Ill Effects of a Sedentary Life Style

The world has become a global village. Everything is accessible at the click of a mouse. The distance between continents is lessened. The word has become faster and swifter. But the mind has become slower and less vigilant. For instance, numerical calculations are carried out by computers and calculators. The human mind is seldom used for that. As a result, simple calculations such as additions, subtractions and multiplications are forgotten. We are mechanized. Overdependence on such gadgets is a curse than a boon.

The physical movements are minimized. Some people try to compensate it with regular visit to the gym and such fitness centers. But are they effective? If the Darwinian Theory is correct, the organs we don’t use may become insignificant and consequently may become inactive, dead or lost. Thus reasoning power gets lost. Body becomes weak and fragile as movements are substantially reduced. The effect of such a life style is physical conditions like, high blood pressure, heart attack, obesity, and diabetics. Our muscles are loosened as they are not often utilized. Our bones become weak as they are not used.

Therefore, it’s high time that we go back to our natural way of living where most of the activities are done manually which strengthen our body. A weak and sick generation is in the making. Thanks to the great leaps of man in telecommunication, technology and industry! If it’s not checked it would eventually ruin the entire mankind. Hospitals would mushroom and that industry will be the most profit making one in future. Other epidemics also would increase. It is very likely that Robots and machines would witness the extinction of mankind in a century or two. It’s not just an exaggeration but a naked reality. I hope man would realize this forthcoming and danger and act promptly to rescue him from this danger. The bottom line is it’s not yet too late, there is ample time left to act judiciously. Awake and act.

How Does Heavy Metal Toxicity Affect You? Symptoms of Heavy Metal Toxicity

Do you suffer from heavy metal toxicity?

Chances are you do. If you are suffering from symptoms such as; chronic fatigue, chronic infections from decreased immunity, autoimmune diseases, chronic candida overgrowth, and even cancer, heavy metal toxicity may be the root cause of it all.

Your Dr. may not be testing for heavy metal toxicity and prescribing medication instead without getting to the root of the problem. You need to know better.

Although mercury toxicity from amalgam dental fillings has recently gained some exposure, mercury is not the only dangerous heavy metal you need to be aware of.

Cadmium, aluminum, lead, and arsenic are some of the heavy metals we are exposed to just by breathing in the air around us. Industrial discharges, pesticide run offs, incinerator emissions, manufacturer smokestacks, and aviation, and auto vehicle exhaust all spew heavy metals into the air we breathe and the ground we get our water and food from.

Aluminum toxicity is also easily leached into processed, packaged food during manufacturing and packaging. Aluminum can leak from giant vats used in commercial kitchens, aluminum lined juice boxes, cans, and other packaging materials.

Cadmium is another heavy metal leaking into the environment on a continuous basis from a variety of sources. Commercial fertilizers, fish from polluted waters, burning fossil fuels, auto and industrial exhaust, the incineration of plastics and batteries, all affect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat, contributing to nationwide heavy metal toxicity.

There is actually an average daily intake of cadmium exposure of 30 micrograms. People who smoke or work with metals may be exposed more heavily. Smoking one cigarette provides 2 micro grams of cadmium, and people who smoke don’t smoke just one cigarette.

As cadmium stockpiles in the kidneys, symptoms of heavy metal toxicity begin to show as hypertension, or arterial disease with ringing in the ears. Cadmium toxicity can interfere with intestinal absorption of calcium and other minerals leading to osteoporosis, or anemia.

Without any detoxification protocols it takes the body 10-30 yrs to naturally rid itself of half of its cadmium. But we are still getting a dose of it every day! And since cadmium exposure is not decreasing any time soon, you make the calculation of where that leaves you!

It may take 20-50 yrs. to accumulate enough heavy metals to actually cause heavy metal toxicity symptoms, and damage such as hypertension, osteoporosis, arthritis or cancer. Since our children today are already born with higher levels of toxicity, it may not be long before we see younger and younger people suffering from heavy metal toxicity symptoms which look like diseases we normally associate with old age.

Cancer can be caused by cadmium toxicity, and if there is a heavy cadmium burden which is not eliminated, it may not allow healing to occur.

If research scientists need rats with cancer of the prostate all they need to do is give them a dose of cadmium. The cadmium has a remarkable ability to zero in on the prostate and testicles as target organs.

Although it has been known for over 35 years that cadmium toxicity is one of the factors leading to prostate cancer, we are still not being advised by family doctors, or oncologists, on how to take precautions to prevent cadmium toxicity and cancer.

Cadmium heavy metal toxicity is like a thief in the night that doesn’t leave footprints.

Cadmium affects the thyroid function by lowering the T3 active thyroid hormone, although it does not raise the TSH which is the brains message to produce more thyroid hormone. When doctors test for thyroid function they test the TSH levels which most often appear normal despite lowered T3 levels.

With a normal lab test result, physicians will often blame their patients for complaining and overreacting, instead of taking the complaints serious.

It is important to have adequate levels of zinc, as fortunately zinc is able to displace the cadmium and kick it out of prostate storage. Selenium is also effective in protecting the body against cadmium toxicity.

High levels of nutrients that assist detoxification are of utmost importance to keep from developing symptoms of heavy metal toxicity.

