poker gaming experience. It also allows people to test their skills at poker without the risk of losing money.

So where should you learn your craft if you want to get into the world of poker? And how do poker games on the console differ from the online experience?

Crave Entertainment, in conjunction with Coresoft developed the poker game for the Xbox. Many would question the need to purchase a poker application when there are many freely available poker games online that do not require pre-purchase. Well, this game does come into its own when you play with others online. But together with the ability to create your own virtual player characteristics, customizing everything from clothes to facial expressions, as well as the ability to create your own tables, this game does provide some of the experience offered by many of the traditional online poker sites such As VIP Poker Club and the IPN poker network.

World Championship Poker 2 for the PlayStation is said by far to be the best offline play in any poker game, with variations in game type and locations, as well as improvements in player intelligence, where you can meet aggressive, tight and midrange players.

However, offline game play is pretty poor on most console platform poker games. Artificial intelligence does not provide the same unpredictability as the true game of poker online, where you compete against real people with real thoughts and real money.

One element that poker on a games console allows you to do is learn your craft without spending any money. Although most online poker game sites allow you to preview a game or play for free, no online site provides the same level of graphics or customization as you can get on a game console.

Even though once you have tried your hand at poker on a game console, it will not be long before you get the urge to pit your wits and test your mind against the current plethora of players visiting the thousands of online poker sites now available.

So games consoles achieve the ability to provide customization and improved graphics, but they do not provide the one of the most important factors that online poker sites provide. That is the experience and addictive ability to win money by beating a real player, with a real wallet. The 20 or so dollars you invest in a console game may be better spending investing in a game online, you're likely to gain better experience and potentially get a better return on your investment.

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Making Online Education Attractive

All over the world, the numbers of people in school at the different levels takes pyramidal shape. There are huge numbers at the elementary, but as they progress, the numbers decrease, leaving just a few in higher education. In the United States, some 65 million students were expected to enroll from K to K12 in the fall of 2015. In the same period, it was expected that 20.2 million would be attending Colleges and Universities. It is estimated that 25% of fresh high school students in the U.S.A are not able to graduate. For fresh students who enter colleges or universities 1 out of 3 are likely not make it to second year. This dropout out rate hinders national development, because many people do not receive the full training they need to be functional in society. National development would be hugely fostered, if more adults receive education, in order that they become functional in society.

I am not saying that all adults who were not fully educated are not playing important roles in society. There are very prominent individuals in society who dropped out of school at some level. Bill Gate, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, for example, at some point dropped out of school. Though this list is not exhaustive, the number of people who dropped out of school or decided not to gain higher education and yet became successful are relatively few. For the majority who dropped out or discontinued education, and could not become successful in their careers, it was because they lacked the knowledge they needed to develop their potential. If you check the history of those who in spite of dropping out or discontinuing schooling have become successful, you would find that appeared to have found their life’s purpose and so pursued those goals and, more importantly, they received some kind of education later.

Education as we all know is a life-long activity. At any point in time, whether you dropped out of school or got honors at your graduation, you would need education. The school dropout who has found himself a vocation or gained employment needs education so he/she can be more productive, the dropout who has realized the need to school but has ‘grown past school going age’ and desires to school obviously needs education, managers as well as employees need further education in order to keep pace with today’s rapidly changing world and gain increased wages and status respectively. Somehow, the traditional education dependent society we have created for ourselves and considers the ‘best’, limits our quest for continuing education. For many people, formal education ended the day they dropped out or graduated from High School, College or University, even though, technology makes it possible for us to sit in our houses and still get quality education.

When technology – computers and internet connectivity – replaced physical classrooms and made it possible to study by distance in real time, it appeared the issue of continuous education for everyone, including the dropout and the working class have been solved. It appeared, and still does, that now the teacher need not leave his students, apply for study-leave or leave of absence to pursue further education. It appeared the fifty-year-old woman who dropped out of school several years ago could now school from home and it appeared the father could learn what his daughter is learning at College using the same device he uses to call her. That is what it appeared. Those who dropped out of school due to issues of finance and have not since had a breakthrough would not benefit, and those who have the money would not want to put their money into a certificate employers and academicians alike would frown upon. So little appear to have changed for these two groups of people, though online Colleges and Universities abound.

