Tours Travel

Travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands: essential information for this Caribbean Xanadu

warm white beaches; warm, clear waters in a dozen shades of turquoise; and a gentle breeze characterizes the paradise that is the Turks and Caicos Islands. With direct flights from many US cities, this Caribbean gem promises the vacation of a lifetime.

If you’re planning to travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands in the coming months, be sure to take advantage of these insider tips, travel guidelines, and other essential information as you plan to visit Heaven-on-Earth.

Airports and Airlines

The Turks and Caicos Islands offer three airports with international service in Grand Turk, Providenciales and South Caicos. Providenciales International Airport is the most popular and receives the majority of international flights and visitors.

You have several airline options, including American Airlines, Bahamas Air, British Airways, Delta Airlines, Spirit Air, and US Airways. All operate flights to and from the islands. However, to travel to other Caribbean destinations from the Turks and Caicos Islands, you must first stay in Florida, most often Miami.

customs and immigration

The islands require all US visitors to bring a valid passport. If you are from Canada, an original or notarized copy of your birth certificate and photo ID are sufficient for entry. Your visit can extend your visit to 30 days with a one-time renewal. All visitors to the island must present evidence of a return ticket.

Most visitors, including those from the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom, do not need a visa, but some other international visitors must obtain visas. Be sure to double check your country’s requirements and give yourself plenty of time to obtain any required documentation.

For more specific questions about immigration and visitation guidelines, you may contact the Turks and Caicos Immigration Department directly by phone at (649) 946-4233 or by fax at (649) 941-5696.

Customs in Turks and Caicos allows typical tourist items such as cameras, sports equipment such as fishing rods, golf clubs, and tennis rackets, and even certain types of food. Pornography and controlled drugs are illegal, and visitors may only bring firearms with the written consent of the Commissioner of Police.

Accommodation

All the resorts and hotels on the islands will welcome you with open arms, and some will charge you through the nose for their world-class amenities and services. The islands offer a wide range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets.

An excellent resource for searching for different hotels and resorts is TripAdvisor. Guests leave reviews about their experiences and rate properties with stars. TripAdvisor also offers ratings for Bed and Breakfasts.

air-conditioned

The year-round average temperature in the Turks and Caicos Islands is 77 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. The average annual precipitation of the islands amounts to only 21″.

With mostly sunny weather, be sure to bring extra sunscreen, a hat, and a long-sleeved shirt or two for extra sunscreen.

Pack mainly leisure wear. The islands’ dress code is decidedly casual, although some of the best restaurants require closed shoes and a collared shirt. Foodies should bring a decent set of clothes, just in case. Bathing suits worn away from the beach or pool are generally frowned upon.

Money

The official currency of the islands is the US dollar and the islands do not place any restrictions on the amount of money brought into the island.

Traveler’s checks are accepted on the island, although some companies may charge a 5% transaction fee for traveler’s checks.

Credit cards are generally accepted

In tourist places like Providenciales and Grand Turk, you will have no problem using your credit card. Remember to alert your credit card company about international transactions to prevent your card from being “frozen”, and if you plan to visit some of the less traveled islands, keep a cash reserve.

In restaurants, it is customary to tip 15%, just like in the US However, don’t be surprised if some restaurants include a 10% service charge on the bill. Tipping personal services and taxis is also a generally accepted practice.

farts

All pets brought to the island require a rabies vaccination certificate. Be prepared to have your pet examined by a public health inspector upon arrival. Double check with his hotel to make sure he and his staff are pet friendly.

Although planning an international trip always presents some challenges, the 12 miles of Grace Bay Beach offer ample reward for trips to the Turks and Caicos Islands. The hardest part will be leaving.

Technology

understand digital cameras

Capturing beautiful moments and making them quickly accessible is no longer a rich man’s forte. Most of us have access to our memorable moments with just one click. Digital cameras save you a lot of time. Once the photo has been taken, you can simply download those images to a computer and make them accessible on the web in a variety of ways. Digital cameras record and store photographic images in digital format. Image capture is usually achieved through the use of a photosensor, using a charged pair device (CCD). After transferring the images to your computer, you can edit them and save them to a compact disc or hard drive.

