The Best Investment Portfolio for 2014 and Beyond

If you have an investment portfolio (like in a 401k plan) take a good look at it, because it might not really be the best investment portfolio for 2014 and beyond. If you are a new investor, don’t start investing money until you are familiar with the best funds to include in your portfolio in 2014.

Your investment portfolio is simply a list showing where your money is, and for most average investors consists primarily of mutual funds: stock funds, bond funds and money market funds. Here we discuss the best funds and asset allocation to achieve the best investment portfolio in the event that 2014 and beyond becomes a tough environment for investors. You may need to make changes in your existing portfolio; and you should also be aware of the following as a new investor before you start investing money.

As an investor you should receive statements periodically which show you where your money is. The problem is that many investors do not give these statements, which clearly show you your asset allocation and your investment portfolio, the attention they deserve. That can be a problem. For example, if you had 50% of your portfolio allocated to stock funds in early 2009, you could have two-thirds of your money in these funds now. If the stock market takes a big hit, you stand to take a big loss. Let’s take a look at stock funds and the best funds for investing money there first.

The stock market and many diversified stock funds have gone UP in value about 150% in less than 5 years, and numerous financial analysts expect a correction (stock prices to go DOWN) in 2014. If your investment portfolio shows that more than half of your assets are invested in stock funds consider cutting back to 50% or less. If you are a new investor ready to start investing, allocate no more than 50% to diversified stock funds. The best funds: those that invest in high quality, dividend paying stocks vs. growth funds that pay little in the form of dividends. This is your first step in putting together the best investment portfolio for 2014, because it cuts your potential losses.

The best investment portfolio also includes bond funds, which have been good solid investments for over 30 years. Why? Interest rates have been falling, which sends bond prices and bond fund values higher. Problem: interest rates have hit all-time lows and appear to be heading higher. Higher interest rates create losses for bond fund investors. Many investors have an investment portfolio loaded with bond funds and are totally unaware of the risk involved if rates go up. If you are getting ready to start investing money you need to know this as well. When interest rates go UP, bonds and bond fund values go DOWN. That’s about the only iron-clad rule in the investment world.

Allocate no more than 25% to 30% of your total investment portfolio to bond funds to cut your risk. The best bond funds are categorized as intermediate-term funds, where the investment portfolio of the fund invests in bonds that mature (on average) in 5 to 10 years. These are the best funds now because they pay a respectable dividend with only moderate risk. The worst funds to hold now: long-term funds that hold bonds maturing (on average) in 15, 20 years or more. When you review your investment portfolio, get rid of these because they will be big losers if (when) interest rates shoot upward. New investors who want to start investing money: avoid them and allocate about 25% of your money to intermediate-term bond funds to avoid heavy risk.

Sometimes the best investment portfolio is loaded with aggressive stock funds and includes longer-term bond funds. Now, looking at 2014 and beyond, is probably not one of those times. For many years now losses in stock funds have been offset by gains in bond funds. Today the problem for investors is that even the best funds of both varieties could get hit if the economy falters and interest rates rise significantly. That makes investing money today a real challenge… one that few investors are prepared for.

So, let’s say that you start investing money with less than 50% going to the best funds in the stock department and about 25% allocated to the best funds in the bond universe… or you adjust your existing investment portfolio to these levels… where do you invest the rest of it? Even though interest rates are still historically low, you bite the bullet and invest it for safety to earn interest. In a 401k plan your best safe investment is likely the stable account, if your plan has one. Otherwise, the best fund for safety is a money market fund (even though they presently pay almost no interest). When rates go up, they should pay more. Or you can shop the banks for the best rates on short-term CDs, or savings accounts.

I expect that 2014 and beyond will be a challenging time to start investing money or to manage an existing investment portfolio. On the other hand, now you should have a handle on the best funds to consider when putting together the best investment portfolio possible. Remember, you must stay in the game in order to get ahead over the long term; but sometimes moderation is your best course of action.

Questions First Time Investors Should Ask Before Investing

It is easy to find people’s opinion on how to invest in the stock market as everyone has a different angle on what to expect in the stock market at every point in time, but most of the time people’s opinion may be very confusing. The most common problem that new investors do have is how to determine good investments from the bad ones, what to invest on, what time to invest among others. Some of the questions that you need to answer so as to make a good decision when you want to invest are highlighted below.