Two prime issues are to blame. First, online education is too expensive for the target group of learners and second, there is the perception that online Colleges and Universities do not provide holistic education like the traditional Colleges and Universities. As indicated by Ed Vosganian – founder and CEO of College Funding 123, the cost of on-campus University for undergraduate is estimated at 42,000 dollars while for the same group it cost around 21,000 dollars for online universities. By comparison we would say that it cost far less to study via online. But we need not lose sight of those who mostly enroll in online University. It is those in the middle and lower classes who opt for online universities. They include; the employee who has sacrificed pleasure for higher qualification in return for better wages, the unemployed who wants to gain employable skills, the dropout who wants to get back to school in the hope that there will be a brighter future, and the people living in the remote part of the world, especially in the developing world, who don’t even have the money to pay fees and so would have to learn and work simultaneously. To these 21,000 dollars is money so huge, it is very difficult to raise. There are people of the higher income class who enroll in online universities, but online learning is not popular among these due to low prestige and the myths associated with online education. The online institutions will tell you, they would not put anything on your certificate to show that you received a non-traditional education. This kind of advert speaks of how society values online education. Online education is considered a cheap way of getting ‘watered down’ education. Online Colleges and Universities were until recently considered diploma mills. This perception still exists, though empirical evidence tells us there is no disparity in quality of students from traditional Colleges and Universities on one hand and online Colleges and Universities on the other. The online Universities and Colleges are doing their best to make online learning prestigious and bring down study cost, but they cannot do it alone. With government intervention online learning can become prestigious and lower and middle class friendly.

Government should provide a national framework for online education, subsidize accreditation, and grant scholarships and student loans for students in online Colleges and Universities. A national framework to guide the operations of all online colleges and universities should be instituted by the state, through the Department of Education or the relevant government agency. This framework, which would be descriptive and not prescriptive in nature would describe, for example, the minimum courses to be taken at a given level, and the general mode of operation of online universities and colleges without prescribing specific courses or mode of operation. Accreditation is not just laborious for online Colleges and Universities; it is also expensive. This cost is passed to students, souring up program fees. If the government decides to absorb half the cost of accreditation, though there is no guarantee the program fees will be halved, the program fee would be reduced somehow. Lastly, most of the students who opt for online colleges and universities do not receive scholarships and student loans from the state. Those who receive something do not get huge scholarships and student loans like their counterparts in traditional Colleges and Universities. Government should make scholarships and students loans available to students of online Colleges and Universities just as it does for students in traditional Colleges and Universities.

The ramifications of these interventions would definitely be awesome. Providing a national framework for online education would take away the false negative perception people have about online learning. Many think online learning is easy and also the number of credits taken are far less than those taken in traditional learning settings. This thinking exists because there are some poorly designed online courses in which certificate are awarded after just a couple of assignments have been submitted. Such practices can be stopped, when a national framework is developed and operationalized. A national framework will give credibility to online learning, because a national standard for online would have to be adhered to and so no online college or university can just sell certificate. Subsidizing Accreditation will yield three results. The most obvious is that, it would reduce program fees because amount to pass to the students would be less. Subsidizing accreditation fees would encourage online Colleges and Universities to seek accreditation from accrediting bodies recognize by the Department of Education or the appropriate state agency. Even though accreditation is not compulsory in some parts of the world, like the united states, some occupation that require state licensing would not accept degree from non-accredited Colleges and University. Prospective online learners are, usually, worried about whether the can easily work with their certificates. Government intervention would remove this worry and remove the negative perception people have about online education as well. Government interventions in the form of scholarship and loans would ease the financial burden and make it possible for those who hitherto would not be able to school to do so. In sum, government intervention would go a long way to produce an enlightened society by permitting many people to receive higher education.

There are many people wanting to get higher education through online Colleges and Universities so they gain knowledge and skills, or enhance their knowledge and skills but cannot do because of either the cost or the uncertainty of the acceptability of the certificate. Government intervention in the form of national framework for online universities and colleges, subsidizing accreditation cost and providing scholarships and student loans would open the door for those who want to study from home. Government intervention can give the assurance that online learning is as good as traditional college or university learning, and that their certificate would be accepted jobs that require state licensing. It would ease the pressure on facilities in traditional Colleges and Universities, produce the well-educated citizenry needed for national development and convert the current pyramidal shape into a ‘near’ cylinder.