With digital cameras, you can instantly capture the image you’d love to keep forever. Remove unwanted images easily. Without the hassle of buying movies. You do not need to print all the images; you are in full control of the final print after editing on the computer. Don’t worry about the negatives getting damaged or lost. You can store many images without having to change or buy film.

There are many brands of digital cameras available in the market today. These include: Sony, Canon, Olympus, Nikon, Kodak, Minolta, and Fuji. These are some famous brands all over the world. Even basic digital camera models have many features, levels, and menus. This makes it difficult for beginners to select the right camera that meets their needs. Digital cameras are available in all price ranges depending on how many features they have. Before you start comparing features, you need to decide for what purpose you would like to use your digital camera. The best way to start your search is to log on to the web and visit all the sites that offer feature and price comparisons for different types and brands of digital cameras.

Almost all digital cameras today have the live preview feature, where a screen is provided on the camera to see the preview of the image you just clicked on. The most frequently compared feature in digital cameras is “megapixel.” This means the number of pixels in millions. Therefore, a four megapixel camera would have four million pixels. The other important features to compare include optical and digital zoom capability; connectivity with other devices such as computer, printer, etc.; internal storage space, as well as compatibility with external storage devices; memory cards; batteries; and image file formats.

Many digital cameras offer connectivity via USB port, FireWire port, USB PTP mode, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc. These days, many cameras offer PictBridge mode which allows direct printing from the digital camera without the intermediary of a computer. Although all cameras have a certain amount of internal memory, external memory cards are required to save more images. These include Micro Drives or Compact Flash memory cards that are generally used for high-end professional cameras. Sony’s Memory Stick is a proprietary flash memory card. SD/MMC, Mini SD and Micro SD cards are the ones that are mainly used for commercial digital cameras.

If you are an amateur photographer, you should select a camera with automatic settings and functions. This will help you get the right images for the amount of light and scenes without too much effort. But if you are looking for a professional camera, you should go for the one that allows you to select all the shooting modes manually. There are many shooting modes available on the latest digital camera models, including landscape, portrait, panorama, action settings, night mode, beach mode, snow mode, and sunset/sunrise modes.

Common formats you can output the image in include JPEG, TIFF, DNG, etc. For videos, the most common formats are AVI, DV, MPEG, MOV, WMV, ASF, and MP4.

Business

Online office supply stores help save money and time for startups

Equipping your office with furniture, machines, stationery and other office products is one of the tasks that requires the most money, time and effort. Using search engines, you can find supplier companies in your area, place an order online, and wait for delivery. Read how online office supply stores can help you.

Order office furniture online

Office furniture is one of the basics of the office process, and before ordering it you should know what and how many elements you need for your office. You will most likely need 2 items: desk and chair, but you can also buy bookshelves, printer stands, boardroom and conference furniture, reception desk and chair, and staff workstations.

Most office furniture providers offer free delivery and installation services.

Order office supplies online

In computer stores you can buy online all the necessary hardware and software, monitors, keyboards and mice, multimedia equipment. Office machines help do business faster and more efficiently, so order phones, fax machines, printers, scanners, copiers, and shredders, too. You can also think about ordering other office accessories that are not essential but can make your work easier and faster: binders, folders, laminators, label makers.

Order office stationery online

Office stationery is the largest section of any online store, selling many small but very useful things. First of all, you need to ask for paper; however, when you walk into the paper section of an online store, you may be surprised by the number of paper types and brands featured. There’s letterhead and copier/printer paper, recycled paper, and colored paper. The most commonly used sizes are A4 and A3, but the quality you need depends on the type and brand of your printer and copier. Just read the paper product description carefully to see if it’s what you need.

Writing and graphic supplies also offer a wide range of products to choose from depending on the type of business. Don’t forget about hanging and filing files for document storage, envelopes, staples, hole punches, scissors, stamp pads and other desk accessories, which will help you better organize your work.

