Trends and Countertrends Examined

From the Heartland of America, economics takes on the familiar face of someone you know, who may have recently lost his/her job.

Should we blame the politicians in Washington, DC of this party or that? Probably not. On the other hand, should we blame members of organized labor or union bosses for asking for “too much” money? “No” because it’s their job to at least ask the question. Or, perhaps, we may be tempted to blame senior management executives for their alleged “corporate greed.” Once more, the answer comes back as “No” from analysts without “an ax to grind.”

And, so, who is to blame, you might logically ask for the loss of so many manufacturing jobs in America during a time when most forecasters and government statisticians have said our economy is recovering? The real answer is the advent and increasingly rapid adoption of a global economy for our model, where everyone from all over the world becomes increasingly woven together. The short-term winners in this scenario become China, India and Mexico, in particular, in relationship to the loss of US manufacturing jobs due to an ever improving infrastructure in those countries plus cheap labor.

Never did this point become clearer than when a headline in The Financial Times, the global business and financial community newspaper, proclaimed that Levi’s was ending its production in North America. And, yet, what could possibly be more American than a pair of Blue Jeans?

What are the politicians to do? The professional economic development community of city planners and Vice Presidents of Economic Development for regional chambers of all sizes in America have begun to mobilize. Yet, the answers are hard. Many people frankly do not want to have the questions asked, much less begin to listen to the solutions.

But, please understand this point. According to a 2004 Study from the AARP, 79% of our baby boom generation of men and women born between 1946 and 1964 currently expect to work in some type of capacity. However, approximately a quarter of the 77.5 million men and women, who fall into this category, expect to do so because they think they’ll need the money. Sometimes, there may not be any choice.

So, all of us need to be willing to demonstrate a greater degree of flexibility. Specifically, if we find ourselves out of a job in one place in America, we need to be prepared to move somewhere else, where jobs in our field/industry may be more plentiful. Also, we need to be willing to take advantage of state and county-sponsored job training programs. In this way, our basic skill set can be improved, which will also lead to a higher pay level, as well. We also need to consider going back to school, depending on our current age.

In addition, someone also needs to say loud and clear that there are already growing shortages of qualified workers to teach the children in our nation’s schools. We are also beginning to experience nationwide shortages of nurses and pharmacists, as our baby-boom generation begins to retire.

Of course, you may have no interest in those options. And, so, please also understand that our nation’s largest trucking companies are always looking for men and women, who are willing to be trained as drivers. While these jobs are difficult, they can also pay between $40,000 and $60,000 per year or more. For more information from a listing of these companies, please visit http://www.InboundLogistics.com. Our nation will also increasingly require workers at different skill levels to work in our distribution centers/warehouses. These jobs for unskilled labor will range in pay from $7/hour to approximately $20/hour, depending on the center’s proximity to a major city.

Are there jobs in America? “Yes,” but our attitude can and will make a huge difference. The old job models have changed at the same time many of us may still be clinging to those old ideas and attitudes about what constitutes work in America for blue-collar and white-collar employees alike.

Downsizing Hurts People

The appropriate word is “Ouch!” Invariably older employees are the ones being downsized or right-sized in Corporate America. Of course, all HR departments will deny the truth of this statement. But, I offer one simple question as a means of illustrating this most appropriate point. Specifically, when a down-sizing formula is developed, how often is the winning formula some type of combination of years of service (which suggests an older employee) plus age (which again requires an older employee in order to max out on the formula)?

This writer has seen full retirement befits provided for friends who are age 50 or 55 consistently on the basis of the use of this type of formula, which in some cases, can even be enhanced by the addition of additional years of age or service. This development suggests that younger and younger employees are taking advantage of such provisions for financial reasons. By younger on this point, I mean age 50 and over.

But, make no mistake about it: Age is the “key” factor involved in corporate reorganizations.