Classical Music Downloads

It’s fun to make your own library of classical music recordings and decide which classical composers and their music pieces you would like to include. One way is to do this is to purchase the CDs of your choice from the local chain stores. But the problem here may be the high CD cost the local stores may charge due to the overhead charges. Moreover the local store may not be able to provide you the music piece or the composer of your choice.

You are therefore left to rely on the Internet for downloading music CDs. The Internet is indeed a veritable ocean from where you can take as much music as you like sitting in the comfort of your home. There is a wide margin of choice, and a lot of competition among the vendors too. Therefore with a little search you can download the best quality music of your choice at cheaper rates. Besides the competition and the wide choice, the net vendors of classical music can afford to sell the music at cheaper rates due to the absence of overhead charges that your local store has to bear. Download of music on the Internet also eliminates the shipping charges because you are not asking for the CDs, which can only be sent by post.

You also need to select the right classical music Internet vendor. You should opt for the site that offers to supply you the labels and tracks that you want. It should offer a wide variety and flexible choices, including music by emerging artists in every music genre. You should be able to burn as many CDs as you want, transfer music to MP3 devices or any desktop, portable music player or digital device and also make multiple copies of downloaded music. Your vendor should offer to deliver music in the universally compatible MP3 format, which is the most popular and versatile digital file format. The music should have the highest quality fidelity, and should be downloadable to any platform such as PC, Macintosh and Linux.

How to Make the Latest Fashion Style Look Great on You

It doesn’t matter if the jeans are high or low rise this season. It doesn’t even matter where the skirt lengths end up. No matter what the latest fashion style, you can wear it beautifully with a little bit of shopping savvy and a thorough knowledge of your body type. The key to wearing clothing well is to choose pieces that will accentuate your positives and minimize your – not so positives, no matter what the current fashion trend might be. All it takes is a little bit of time in front of the mirror and an honest evaluation of your shape, and you will be ready to choose the fashion styles that will look fabulous on you.

Five Body Types While every woman has her own unique shape, most will fall into one of five basic categories. The hourglass shape is wider in the chest and hips, with a narrow waistline. This is the shape that is tailor made for trendy belts, flowing skirts and v-neck tops to flatter your bustline. An apple shape is wider on the top and narrower on the bottom – perfect for the wide-leg and bootcut pants that are popular now. If you have a pear shape, you are narrower on top and wider on the bottom. There are plenty of lovely choices in the current fashion style for this figure as well. Try the current fashion trend of longer jackets and sweaters with a v-neck blouse underneath to make the most of your assets.

The petite figure is fortunate today, because there are many pieces in the latest fashion style designed just for her. Beware of outfits that cut you off at the middle, shortening your already small physique. Cropped jackets and straight leg pants are the perfect choice for this figure. Finally, for those who have been blessed with a long, lean shape, your options are fairly wide open when it comes to the latest fashion style. Sometimes the most challenging aspect of this figure type is finding clothing that is long enough to accommodate your tall stature. The good news is that many retailers are now offering many of their fashion styles in tall and long sizes just for you. 

Fashion style will come and go, but knowing how to wear those trends will make the difference between a fashion savvy dresser and a woman who is a slave to the current fashion style. Get hip to your body shape and choose your latest fashion style according to what will look good on you. Clothes worn well are always in style.

Wedding Planning Websites For All Brides

So now, you’ve said YES to the all important question your man has been wanting to ask. Now what? Now comes the hard albeit fun part of planning for your wedding. So where do you run to? Why the internet of course!

Cyberspace is a global village full of wonderful wedding planning websites that can help you set up for your most important day. In these websites you can download various checklists you will need for your wedding day. Wedding checklists have been indispensable to the modern day bride. They are the equivalent of live wedding planers but unlike planners that go home at the end of the day, you can carry these with you and refer to your plans, needs, to-do-list anytime, anywhere.

Wedding planning websites are also a good source of inspiration and ideas. Some websites will have free newsletters which can be very helpful not only to the bride-to-be but to the groom as well. You can check out wedding themes, invitation inspiration, color schemes, proper wedding etiquette, potential honeymoon destinations, the tune of your first dance and many more wedding related paraphernalia.

These websites are also good for research. Every bride knows how important budget is when it comes to weddings. It is easy to go overboard during weddings. And while we don’t want to scrimp during this important day, going into debt is also a very bad way of starting off your married life. In wedding planning websites, you can get an idea of how expensive or affordable your wedding will be. Most sites will feature products and services and some of them might even be willing to give you a free quote. This will give you an idea of where you will be financially for your wedding plans.

However, the most important reason why future brides should scour the web for wedding planning websites is for organization. Weddings are intimate affairs that involve planning skills. The wedding goes beyond the bride and the groom. There will be parents and siblings to think about, venues to book, wedding gown designs that need to be considered and many more. Think about it, some relatives that might want to attend may live off state or even abroad. Wedding websites gives you the idea of the logistics, planning and needs that will have to be addressed in order for your perfect day to be wonderful. These websites will also save you time and gas money from going store to store in search of that perfect purse or wedding veil. Try shopping when everything is at the tip of your fingers!

