Protect the Children From Ourselves

Through life we ​​feel that we have done things correctly. We have left our family homes, gone to school, made a career for ourselves, possibly gotten married and had children. Sometimes we forget in our busy lives as we move forward that it is our responsibility to nurture, protect and above all teach the children we have created and brought forth into this life.

It is very important, not just in the pregnancy, birth and toddler years to keep our intelligent minds on our children but we as parents must go beyond this. It is not good enough to just get pregnant and have a baby. There is a great deal more to it than that.

We are responsible for these little lives. We have the God-given love and ability to do the right thing by our children. It is up to us as parents to make the choice between providing a quality and loving home for or children or on the opposite side … a life of fear, uncertainty and abuse.

What we do with our children when they are young and the steps we take in raising them can make the difference between that child being confident, happy and successful and the child being insecure, undeveloped socially and unsuccessful in life.

I am not an expert in the field of raising children or in their development and growth stages. I have done some studying on the subject along with raising two sons and helping to raise two step-sons. Now that all of our children are grown and on their own it is difficult to tell if I was successful or not. I want to think I am and hope that I've saved them a sense of who they are and above all that they were and are loved.

However, when an adult does not have the proper tools instilled in their own growth through their formative years, it is a challenge and can be difficult to teach our own children.

My home as a child was not a happy one. I was born into a first generation-Canadian home, the last pregnancy of my mother. I was number five. Her first three pregnancies ended in miscarriage and still-birth. Her fourth pregnancy was successful and she gave birth to a girl.

As told by my mother, "at the time she was very happy to have a live child. She really did not want anything because she actually had what she wanted." This was not good enough for my father, who wanted to try again especially if he could have a son. In the meanime my mother was happy that her daughter was thriving and being the only child, she was doted upon.

Three years later I arrived on the scene; A small baby born with club-feet. Both my legs were twisted from the hips with the left leg being the worst. I can imagine the destruction of my mother. First of all not wanting another child, but being of a Catholic background and birth control just showing up on the scene … I arrived.

At seventeen days old I had casts on my my toes to my hips and a steel bar between my legs to keep them straight. Soon I developed quite strong abdominal and hips muscles as I grew because my mother has told me stories of me letting the world know I was wake from my naps by the bumping noise that would come from my room. She told me I would lift my legs and bang them down again until they arrived to get me.

I did not walk until I was around the age of 1 to to 2 years of age. However, once I started going there was no stopping me. My shoes looked like "army boots" as I called them. I needed the support for my feet.

Imagine this couple who have lost three sons, given birth to one healthy and happy daughter only to have their last child born crippled and always needing special care. If you add to this situation, being in 1960 in a small farming community filled with European immigrants who worked very long and hard days on tobacco farms … life was a struggle to say the least; Sympathy and understand were difficult to find.

There are three factors that I will add to this story to give you a more complete background. The first is, my father was an abusive alcoholic. He was born under a black cloud of his own in the late 1920's. He worked hard, was sent away to a boy's high school in Kitchener when he was young where he told me the only thing the practices tought him how to do was to box. He was very unhappy in this school were the judges shown no mercy on the boys. His only option much to the disappointment of his parents was to run away from school. He arrived back home and was put to work on the farms. Later he married a girl (my mother) from the same town. Neither set of parents were happy about the marriage and never really got together together. By the time I arrived in the picture, my father had already had many failures to his name. He had many farming jobs, drove transport for a fertilizer company and great tobacco for his parents, which in itself was a huge disaster. When they left the farm in 1959, he was deeply in debt to his parents for the loss of income off their last crop of tobacco. They had to leave the big house on the farm and move into town into a small rented duplex which. His unhappiness was growing and his drinking was developing into a disease. This was a disease that had a long history in his family.

The second factor was my mother's mental instability and her deafness. She told me that soon after she turned twenty she began having difficulty with her hearing. Many doctors and tests later accompanied by numerous hearing tests and hearing aids, my mother began to go deaf. By the time I arrived in 1960, she was almost completely deaf. How devastating this must have been for her. The technology was so different at that time. There was not much the doctors could do for her. Imagine never knowing your own child's voice and having to only rely on your memory of your husband's voice, or in time forgetting how to pronounce words. My mother lost her confidence and the years of depression, unhappiness and anxiety began to take hold of her.

The third factor in this story is that of my sister; The first daughter. She was the first live birth, the first grandchild on both sides and the favorite of my mother because she resembled her side of the family. My sister had three years to be an only child. From what I recall she did not share well and really did not care to have a sibling. She was in her own way very unkind.

If you put together the failure of the father along with his alcoholism, the depression, anxiety and deafness of the mother, combined with a spoiled child, what happens to this family when the crippled child is added?

Each member of this family is combating something; Some demon that has a grip on them. How does the father and mother's battles affect the children's growth and development? How does the unkind, polite sibling play a role in the personal growth, development and image of the other child?

Throughout my young years there was many times where we were subjected to my father's drinking. He was a man who struggled with his identity, his family and his marriage. He was angry at himself, his parents, his wife and his life. Before the age of 8, I remember having to knee on a register grate with bare knees for what seemed like hours. If I slouched because my knees or my back would hurt, he would come along backwards and hit me across the buttocks with a leather belt. There was not much mercy from this man. When he was drinking, the slightest incident would set him off; Which was usually my mother. She would yell at him about his drinking, go downstairs and smash his beer bottles into the cement laundry tub as he was screaming at her at the top of his lungs; And of course, she would scream back.

Needless to say this was not a good environment to raise children in. There were many times I would hide in my bedroom either under my bed or in the closet under a pile of clothes. I felt that if I could not be seen, they would forget about me. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it did not.

As I grew I began to resemble my father's side of the family which did not help the situation with my mother. She hated his family and everything they stood for. Her mother-in-law was her worst enemy and she never expressed in expressing her feelings in one of her tirades.

My mother worked in tobacco or in a factory all of her life. She left school at the end of grade 8 (because in that era you could do that), and started working in a tobacco factory. She worked every day all day and was never really around as a mother figure (even when she was home). My sister and I were responsible for cooking the meals every day, keeping the house clean and doing our homework before our parents got home at 6pm. I could do all of that before the age of 10 years old. To some this may not seem that unusual or any different than others may have been raised, and this is true. However when you are left in the care of your older sibling, who really does hate the fact that you walk the earth, every day before and after school because our parents see you for the first time every day at dinner … that is setting The stage for disaster.

I was left exposed and vulnerable to my older sister. When I was little I could not understand why she did not like me. She was always saying or doing something in a quiet way in order to get me to react and then of course the wrath of the parents would come down. At seven years old I remember one very cold winter morning when I was trying to get myself ready for school. We had to get up on our own, make our own lunches and get ourselves to school on time. This particular morning, my sister was being more holy than usual. I was able to get myself dressed and put on my coat and boots and escape the house. At 7:30 in the morning I arrived at the church which was beside our Catholic school. The school was locked so the church was my only refuge. Morning mass was still going on but I hid myself in the stairwell in the back of the building, because I was afraid of the priest finding me. The priest would be the first one to take me to my parents, which would cause all sorts of future problems.

I was able to set down a bit once classes started, except for the fact I was terrified that my teacher would notice I did not have any food to eat that day. As luck would have it, I did not attract any attention to myself that day and no one noticed I was hungry.

After school I was very related to go home. I knew my sister was there and I hated being alone with her. So here here began many years of having only one meal per day. I continued to eat this way until my own children realized that I was not eating three meals a day and asked why they had to when I was not. I had no answer for them, so I began eating three meals per day in my twenties.

There were many stories of a similar nature in my childhood. This article is not about having sympathy or pity for me because I was crippled at birth or because I was abused by my parents and sister. This article is about bringing awareness to people who thinks it really does not matter how they treat children; And about children who think that it's alright to bully others because they are different or because they are jealous. This is wrong in every sense of the word! What you do and say as a parent has a direct impact on your children and their development. How you treat people is extremely important.

As parents we must teach our children right from wrong. Show them how to be kind and loving. Our children are our legacy to this earth. It is up to us to set the example for our children. We can not just expect our children to raise themselves. They did not ask us to bring them here.

It's a fact of human nature that we all make mistakes; That is being human. It is by making these mistakes that we learn, grow and mature. We have to decide to give our children the tools of knowledge, love and kindness and offer them better than what we had.

Over the years I made mistakes many times when I was raising my sons. I was honest with them about the background I came from and about how it hurt me. It was my belief that it was better to tell them what things were like for me as a child. I did this in the hope that they would understand who I was and were I came from and that if I made mistakes that at least I was trying to give them something better than I had. The most important thing that I could give my sons was my love. It was all that I had to give.