Healthcare Costs Are the Real Culprit

Have you asked one of your previously down-sized friends how much he/she pays for healthcare lately? When the COBRA formula runs out after 18 months, you may be amazed to find out that a married couple in Illinois, for example, may pay $15,000/year for their coverage, assuming that there’s nothing really wrong with them. In that event, the most economical health insurance providers will simply deny them coverage. Then, think about adding another, large chunk of money to that amount for coverage that employees previously took for granted at ridiculously low rates, which were even subsided by corporate America.

Here’s a twist on the above formula. Have you met or talked with one of your friends lately, where his wife is actually working for 24 hours (i.e. 3 days) each week as a city librarian essentially because of the full-time employee status she gets, which then qualifies her to cover her family on a group health insurance basis for a “low cost?” A medical/dental/prescription drug benefit coverage on a low cost basis, without his/her spouse being disqualified due to some condition such as high blood pressure or diabetes, becomes a very tempting reason to take a lower-paying job for the benefit of your family.

The Medicare Gap Dilemma

If you’re over age 50, how often have you had the conversation with more than one of your friends lately about getting to the age when your Medicare benefit will kick into gear so that you can then buy lower cost health insurance for your family? Between ages 55 and actual retirement, for example, this challenge alone can be daunting. Neither federal or state politicians have been able to develop pools of small businesses, with their employees, so that these companies could collectively aggregate to reasonably buy into such a group plan, except on a last resort basis at the state level. When someone leaves the employment of that large or mid-sized company or government job, for example, the days of excellent and inexpensive health insurance are over.

And, so, strategies for receiving lower cost health/dental/prescription drug coverage during these “gap” years for you and your family becomes an important objective and necessity.

No one I know wants to run the risk of no insurance coverage in the meantime versus some type of unforeseeable expensive hospital stay for a family member. A no-insurance strategy for anyone with assets at all is simply not an option outside of a personal bankruptcy. Of course, that type of personal risk management represents no strategy at all.

The Self-Employment Model Gains Momentum Today

After being downsized a time or two, how many of your friends have now come to the same inevitable conclusion, regardless of where they live, regardless of their education level or occupational category and regardless of their gender or race? Plenty of them, according to my own experience in this area.

Just think about it. On the first day of your own business, you can get up and begin to wash your face/shave. As you do so, you should take a moment to stop and look at your best employee in the mirror. A suggested next statement from you might/should go as follows: “Jim, you’re the very best employee I’ve got. And, I promise I will never fire you or downsize you from this company. Go get ’em, Tiger!”

Of course, while there are risks inherent in pursuing this type of vision, there are also obvious rewards, too. Many men and women, with long employment histories at some large company who then receive a large severance check as each one exits, will now wake up to the starting capital they require to pursue this dream. I have been blessed to meet a large number of men and women, who fall into exactly this category. This very circumstance may be precisely what you needed to take this step since the necessary capital is now available.

Future Labor Shortages Will Rule the Day

The best news for you as a 50+ year old is this: Because of the upcoming retirement of the largest age bloc in America, labor shortages will actually begin to develop in virtually every type of conceivable labor category there is in our country. This development, in the future, will benefit all employees/self-employed men and women in the labor market.

Increasingly, we will be able to work on terms, which will best suit us and our unique circumstances. We will be able to work part-time for three days each week, two days/week, three days each week on a 4 hour/day basis and many other versions thereof. We will also, in the future, be asked to continue to work past normal retirement age or we will be asked to continue working at “the company” as an independent contractor after our “official retirement.”

The demand side of the labor equation will simply flip from employer to employee/independent contractor in the future. Otherwise, how will all of the work get done 10 years from now, for example? Just smile, as you think about this statement, because most of us, who are reading this prediction, will no doubt live to see this development take place. We will likely even be courted to continue working on some type of basis due to this upcoming labor shortage.

Companies may even develop some type of “special” benefit package for older employees/independent contractors.