Is This a Good Time to Invest in Stocks?

On the off chance that you are taking a gander at money markets amid a lofty decrease, you may think it is a terrible time to begin investing. On the off chance that you are taking a gander at it when stocks are reviving, you may think it is a decent time.

Neither one of the times is fundamentally great or terrible in the event that you are investing for the long haul (10 years or more). Nobody can anticipate with any level of assurance which way the share trading system will move at any given time; yet over the long haul, stock markets has constantly moved higher. Each bear advertises is trailed by a buyer market (when stock costs rise). Verifiably, positively trending markets have endured any longer than bear markets, and the additions of buyer markets have more than counterbalance the misfortunes in bear markets

How Much Risk Should I Take?

A standout amongst the most essential fundamentals of investing is the cozy relationship amongst risk and returns. Without risk, there can be no profits. You ought to will to accept more risk on the off chance that you are looking for more noteworthy returns. In that regard, risk can be something to be thankful for, yet just in the event that you take into consideration adequate time to let the inescapable market cycles happen. By and large, in the event that you have a more drawn out venture time skyline, you ought to will to expect a more noteworthy measure of risk, on the grounds that there will be more opportunity for the market to work through the here and there cycles. Generally, understanding financial specialists have been compensated with positive long haul returns.

New investors are regularly encouraged to put fundamentally in common money, which can give moment enhancement, offering the most ideal approach to lessen risk. By putting resources into a couple of various shared assets speaking to various resource classes, (for example, expansive development stocks, global stocks or bonds), you can lessen unpredictability significantly promote without yielding long haul returns.

On the off chance that you are beginning an investment program by investing incremental measures of cash on a month to month basis, you will profit by dollar cost averaging. When you invest an altered measure of cash on a month to month premise, you get some share costs at a higher cost and some at a lower cost because of market changes. At the point when the market decreases, your settled dollar sum will purchase more shares. After some time, the normal cost of your shares ought to be lower than the present market cost. By utilizing dollar cost averaging, your drawback risk will be alleviated after some time.

What Is My Investment Goal?

The most vital question to consider before making any invest is, “What Is My Investment Goal?” Your ventures will contrast boundlessly if, for instance, you are attempting to spare cash for retirement as opposed to attempting to spare cash for an up front installment on the house. Things being what they are, ask yourself, “Is this venture prone to help me meet my objective?”

What Is My Risk Tolerance?

If your investment objective is to profit as would be prudent and you can endure any hazard, then you ought to invest in the National Lottery. Putting resources into lotteries, be that as it may, practically promises you won’t achieve your venture objective. There are speculations for each level of risk resilience. But if you are not a high-risk taker, investing in long-term investment is the key.

What Happens if This Investment Goes to Zero?

Among the 12 stocks in 1896 stock list, only General Electric is still in operation, the other eleven firms in the first record have either gone bankrupt or have been gobbled up. There is a genuine plausibility that any investment you make could go to zero while you claim it. Ask yourself, “Will I be monetarily crushed if this speculation goes to zero?” If the answer is yes, don’t make that venture.

What Is My Investment Time Frame?

As a rule, the more extended your investment time allotment, the more risk you can take in your investment portfolio since you have more opportunity to recuperate from a mix-up. Likewise, in case you’re putting something aside for retirement, and you’re decades from resigning, putting resources into something illiquid (like an investment property) may bode well. “Does this venture bode well from a planning perspective?”

When and Why Will I Sell This Investment?

If you know why you are putting resources into something, you ought to have an entirely smart thought of when to sell it. On the off chance that you purchased a stock since you were expecting 20 percent income development for each year, you ought to anticipate offering the stock if income development doesn’t live up to your desires. On the off chance that you purchased a stock since you enjoyed the dividend yield, offer the stock if the profit yield falls.

Who Am I Investing With?

It is extremely hard to judge the character and capacity of anybody in light of a two-passage portrayal accessible in an organization’s yearly report or a common store outline. However, you ought to at any rate know with whom you are entrusting your money. What is their past record? Things to hope for are long fruitful track records and good dividend and turnover.

