Recruiter Technology, Why Recruiters Need To Embrace Technology

I have been in recruitment for over 15 years and am a true believer in the use of good technology within the recruitment process. This has led me to make it a mission to keep informed of what resources are being developed and made available on the technology front within recruitment.I have therefore conducted continuous and extensive research in this area and have been involved in developing software and tools specific to our industry.This brings me to an interesting topic which has come up time and time again during my research and discussions with numerous recruiters, I am sure all recruiters have discussed this in length and with much passion at some time. The replacement of recruiters and the recruitment process by technology!I have heard from some clients as well as recruiters that some feel our days are numbered, as technology, for example on-line job portals / boards, both general and in-house developed will soon replace us.These are my thoughts and findings on this issue: Technology is fantastic! A great resource for Recruiters and should be embraced with open arms.
Many recruiters are afraid of technology, they would still prefer to work with flip cards and say that anyone using technology is not a “Real Recruiter”!My experience is: ignore technology and “Real Recruiter” or not your business is doomed, it will not progress far into the future as a viable entity. You will be replaced.Technology is not a replacement for recruiters but a powerful tool to assist us, make us more productive, give us more reach, make us more competitive. We should (in fact must) welcome it as many other industries and professions do. How many accounting packages are out their that could and in many cases do “replace” accountants in certain aspects, yet the demand for accountants is still high.Why are we so insecure about our industry!I am aware that recruiters and the recruiting industry has taken a battering over a long period but one thing we can not doubt is that we are necessary, in fact essential! We too are always in demand – even if some folk like to tell us otherwise.I have had clients try their own portal / on-line database, only to realise how difficult the recruitment function actually is, mainly their own portals only bring about more work and less recruitment success, as they get piles of responses, many whom they can never use, but they still need to manage.
They generally come back for assistance, even if it is with their own portal as an additional tool.Recruiters should be getting in first, start using the excellent technology available, become recruitment technology experts and then use this knowledge to your advantage, sell your knowledge of recruitment technology tools to your clients, make it an added benefit to your clients.If clients want to use technology in recruiting we should encourage it and be involved in the process of decision making and choices as to which technology is most suitable. Introduce them to technologies using your expertise. This may seem like a bad business approach to those who feel they are in danger of losing their jobs to technology, but if you explain and demonstrate to your clients how a combination of the right technology along with a knowledgeable recruiting professional will produce the most desired results, then you maintain control, you lead the process, you are able to make yourself an indispensable part of the recruitment process.This is better then trying to persuade them not to use recruitment technology or just waiting for your business with them to possibly shrink as they find appropriate technology themselves or find a recruiting professional who is willing to guide them in this process.Developments in recruitment technology are inevitable and in fact very necessary to ensure our industry, as well as the market in general, thrives. We can not have archaic recruitment processes trying to keep up with modern market human resource demands.So, lets encourage more development by researching and using the tools and technology available to us, only by using the technology do we make it viable for the developers of these tools to continue enhancing and fine tuning to suit our requirements and needs. After all we are the recruiting experts and should therefore be the main contributor to how these systems operate.Technology will no more replace us then it will any other profession – unless we force it to!

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Handle the Argumentative Communicator and Difficult People