Perseverance Today Will Pay Off Tomorrow

Despite the fact that today’s situation may not look as bright as it will later, keep your head up, keep your attitude up, continue to make the calls and ask the questions plus don’t forget to pray to the Lord, in the process, also. And, remember “Never Give Up.” That three-word summary of one of Winston Churchill’s most famous speeches says a lot about our attitude.

“Yes,” we can choose to play the blame game of blaming someone else or “the company” or my unique circumstances or our parents or our wife/husband. But, at age 50+, my question to you, should you find yourself in the position of wanting to play this unfortunate game, “when do we actually grow up enough to take adult responsibility?” Hopefully, today is that day.

In addition, forgiveness is also the key to being able to move forward in the process of reinventing yourself after age 50. No one really wants to hear a long version of your story, even your spouse/significant other. By now, they have already heard it perhaps 50 times. Today, why not choose to simply give them a break from hearing it re-stated for the 51st time? It’s your choice.

Just ask yourself: would you really like someone else to tell you this story again, if you had to be on the “hearing” end of this equation? Today is also the day to begin to simply “Get over it.” Forgive and go forward. As a Christian, this point if actually a mandate stated as such in the Lord’s Prayer. But, for others, in this reader audience, it still makes sense for you, too, because it’s common sense in terms of increasing your productivity sooner versus later.

The choice is up to you. But, the time to begin to think differently, to act differently and to take steps leading to a different outcome for your life is NOW.

Simply choose to make the effort to reinvent yourself today, regardless of why you are having to make such an effort. The “why” is much less important because it relates to your past. But, the point of NowWhatJobs.net, Inc., [http://www.nowwhatjobs.net] more than anything else is to get to where you want to be for the rest of your working lifetime or during this next chapter of your life.

James O. Armstrong, who is President of NowWhatJobs.net, Inc., [http://www.nowwhatjobs.net], also serves as the Editor of NowWhatJobs.net. In addition, he is the author of “Now What: Discovering Your New Life And Career After 50” and the president of James Armstrong & Associates, Inc., which is a media representation firm based in Suburban Chicago.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jim_Armstrong/162058

 

Stock Market Reaches Record Highs

It may not be the NBA Finals, but as Dallas Mavericks billionaire owner Mark Cuban once quipped, “If you don’t follow the stock market, you are missing some amazing drama.”

As the stock market continues to reach record highs this year, a majority of Americans feel confident about their portfolios and their equity investments. According to a March poll by business channel CNBC, 60 percent of Americans feel confident that their stocks will trade higher this year, even after the survey was completed during a downturn in the market.

The market has seen an extraordinary run since last summer, going from the 10,000s to the high-13,000. Americans are becoming more secure with their financial aptitude nowadays, and realize that regular stock investing over time can result in tremendous returns.

The stock market isn’t without its defects, but a practical, easy-to-understand advice follows the logic that stocks have historically outperformed all other investments, averaging a 10 percent gain in the S&P 500 since 1926.

It’s no real secret that a diversified portfolio over the long run is part of a smart financial strategy. But there are rules to investing, and I believe the new book “How Come That Idiot’s Rich and I’m Not.” offers up some common-sense solutions for everyone who wants to invest in stocks and mutual funds.

Trying to outwit the experts is fruitless. People [who go to Vegas] always tell you about the time they went and won, but they never tell them about the other eight trips where they lost. If you’re a hobbyist picking stocks part time thinking you’re going to outsmart Wall Street, you’re out of your mind.