Source by Teresa A Syms

Why Do Good People Get Transformed and Become Evil?

President George W. Bush, in an address to a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001 said after the terrorist attack on 9/11, "Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. You are with the terrorists. " His statement was widely criticized as any person or nation who did not support America in their "War on Terror" was considered to be on the side of the terrorist.

Yet in many ways, there is nothing new with the statement " Either you are with us or with the enemy." Jesus said, "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad" (Mathew 12:30). Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator too declared in speeches across fascist Italy: "O con noi o contro di noi" – You're either with us or against us. "

George Orwell, an English author and journalist wrote in his 1942 in his essay "Pacifism and the War",

" If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, 'he that that is not with me is against me'. The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle, while living on food which British sailors have to risk their lives to bring you, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security. "

While many of us claim to be neutral to most of things happening in this world and prefer not to take side overtly and remain a mere spectator in the games of life, it is impossible to remain neutral mentally and emotionally. Even the spectators of a game who are not playing the match have preference for some side or some players.

However, as soon as we take side, we start liking one while disliking the other. Sometimes, this hatred becomes so high that we may consider the opponent as enemy and even wish to kill people on the other side. We find fault in everything that is done by our enemy while ignoring everything good that is done by them. For the people on our side, we have in just opposite way.

This double standard is so much prevent in the world that every person seems to be against other people. It is impossible for most of the America people to understand the thoughts of the people who are terrorists or support terrorism. They can not understand why terrorists killed innocent civil in America in 9/11. However, they also do not find fault in killing of many times more civilians by American led western forces in Afghanistan, Iraq or Pakistan.

The existence of two opposite thoughts in the minds of each human being is extremely mysterious which can not be explained by any one logic as each side has their own logic which runs contrary to each other and disapprove the other logic wrong. Both sides are so much convinced about the correctness of their side, that it is impossible to convince any side to change their perception.

The most interesting thing to observe is that many people who are behind the so called terrorists and even many terrorists are not illiterate or religious people but many of them are western educated, scientifically minded people, who did not support terrorism always. However, something happened in their life and they changed the side.

The explanation of this change in thought lies in the total transformation of mind within a second when a person is touched by a different mind.

Let us try to understand this change of mind phenomenon from the physical world.

Touch and Go

In physics, an interesting phenomenon exist which is called "induction". When a powerful electric or magnetic charge comes close to a neutral material object, the neutral material develops two alternative charges. The side which is close to the charge becomes oppositely charged while the far end of material gets similarly charged. For example, if the positively charged article comes close to a neutral object, it gets charged negative on the facing side and positive on the opposite side. It is due to opposite charges, they experience the force of attraction towards each other.

However, as soon as the charged object Touches the neutral object, the charge gets evenly distributed between the two objects; The neutral object gets transformed forever by acquiring the charge of the other object. The force of attraction suddenly gets converted to the forces of repulsion due to transformation.

The same phenomenon seems to exist between the minds of human beings. When we are away from any charged object, we tend to have both types of thoughts. We have the same thought as well as the opposite thoughts. Therefore, when we come across a person with strong views on the matter, we immediately develop an opposite thought which counters the arguments of the other person. However, behind our conscious, we also have a similar thought that sees to argu in favor of the person. This is the state of neutrality and we keep on changing our overt and covert thoughts depending on the person we face. We can change stand as have both the thoughts.

However, once we become too close to the person, we get converted. We become like the other person. We get charged with the thoughts of the person who we touch. Thereafter, we are unable to remain neutral as we are ourselves transformed. We start behaving like the other person.

The Power of Company

The importance of touch or closeness is extremely important in the life of people. The importance of Satsang (the company of truthful persons) has been emphasized in ancient Indian scriptures as a means to become truthful. When we live in the company of truthful people, we gradually become truthful ourselves. In the same way, when we live in the company of evil people, we become like them. Once we are transformed, we start thinking like them and develop disliking for the other thought. It is therefore, rightly said, "A man is known by the company he keeps." It is better to avoid the company of evil people, lest they touch you and transform your life forever.



Source by Dr Awdhesh Singh

Fun and Practical Tablet Apps for Seniors

Traditionally, we tend to associate technology with the younger generation, yet, older adults are surprisingly proficient with a range of modern technology. For example, 59% of Americans aged 65 and above go online and 77% of this population use cellphones.

In fact, 23% of this population actively play games using cellphones, computers or gaming systems.

Not only do these figures indicate significant technology use, but the numbers are also continuing to grow.

In particular, tablets are an example of modern technology that many seniors can use very effectively.

The term tablet refers to touchscreen-based computers that tend to be light and easily portable. The iPad is one of the more well-known examples of these, although there are many others.

Because they are a type of computer, tablets have their own operating system and can run a large number of applications (apps), including many different games.

Tablets may range from a screen size of around 5 inches all the way up to around 10 inches, with screen sizes from 7 to 10 inches being the most common.

Most tablets will run either an Apple or an Android operating system. Many apps will be present in the stores for both types of tablets, but some will only be offered by one of the stores. Most of the apps I’m discussing here are present in both stores, and I specify the cases where this isn’t true.

The touch screen interface of these devices tends to be relatively easy for seniors to learn and many of them tend to pick up on what to do very easily. Larger tablets work best for seniors, especially those with poor eyesight, as these have larger font sizes and the onscreen buttons tend to be bigger.

Many people try to find the best Apple or Android apps for seniors, but with so many options out there, it can be a pretty confusing task.

THE APPEAL OF TABLETS

For caregivers and for seniors, tablets can be appealing in a number of ways.

One important aspect is that the games on tablets can keep seniors mentally active, especially as some games can be challenging. Research has indicated that cognitive activity may be one key component in helping to decrease the negative effects of aging on cognition. Another appeal is that tablet games can give seniors something to do with their spare time, keeping them entertained and engaged.

With so many different types of games available for tablets, you should be able to find games that work for any senior, with a little bit of searching. This can be particularly important for caregivers who want a little bit of a break.

In some cases, tablet apps can even be a way of keeping seniors socially engaged, as some games allow for multiple online players or support communication between individuals.Likewise, seniors may play the same games as one another, offering them the chance to talk to each other about the games.

TEACHING AND LEARNING

As you might expect, there is a bit of a learning curve with tablets.

Some seniors will be able to pick up on how to use tablets and games easily. Others will need more teaching.

The main thing that you may need to teach seniors is the basics of interacting with a tablet.

Tablets use touch screens, which are easy to understand. However, seniors do need to learn how to touch the screen to get the desired outcome and learn the impacts that their actions have on the device.

Seniors often learn to use the touch screen relatively easily, but may sometimes find specific tasks challenging.

For example, one elderly woman I know can use a tablet for a number of games without any assistance, but still has trouble unlocking the tablet.

Likewise, you may find that you have to teach some concepts multiple times.

Some seniors may be able to figure out games intuitively, but others may need to be taught how to play specific games. This may be a matter of sitting down with them and stepping them through any new game they start.

At the end of the day, this is something you’ll have to figure out on a case-by-case basis. As seniors get better at using tablets, you’ll find that they pick up new games more easily and need less help in general.

PICKING TABLET APPS AND GAMES

The range of apps and games for tablets can be daunting.

For example, some of the categories include puzzle, word, casual, card and board games – and that isn’t even counting the more practical apps, like audiobook players and eBook readers.

This can be pretty overwhelming even if you only want to find a few suitable apps. The recommendations in this article come from talking to seniors and their families, and also from looking online, to figure out which apps are most suitable for seniors.

While many seniors can play any game, the emphasis here is on apps that are relatively easy to pick up and learn – to accommidate seniors who may struggle with some elements of using a tablet.

This post will present a number of different entertainment and practical apps for Android and Apple devices, and also discuss the various features that make some apps more suitable than others for the senior in your family. All apps discussed are free unless otherwise noted.

While there are many other apps out there, this list can act as a good jumping point for getting seniors into tablets.

CASUAL GAMES

Angry Birds Rio (for Apple and Android) is a puzzle game, but the simple controls and fun graphics make it a good pick for seniors. The basic aim of the game is to use a slingshot and knock down buildings and there are many other games in the Angry Birds range, and they are all pretty similar. As with many games, this app is hit or miss, some seniors will love it, others won’t be interested at all.