Do I Have Special Knowledge?

A celebrated investment expert feels that normal individuals have a tremendous favorable position over investment experts in fields where they work in light of the fact that no investment professional will ever know more around an industry than somebody who works in it. Ask yourself, “Am I putting resources into something I know something about, or am I putting resources into something that some specialist know something about?”

I couldn’t care less how great something sounds. In the event that I don’t totally see how it functions, I won’t put resources into it.

In the event that an investment can’t be clarified obviously, it implies one of two things:

The individual clarifying it doesn’t comprehend it either, or there’s something about the investment that the individual is attempting to stow away.

On top of that, one of the greatest keys to investing admirably is adhering to your arrangement through the good and bad times.

That is difficult. Indeed, even the best investment methodologies have enormous down periods that make you reconsider. Adhering to your arrangement in those extreme times requires a practically religious-like conviction that things will pivot.

Furthermore, the best way to have that sort of conviction is to comprehend why you’re investing the way you are and what every bit of your arrangement is accomplishing for you. Without a solid comprehension, you’ll more likely than not safeguard at the main indication of inconvenience.

Why Do I Still Own That Investment?

It is a smart thought to intermittently look through your investment portfolio to ensure regardless you need to claim your stock. Offering an investment for a misfortune or offering a major champ is exceptionally troublesome. Be that as it may, the greatest distinction amongst beginner and professional investors is that professional investors don’t have passionate ensnarement with their investment and can strip themselves of their investment without kicking themselves if the investment keeps on picking up esteem.

Should I Be Managing My Own Investments?

It is extremely difficult for beginner investor to perform well than a professional investment expert. If you don’t have sufficient energy or slant to deal with your investment, you ought to think about paying an expert to do it for you. Every investor wants to make profit, so there is no harm in trusting your investment in good hand.

Ease Into the World of Investing

The United Nations does it. Governments do it. Companies do it. Fund managers do it. Millions of ordinary working people – from business owners to factory workers – do it. Housewives do it. Even farmers and children do it.

‘It’ here is investing: the science and art of creating, protecting and enhancing your wealth in the financial markets. This article introduces some of the most important concerns in the world of investment.

Let’s start with your objectives. While clearly the goal is to make more money, there are 3 specific reasons institutions, professionals and retail investors (people like you and me) invest:

  • For Security, ie for protection against inflation or market crashes
  • For Income, ie to receive regular income from their investments
  • For Growth, ie for long-term growth in the value of their investments

Investments are generally structured to focus on one or other of these objectives, and investment professionals (such as fund managers) spend a lot of time balancing these competing objectives. With a little bit of education and time, you can do almost the same thing yourself.

One of the first questions to ask yourself is how much risk you’re comfortable with. To put it more plainly: how much money are you prepared to lose? Your risk tolerance level depends on your personality, experiences, number of dependents, age, level of financial knowledge and several other factors. Investment advisors measure your risk tolerance level so they can classify you by risk profile (eg, ‘Conservative’, ‘Moderate’, ‘Aggressive’) and recommend the appropriate investment portfolio (explained below).

However, understanding your personal risk tolerance level is necessary for you too, especially with something as important as your own money. Your investments should be a source of comfort, not pain. Nobody can guarantee you’ll make a profit; even the most sensible investment decisions can turn against you; there are always ‘good years’ and ‘bad years’. You may lose part or all of your investment so always invest only what you are prepared to lose.

At some point you’ll want to withdraw some or all of your investment funds. When is that point likely to be: in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years or 25 years? Clearly, you’ll want an investment that allows you to withdraw at least part of your funds at this point. Your investment timeframe – short-term, medium-term or long-term – will often determine what kinds of investments you can go for and what kinds of returns to expect.

All investments involve a degree of risk. One of the ‘golden rules’ of investing is that reward is related to risk: the higher the reward you want, the higher the risk you have to take. Different investments can come with very different levels of risk (and associated reward); it’s important that you appreciate the risks associated with any investment you’re planning to make. There’s no such thing as a risk-free investment, and your bank deposits are no exception. Firstly, while Singapore bank deposits are rightly considered very safe, banks in other countries have failed before and continue to fail. More importantly, in 2010 the highest interest rate on Singapore dollar deposits up to $10,000 was 0.375%, while the average inflation rate from Jan-Nov 2010 was 2.66%. You were losing money just by leaving your savings in the bank.

