Financial Services Funds For A Down Market

Buying into a financial services fund may not seem like the best idea, especially with the amount of instability in financial markets right now. But many experts and investors are saying that now is the time to invest in these kinds of funds. With prices so low, they are only going to grow from here on out as the financial climate of the nation continues to be repaired.Financial services funds are a type of mutual fund that is specifically focused on banks, lending institutions and other financial services companies. Mutual funds allow investors to get into the stock market without spending a lot of money on one type of stock. With a mutual fund, you are technically pooling your money with other parties and buying stocks as a group. The manager of the mutual fund will choose the stocks or bonds that will offer the best return for the category.Financial services funds offer a better deal than investing in financial services directly. When you use a mutual fund such as this, you get a number of different advantages. Your money is diversified across many different companies and institutions. If one financial institution has trouble, you aren’t left up a creek without a paddle. The rest of your mutual fund portfolio should balance out the hits that the individual company is taking.Another benefit of investing in the financial sector with mutual funds is that you get professional management of your funds. The financial services fund’s manager has the experience necessary to be able to determine when to buy and when to sell specific stocks and bonds. Their experience will help your money grow.Pooling your money also allows you to have more cost efficiency. If you have $5,000 to invest, you may be able to buy shares in two to three companies. However, when you invest in a mutual fund in the financial services sector, your money will be spread out far more equally. Mutual funds can contain stocks and bonds for up to 100 different companies. When you invest this way, you’ll be able to spread your money over a wide variety of companies which can act as a measure of protection.In late 2008 and early 2009, financial services funds were fairing too well. Based on the trouble with banks and lending institutions due to the stock market slumps, it’s easy to see why many people would shy away from investing in this sector. However, history shows that after a financial crisis the financial services industries have been boosted up in the following years. After the early 1990s recession, financial services funds rose 30% in 1992 giving investors a nice profit. Purchasing a financial services fund, or any fund for that matter, is not something that should be gone into lightly. Before you place your money in a fund, you should research the history of the fund, the company that runs the fund and even the fund managers. Once you evaluate this information you can figure out if investing in financial services through mutual funds will be your best bet.

The 7 Steps Of Do-it-yourself Financial Planning

You are in control

You are already your own financial planner. Regardless of the extent of help you receive from professionals, you ultimately are the decision maker and you are responsible for your own finances. Although the financial world has become increasingly complex, it is becoming easier today to do a lot of your own planning. The variety of resources has expanded such as software for money management and planning; online tools for banking, financial planning and investing, and resources, and books and blogs that are easy to understand. These resources may be good news for you if the cost of professional fee only financial planners is out-of-reach to you. Besides the cost of fees, others may avoid planners because they have heard stories of advisors trying to sell a product that didn’t fit their situation. Cost savings and avoiding product pitches are excellent benefits of being your own planner.

Everyone should take a more active role in their financial affairs. Not only does it help with educated decision making and fraud avoidance it also helps you better communicate with your other professional advisors such as your accountant and attorney. You will also find yourself spotting opportunities when they cross your path.

Becoming a better manager of your family’s finances will also help you ‘dig out’ if you are struggling financially. When you consider the low savings rates and the high household debt, many more people find themselves in this category today.

The following are 7 steps to do-it-yourself financial planning:

Step 1: Commit

The first step to financial planning always begins with commitment. Whether you are having financial difficulty, or have just avoided setting goals and mapping out a plan – commitment is the first step. Commitment provides the discipline and focus needed to help sustain you on the path towards your goals.

Step 2: Set Goals

Without specific goals and a plan to achieve them financial success stays a foggy dream. Therefore the second step is to list the dreams that will motivate you. Write down all of the goals you want to achieve in the short and long term. This will serve as the driver, or the fire in the engine giving you the motivation to move forward. Everyone has dreams, but without constant watering and attention dreams will go dormant. Leave your past mistakes and inaction behind you, light a new fire and chart a course forward. You have an enormous amount of potential and talent, and if you have made mistakes you now have more experience and wisdom. Dare to imagine what you could achieve because your best years are ahead of you.