Order catering supplies online

After hard and productive work, sometimes you may need a break with a cup of tea or coffee, so think ahead and order a kettle with cup set and coffee machine. You can also order packages of coffee, tea, sugar and milk online for a few months in advance. If for the next few months you plan to dedicate all your time to work and the development of your business, you should also think about ordering a microwave and refrigerator to eat healthy in the office when you cannot go out to eat.

Order cleaning and janitorial supplies online

To keep your office clean and exemplary you should think about ordering wastebaskets, vacuum cleaners, sanitary dispensers and towels.

Apply for office environment online

If you want your office to stand out and reflect your individuality, you need to pay more attention to its interior design. Artificial plants that look real but take no time to maintain will bring elegance and style to your office. Contemporary or classic desk lamps will add the finishing touch to your work space. When ordering motivational office art and images, don’t forget the frames for them.

The ideal is to find a great online store where you can buy all the office products you need in one place and also get a great discount saving time and money. How to find a good and reliable online store? Look for shopping directories where online stores are ranked by popularity and trustworthiness. For the US you can search at http://www.bizrate.com, http://www.reviewcentre.com/consumer_reviews28.html, and for the UK at http://www.shopsafe.co.uk, http ://www.topoftheshops.co.uk.

You can also use price comparison sites, the most popular of which are http://www.shopping.yahoo.com, http://www.pricegrabber.com for the US, and http://www.bizrate.co. uk, http ://www.pricesavvy.co.uk, http://www.kelkoo.co.uk for UK customers.

Ordering office supplies online can save you a lot of time and money and also help your business development, because with a reliable office supplier you can schedule regular office supplies and make your business process smooth and stable.

Home Kitchen

A Sneak Peek Of 2011 Hardwood Flooring Trends

As 2010 winds down, homeowners are budgeting for home decor in the coming calendar year, and that means expectations are already doing their bit on trends to watch out for.

Many home decor experts say that paint will play a big role in home decor, with the biggest change happening in how we define a “neutral” color palette. Previously, light browns and beiges were thought to be the only neutral colors on the color wheel. Now decorators say colors like mint green, light lavender, light yellow and even peach are making their way into the “neutral zone.”

You can find mint greens and light lavenders everywhere, from kitchen walls to living room furniture. The key is to pair these light colors with a darker, more traditional hardwood floor.

Oak hardwood floors will continue to be in style because they are considered timeless and can be shaped to work with a variety of design schemes. Homeowners can install an oak hardwood floor and redecorate their homes five years later without touching the wood.

As for flooring color, stick with a color like Bruce Hardwood’s Saddle Summit or Bruce’s Vintage Brown Liberty. For dark oak floors, choose Mullican’s Oak Dark Chocolate, which works exceptionally well not only with light colors, but also with bright coral or red walls.

Bright colors are another trend for 2011. With the economy still suffering, people are relying on bright, youthful colors to brighten their homes and moods. Experts say that deep turquoise and vivid greens can brighten up a room that looks dull and dreary. The key is to keep it simple and use neutral colors to balance out these bright hues. White furniture and curtains would certainly do the trick.

When it comes to the hardwood finishes of the season, let the design of the room dictate the direction you take. If you are thinking of something modern, then a satin finish will be perfect. If you want to go classic or vintage then you should look into hand scraping.

Auto

vegetarian pastitsou

When I met my Greek American husband, he loved to eat meat, fish, and shellfish. He also loved the Greek food that he grew up with. I am a vegetarian and John showed me that since meat used to be an expensive commodity, many Greek recipes are meatless and rely on beans, grains, goat cheese and yogurt, fruits, vegetables and olive oil. We ate very well and John surprised us both by deciding to become a vegetarian. However, he wanted her to try his favorite food that his mom and Yia Yia prepared for him. It’s pastitsou, traditionally made with minced beef, onions, Greek pasta, Greek Parmesan cheese, bechamel sauce, and delicious herbs and spices. We experimented and finally came up with courgettes (zucchini) and broccoli as a meat replacement. We then added Quorn (a great vegetarian mycoprotein) that can easily be used in recipes to replace meat. Our resulting meatless pastitsou is so delicious that our carnivorous friends ask us to make it for them. Here is the prescription:

vegetarian pastitsou

Ingredients

1. Vegetables and Quorn

4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2 large onions finely chopped