Robert Shemin, JD, MBA, and Wall Street Journal bestseller, who was once considered the “least likely to succeed,” is a multi-millionaire who speaks to hundreds of thousands yearly, regularly sharing the podium with such financial luminaries as Donald Trump, Robert Kiyosaki, David Bach, Suze Orman and Tony Robbins. Shemin has worked with high-net-worth individuals for Goldman Sachs, helped create four companies, and been involved in over l,000 real-estate transactions. Find out more about Robert at [http://www.claimmybonus.com]

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Robert_Shemin/169338

 

Debt Consolidation Loan – A DIY Debt Management Programme

Finding the right solution when it comes to dealing with high levels of debt can be difficult, but the good news is that there is plenty of choice out there, and in some cases debt management solutions will not adversely affect your credit but will still make your life far easier in terms of finances. Debt consolidation is one way of effectively improving debt management without having to seek advice and assistance from debt management agencies, and without risking damage to your credit profile.

When you use a debt consolidation loan to deal with your debts you will be able to ease financial management and reduce your monthly outgoings. The purpose of any debt management plan is, as the name suggests, to make the management of debt repayment easier, and this is through reducing the number of repayments that have to be made and often by reducing the amount of money that has to be paid out each month.

However, some debt management solutions, such as IVAs and some debt management plans, can adversely affect your credit, and this can put your financial future in jeopardy for many years to come. This is something that you will not have to worry about when you opt for debt consolidation, as you will be using your new loan to settle your existing debts and will then only have to deal with one loan and one creditor rather than several.

Debt consolidation provides an effective solution for those that want to manage their debts more effectively but want to do it on a DIY basis rather than having to seek help from agencies. The idea behind debt consolidation is that you use one low rate loan to pay off a number of high interest expensive debts, such as higher interest loans, expensive credit cards, and high interest store cards. By doing this you can effectively reduce the number of payments that you have to make each month, thus reducing the hassle associated with debt management, as well as reducing the risk of missed and late repayments.

In addition to this you may find that the repayments on one lower interest consolidation loan amount to far less than the repayments on a number of higher interest debts. This will leave you with more disposable income each month, which will help to ease the financial strain that you may be facing. With a choice of debt consolidation loans available from a choice of reputable lenders, finding a low rate loan to suit your needs and circumstances should not prove too difficult, and is made easier and faster thanks to the availability of the Internet.

Loans4 provide homeowner loan solutions for homeowners. Please visit www.loans4.co.uk for the latest finance related news.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/David_Lynes/96675

 

Why Multilevel Marketing Success Eludes Many In The Developing Countries

Multi-level marketing or what most of us term as Network marketing system entails marketing of products, services and opportunities via word of mouth advertising. Although, with e-commerce growing in popularity, the word of mouth element is gradually paving way for a more dynamic way of doing network marketing with more prospect of achieving greater results.

Nowadays, in the developed economies of the world, one could by a click of the mouse, come across a good network marketing company, sign up, order their products or services, set up their own websites to advertise their business opportunities and within a few days, begin to experience an in flock of customers with whom he has never met joining his organization because they were attracted by the content of his website and the money making potentials they saw in the company the individual represents.

This individual could then begin to earn enormous amount of income, not by mere word of mouth advertising, but by the use of modern day technology available through the internet.

In the developing countries like Nigeria, the emphasis is still strictly on the old, almost outdated method of network marketing which entails going from door to door to introduce our goods, services and business opportunities to those who would be interested in patronizing our products and services or in joining our organization. A lot of drawbacks are inherent in this process of doing business in this part of the world.

Despite the fact that most of these companies produces some fantastic health enhancing products, the prices of these products are rather too exorbitant for the developing countries like Nigeria. Also, the initial cost of enrolling into the programs of the various multilevel marketing companies is rather too high for an average individual in this part of the world where the monthly income for some that are fortunate enough to have a job or small business is less than $200, which is fully spent on provision of food, leaving little or nothing for health, child’s education or decent accommodation, not to talk about savings.

Those who struggle to raise money to join these organizations, meet their brick walls because of their lack of understanding of the concept of network marketing. Some are overwhelmed by the captive captions contained in the various adverts which are used for inviting them to opportunity meetings, where stuffs like “make $10,000 a month”, “Earn $20,000 from home” and so on. The question most of them fail to ask before joining these organizations is; what do I have to do to earn this money? And so after a few months of unsuccessful strides, they give up and develop strong apathy for network marketing, believing that all the claims cannot be true; just because they failed to do the right thing in order to reach their goals.