Ed Vosganian (n.d.). The Real Price of Online College. Retrieved from

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Are You Willing To Bet?

If you won an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas, would you do any gambling while you were there? Yes, no, well maybe? When my daughter was maybe 16 or 17 years old (you probably remember that time in your life that you were almost an expert at anything) we took a family vacation to Las Vegas. We walked into Caesar’s Palace and she saw a sports car on top of a group of slot machines. The car was the grand prize to be awarded to the lucky winner on that series of slot machines. She promptly informed Mom and Dad that SHE was going to be that lucky someone.

One roll of quarters and three minutes later she told us, “Gambling sucks.”

Do you consider yourself to be like our daughter and want nothing to do whatsoever with gambling? Are you one of those people who think that you never, ever gamble? Well I hate to tell you this, but the insurance industry and insurance policies are built on a gambling premise.

You will be well served to remember this basic principle: The business of insurance is a bet. Insurance is nothing more than a large company (as is a casino), with a large balance sheet, playing the odds against you… on your health, risk of an accident, storm damage, theft, death or other potentially catastrophic loss. Insurance companies educate themselves in extreme detail on the odds of actually having to pay out money on a claim. From this data, they calculate how much they can charge you based on the possibility that you will file a claim, and they still will be able to make a profit!

When you own any kind of property, whether that property is possessions like furniture, clothing, an automobile or a house, when you purchase an insurance policy you are gambling. You are gambling your money every time you make a monthly premium payment. You are betting the premium amount that you spend that something unfortunate will happen to you.

The insurance company is betting also, they’re just not betting with their own money. Not yet, that is. They are betting with a promise! Their promise is that if you experience a loss, they will spend a little bit of their money to make things right for you. The thing is, the insurance company is like the casino. All the odds are stacked in their favor. They pay large amounts of money to actuaries, specialized number crunchers, to determine the odds of you winning the game (having a covered loss). You see, as far as the insurance industry is concerned, the only way you win as a policyholder is for you to lose and have to file a claim. If you don’t win, you lose (you lose your premium payments). If you do win, you lose (something bad has happened to you). What a great game!

If you don’t lose, you lose your premium money. If you win, the best that you can hope for is to break even by receiving the money that you need for your repairs from your insurance provider. Even then you can’t break even because of a little something known as a deductible. You really can only get to within a deductible of breaking even!

Whether someone wrecks your car, you have a major medical issue, or your house gets damaged, you, the policyholder, have to lose to receive any money from your insurance company. And here’s the real kicker! By using those number-crunchers and their sophisticated software programs, insurance companies know in advance just how likely it is that you will file a claim. If they determine that you are more likely to file, they increase the odds in their favor by forcing you to gamble with more of your money, as in charging you a higher premium.

Isn’t It Fun Playing the Insurance Game?

Insurance is a definite necessity in this day and age. We can’t just run out to the back forty and cut down some trees to rebuild our home. We can’t run down to the nearest auto assembly plant and grab a handful of new car parts to fix our own cars. Just please realize that insurance is a gambling game which is stacked against the policyholder. If you have purchased an insurance policy, and something unforeseen happens to you, don’t feel too bad for the insurance company. They set up the game in their favor and made you a promise. They calculated the odds and set the game up in their favor. They collected their premiums. Now they need to make good on their promise. They promised to take care of you like you deserve (minus your deductible that is).

Here is another thing the insurance company is betting on. They are betting that if something bad does happen to you, you will lack the knowledge required to get everything you are truly entitled to.

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What You May Not Know About Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games there is out there. Why? Well, it could possibly be because it is such a simple game to learn and play. There truly is only one rule. You need to get as close as possible to twenty-one without going over. Ta-da! That’s it. No real rocket science involved. If you can add, you can play. So based upon that alone, that may be the reason why it has been and will continue to be one of the most popular casino games.