Speaking of organization, wedding planning websites can take off the stress of organizing a wedding no matter how short a notice it is. All you need is some research and you will have everything you need in your computer or via a print out. No relative or friend will be forgotten. Wedding gown fittings, honeymoon bookings, the perfect wedding band and even your favorite song can be found in the internet.

A stress free wedding is every bride’s dream. Planning ahead can give you the edge you need in order to walk down the aisle without any worries. So fire up your computer and search for wedding planning websites and have fun dreaming up your special day!

Beginner’s Guide to Computer Forensics

Introduction
Computer forensics is the practice of collecting, analysing and reporting on digital information in a way that is legally admissible. It can be used in the detection and prevention of crime and in any dispute where evidence is stored digitally. Computer forensics has comparable examination stages to other forensic disciplines and faces similar issues.

About this guide
This guide discusses computer forensics from a neutral perspective. It is not linked to particular legislation or intended to promote a particular company or product and is not written in bias of either law enforcement or commercial computer forensics. It is aimed at a non-technical audience and provides a high-level view of computer forensics. This guide uses the term “computer”, but the concepts apply to any device capable of storing digital information. Where methodologies have been mentioned they are provided as examples only and do not constitute recommendations or advice. Copying and publishing the whole or part of this article is licensed solely under the terms of the Creative Commons – Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 license

Uses of computer forensics
There are few areas of crime or dispute where computer forensics cannot be applied. Law enforcement agencies have been among the earliest and heaviest users of computer forensics and consequently have often been at the forefront of developments in the field. Computers may constitute a ‘scene of a crime’, for example with hacking [ 1] or denial of service attacks [2] or they may hold evidence in the form of emails, internet history, documents or other files relevant to crimes such as murder, kidnap, fraud and drug trafficking. It is not just the content of emails, documents and other files which may be of interest to investigators but also the ‘meta-data’ [3] associated with those files. A computer forensic examination may reveal when a document first appeared on a computer, when it was last edited, when it was last saved or printed and which user carried out these actions.

More recently, commercial organisations have used computer forensics to their benefit in a variety of cases such as;

Intellectual Property theft
Industrial espionage
Employment disputes
Fraud investigations
Forgeries
Matrimonial issues
Bankruptcy investigations
Inappropriate email and internet use in the work place
Regulatory compliance

Guidelines
For evidence to be admissible it must be reliable and not prejudicial, meaning that at all stages of this process admissibility should be at the forefront of a computer forensic examiner’s mind. One set of guidelines which has been widely accepted to assist in this is the Association of Chief Police Officers Good Practice Guide for Computer Based Electronic Evidence or ACPO Guide for short. Although the ACPO Guide is aimed at United Kingdom law enforcement its main principles are applicable to all computer forensics in whatever legislature. The four main principles from this guide have been reproduced below (with references to law enforcement removed):

No action should change data held on a computer or storage media which may be subsequently relied upon in court.

In circumstances where a person finds it necessary to access original data held on a computer or storage media, that person must be competent to do so and be able to give evidence explaining the relevance and the implications of their actions.

An audit trail or other record of all processes applied to computer-based electronic evidence should be created and preserved. An independent third-party should be able to examine those processes and achieve the same result.

The person in charge of the investigation has overall responsibility for ensuring that the law and these principles are adhered to.

In summary, no changes should be made to the original, however if access/changes are necessary the examiner must know what they are doing and to record their actions.

Live acquisition
Principle 2 above may raise the question: In what situation would changes to a suspect’s computer by a computer forensic examiner be necessary? Traditionally, the computer forensic examiner would make a copy (or acquire) information from a device which is turned off. A write-blocker[4] would be used to make an exact bit for bit copy [5] of the original storage medium. The examiner would work then from this copy, leaving the original demonstrably unchanged.

However, sometimes it is not possible or desirable to switch a computer off. It may not be possible to switch a computer off if doing so would result in considerable financial or other loss for the owner. It may not be desirable to switch a computer off if doing so would mean that potentially valuable evidence may be lost. In both these circumstances the computer forensic examiner would need to carry out a ‘live acquisition’ which would involve running a small program on the suspect computer in order to copy (or acquire) the data to the examiner’s hard drive.

By running such a program and attaching a destination drive to the suspect computer, the examiner will make changes and/or additions to the state of the computer which were not present before his actions. Such actions would remain admissible as long as the examiner recorded their actions, was aware of their impact and was able to explain their actions.

Stages of an examination
For the purposes of this article the computer forensic examination process has been divided into six stages. Although they are presented in their usual chronological order, it is necessary during an examination to be flexible. For example, during the analysis stage the examiner may find a new lead which would warrant further computers being examined and would mean a return to the evaluation stage.

Readiness
Forensic readiness is an important and occasionally overlooked stage in the examination process. In commercial computer forensics it can include educating clients about system preparedness; for example, forensic examinations will provide stronger evidence if a server or computer’s built-in auditing and logging systems are all switched on. For examiners there are many areas where prior organisation can help, including training, regular testing and verification of software and equipment, familiarity with legislation, dealing with unexpected issues (e.g., what to do if child pornography is present during a commercial job) and ensuring that your on-site acquisition kit is complete and in working order.