2 garlic cloves finely minced

250g courgettes (zucchini), diced

250 g of chopped broccoli

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

3 fresh bay leaves

3 cinnamon sticks

2 nails

700g Quorn minced meat (if you can’t find Quorn, use another meatless minced meat)

14 oz (400 g) can chopped canned tomatoes

two. Pasta

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) Greek pastries or pasta

1¾ oz (50 g) Greek Parmesan or Kefalotiri cheese, finely grated

1 tablespoon melted butter or olive oil for basting

3. Bechamel sauce

1.2 liters (2 pints) whole milk

4 ¼ oz (115 g) butter or olive oil for spreading

4 ¼ ounces (115 g) flour

7 oz (200 g) grated Greek Parmesan or Kefalotiri

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Salt or little salt

black pepper

method

1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C (350 degrees F)

2. Heat olive oil in skillet until moderately hot.

3. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.

4. Add the broccoli and cook for 5 minutes

5. Add the courgettes (zucchini) and cook for 2 more minutes

6. Add the Quorn, herbs and spices and cook while stirring until just beginning to brown slightly.

7. Add the can of chopped tomatoes and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes, leaving the mixture still moist.

8. Remove cinnamon sticks and bay leaves and set aside.

9. Bring a large pot of water to a boil – about 4.5 liters (8 pints)

10. Add pasta and boil until al dente, about 12 minutes.

11. Drain pasta and place in a large bowl

12. Mix with melted butter and grated cheese and set aside

13. For the bechamel sauce, melt the margarine over low heat

14. Add the flour and stir continuously until a roux forms

15. Add the milk little by little and stirring continuously

16. When the mixture is smooth and runny, add the remaining milk and nutmeg.

17. Gently bring to a boil

18. Simmer gently

19. Continue stirring until sauce thickens and tastes cooked.

20. Season to taste and reserve

21. Mix a quarter of the sauce with the beaten eggs

22. Mix gently with the pasta and half of the grated cheese

23. Mix the rest of the cheese with the bechamel sauce

24. Grease a large baking dish (approximately 9cm x 13cm) with butter or olive oil for spreading.

25. Cover the bottom of the plate with a thin layer of Quorn and vegetables

26. Use 1/3 of the pasta to make a layer on the plate.

27. Cover with 1/3 of the bechamel sauce

28. Add a layer of half of the remaining Quorn mixture

29. Continue layering with 1/3 pasta, 1/3 béchamel sauce, and remaining Quorn mixture.

30. Finish with the remaining pasta and the bechamel sauce.

31. Cook for 30 – 40 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

Enjoy with a salad of green leaves, sliced ​​yellow peppers and cherry tomatoes with a dressing of virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and French mustard.

If you want to make this dish low in calories: reduce the oil and margarine by half and use skimmed milk.

Digital Marketing

Auto Insurance Estimator: What You Need

Such a calculator asks a series of questions; each response will be used as a variable to make quotes and determine the premium rate. The questions can be divided into two main categories, including personal and vehicle-related information. Some of the most common questions you see on the auto insurance estimator are listed below:

1. What is your age or date of birth?

Age plays a role in the overall estimate. The insurance company considers very young and elderly drivers to be high-risk drivers. The first group is probably inexperienced, and there is a high possibility that young drivers will break some traffic laws, commit violations such as speeding, etc. This last group probably has some limitations in terms of vision, hearing and driving skills, which means that they also increase the possibility of being involved in an accident.

2. What is your profession?

Auto Insurance Estimator uses drivers’ professions to calculate accident rates. There is a statistic that suggests that certain professions, such as doctors, real estate brokers, lawyers, business owners, and salespeople, are considered stressful jobs; Insurers believe that stressful jobs affect concentration on driving. Cal’s insurance calculator can determine a higher insurance rate based on this factor.