Success they say “is not just about goal setting, but goal getting” so when we adventurously set unattainable goals and set unrealistic deadlines, then in the end fails to get to our Eldorado, you see us giving up on our dreams and goals.

Africa is a virgin ground for multilevel marketing companies to thrive, first because of the high level of poverty, secondly, the high rate of disease prevalence and the failure of successive government to provide basic amenities for their populates, leaving majority of the populates to cater for themselves and many families living on an income below a dollar per day.

With enough enlightenment, people would begin to see the financial benefits that lies in these business opportunities and would then begin to take advantage of these opportunities.

There are a lot of people in Africa that requires most of these products; most especially the nutritional supplements to enhance their health status and so, when they are able to generate better income and can afford these high cost, high potent nutritional supplements, we can then be more healthy and productive as a people.

The principle of Network Marketing is; ACTIVITIES = INCOME. But if one fails to understand this simple principle, you would end up frustrating yourself out of these tremendous investment opportunities. There is no free money anywhere to pick up, so you would have to work for your money and the work entails letting people know what you have as a product or service for them either by the use of the old mouth to mouth technique or the modern day internet advantage.

All africans are natural net-workers; we introduce different products and services to people on a day to day basis for free without feeling bad about it; because we were brought up to be our brothers’ keepers. Having said this, the average African is alien to a system that pays out money for doing what they were doing for free, it just sounds as being paid for saying “Good morning” to an elderly person in the morning. Most of us are also not open to ideas and suggestion of others, most especially when such an idea is coming from someone we look down on either because of their low financial background or lower academic qualification, so out of ignorance many people that should have benefited from these enormously lucrative business opportunities eliminates or disqualifies themselves from benefiting merely because the one bringing the opportunity is looked upon as socially inferior.

Most of us can be so passionate about their religious beliefs and teachings, that they misinterpret or even misunderstand the real essence of the teachings. For example, when the Holy Bible talks about the love of money being the root of all evil, some people have misunderstood this to mean that money is evil and so they rather remain financially poor, after all, the Bible also teaches that it would rather be hard for the rich to enter into the kingdom of God. On a deeper meditation on the above teachings and beliefs, one is forced to study the life of father Abraham in the Bible who was described as a friend of God and who was so rich in gold and cattle, later we learnt that he went to heaven.

It is therefore time for us to come face to face with realities and break this long shackle of poverty that has enslaved and bedeviled us for so long. We must come to reality with the fact that money remains the means of buying and selling world over and is worth having. With money, we can support charity, religious activities, and also support our families and community.

Multilevel marketing provides a level playing field for every individual that is ambitious enough to change their lives for the better, we can begin to take advantage of the various enhancement provided by the internet to enhance our network marketing strides. It is a gold mine and the earlier we understand this, we in the developing parts of the world would become more productive instead of relying on governments that cares very little or nothing about the welfare of their citizens.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Charles_Ogunsan/172803

 

Should Landlords Look To Sell Their Property Investment?

House prices in Britain have risen at an average annual rate at least 10 times higher than in other developed nations, such as Japan and Switzerland, and twice as fast as in the United States. The research by Policy Exchange, a Right-wing think-tank, shows that since 1970, prices have gone up by more than four per cent a year over inflation.

Property prices in Britain have risen for 13 successive years, and in the past decade the increase has been particularly steep. The price of an average home has risen from £70,000 when Labour came to power in 1997, to nearly £200,000 today. In the same period, the retail price index rose by only 30 per cent.

Should landlords sell & lock in gains

This all suggests on the face of it that a landlord should sell now and thereby lock in the capital gains they have made over the last few years on their residential buy-to-let investments.