Step 3: Assemble and Organize Information

Get your stuff together. Planning is easier if you assemble everything in one central location. Make an organized filing system either in a cabinet, accordion file, a box, any way that works for you. Now locate and file all of your tax returns, receipts, insurance policies, contracts, wills, mortgages, deeds, titles, pay stubs, employee benefit statements, banking (loan, savings and checking), bills, investment and retirement plan statements and any other important papers.

Step 4: Manage Cash Flow

Your household is a business. You need to know how much you are earning and spending each month. Balance your checkbook and establish a budget. There are dozens of books and software to help with this, and your bank’s website may provide this as well. This will help you know when and where you are overspending.

Step 5: Self Educate

Establish a sound foundational knowledge base about financial matters. Start with books about budgeting and money savings tips, debt, basic insurance and investing. Be sure to include reading about mutual funds and financial planning. Avoid get-rich-quick, real estate, gold or innovative ‘secrets’ books. Stick to the fundamentals. I find the “For Dummies, ‘For Idiots’ and ‘D-Mystified’ book series to be very helpful for many people. Lastly, stay informed about current financial topics by reading financial magazines, newspapers, the business section of papers, and blogs.

Step 6: Create a Written Plan

A written plan serves as a road map towards your financial destination. It helps you understand where you are presently and the steps that you need to take to move forward. A financial plan is a process. Your life will change, therefore you should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. You should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. If you write your own financial plan, you will have to obtain financial planning software. Your other options are to pay to have a written financial plan completed by a fee financial planner or by an institution or professional that provides products. Be sure to find out about how the planner is compensated and what your fees will be.

Step 7: Engage Professionals

Most people can’t entirely do all of their financial planning by themselves. Assemble a team of trusted professional advisors that you can rely on to help you implement different aspects of your plan, answer your questions and be on the lookout for you. The professionals that can be the most advantageous are a proactive tax accountant and financial advisor with extensive planning, investment and insurance knowledge, an attorney qualified in estate planning, and a banker that can help with credit ratings and debt management. Before committing to anyone, get referrals for trusted professionals from people whose opinion you respect and don’t be afraid to ask challenging questions.

Easy Card Games To Entertain

My own experience makes me feel that every child will benefit from playing card games.

It is a healthy experience for a child to play with grownups as an equal; and to play with other children without noticing difference in age.

It is good for the child’s character to get practice in losing without squawking and in winning without crowing. (Many adults could use some of this practice too!)

A young child can learn about numbers and easy arithmetic from a simple card game. A child of any age can exercise his brain by the logical thinking that is needed in the more advanced games.

Moreover, card games are fun. And this is the best of all reasons for teaching them to children.

These games are for children who are too young to think… and for grownups who would rather not think! Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether the children or the grownups laugh harder!

PIG

This is a very hilarious game for children or for adults to play with children. Anybody can learn the game in two or three minutes, and one extra minute makes you an expert!

Number of Players: 3 to 13. Five or 6 make the best game.

Cards: Four of a kind for each player in the game. For example, 5 players would use 20 cards: 4 Aces, 4 Kings, 4 Queens, 4 Jacks, and 4 10′s. For 6 players you would add the four 9′s.

The Deal: Any player shuffles and deals 4 cards to each player.

Object: To get 4 of a kind in your own hand, or to be quick to notice it when somebody else gets 4 of a kind.

The Play: Each player looks at his hand to see if he was dealt 4 of a kind. If nobody has 4 of a kind, each player puts some unwanted card face down on the table and passes it to the player at his left, receiving a card at the same time from the player at his right.

Each player looks at his hand as it appears with the newly-received card. If, still, nobody has 4 of a kind, each player once again passes a card to the left and gets a new card from the right.

The play is continued in this way until some player has 4 of a kind in his hand. That player stops passing or receiving cards since he is satisfied with his hand as it is. Instead of playing on, he puts his finger to his nose.

The other players must be quick to notice this, and each of them must stop passing in order to put a finger to his nose. The last player to put a finger to his nose is the Pig.