3. What kind of car do you drive?

The car model also affects insurance rates. The auto insurance estimator may treat luxury cars as the most expensive assets to insure. In the event of an accident, vandalism, or theft, a luxury car is more likely to cost more to repair compared to its cheaper counterparts. Sports cars with a high top speed and rapid rate of acceleration are also quite risky to insure, which is why insurance companies tend to charge more for such vehicles.

4. How many cars to insure?

The good news is that the more cars listed on the same insurance policy, the more discounts you are likely to get. The discount is based on the package option, so you may be eligible for other discounts if you also insure your home, health and life with the same company.

5. What is your address?

The auto insurance estimator uses your address to determine if you live in a certain area where the crime rate is considered high. You have to pay more to protect the car if you live in risky cities.

6. How many violations are on your driving record?

Driving history is evidence where the DMV lists all previous accidents you were involved in, traffic violations, and all traffic tickets. Insurance companies use the data to determine if you are a low-risk or high-risk driver.

Health Fitness

How to start a vegan diet, without losing your mind

Thinking of starting a vegan diet but don’t know where to start? A vegan diet means you don’t eat animal products: meat, dairy, fish, and even eggs.

However, for many people, the thought of cutting out all dairy and meat can definitely be overwhelming, especially if you like to eat out and aren’t a whiz in the kitchen.

One option that works for many people is to start gradually. The following 8 tips will make the transition easier and smoother, so you’re more likely to stick with the change:

1. Start by eliminating red meat

The first step has to be quite easy. And for many people that starts with cutting out the red meat (we’re not as attached to it as we are to our cheese, it seems).

Start by eliminating all pork, beef, lamb, and other red meat from your diet. Still allow yourself white meats like fish, chicken, and shellfish.

You can also start trying meatless versions of bacon and other meats that you can find at your local supermarket or health food store, just to see which versions you like. When you start to feel comfortable not eating red meat, you can move on to the next stage.

2. Chop the chicken

Eliminate the chicken, but still include shellfish and fish like tuna, salmon, shrimp, etc.

You can also start trying to make some vegan meal recipes (you can find many online, and many times they are also reviewed by other vegans, so you can find the ones that REALLY taste good).

3. Eliminate shellfish and fish

At this point, you are practically in the vegetarian stage. Congratulations! Now is the time to cut out the shellfish and fish, but keep trying other meat alternatives like soy-based patties, etc.

Your protein will also come from vegetables like lentils, chickpeas, and black beans. There are also whole grains, vegetarian ground beef, vegetarian empanadas, some other meatless products like vegan bacon.

4. Say goodbye to cheese

Well, this could be the most painful part for many of us. We love our cheese. But there are cheese alternatives like rice cheese and tofu. You’ll have to experiment here to find what kind of cheese works for you.

For example, I can’t stand tofu, but there is a rice-based cheese I can buy at my grocery store that is fantastic, it even melts like real cheese!

5. Eliminate the eggs

This can also be a bit of a challenge, mainly because eggs are used in so many baked goods and recipes.

But there are plenty of egg alternatives that you can use to bake your treats. Some people use mixtures of gelatin and water (which is fine for recipes that use less than 3 eggs).

Other options include applesauce and egg replacement powders which can often be found at many specialty health food stores.

6. Eliminate cream and butter

Again, this can be a challenge as cream is often used in coffee, and butter is often used in recipes for baked goods.

But the good news is that there are excellent vegan alternatives. Coconut oil is a great replacement for butter in recipes (it’s basically a 1:1 replacement ratio). You can also use olive oil if you are cooking dinners like stir fry dishes.

And for cream, there are great alternatives to non-dairy cream like soy milk, coconut milk (very thick and creamy), or even coconut butter.

Look around your grocery store, as there are specially formulated non-dairy creamer options in the health food section. (Sometimes regular coconut milk or almond milk separates in your coffee – these creamers I will not do it separately in your coffee).