There are many ways people botch important communication each and every day. They lose jobs, hurt their relationships and limit their opportunities in life. Each of the habits have many “sub-habits.” In this article you will be introduced to the argumentative communicator.Eight Habits of Highly Ineffective Communicators The Blaming CommunicatorThe Argumentative CommunicatorThe Gossiping CommunicatorThe Judgemental CommunicatorThe Comparison Making CommunicatorThe Better Than CommunicatorThe Hear My Old Baggage CommunicatorThe Interrupting CommunicatorHave you ever been in a conversation where you found your mind drifting, dreaming, and struggling to stay focused? Do you remember how it feels to try and listen as someone drones on and on? When we are faced with a poor communicator there can be many reasons for the missed connection. Often there are words and phrases that simply shut us down, and prevent us from listening as well as we would like. Many times the person communicating is injecting so many negative words and ideas that we begin to feel down and heavy inside. It may just be that the person you are communicating with is boring you because the content of the communication is all about them, about stories you don’t care to listen to, and people you have never met!What if that poor communicator who is boring someone to tears…. is you? How would you know if you are the one who is inserting negative associations, bringing up insignificant details, droning on about you, you, you? How do you know if someone is really interested in what you have to say… that they are really engaged in the conversation? What is your method of observing whether or not the person or group is interested and intrigued, or tired and looking for the door?When you become a top notch communicator, you learn from everyone you talk with. You will notice the subtle cues that tell you if you are in good rapport, speaking in a way that your audience understands, and using words that create desire and interest. You will be willing to identify in yourself those things that push others away and prevent them from listening as well as you would like. This is a very potent aspect of self awareness that allows you to stay fascinating to everyone around you!Throughout this series of articles you will look at the areas of communication where people most often go wrong. You will discover how you may have been alienating others and helping them to feel negative when they are around you. As you read these scenarios, notice if you see yourself in them. Take time to be very honest about your style of communication and the effects you are having on those around you.The Argumentative Communicator Do you enjoy playing the devil’s advocate? Are you constantly offering your opposing opinion when it is not asked for? Do you find yourself saying the word “but” often in your conversation with others? You may be an argumentative talker. There is an effective way to take an opposing view, but it may destroy rapport. There is a way to give your opinion, but it may be received as unwanted advice. When you continue to oppose the comments of your listener, you run the risk of making them feel wrong, stupid, or uninformed.Men and women seem to view communication differences in different ways. I often notice that men will say, “we had a debate” or “an intense conversation” and women will indicate that they had “a fight” or an “argument.”The argumentative communicator, whether a man or a woman should be aware that their communication efforts may immediately be perceived as a “fight” (the worst of the four above labels) regardless of the intent of the communicator.I have a confession to make. I was in debate in high school and like Jack Welch (former CEO of GE) I find a good debate stimulating and enlightening. Debate generally can be described as a structured discussion where individuals cite evidence about an issue in an attempt to persuade another person. Debate is an intellectual process where it is OK and preferable to be “right.” While I do enjoy debating very much, I do not enjoy arguing, which is emotionally based.Arguing is where two or more people disagree about some subject, they raise their voices and make the discussion personal by bringing in the other person’s intentions.What’s the difference then between debate and an argument? In debate we cite evidence with the intent to validate our point of view. In arguments we cite evidence, make claims about the negative intention of the other person’s behavior, and become very emotional to the point where apologies will be in order after the communication is finished because one or both parties will have their feelings hurt. In an argument the individual feels attacked. When the attack is perceived as hostile, with intention to harm, I call this a “fight.”Perceptions are tricky things. One person may be simply debating or discussing a subject intellectually with no intent to harm. The other person may perceive such communication as intending to harm them and they feel as if they are in a fight with a need to defend themselves instead of their point of view! Sometimes it takes quite a long time for the person who is debating to come to the conclusion that the other person is upset and fighting.There are no easy and clearly defined answers to rapidly determine whether someone thinks you are arguing, fighting, debating or discussing. Therefore it is vital to ask if it’s “OK to have this conversation” or at least smile. It’s also important to keep sarcasm out of discussions and debates if it isn’t obvious to the other person that you are having fun with them…instead of poking fun at them.The argumentative communicator needs to be right. They want to defeat their opponent as if the dining room or boardroom is a courtroom where only one person can “win.” In interpersonal communications or in business, it’s critical to remember that it’s very easy for no one to win. This doesn’t mean to stop disagreeing or intellectually pursuing what is good and right. It is very important to make sure those we have discussions with do not feel attacked.There is an additional problem. You and I both know that we often take possession of our ideas as if they were our identity. If people’s ideas and verbalized thoughts are always experienced at the level of one’s identity, then all debate will become perceived as fighting or arguing. Therefore, when this pattern of communication erupts it’s important to separate the idea from the person. This doesn’t stop discussion and debates from becoming arguments and fights but it does add clarity to the conversation.If you are discussing something with someone and they perceive you as argumentative, I suggest you ask the person, “How can I present counter examples and other points of view to you so that you are not