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Could Forex Trading Set You Free Financially?

By a visitor.

Financial freedom is something that we all crave and desire, but unfortunately only a few of us ever seem to achieve this landmark. The secret: have a plan and stick to it. There are many different strategies on how you can gain financial freedom, and what may work for someone else may not necessarily work for you. This is fine, of course, because the key for reaching financial freedom is finding something that works for you. In order to live a financially independent dream, many are now looking at more ambitious ways to achieve their goal. Some of these methods we’re not available even 20 years ago. One of these is forex trading. Here’s what it is and how it can work for you if you want to be financially free:

Not Just for the Big Wigs

Not long ago, trading was generally perceived as being for people who were already incredibly wealthy. The idea of people pushing buttons in ivory towers, however, is now the exception rather than the norm, and a huge amount of people trade at home. Although most people now trade stocks and shares, there are a growing number of people trading currencies instead.

Why People Have Turned to Forex

Nowadays, since the financial crash, bank accounts accrue very little interest, and your money simply stagnates when placed in one. Where ISAs were once a solid investment, they now do very little to help savers, and people have moved away from them to methods like forex which have a much higher reward – even if it does come with significant levels of risk.

What Is Forex and What Are The Benefits?

Forex is the buying and selling of world currencies and, because prices change every second, there’s a chance to make a profit. The idea is that you buy a currency when the price is low and then sell it when the price is high, earning a profit doing so. Likewise, however, there’s also potential to make a loss if the price drives down further.

Most banks, businesses and financial institutions make large volumes of money on forex trades, turning over huge volumes of money in the process. Of course, you’ll never be able to earn money on this scale, but there’s still the possibility of you making a decent amount of money if you read the markets well.

The Negatives of Forex

As has already been stated, forex traders like a high risk, high reward life and there’s a good chance that you’ll lose money if you’re frivolous. Unfortunately, market movements cannot always be predicted and, as a result, even experienced investors are open to losing money. Having said that, if you’re a natural risk taker, this shouldn’t particularly discourage you, because you’re not alone. You’ll have to use a forex broker to trade, and if you choose a broker wisely, they’ll have plenty of training materials to help you. It would be wise to use these, and you can even try a demo account if you’re unsure.

To conclude, forex trading is a high risk, high reward strategy that isn’t to everyone’s taste. However, if you’re a natural risk taker, it could be a good way for you to attempt to become financially free; but only if you work hard and accept the risks.

How to Spot Gambling Problems

Many of us love to have a flutter on the horses from time to time or play the lottery once a week, but when does gambling become too much? If you gamble every day or almost every day and for more than 10 minutes at a time then it’s likely that you have an addiction. If you think that you have a problem, educate yourself with the signs now so that you can put measures into place to stop before it is too late.

Signs that you have a gambling problem

  • You think about gambling all the time: when you aren’t gambling, it’s in your head and you’re thinking about when you can do it next.
  • You can’t walk away: most people would go home with a smile on their face if their winnings were way up on the roulette. Problem gamblers literally feel incapable of leaving until every penny is gone, they feel sick and swear they’ll never gamble again – until the next time.
  • Being very secretive: gambling online on sites like Euro Palace Online Casino when nobody else is home or nipping out to the casino alone are not good signs. It shows that deep down you are ashamed of what you are doing because you know it has gone beyond the point of just a bit of harmless betting.
  • You gamble when you can’t afford to:  if you have £30 to last you a few days, you won’t spend it on food, you’ll try your luck with it.

If any or all of these signs sound familiar to you, then the time has come to admit that you have a problem and do something about it.

Gambling and its effects on your relationships

Gambling can and does ruin lives on a daily basis, if you don’t change your habits you will get into debt and drive your loved ones away. Problem gamblers will take out loans, overdrafts and credits to try and win back their losses when all they really do is get themselves into further trouble. They lie, steal and hide what they are doing all the time and they usually end up alone so you should seek help now.

How to get over your gambling addiction

  • Talk to those around you: this might be a scary thought but if they care about you, they will understand and be grateful that you told them.
  • Try and remove as much temptation as possible: if you gamble online, then make sure that you ‘self-exclude’ from the websites that you frequent. Do the same at the bookmakers: they won’t let you in the shop anymore and definitely won’t let you gamble.
  • It’s also highly recommended to go to Gamblers Anonymous meetings and talk to people in similar situations to understand the root of your problems.
  • Ask someone close to you to look after your debit card. They can only give you money when you request it and once you’ve informed them what it’s for. This might sound extreme, but if it can help you in getting your life back on track then so be it.