Today, there are many, many types of investments (‘asset classes’) available. Some – such as bank deposits, stocks (shares) and unit trusts – you’re already familiar with, but there are several others you should be aware of. Some of the most common ones:

  • Bank Deposits
  • Shares
  • Investment-Linked Product1
  • Unit Trusts2
  • ETFs3
  • Gold4

1 An Investment-Linked Product (ILP) is an insurance plan that combines protection and investment. ILPs main advantage is that they offer life insurance.

2 A Unit Trust is a pool of money professionally managed according to a specific, long-term management objective (eg, a unit trust may invest in well-known companies all over the world to try to provide a balance of high returns and diversification). The main advantage of unit trusts is that you don’t have to pay brokers’ commissions.

3 An ETF or Exchange-Traded Fund comes in many different forms: for example, there are equity ETFs that hold, or track the performance of, a basket of stocks (eg Singapore, emerging economies); commodity ETFs that hold, or track the price of, a single commodity or basket of commodities (eg Silver, metals); and currency ETFs that track a major currency or basket of currencies (eg Euro). ETFs offer two main advantages: they trade like shares (on stock exchanges such as the SGX) and typically come with very low management fees.

The main difference between ETFs and Unit Trusts is that ETFs are publicly-traded assets while Unit Trusts are privately-traded assets, meaning that you can buy and sell them yourself anytime during market hours.

4 ‘Gold’ here refers to gold bullion, certificates of ownership or gold savings accounts. However, note that you can invest in gold in many other ways, including gold ETFs, gold Unit Trusts; and shares in gold mining companies.

With the advent of the Internet and online brokers, there are so many investment alternatives available today that even a beginner investor with $5,000 to invest can find several investment options suited to her objectives, risk profile and timeframe.

Diversification basically means trying to reduce risk by making a variety of investments, ie investing your money in multiple companies, industries and countries (and as your financial knowledge and wealth grows, in different ‘asset classes’ – cash, stocks, ETFs, commodities such as gold and silver, etc). This collection of investments is termed your Investment Portfolio.

Some level of diversification is important because in times of crisis, similar investments tend to behave similarly. Two of the best examples in recent history are the Singapore stock market crashes of late-2008/early-2009, during the US ‘Subprime’ crisis, and 1997, during the ‘Asian Financial Crisis’, when the price of large numbers of stocks plunged. ‘Diversifying’ by investing in different stocks wouldn’t have helped you very much on these occasions.

The concept and power of compounding are best explained by example. Assume we have 3 investments: the first returns 0.25% a year; the second returns 5% a year; and the third returns 10% a year. For each investment, we compare 2 scenarios:

  • Without compounding, ie the annual interest is taken out of the account.
  • With compounding, ie the annual interest is left (re-invested) in the account.

Let’s look at the returns over 25 years for all 3 investments, assuming we start off with $10,000 in Year 0:

  • With 0.25% return a year, your investment will grow to $10,625 after 25 years without compounding; your investment becomes $10,644 after 25 years with compounding.
  • With 5% return a year, your investment will grow to $22,500 after 25 years without compounding; your investment becomes $33,864 after 25 years with compounding.
  • With 10% return a year, your investment will grow to $35,000 after 25 years without compounding; your investment becomes $108,347 after 25 years with compounding.

This shows the dramatic effects of both higher returns and compounding: 10% annual returns coupled with 25 years of compounding will return you more than 10 times your initial investment. And 10% returns are by no means unrealistic: educated investors who actively manage their portfolio themselves and practise diversification can achieve even higher returns, even with some losing years.

People of all ages and backgrounds need practical and customised guidance in developing their financial knowledge and skills in order to reach their financial goals. In this article we’ve tried to describe in simple terms some of the most important concepts and principles you need to understand on this journey.

Passive Investment Income

What are some ways a person can generate passive investment income? There are a number of ideas about it. Everyone has his own ideas about which one can be a passive investment income. We should have our own choice of investment. The wealthy, the marginalized, and the middle class people differ in their own preferences about investing their money. Now, let’s compare ways and opportunities according to some considerations such as safety, profitability, and also liquidity.