offended and your feelings are not hurt?” I thought of this wonderful question many times when it was simply too late to ask.If you experience numerous people saying things like, “you just love to argue don’t you?” or “why do you always argue with me” or “I don’t want to fight with you,” then regardless of whether you are fighting with people or not you need to reconsider your approach to communication so you are perceived as less abrasive.Many times people who are intellectuals (whether they are “intellectual snobs” or not!) are considered argumentative simply because they have such a broad or deep knowledge about something that they are constantly the individual with superior knowledge about a subject. This can lead others to feeling inferior. In these situations it can be useful for the person perecieved as superior and therefore the one who often puts others “on edge” or “on the defensive” to reduce the number of verbalizations in a communication and “tighten up their communication.” Make long speeches shorter. Ask more questions and have fewer total words spoken in dialogue.Remember: Where one person knows seems to know everything, the other person is not necessary…or at least that’s how they feel. Most brilliant people got that way because they were incredibly inquisitive. This too can become a problem. Asking questions of others is a great way to learn about how others feel, think and believe but believe it or not…there are lines that can be crossed here as well!Many people process their “thoughts” through their “feelings.” You can ask someone what they are thinking and they will say, “I don’t know,” “nothing”, “not much,” “nothing important,” and so on. These people aren’t planning major life events in their mind, they are simply in the moment…in their feelings and because they process information differently from verbalizing thinkers, they often feel inadequate in a relationship or are pegged as poor communicators. In fact, they may not be good communicators but they can improve their communication skills if others don’t put an enormous amount of pressure on them.If you are a person who takes time to process external information and you don’t communicate well about information you have just received, a good strategy to appear more competent is to say things like, “I need to consider what you’ve said…to ponder it.” “Let me think about what you’ve said. I’d like to talk with you tomorrow about it, when I’ve taken the time it deserves.” “My initial reaction is positive and I’d like to take some more time to consider it.”What this does is allow the two parties to know that there is no problem with what was communicated by the verbalizing party and that they are indeed considering the information, not ignoring it as verbalizers often feel others are doing “to them.”"Non-verbalizers” (people who use few words in the course of a day or a conversation) often become angry when they are asked to express more than they already have said. This leads them to argue from their feeling base. “Why do you always make me feel bad.” “You’re mean.” “You don’t respect my feelings.” They might raise their voice and repeat the same sets of feelings or thoughts over and over and they are now arguing.Instead, the “nonverbalizer” can share information like this. “I’m starting to get upset but it’s because I’m not able to put my feelings into words yet. I’m not upset with you and I don’t want to be, so let me ponder this and let’s talk again tomorrow about it.”Meanwhile, the “verbalizer” (people who share lots of information…almost streams of information in communication) get upset and angry when others don’t respond in like kind. Someone who communicates 50 out of 60 minutes will feel the other person is “holding back” or “covering up” or that they just don’t care. These things upset the “verbalizer” and once upset, as with all communication about to go wrong…emotions will get the best of the verbalizer and communication will deteriorate rapidly. Because the verbalizer is able to deliver words in large volume and speed, the verbalizer also is more likely to be deemed argumentative when she gets upset. Her voice will raise and become angry.The verbalizer needs to share their feelings now. “I’m starting to become angry because I feel as if you are not sharing with me what I’m asking you for. Am I reading you right?” It’s very important that the nonverbalizer doesn’t take this communication as “blaming” because the nonverbalizer is by definition someone who doesn’t communicate as much and certainly not as quickly as a verbalizer.What can you do if you are dealing with an argumentative communicator that you have to deal with? * Tell the person you don’t enjoy arguing but that you will discuss options and ideas.* Tell the person you respect their point of view but disagree.( If necessary, tell the person that this subject is something you don’t wish to continue discussing because it is personal or volatile. (This is OK for business of course but not going to do the trick in long term relationships.)* Speak your point of view clearly and what it would take for you to re-evaluate your point of view.* Ask the person, Is being right more important than your feelings?” (In other words, what is at stake? Safety? Life/Death? Some long term issue? or Is it about whether you squeeze the toothpaste from the middle or end….)* Suggest the person frame their comments in a more gentle fashion. “I know you aren’t saying that to attack me, it just hurts when you say it that way.”"Instead of yelling, allow yourself to speak calmly and then I’ll be able to listen to you better.”
“If you stop calling me names when we talk, I’d be a lot less defensive. Deal?”What can you do if YOU are the argumentative communicator? * Ask more questions.* Be interested in how the other people in your life came to believe and think what they think.* Be aware that not everyone perceives discussion, debate, arguing and fighting in the same way. Find out what those important to you believe about each of these things.* Ask the important people in your life specifically how you can communicate with them to help them know you don’t want to argue but discuss.* Determine why you need to be “right” or make someone else “wrong” in heated communications.* Always think of your intention. If your intention is gentle. Speak more quietly. People associate quieter tones and gentler intentions.* Show people you care in ways other than verbally so they know you care when you do argue.* If you find yourself getting into a heated discussion, ask the other person if they feel you are arguing or discussing. Ask what the difference would be for them.* Ask your friend/association/partner how you can communicate without giving the appearance of arguing.Want to communicate smoothly and effortlessly with anyone?