DONKEY

This is the same game as Pig, except that when a player gets 4 of a kind he puts his hand face down on the table quietly instead of putting his finger to his nose. He still gets a card from his right and just passes that along to the left, leaving his 4 of a kind untouched on the table.

As each player sees what has happened, he likewise puts his hand down quietly. The idea is to keep up the passing and the conversation while some player plays on without realizing that the hand has really ended.

The last player to put his cards down loses the hand. This makes him a D. The next time he loses, he becomes a D-O. The third time, he becomes a D-O-N. This keeps on, until finally some player becomes a D-O-N-K-E-Y.

Teenage Gambling Addiction Education Needed At Local Schools

For the past few years teenage gambling has been increasing at an exponential rate. The increase in gambling can be contributed to family members who gamble, multiple television programs like poker tournaments and skillful advertising from the gambling establishments. It’s becoming an epidemic among our teenagers with no real solution being presented to the educators of our schools systems.

The new stream of commercials related to stop gambling has had very little affect. The commercials are geared towards helping people stop gambling but are not geared towards the individuals who have not experienced gambling at this point in time. The stop gambling commercials have not been able to reach the teenager with a compulsive gambling addiction. They however may reach the parents who may realize their child has a problem.

The only way to help our youth is to educate them in the classroom and at home. I remember years ago in health class they educated us on smoking and drinking. This was very effective on those individuals who never started. But the ones that were already addicted the educational programs were unable to reach them.

There following educational curriculums are needed for today’s students:

a)Helpful Resources for identifying teenagers who may have a compulsive gambling addiction.

b)Helping Teenagers identify their compulsive gambling addiction

c)Educating teenagers on compulsive gambling addiction. This one is my favorite because this has the best opportunity to prevent a teenager from gambling, helping teenagers identify the signs of compulsive gambling addiction and if the teenager has a problem with gambling.

d)Giving Teenagers the tools to identify others who may have a gambling addiction like their parents. This one has to be handled sensitively. I have received numerous emails from teenagers who did not know where to go, who to talk to in order to help a family member.

e)Educating Teenagers on the resources available to get help by giving them the local stop gambling telephone numbers and helpful stop gambling websites.

f)Understanding Compulsive Gambling Addiction

g)Practical exercises for teenagers with addictions to learn about self esteem, trust and more.

The above educational curriculums are needed to help educate the teenage population.

As each year passes the amount of teenager’s addicted to gambling increases. This increase is due to the increased exposure. This exposure is due to the increase in the number of cable and television gambling programs, advetising by local gambling establishements, retailers jumping on poker craze selling poker chips, the increase in the number of state lotto drawings per day and the state advertising for their scratch off tickets.

Marketing Education And Training: Mlm Secret Profits

When you start in the network marketing business, it is usually because of a couple of reasons. You are fed up with your job. You need more money than your job can give you; or, you simply want to start a business that will be with you for the long term. Many people start in the network marketing business because they believe that following an already organized, successful plan is easier than trying to create a business plan, product or service and promotional materials to get things off the ground. In many respects, network marketing takes care of many of the baffling, hard parts of business startup.

That’s the advantage of getting started with network marketing. The disadvantage to it is that they have no idea how the plan really comes together or how to judge whether the plan is good or bad at the outset. They are aware of how they need to network and far too many of them think that it ends with begging friends and family into helping them! While the plan is there, implementing it is a lot more difficult but very doable.

Prior to starting out, people need to be trained. Marketing education and training comes before prospecting MLM partners and associates because what a person learns and knows needs to be translated and transferred to the people being recruited in order to build a successful organization where everyone makes money. Lured by the hype, most new network marketers need training to get the information needed to make the product or service they are about to sell workable in the long term.

One of the first things that new network marketers need to learn is how to stop harassing and prospecting MLM associates in places where most people are not comfortable talking about a business opportunity. If you see a mother with two kids in the grocery line at the supermarket, this is probably not the best place to approach her with a full blown opportunity presentation. Another favorite approach after the new marketer runs out of friends and family to talk to is they buy useless leads that are either dead or broke or both. They are, in any case, not interested and consider your call the desperate warbling of a telemarketer.