Written by Gareth Monet.

Canine Massage- A Free and Easy Way to Bond with Your Dog

Featured post from Marc Walambe who has over 13 years of experience in the asset management and financial services industry.

In terms of personal finance, the ROI on pets doesn’t appear on balance sheets. An accountant would likely scoff at the tabs for organic food, purified water and vet checkups. However, goodwill is an accounting term that pets have in abundance.

The intangible value  of our dogs(or cats) cannot be measured. We can also spoil our furry friends in affordable ways. One such way is dog massage. With canine massages, you can increase pet/owner bonds and enhance doggie health.

Here’s how to get started:

Benefits of Canine Massage:

  • Improves circulation
  • Reduces joint stiffness
  • Strenghtens Bonds
  • Chance to check for lumps or ticks

A massage gives you a chance to check for any abnormal growths. You will also understand how  the dog’s coat and body feels so subtle changes can be noticed moving forward.

Step 1: Find Your Dog:

Humphrey

Good hiding place but your snoring woke up the dead…

Credit: Humphrey, my English Bulldog (How ya’ like that copyright police?)

Step 2 Make Your Dog Comfortable:

Best Times to Massage Your Dog:

  • During or after sleep
  • Cool down period after walks. About an hour or so when the adrenaline rush is dropping.
  • Before potty breaks. This allows your hound to expel the toxins released from massage.

Of course, each dog is different. The key is to select a time when your pup is least resistant to being poked and prodded. After all, this isn’t an alien abduction.

Things to Avoid BEFORE Massaging Your Dog:

  • Don’t use treats. Your pooch will keep looking for goodies instead of being relaxed.
  • Clip nails, clean ears, etc. This is often a wrestling match and is not conducive to a relaxed pet.

Our goal is to strengthen bonds and promote wellness. Similar techniques are used by charitable organizations that provide service dogs. Philanthropist Elliott Broidy promoted this approach in helping found Hounds for Heroes, which trains service dogs for disabled vets.

Step 3: Massage Techniques

Start by gently petting your dog with long and soft strokes. You will likely see your pup relax and start to breathe easier. He/She may stretch out and lie down next to you. These types of actions indicate your dog is intent on hanging out for a while.

Important: Make sure to overestimate your strength. No matter how rough and tumble your pup, only use your fingertips. Avoid deep tissue techniques and pressing on the stomach area, as this can damage internal organs.

Here is a start to finish massage checklist:

  • Softly rub under the chin and rub the cheeks with small circular strokes.
  • Run your fingertips over the nose and between the eyes.
  • Very gently rub fingertips up and down 1 inch away from either side of the spine. DO NOT apply any pressure or touch your dog’s spine.
  • Rub between the paw pads.
  • Gently flex front and back paws.

Your dog may respond in several ways. He may doze off in bliss or be panting with an ‘oh so good’ expression. Either way, offer her a cool bowl of water and take a potty break. This will flush out toxins that muscles often release following massage

Final Step: Go Show Off Your Happy and Healthy Dog!

Humphrey

My theme song is a tuba!

The Business Benefits of Video Conferencing

The Internet changed everything. Companies located halfway across the globe could source materials from millions of miles away. Due to the currency difference, they could also manage to set up companies halfway across the globe and ensure profits because of the lower manufacturing and payroll costs.

However, this was not without its own problems. Companies with manufacturing divisions and outsourced divisions had to be in close contact with managers in these outsourced countries, and a clear route of communication was necessary.  Earlier, senior staff used to travel to, and spend a few months with, the outsourced divisions to ensure that they were running efficiently.

However, high travel costs, delayed flights, jetlag, housing costs and long flight times were huge deterrents. Emails were great, but they could not carry every nuance of physical conversation. Telephones and mobiles were great but they could not show the person and convey body language and images. This essential need gave rise to video conferencing, which provided a healthy mixture of audio, video and even data transfer, all to be done at the same time.

Justifying Videoconferencing as a Valuable Business Tool

Videoconferencing was first introduced in the early 1980s, but it did not catch up in popularity until outsourcing became a norm. Now, with the advance of Internet-enabled phones and tablets, videoconferencing can literally be done from anywhere. For management and business managers, it provides huge benefits in the form of connectivity and access. Other benefits of using videoconferencing have become apparent over the years, and they include:

Management Access – One of the primary problems with having staff and resources halfway across the globe was communication. Videoconferencing made all of that easy, as it was easy to set up board meetings with upper management, in several locations at the same time. Individual meetings with consultants could be held at any time and management could use videoconferencing to interview job candidates or witnesses and make presentations to customers. If the meetings needed to be reviewed later, the entire conference could be recorded and made available to any members who missed the meeting. With video conferencing, it was also possible to train team members on new products and procedures.