Evaluation
The evaluation stage includes the receiving of clear instructions, risk analysis and allocation of roles and resources. Risk analysis for law enforcement may include an assessment on the likelihood of physical threat on entering a suspect’s property and how best to deal with it. Commercial organisations also need to be aware of health and safety issues, while their evaluation would also cover reputational and financial risks on accepting a particular project.

Collection
The main part of the collection stage, acquisition, has been introduced above. If acquisition is to be carried out on-site rather than in a computer forensic laboratory then this stage would include identifying, securing and documenting the scene. Interviews or meetings with personnel who may hold information which could be relevant to the examination (which could include the end users of the computer, and the manager and person responsible for providing computer services) would usually be carried out at this stage. The ‘bagging and tagging’ audit trail would start here by sealing any materials in unique tamper-evident bags. Consideration also needs to be given to securely and safely transporting the material to the examiner’s laboratory.

Analysis
Analysis depends on the specifics of each job. The examiner usually provides feedback to the client during analysis and from this dialogue the analysis may take a different path or be narrowed to specific areas. Analysis must be accurate, thorough, impartial, recorded, repeatable and completed within the time-scales available and resources allocated. There are myriad tools available for computer forensics analysis. It is our opinion that the examiner should use any tool they feel comfortable with as long as they can justify their choice. The main requirements of a computer forensic tool is that it does what it is meant to do and the only way for examiners to be sure of this is for them to regularly test and calibrate the tools they use before analysis takes place. Dual-tool verification can confirm result integrity during analysis (if with tool ‘A’ the examiner finds artefact ‘X’ at location ‘Y’, then tool ‘B’ should replicate these results.)

Presentation
This stage usually involves the examiner producing a structured report on their findings, addressing the points in the initial instructions along with any subsequent instructions. It would also cover any other information which the examiner deems relevant to the investigation. The report must be written with the end reader in mind; in many cases the reader of the report will be non-technical, so the terminology should acknowledge this. The examiner should also be prepared to participate in meetings or telephone conferences to discuss and elaborate on the report.

Review
Along with the readiness stage, the review stage is often overlooked or disregarded. This may be due to the perceived costs of doing work that is not billable, or the need ‘to get on with the next job’. However, a review stage incorporated into each examination can help save money and raise the level of quality by making future examinations more efficient and time effective. A review of an examination can be simple, quick and can begin during any of the above stages. It may include a basic ‘what went wrong and how can this be improved’ and a ‘what went well and how can it be incorporated into future examinations’. Feedback from the instructing party should also be sought. Any lessons learnt from this stage should be applied to the next examination and fed into the readiness stage.

Issues facing computer forensics
The issues facing computer forensics examiners can be broken down into three broad categories: technical, legal and administrative.

Encryption – Encrypted files or hard drives can be impossible for investigators to view without the correct key or password. Examiners should consider that the key or password may be stored elsewhere on the computer or on another computer which the suspect has had access to. It could also reside in the volatile memory of a computer (known as RAM [6] which is usually lost on computer shut-down; another reason to consider using live acquisition techniques as outlined above.

Increasing storage space – Storage media holds ever greater amounts of data which for the examiner means that their analysis computers need to have sufficient processing power and available storage to efficiently deal with searching and analysing enormous amounts of data.

New technologies – Computing is an ever-changing area, with new hardware, software and operating systems being constantly produced. No single computer forensic examiner can be an expert on all areas, though they may frequently be expected to analyse something which they haven’t dealt with before. In order to deal with this situation, the examiner should be prepared and able to test and experiment with the behaviour of new technologies. Networking and sharing knowledge with other computer forensic examiners is also very useful in this respect as it’s likely someone else may have already encountered the same issue.

Anti-forensics – Anti-forensics is the practice of attempting to thwart computer forensic analysis. This may include encryption, the over-writing of data to make it unrecoverable, the modification of files’ meta-data and file obfuscation (disguising files). As with encryption above, the evidence that such methods have been used may be stored elsewhere on the computer or on another computer which the suspect has had access to. In our experience, it is very rare to see anti-forensics tools used correctly and frequently enough to totally obscure either their presence or the presence of the evidence they were used to hide.

Legal issues
Legal arguments may confuse or distract from a computer examiner’s findings. An example here would be the ‘Trojan Defence’. A Trojan is a piece of computer code disguised as something benign but which has a hidden and malicious purpose. Trojans have many uses, and include key-logging [7], uploading and downloading of files and installation of viruses. A lawyer may be able to argue that actions on a computer were not carried out by a user but were automated by a Trojan without the user’s knowledge; such a Trojan Defence has been successfully used even when no trace of a Trojan or other malicious code was found on the suspect’s computer. In such cases, a competent opposing lawyer, supplied with evidence from a competent computer forensic analyst, should be able to dismiss such an argument.

Accepted standards – There are a plethora of standards and guidelines in computer forensics, few of which appear to be universally accepted. This is due to a number of reasons including standard-setting bodies being tied to particular legislations, standards being aimed either at law enforcement or commercial forensics but not at both, the authors of such standards not being accepted by their peers, or high joining fees dissuading practitioners from participating.

Fitness to practice – In many jurisdictions there is no qualifying body to check the competence and integrity of computer forensics professionals. In such cases anyone may present themselves as a computer forensic expert, which may result in computer forensic examinations of questionable quality and a negative view of the profession as a whole.

