Choosing a Retro Argentina Football Kit – A Look at 2 Famous Argentina Football Shirts From the Past

The blue and white stripes of those Argentina football shirts from the past are perhaps even as iconic as the yellow and blue kits of Brazil. That is why the retro Argentina football kit is so sought after these days, especially Argentina football shirts from the seventies and eighties.

Diego Maradona the manager has really struggled to get his Argentinean team to qualify for this year’s World Cup finals, in South Africa. At one point during qualification it looked like the unthinkable might happen and that the World’s biggest football competition would be without one of its most flamboyant teams. Thankfully, that was not the case, but nonetheless the current side does not appear to be the force that it was when Maradona the player was the star of the team.

Below we look at two famous Argentina football shirts from the past, from a time when the “La Albiceleste” were the best team in the world.

Argentina 1978 World Cup Shirt

The Argentina 1978 World Cup strip is a retro Argentina football kit from one of the most memorable tournaments of all. Argentina were on home soil and so were well fancied, however, they were up against the “total football” of the Dutch, who were extremely unlucky in the 1974 World Cup and were expected to win it this time round.

The final between Argentina and Holland was a classic, with Johan Cruyff the star of the show. However, Argentina had their stars too, including Ossie Ardiles, just before his groundbreaking transfer to Tottenham Hotspur later that summer. They also had Mario Kempes, who was the leading goal scorer in the 1978 tournament, scoring a total of six goals, including two in the final itself.

Argentina managed to beat Holland 3-1 after extra time to win the World Cup and ensure that the 1978 World Cup shirt would become one of the most iconic Argentina football shirts of all time.

Argentina 1986 World Cup Shirt

The Argentina 1986 World Cup strip is another retro football kit featuring the famous blue and white stripes. It is nearly always associated with one man, a football genius who practically single-handedly won Argentina their second World Cup. That man of course was Diego Maradona and it is partly because of those performances wearing that particular retro Argentina football kit that he is considered by many to be the greatest footballer that ever lived.

These vintage football shirts have such a classic look to them and really do look great with a pair of jeans and trainers. As well as the classic blue and white stripes, the retro football kit features the gold and blue Argentinean shield.

Men’s Shirts – Hello Mister Bond

“Hello, Mr. Bond.”

James bond in his crisp white shirt is the epitome of style and confidence. Men’s shirts are a way to break out of the office doldrums and really show your own creative genius. Make your shirts a real statement about your style. Dark rich colours with contrasting light coloured ties; a monochromatic combination of light sexy baby blue or powder pink with perfectly matching tie; the 100% cotton white shirt with pearl buttons and sophisticated top stitching all make a statement when you walk into the room. What ever it is that you want to communicate; think about it, find your groove and make a splash. Cheer up the girls in the office with your dapper ways.

“Made it, Ma! Top of the World.”

Changing your style is one way to get noticed in an increasingly competitive job market. Your jacket is the frame and the men’s shirt the matting that will enhance artwork contained within it. The shirt works to frame the tie, braces (which are underwear) and the face. What colours will enhance these features? Look at the whole picture and determine what story you want the viewer to participate in. Sometimes the shirt can be the artwork; attention to detail in fabric, colour, design, print, top stitching and collar are like the brush details on a fine painting. The suit and tie then ground and frame the art, which is the shirt and should not compete with it.

“Hasta la vista, baby.”

As a minimum a man should have at least 3 white shirts and 2 blue. This gives us 5 shirts and we can do the laundry on the weekend. If you plan to work through most weekends or travel extensively for business or pleasure. Invest in more. The more shirts you have the less frequently you have to do laundry or make it to the dry cleaners.

“Well it’s not the men in your life that count, it’s the life in your men.”

Colour, fabric and style of collar and cuff will tell a story about the man and the shirt. Buy the best quality fabric that you can, the smoother and finer the cotton the dressier the man’s shirt. Choose a collar that suits your face and body frame and make sure that the cuffs fit properly. The cuffs of a man’s shirt should not slide off over the wrist nor should they get stuck when you lift your arms up in the air.

“Love your shirt.”

Finally, make sure that the shirt fits. Measure and try on before buying. Do not purchase men’s shirts in plastic bags with the pins still in. Take it out and try it on. Make sure that the fit is not too tight or too big through the torso. The current fashion is a little more tailored and fitted through the upper body.

“You had me at Hello.”

Men’s shirts make a statement. Think about the leading men in film, remembering their most famous roles it is easy to picture the shirt that each was wearing. What do you want to be remembered for? Find a style that really makes you feel like a leading man in your own life.

Five Excellent Investment Characteristics

We favor investments that are low cost, tax efficient, diversified, liquid, and simple. Many investors often run into trouble when they invest in things that do not have these five characteristics. Investments with these five characteristics have been profitable over time, but typically are not very exciting. There is generally not a “hot story that you need to act on now!” associated with them. The financial services industry generally does not favor these type of investments because they generate very little profit from them. We are in the business of helping to maximize the wealth of our clients, not the financial services industry. Keep in mind that this list of investment characteristics is not comprehensive. Other factors to look for in investments might include attractive valuation, low correlation to your other holdings, a nice dividend yield or interest income, a tilt towards areas of the market that have produced higher returns such as value stocks, an appropriate risk level for you, etc.