However, a simple analysis of figures that show by how much the value of an asset has gone up doesn’t always give a clear indication that an asset is over valued. Any investor who has watched the rise in the price of gold in the last few years can verify that. Equally landlords who have watched the value of their property investments double in the early part of the Millennium only to watch them continue to spiral upwards in value all the way to the end of 2007 would have lost out on huge amounts of capital growth if they had taken such a view & sold.

An evaluation of the correct value of housing and residential property investment is far more complex than ‘prices have gone up a lot & therefore its time to sell’.

We as landlords really need to understand the factors that drive the value of residential investments and the housing market.

One key factor is affordability.

Affordability

The fact remains that buy-to-let investing takes place in a housing market which is still dominated by homeowners. Therefore a key factor in setting a price for a property is its’ affordability, particularly by the vast majority of purchasers who are buying a property for owner occupation.

Traditionally, the key metric has been the multiple of average income to property value. Historically this has been about 3.5 times average household income; it now stands at over 6. Some economists argue that this measure is no longer relevant because of a paradigm shift downwards in long run interest rates, making higher multiples more sustainable.

In the 80s interest rates were for most part in or near double figures; in the 90s they probably averaged 6-7%. This is still high by current levels; particularly when the fact that mortgage margins have reduced i.e. the differential a borrower pays above the prevailing base rate. In the 90s it ranged between 1-2%; before the recent credit crunch this had shrunk to in some cases to zero reducing the real costs of a mortgage even further. Even today after the ‘credit crunch’ it is possible to get a lifetime tracker at 6.39% or 0.89% above the Bank of England base rate.

House price “Bulls”

What the housing ‘bulls’ (those individuals that still believe we are in a rising market) argue is that what is more relevant in judging housing affordability is the proportion of household income paid out each month on servicing housing debt. After all they argue, people don’t think of multiples or margins when judging whether they can afford a property.

Their first thoughts are how much it will cost per month and how much income they have got after tax and other vital household expenses. For an indication of this we can go to the statistics provided by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). These stats make interesting reading. The good news for the ‘bulls’ is that the latest figures for interest payments as a percentage of median household income was 18.8% in November 07 which is well below the 27.1% reached in the first part of 1990 at the time of the house price crash of the early 90s.

However it should be remembered that this high rate was prompted by interest rates which reached 15%. What is important is that this rising figure is the highest since 1992 when the housing market was still languishing in the depths of the last housing depression. Whilst these figures are not conclusive on their own; it shows that by any measure the costs of servicing a housing debt are becoming an increasing constraint on future house price rises.

Yields

One measure which has always been popular with property investors is the gross yield.

For landlords with a good memory, they may be able to recall when gross yields on some investment properties were in double figures. It was also up until relatively recently that many landlords could secure a reasonable level of income from their residential investment properties. However, for many residential landlords those days have gone. Small rental increases have not been sufficient to keep pace with rising capital values and rising interest rates.

The result is that the last Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) review showed that gross yields had fallen to less than 5% as a UK average. This falls to 4.6% when taking into account rental voids. If management charges are also taken off, then the net yield is likely to fall below 4%. All this means that many landlords now face a cash outflow, which will remain with them for a number of years whilst rents increase and / or interest rates fall.

Housing ‘fully valued’ so shouldn’t I sell?
In conclusion then it looks on the face of it that UK housing is fully valued. Therefore, shouldn’t a landlord sell up and lock in their profits now? The decision on whether to sell a buy-to-let investment property isn’t quite as straight forward as it might first seem for a landlord. For instance, here are 5 things to consider before a landlord puts their buy-to-let property up for sale:

1 There is the small case of capital gains tax (CGT)

The Chancellor is proposing a new tax regime with a 18% band for all. However, that is still near enough a fifth of any gains a landlord has made. If a landlord has held their property for 10 years or so this is going to be a fairly high percentage of the overall value of their asset, meaning that they will have considerably less assets to reinvest in any alternatives following a sale.