But, was it invented by Americans? Nope. Card games as a whole were the invention of the Chinese. The earliest forms of card games known were played with paper money in China around the year 900 AD. From what is understood from research, they used to shuffle money and one day said hey, that would make a great game; so what they called “paper tickets” was born. Time and tide changes all things-what a great saying-and a German gentleman by the name of Johann Gutenberg in 1440 said: Hm, I can make this better (not really but it’s fun to think he said that). Or it may be that he just saw a way to make a product that would be high in demand and make him lots of money. Smart man! So he printed the very first deck of cards.

But let’s not digress, back to blackjack, the closet game way back when to blackjack most think was in France in the 1700s. It was called “vingt-et-un” or ta-da! twenty-one. There were some wonderful card games that spun off from this first game; much as a famous TV series will have a spin off show. “Seven and a Half” and a game from Spain called “One and Thirty” are just a couple that have been pin pointed as possible spin offs from blackjack. Then in the 1800s its popularity spread to the US. Again, time and tide change things because it wasn’t exactly the same as the blackjack that we know and love but so close that most agree that its roots came from this game.

But in about the year 1910, this great game had reached the US version of casinos and was being pushed to them in an effort to entice them to play. Their marketing of the game went so far as to give players a bonus if they got the “Black Jack” and the “Black Ace” in their hand. From this bonus, came the wonderful name we all know and love now: Blackjack.

Now, blackjack is a wonderful casino game or a great fun family night game. Many movies have featured it in all its simplicity in their films, further expanding its popularity. So the next time you and your family sit down for a family night maybe make it a blackjack night. Not only will it be a great way to impart some history on cards but-shh don’t tell them-it will give them more practice in math.

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What Makes the Best Plantation Shutters: Vinyl, Basswood, Poplar, Maple or Another Hardwood?

Plantation shutters are an excellent choice for high quality, attractive and functional window treatments. If you are considering buying plantation shutters, no doubt you quickly learned of the myriad of choices that are available to you.

Plantation shutters can be purchased as stock units or you can buy custom interior shutters to fit your windows. And then there is the construction material – among the most common materials used include vinyl, Basswood, Poplar, Maple and a variety of fine hardwoods. And not surprisingly, each material brings different levels of quality and price ranging from vinyl shutters to custom wood plantation shutters. So which is the best choice for your home?

Plantation Shutter Construction Materials

Here is a summary of the pros and cons for the most common interior shutter materials:

· Vinyl

· Basswood

· Poplar

· Hardwood

Vinyl Interior Shutters

Some of the most affordable interior shutters are made from vinyl.

While vinyl interior shutters will not warp and typically don’t require a finish, there is an undeniably synthetic look and feel to them.

The advantage to vinyl is it presents the most economical solution and is widely available.

However, vinyl shutters are among the lowest quality on the market and don’t offer the warmth or beauty of wood plantation shutters. And if you are considering vinyl interior shutters, remember that affordable does not always mean value.

Wood Plantation Shutters: Basswood and Poplar

Basswood and Poplar are two of the more common woods used to make interior shutters. Basswood and Poplar are technically hardwoods. But as hardwoods, they are light and relatively soft compared with other hardwoods such as Maple or Oak.

Basswood takes a finish well; it can be either painted or stained. Because Poplar’s color is not uniform, ranging from white to green to almost purple, it should be painted only and never stained.

However, when considering wood plantation shutters made of Poplar or Basswood, one should be aware that both are very soft and susceptible to dents and dings. In larger openings, Basswood and Poplar shutters frequently require additional reinforcing or extra rails or stiles for rigidity. The overall width or height of your window treatment may also be limited.

And finally, research the shutter joinery method. Because Poplar and Basswood shutters typically represent the mid-market pricing and quality range, often times the joinery of these interior shutters is inferior to higher quality shutters. For example, you should look for products where the rails are joined with reinforced dowels.

Hardwood Plantation Shutters: Durable and Beautiful

True hardwood plantation shutters, such as maple, represent the highest levels of quality and value in today’s plantation shutters. While the initial cost is sometimes higher than a comparably sized Basswood or Poplar shutter, the manufacturing quality is generally superior and there is greater likelihood that your Maple shutters will outlast shutters made from more affordable materials.

In addition to the increased durability and longevity of quality wood plantation shutters, solid hardwood shutters provide greater aesthetic appeal, whether stained or painted. The natural beauty and grain pattern of the vast array of hardwood species presents a limitless palette of design and style for your hardwood plantation shutters. Plus you can select the wood species and finish to match your existing décor.