Safety means that your investment and the income are stable. The money that you invest could be prone to the changing market condition, economic slowdown, and social unrest. The point is that your passive investment income should always be there. In that case, it is safe to invest.

On the other hand, profitability is what we usually consider when we invest. We are supposed to believe that what is profitable is ideal. That’s right. But is it risky? Is my money stuck? Obviously, everyone would go for whatever gives them profit. Whenever we consider gains, the highest amount is always the best passive investment income. What we should consider here should not have been about the top gainers only. It’s should also be the safer ones.

Another significant factor that must be considered is liquidity. Let us suppose that we earn very attractively from our safe investment. What does that mean to us anyway? When you are ready to use your fund because you really need it and that’s the reason why you invested, is it possible to convert it to cash now? If there is no liquidity, our passive investment income is only an imagination. You would become wealthy only in your dreams. Liquidity is not only about the comfort of making a withdrawal. It is also about how smooth it is to invest.

Now, here are three kinds of investment we may consider whether which passive investment income is better for us. So, let’s talk about three kinds of portfolios such as business, stocks, and real estate.

Business is a personal activity that deals with economic factors that determines future gains. It is the chemistry of work and investment. This means that a businessman does not only wait for passive income, he should also work for it. Therefore, it is an active income and at the same time passive.

In the aspect of safety, business is not that safe. It is exposed to economic cycle. Businesses are under the supply and demand law. If the demand for their goods has been increasing, the price will also increase, and so will the supply. As time goes by, the demand will influence the supply to increase more. So if the supply is much greater, it will then influence the price to decrease. Consequently, businesses are getting more unstable and their future is turning gray. But, businesses may also get more resilient. As this type of investment is a little active, the active control of a businessman can manage a worse situation. Therefore, these two characters of investment regulate the cycle. Because of this, business becomes good. It is definitely a good example of passive investment income when it comes to safety.

In stock market, it’s the other way around. Safety is a very controversial issue here. Obviously, the risk involved here is very high. But the potential return is high, too. Passive investment income is more common in stock trading. Therefore, your income here is not the product of your active participation in the company. It is the product of your decision.

In the area of real estate, the lesser amount you invest, the safer it is. The bigger the investment you have, the riskier it becomes. But land alone is considerably not risky. The reason why real estate becomes a little risky is because the cost of structural materials is getting higher. Structural materials are also subject to the law of supply and demand. So, if we only rely on land for passive investment income by renting it out, our passive income will not be affected by any price fluctuation. Aside from that, structures depreciate over a period of time. Therefore, investing in real estate can be risky or safe depending on the kind.

In terms of profit, it is more attractive in business. In some businesses, you have to spend time before you earn regularly. Usually, the profit is negative especially if they are just beginning to operate. They should promote their brands and strengthen themselves in the market. When the consumers buy their goods, passive investment income begins. On the other hand, other businesses are doing well in the beginning of the operation. During the first stage, their sales shoot up. Subsequently, they grow very early. As time goes by, consumers get sick and tired of their goods. Consequently, these businesses reduce their passive income. Nevertheless, what is nice about business is the resilience to catch up with the competition. In business, the consistency of income is stable. One more advantage in business regarding this is the petty cash. Passive investment income in business need not come after a fixed cycle like that in stocks. There is always readily available petty cash.

On one hand, profit potential in stock investing is definitely high. As the character of stocks is risky, risk appetite causes the value of stocks to go up quickly. On the other hand, risk aversion and profit taking in the intraday trading can cause the value of stocks to go down quickly, too. Risk management in the stock market depends on the traders. Speculators enjoy their passive investment income from the price volatility while non-aggressive traders and investors get their passive investment income from dividends. Therefore, we can’t rule out the risk nature of stocks. When we gauge the balance between the energy we exert and the profit we earn, investing in stocks could be the most attractive one. We must not forget that passive investment income is an income that we could get without extra effort. If stock market really offers this potential, it must be a better option for passive investment income.