Low Cost. We typically invest in low cost index based funds and exchange traded funds (ETF’s). The funds we invest in have an average expense ratio of only.30% per year. The typical actively traded equity mutual fund has an average expense ratio of 1% or more. With investment funds, the best predictor of future relative performance is the expense ratio on the fund; the lower the better. Hedge funds typically have annual expense ratios of 2% plus 20% of any profits earned. Some variable annuities and permanent life insurance “investments” can have annual expenses of 2% or more. By keeping a close eye on the costs of our investments, we can save our clients significant amounts of money each year and help them achieve higher returns over time (all else being equal). With investment products, you don’t get better performance with a higher cost product, in fact you typically get worse performance.

Tax Efficient. Our investments (index based funds and ETF’s) are extremely tax efficient and they allow the investor to have some control over the timing of the taxes. These types of funds have low turnover (trading activity), which is a common characteristic of tax efficient investments. We recommend avoiding mutual funds with high turnover due to their tax inefficiency. After the recent big increase in the U.S. stock market, many active equity mutual funds have “imbedded” capital gains of as much as 30%-45%. If you buy those mutual funds now you may end up paying capital gains taxes on those imbedded gains even if you didn’t own the fund during the increase. ETF’s typically do not generate long and short-term capital gain distributions at yearend, and they do not have imbedded capital gains like active mutual funds. Hedge funds are typically tax inefficient due to their very high turnover. In addition to investing in tax-efficient products we also do many other things to help keep our client taxes minimized such as tax loss harvesting, keeping our turnover/trading low, putting the right type of investments in the right type of accounts (tax location), using losses to offset capital gains, using holdings with large capital gains for gifting, investing in tax-free municipal bonds, etc.

Diversified. We like to invest in diversified funds because they reduce your stock specific risk, and the overall risk of your portfolio. Bad news released about one stock may cause it to drop 50%, which is horrible news if that stock is 20% of your whole portfolio, but will be barely noticed in a fund of 1,000 stock positions. We tend to favor funds that typically have at least a hundred holdings and often several hundred holdings or more. These diversified funds give you broad representation of the whole asset class you are trying to get exposure to, while eliminating the stock specific risk. We are not likely to invest in the newest Solar Energy Company Equity Fund with 10 stock positions, for example. We don’t believe in taking any risks (such as stock specific risk) that you will not get paid for in higher expected return.

Liquid. We like investments that you can sell in one minute or one day if you decide to do so, and those which you can sell at or very close to the prevailing market price. With liquid investments you always (daily) know the exact price and value of your investments. All of the investment funds we recommend meet this standard. We don’t like investments which you are locked into for years without the ability to get your money back at all or without paying large exit fees. Examples of illiquid investments would be hedge funds, private equity funds, annuities, private company stock, tiny publicly traded stocks, startup company stock or debt, illiquid obscure bonds, structured products, some life insurance “investments,” private real estate partnerships, etc. We prefer investment funds that have been around for some time, are large in size, and have high average daily trading volumes.

Simple. We prefer investments that are simple, transparent, and easy to understand. If you don’t understand it, don’t invest in it. All of our investments are simple and transparent; we know exactly what we own. Complicated investment products are designed in favor of the seller, not the buyer, and usually have high hidden fees. Examples of complicated and non-transparent investments that we generally avoid are hedge funds, private equity funds, structured products, some life insurance “investment” products, variable annuities, private company stock, startup company stock or loans, etc. “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.” -Albert Einstein.

We believe most investors should have the majority of their portfolio invested in things that have these five excellent characteristics. By doing so you will avoid plenty of mistakes, negative surprises, and risks along the way. In addition, we believe your after tax investment returns will likely be higher over long periods of time. Of course not every smart or good investment will have all of these characteristics. For example, income producing real estate property is illiquid (and often not diversified) but can be an excellent long-term investment if purchased and managed properly. Owning your own business is illiquid and not diversified but can be an excellent way to build wealth as well. We believe these five investment characteristics become even more important as you enter retirement, since at that point you may be more focused on reducing risk and preserving your wealth than building it, and you may need the liquidity to spend and gift part of your wealth during retirement. These five excellent investment characteristics can be a good screening device for possible investments and good factors to think about when investing.

Just a Game Or Mathematical Genius?

This word bookmaker is used to refer to persons who take bets on competitive events at pre-established odds. The job of a bookmaker is to accept bet placements in such a ratio that regardless of who loses and who wins, he will still have made a lot of profit.

In certain countries, this activity is considered illegal and even in those ones where it is legal, at times there are no legal provisions for enforcing debts that arise from such activity. But in countries where it is recognized by law, the government earns quite a large amount of revenue from it and that is why certain countries have a legal bookmaker under the state’s control.

It is more established in the United Kingdom than in the United States; in the former, it is legally acknowledged and bets are placed on a broader array of sports. They even have an organization in charge of regulating settlement disputes. On the other hand, the latter has made it illegal in all states but Nevada and when carried out illegally, it only covers college sports and professional events.