High quality hardwood plantation shutters will also be custom made to precisely fit your exact window opening. And with a professional installation, your interior shutters will look like they were meant to be there, enhancing the beauty of your room.

The Best Material for Interior Shutters

When it comes to beauty, versatility and durability, no other material can match a quality, dense hardwood such as Maple. Other outstanding choices are Walnut, Mahogany, Oak, Cherry and Alder. While quality hardwood shutters may cost more initially, the lifetime value of your shutters will far exceed that of cheaper alternatives.

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Five Ways to Make Money in a Property Crash

Let’s face facts, we are still at the start of a property crash, and if the 1989-1994 experience is anything to go by, then we could have another 4 years to go before things bottom out [that was not a prediction, by the way, this one could be shorter or longer.

The crash is being cursed by some, particularly those who paid too much for their properties in the final months (or years) of the last boom, but greeted with relief by others – not only first time buyers who want to get their feet on the ladder – but by savvy investors who are starting to buy again.

So, what are some possibilities for those hoping to make money over the next few years? The following, of course, hinge on the market going down further – If you believe that, then consider them – If you think the market’s going to bottom out quickly, then some will NOT be appropriate.

1: Consider selling some of your portfolio. If you bought a while ago, and have decent equity (ie – unless you remortgaged to stupid levels), then it may be worth taking advantage of the much lower rates of Capital Gains Tax that we in the UK now pay on property. Until April, we used to pay between 24-40 per cent depending on how long we had held – now we just pay 18 per cent.

Of course, you will not get what you would have done 6 months ago, but in many parts of the country, property are still moving fast if priced about 10 per cent below the competition. Clearly, it is worth having some conversations with your local estate agents, because in some areas, I am getting reports that sales have to all practical purposes, stopped completely (one agent reported zero sales in the last three months.)

The question is, as ever, what you would get if you sold, vs. what you would get if you held. If you have a £50-100k in equity in a property, and marginal cashflow, then it is possible that you could use that equity far more effectively by selling, paying the CGT (or, rather, putting the CGT you would owe into an interest-bearing account until January 2010 when it becomes payable), and using the equity to either buy now (see tips 3-4) or just wait!

2: Consider Sell-To-Rent (STR).

This is a more dramatic version of selling some of your portfolio – it is when you sell the house you live in, and move into a rental place, in the hope that you can buy back something similar later in the market cycle. Obviously, not suitable for those who want to guarantee they can buy back the same house.

Personally, while I have sold some properties this year, I would not consider selling my PPR. The reasons are not economic in my case – I am choosing to value continuity of schooling for my children (we live 2 minutes walk away from the gates) and general lack of disruption over the profit that I could probably make by selling, moving into a small, rented, place, and buying another 5-bed, 3-reception room house in a couple of years time.

Others however, particularly in London, have sold up and gone into rental places already, because they are convinced that they will lose a phenomenal amount of money if they stay put!

3: Go into your estate agents, and offer 20% less than the asking price on any property you think you can find a tenant for – the vast majority of buyers will tell you where to go, but agents are no longer acting shocked and receiving these offers, and more buyers are considering them.

Actually, I do this no matter where we are in the market cycle, but the number of swear-words I get in reply has reduced dramatically recently, and estate agents are looking at me with looks of gratitude (that they are getting any offer) rather than looks of shock.

4: Adopt more BMV (Below Market Value) techniques – look for buyers who need to sell quickly, and put together rescue packages for them (if they make sense for you.)

I have gone over this in detail in past issues of the newsletter (look at in the Articles Section – there are four called Below Market Value – Parts I… IV)

The difference is that the techniques are even more effective now than they were back in December 2006! It is certainly time to review those techniques and see whether you have the time to put them into practice now. (None of them are passive – all involve a lot more time input that agency-related approaches.)

5: Consider using options – these take a lot more work, and are NOT suitable for everyone, but can be very worthwhile in the current market.

In summary, your tenant pays a higher-than-market rent in exchange for having a right-to-buy at a predetermined price (say, current market price) for the next 2-3 years. They are, of course, a cashflow strategy, and prevent you selling to anyone else in that time period.