Getting the correct type of marketing education and training is also crucial. In many network marketing programs, the new associate is taught that in order to be successful, they will need to take tough action: cold calling hundreds of businesses in order to be successful at prospecting MLM associates. The other, less strenuous method is generally not taught and most often overlooked – how to build an effective lead capture system complete with lead capture pages as well as other more highly converting methods that almost guarantee a successful outcome.

Many of these techniques were viable before the Internet and network marketing systems merged. Using the latest technology coupled with revamped systems tailored to use on the web, the new methods have revolutionized the industry making business opportunities easier to work and building teams a much less arduous task. All of the new technology and systems are there, but it takes a specialized training in order to take advantage of the new systems.

New marketers these days are combining MySpace, Facebook, Youtube and other programs into methods that allow them to contact MLM associates by the thousands. If you want to get new members, you are definitely playing the numbers game, but if you learn to use these methods, you’ll find that your numbers are going to skyrocket, only because you are able to reach more people with a single effort!

As long as you have the proper marketing education and training, you are going to find that you can take your business to the next level easily. You’ll be in a place of complete abundance. Make sure that you have both the training and the technology to become the next network marketing success. This is something that is real, and within your reach!

Food For Thought When Travelling

That’s what most people try to tell themselves when they go travelling. The stress of remembering the lights you left on in the house, the rubbish you forgot to throw out or the toothcrush that didn’t make it into your suitcase will make your trip agonizing.

If you’re one of the people above then you know that life’s little lessons are tried and true – buy a travel checklist. This will help you to ensure that your essential travelling documents like passport, flight tickets and itinerary are with you as well as your tanning cream and bathing suit.

Finding the right packing style for your trip is actually kind of fun. Even if you don’t know where you’re going yet or about how much you want to pack with you, take the time to shopg and compare. You can compare the measurements and weight of suitcases, flight bags, carry on luggage, garment bags, and hand bags online or in the retailers near you. Try to look for accessories that are light but of durable quality. Lots of sales assistants try to sell you the colors you’re looking for and don’t think about what you need to put in the case. The more appealing cases and bags, usually high quality, tend to be the heaviest of them all. When you find something you like, literally weigh it out in your mind before buy it.

Travel diaries and disposable cameras are a very important of your trip. Without these accessories you have no real way of recalling the most craziest and most fascinating experiences you’re about to have. You know what it’s like when you ask someone how their holiday was and they tell you they saw the beach and a couple tourist areas and took in a show in the evening for fun. You want to see it too! Take a look online or in the shops to find the product you like and will actually use.

Most people don’t think they’ll last long on a journey before they get comfortable and fall asleep. For some that is true but for others, like me, we need something to keep us entertained. A good book to lose yourself in will take your attention off the clock and allow the chance to escape the journey into a whole different time and/or place. Best sellers can be purchased at the airport at a slightly higher cost to the average retailer or bookstore but usually carry a wide selection.

Juggernaut Or Not: Card Games To Select From

Cards is an ancient pastime that over the ages has only picked up popularity and fans. During childhood simple games such as War are explained and then used as a learning tools for helping totters appreciate the world of numbers. As people grow up they begin to play more complicated games that rely on strategy and skill to determine outcome. I have surveyed some of the more popular ones and compiled a list of the toughest and the easiest to learn.

Snap Your Fingers, Soak Them Up:
1) Full and Complete Attack
Based on simple arithmetic, this game using all the 52 cards (including as many jokers as you wish), is one of the all time favorites of children. Neither does it need any strategy nor does it require any particular skill! Full and Complete Attack is generally the first game that children are taught because it not only improves their numerical skills, but adds enjoyment and action to this process.

2) Liar:
Here, all cards lower than eight are removed from the deck, and then seven cards are dealt. The remainder is placed down and one card is placed face-up. According to that card, the player in turn places cards facing down on top of that card. He has to state what card it is, but he can lie. If someone thinks is has lied, they can challenge him and reveal the card. If the player lied, he has to pick up all the cards, if not the challenger does the honors. The goal is to finish all the cards in your hand.