Even though the UK still has them located at the racecourse, technology has caught up with some and made them shift to their PCs with the internet making the job a whole lot easier. But this limits under age gamblers and those in countries where it is prohibited as they are not allowed to gamble on such websites. They may connect online casinos but their disadvantage is that they increase the numbers of gambling addicts. Some operators though have shied away from technology seeing as the betters are cutting down their profit margins by comparing notes with other bettors through betting exchanges, a resource which even they can use to determine how to place their odds based on market trends.

Governments are not having a lot of success in regulating online outfits from entering their spaces. Greater success has been experienced by those authorities that have licensed all forms of betting but put in place stringent measures for the operation of associated outfits. This way, the government exercises a measure of control over how they are run.

A sleazy side to the industry becomes evident in cases of match fixing, where teams play to a prearranged outcome – either fully or partially which is both a legal breach and also a contravention of the rules of any game. But many countries are now relaxing their stance as the industry is now getting significant roles to play in society like in sponsoring sports activities and that has got the names of some of the firms on players’ T-shirts and on stadium signs a situation which is facing a lot of opposition in certain countries where there is low tolerance for gambling and such ones continue in the war against online participants.

The Top 5 Key Benefits of Purchasing and Owning Investment Real Estate

So… You may ask yourself, why should you buy or invest in real estate in the First Place? Because it’s the IDEAL investment! Let’s take a moment to address the reasons why people should have investment real estate in the first place. The easiest answer is a well-known acronym that addresses the key benefits for all investment real estate. Put simply, Investment Real Estate is an IDEAL investment. The IDEAL stands for:

• I – Income
• D – Depreciation
• E – Expenses
• A – Appreciation
• L – Leverage

Real estate is the IDEAL investment compared to all others. I’ll explain each benefit in depth.

The “I” in IDEAL stands for Income. (a.k.a. positive cash flow) Does it even generate income? Your investment property should be generating income from rents received each month. Of course, there will be months where you may experience a vacancy, but for the most part your investment will be producing an income. Be careful because many times beginning investors exaggerate their assumptions and don’t take into account all potential costs. The investor should know going into the purchase that the property will COST money each month (otherwise known as negative cash flow). This scenario, although not ideal, may be OK, only in specific instances that we will discuss later. It boils down to the risk tolerance and ability for the owner to fund and pay for a negative producing asset. In the boom years of real estate, prices were sky high and the rents didn’t increase proportionately with many residential real estate investment properties. Many naïve investors purchased properties with the assumption that the appreciation in prices would more than compensate for the fact that the high balance mortgage would be a significant negative impact on the funds each month. Be aware of this and do your best to forecast a positive cash flow scenario, so that you can actually realize the INCOME part of the IDEAL equation.

Often times, it may require a higher down payment (therefore lesser amount being mortgaged) so that your cash flow is acceptable each month. Ideally, you eventually pay off the mortgage so there is no question that cash flow will be coming in each month, and substantially so. This ought to be a vital component to one’s retirement plan. Do this a few times and you won’t have to worry about money later on down the road, which is the main goal as well as the reward for taking the risk in purchasing investment property in the first place.

The “D” in IDEAL Stands for Depreciation. With investment real estate, you are able to utilize its depreciation for your own tax benefit. What is depreciation anyway? It’s a non-cost accounting method to take into account the overall financial burden incurred through real estate investment. Look at this another way, when you buy a brand new car, the minute you drive off the lot, that car has depreciated in value. When it comes to your investment real estate property, the IRS allows you to deduct this amount yearly against your taxes. Please note: I am not a tax professional, so this is not meant to be a lesson in taxation policy or to be construed as tax advice.

With that said, the depreciation of a real estate investment property is determined by the overall value of the structure of the property and the length of time (recovery period based on the property type-either residential or commercial). If you have ever gotten a property tax bill, they usually break your property’s assessed value into two categories: one for the value of the land, and the other for the value of the structure. Both of these values added up equals your total “basis” for property taxation. When it comes to depreciation, you can deduct against your taxes on the original base value of the structure only; the IRS doesn’t allow you to depreciate land value (because land is typically only APPRECIATING). Just like your new car driving off the lot, it’s the structure on the property that is getting less and less valuable every year as its effective age gets older and older. And you can use this to your tax advantage.

The best example of the benefit regarding this concept is through depreciation, you can actually turn a property that creates a positive cash flow into one that shows a loss (on paper) when dealing with taxes and the IRS. And by doing so, that (paper) loss is deductible against your income for tax purposes. Therefore, it’s a great benefit for people that are specifically looking for a “tax-shelter” of sorts for their real estate investments.

For example, and without getting too technical, assume that you are able to depreciate $15,000 a year from a $500,000 residential investment property that you own. Let’s say that you are cash-flowing $1,000 a month (meaning that after all expenses, you are net-positive $1000 each month), so you have $12,000 total annual income for the year from this property’s rental income. Although you took in $12,000, you can show through your accountancy with the depreciation of the investment real estate that you actually lost $3,000 on paper, which is used against any income taxes that you may owe. From the standpoint of IRS, this property realized a loss of $3,000 after the “expense” of the $15,000 depreciation amount was taken into account. Not only are there no taxes due on that rental income, you can utilize the paper loss of $3,000 against your other regular taxable income from your day-job. Investment property at higher price points will have proportionally higher tax-shelter qualities. Investors use this to their benefit in being able to deduct as much against their taxable amount owed each year through the benefit of depreciation with their underlying real estate investment.