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Binary Options Trading As an Investment Vehicle

It is human nature to try to make the most of our assets, including our financial assets. Apart from those people who have no ambition and throw away their money, the majority look for ways to increase the amount they have. They look to the future, and try to build enough resources to let them see out their retirement in a financially stable way.One of the most common ways to try to build up cash reserves is to use existing cash to put into some kind of investment scheme. There are many different investment vehicles available, and one of the most popular ones in recent times has been binary options.Like all investment schemes, there is an element of risk involved, but one of the reasons binary trading has become so popular is it provides an opportunity to make substantial profits over a relatively short time period.Bad investmentsThere was a time when people were quite happy to leave their spare cash in a bank. They felt it was secure there, and that gave them such confidence that they did not worry too much about the poor rates of interest they were receiving.Today, unless you have a very large sum of money to invest, putting your money in a savings account is like throwing it away, albeit over a long time period. Interest rates on standard savings accounts are now almost always lower than the rate of inflation.That means that even though the dollar amount in your savings account may be growing year on year, its real value is actually falling. In other words, you can buy less with the amount in your savings account now than you could with the amount you originally invested. In the present financial situation, putting your money in a bank savings account has to be regarded as a bad investment. This is especially the case for long term goals, such as a comfortable retirement.Why binary options trading is a viable alternative?As already stated, binary trading provides a way to make decent profits over relatively short time spans. One of the key aspects of this type of trading is that results are known quickly, giving investors the option to take corrective action before large losses are incurred.Later, we will look at how this type of trading compares to other forms of investment. First, it is important for the potential trader to understand what this type of trading involves, and how it is different from other more standard types of investing. The best way to do this is to compare this type of trading with stock market investments.To make our explanation clearer, we are going to create a fictitious company called Ace Products Inc. whose stocks are traded on the NASDAQ. The company is doing well, and its share price has risen by more than a dollar in the last year to $7.95 today.StocksStocks or shares are issued by companies that have floated on one or more of the world’s stock exchanges, such as the NASDAQ or the London Stock Exchange. Companies issue shares at a given price, and anybody can then buy some of these shares. Shares are bought and sold through the stock exchanges. The price of shares is dictated by supply and demand. The more demand for a given the share, the higher the price will be.When you buy shares in a company, you become a part owner in that company, no matter how small your share allocation is. That means you have a say, albeit a tiny one, in how the business is run.Shareholders are entitled to vote at the company’s AGM, where they can take part in votes to appoint people to the board, and to approve the company’s annual accounts. Most people who have small shareholdings do not bother to attend the AGM to do this. They can appoint a proxy to vote on their behalf. If they do not attend and do not appoint a proxy, they assign the right to vote on their behalf to one of the board members.If the company they have invested in makes a profit, the board may decide to issue a dividend. The company decides it has a surplus of cash that will be divided amongst the shareholders. Each share will have some monetary value, and the total payable to a shareholder is the share dividend value multiplied by the total number of shares he or she owns. When the dividend is paid out, most companies permit shareholders to reinvest the money by purchasing new shares, or they can opt to receive a cash amount.For the purposes of our illustration, we will assume you own 1,000 shares in Ace Products Inc., which you bought 6 months ago at $7.25 each. The company has announced that it will pay a dividend of 2c per share. That means you are entitled to a $20 payout from the company. For simplicity’s sake, we will ignore brokerage fees and bid/offer spread (of which more later), but if you decide to sell the shares, you can now make a profit in your investment. Here’s how:Sale price: 1,000 x 7.95 = 7,950Dividend: 20Gross worth: 7,970Amount invested: 1,000 x 7.25 = 7,250Gross profit: 720The key factors here are:1. As a part owner of the company you got a dividend of $20 from profit distribution.2. When the company is doing well, the price of shares tends to rise.3. If the company did not do well, there almost certainly would have been no dividend, and the price of shares is likely to have fallen.4. If the price of shares falls below the price at which you bought, your holding will be worth less than what you paid for it. You will have just two choices. You either sell at a loss, or hold on to your shares in the hope that the share price will go up again.5. When you bought your shares, you did so because you expected the share price to rise.6. You own your shares, and you can hold on to them for as long as you like.Binary options tradingThe term “binary options” harks back to the early days of this type of trading, when there were only two possible outcomes. You either made a profit or make a loss – there was no other scenario. Today, there are many more complex ways in which you can take part in this type of trading, but beginners should stick to the most basic.Binary trades always have an underlying asset. This could be a stock, a currency, a commodity, a stock market index, and so on. We will use Ace Products Inc. as our underlying asset.A key element of this type of trading is that you must specify an expiry time in the future. This could be just a few minutes, an hour, a month etc. Another key element is the strike price. When you make a trade, you take a position that says the strike price will be at or above a certain level at some time in the future.If you think that Ace Products Inc.’s share price will have risen to $8 in 30 days’ time, you can make a call option. You back your belief with an investment amount. On the trading platform, another trader will have the opinion that your prediction is wrong. He or she will make an offer that will be a percentage of your investment amount.You both enter into an irrevocable options contract. When the contract expires or closes, the Ace Products Inc. will either be at or above the $8 you predicted. Is so, you get your investment amount back, plus the additional percentage you were offered. If the share price is below $8, you lose your entire investment amount.When you make a call option in a binary options trade, you are not buying anything physical. If you take a call option on the share price of Ace Products Inc., you do not own any shares in the company. Taking a call option means you think the price of the share is going to increase to at least the specified price at the specified time.For the sake of completeness, it is worth pointing out that even if the share price of Ace Products Inc. had exceeded $8 during the lifetime of the contract, which is irrelevant. It is the price at the exact expiry time that counts.With this type of trading, you are not restricted to making contracts based on rising prices. You could also make contracts based on the value of the underlying asset falling. This is termed a “put” option. This works in exactly the same way. For example, you can take a put option that Ace Products Inc. price will have fallen to $7.90 in 30 days’ time. You will be shown an offer amount that you will get if you are right. If you are wrong, you lose your investment.Why is binary options trading better than investing in the stock market?Hopefully, it should be fairly clear from the example above that this type of trading provides you with a vehicle for making quick profits. This is almost impossible with share investments.If you buy or sell stocks, there are other factors you must take into account. We mentioned the bid/offer spread above. This is often referred to as the bid/ask price. When you see a quoted price for Ace Products Inc. share price, which is an average of the selling price and the buying price, because these two prices are different. The amount that you can buy a given share for is always higher than the amount you could sell it for at that particular time. The difference between the two is the bid/offer spread.The bid/offer spread can be quite substantial, and it is not unusual to see spreads of 1 – 2%. That means if you buy some shares in Ace Products Inc., the share price has to rise by at least the bid/offer spread percentage before you could possibly make a profit on selling the shares. In addition, you will almost always have to pay brokerage fees on both your purchase and on your sale.This means your investment is going to be tied up for some time before there is any chance of making a profit on it. Another vital aspect of investing in stocks is that there is no way to make a profit or even break even if the stock price goes down.If the stock price starts falling, you are faced with the agonizing decision of whether you should sell at a loss, or wait in the hope that the price will rise again. There is nothing you can do to improve your position. Another important factor is that you will have to make quite large investments in stocks to gain a reasonable profit.With binary options trading, you can make a good profit from a series of small investments. You will know the results very soon, and you have the opportunity to offset negative results relatively quickly. In other words, you have much more control over your investments.Is binary options trading better than investing in property?As with stocks, when you invest in property you own the asset. You will have to make a large investment in buying property, and that can be tied up for quite some time. The costs of buying property are high and there are many associated fees for owning/buying a property. You can expect to pay about 10% above the purchase price in fees, duties and taxes. You will also have to pay legal fees when you sell property.All this means that you cannot possibly make a profit from property investments until the price of your asset has risen by at least 10%. That means your investment has to be considered a long term one, and your capital is completely tied up. As with stocks, if property prices go down instead of up, there is no way for you to regain your investment.So in conclusion, there are always risks involved in all kinds of investments. When you invest in stocks, property or other standard investment vehicles, you have no way to offset falling prices. Investments in these vehicles tend to be long term.Investing in binary options trading gives you much more control over your capital. You are dealing in a short-term marketplace, so you get the opportunity to take corrective action if trades go against you. You can invest small amounts of money and still have the chance to make good profits. Binary options trading is certainly something to which the savvy investor should give some thought.