The two biggest issues with such things are 1: that it can be hard to find a lawyer who has dealt with them before – you want a lawyer with some experience of commercial property rather than a pure domestic conveyancer, and 2: that most letting agents just cannot find tenants who are looking for this kind of thing – you need to look at either approaching existing tenants, with an offer to up their rent in return for an option – or start placing your own adverts. This is an area where Google Ads and local newspapers can help.

The bottom line, though, is that for active property investors, the crash we are now in is a fantastic opportunity. Not only is the current market rewarding those who are willing to find the right deals, but it is locking out the Saturday-Afternoon-Landlord set – those who believed in the Myth of passive income.

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Get Your Money's Worth With Payday & Cash Advance Loans

While getting a quick loan with no hassle may sound like a dream come true, it is very important for potential borrowers to understand the specifics of PayDay and cash advance loans. Such knowledge is necessary to ensure that borrowers are making the most informed decision regarding their finances. This knowledge is imperative to protect the borrower, but also the lending institution as well. After exploring the basics of the PayDay loan, which is also commonly referred to as cash advance, information regarding the protection of both sides of these loans will be provided.

Not everyone has the best credit. Unfortunately, with many lending institutions, credit is the primary basis for determining a person's borrowing potential. Poor credit scores can result in higher interest rates, smaller loans or even the flat-out denial of the applicable. Thankfully, there are alternatives to traditional loans in the form of PayDay loans. Lenders offering PayDay loans do not require a credit check, making this a particularly viable option for individuals who have less than desirable credit. These loans are discreet and no one away from the individual and the lender are involved. No additional companies need to be called and there is no need for references; No one else has to know about the transaction. In order to be approved for a PayDay loan, potential borrowers are only asked to submit certain information. Most cash advance lenders limit this requirement to proof of employment in the form of a recent paystub and proof of residency, as well as a valid check and / or a legitimate banking account.

Unlike many traditional loans which often have an extended repayment period, PayDay loans are specifically designed for short-term financial relief. While the interest rate is higher for the repayment period of the PayDay loan, the payback period is significantly shorter in almost all instances. Ultimately, this has the potential to actually save individuals when it comes to interest. Individuals who take part in these cash advance loans are only able to borrow money until their next pay day, which is the origin of the cash advance's popular nickname. When the loan period has expired, the lender is able to automatically withdraw the amount of the loan plus interest since the borrower submitted with their application their repayment information. When the individual gets their next pay check the loan money is returned to the lender, ensuring that the cash advance provider receives their money when it is due.

Oftentimes, traditional lenders specify how their loan money may be used. For example, there are auto loans, school loans and home loans where the cash goes specifically to a designated receiver for an exact purpose and it is not left up to the individual. When it comes to PayDay loans, the money can be used for whatever is needed. There is no special application if the borrower needs the money for a car payment or repair, a medical bill or birthday presents. The cash is there for the borrower to use in whatever way they see fit. Individuals are allowed much more freedom in their time of need.

It is very convenient to get a PayDay loan or a cash advance. Applications may be submitted in person, over the phone or via the internet. This allows individuals to apply for such assistance in whatever manner works best for them as an individual. There is no need to wait in long lines or waste gas driving to a specific lender who could be located far away. As a result, borrowers can save both time and money.

Another benefit of the PayDay loan is the amount of time before the individual gets their money. The better cash advance lenders will be able to get their customers the cash requested in a matter of hours. Alternatively, traditional loans can take days to process all the paperwork relevant to a loan. Even after this time has passed, potential borrows may be denied. If time is of the essence, PayDay loans definitely have the upper hand due to their limitation of required paperwork and lack of credit check. Loan processors are simply able to complete their requisites faster, getting the money to borrowers quicker.

With these questionable economic times, more and more individuals are in short supply of cash – especially with the holiday season looming. Word of mouth advertising is one of the best ways for companies to increase their number of clients, so if a borrower has a pleasant experience with a lender they are much more inclined to discuss this with friends and family members who might also be in need of A monetary advance. This helps create excellent public relations for the lender. However, individuals who have a poor income with a lender, whether it is the lender's fault or not, are just as, if not more, likely to discuss the negative aspects of the transaction with acquentions, thus harming the lender's reputation.