Sales and Training – Video conferencing also works for sales training, sales meetings, and to interface with customers. For example, business website Radivision points out that one product firm in China uses videoconferencing to promote its products to a retail supermarket chain in India. During seasonal sales like Christmas, Diwali and New Year, the Chinese company manufactured season-specific products and promoted them to customers through videoconferencing. Although both countries are close by, videoconferencing had made the Chinese company net more than $10 million in new business. The Chinese company also saved money on sales travel, business housing and food, and the sales personnel can focus on other regions to improve business in those areas.

Marketing – Because of modern Internet connections, graphics and images are extremely clear on videoconferencing networks. Marketers can share creative content, showcase videos, show real products and share graphics with customers almost instantly. As customers can see the product, read the literature and listen to the salesperson at the same time, it somewhat expedites the entire sales process and customers usually make instant decisions regarding orders from vendors.

Manufacturing – With videoconferencing, it is now possible for the technical division to troubleshoot and solve all manufacturing and packing issues very quickly. There is no need to fly experienced staff halfway across the globe to solve the problem, and simple problems are solved quickly and efficiently. This allows for consolidating labor needs and increased savings across the board.

Human Resources – Hiring staff has always been a critical aspect of any new company. Now, HR staff can interview potential hires from anywhere in the world and then decide on who to offer the job to. This works out to the benefit of the company and the staff member as well. For the company, it opens up a larger pool of trained and interested candidates, and candidates have a chance to apply for a job in another country or state. Videoconferencing means that the HR staff can immediately interview the candidates, assess body language just as in a live interview, and hire or reject them as required.

The Bottom Line

For large companies, videoconferencing is now a norm, but it all comes down to finding a trustworthy company that can provide the fast and reliable videoconferencing features needed for modern business. Companies like the Blue Jeans Network are ideal as they are already experienced with the videoconferencing features many companies need. However, it is a good idea to take the time to compare your specific needs with what is available so you can get the service that exactly meets your needs.

How to Make Your Home Look Great, for Less

With today’s economic climate being what it is, many of us who were planning home makeovers have put plans on hold. The thought of renovation costs, new furnishing expenses, and high labor charges can really put the brakes on when it comes to beautifying your home. Instead of just shelving plans to make your place look great however, isn’t it better to do something? Try investing some time and creativity instead of your hard-earned money. You might just find ways to make your home look great without spending a fortune. This article highlights a few possibilities to motivate and inspire you into a budget home makeover.

De-clutter Your Space

If your home tends to suffer with lots of clutter, you’ve probably looked at it many times and then put off the de-cluttering exercise. Where are you going to put all that stuff? Will you have to part with things you like? Questions like this make it easy to procrastinate. De-cluttering your home doesn’t have to be such a ruthless exercise though. For example, take a look around at the walls of your home. How much unused space do you see?

Using your walls as storage space doesn’t mean you have to buy expensive cabinets and shelving. In fact, by hanging things on your walls you can actually create an orderly way to store what would otherwise clutter your home. Additionally it can actually add visual interest and homeliness to any room. With a few simple hooks and hanging devices, you can adorn the wall of a hallway with colorful bags and scarves.

Other ways to de-clutter your home include using small trays to hold those things that often end up lying around your home, like TV controllers in your lounge, and bathroom soaps, lotions and tooth floss. De-cluttering doesn’t always have to mean getting rid of things. Just try finding some creative ways to keep things organized.

Beautify With Flowers

Flowers can really add splashes of color to make your home look more interesting and cheery. Try not to overdo the use of flowers though. A very effective way to use flowers, if you can stretch to buying a few stylish cylindrical vases, is to create a display in each of your rooms. Use a single variety of flowers such as Peonies, Tulips, or Roses from the grocery store. Arrange them loosely in a cylindrical vase and place the display somewhere prominent in the room, on a table for instance. Using a mix of open and closed flower buds will make the display even more eye-catching. The beauty of displays like this is that they add a burst of color to a room without making it look too busy.

The Power of Three

For some reason, the use of things in threes has a particular aesthetic appeal when it comes to home design. Try using the power of three to give your home a sense of coordinated sophistication. In your kitchen, you can try grouping three matching plant pots together with a different type of herb growing in each one.