Farmville 2: Country Escape (for Apple and Android) is a farm game with an emphasis on growing crops and earning money. Farmville has attracted large audiences through Facebook and this particular app is Farmville’s tablet offering. It is a game that requires strategy, reading and planning, so it might not be suitable for all seniors. However, I know a number of seniors who enjoy the game and like the way that it keeps them thinking. Additionally, this game has a social element, allowing players to join a co-op, where they can help one another and chat to one another. I’ve seen players get so caught up in the chat that they barely touch the rest of the game.

Peggle Blast (for Apple and Android) is hard to explain, but the game basically involves using a ball to knock out pegs. Peggle looks complicated at first, but the game is easy to pick up and can be a lot of fun without being confusing. Peggle Blast is the free version of the game, and has in-app purchases. The original game and its sequel (Peggle and Peggle Nights) are both also available on Android and Apple. These versions cost to purchase, but are better in the long-run.

The Sims Freeplay (for Apple and Android) is a version of the Sims franchise, although most seniors probably haven’t heard of the franchise. This is a task-based game where users build families and send characters (Sims) on tasks. It requires less strategy than Farmville, but both games require waiting for tasks to finish. This is a common approach in many similar games, and makes for relaxing game play, where you set it up and come back later.

BRAIN GAMES AND PUZZLES

Block Puzzle (for Android) is is a puzzle game where users have to fit blocks within a shape. It is simple to understand but can get challenging as people progress through the game. While this specific app seems to be Android only, there are many similar apps in both Android and Apple stores.

Clevermind ($2.99 for Apple) is specifically designed for people with Alzheimer’s disease. It includes a range of functions for entertainment, including games, trivia and a journal. Additionally, the app allows for voice interaction and can be used to browse the internet in a more user-friendly manner.

Jigsaw Puzzles Epic (for Apple and Android) is a good tablet choice for puzzles, although there are many similar apps out there. Jigsaw puzzles are a fantastic option for seniors, and doing them on the tablet is an easier option than taking up the living room with a puzzle. Jigsaw Puzzles Epic is a free app that comes with a large number of puzzles. Users can choose how many pieces their puzzle is (from 4 to 400) and also whether the pieces of the puzzle can rotate or not. More puzzles can be purchased from the in-game store, but the free puzzles should last most users for a long time.

Word Search Puzzles (for Apple and Android) is one of many word search apps out there. It has large text and is easy to use, making it a good option for seniors. However, it does not have a setting for difficulty, so it might not work for everyone.

Words With Friends (for Apple and Android) is a turn-based social game that plays like Scrabble. The social element of the game comes from the way that you play against other people, taking turns with them. The game also gives you the ability to chat to the people you are playing against, which can be good if seniors are playing against friends. The free version has ads, which can be a pain, but the social aspect of the game can be appealing to seniors.

ENTERTAINMENT APPS

Kindle (for Apple and Android) is one example of an eBook reader, although there are many other apps with similar functions. Kindle can be a good choice, as buying books through the app (or online) is relatively simple and the prices are often reasonable. In fact, you can buy Kindle apps from the Amazon store. Most apps for eBook reading have options to make the book easier to read, such as increasing font size or altering the contrast. Using this type of app can be a great way for seniors to read and the app gives you the ability to make any book into a large print book.

Audible (for Apple and Android) is one of many apps for playing audiobooks. As with Kindle, this app makes it easy to buy books, and both Kindle and Audible are tied into Amazon. The books can be a bit on the expensive side, but Audible offers a monthly plan that gives users one audiobook per month and 30% off all other audiobooks. This is a great option for seniors who have trouble reading (or don’t want to).

Although it’s membership based ($7.99/month), Netflix is a great way for seniors to watch movies and television shows. Its competitor Hulu is also a good option ($7.99/month for Hulu Plus, free for basic Hulu), as Hulu often has more classic shows than Netflix offers. If you have network subscription, you may be able to access other apps, like HBO Go, which let you stream content from specific networks. Both of these apps are for Apple and Android devices.

OTHER APPS

Big Launcher ($10.00 for Android) creates a new home screen for Android devices which much larger icons. This can enhance readability for seniors who struggle to see icons on devices, particularly on smaller devices. A demo version of the app is also available. This is one of the relatively few Apple or Android apps for seniors that has actually specifically been designed for this population, with CleverMind (above) being another one.

PICKING APPS

We’ve talked about a number of different apps here, but we’ve only scratched the surface.

Both Apple and Android have immense stores that are constantly updated with new apps. This means the options for Apple and Android apps for seniors are pretty much endless.

LOOK AT CATEGORIES AND INTERESTS

One of the first things to look at when picking apps is to explore the type of app the senior may enjoy.

For example, some seniors enjoy games, while others enjoy apps that challenge them mentally.

Knowing the type (or types) of app to look for can help you to narrow down what you need. This may take trial and error, and patience.

Additionally, if you know the type of app, you can often use the search function within the store itself to find what you are looking for. For example, you might choose to search ‘card games’ or ‘word search’, which would give you a list of apps that fall under these terms. The approach isn’t precise, as it is looking for words in the title of the app, but it works well for general categories of apps.

You can also look at categories and subcategories of apps.

For example, in the Google Play store (Android’s app store), games is one category and some of its subcategories include: board, card, casual, puzzle and word.

When deciding on apps, the star rating can also give an indication of app quality.

Typically four or five star apps are worth trying while anything three stars or under is questionable.

In many cases though, it may be a case of downloading apps and trying them out.

I don’t recommend this for paid apps, but there is a huge number of free apps in the apps stores that you can choose from.

CONSIDER PHYSICAL AND MENTAL LIMITATIONS

Many seniors will be limited in what apps they can enjoy because of physical or mental issues.

Thinking about these limitations can help you to figure out what types of apps might be most suited for them.

For example, seniors who have problems with their eyesight might benefit from audiobooks instead of eBooks. Seniors who have failing hearing can use a headset with the tablet (which makes things less annoying for you too). This makes it easier for them to hear what is going on.

From the mental perspective, some seniors will struggle with games that are complex or challenging mentally, while others won’t have an issue.

This means that you may have to look for games that are simple to play.

This is particularly true for people with dementia, as they can become frustrated easily. Yet, they can enjoy simple games. For example, one study found that bingo could increase mental functioning in participants with Alzheimer’s disease.

Other types of games that can work include puzzle games, simple matching games and games like the Clevermind app I discussed earlier.

At present, there are few apps available that were specifically developed for seniors, but this is changing. Research is beginning to focus on developing games for seniors. Hopefully this means that more games will be available in the future.

Nevertheless, many of the games designed for other age groups are still very suitable for seniors.

Certainly, seniors really can enjoy games on tablets, even though their skill levels can vary dramatically.

For example, an elderly woman I know plays Angry Birds, because the controls are relatively easy to use. Although she enjoys the game, she doesn’t fully understand the physics or strategy behind it, so ends up repeating levels frequently.

In contrast, my dad has dementia, yet he is still able to play blackjack online (quite successfully too, I might add), which continues to surprise the family. It must be because of years spent playing blackjack in real casinos – but it’s a strong indication that seniors can be capable of more than we imagine.

GAMES AND THEIR MODELS

Many tablet games use a model called freemium.

This means that the game itself is free, but some things within it may cost. A common example is items to speed up time in games like The Sims Freeplay and Farmville Country Escape.

If this is likely to be an issue, it is possible to turn off in-app purchasing on your device to make sure no one accidentally spends money in games.

Alternatively, you can make sure apps always ask for a password when any purchase is made.

You will also find some free games support themselves through ads – which can get annoying fast.

In some cases, you can pay to have the ads removed, but not all games support this.

I’ve found that in general, paid games are often better because they aren’t trying as hard to get money out of users (they already got paid when you bought the game). So, if you find a paid game with good reviews that looks promising, don’t write it off just because it costs.

FINDING A TABLET

Most of the games that seniors will play on tablets aren’t particularly intensive in terms of graphics or processing power.

Because of this, getting a good tablet for a senior doesn’t have to be an expensive investment.

In fact, if you have technically minded people in your extended family, you may be able to get one as a hand-me-down.

For example, I know a couple who recently upgraded to newer and faster tablets for personal use.

Their previous tablets ended up being gifted to their mothers. This provided a fantastic introduction into tablets for the seniors, without costing anyone any money.

Additionally, most of the apps discussed here can also be found for Android and Apple smartphones. Smartphones tend to have a much smaller screen, so aren’t suitable for all seniors, but they do offer an alternative to tablets for seniors who have good eyesight.

IN THE END

Tablets can be a wonderful way of keeping seniors entertained, and there are so many different apps available.