Resources and further reading
There does not appear to be a great amount of material covering computer forensics which is aimed at a non-technical readership. However the following links at links at the bottom of this page may prove to be of interest prove to be of interest:

Glossary
1. Hacking: modifying a computer in way which was not originally intended in order to benefit the hacker’s goals.
2. Denial of Service attack: an attempt to prevent legitimate users of a computer system from having access to that system’s information or services.
3. Meta-data: at a basic level meta-data is data about data. It can be embedded within files or stored externally in a separate file and may contain information about the file’s author, format, creation date and so on.
4. Write blocker: a hardware device or software application which prevents any data from being modified or added to the storage medium being examined.
5. Bit copy: bit is a contraction of the term ‘binary digit’ and is the fundamental unit of computing. A bit copy refers to a sequential copy of every bit on a storage medium, which includes areas of the medium ‘invisible’ to the user.
6. RAM: Random Access Memory. RAM is a computer’s temporary workspace and is volatile, which means its contents are lost when the computer is powered off.
7. Key-logging: the recording of keyboard input giving the ability to read a user’s typed passwords, emails and other confidential information.

Wall Street Exposed – What You Must Know About Your Financial Advisor Now!

There is a simple but undeniable truth in the financial consulting and wealth planning industry that Wall Street has kept as a “dirty little secret” for years. That dirty little, and nearly always overlooked secret is THE WAY YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR IS PAID DIRECTLY AFFECTS THEIR FINANCIAL ADVICE TO YOU!

You want, and deserve (and consequently SHOULD EXPECT) unbiased financial advice in your best interests. But the fact is 99% of the general investing public has no idea how their financial advisor is compensated for the advice they provide. This is a tragic oversight, yet an all too common one. There are three basic compensation models for financial advisors – commissions based, fee-based, and fee-only.

Commission Based Financial Advisor – These advisors sell “loaded” or commission paying products like insurance, annuities, and loaded mutual funds. The commission your financial advisor is earning on your transaction may or may not be disclosed to you. I say “transaction” because that’s what commission based financial advisors do – they facilitate TRANSACTIONS. Once the transaction is over, you may be lucky to hear from them again because they’ve already earned the bulk of whatever commission they were going to earn.

Since these advisors are paid commissions which may or may not be disclosed, and the amounts may vary based on the insurance and investment products they sell, there is an inherent conflict of interest in the financial advice given to you and the commission these financial advisors earn. If their income is dependent on transactions and selling insurance and investment products, THEY HAVE A FINANCIAL INCENTIVE TO SELL YOU WHATEVER PAYS THEM THE HIGHEST COMMISSION! That’s not to say there aren’t some honest and ethical commission based advisors, but clearly this identifies a conflict of interest.

Fee Based Financial Advisor – Here’s the real “dirty little secret” Wall Street doesn’t want you to know about. Wall Street (meaning the firms and organizations involved in buying, selling, or managing assets, insurance and investments) has sufficiently blurred the lines between the three ways your financial advisor may be compensated that 99% of the investing public believes that hiring a Fee-Based Financial Advisor is directly correlated with “honest, ethical and unbiased” financial advice.

The truth is FEE-BASED MEANS NOTHING! Think about it (you’ll understand more when you learn the third type of compensation), all fee-BASED means is that your financial advisor can take fees AND commissions from selling insurance and investment products! So a “base” of their compensation may be tied to a percentage of the assets they manage on your behalf, then the “icing on the cake” is the commission income they can potentially earn by selling you commission driven investment and insurance products.

Neat little marketing trick right? Lead off with the word “Fee” so the general public thinks the compensation model is akin to the likes of attorney’s or accountants, then add the word “based” after it to cover their tails when these advisors sell you products for commissions!

FEE ONLY Financial Advisor – By far, the most appropriate and unbiased way to get financial advice is through a FEE-ONLY financial advisor. I stress the word “ONLY”, because a truly fee ONLY financial advisor CAN NOT, and WILL NOT accept commissions in any form. A Fee-ONLY financial advisor earns FEES in the form of hourly compensation, project financial planning, or a percentage of assets managed on your behalf.

All fees are in black and white, there are no hidden forms of compensation! Fee-Only financial advisors believe in FULL DISCLOSURE of any potential conflicts of interest in their compensation and the financial advice and guidance provided to you.

Understanding the conflict of interest in the financial advice given by commission based brokers enables you to clearly identify the conflict of interest for fee-based financial advisors also – they earn fees AND commissions! Hence – FEE-BASED MEANS NOTHING! There is only one true way to get the most unbiased, honest and ethical advice possible and that is through a financial advisor who believes in, and practices, full disclosure.

Commission and Fee-Based financial advisors typically don’t believe in or practice full-disclosure, because the sheer magnitude of the the fees the average investor/consumer pays would surely make them think twice.

Consider for a moment you need to buy a truck specifically for towing and hauling heavy loads. You go to the local Ford dealership and talk to a salesperson – that salesperson asks what type of vehicle you’re interested in and shows you their line of trucks. Of course, to that salesperson who earns a commission when you buy a truck – ONLY FORD has the right truck for you. It’s the best, it’s the only way to go, and if you don’t buy that truck from that salesperson you’re crazy!