Although this is a vastly important benefit to owning investment real estate, the subject is not well understood. Because depreciation is a somewhat complicated tax subject, the above explanation was meant to be cursory in nature. When it comes to issues involving taxes and depreciation, make sure you have a tax professional that can advise you appropriately so you know where you stand.

The “E” in IDEAL is for Expenses – Generally, all expenses incurred relating to the property are deductible when it comes to your investment property. The cost for utilities, the cost for insurance, the mortgage, and the interest and property taxes you pay. If you use a property manager or if you’re repairing or improving the property itself, all of this is deductible. Real estate investment comes with a lot of expenses, duties, and responsibilities to ensure the investment property itself performs to its highest capability. Because of this, contemporary tax law generally allows that all of these related expenses are deductible to the benefit of the investment real estate landowner. If you were to ever take a loss, or purposefully took a loss on a business investment or investment property, that loss (expense) can carry over for multiple years against your income taxes. For some people, this is an aggressive and technical strategy. Yet it’s another potential benefit of investment real estate.

The “A” in IDEAL is for Appreciation – Appreciation means the growth of value of the underlying investment. It’s one of the main reasons that we invest in the first place, and it’s a powerful way to grow your net worth. Many homes in the city of San Francisco are several million dollars in today’s market, but back in the 1960s, the same property was worth about the cost of the car you are currently driving (probably even less!). Throughout the years, the area became more popular and the demand that ensued caused the real estate prices in the city to grow exponentially compared to where they were a few decades ago. People that were lucky enough to recognize this, or who were just in the right place at the right time and continued to live in their home have realized an investment return in the 1000’s of percent. Now that’s what appreciation is all about. What other investment can make you this kind of return without drastically increased risk? The best part about investment real estate is that someone is paying you to live in your property, paying off your mortgage, and creating an income (positive cash flow) to you each month along the way throughout your course of ownership.

The “L” in IDEAL stands for Leverage – A lot of people refer to this as “OPM” (other people’s money). This is when you are using a small amount of your money to control a much more expensive asset. You are essentially leveraging your down payment and gaining control of an asset that you would normally not be able to purchase without the loan itself. Leverage is much more acceptable in the real estate world and inherently less risky than leverage in the stock world (where this is done through means of options or buying “on Margin”). Leverage is common in real estate. Otherwise, people would only buy property when they had 100% of the cash to do so. Over a third of all purchase transactions are all-cash transactions as our recovery continues. Still, about 2/3 of all purchases are done with some level of financing, so the majority of buyers in the market enjoy the power that leverage can offer when it comes to investment real estate.

For example, if a real estate investor was to buy a house that costs $100,000 with 10% down payment, they are leveraging the remaining 90% through the use of the associated mortgage. Let’s say the local market improves by 20% over the next year, and therefore the actual property is now worth $120,000. When it comes to leverage, from the standpoint of this property, its value increased by 20%. But compared to the investor’s actual down payment (the “skin in the game”) of $10,000- this increase in property value of 20% really means the investor doubled their return on the investment actually made-also known as the “cash on cash” return. In this case, that is 200%-because the $10,000 is now responsible and entitled to a $20,000 increase in overall value and the overall potential profit.

Although leverage is considered a benefit, like everything else, there can always be too much of a good thing. In 2007, when the real estate market took a turn for the worst, many investors were over-leveraged and fared the worst. They could not weather the storm of a correcting economy. Exercising caution with every investment made will help to ensure that you can purchase, retain, pay-off debt, and grow your wealth from the investment decisions made as opposed to being at the mercy and whim of the overall market fluctuations. Surely there will be future booms and busts as the past would dictate as we continue to move forward. More planning and preparing while building net worth will help prevent getting bruised and battered by the side effects of whatever market we find ourselves in.

Many people think that investment real estate is only about cash flow and appreciation, but it’s so much more than that. As mentioned above, you can realize several benefits through each real estate investment property you purchase. The challenge is to maximize the benefits through every investment.

Furthermore, the IDEAL acronym is not just a reminder of the benefits of investment real estate; it’s also here to serve as a guide for every investment property you will consider purchasing in the future. Any property you purchase should conform to all of the letters that represent the IDEAL acronym. The underlying property should have a good reason for not fitting all the guidelines. And in almost every case, if there is an investment you are considering that doesn’t hit all the guidelines, by most accounts you should probably PASS on it!

Take for example a story of my own, regarding a property that I purchased early on in my real estate career. To this day, it’s the biggest investment mistake that I’ve made, and it’s precisely because I didn’t follow the IDEAL guidelines that you are reading and learning about now. I was naïve and my experience was not yet fully developed. The property I purchased was a vacant lot in a gated community development. The property already had an HOA (a monthly maintenance fee) because of the nice amenity facilities that were built for it, and in anticipation of would-be-built homes. There were high expectations for the future appreciation potential-but then the market turned for the worse as we headed into the great recession that lasted from 2007-2012. Can you see what parts of the IDEAL guidelines I missed on completely?