In this post I’ve focused mostly on apps that I have had experience with and have seen seniors using, but there are many more out there. If you have other ideas for apps for seniors, please let me know in the comments below.

More than anything, the trick to finding the perfect apps for seniors is to engage them in the selection process.

This will let you see what they are most interested in and what type of games they enjoy the most.



Source by Angelica P Herrera, DrPH

Best Laptop Deals For Grabs!

Being on college certainly gives headache and pocket – ache to most parents out there. For one, tuition fees are on the rise and specific necessities, such as laptops, are needed for their child to survive the stressful environment of college. Due to these technological advances, laptops are more suitable for not only work and personal purposes but it is actually being incorporated to most colleges. Compared to a desktop, college students will be able to carry their laptops from one place to another. This type of portability does give an edge in easy access of assignments, researchers and other vital information within the discretion of the student. Basically, school stuff can be done anywhere and anytime.

Such demand created the existence of manufacturers offering the best laptops for college students all over the world. This well helped a lot of students and parents to be able to find the best of the best laptop in town. Making sure that consumers do not give up in the search for the best laptops, manufacturers make sure that the laptops that they sell in the market are very affordable. With being money -aving aider role, manufacturers have released packages that give lots and lots of discounted prices. Strategies as providing the best laptop deals in the market gives a win-win situation for sellers and consumers. This further increments the demand for laptops. The only problem for consumers now is where to get such laptop deals and what to trust in such quest?

First, consumers must think of what specific purpose this "new" laptop play in their lives, particularly in the student's point of view. Will the student be using it for basic tasks? Will it simply replace the old desktop that he or she has? Will it require the student to have the best gaming laptop to be part of the course? There are a lot of other reasons as to why consumers are in search for the best yet low priced laptops. So, one needs to be clear on this area before moving on to the other strategies in finding the best laptops that would suit one's needs.

Second, take note of some of these tips that suit specifically to the type of person you are at this point of searching for your aspired new laptop.

• If you are one of those students who would just like to replace his or her desks for laptops then one of the best ways to do it is by visiting your local computer stores. Such stores do offer a lot of new laptops for sale and under great deals at that. There are some stores that would offer the best laptops in different package deals. This may include a laptop with free scanner pads, printers or other hardware. There are also those who offer laptop deals by actually providing free software to be incorporated in the new laptop.

• If you find such task to be tiring and very time – consuming, as it really is, then another alternative is out there. You can easily get access to the best deals via the internet. The internet is considered to be a vast rich informative domain. A little research for online laptop stores who offer the same types of package deals as the actual computer stores in your local area. Also, the internet sites do offer you the opportunity to actually compare prices from one online store to the other with the simple clicking of the mouse and in a matter of minutes. This would help you get the best deals there are. With online buying and selling, shipments would not be a problem. There are online shops that offer free shipments and fees that are very much affordable for your pocket. Try to search for one that would suit your situation and need.

• If you are way below the economic status and is afraid to be dropped further down by college tuition fees and other necessities, this tip would really be of help. With such a tight budget at hand, one can get the experience of these portable computers by buying second hand laptops. There are numerous online shops would provide list of second hand laptops and you may encounter online sites of the manufacturers who offer refurbished laptops. Refurbished laptops are those being recalled by the manufacturers due to some malfunction. They further investigate and provide new systems and hard drive for such laptops and return it back to the market at a very low cost. Also, the online web does give opportunities for sellers and buyers to communicate personally so bidding, negotiations and questioning the credibility as well as the aspects of the laptops can easily be addressed. With second hand or refurbished laptops, one can definitely get cheaper and best deals that would definitely put you within your budget.

Third, whether you are consumer who is looking for laptop deals that offers the best laptops for college students or the world's best gaming laptop, always choose to be the wisest one amongst your kind. Even though the deals that were offered to you are quite alluring and hypnotizing, make sure that you scrutinize the laptop itself. Take note of the most important parts in looking for a laptop. These include the following parts: hard drive, processor, memory, size, operating system and battery life.

Being a wise and informed shopper could certainly eradicate or shun away the confusing and alluring words of the seller or sales representative. In these aforementioned ways, one can be the best laptop shopper there is. Also, with such powerful tools, one can definitely grab the best laptop deals in town!



Source by Wayne Nusbaum

Negotiating to Buy a New Car the Easy Way

Do you hate the thought of buying a new car because of the struggle you have to go through negotiating with the dealership? Relax. Negotiating to buy a new car is easy. Sure their sales people receive negotiation training, but you have the upper hand. Why? Because you can easily find out everything that they want to keep hidden. Information is the key to winning any negotiation. If you use the resources and approaches below below, you will negotiate the lowest possible price and drive away with a great new car.

First Find Out What the Dealer Paid for the Car

The true dealer cost is made up of two components – the Dealer Invoice less the Holdback.

  • What the dealer actually paid for the vehicle is the Dealer Invoice. There are a number of good on-line sources for this including Kelly Blue Book ( KBB.com ) and Edmunds.com . (Be aware that the invoice may include an advertising charge for joint advertising campaigns.) It is a real per car cost to the dealer, ie it is not overhead since it is paid only when a car is sold. It does show up on the invoice That the dealer gets from the manufacture, but it is not found on the online sites that give you dealer cost. It tends to run around $ 300-400.)
  • The Holdback is the second component of true dealer cost. The holdback is a rebate that is paid directly to the dealer by the manufacturer for each car sold. Holdbacks for Chrysler, Ford and GM are 3% of the total price of the car. Holdbacks for foreign makes are 2% -3% depending on the manufacturer. Edmunds has a good data base of these.

Add In the Hidden Incentives to the Dealer and the Advertised Rebates

  • Dealer Incentives: Surprise! In addition to the holdback there may be other hidden incentives to the dealer that you can only get if you know they are there. Otherwise the dealer keeps the incentive.
  • Rebates: There may also be 'Cash Back' advertised rebates which they must give to you if you buy the car. (However, you need to know what the rebate is in advance since it will effect your opening offer to the dealer.)

These rebates change from month to month so you need current information. A good source for hidden incentions is CarDeals, published by the Center for the Study of Services. Call (800) 475-7283 and for a few dollars that they will mail / fax you the most recent copy. Edmunds also has a good information set for both advertised and hidden rebates (which they call marketing support).

Determine Final Dealer Cost

Let's say that you have decided on a 'Roadster Supreme' with a sticker price, including all options and delivery, of $ 23,000. Your research comes up with the following information:

  Dealer cost $ 20,000 
Advertising charge 400
Holdback - 3% of MSRP -600
Hidden incentive -1,000
Actual dealer cost $ 18,800

Making the Offer to the Dealer

So what do you offer the dealer? My experience is that in general the dealer's bottom line will be a 3% profit, which in this case would be $ 600 or a final sales price of $ 19,400. You could start at $ 18,800, and work your way up or you could start at $ 19,400 and just sit there.

Hardball Dealer Negotiating Tactics

  • Authority Limits: This is the standard ploy where the salesperson says, 'I'll have to go ask the sales manager.' One way to handle this is to simply treat the salesperson as a messenger. Or you may play the broken record game, repeating your initial offer and telling the sales representative to 'go talk to the manager.'
  • Keeping You Waiting: It's a common tactic to keep the buyer waiting, hoping that it will make him or her anxious and nervous. The counter to this is to be totally prepared, bringing a book or some work to do, or make some phone calls on your cell phone. This shows that you are totally relaxed and unconcerned and will not be affected by their waiting game. One person I know brings an alarm and tells the salesperson that they have an hour to close this deal or she's leaving.
  • The Offer Check: Some dealerships demand that you give them a check to show your 'good faith.' This is ludicrous. If they tell you that they will not negotiate unless you give them a check, get up and head for the door. Their policy will change fast.
  • Lowball / Bait and Switch: The idea is to quote you an unusually low price over the phone (or in an ad) to get you into the dealership and then, when you get to there, the salesperson says that the sales manager would not Accept the price or the salesperson 'discovers' that he left out a thousand dollar option package or that you do not qualify for all the rebates in the ad. If you know your pricing, you should be able to spot the lowball right away. Deals that are too good to be true are always bait and switch.

Other Issues

  • Add-ons You Should Not Buy: There are a number of items that some dealerships try to sell that you absolutely do not need. These can include undercoating, which can even damage the car; Scotchguarding, which you can do yourself for a few dollars; Paint sealant and preparation charges (The factory pays the dealer for preparation).
  • Extended Warranty: An extended warranty is insurance. We generally buy insurance for risks that we can not tolerate. We accept a $ 500 collision insurance deductible because we can tolerate the risk of a $ 500 loss. Are auto repairs, once the car comes out of warranty, an expense you feel you can not tolerate?
  • Selling Your Used Car: You will almost always get a better price if you sell your used car yourself. The advantage of selling to the dealer is that you do not have the hassle, and in most states you only pay sales tax on the net amount that you actually pay to the dealership.