The fact is Toyota makes great trucks, GM makes great trucks, Dodge makes great trucks. The Ford may or may not be the best truck for your needs, but the salesperson ONLY shows you the Ford, because that’s ALL the salesperson can sell you and make a commission from.

This is similar to a commission based financial advisor. If they sell annuities, they’ll show you annuities. If they sell mutual funds, all they’ll show you is commission paying mutual funds. If they sell life insurance, they’ll tell you life insurance is the solution to all of your financial problems. The fact is, when all you have is a hammer… everything looks like a nail!

Now consider for a moment you hired a car buying advisor and paid them a flat fee. That advisor is an expert and stays current on all of the new vehicles. That advisor’s only incentive is to find you the most appropriate truck for you, the one that hauls the most, tows the best, and is clearly the best option available. They earn a fee for their service, so they want you to be happy and refer your friends and family to them. They even have special arrangements worked out with all of the local car dealerships to get you the best price on the truck that’s right for you because they want to add value to your relationship with them.

The analogy of a “car buying advisor” is similar to a Fee-Only financial planner. Fee-Only financial advisor’s use the best available investments with the lowest possible cost. A Fee-Only financial advisor’s only incentive is to keep you happy, to earn your trust, to provide the best possible financial advice and guidance using the most appropriate investment tools and planning practices.

So on one hand you have a car salesperson who’s going to earn a commission (coincidentally the more you pay for the truck the more they earn!) to sell you one of the trucks off their lot. On the other hand, you have a trusted car buying advisor who shops all of the vehicles to find the most appropriate one for your specific needs, and then because of his relationships with all of the car dealers can also get you the best possible price on that vehicle. Which would you prefer?

Truly unbiased financial advice and guidance comes in the form of Fee-Only financial planning. You know exactly what you’re paying and what you’re getting in return for the compensation your Fee-Only financial advisor earns. Everything is in black and white, and there are no hidden agenda’s or conflicts of interest in the advice given to you by a true Fee-Only financial advisor!

The fact is unfortunately less than 1% of all financial advisor professionals are truly FEE-ONLY. The reason for this? There’s a clear and substantial disparity in a financial advisor’s income generated through commissions (or commissions and fees), and the income a financial advisor earns through the Fee-Only model:

Example #1 – You just changed employment and you’re rolling over a $250,000 401k into an IRA. The commission based advisor may sell you a variable annuity in your IRA (which is a very poor planning tactic in most cases and for many reasons) and earn a 5% (or many times more) commission ($12,500) and get an ongoing, or “trailer” commission of 1% (plus or minus) equal to $2,500 per year. The Fee-Only financial advisor may charge you a fee for retirement plan, an hourly fee, or a percentage of your portfolio to manage it. Let’s say in this case you pay a $500 retirement plan fee and 1.25% of assets managed (very common for a Fee-Only financial advisor in this situation). That advisor earns $500 plus $3,125 ($250,000 * 1.25%) or TOTAL COMPENSATION of $3,625 – FAR LESS THAN THE $15,000 THE COMMISSION (or Fee-Based) financial advisor earned! In fact it takes the Fee-Only financial advisor over four years to earn what the commission (or fee-based) advisor earned in one year!

Example #2 – You’re retired and managing a $750,000 nest egg which needs to provide you income for the rest of your life. A fee-based financial advisor may recommend putting $400,000 into an single premium immediate annuity to get you income and the other $350,000 into a fee-based managed mutual fund platform. The annuity may pay a commission of 4% or $16,000 and the fee-based managed mutual fund portfolio may cost 1.25% for total compensation of $20,375 first year (not including the “trailer” commissions). The Fee-Only advisor would possibly shop low load annuities for you, possibly put the entire portfolio into a managed account, possibly look at municipal bonds, or any other variety of options available. It’s hard to say how much the Fee-Only advisor would earn as their largest incentive is to keep you the client happy, and provide the best planning advice and guidance possible for your situation. BUT, in this case let’s just assume that a managed mutual fund portfolio was implemented with an averaged cost of 1% (very common for that level of assets), so the Fee-Only financial advisor earns roughly $7,500 per year and it takes that financial advisor THREE YEARS to earn what the fee-based financial advisor earned in ONE YEAR!

The prior examples are very common in today’s financial advisory industry. It’s unfortunate that such a disparity in income exists between the compensation models, or there would likely be many more truly independent and unbiased Fee-Only financial advisors today!

Now consider for a moment which financial advisor will work harder for you AFTER the initial consultations an planning? Which financial advisor must consistently earn your trust and add value to your financial and investment planning? It’s obvious the financial advisor with the most to lose is the Fee-Only advisor. A Fee-Only financial advisor has a direct loss of income on a regular basis from losing a client.

The commission or fee-based financial advisor however has little to lose. You can fire them after they’ve put you in their high commission products, and as you can see from the examples they’ve already made the majority of the commissions they’re going to make on you as a client. They have little to gain by continuing to add value to your financial and investment planning, and little to lose by losing you as a client.

Wouldn’t you prefer a financial advisory model where your financial advisor must continually earn your trust and add consistent value to your planning?