Let’s start with “I”. The vacant lot made no income! Sometimes this can be acceptable, if the deal is something that cannot be missed. But for the most part this deal was nothing special. In all honesty, I’ve considered selling the trees that are currently on the vacant lot to the local wood mill for some actual income, or putting up a camping spot ad on the local Craigslist; but unfortunately the lumber isn’t worth enough and there are better spots to camp! My expectations and desire for price appreciation blocked the rational and logical questions that needed to be asked. So, when it came to the income aspect of the IDEAL guidelines for a real estate investment, I paid no attention to it. And I paid the price for my hubris. Furthermore, this investment failed to realize the benefit of depreciation as you cannot depreciate land! So, we are zero for two so far, with the IDEAL guideline to real estate investing. All I can do is hope the land appreciates to a point where it can be sold one day. Let’s call it an expensive learning lesson. You too will have these “learning lessons”; just try to have as few of them as possible and you will be better off.

When it comes to making the most of your real estate investments, ALWAYS keep the IDEAL guideline in mind to make certain you are making a good decision and a solid investment.

I Love NY – T-Shirts, Mugs, Posters, and Other Ways a Simple Message Triumphs

Want to wear one of the greatest advertising campaigns of the last century? Take a look at some “I Love NY” t-shirts next time you have a chance. The design — brainchild of the brilliant Milton Glaser — couldn’t be simpler. The letter I, a heart N, and Y, arranged in a square. In fact, the only thing simpler is the message — of course people love New York. How could the city maintain millions of residents and attract millions of tourists if that weren’t the case?

The genius of the “I love NY” t-shirts is that they lay a unique claim to a common feeling. By wearing “I love NY” t-shirts, people are saying something fairly common — that they’re fans of New York city — but they’re saying it in an aesthetically appealing way. This is one of the best design tricks around: find a simple way to express a simple thought, but in a way not quite like what anyone has done before. As the uniqueness of the “I love NY” t-shirts demonstrates, it’s pretty hard to do this consistently.

One effect of “I love NY” t-shirts is that copying or referencing the design has become a major part of popular culture. The phrase “I love [x]” was rescued from mawkishness by “I love NY” t-shirts, and forever turned into a lighthearted way to express an exuberantly positive, common emotion. So it’s no wonder that numerous organizations have used the logo with slight variations (including puns on ‘spade’ and ‘club’ as opposed to just ‘heart’).

Another side effect of the “I love NY” t-shirts is that the ‘heart’ logo has transcended the slogan, and turned into an actual verbal expression. Originally textual, the phrase “I heart [x]” has developed as an even more free and fun version of “I love…”, even finding its way into the title of a film, I Heart Huckabees. There aren’t many advertising slogans that can claim to be so ubiquitous. Among the other slogans that have reached a similar level of popularity, few have been able to maintain it for so long. A reference to “Where’s the beef?” today leads to awkward stares, rather than laughs.

Interestingly enough, this popularity simply fed into the original trend. With so many people referencing “I love NY” t-shirts, the shirts themselves turned into a crucial fashion item. With so many reminders of the shirts, someone who briefly considered buying one wouldn’t have the chance to forget — during a single day, they might stumble across a review of I Heart Huckabees, an “I love…” line, and a logo that used a heart icon.

This is the most crucial lesson from “I love NY” t-shirts. If you’re going to create a successful trend, you’ll want to make one that’s self-reinforcing — that gives people a reason, not just to participate, but to make their friends want to participate, too. If you look at the sites of retailers who sell “I love NY” t-shirts, you’ll find that many of them also offer different versions, or plays on the same theme. If you can get people doing that, you probably have a design that’s going to last.

What Is The Difference Between Investment Management and Stockbrokers?

The investment services industry can be daunting and ambiguous for individuals who seek a return on their capital. After working hard earning your wealth, it is important to understand the different services offered by professionals and what solutions fit you personally. One of the main questions we get asked here is:

“What is the difference between investment management and stockbrokers?”

Firstly, let’s discuss what stockbrokers are – we all have a much better, clearer, idea of what they do and who they represent. Stockbrokers are regulated firms that offer financial advice to their clients. A stockbroker buys and sells equities and other securities like bonds, CFDs, Futures and Options on behalf of their clients in return for a fee or commission. A brokerage / stockbroker will receive a fee on each transaction, whether the idea is profitable or not.

A brokerage can specialise in any investment niche they wish for example:

  • FTSE All-Share stocks,
  • AIM stocks,
  • European Stocks,
  • Asian Stocks,
  • US Stocks
  • Combinations of the above
  • Straight equities,
  • Straight derivative trading (CFDs, Futures & Options)

The main reason why investors choose stockbrokers over any other professional investment service is simply down to control. Due to the nature of a brokerage firm, they can only execute a trade after you instruct them to do so. This means it is impossible for a brokerage to keep buying and selling securities without you knowing – known as churning for commission. This doesn’t however prevent stockbrokers providing you with several new ideas a week and switching your positions to a new idea.

However, there are natural flaws with the brokerage industry is that because trading ideas can only be executed after being instructed to list a few flaws;-

  • you may miss out of good opportunities due to moves in the market,
  • you may get in a couple of days later because you were busy and not make any money after fees,
  • you may receive a call to close a position but unable to without your say so.

The above are examples that can happen when investing with brokerage firms, but this is due to the reliance of gaining authorisation from their clients. So if you are ultra busy or travel a lot then you could potentially miss out on opportunities to buy or sell.