Unfortunately, every used car is different and every market is different. Both Edmunds and Kelly have good pricing information. You will discover variations in what they say your car is worth, but they will prove some guidance.

Think through your used car negotiation strategy before you go into the dealership. You may want to get an offer on the used car first, and then go on to the new car because, once they recognize just how serious you are about getting a rock bottom price for the new car, they may become incredibly stubborn on the used Car price.

Putting It All Together

The bottom line is relax. Let all their tactics roll off you like water off a duck's back. It may take an hour or so for them to become convinced that to sell you a car they will have to drop to their bottom line, but they will give in. You will get a great price and drive away with that wonderful new car. Enjoy!



Source by Michael Schatzki

Adios Spousal Abuse – I'm Outta Here!

Jack * roared toward me. He picked me up and slammed me against the refrigerator. My feet are not touching the ground as he pins me with one hand and the other is made into a fist aimed at my face.

In those suspended seconds I considered letting him hit me so that I would have a real reason to finally leave him and end this sham of a marriage. Instead I quickly and gently covered his fist with my hand and calmly advised him not to him me. He let go of me. He apologized. Occasionally eleven years of ugly memories would sneak by.

At 27 I was 3,000 miles away from my family, living in Los Angles pursuing a career as a comedienne. It was a variety arts contest held at a local nightclub where I met Jack.

Jack, who had won the contest, introduced himself to me after the show.

"I loved your routine, especially the way you play the harmonica. I think you should have won. It is far more difficult to perform comedy. I also play harmonica. Funny song using the harmonica that you could put in your routine. "

We met that week-end and began dating. Both Jack and I played harmonica, loved music, and loved the Lord. Jack was a songwriter. I was impressed with the worship songs that he wrote. He had even once been nominated for a Dove award, the Christian equivalent of a Grammy.

Jack would say sweet things like,

"When I am with you the world is full of color and sunshine." Egypt "You're so pretty, I'm so lucky that you're mine."

I loved his beefy, hairy hands and the way they felt as they held mine.

Eight months after we met, Jack and I were married on a hill, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Family and friends flew in from various states. As I walked down the isle with my dad at my side a well-known Christian artist that befriended Jack, sang a song that Jack had written for me called 'My Beautiful Bride'. Never before did I feel so alive.

It did not concern me that Jack was 34 years old and did not have his own apartment or furnishings. He worked as a bill collector. I loved the little mobile home on the beach that I owned, so I was happy that Jack was moving in with me. We would build our marriage on the rock of Christ. Love can conquer all. We would take on the entertainment field and buy our own home together some day. But Jack was fired from his job just two weeks after we were married. That first month of married life I was totally responsible for all the bills. Little did I know that month would start eleven years of financial responsibility that would be thrrust upon me.

Often Jack would tell me about his horrible upbringing and how he felt it related to his bad disposition. As the years went by I used his sad upbringing to explain why he treated me the way he did. Soon all my emotional energy was spent on my husband. How could I please him? How could I help him overcome his depression and anger so we could start living a happy life? After my efforts to please him we argued weekly.

In our tenth year of marriage, Jack and I relocated to Nashville, Tennessee. Jack wanted a chance at making it as a songwriter. Our fist weeks in Nashville were exciting as Jack made important contacts within the music industry. I was so happy to see him smiling again and writing songs daily. But soon Jack began visiting the local bars and drinking more. To pay for beer, burger and cigarettes he pawned his wedding band and stole my jewelry and music CD's while I was at work.

One morning I woke up at 3:30 am to the sound of groaning. Jack was not in bed. I checked both bathrooms, he was not there either. I went into the living room and saw Jack's bare rump hanging over the cedar chest that I bought to put our blankets in. Jack had taken out the blankets and made a bed with them on the floor and was using the cedar chest as a toilet! He was drunk, it was no use to try and communicate with him. I had to get up early and go to work so I just went back to bed.

Jack often called me at work and started an argument. When I refused to answer my phone he called my manager and demanded to speak with me. The stresses from home life carried over into work and I lost my job at a prestigious Big 6 firm. I came home and told Jack that I was fired. Instead of comfort or encouragement Jack blasted me with obscenities.

"Did you buy your f # *% ing degree!"

I yelled back that God was my provider and he would see me through this.

Jack shouted, "F & * # God!"

I was shocked. I looked in his eyes and noticed that he was taking pleasure in arguing. Suddenly a peace overcame me. After the shouting I heard a still, small voice within me say, 'No more strife.' I stopped participating in the inane argument, went to another room and began planning my escape. Jack would fight me on leaving him. I knew Jack would become physically abusive in trying to hide me.

I went to the local police station to explain my situation and ask for their advice on how to leave Jack. The police said they would assist me for fifteen minutes while I packed my beloveds. Theyave me a number to the local women's abuse shelter and the domestic violence center. I was to alert the police and shelter when I was leaving and to let them know that I was leaving on my own free will and was not a missing person. Next, I went to the bank and took out all of my money. I never added Jack's name to my banking account so he would not know that I closed the account. Next I went to the post office and put in a change of address to my parents' house so that I would continue to receive checks that were due to me from various sources of employment. Since Jack was selling my beloveds at pawnshops, I wrote down all the serial numbers to my valuables. Since Jack was passing out on the living room floor nightly I felt safe to sleep with my jewelry and cash in my bra. Since he was driving drunk I purchased a book on women's legal rights that contained a chapter on how to protect myself legally in case he hurt or killed someone while on the road. I packed our suitcases with valuable papers, items and necessary clothing, then I returned the suitcases to their normal storage space.

I began to cry. The pain was like nothing I have ever felt before. The sobs appeared to come straight from my chest and throat. I sobbed in the bathroom, using a towel to silence my weeping. I did not want Jack to think anything was out of the ordinary.

The only time I could count on Jack being gone for two or three hours was on Wednesday evenings when he went to a bar in town and met up with a group of songwriters. Monday and Tuesday I made my plans. Wednesday morning was awful as I watched the hours go by waiting for Jack to leave for the brewery. Around noon Jack went to get the mail. When he returned his mood was very dark.

"So, when were you planning on leaving me?"

"What makes you think that I am leaving you?"

"The mailman told me."

Unreal! I put in a change of address for one person, not a family. The mailman's comment about a change of address ruined my plans and put me in danger.

I began talking to Jack about our crumbling relationship. Surprisingly he engaged in conversation with a calm demeanor. We talked for hours and at one point I asked him,

"Jack, will you please let me go for a few months?"

"Yes."

He understood! We talked about this important decision. While I was gone he would take measures to seek help for himself and use the time alone to reflect on our relationship. That night he did not go have drinks with his friends. That night we made love. I would leave the following day.

The next morning Jack had changed back into the cruel, abusive monster that I was living with.

"Do not think you're going to leave me! I will sabotage all your business efforts. I will sell everything in the apartment. Do not even think of leaving me!"

Obviously our sincere talks and lovemaking nothing nothing to him. I felt like a chump and a whore. It was time to plan escape route number two … with a vengeance.

I decided to take our dog, Curly, for a walk. Jack did not see me tuck my cell phone in my undergarment. Luckily, I was able to walk Curly by myself. As soon as I cleared a corner, I retrieved my cell phone and called my mom in Michigan. She agreed to fly down the next morning and help me leave Jack.

That evening Jack passed out on the living room floor. Once again I slept with my jewelry and cash with my bra. With the morning came new hope. In order to get out of the apartment without suspicion I told Jack that I was going to the grocery store. Fortunately two men came to visit Jack as I was preparing to leave, so preventing him from insisting that he come along. I believe the Lord sent those two men to allow me the freedom to leave.

I got in my car and began my journey to freedom. I picked up mom at the airport. We rented a U-Haul. Mom drove my car; I bulldo the U-Haul as we went to the police to ask for their assistance while I packed up my things at the apartment.

Jack was outside and saw me as I parked the U-Haul in front of our apartment, with the police right behind me.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm leaving you Jack"

Jack refused to let me take anything out of the apartment. I could not take one chair, not one tv, not a pot, pan, dish was I allowed to remove without his permission. Finally I took the suitcases that I had already packed, along with my personal business files and clothes. I left behind many mementos and all the household furnishings that I took out loans to purchase.