2. Selling a residential investment property is not cheap.

Where an estate agent is involved and including legal fees and the new Home Information Pack (HIP) a landlord is probably looking at a minimum of 1.5% of the value of their property and that could easily increase to 2.5 or 3% in certain cases such as investment properties in London.

3.On top of this a landlord who tries to sell their residential investment property is probably best selling their buy-to-let property with vacant possession i.e. without tenants.

By doing this a landlord’s residential investment property should also appeal to the almost 90% of the residential market that are owner occupiers. This means that their investment property is empty and no rent is received during the sale period. A situation that can be particularly painful for a landlord where they still have a mortgage in place because not only are they missing out on rental income but they are also having to pay out ‘dead money’ whilst the property is being marketed. Even worst, every property speculator come opportunist knows this and assumes that you the landlord is in trouble and has to sell up. Therefore and in particularly at the moment be prepared for silly offers unless you are the lucky owner of a ‘trophy asset’ property.

4. Many landlords also buy a residential property for security.

In a world of increasing family & relationship break ups, having an additional property should the worse happen is seen by many landlords as an insurance policy against themselves or a member of their family being homeless. In addition many landlords have invested considerable time and effort buying, refurbishing and setting up their buy-to-let investment so the outright sale of their buy-to-let investment property is a large step for many landlords to take.

5.The other dilemma for landlords is what to do with any investment funds released following the sale of their residential investment property.

Many landlords have been ‘stung’ by previous investments in other asset classes such as shares. Whist the short-term gains are potentially higher, these investments are far more volatile than investments in a physical asset such as a residential investment property. At the moment cash savings are attracting a good rate of interest in the order of 6%, however most experts predict interest rates to fall throughout 2008 which means that the base rate could be as low as 4.5% by the end of the year reducing significantly the returns on cash investments.

Long -term landlords

The reality for landlords is that it’s not easy to respond quickly to trends in the housing market. For instance to sell up now and then wait 12 months to buy on a low. For a start, on a cost basis, the transaction costs of buying and selling will probably amount to 5% of setting up an investment by the time estate agents fees, legal costs and stamp duty have been factored in. Then there are the practical issues and time of identifying a suitable residential investment property, agreeing the deal and then putting it into a lettable state, not to mention finding suitable tenants. This probably goes a long way to explaining why a recent survey by the Alliance & Leicester revealed that the average period that a landlord planned to hold their investment for was 18 years. This means that most landlords choose to take a long-term approach and thereby ‘ride out’ any short term weakness in the housing market.

Financial sustainability & opportunities

A key objective for landlords now should be to ensure that their residential investment portfolio is financially sustainable. Landlords should focus on their cash-flows and take a conservative view over future property price projections.

The very nature of a property market in a slump, which appears to be the likely outcome for the UK housing market in 2008 is that it will throw up potential residential investment opportunities. Distressed sellers, repossessed buy-to-let investment properties sold at auction all make potentially excellent investments if a landlord has done their research properly, does not over borrow & invests in a ‘cash cow’ using a traditional repayment mortgage. This way a landlord will be sheltered from any down turn in residential values, as the tenant will be paying for any costs associated with these investments. A repayment mortgage will deliver a constantly reducing loan amount that should protect a landlord’s equity even in times of small falls in residential property values.

Therefore, my thoughts are that landlords thinking of selling should think through their decision carefully and make sure they are comfortable that it is the right long-term decision for them. Equally, for some landlords they might want to see the current turmoil in the credit markets and slump in house prices as a long-term buying opportunity. One thing that we are sure about is that landlords can no longer bank on rapid gains in housing values that they may have become accustomed to over the last decade. Whether a landlord decides to buy or sell; they should make sure that their investment strategy adjusts to this ‘new reality’.