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Commercial Loans – Why Do Some Banks Say “Yes” When They Mean “No”?

Many banks are so conscious of their reputation in the local community that they don’t want to be known for refusing commercial loan requests by respected community residents. One alternative that many of these banks have adopted is the art of never saying “no” in such commercial financing situations. What they do instead is to attach onerous conditions when they say “yes”. In most cases the bank doesn’t expect the commercial borrower to accept the conditions, and therefore the bank has avoided making the commercial loan without saying “no”. Here are two examples of a bank saying “yes” when they mean “no”.EXAMPLE # 1: STRICTER TERMS FOR COMMERCIAL LOANSA traditional bank has decided to drastically reduce the amount of commercial loans that they make to restaurants and bars. Instead of “officially” eliminating this category from their lending portfolio (which they feel would hurt their desired image as a full-service commercial lender), they have decided to add stricter terms to their commercial loan underwriting criteria for such properties. They might now require three years of tax returns, impose a higher minimum loan amount (to effectively eliminate smaller restaurants and bars), increase the percentage required for a down payment, limit loans to 3-7 years (instead of 15-25 years), require a detailed business plan, and impose annual review criteria which would allow them to “recall” the loan if cash flow is not maintained at a prescribed level. Because the bank has said “yes” when they mean “no”, if a business owner accepts the terms anyway, the borrower will end up with commercial loan terms that are detrimental to the long-term health of their business.EXAMPLE # 2: LIMITED CASH OUT WHEN REFINANCING COMMERCIAL LOANSWhen a business is refinancing their current commercial mortgage and wants to get a significant amount of cash out for various uses, it is not unusual for the bank to limit the amount of cash to amounts as small as $100,000. Even though the bank might make the business loan, if they won’t provide the amount of cash needed by the commercial borrower, this is equivalent to declining the loan. The bank has said “yes”, but a business might have over a million dollars in equity in their property and only be able to access $100,000 (which is really a “no” to the business owner who wants to use a significant portion of their equity to expand the business).ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR COMMERCIAL LOANS IMPACTED BY THE ABOVE CIRCUMSTANCESThere are better options for commercial loans available elsewhere! Business owners should explore other business loan alternatives before accepting business loan terms that put them at a competitive disadvantage. Look for lenders who specialize in commercial loans and have commercial mortgage terms such as the following: (1) Stated Income (no tax returns and no income verification); (2) long-term loans of 15-25 years (or more) without recall or balloon provisions or annual review criteria; (3) business plans not required; (4) unlimited cash out when refinancing; and (5) minimum loan of $100,000.Copyright 2005-2006 AEX Commercial Financing Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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Can You Invest Your 401(K) Plan Directly Into Real Estate?

Your 401(k) plan (or 403(b) or 457 Plan for that matter) is likely managed by one of the following companies: Ameriprise Financial, Credit Suisse Securities, Deutsche Bank, Edward Jones, Graystone Consulting, J.P. Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Oppenheimer & Co., Raymond James, RBC Wealth Management, UBS Financial Services, or Wells Fargo Advisors. These companies and their financial advisers control most of the retirement wealth in the United States.Now, ask your financial adviser if you can invest directly in real estate with your current plan. They will probably tell you that you cannot invest directly in real estate, but they have a number of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) you can choose from. Even though a REIT has real estate in its name, it is not an investment in property. REIT is an investment in a fund that obtains its cash flow from investment properties. It is different from a direct investment in real estate.REITs do not typically let you leverage your investment, which is one of the most powerful forces for creating long-term wealth. Even with an investment in a REIT, your retirement portfolio is likely 70 percent or more invested in various mutual funds, all of which experience stock market volatility. That’s neither diversification nor smart asset allocation investing. The Internal Revenue Service will let you invest directly in real estate, but your plan administrator will not. Why? Because they’re not set up to handle the administration nor do they earn a commission by recommending direct investment in real estate.Let me give you an example: Say you have only one asset, $200,000 cash and no liabilities. You decide to invest $100,000 in mutual funds and $100,000 in direct real estate investments, both of which are appreciating at 6 percent per year. The only difference is that you can borrow additional money from a bank to buy more properties. You obtain a 20-year amortizing loan at 5 percent. To be conservative, you borrow only $300,000, so you have a 75 percent loan-to-value ratio. After 20 years, your mutual fund investment has increased to $320,714, while your real estate investment has increased to $1,282,854, an increase of $962,140 over the mutual fund investment. That’s a 300 percent increase in value with the same $100,000.What about the payment of the debt over the 20-year holding period? The mortgage has been paid off by your tenant who operates his business on your property. You get the tax benefits of depreciation and interest write offs, if you’ve invested personally. If you’ve invested your money through a Self-Directed 401(k), that money is growing tax-deferred or tax-free, depending on whether you have a Traditional or Roth account.You think this is unrealistic? The only unrealistic expectation is to think that your mutual fund accounts have appreciated at 6 percent. According to Dalbar, Inc., the average mutual fund investment has gone up on average of 3.27 percent over a 20-year period. The National Association of Realtors, on the other hand, reported that real estate has appreciated in value an average of 6 percent over the past 30 years, even with the downturn in the economy that occurred in 2008.If most financial advisors preclude you from investing directly in real estate, how do you invest in real property with your 401(k) account? The answer is, you don’t with your company 401(k) account. The only money you should be investing in your company 401(k) account is enough to get the full matching funds. For instance, if you are making $100,000 a year and your company offers a 4 percent match, you invest $4,000 in your company 401(k) to get the 4 percent match. They do a 100 percent match up to 4 percent of your income. Then you create a Solo or Individual 401(k) account with an administrator/custodian that handles Self-Directed Accounts and invest the rest of your retirement funds in that account up to the $51,000 contribution limit if you’re under 50 or $56,500 if you are 50 or older.So, if you contributed $4,000 to your company 401(k), and your employer matched it with another $4,000, you can contribute $43,000 to your new Self-Directed Solo 401(k) account. If you’re 50 or older, it would be $48,500. That amount can be invested each year for you and your spouse, if you have it set up properly. There are no income limits.Eligibility for a Solo 401(k) account requires two things: (1) the presence of a self-employment activity; and (2) the absence of full-time employees. So you set up a consulting business either as an S-Corporation or limited liability company (LLC) and pay yourself a salary, 100 percent of which can be contributed to your retirement fund. Then you invest in commercial, income-producing real estate investments. It’s that simple.