The minute I got in the empty U-Haul and headed north I felt reborn. Like a salmon, I jumped high enough to escape the swirling, sucking eddy of despair my life with Jack had become. By golly the joy in my life was so evident I wanted to pop-a-wheelie, but the U-Haul was not willing. I did pop in a CD of Jo Dee Messina and blared her song Bye Bye. I sang along "Got a lead foot down on my accelerator and the rear view mirror torn off, I is not ever looking back, bye bye my baby, bye bye."

A feeling of empowerment came over me as I shouted.

"Never again! Never again will I pay for all the clothes, food, taxes and car repair bills for two people when one is fully capable of assisting! Never again will my spouse physically restrain me from walking out the door! Never again will I Be screamed at and humiliated in public. Never again! "

Whew, did it ever feel good to let it out and proclaim that I would never let these things happen to me again. By fleeing and then divorcing Jack I was taking back my life. I was allowing myself the chance to dance rather than walking on eggshells all the time. I learned that although I would mourn what started out hopeful and what might have been, I was strong enough to leave and return, never again.



Source by Kelly A Smith

One Man's Trading System

Overview:

In a nutshell, this trading system involves buying a certain dollar amount of an exchange traded fund (ETF). Let's use $ 2000 as an example. Then if your equity goes down about 10% or about $ 200, then you would buy more shares to get your equity back to your original starting amount. On the other hand, if your original equity goes up 10% or about $ 200, you would sell enough shares to get you back to your original starting amount.

For example, let's say you like an ETF called XXX (fictional). You notice that XXX is currently $ 10.00 / share. Let's say you want your equity for each ETF bought to be $ 2000. To get the amount of stock to purchase, just take $ 2000 and divide it by $ 10 / share. You get 200 shares. So you start with 200 shares of XXX and have $ 2000 invested.

Now suppose your XXX equity goes down about 10% or about $ 200. You now have 200 shares of XXX worth only $ 1800. To get the new price / share, just take $ 1800 and dividend by 200 shares to get $ 9.00 / share. Do you see that the price / share has gone down $ 1.00? You have lost $ 200 (200 shares x $ 1.00 / share).

You are now at a new buy point. You want to buy another $ 200.00 worth of XXX at the new lower share price of $ 9.00 / share. Assuming you get in at this price, you will buy another $ 200.00 / $ 9.00 per share or about 22 more shares. So you started with 200 XXX shares and you now have 222 XXX shares. Notice your new equity is close to your original $ 2000.

Conversely, if your equity in XXX goes up $ 200, you have now reached a sell point. You need to sell $ 200 worth of XXX to get back down to your original equity. The new share price would be $ 2200/200 shares or $ 11.00 / share. So you need to sell $ 200 / $ 11 per share or about 18 shares. The total dollar amount realized is 18 shares x $ 11.00 / share or $ 198.00.

The whole idea is to buy more shares at an agreed upon equity loss and sell some shares at an agreed upon equity gain. I usually use + – $ 200. You can use any amount that suits your trading style.

Notice that you are always buying more shares when the price is lower and taking money off the table when the stock price is higher.

My Trading System In Detail:

1. I use only exchange traded funds (ETF's). ETF's have the best qualities of both mutual funds and individual stocks. An ETF can contain hundreds of stocks, just like a mutual fund. Trading ETF's is far less volatile than trading an individual stock. You simply can not trade a mutual fund like a stock. ETF's are funds, but they trade just like an individual stock.

2. As I am building my portfolio, I look for ETF's that meet these criteria:

* Low total expense ratio

* Low annual holdings turnover, or at least less than the industry category average

* Category: Is it value oriented, growth oriented or a blend?

* Asset Size: Is it considered a large cap, medium cap or small cap?

* Type: Is it a specialized fund, such as natural resources?

* Decent dividends yield

* How long has the fund been in existence? Does it have a good track record?

* Good Morningstar ratings

* How has the fund performed in the last two weeks?

* What are the risks?

* Active versus passive management

3. Let's take each of the above criteria in turn:

Expense ratio: Ideally, this should be no more than 0.40%. I always look for the lowest possible expense ratios. Vanguard has some of the lowest rates in the industry. Most of my current ETF holds have estimated ratios of about 0.20%. You can not get much lower than this.

Annual turnover: If you see a very high percent annual turnover, especially when it is more than the industry average, you should be wary. Why has this happened? Did the fund lose a lot of money in the last year? Why did the fund managers trade this much? Find out before you invest!

Type and category of ETF: You want as diverse a portfolio as possible using this system. For example, you do not want all large growth funds. I pick different specialty ETF's, like REIT's or commodities. I'd strongly recommend that you include in your portfolio a good mix of ETF's that represent all asset classes and all equity cap sizes.

It's a nice bonus if the ETF you are considering offers a decent quarterly or even monthly dividend, say 2% or so. This is not absolutely necessary, but any extra money is welcome.

I quit to buy ETF's that have not been around for at least three years. After three years or more, you can discern a track record. Note carefully how many times top management has changed. For example, if you are considering an ETF that has changed management teams three times in three years, you should consider this a very bad sign. Find another fund.

Do yourself a favor and get a Morningstar subscription. It is well worth a few hundred dollars a year. Morningstar will give you analyst research, their star rating (* is poor, ***** is excellent), suitability analysis, fair value estimates (so you know if a fund is undervalued, at a fair price, or overvalued), and A projected expected return for the year. Morningstar will also show you the top holdings, top sectors, and asset allocations for each ETF fund. Most importantly, it will give you a risk rating (low, average, or high) versus a return rating (low, average, or high) compared to other ETF's in the same industry. Ideally, you want a low risk rating and a high return rating. These ETF funds do exist!

Let's talk about beta ratings. This is a number that tells you how volatile the fund is compared to other funds in the same industry. Look for a beta of about 1.40. If beta is 1.00, the ETF severely moves at all (municipal bond funds are a good example). A beta of say 1.80 or higher starts getting into risky territory. You are trying to find a happy medium. You want your fund to be volatile enough so that you will make good money in a reasonable time period.

Look for passively managed funds. These funds are usually based on some industry index. Management simply oversees the fund, but tries hard not to make too many changes in the fund portfolio. Vanguard has a lot of these types of ETF's. Passively managed funds are more stable and usually have a fairly consistent track record. You will also notice a lower percentage of asset turnover compared to other ETF's in the same industry.

4. I allocate $ 3000 / month to my portfolio. You can allocate more or less, depending on your financial situation. I use the above criteria to find another ETF to invest in. I put $ 2000 into a new ETF and $ 1000 into a cash reserve fund. This cash reserve is actually a municipal bond fund ETF that severely moves at all. It gives me a decent dividend of about 2.5% per month, which beats leaving it in your account as cash and getting somewhere 0.35% per month from your broker.

5. If I must buy new shares of any ETF, I take it straight from my municipal bond cash reserve. If I need to sell some shares, I put the realized cash into the broker's cash account until it reaches about $ 1000. Then I buy more shares of the municipal bond ETF so I can earn a much better dividend. I wait until I have $ 1000 to minimizeize commission charges.

By the way, make sure your cash reserve fund is an ETF and not a mutual fund. Mutual funds can be extremely inflexible with lots of rules. Use an ETF instead, which trades just like stocks. Also, find a fund that barely moves and has a decent divide. A municipal bond fund is your best choice.

Also, your cash reserve is just that: a reserve. You will use it to buy new shares of an existing ETF if needed. Do not use your cash reserve to buy a new fund. Instead, buy new funds with your monthly allocation.

6. Once you have a well-diversified ETF portfolio, you can take your first look at how much profit you have made with each fund. I am just to this point now after five months of investing.

Take a look at the top three percent returns. If you see that just one fund is far ahead of all the others, then you make your next monthly investment in just that fund. If two funds have similar percent profits, then divide your monthly allocation in half and invest in the two top returning ETF's. If three or more of your funds have performed well, you can try to find another fund or simply do not invest money that month. Remember, you want to keep your responsibilities as low as possible.

7. If you invest monthly like I do, you will take three to six months to get a truly diversified ETF portfolio. It all depends on your total investment equity at the beginning. My starting equity was about $ 30,000.

Once you are diversified, you need to take a look at the laggards. My rule of thumb is that if an ETF fund has not returned at least 2% / month (or 6% for three months), I will sell all shares at market and buy a new fund. Then each month thereafter, I will compare the percent return for the current month with the percent return from last month. If I do not see at least a 2% monthly rise in a particular ETF, I will consider selling all shares and finding another fund.