What are investment managers?

Now we understand what stockbrokers / brokerage firms are about, let’s discuss what investment management services can do for individuals.

Investment management firms run differently to brokerages. The core aspect to these services is that the professional investment managers use their discretion to make investment decisions. As a client of an investment management firm you will go through a rigorous client on boarding process (just like a brokerage firm) to understand your investment goals, understanding of the services being used, risk profile, angering to the investment mandate and allowing the service to manage your equity portfolio. The sign up with the service may seem long winded but it’s in your best interest to ensure the service is suitable and appropriate for you. In reality, it’s not a long winded process at all. Once you agree to the services offered then you will only be updated on the on-going account data and portfolio reporting in a timely manner. This means no phone calls to disrupt your day-to-day activities and allows the professionals to focus on your portfolio.

Investment management firms usually have specific portfolios with a track record, into which you can invest your capital according to you appetite for risk. These portfolios will focus on specific securities, economies, risk and type of investing (income, capital growth or balanced). All of this would be discussed prior or during the application process.

Another method used by investment management firms is different strategies implemented by their portfolio managers. These strategies are systematic and go through thorough analysis before investment decisions are made.

The fees usually associated with investment management firms can vary from each firm. There are three common types of fees and are usually combined, fees can be;-

  • Assets Under Management Fee – This is where you pay a percentage of the portfolio per year to the firm, usually an annual fee. E.g) 1% AUM Fee on £1,000,000 is £10,000 per year.
  • Transaction Fee – This is a fee associated with each transaction made through your portfolio – similar to the brokerage firm’s commission.
  • Percentage of Profits Fee – This is where any closed profits generated over a set time will be charged to the firm. E.g) 10% PoP Fee – the firm generates you closed profit of £10,000 in one quarter – you will be charged £1,000.

The main benefits provided from investment management firms is that after the service understands your needs and tailors the service around you, it is their job to build a portfolio around you. It is also the job of the investment management firm to adhere to the investment mandate you agreed on, we’ll take about this later, so you understand of the time frame given what you should expect. Another bonus why high-net worth individuals choose investment management services is because they are not hassled by phone calls every other day with a new investment idea.

The difference…

The main difference between investment management and stockbroking firms is:

  • Investment Managers offers discretionary services; no regular phone calls about stock ideas.
  • Stockbrokers give you more control as you can personally filter out ideas you think won’t work.
  • Investment Managers offer an investment mandate; this is where the investment management service provides a document of what they are offering you in return of managing your portfolio. You will understand what exactly they are targeting over the year, based on what risk, and should they achieve it – then they have fulfilled their service. E.g) the mandate could state that the strategies used and based on 8% volatility (risk), they seek to achieve 14% capital return.
  • Stockbrokers do not offer an future agreements but look to deliver growth during the time you are with them. They are not bound by their performances like investment managers.
  • Investment management firms have a track record for all of the strategies and services used, stockbrokers do not.

Which to choose?

Both services provide professional approaches to investing in the stock markets. Stockbrokers are chosen over investment managers by people who like to be in control and receive financial advice. Stockbrokers generally do not have a systematic approach to the markets but use selective top-down approaches to select stocks.

Investment managers are chosen by investors who want an agreement on their performances over the year and understand the risk up-front. Usually more sophisticated investors that wish to take advantage of the track-record and gain an understanding of the systematic approach used by the investment management firm.

Feel free to learn more.

DISCLAIMER: The above is not considered financial advice or any endorsement to use any particular service. If you wish to use any of the services mentioned, please seek independent advice.

RISK WARNING: Spread betting, CFD, futures and options trading carries a high level of risk to your capital and can result in losses that exceed your initial deposit. They may not be suitable for everyone, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved. Past performance of a managed service is not a guide to future performance.

10 Great Computer, Science and Math T Shirts To Make Your Friends Jealous

If you are into science and math, then you should be into funny science or math t shirts that reflect your unique and fun personality. Why not make more science and math friends and break the ice with the simple logical use of printing on cotton. It’s easy, it’s elegant and it just makes sense. If you calculate the cost of the tee and graph it against increased popularity, you will note that wearing funny tees is directly proportional to growing popularity as well as an increase in coolness. On top of that, your clever tees will make you the envy of all your friends, spurring them into action to outdo you. So, whatever you do, don’t share this list.

  1. Stand Back I’m Going To Try Science T Shirt – If everyone takes a few steps back, we won’t have to search for body parts later, right? This is the perfect shirt for the Chemistry majors in your life.
  2. Computer Club Is Sexy T Shirt – Do you know binary? If so, this super cool shirt says Computer Club is Sexy which is perfect for, you guessed it, computer club members.
  3. Apple Pi T Shirt – An apple + the Pi sign, you figured it out, you genius you. This tee is great for math students and teachers alike.
  4. Time Travel T Shirt – “If You Are Interested In Time Travel Meet Me Last Wednesday” is sure to spark some hot conversations. Hey, math and science people have an excellent sense of humor, it’s time others knew about it.
  5. Math is Radical T Shirt – With the use of the right sign, you have a perfect tee shirt for a wild math lovin’ guy or gal.
  6. Mathlete T Shirt – You may not be a track star, a football player or a swimmer, but you can sure solve math problems with multiple swipes of a pencil. You, my friend, are a mathlete and need a tee to show it.
  7. 4 Out of 3 People Are Bad At Fractions T Shirt – If you love a good math joke, this is it. Fractions? What are those? Whole numbers people, let’s stick with those.
  8. Find X Funny Math T Shirt – Circle the X (instead of solving for it), this is one of our most beloved tees, plus, people really think it’s funny.
  9. Keeping It Real Math T Shirt – If you get what i squared is (a real number) and you don’t think it’s “i 2” then you are a math person to be sure. You’ll see this t shirt sorts out the math haves from the math have nots pretty quickly!
  10. Darwin T Shirt – Calling all lovers of science, the Darwin T Shirt is classy and makes you look like you know people.