Chris Horne is an experienced landlord and property professional who now runs the website Property Hawk, a site aimed directly at UK Landlords. The site incorporates free property management software that enables landlords to track all their financial data relating to their portfolio. It allows users to print tenancy agreements and other forms FREE FOREVER. The site generates a real time rent book for each property as well as calculating a landlords tax liabilty. The service is totally free to use at propertyhawk.co.uk

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Chris_Horne/95194

 

Massage in Bucharest

Recognize it! You’re busy! And so must be! That’s what life is like! But you want more than that, you want to do more for yourself and massage can help. Because massage makes more than a simple relaxation of the mind and body. It keeps your body in shape and gives you enough energy to make you enjoy a longer life better than you do it today.

Massage releases stress. At the moment, stress is a universal evil. Every time you are late, every time you avoid a car in traffic, every time you have trouble working, stress is doing his job. Each time adrenaline increases heart rate and cortisone levels and organs respond to the measure. You will be in a state of nerves and constant agitation.
When there is no release of stress, serious problems such as an upset stomach, hypertension, sleep disturbances, chest pain, or existing illness may worsen.

Some of the changes that may occur are: Anxiety, lack of concentration, depression, permanent fatigue, muscle or bone pain, sexual dysfunction, excessive sleep or insomnia

All these stress-related problems can be diminished and some can be totally eliminated by massage. The researchers concluded that a massage session can lower heart rate and blood pressure, relax your muscles and increase endorphin production. The massage also releases serotonin and dopamine and the result is a general relaxation, both physical and mental.
Our body care must be at the top of the priorities.
By adding the massage to your routine you will look much better and you will be much healthier and relaxed. Massage can improve your vitality and mood. Massage can prepare for a long and beautiful life.

Our masseuses personalize each massage session according to the needs of the individual.
Our massage parlors offer a variety of relaxation styles and techniques to help you. Apart from relaxing, massage can be a powerful ally in reducing pain, increasing energy levels, improving mental and physical performance

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After a massage session, you will see how the mental prospects are enriched, the body allows easier handling, better pressure resistance, relaxation and mental alertness, calm and creative thinking.
When you have the impression or force yourself to stay straight, your body is not actually aligned properly. Not only does the posture look bad, but it forces some of the muscles to go muddy all day, while others become weaker. After a long time, the incorrect position may cause other drops. For example, internal organs press on what affects digestion, breathing ability is also diminished, which means that much less blood and oxygen reaches the brain and hence all sorts of other complications.

Massage allows you to return your body to the track. Allowing the body to make healthy and accurate movements is one of the greatest benefits of massage. Massage can relax and restore muscles injured by bad posture, allowing the body to position itself in a natural, painless position.
Apart from posture, there is also anxiety. One of the signs of anxiety and stress can also be heavy breathing. When the body begins to breathe too little and deeply instead of breathing at a natural rithm, it is impossible for one to relax. One reason may also be that the chest muscles and the abdomen get tightened and the air gets harder.

Massage plays an important role in learning the body how to relax and how to improve breathing. Respiratory problems such as allergies, sinuses, asthma or bronchitis are a group of conditions that can benefit from massage. In fact, massage can have a positive impact on respiratory function.

Many of the muscles in the front and back of the upper part of the body are breathing accessory. When these muscles are tight and shorten they can block normal breathing and interrupt effective breathing natural rithm. Massage techniques for stretching and relaxing these muscles improves breathing function and breathability. Massage leads to an opening of the chest as well as structural alignment and nerve dilatation that are required for optimal pulmonary function. A good way to treat respiratory problems with massage is the taping made in Swedish massage. When done on the back, along with vibrations, it can detach the mucus from the lungs and can clean the airways for better later function.

Massage not only relaxes muscles, but helps people become aware of daily stress levels. Once the body recognizes what really means relaxation, the mind can rest easily relax before the stress becomes cornice and harmful. This will help you enjoy a balanced life. Massage controls breathing, allows the mind to re-create relaxation before the occurrence of chronic and harmful stress and increases the level of energy.