In real estate, how can we have a passive investment income? There is no doubt that one may enjoy his passive investment income in real estate without extra effort. The point is whether or not the ratio of profit is balanced with the investment. Surely, we can gain in real estate primarily because the usual investment is big as well. But always remember that you should pay the capital gains tax annually. This might explain why landlords do not solely rely on renting out their lots. Hence, land is usually developed to optimize the gains. Regarding the actual amount of gains, real estate could guarantee a better passive investment income. Therefore, we should really consider the ROI.

In terms of liquidity, it is somewhat less in business. Of course, liquidity still exists. However, much time is spent to put up a business, to start gaining, and even the time it takes to stop operating. Although the period of time executing all these can be determined according to a business plan, the process is still slower depending on the kind of business. Retail businesses are quite liquid whereas manufacturing industries are not.

Among the common types of investments known to many, investment in stocks is the most liquid one. You can open and close an investment account at your convenience. Moreover, you may select any available stock you wish to invest in. If you wish to have exposure in stock market, to take profit, or to pull out your investment, it won’t take that long. You may do so at any given time wherever you may be.

On the contrary, liquidity is a big problem in real estate. In business, there are still ways to determine it, but hardly in real estate. Usually, it is like a game of chance to sell even a small house and lot. Thus, investing in real estate, earning passive income, and even pulling out your investment will never occur overnight. It won’t matter if it doesn’t affect productivity. For instance, you have found a better opportunity that needs quick decision. Then, you think it best to change your existing investment into such a new one. Perhaps, before you are able to pull out your investment from real estate, your commitment to others will have already been canceled. In similar case, you might get stuck.

These are some ways a person can generate passive investment income. Whether you wish to invest in stocks, real estate, or business, you can always find an opportunity to generate passive investment income.

An introduction to A-Z VoIP termination

You won’t travel far in the world of VoIP before you come across the term A-Z termination. In essence, what this means is that the service provider offers call termination routes to all parts of the globe.

This has a number of advantages for business users, not least that you can get all of your voice communication needs met in one place, and also that there are significant savings to be made on call costs. No wonder that VoIP services are taking off in a big way –
.

Flexible solution

Not only does VoIP offer the opportunity to make savings, it has a number of other advantages too. It’s easy to use – for the end user really no different from a conventional phone service – and it offers much more flexibility.

Using a wholesale VoIP provider, for example,
means that you can easily adjust your service as the business expands and to cope with sudden increases in demand due to seasonal or other factors.
It also offers all of the features you’d expect from a phone service including caller line identification (CLI), conference call facilities and the ability to share the same service across a number of business locations.

Things to consider

If you are considering switching to a wholesale A-Z VoIP solution there are a number of key factors that you need to take into account. Cost is often the main factor in driving the decision, but you also need to think about quality. Opting for the cheapest solution may not always be the best. Voice  communication is important to your business and if call quality is poor it will reflect badly on you.

How your wholesale provider routes their calls is the factor that makes a difference here. The more partners they have the greater the choice of routes available and the better the chance of ensuring you get the best possible quality for your calls. It also means the ability to reroute should one connection fail.

Security needs to be taken into account too. Any service relying on the internet is potentially vulnerable so you need to take steps to protect your VoIP service. Call fraud is a risk, so you need to ensure your user accounts are properly secured. You can also use software to block certain types of call.

Six ways to ensure your racking is safe

The use of racking in warehouses is commonplace, but the potential for accidents remains high despite a great deal of research aimed at reducing these incidents.

Advice
The Health and Safety Executive
has produced a short guide to help those involved in warehousing and storage to reduce the number of injuries and occupational ill health, providing simple advice that should be applied in the industry.

You can follow these simple steps to ensure a safe workplace.
1. The starting place should always be ensuring that your racking supplier is a reliable source who can advise you on the best arrangements for the installation. Wherever you are looking to source your racking Ireland, the UK or in Europe you will find professional suppliers at sites such as rackzone.ie/pallet-racking/.

2. Once you have selected your supplier, you will be able to take advantage of their experience in installing the structure, ensuring that health and safety rules are followed. This expertise ensures that strength and load tolerance measures are met, and the construction has the correct fittings and bracing pattern.

3. Safety standards across industry will also impact your choice. Although Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association standards are accepted in the UK as a minimum, most companies should be looking to reach the new European Norm, which sets the safety bar higher.