8. Continue this month cycle of chopping out laggards, investing more in your best performers, and finding new ETF's to add to your portfolio. This cycle can continue for as long as you wish to trade this system.

Conclusions:

This truly is a no-lose trading system. Done properly, you will realize nice gains every month. You are always buying more shares at a lower price and selling shares at a higher price.

By the way, I use close prices only and usually only look at my portfolio after the market closes. Then if I need to put in a buy or sell order, I can do so at that time. I've always used market orders and have never had any problem.

Also, find a broker with very low responsibilities. I use OptionsHouse, which charges just $ 2.95 per stock or ETF transaction. That's rock bottom. You do not want high commission rates to eat into your profits.

If you are looking to make a living just by trading this system, you will need at least $ 250,000 in capital. I only have about $ 45,000 now and at my $ 3000 / month rate of investing, it will take me about another five and a half years to get to $ 250,000.

I consider a living as an average profit of about $ 4000 / month. With $ 250,000 total equity, making about $ 4000 / month profit means about a 1.6% monthly return, which is realistic and achievable.

Trading any system is not worth doing if you are undercapitalized or impatient. You should have at least $ 10,000 to start with. Then you contribute so much per month. The amount you invest monthly is up to you. You will not get rich quick using this system. It assumes you have a very long term trading horizon.

Again, I only trade ETF's because the volatility is much lower. Do not try this system with mutual funds. Mutual funds trade just once per day and are not meant to be traded frequently. If you do not mind higher risk, you can try gathering a diversified portfolio of individual equities instead. I do not do this because I value capital preservation just as much as profits. I take low to medium risks.

I have never tried this system with stock options. If you really understand how stock options work and enjoy options trading, then you can try trading stock options using this system. As for me, no matter how much I've studied stock options, I do not really understand how they work. I have to feel in total control of my destiny, so I stick with ETF's.

Be patient. Be patient. Be patient. Things will not happen overnight. This is a slow, safe way to get nice investment returns. If you start with say $ 10,000 and invest costs $ 3000 each month, you would probably be able to make a good living in about seven years. I would consider this method only if you intend to trade for the very long term.

If you need daily action, this is not the trading system for you. I've noticed that buy / sell points seem to come in bunches and at irregular times. Trading this way is not exciting or "sexy". If you need that, you can try day trading or options trading. Just remember, the more you trade, the more risk you bring up yourself.

So is this trading system for you? Ask yourself some questions. For example, do you have another life between trading? Do you have a family and other outside activities? Assuming you are just starting out, do you have another means of income that will tide you over until you can make a living trading this system? Perhaps your spouse or significant other works and supports your dream. Having family support really helps. Or maybe you have a large savings account that will last for five years or more without you having to work for other people. Here's the most important question: are you willing to be patient and take small amounts of money off the table when the market offers it to you? Are you into trading for the long haul?

If you can answer "yes" to the above questions, then you will do well with this trading system. Best of luck! If you have any questions, please write me using my email address.



Source by John J. Soares

Promise From a Mother's Heart

Many years ago, my mother made us a promise that changed our lives forever.

Now that I'm also a parent, I've come to see my mother's promise as a kind spiritual umbilical cord to bring new life to me and to my other siblings from our humble beginnings.

Life's Difficulties

Being the 4th sibling in the brood of 5, we were raised by our mother all by herself since our father has no steady means of living. Since her meager income from selling women's undergarments, we're still competent that all of us could still go to school. We lived in a shanty made of old galvanized metal sheets salvaged from a decomissioned foundry and with the help of my father's friend; The once old foundry was turned into a bungalow that serves as our haven. Having an electricity source that time is a luxury that we could not afford that we have to finish our school's homework before dawn and the gasera (kerosene lamp) is the only source of light coming night time. More so that the source of our water comes from a leaking residential water pipe is short lived; After having been discovered by its owner that he had the damaged pipes repaired immediately. Having nothing much of life's basic needs drives my mother to make night also a day. At my very young age, I saw life's difficulties through the eyes of my mother. She would often tell us that there's nothing wrong to be born poor but to die out of poverty is unacceptable.

Being the only breadwinner in the family, my mother has to leave our house before sun rise entrusting all of us to our eldest sister and before dawn, we would all be together partaking what has been prepared by my ate (eldest sister) on the table After saying the grace before meal. Everything was going almost as a routine that by the time my mother arrived at the house, I could tell if her day is a success by the pasalubong (presents) that she will buy from a nearby carinderia (eatery). But this success happens only on a few occasions that I could count it only in one hand. More often than not, our meal would always be a loan canned goods from the neighbor's sari-sari store (retail store). Pork and chicken for a meal could mean only one thing – special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas and New Year celebration. I remember one time how my father with the help of my older brother catches a hen that by chance wrongly entered our house. That time, we had our mouths greased by the cooking oil from a sumptuous chicken meal.

Making Both Ends Meet

With the family's meager source of income, my mother knew that she has to work doubly hard to make both ends meet. With the help of my eldest sister, my mother would go to Divisora ​​market on early mornings to buy vegetables and sell it to our neighbors. This newly found livelihood provides steady means of income; Barely making that we can eat eat 3 times a day. Thus, realizing it as a better alternative livelihood, she left her garments selling job and focus instead on selling vegetables. Hardship in life knows no ages. Barely only 7 years old; While most children of my age are playing with toys, vegetables loaded in a basket has been my favorite toy every morning roaming street after street. While during school break, I would end up selling ice buko (frozen grated coconut with milk) and bibingka (rice cake) I got from a trader using my school ID as business collateral. Every night without missed, I would often see my mother talking to God through her prayers and often that I heard her saying, "Panginoon, tulungan Mo po kami" (God, please help us).

Test of Times

Whilst our life is still no bed of roses despite the passing of years, the turn of events in our family life is something kid of my age could not understand. Endless nights I would see my mother sobbing in one corner of our house, beaten black and blue by my father every time he gets drunk. All that I can do together with my other siblings was to comfort our mother in her time of despair. I developed the fear every time my father leaves home to be with his buddies for I know what would happen next when he arrives after his drinking spree.

Days had passed into weeks and months and I lost the count. But one thing I can never forget was the time when my mother could no longer bear the beatings from my father. She bought us out of the house; All 5 of us while my father was drunk and sleeping. With nowhere to go, she has no choice but to distribute the 4 of us to our respect ninongs and ninangs (godparents) taking only with her my eldest sister. I vividly remember crying and pleading with my mother not to leave me but with a heavy heart, she made me a promise, anak, pangako, babalikan kita at ang mga kapatid mo kapag maayos na ang lahat "(son, I promise, I will Come back for you and your other siblings when everything is okay.) At that time, I knew that my mother's heart bleeds to watch me as she and my ate (eldest sister) disappear down the corner of the street. How long we were separated from my mother; all I knew was that everyday seemed to be eternity.

Reunited at Last

Mother's promise to her child is a promise from a pure heart that can never be broken. True to her promises, one by one she collected us and reunited at last. Though there has not been much of a change in our life but that moment I saw my mother and the rest of my siblings is more than what I can ask for. Determined not to be separated again from one another, the 5 of us promised to help our mother even more. I for one become a collector of bets after school and have to divide my time collecting kanin-baboy (hog feeds) from our neighbors to feed our hogs. With hard works and collective efforts, our life changes a bit better and we had the first taste of life's little luxury when we purchased our first appliance – an electric fan that costs 450 pesos. My eldest sister's first paycheck ended up as a down payment for a black and white television set while the meager earning from selling vegetables was used to purchased a Class B freezer at a factory price that ever give us the queue to diversified our goods selling fish and Meat. My youngest sister never to be outdone had her own share of business – selling ice and ice candy. For the first time we experienced a bit of life's little pleasure and still as I normally see from her, I would see my mother talking to God and saying still the same prayer, "Oh, God please help us."

My Teen age days

Years gone by and I was in the prime of my teenage years. Having been unexposed to people of opposite sex other than my sisters, I was often mistaken as suplado by my girl classmates. High school life proves to be the most memorable stage of my life for it was the stage I was able to build and extend relationship outside my family. It was the time I started to court girls and my mother is a very capable partner of keeping my childhood secrets away from the girls I bought home.

When I was in college, I landed a part time job flipping burgers at a fast food restaurant in Makati. I worked in the morning and study in the evening. Hard work and perseverance to succeed has always been in my mind. Barely a year since joining the company, I was promoted to Junior Manager Position since being still an under graduate. I finished my Engineering Degree in college and landed in good company after graduation. At night, I could still see my mother praying but that time, few words has been added to her old litany, "Oh, God please help my children in their work and studies."