Developing a Plan: The Basis of Successful Investing

Warren E. Buffett offers the following advice on the qualities of a successful investor. Buffett essentially suggests that a successful investor does not need an extraordinarily high IQ, exceptional business acumen, or inside information. To enjoy a lifetime of successful investing, you need a solid decision-making framework and the ability to maintain your emotions.

A successful investment strategy requires a thoughtful plan. Developing a plan is not difficult, but staying with it during times of uncertainty and events that seem to counter you plan’s strategy is often difficult. This tutorial discusses the necessity of establishing a trading plan, what investment options best suit your needs, and the challenges you could encounter if you don’t have a plan.

The benefits of developing a trading plan

You can establish optimal circumstances for experiencing solid investment growth if you stick to your plan despite opposing popular opinion, current trends, or analysts’ forecasts. Develop your investment plan and focus on your long-term goals and objectives.

Maintain focus on your plan

All financial markets can be erratic. It has experienced significant fluctuations in business cycles, inflation, and interest rates, along with economical recessions throughout the past century. The 1990s experienced a surge of growth due to the bull market pushing the Dow Jones industrial average (DIJA) up 300 percent. This economic growth was accompanied by low interest rates and inflation. During this time, an extraordinary number of Internet-based technology firms were created due to the increased popularity of online commerce and other computer-reliant businesses. This growth was rapid and a downturn occurred just as fast. Between 2000 and 2002, the DIJA dropped 38 percent, triggering a massive sell-off of technology stocks which kept indexes in a depressed state well into the middle of 2001. Large-scale corporate accounting scandals contributed to the downturn. Then in the fall of 2001, the United States suffered a catastrophic terrorist attack that sent the nation into a high level of uncertainty and further weakened the strength of the market.

These are the kinds of events that can tax your emotions in terms of your investment strategies. It’s times like these that it is imperative that you have a plan and stick to it. This is when you establish a long-term focus on your objectives. Toward the end of 2002 through 2005, the DJIA rose 44 percent. Investors who let their emotions govern their trading strategies and sold off all their positions missed out on this upturn.

The three deadly sins and how to avoid them

The three emotions that accompany trading are fear, hope, and greed. When prices plunge, fear compels you to sell low without reviewing your position. Under these circumstances, you should revisit the original reasons for your investments and determine if they have changed. For example, you might focus on the short term and immediately sell when the price drops below its intrinsic value. In this case, you could miss out if the price recovers.

An investment strategy that is based on hope might compel you to buy certain stocks based on the hope that a company’s future performance will reflect on their past performance. This is what occurred during the surge of the Internet-based, dot-com companies during the late 1990s. This is where you need to devote your research into a company’s fundamentals and less on their past performance when determining the worth of their stock. Investing primarily on hope could have you ending up with an overvalued stock with more risk of a loss than a gain.

The greed emotion can distort your rationale for certain investments. It can compel you to hold onto a position for too long. If your plan is to hold out a little longer to gain a few percentage points, your position could backfire and result in a loss. Again, in the late 1990s, investors were enjoying double-digit gains on their Internet-company stocks. Instead of scaling back on their investments, many individuals held onto their positions with the hope that the prices would keep going up. Even when the prices were beginning to drop, investors held out hoping that their stocks would rally. Unfortunately, the rally never happened and investors experienced substantial losses.

An effective investment plan requires that you properly manage the three deadly sins of investing.

The key components of an investment plan

Determine your investment objectives

The first component in your investment plan is to determine your investment objectives. The three main categories involved in your objectives are income, growth, and safety.

If your plan is to establish a steady income stream, your objective focuses on the income category. Investors in this category tend to be low-risk and don’t require capital appreciation. They use their investments as an income source.

If your focus is on increasing your portfolio’s value over the long term, your objective is growth-based. In contrast to the income category, investors strive for capital appreciation. Investors in this category tend to be younger and have a longer investment time frame. If this is your preferred category, consider your age, investment expectations, and tolerance to risk.

The final category is safety. Investors who prefer to prevent loss of their principle investment. They want to maintain the current value of their portfolio and avoid risks that are common with stocks and other less secure investments.

Risk tolerance

While the main reason for growing your portfolio is to increase your wealth, you need to consider how much risk you are willing to take. If you struggle with the market’s volatility, your strategy should focus more on the safety or income categories. If you are more resilient to a fluctuating market and can accept some losses, you might favor the growth category. This category has the potential for higher gains. Nevertheless, you need to be honest with yourself and the level of risk you are willing to take as you set up your investment plan.