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How is Parkinson’s Disease Treated?

Parkinsons disease is a comparatively common condition of the nervous system which is as a result of problems with the nerve cells in the part of the brain which generates dopamine. This is a chemical substance that is needed for the smooth management of muscles and motion, so the symptoms of the disorder is a result of a reduction of that chemical. Parkinson’s disease mostly impacts individuals aged over 65, but it can and does come on at younger ages with 5-10% developing before the age of forty.

The chief clinical features of Parkinson’s disease are a tremor or shaking, that will commences in one arm or hand; there is often a muscle rigidity or stiffness along with a slowness of motion; the stance gets more stooped; additionally, there are equilibrium concerns. Parkinson’s can also cause greater pain and result in depression symptoms and create problems with memory and sleep. There isn’t any specific test for the diagnosis of Parkinson’s. The identification is usually made primarily based on the history of the symptoms, a physical along with neural evaluation. Other reasons for the signs and symptoms also need to be eliminated. There are imaging assessments, such as a CAT scan or MRI, that can be used to eliminate other issues. From time to time a dopamine transporter diagnostic might also be utilized.

The actual cause of Parkinson’s isn’t known. It does appear to have both genetic and environmental elements with it plus some specialists think that a virus may induce Parkinson’s as well. Decreased amounts of dopamine and also norepinephrine, a substance which in turn is responsible for the dopamine, have already been found in those with Parkinson’s, but it is not yet determined what is causing this. Unusual proteins which are named Lewy bodies have been located in the brains of those who have Parkinson’s; nevertheless, experts don’t know what role they may play in the development of Parkinson’s. While the specific cause just isn’t known, studies have identified risk factors that establish groups of people who are more prone to develop the condition. Men are more than one and a half times more prone to get Parkinson’s as compared to women. Caucasians are much more prone to get the condition as compared to African Americans or Asians. Those who have close members of the family who have Parkinson’s disease are more likely to develop it, implying the inherited contribution. A number of toxins could raise the potential for the problem, implying a role of the environment. People who experience difficulties with brain injuries can be more likely to go on and have Parkinson’s disease.

There is no identified remedy for Parkinson’s disease. That will not imply that the signs and symptoms can’t be handled. The main method is to use medicines to raise or replacement for the dopamine. Balanced and healthy diet together with frequent exercise is crucial. There may be changes made to the surroundings at home and work to keep the individual involved as well as active. There are also some options sometimes for brain surgical treatment which can be used to relieve some of the motor symptoms. A diverse team of different health professionals are often involved.

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Understanding the Impacts of Gout

Gout is among those historical problems because there are numerous mentions of it in historical literature, at least since ancient times. The traditional typecast of it is that it is related to the upper classes that binge in alcohol and certain foods. This image was pictured in early art work illustrating people who had gout. Gout has stopped being viewed as a problem of over consumption, because of the current research demonstrating an important genetic component to it.

Gout is a distressing inflammation related disorder which mostly impacts the joints, most commonly the great toe joint with the feet. It is because of uric acid crystals getting placed in joints in the event the bloodstream uric acid quantities are increased. The uric acid comes from the breakdown of purines which come from the consuming of foods like venison, salmon, tuna, haddock, sardines, anchovies, mussels, herring along with alcohol consumption. It is possible to understand how that old misconception was produced according to the overindulgence of the higher classes in those types of food and alcoholic beverages. The actual problem is not really the quantity of those foods which can be consumed, but the actual genetics of the biochemical pathway which usually breaks the purines in these food items down into the uric acid and how your body deals with it.