4. Signage is vital in the workplace, and racking should have loading signs displayed with limitations identified and maximum load capacities clearly shown. Health and Safety rules make these a requirement.

5. Although looking for racking on the second-hand market may be an attractive option, investing in high-quality products meeting the latest industry standards remains the best option. Secure racking not only protects the workforce as outlined above; it also ensures your stock is secure and not susceptible to damage or loss.

6. To maintain standards, always carry out regular inspections and never make alterations to racking without first consulting the supplier. Although it may be tempting to carry out repairs in the workplace to ease delays, racking adjustments should never be performed without using an accredited installer. Short-term economic gain could lead to long-term problems that will affect the bottom line.

Relationship

All the safety issues outlined above can be tackled by engaging the services of an experienced supplier and making the effort to maintain a good relationship.

10 more tips for a stress free Christmas

Christmas should be a time for relaxing and enjoying quality time with those  you love, but for many by the time the big day arrives, they are too exhausted to enjoy it!

The key to a stress free Christmas is to be prepared, stick to a budget and make sure you take time out for yourself.

Spend it with your loved ones

Try not to get caught in the trap of spending the day with relations who you don’t get on with. Politely decline any invites and make sure you spend the day with those people who make you happiest.

Rest

Although it is the party season, too much partying and late nights will leave you too exhausted to enjoy the day itself, so be sensible.

Pressure

Don’t fall into the trap of having to create the perfect Christmas, as it will be hard to live up to expectations. Just have fun!
Weather

Don’t be tempted to stay inside just because it’s cold and dark outside. A brisk family walk will build up an appetite and leave you bursting with energy.
Be a good neighbour

Doing a good deed or two will make you feel good too, so make some time to visit an elderly neighbour, or collect some shopping for a friend. Companies such as same day courier Manchester all about freight
can get your gifts collected and delivered on the same day.
Wish List

If you’re after something in particular, make sure your loved ones know, and help them out with any specifics i.e. size, colour etc.

Talk

Life can be so busy that sitting down for a good chat can do you the world of good, so build time for talking into your day.

Simple Things

Watching Christmas movies and playing games can really bring families together; just a pen and paper and a game of charades can do the trick! The Italian Prime Minister
Minister is urging schoolsin Italy to hold back on the homework and let families enjoy quality time together.

Manners

Encourage children to be grateful for their gifts and give gifts themselves – even if it’s a homemade card.

Those We’ve Lost

Sometimes talking about those we’ve lost can be therapeutic, and happy memories can bring a smile, so don’t avoid the subject – celebrate the good times.

Is the tank the answer to our road traffic problems?

The short answer to this question is no it is not but there might be a time when we consider it. On the face of it a
Tank is probably one of the most efficient ways of getting around the country as they are pretty much designed to go
anywhere you want them to. You can get a good idea of what it’s like to drive one by going on a Tank Driving Experience and a good place to start is by looking at Armourgeddon Tank Driving Days. The Tank that most people get to drive is the British armies’ old workhorse the FV432. It doesn’t have a whacking great big gun turret on the top like a Challenger, Warrior or Abrams but that is a good thing because when you get on up to speed the gun tends to flap about a lot if you haven’t secured it properly and also it scares people.
Can you actually take one of these out on the roads? You might be surprised by the answer.

You’d be surprised because the answer is a categorical yes! If you look on the back of your driving licence although
you won’t see a tank on there you will see classifications of goods vehicles. You need to have a H licence for a heavy goods vehicle which means that most truckers could go out and legitimately drive a tank. Before you start looking through the military surplus catalogue and booking in your test there are a few things that you might want to
consider before you start thinking that you can go rolling down the road in an antique T-34 that you’ve got cheap of
a Russian man on E-bay. First of all the gun cannot work and neither can the grenade launchers. While there Police
are happy for you to go about your business in it in a law abiding way they will take a dim view if the tank still has its heavy weapons fully functioning. Just a quick note a modern tank is very expensive and arms manufactures usually like you to buy in bulk rather than just one.

To be honest the FV432 is probably you best bet. Its fast(ish) and is not a massive lump of metal. Well, it is a massive lump of metal but it is a bit more user friendly. As it doubles as troop carrier it is also has the ability to get all the family in it. Don’t expect to get anywhere quickly though the top speed is only thirty two miles per hour. At least you’ll never get done for speeding!