Asset Allocation

As discussed in the previous sections, part of your investment plan is to determine your risk tolerance and investment objectives. After you establish these components, you can begin to determine how you will allocate the assets in your portfolio and how they will match your goals and risk tolerance. For example, if you are interested in pursuing a growth-oriented category, you could allocate 60 percent in stocks, 15 percent in cash equivalents, and 25 percent in bonds.

Make sure your asset allocation reinforces your objectives and risk tolerance. If your focus is on safety, your objectives need to include safe, fixed-income assets such as money market securities, high-quality corporate securities (with high debt ratings), and government bonds.

If your strategy focuses on an income category, you should focus on fixed-income strategies. Your investments might include bonds with lower ratings that provide higher yields and dividend-paying stocks.

If your focus is on the growth category, your portfolio should focus on common stock, mutual funds, or exchange-traded funds (ETF). With this category, you need to vigilant in managing your portfolio by regularly reviewing your objectives and adjusting them according to your risk tolerance and objectives.

Effective asset allocation helps you establish a guideline for properly diversification of your portfolio. This enables you to work toward your objectives and manage a comfortable amount of risk.

Investment choices

Your trading strategy includes deciding what types of investments to buy and how you will allocate your assets.

Growth

If your strategy is based on growth, you might consider mutual funds or ETFs that have high market-performance potential.

Wealth protection/income generation

If you choose to pursue a wealth protection method, you might choose government bonds or professionally-managed bond funds.

Choosing your own stocks

If you prefer to select your own stocks, establish some rules for how you will enter and exit your positions. You objectives and investment strategies will determine these rules. Whatever approach you use, one trading rule you should establish is to use stop-loss orders as a form of protection against downward price movements. For example, if your investment drops 60 percent, it will need to increase 110 percent in order to break even. You choose the price that you will set the order, but a good rule to follow is to set a stop-loss order at 10 percent below the purchase price for long-term investments and a stop-loss order at 3-to-5 percent for short term trades.

Your strategy might also include investing in professionally-managed products such as mutual funds. These give you access to professional money managers. If you hope to use mutual funds to increase the value of your portfolio, choose growth funds that focus on capital appreciation. If your intent is to pursue an income-oriented approach, choose income-generating avenues such as dividend-paying stocks or bond funds. Make sure your allocation and risk structure align with your diversification and risk tolerance.

Index funds and ETFs

Index funds and ETFs are passively-managed products that have low fees and tax efficiencies (lower than actively-managed funds). These investments could be a good way to manage your asset allocation plan because they are low-cost and well diversified. Essentially, they are baskets of stocks that represent an index, a sector, or a country.

Summary

The most important component in reaching your investment goals is your plan. It helps you establish investment guidelines and a level of protection against loss. It’s important that you develop a plan based on an honest assessment of your investment style, level of risk tolerance, and objectives. You also must avoid letting your emotions influence your investment decisions even during the more discouraging times.
If you are still uncertain about your ability to effectively develop and follow a plan, consider employing the services of an investment advisor. This person’s expertise can help you adhere to a solid plan to meet your investment objectives.

Genius Baby Gear

Genius Baby Gear is fun, reasonably priced that helps you get your baby on a bright, fun learning adventure. Their products have been around for a while and are known for their savvy approach toward teaching young growing minds.

T-Shirts

Once you try these bright, bold clothing items you will always want your child wearing them. The picture and wording on the clothes draw your attention to the details. Believe it or not, other young people and their parents are observing and always ask “where’d you get that? We have read and heard that positive compliments make everyone feel special. Imagine how important this makes your little one feel. The messages on the T-shirts are positive. One T-shirt that’s a favorite says, “Future Genius”, another which is personalized has your favorite University on the front. One even has colorful Math signs like plus, minus signs, etc. Who could resist this?

Toys

We all have read that effective toys can stimulate the brain of the young. The Genius Baby Gears toys range from stuffed animals to dolls and toy trains. The sharp colors illuminate words and pictures. There are also maps that visually capture anyone’s attention. The toys are safe and toxic free.Please try the Medical Kit. It comes with 5 tools any budding doctor will become familiar with. If comes with a color carrying case, but what’s inside is awesome. There is the Otoscope, Scissors, Stethoscope, Rflex Hammer,and Syringe. Baby’s First Ball is absolutely adorable. It’s a cozy bouncy black, white, and red jingle ball.

MUSIC

Joyous sounds will fill your home with the Baby Genius DVDs and CDs. The songs are exciting and clean, and characters give clean, clear, introductions to the English Language. There are no dull, slang words used. The songs help teach them the alphabet, counting, colors, animals much more. Examples of songs are Yankee Doodle, Old McDonald’s, and many Classics that parents and grandparents can sing along with.

If you want to keep your infant alert and interested try Baby Genius Gear. If you want to use a tool that impacts your child in a positive way, look at Baby Genius Gear. It will introduce you to effective ways of teaching your child. Your baby will look forward to the songs on the CDs and DVDs and won’t even realize they are learning. The awesome games and toys and the wonderful reactions when they wear their colorful T-shirts and fun clothes will make you feel good about trying any product from Baby Genius Gear.