3) Johnny 5:
Johnny 5 is a little more difficult then the first to games but still is very simple to learn. Each player is dealt 5 cards. The left over cards are placed in the center of the table face down the player to the dealers left the may put down a pair of cards or a r 3 card run of cards. If you do not have any the player must take a card. The object of the game is to get rid of all your cards and to have you last one or 2 cards total 5.

4) Joining the Fray:
One of the more entertaining games (especially for children), it requires basic colour and number combinatory skills only. You have to match numbers such as by collecting all fours and all aces, and then release all your cards onto the game deck. The focus of this game is not that much on winning, but on not losing and that is what adds the extra spice to it. It does not matter who throws his cards down first, but the player who notices it last and his cards are the last to hit the table: loses.

List of Most Difficult Games to Learn
1) Bridge:
An old but still popular game, here, you partner with someone and decide before playing how many hands you will win. The complexity of bridge lies not in the rules, which are relatively easy to pick up, but in the intricate game plans and maneuvers one has to master to play well.

2) Dragon Poker:
Dragon Poker is not totally unlike poker. Any of the different variations of poker can be used as the base for the game, but the general rules are very different. There are no official rules for dragon poker, they must be thought up and written down by the group of people you are playing with, and it is the duty of each player to memorize the rules, if you forget a rule it goes against you and if someone else does not remember a rule that can hurt you, do not worry you do not have to remind them. The best games have the most rules. An example of a rule can be if the date ends in an odd number and the dealer is wearing a shirt that the color of the shits spelling is an even number, then each player must pay the dealer 100 dollars. This rule can only be used once and whoever is the first to call out the rule during their deal gets it.

3) Baccarat:
Just like in poker, you have to study and memorize the value of certain cards such as that tens and face cards (Jack to King including Ace) are zero. In addition, you need to learn specific rules such as that if you get an eight or nine no more cards are dealt. To conclude, this game is not for beginners.

Pronunciation: Get Better In Another Language

Pronunciation can affect how we communicate. Many people, who have had a go at learning a foreign language, have experienced that sinking feeling when they try a well-constructed sentence in another language only to be met with a blank face.

Why is this?

Languages are built on sounds. If I speak English and live in an English-speaking country I expect a speaker to say sounds in a particular way. In French or Spanish I would expect to hear different sounds. When we can’t recognise the sound we try and adjust how we are listening, a bit like tuning a radio, but if we can’t guess the sound, the chances are we won’t understand what is being said.

The Blocks of Pronunciation

Pronunciation has two main aspects to it, physically producing it and the sound that is produced from it, the hearing of the sound. As we get older the ability to do both of these, i.e. physically work out how to make the sound and recognise it, can diminish. This doesn’t mean we can’t continue to learn new languages but we need some extra tricks to help us.

Let’s look at some ideas on what we can do when we learn a new language.

How am I saying it?

Try saying the letters. Notice how your mouth is working. If you don’t know how a sound is physically made you may find it harder to say it.

What sounds are the same?

English has many more sounds than other languages but it also has a lot of sounds in common with other languages. Good dictionaries in a new language will usually offer an English sound or word to compare with. Use it to check what sounds are similar.

Which sounds are hard to say?

Go through the alphabet of the new language and mark out the ones you find hard to say. Give them some attention. Try and physically make the sound and see how your mouth works. Say the alphabet. Look at how children use the alphabet song in English to help them remember the alphabet, doing the same in a new language will also help memorise the letters and sounds.

Read out loud.

Find some reading form your course book or any other book. There are two advantages here. One you get to say the letters and words. Secondly you get to practise sounds that you expect to hear and you become accustomed to the sounds of the language.

How good do I need to be?

There is much discussion on this. For many of us the ability to get by in other languages is good enough. If we can say what we want, simply, slowly and the person we are speaking to, can understand us, then our pronunciation is probably good enough. After that it is a matter of choice. Some people become very good at other languages and get to very good levels of pronunciation. Not many of us are such gifted linguists but there’s no reason why we can’t make the words so that people can understand us.