If you’d like to be a little more adventurous in using the power of three, you could make yourself a large triptych for the living room or master bedroom. To do this, first find some art that you like on the Internet and download it. Take the image to a printer and have it made into an extra-large image: This shouldn’t cost very much. Cut your image into three equal sized parts and frame them with some matching, but inexpensive picture frames. Finally, hang the three parts of the picture symmetrically side-by-side, with a narrow gap between each piece. For a few dollars spent, you will have a piece of art to grace a large wall space and act as a real conversation starter when you entertain.

Avoid Paying Full Retail Price for Décor

The tips above all offer inexpensive ways to create a fresh look for your home. The cost of some picture frames, vases, flowerpots and wall hangers isn’t going to break the bank. Even so, if you’re serious about saving money on beautifying your home, look for every chance to buy at low prices. Time your purchases to coincide with store sales and collect your coupons from sites such as Valpak, to get discounts on the items you need.

Don’t be afraid to buy second hand at thrift stores either, or on Internet sites selling used items. If you put your creative hat on, you might just find some perfect pieces to add interest to your home among the things that other’s don’t want.

Any Makeover is better than No Makeover

You can find hundreds more inexpensive and ingenious ideas to include in your home makeover plans. A few hours spent browsing home design websites and blogs should give you enough inspiration to freshen up your whole home. So instead of letting recession put your makeover plans on hold, let your own creativity be your guide to a great looking home.

What to Put in Your Site’s Privacy Policy

When it comes to owning a business, it is important that your customers know where you stand in regards to their privacy. However, when it comes down to actually writing your company’s privacy policy, the idea of being drowned in legalese that you’re not even sure you understand can be daunting. As an eCommerce business owner, your job is to put your business in the best possible position with your customers. A good way to do that is to be as open as possible.

Why Have a Privacy Policy?

As an eCommerce business owner, it’s in your best interests to keep things as transparent as possible if only to protect yourself legally. As you will need to collect some personal data, it’s a good idea to let customers know what you’re planning to do or not do with their private information. Privacy policies are a best practice because, in essence, they keep web businesses honest. With the breaches of security and the constant phishing for personal financial data, many companies are letting customers know that they are using cookies as well as providing opt-out options for those who choose not to be tracked. Some big players are going so far as to refuse certain business partnerships with those who do not have a privacy policy in place; therefore, it’s advisable to have a strong privacy policy in place, however, if you have no idea how to go about it you can lookup online resources such as Shopify for help. In many cases, it’s no longer just an option; it’s a requirement.

What Should Be in It?

There are four basic components of any privacy policy.

  1. Type of information collected – eCommerce sites will need to collect name, email, shopping records, address and the like. Even though customers may be aware of this, it’s good to put this information in the privacy policy. In addition to letting them know what you will be collecting, make sure they know what you’re not collecting. That means letting them know that you won’t ever ask for their private banking information or their password.
  2. Sharing of the information – Data is the lifeblood of any online business because it can help you improve products, understanding more about promotional opportunities and much more. Your privacy policy should discuss this as well as let customers know that you won’t be selling their data to anyone. If you’re engaging in market research and may need their input, then be sure to mention this. Be as clear as you can while putting them at ease.
  3. How it will be protected – This seems to be the one thing that too many business owners still omit and it’s become more important than ever. This is the section where you talk about cookies, if you’re collecting them, as well as any protocols you have in place. It can get very technical, which is probably why it’s not usually in a policy statement. But since security is a hot topic these days, it’s wise to take the necessary steps to inform your customers about how you’re protecting them.
  4. Opt-out feature – If shoppers choose to not participate in any third-party research or promotional offers, there needs to be a clear method for them to say so. Whenever applicable, it’s a good idea to let customers know how long it will take for their information to be purged from the system once they’ve opted out.

Customizing Your Policy

The need for privacy policies has created a bit of a cottage industry. There are plenty of opportunities to get a policy that addresses your specific needs for free. However, if you want your policy to be a bit more personal, you can talk about your possible affiliate link usage, and why and how you use your analytics software. If you’re working with sites like Google or Commission Junction, you may want to post a link to their privacy policy as well.

It’s not a secret that you’re making money from the site; that’s the objective of an eCommerce business. It’s also the objective to build trust with customers so that they have no reason to question why they should spend their time and money with you. If you want to build trust with your customers, clearly stating what you intend to do with their private information will go a long way. Many companies tend to take shortcuts when writing their privacy policies and it often costs them in a big way. You’ve spent a lot of time and money building your business, so why not put some extra time and effort into creating a sound privacy policy? It could mean the difference between keeping the trust of your customers and losing your customers, and quite possibly your entire business if you aren’t able to keep your customers coming back to your site. A privacy policy that engenders trust will only enhance your business.

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