While diet is still important in the treating of gout and lowering the quantity of food which have the purines with them continues to be considered essential, however it is becoming apparent recently that this is just not sufficient by itself and just about all those who have gout probably will need pharmaceutical management. It goes without saying that drugs are likely to be needed for relief of pain throughout an acute flare up. The acute phase of gout is extremely painful. Over the long term there are two forms of drugs which you can use for gout. One kind of medicine block chemicals in the pathway which splits the purines into uric acid, which simply implies there will be much less uric acid in the blood stream that could find its way in to the joints to trigger an acute episode of gout or lead to the long-term gout. The other main kind of drug is one that can help the renal system remove much more uric acid. This would also reduce the urates in the bloodstream. Generally, only one of those drugs is all that’s needed, however occasionally both are needed to be utilized at the same time. Since these prescription medication is ordinarily pretty successful, that will not indicate that the life-style and eating habits changes may be pushed aside. Local measures, including wearing good fitting shoes if the big toe joint gets too painful is important. Also ice packs during an acute flare up will also help with the relief of pain.

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How To Approach Removing Asbestos Removal in Sydney

Planning to renovate your home built decades ago? Well, you got to be careful! There is a good chance it may have asbestos. This is a popular building material used throughout Australia before it was completely banned in 2003.

Asbestos is not generally considered hazardous. In fact, homeowners are only allowed to remove up to ten square meters of non-friable asbestos. More than that, people are advised to seek professional help, especially handling friable ones. Because of the health risks involved, DIY removal is considered illegal.

This is particularly prohibited in Sydney. Hence, the expertise of your trusted asbestos removalists is required to handle the dangerous job.

Why Removing Asbestos Can Be Dangerous?

There are many DIY ideas. Some are equally fun. Whilst, others can be hazardous, like removing asbestos by yourself.

Here are some reasons why removing asbestos without proper knowledge can be dangerous:

Exposure to diseases

Small quantities of asbestos are present in the air most of the time and are being breathed in by everyone without ill effects. But, exposure to high levels of asbestos for a long time is pretty serious. It can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Accidents and Injuries

Asbestos is used in cement sheeting, drainage and pipes, guttering, and even roofing. But, asbestos roofing can become fragile over time. Hence, you might risk breaking it apart, releasing harmful fibres into the air. Also, a single sheet of asbestos can weigh 30-50 kilograms. Such weight can cause injuries.

Wrong removal and ill-fitting equipment

You may not know the proper ways to remove asbestos, exposing you to very harmful fibres. And the recommended removal equipment is quite expensive. You don’t have to deal with it on your own.

How Much Does It Cost To Remove Asbestos?

Asbestos removal can be pretty costly. It is determined by the type and size of the area, as well as the amount of debris to be removed. The safety risks of asbestos also increase the cost, especially when friable asbestos is involved. But health is wealth. It is always worth the price.

Most junk removalists in Sydney are priced from $99.99 per cubic metre, however, given the highly dangerous nature of asbestos, prices may be higher. It’s important to receive a few quotes before proceeding with an asbestos removal service.

How To Find The Right Asbestos Removal Provider?

There are a few key things you can do right now to ensure that your search for a provider is a successful one. They include:

Check Online Reviews

Does the asbestos removal service provider have an abundance of positive Google reviews? Check the history of their reviews to make sure that they are in-fact, legitimate. Businesses with legitimate reviews tend to have a stream of reviews that span across years of their lifetime; not just all within a few months.

Service Locality

Hiring a local asbestos removal business is always best. This ensures that you receive the best pricing as the business is local and nearby to your location. Typically, local businesses tend to take more pride in their workmanship as a positive reputation is key to their ongoing success.

Number of Years in Business

Given the highly dangerous nature of asbestos, it’s important to check how long the business has been in operation. A business who has over 10 years servicing the local community may provide cheaper pricing, given that they likely will have more refined practices.

Conclusion

Take your time while in search of a suitable asbestos removal provider. Due-dilligence is important and always shop around for the best quotes.

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A Pall Settles Over America

I see it in their eyes, downcast and wary. I see it in their steps, shuffling and tentative. When they talk, they use a word I rarely hear, depressed.

These are the producers, those who make the country work. Hourly and salaried employees and managers, who go to their jobs every day, work hard and provide for themselves and their families.

They’re the kind of people who have been with us since the country began. Back then, we called them Pilgrims, sod-busters, and settlers. Today they go by many names, Physician, Technician, Engineer, and Laborer. But for all of them, life has a rhythm, just as it did two centuries ago, that comes from our agricultural heritage.

Spring has always been the time for planting, and looking forward to the year ahead. Summertime is when they cultivate the crops. Fall is harvest time when we enjoy the fruits of our labor and thank God for blessing us. Winter is the time of austerity, the time to prune, the time to cut back.

But not this year. This year, we are still in harvest time. Yet the pruning has already begun. Major companies across this land are already cutting back, eliminating staff to reduce.

For thousands of laid-off workers, it comes at the worst possible time. Just before the holidays. A time when many who have children will have to cut back this Christmas. There will be little joy for those who lost their jobs these holidays.

If you’ve lived through a corporate “downsizing,” you know that anxiety runs high. No matter how often the boss has assured you that you will be kept on, you’re never sure about your future. Should you start looking for a new job now, or wait? Does the boss know what lies ahead, or might he be on the corporate chopping block? There is no job security once layoffs begin.