Putting the needle on the record.

When Thomas Edison developed the first phonograph, the first machine to be able to record and reply sound he probably did not foresee how it was going to be developed. One thing for example he certainly did not anticipate is the work of someone like Public Enemy’s Terminator X
scratching and mixing on the decks. The use of usic for business for example is one that is very relevant and owes much to the record player.

It is especially useful as a tool for creating the right kind of environment that you want your business to have and the image that you want to convey. A company like moodmedia.co.uk/in-store-music-for-business
for example can provide you with a bespoke approach that looks at your busy in great detail from your mission statement to your financial projections so that you get a playlist that will complement you perfectly. What about record players themselves and records too? How did they become the force they were and are starting to become again?

Edison’s invention was relatively simple. It used a drum system that rotated a foil innard. When you spoke into the
recording element it imprinted the recording onto the foil.When you played it back, or another recording that had been made a series of needles ran over the foil. The vibration of the needles produced the sound out of the speaker.
There was one major issue the whole thing was a deeply cumbersome thing that was not exactly portable.Enter then Emile Berliner.The phonogram had become smaller and more compact and the final piece of the portability and use of the phonogram was the invention if Berliners disc or record.This was a system that had one continuous groove throughout.

The system of using a needle to translate the vibrations into sound and put through the speaker was a great move
forward. The system was still very expensive but after the Second World War the use of plastics became more widespread and with the addition of plasticisers to Poly vinyl chloride or PVC as it is better well known.
This meant that records could be pressed quicker and cheaper. This played perfectly into the hands of the new record industry and the massive demand for the sales of new recording artists that were coming on to the market. With the fully portable record players that were available people record collections were about to grow to very large sizes and a whole new cultural phenomenon was born.

Some of the Best Diamond Films

Diamonds have inspired humans since the first one was uncovered from the ground. Therefore, it’s not surprising that diamonds have been the subject of many a Hollywood film.
Throw in some glittering gems and a touch of drama and you’ve got yourself a great movie. Here are some of the best-known diamond-themed movies:

1. Snatch

This was the second film directed by Guy Ritchie and told the tale of a gambling addict attempting to fence a stolen diamond of 84 carat weight. The film centres on the criminal underworld of stolen diamond dealers. In an hilarious twist, the diamond ends up being swallowed by a dog! The dog is fine as the story twists and turns through a web of confusing encounters.

2. To Catch a Thief

This classic thriller by Alfred Hitchcock stars Cary Grant as a retired jewel thief trying to proclaim his innocence after a number of diamond thefts occur near to where he lives in the French Riviera. He escapes the police and uncovers the real thief to clear his name.

3. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

There isn’t much about diamonds in this movie classic but the song that featured in the film made it an iconic diamond reference. ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ was performed by Marilyn Monroe as a showgirl looking to wed a rich man. As she sings and dances, smartly dressed men shower her in diamonds.

4. Diamonds Are Forever

It’s no surprise that the chic and sophisticated James Bond is drawn to the luxury and strength of the diamond. This was Sean Connery’s last 007 movie and saw him osing as a diamond smuggler. His old adversary Blofeld is intending to use the diamonds to build a laser that can destroy Washington DC. Make sure your diamonds are made to last forever with Coloured Stone Diamond Engagement Rings from

5. The Pink Panther

These classic comedies follow the mishaps of the clumsy Inspector Clouseau, as played by the legend Peter Sellers. In some of the series, Clouseau is trying to locate the expensive pink diamond known as the ‘Pink Panther’. As you can imagine, this leads to some very entertaining and interesting mishaps and confusion.

6. Titanic
The huge blue gem that features in this James Cameron classic was based on the real-life Hope Diamond. In the movie, the ‘Heart of the Ocean’ is presented to Rose by the fiancée she doesn’t want to marry. Rose is wearing the stunning stone when she strips for a nude drawing by the poor man she’s fallen for played by Leonardo di Caprio. The gem used in the filming was a prop supplied by Asprey and Garrard jewellers and consisted of a blue cubic zirconia set in white gold.