It’s clearly more difficult to earn a living and run a profitable financial advisory firm through the Fee-Only financial planning and guidance model. For this reason, most financial advisors take the easy way and sell products for commissions and charge fees on assets managed – that way they can make a nice living on your investment portfolio and still have an ongoing stream of revenue every year. For this reason also, less than 1% of financial advisors are truly Fee-Only, yet it’s that 1% that is truly objective and unbiased, and that 1% whose only incentive is to manage your financial plan, investments, and overall wealth to accomplish the goals you wish to achieve!

The real “dirty little secret” Wall St. has is the undeniable truth that the commission and fee-based financial advisory model has inherent conflicts of interest, and your advisor may be “selling you investment products” rather than “solving your financial problems”!

Auto Financing – Should You Opt For Car Loans?

A few decades ago, a car was considered a luxury only the rich could afford. But as the Automobile companies prospered and expanded their production and reach, the Cars became cheaper and easier to acquire. Many Auto Companies, Banks, and private companies too came forward to provide Car Loans to people who still could not afford to buy Cars with a full payment for the purchase price. Auto financing was also useful in enticing people working on a fixed salary, or those who were hesitant in investing a big sum in purchasing an Automobile. People also bought cars to maintain/enhance their status in society, even if it meant opting for a Car Loan to buy a Car. In the last decade or two, a car or even two or more cars for a family has become more of a necessity, rather than a status symbol.

In this case opting for a Car Loan is not a bad idea if you really need the Car to make life easier for you and your family and it is really useful in solving day-to-day problems of traveling. You can either decide to buy a new or second hand car depending on your requirement and financial status. When you do decide to buy a car with Auto financing, just do not rush off and select the first option that presents itself. Analyze the Car Loans market and the different offers made by the Auto Company, Banks, and Private companies for Auto Loans, and decide on the best option according to your paying capacity and finances. Auto Financing is beneficial for the buyer (You), the seller (the Auto Company), and the financier (Auto Company, Bank, private finance company). But as in any business deal. everybody wants the best deal and the most benefit for themselves. Therefore, when you do opt for an Auto Loan, weigh the Pros and Cons, the advantages, disadvantages, savings, interest charged, down payment required, terms of financing, the period of loan, etc.

You should also calculate how much you will have to pay on a monthly/quarterly/yearly basis for financing the Car and whether you will be able to manage the payments comfortably. If you have already bought a car on Auto Finance and your Credit rating with the financing company is good, getting a Car Loan for a second car becomes easier. But if you have defaulted on your Auto Loans, your Car Finance Company may reject your loan application for another Car. This is called Bad Credit in the industry. But you do not have to be dejected and think that you will never be able to get another Car Loan. There are Private Car Finance and Auto Loan Companies that do provide a Second chance at Auto Loans, in spite of a Bad Credit rating. Whether you need First time Auto Financing or a second chance at a Car Loan in spite of Bad Credit, you should investigate all the options and avenues available and opt for the best in the market, while also looking at your financial abilities to pay back the loan.

3 Business Services That Will Improve Your Business

Running a business can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying ventures one can partake in life. However, running a business can also be an extremely demanding, and at times, stressful career move. Luckily there are a wide range of business services that can help to take some of the weight off of your shoulders and allow you to focus on the core elements of your business.

The first service is chartered accountancy. A huge part of your business is going to be dealing with the financial aspects of its day to day operations. Many feel employing the services of an accountant to be a bit of a waste of money. This is usually because they have some understanding of what is needed and required and feel that they will be more than capable of keeping on top of all their accounts and book keeping. Although this may be fine for small businesses or start ups, as a business grows, so does the amount of accountancy work. Another point to make is that hiring an accountant is not as expensive as many would be lead to believe. So for a small yearly fee, you could rest assured that your accounts are being professionally managed, allowing you to focus on your business.

Another popular service is outsourced sales and lead generation. Today, more than ever, businesses are outsourcing their lead generation and sales tasks; so that they can focus their in house teams efforts on the key aspects of the business. Outsourcing is beneficial in many ways and can have a huge impact on the growth and success of a business. When you outsource a service such as lead generation and sales, you are acquiring the service of a highly skilled and dedicated team who are specifically trained to excel in sales and lead generation. This means that less time is spent training staff in-house, allowing that management time to be set to more important, core aspects of your business. Another huge benefit of this outsourced service is the quality and quantity of the leads and sales that you will receive. By allowing highly trained, professionals deal with these parts of your business; you will be rewarded with more relevant leads, and a larger volume of sales.

Finally we have Records Management. Although not a service that will improve sales or leads, records management will improve the organisation and efficiency of your business. Records management or Document Storage as it is often referred to, is when your business documents and media is stored in an external storage facility. This will free up a lot of office space and lead to a more organised and efficient way of operating your business. A good Records Management facility will allow you to quickly and efficiently access any of your stored documents at any point. These facilities are kept at optimum temperatures and are closely guarded, meaning your documents will be safe and in perfect condition should you require them.

These are just three of the many services that could improve and enhance your business. By employing one or a few of these business services you could find yourself with more time to focus on the core aspects of your business, leading to a more successful business for you and your staff.