Board Games Aimed At Teenagers

While there are board games made for every age range possible, there is a special market made for games which are geared toward teenagers. Many times, these games will be themed according to different forms of media which may be popular with teenagers of the day. The teenage years can be a time during which many children are trying to find themselves and often, they will express little interest in traditional board games. However, when there are games built around something that they are interested in, they might be more inclined to play one.

The popular High School Musical franchise has given board games a number of opportunities to base games off of the idea. It has produced a game based on a “Mystery Date,” where players must race around the board, getting ready for a mystery blind date with one of the boys from High School Musical. Not only is the person of the date in question, but whether the player can even be ready for the date in time is one of the driving forces of the game. Whichever player can race around the board and complete all of their tasks in time will be the winner.

Another High School Musical game is one in which players have to prepare and be ready for the audition. Trying out for the school play was the major theme in the High School Musical movie and in this game, players can feel the same rush of emotions as the characters of the movie did, trying to perform well and land the part. These games give teenagers a chance to experience some of the fun of one of their favorite movies while still giving them the opportunity to interact with each other in a safe manner.

Other, popular action movies can also provide the chance for some fun games to be produced. Pirates of the Caribbean and Transformers have both given their images to a number of games. You could find a Pirates of the Caribbean edition of Life or a Transformers edition of Risk. These games take the excitement of the movies they are based on and allow different teenagers to feel the same thrill they might have found in the theaters in the comfort of their own home. Again, they allow teenagers the chance to interact with each other in an environment which is safe and might keep them out of trouble which they may otherwise get themselves into.

This isn’t to say that traditional games aren’t popular with teenagers as well. Monopoly and Clue can both provide a fun night for any number of people. Teenagers aren’t exempt from this; they only sometimes need an extra little push into feeling like they are allowed to simply enjoy a board game. There is a lot of pressure on teenagers to conform to certain ideas and peer pressure can be high. Playing board games isn’t usually one of those things that teenagers can be pressured into by their friends. However, when the game is something that all of the teenagers will enjoy, it is much easier to convince them to play the games.

How To Find Top Financial Services

Finding top financial services may sometimes feel like a daunting task. When it comes to your money, you want to be sure that you’re working with a company or an individual that you trust. There’s nothing worse than realizing that you’ve been placing your money in the wrong hands. Since there are many different types of financial services, there are many ways to find the top financial services. Before you start looking, you should educate yourself on the area of financial services that you are looking for. If you can figure out what you should be looking for it will be easier to find it. Self education is the best step that you can take in your own financial management.One of the most important types of financial services that most people will use is their bank or credit union. Since a bank or credit union will provide a wide variety of services, from checking and savings accounts to loans, it makes sense to take some time to choose the right institution for your needs. A lot of people choose their bank based on their commercials or a small piece of the puzzle, like free checking.For an accurate review of the aspects of a particular bank, you can search online for reviews. People aren’t afraid to share their opinions on a bank that has mismanaged their money. These days, thanks to the internet, you can see how a bank really treats its customers and make an informed decision.A good resource for evaluating your financial services options is Bankrate.com. This website has detailed information on the interest rates of checking and savings accounts from a variety of different banks. It’s also a good place to find out about mortgage loans, auto loans, CDs, investments and credit cards. You can use this resource to thoroughly investigate your options before making a decision. It will make it easy to find the top financial services.Besides banks, loans and investments, there are many other types of financial services. If you are going to be investing in the stock market, you’ll need a broker. If you want an expert to do your taxes, you’ll need an accountant. Some people even opt to talk with a financial advisor to help them with a wide variety of financial needs.These types of professionals can be found in your local community or online. Since they work directly with you and your money, you’ll want to take some time to find the right option for you. The best way to start finding these types of financial service professionals is to ask for referrals. Talk to your friends an family about what you are looking for. Many of them may use the type of financial professional that you are looking for.In addition to referrals, you can also use the Better Business Bureau’s website to find reputable professionals in your area. If a company or individual professional has complaints against them, the BBB’s website will let you know. The site is located at www.bbb.org. It is a fast and easy way to find top financial services in your area.