I got Wed

In my teen years, I happened to change my misfit image for the gloss of popularity, whatever the cost. Having the financial freedom, I shrugged off any contradictions and believed that to have a "good" testimony, like so many of the dramatic ones I had heard, that I had to have a "past."

At 24, I got married to a workmate, with my mother initially not relish on my plan. My marriage relationship immediately bears me a son and my mother with her joy ballooned with the arrival of a grandson. That time, my mother's nightly litany has grown a few more words adding her grandson in the list.

My Ups and Downs in Life

My career continues to flourish that I end up jumping from one company to another and so as the number of our kids. We spend our lives lavishly trying to savor good things in life that I have never experience before. We spend more than what we can save. My initial car was bought through bank loan but my career continued to flourish that I just found my self buying my second car in cash on top of the one issued to me by the company where I worked. At times, my only problem then was – where to park my all my rides.

Year 2005 comes the most devastating time in my career. I have to leave my high paying job because of disagreement with my boss. With no savings come that rainy day, I transferred to another job that pays me relatively lower and without any perks. We were facing then the biggest question that I have to answer – can I still afford my children's education? My eldest son and daughter were studying at an exclusive school for boys and girls respectively while the third one is enrolled in a Catholic School. Our marriage relationship succumbbs to the test of times. And there at that time where my life seems so low, I found my self in the arms of my mother helping me and my wife to pick up splinters of our broken dreams.

There I was retold by my mother's promise to God from her heart – which she would always pray for me and my family as long as she lives. A promise that she would never break like the promise she has made the first time we were separated.

Now, we are slowly picking the paces of our once fragmented hopes and dreams but my greatest hope is for me to respond to God's given gift to me – my mother. As my children grow, I will tell them that God has a plan for all of us in our lives, and He intervened to protect us at all times. I will tell them the way God's grace intervened to touch the spiritual deadwood that characterized our family tree, grafting in a new branch – one that is naturally alive.

And I will tell them how it all began with a mother's promise from the heart.



Source by Gener Marcelo

Home Property Auction

Prospect Buyers can auction auction items before hand which can help sellers to set a minimum price below which they will not sell the property. Nowadays auction is taking place for artwork, antiques, secondhand goods, and farm houses, buildings repossessed by banks or government, and stock and commodity exports. There are different types of auction for each category. Jewelery auction are divided into three like 1920 jewelery auction, diamond auction and classic auction. In art there may be modern art auction, renaissance auction and alternative art auction. Likewise even house property auction are divided into commercial auctions, disused home auctions, repossessions, luxury homes auction. The oldest auction was for a bride known as Herodotus, existed in 500 BC, were once in a year females of marriedable age were sold to the highest bidder. But times have changed; Auction takes place through e-commerce or internet, which enables individuals to interact directly with each other electronically. Globalization and market growth is likely to further strengthen this prominence in the twenty-first century.

Home auction is gaining popularity. Most real estate auction houses operate in the following way. Auction houses make a list of the upcoming live auction on their website. Prospective Buyers register online to participate in the auction. Prospective buyers can have a look at the house for inspection on a particular day prior to live auction. Prospective buyers can make an offer on any home prior to the auction date. If the seller accepts, the home is excluded from the live auction. To participate in live auction, prospective buyers must bring earnest money, often a certified check that ranges from $ 1,000 to $ 5000. It is advised that buyers take a home loan upto the maximum amount they wish to bid. Buyers who fail to pay the money will lose their earnest money.

Commercial auctions
Certain developers specialize in buying commercial buildings such as pubs and shops. Commercial auctions help developers to attend only those auctions in which they are interested in.

Disused home auctions
Certain prospective buyers like to buy those type of properties which are in great need of repair. Buyers who are thinking of building a dream house may buy an old, disused home of great size in a good area for a very cheap price.

Repossessions
As mortgager is not able to pay mortgage amount due to rise in interest rates over the last couple of years homeowners are struggling to pay their mortgage amount because of which they lose their home. These properties are sold at rock bottom prices at property auctions so that potential buyers could get themselves a real bargain.

Luxury homes auction
Not only repossessed or disused properties are sold at auction. There are prospective buyers who wish to buy a house at auction that are very expensive. These properties go for an awful lot of money.

According to an association, gross annual revenue from home auction grew nearly 47 percent from 2003 to 2007. Home auctions, are usually web based and live bidding, which takes place when the sellers were not able to find a buyer the traditional way.



Source by Ron Victor

Selling Tip: Use Social Dynamics to Control Sales Appointments

Many areas of selling that I’ve studied and taught to others are rarely, if ever, known and used in the world of professional selling. One of those is the science of social dynamics – before I ever began learning it myself and including it in my training, I’d never before seen it used in sales.

Social dynamics is the science of using nonverbal sub-communication to influence others. What does this include? The primary elements of our nonverbal sub-communication are body language, vocal tone, inflection and volume, eye contact, movement and carriage of the body, and other subtle but important elements.

The consequences of not using proper social dynamics in your sales interactions are severe, and most of us don’t even know we’re doing anything wrong because we haven’t been taught. The situation is much like cold calling – salespeople who cold call only do so because they don’t know any alternatives. However, by not paying attention to our social dynamics, we unknowingly give our power away to prospects, let them have control of sales appointments, create an impression that we are not successful, give prospects the “gut feeling” that they should not buy from us … all unknowingly.

So, that said, what can we do to make sure we don’t short-circuit all of our efforts by using improper social dynamics? Following is a brief and very basic – but highly effective – checklist of things you need to watch out for while selling:

1. Body language. (This isn’t easy to explain without pictures so bear with me!) Be careful not to lean in to prospects when talking with them. Leaning in sub-communicates weakness and submission. Lean back when you are in front of prospects. This sub-communicates that you are the leader, are in control, and will cause prospects to be more willing to follow your lead and buy. In addition, you should never face a prospect more than they are facing you. In other words, if a prospect is not facing you straight-on while sitting or standing, you should be turned away just a degree more than the prospect is turned away from you. It is okay to face a prospect straight-on only after they have fully turned to face you directly. If you face them directly before they do so to you, you are sub-communicating neediness and submission. However, by allowing the prospect to do so first, they are automatically placed in the submissive role and will be much easier to close.

2. If you cannot hear a prospect, never lean in directly when they repeat themselves. Instead, turn sideways, so that your ear is facing the prospect, but your face is turned away. This allows you to hear the prospect better but without taking a weak stance.

3. Your voice. The single most important thing you can do to be a more effective salesperson is to have a powerful, commanding voice. Like a firm handshake, an impressive vocal presence sub-communicates power and leadership and will cause prospects to be much more willing to buy from you. Practice speaking louder in your everyday communications. You don’t want to yell or strain; instead, focus on speaking from your core, your abdomen, which will result in the commanding voice you need to have to be effective.

Imagine a general who speaks powerfully, but without yelling or straining. This is what you should strive for. I achieved this by simply talking that way all the time. An added benefit is that you will automatically become an excellent public speaker by having this talent, which you can then leverage into more sales by volunteering to speak at networking events, chamber of commerce meetings, and other “target-rich” environments. It will also be a necessary skill should you wish to go into sales training or public speaking later in your career, a choice that is available to all successful salespeople.

4. Your presence. This is closely related to body language, but has more to do with posture than with positioning yourself in front of prospects. For example, weak people are afraid of infringing on others’ personal space, so they keep a small presence. Avoid this by standing with your feet at least a foot apart, leaning back slightly, and having your shoulders back and chin up. This is a powerful stance that sub-communicates leadership and confidence. The same rules hold true while sitting – keep your feet flat on the floor (no crossed legs), with your arms spread wide rather than holding them close together. Unless you are sitting with your arms on the desk, lean back in your chair while speaking. Again, you’re demonstrating command of the situation by doing so.

What about pacing the movements of your prospect? Don’t do it. This is one of those “old, right answers” from the old school of selling that is now wrong. Most prospects can pick up on this because it’s been done to them so many times before, and, what’s worse, why would you want to pace your prospects’ mannerisms when you run the risk of reflecting their own weak body language? In addition, it shows a lack of independence, which is the biggest killer of the powerful, confident persona you want to demonstrate in appointments.

Finally, remember that this is not a competition. These suggestions are not given with the intent to rule your prospects. They simply allow you to present yourself as a powerful leader whose advice should be taken, and the end result is that prospects will feel extremely comfortable with entrusting their business to you. Follow these tips, and your close rates will suddenly explode!



Source by Frank Rumbauskas