But there is much more to our collective angst this year than at any time in our memory. These corporate cutbacks are merely reflecting a more significant issue, an issue that is nationwide.

Our country is headed in the wrong direction. That is a sentiment shared by three-quarters of us. And we’ve felt that way for a couple of years. Producers know that the country should be operating better. Yes, there were all difficulties associated with the Pandemic. But those are now behind us.

Today recovery should be well underway. But it’s not. Despite all the trillions of dollars pumped into the system, our standard of living is falling. Each day inflation marches on; real income is declining. Gasoline, food, and shelter costs accelerate in real-time, but a salary rise comes annually. Corporate raises will arrive at the end of the year and likely come nowhere near the level of inflation we’ve already experienced.

Producers see all of this.

Producers also know that many, perhaps most, of our problems come from Washington. We see that a feeble old man has his bony fingers on the nation’s tiller, steering us straight for the shoals. He, and those who surround him, have a policy of austerity. In their eyes, less is better, and fewer is preferred. We should use less heat this winter, drive smaller, preferably electric vehicles, and eat vegan. And the less we consume, the better. From this perspective, we are the problem. Our destiny is to have shortages and wants. And they’ve pushed us in that direction.

However, these leaders told us last week that we could change everything. By walking into our voting booth, we could make our voices heard. We, the people, could take this country in a new direction that our leaders were indeed subject to the will of the people.

That didn’t happen. Counting votes has become a haze of computational complexity and slow-walking results. So that the incumbents in Washington get the results they want, it’s the complete inversion of the principal and values that the country’s founders intended. But there it is—today’s reality.

It’s the reason the word I hear most often from Producers today is: depression. And I’m afraid that’s where we’re headed.

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How to Choose the Right YouTube Channel Name for Your Brand

Who is your target audience?

Before you even think about branding, you need to have a clear understanding of who you wish to reach out to and what your main marketing message is going to be. If you are launching a YouTube channel for your new e-commerce business that sells jewelry, the first question you need to ask yourself is who your target audience will be. This will help you further decide how you want your channel to look and what content you want it to feature. For example, if your target audience is females aged between 25 and 40 years and you want to focus on brand engagement, you can use your YouTube channel to post behind-the-scenes videos of your product creation process. Alternatively, if you want to use your channel as a sales and marketing tool, you can create tutorial videos that showcase the various ways your products can be used and even provide suggestions on how to pair them with other accessories.

What do you want to achieve through your channel?

Now that you have identified your target audience, the next thing you need to ask yourself is what your main purpose is for having a YouTube channel in the first place. Is your channel meant to attract new customers, build brand awareness, or increase your sales? Whatever your channel’s main goal is, it is important to convey this to your audience through your channel name. For instance, if your channel is meant to increase your sales, you can use a name that suggests discounts or offers. On the other hand, if you wish to build brand awareness through your channel, you can go with a name that clearly communicates this message.

What words and phrases do you want to be associated with?

Before you even begin thinking about a YouTube channel name, you need to have a clear understanding of words and phrases that you want your channel to be associated with. For example, if you wish for your channel to be associated with creativity and originality, you can go with something along the lines of “Creative Jewelry” or “Jewelry Box”. On the other hand, if you wish to be associated with fashion and style, a good name would be “Fashion Jewels”. A good idea would be to jot down all the words and phrases that you wish your channel to be associated with, and then start brainstorming for possible channel names. This can be done by listing out all the words and phrases that are relevant to your business, crossing off the ones that don’t make sense, and then combining two or three words to create a new and memorable name.

Be Short and Catchy!

The average human attention span is now 8 seconds – that’s how long it takes for your prospective customers to decide whether or not they wish to continue reading or watching your content. This means that you have about 8 seconds to grab their attention and make a lasting impression. And since you only have a few seconds to make a good first impression, it is important to make the most of it and create a name that is short, catchy, and easy to remember. For example, the YouTube channel “Daily Jewelry” is way too long and cumbersome which makes it hard to remember and even harder to type when creating the channel URL. However, the channel name “Jewelry Box” is short, easy to remember, and will definitely make people curious enough to click on your channel. It is even better if you can use an emoji or a GIF in your channel name as they are presented more visually.

Choosing the right words for your brand name.

When choosing the right channel name, it is important to remember that the words you pick out will not only be used to create your channel name but will also be used as keywords for your YouTube SEO. This means that you have to make sure that the words you pick are relevant to your content and that they make sense when put together. For example, if you wish to create a channel that features jewelry tutorials and designs, “Jewelry Box” is a perfect name as it suggests creativity, originality, and even organization. On the other hand, if you decide to go with a name like “Daily Jewelry”, the words “daily” and “jewelry” don’t really make any sense when put together, and the name isn’t very original either.

Summing up

All in all, the name you choose for your YouTube channel is extremely important because it will be the first thing your prospective customers will see and read. Your channel name will also be used as keywords for your YouTube SEO, so it is important to make sure that it is short, catchy, and grammatically correct. While coming up with a brand name is never an easy task, there are a few things you can do to make the process a little bit easier. The best thing to do is to make a list of all the words and phrases that you wish to be associated with your channel and then start brainstorming for possible names.

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