Adventure Holidays in India

India is a land of contrasts with diverse languages, ethnic groups, religions and traditions. Immerse yourself in the teaming bazaars, holy cities and Moghul forts. See a wide array of wildlife with 500 species of animals including tiger, leopard, elephant, and rhino, 200 species and sub-species of birds and 30,000 insect species.

High Himalayas, dark deep woods, Great Indian Desert, and an extensive coastline make India a formidable destination for those who are always up for dares and challenges. Adventure Holidays in India are rigorous and intense. You can opt for India Luxury Tours with sufficient number of adventure activities planned throughout the itinerary or go for more unusual travel experiences that qualify for off-the-beaten track adventure trips in India.

Jungle safaris on an elephant’s back along Tiger Trails in some of the best known National Parks and Tiger Reserves of India might be more popular but you might love to go for adrenaline-pumping motorbike safaris on a Royal Enfield or ‘Bullet’ as it is popularly known in India. Hot air ballooning, para-gliding, heli-skiing, zip-lining over the ancient Neemrana Fort are just some of the various fun activities you can opt for during your India Adventure Tours.

Bicycle tours along the countryside in South India are highly recommended if you want to experience real India first-hand. An option to stay and dine with traditional Indian families in their homes allows you to mingle with the locals and know more about their culture and lifestyle. Riding an elephant back like a King or Queen to the Amber Fort in Jaipur, Rajasthan is fun while Horse Safaris with descendants of erstwhile royals to rural Rajasthan or high-altitude trails in Himalayas are once-in-a-lifetime experiences you will cherish forever.

It takes some time to get used to the wobbly strides of a Camel, the Ship of the Desert and the most popular form of transport to more remote areas of Rajasthan. Yak Ride in Ladakh is another unusual activity you might want to try. There are endless options for Bird watching Tours and Wildlife Adventure Tours throughout India and each region has its own flavor with unique climatic and geological conditions, amazing biodiversity, and rare and endangered species of flora and fauna endemic to that region.

Those who are more active may perhaps want to go for more rigorous options of mountaineering, rock climbing, trekking, skiing, white river rafting, rappelling, bungee jumping, cliff jumping, snorkeling and deep sea diving. There is no dearth of adventure in India. The vastness of the country offers such diversity of landscapes and geology that it just takes a little imagination to come up with a personalized tour itinerary that keep entire group of vacationers happy for any length of time.

Fun-filled nights in Goa, known for its tropical beaches and music, serve as a happy break to foreign tourists from America and Europe who feel more at home there. The early Portuguese domination in Goa followed by the British rule has lent an European feel to the entire region. You will find a number of swanky churches here too.

Romantic houseboat cruises in Kerala backwaters many not make blood rush to your ears but they are highly recommended for couples visiting the country. The quaint beauty of thick forests casting their emerald green reflection in the channels and waterways look especially beautiful at sunrise. Bird songs, and fishes and amphibians (not found anywhere else in the world) that you encounter during Kerala houseboat cruises provide a perfect epilogue to your delightful adventure tours in
India.
Adventure holidays are becoming the choice of today’s traveler. India offers wide opportunities in this field because of its rich and varied climates. In northern India, one could experience trekking, mountaineering, gliding, paragliding and many other adventure activities in snow covered peaks of Himachal and Uttaranchal. In Rajasthan, adventure has a different face. You can experience the heat of desert and sand dunes while on Camel Safaries or Jeep safaris. South India offers water sporting opportunities like boat race, water sports and much more.

If you love wildlife, you can take experience the beauty in dense forest among wild animals in wildlife safaris, jungle safaris and jeep safaris of Uttaranchal and Karnataka. Uttaranchal, the land of holy rivers and there origins offers White water rafting and is hub for various other adventure sports activities like trekking, river rafting and wildlife safari. Garhwal offers some very exciting opportunities for the water sport lover. The Ganga with its frothing and foaming waters throw up a challenge that no rafter on this earth can look away from. The rivers in Uttaranchal are said to offer the best rafting opportunities in world. The hills of North India have all the ingredients for exploit packed with thrills – an unexplored valley, towering peaks, flowing rivers, a splendid combination of flora & fauna, snow-capped mountains and vast tracts of virgin snow.

Karanataka, another state in India unfolds its many surprises that seem to have been created just for the adventure holidays seekers and nature lovers. Verdant forest, unexplored hill ranges and deep blue water are peculiar features which describes adventurous tours in Karanataka in the form of Rock climbing, Aerosports, Water Sports, White water Rafting, coracling, canoeing, kayaking and windsurfing.

The beauty of Kashmir attracts many tourists to this “Paradise on Earth”. Apart from the enthusiastic nature lovers, the high peaks of the Himalayas attract thousands of adventure sports lovers to the state. Adventure holidays in Kashmir are increasingly attracting Indian and overseas lovers of the outdoors.

Kashmir is one of the major attractions for the tourists for enjoying holidays. A range of options exist in the valley for the adventure loving visitors. There are some places in the valley where the adventure sports facilities are available like Gulmarg, Sonmarg, Pahalgam, Drass, etc. The mountain ranges as well as the gushing rivers of the valley provide abundant opportunities for adventure travel in Kashmir.

Other states of India are also encouraging adventure tours and tourism and several adventure tour parks and camps are being organized for a traveler seeking adventure tours.

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