The PayDay loan industry gains nothing by being predatory or picking on those with financial concerns. Doing so would limit their success and force them into shutting down as a result of lack of genuine, justifiable and reasonable business. It has been estimated that two-thirds of the cash advance lenders in the nation are independently owned and operated by small-business entrepreneurs. These are individuals who have invested their own money in the business. Understandably, these are people who would want to invest wisely and not simply throw their money away. For those who are concerned prior to applying for a cash advance, little research would be required to find out who owns their prospective PayDay lender and what their reputation is. Borrowers should be sensible about from what they choose to borrow money.

Obviously one of the largest concerns individuals research PayDay loans have the interest rate. Many people are disturbed by the prospect of having to pay back an exorbitant amount of interest. This is an understandable concern for those who are unable to pay back the loan or those who are tardy in paying it back. Individuals who are able to follow the conditions of the loan are presented with a straightforward proposition from the lender and are, in part, paying for a service available from a few others. When approached and utilized responsibly, PayDay loans are able to help those who are in financial distress.

The interest rates are higher when it comes to PayDay loans and short-term cash advances. However, it is also important to acknowledge that running such a business can be high risk and most owners are not getting rich quick; Many times, the business actually requires such rates to stay in business. These owners are simply running a legitimate and focused business. Again, research on individual lenders is required in order to ensure this as there are always exceptions. In addition to this, most PayDay lenders charge a flat fee, which is required by federal law to be translated into an Annual Percentage Rate, or APR. This is not always a fair representation of the loan. Such a process may be compared to buying a pair of shoes. Individuals may have to pay more up front front to get the pair they want which is currently stocked in the store – or they could try to order a pair from a store that charges a little less. If they need the shoes immediately, they are presented with only the first option as a viable solution to their predicament.

Borrowers get what they pay for in these types of instances. Whether short-term cash advance companies are around or not does not determine how many individuals would turn to such services. Their establishment does not directly affect if people need money; These companies offer something that many people need. Every production operation has some 'bad apples', but it is ignorant to define an entire industry based on the minority. As with any decision, individuals are encouraged to examine their personal situation and needs, research their options and approach the situation maturely and conscientiously.

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How To Make Your Audience Sit Up and Take Notice

Know what visual conspicuity is?

Not many people do.

But it’s a term you should know if you create signs.

Conspicuity is the capacity of your sign to stand out. Put another way, it’s the capacity of your sign to be discovered by the eye.

Mostly subjective, conspicuity depends a lot on things like personal opinions, interpretations, emotions, and individual judgment.

Conspicuity is why some people notice your sign immediately and others walk by it without ever seeing it. No sign has 100% conspicuity with an audience.

Signs with conspicuity make an impact-no matter the size or purpose. Conspicuity is a critical design element to keep in mind when creating and placing a sign.

Types of Conspicuity

You need to consider two types of conspicuity when designing a sign: search conspicuity and attention conspicuity.

Search conspicuity depends on whether a person is looking for something specific, like a type of business or a house.

Someone walking pass a car dealership is more likely to notice signs in a car lot on her way to work than someone who’s not interested in buying a car.

Attention conspicuity has to do with a sign’s ability to attract attention as someone passes by-even when not looking for something specific.

Effective signage captures the attention of people-whether on foot or driving-when not looking for something specific at the moment.

Tips On Creating Conspicuity

Many consider attention conspicuity the more important type of conspicuity. Below are some tips on how to create attention conspicuity in your signs:

  • Use full color graphics. They have the highest awareness of all sign categories.
  • Use contrast. It creates visibility. Using light colored letters on a dark background, for example, makes lettering appear larger.
  • Choose a sign design that enhances individual letters. Using black letters on a yellow background or yellow letters on a black background makes your sign easy to read at a distance.
  • Make sure your sign is the right height. Use 1 inch of letter height for every 25 feet of distance.
  • Visual aesthetics are critical when creating signs. Font, color, graphics-all affect readability AND conspicuity.

Keep visual conspicuity in mind when developing signs and you’ll create signs that will make your audience sit up and take notice-even at night. It’s advised to choose best companies of your area to make a good signage for your business, that will help your business to grow high in your market with good visualized signage.

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