7. Let go of milk

This may sound hard, but you have a LOT of options here, so it really isn’t that bad (in fact, I found cheese much harder!).

Vegan alternatives to milk include rice milk, soy milk, coconut milk, and nut milks such as almond or cashew milk.

You can also use these milks for baking or cooking, eat them with your cereal, or you can just drink them from a glass.

8. Find the best vegan recipes and restaurants

Good news: you are now completely vegan. But you still have to live your life without being chained to your kitchen.

And you need to maintain a social life, which means eating out!

Now is the time to start finding more recipes you love (so you can make them up and keep them on hand all week). I usually pick a day like Sunday and prepare all my food for the week, freezing the meals that will be used towards the end of the week.

Also, start researching what you can drink at restaurants. Depending on your area, you may be able to find a vegan restaurant or cafe.

Not sure what you can eat at a certain restaurant? Most places have their menus online so you can look up what’s on the menu. You can also call ahead and ask what they might have that you can eat. Many restaurants are more than accommodating if you let them know (after all, they want your business).

Those are 8 steps on how to start a vegan diet without losing your mind. Some people like to go gradually.

However, if you prefer to get involved with both feet, another option is to use a vegan food delivery service for a month or two. This will ensure that you eat delicious food (so the transition isn’t too difficult) and can slowly learn the lifestyle at your own pace.

Going vegan can be a challenge, but there are ways to make it much easier. I hope these tips have helped. In no time you will feel healthier and stronger! Good luck and here’s to your health!

Legal Law

THEL Weapon for the Chinese

Well, they are finally here; high energy laser weapons like in Star Wars and they are so deadly and powerful and soon these lasers will be very small in size. An airborne laser the size of a refrigerator is now being developed, which can fit into the bomb bay doors of a stealth fighter aircraft. They even have a unit so big that it has to go on a 747 and the Israelis have a unit called THEL, which is portable and can be installed on a border, which can shoot down SCUD missiles or ICBMs, which are headed for their country.

New high energy laser systems are becoming the ultimate tool in the battle space and soon everyone will have them. In fact Israel is considering selling these to China. China is also buying Russian technology and China is also selling missiles and so on. to nations that are hostile to US interests in the Middle East.

Is Israel making a mistake by selling THEL to Red China? Some say yes, although others point out that Israel wants China as an ally. Especially since China is selling SAM and missile defense and perhaps offensive systems to Iran. Iran, of course, wants to wipe Israel off the map.

A person looking at the big picture has to be a bit concerned because it seems that Asia and the Middle East are preparing for World War III and the amount of spending on weapons, both offensive and defensive, seems to be something out of the Carl von Books. Clauswitz’s plays when he pointed out that leaders who fail to protect their nations do so at the expense of their people and their civilization.

Surely there are many backdoor arms deals and nation-state relationships forming in this lead-up to an ongoing modern Machiavellian alliance. The stakes are higher and this game is far more complex than the American liberal anti-participation voter understands from his prickly comments, as they have not followed the events leading up to our current situation in the Middle East. The liberal anti-war movement in the United States should be told that perhaps they should look at the big picture and ask them to think through the game from start to finish. Your thoughts?

Lifestyle Fashion

DIY Wealth Creation and Financial Planning: Being Your Own Financial Advisor a Good Idea?

For too long, too many people have relinquished responsibility for their investment decisions almost entirely to their financial advisors. This is a bad idea. No one will manage your own money as well as you could. From my point of view, anything you can do to create a better life for yourself and your dependents is fair game. Therefore, becoming financially literate and reducing any over-reliance on financial advisors is part of this overall goal.

Being financially literate not only empowers you and your finances, it also sets a really good and much-needed example for those around you. In my opinion, “Becoming 100% financially literate” is something that justifies being on everyone’s list of top life goals.

There is no such thing as a free lunch

Have you ever wondered how your financial advisor was paid? He probably had a suspicion that some financial institution was oiling the palm of his hand. Well, as the saying goes, there really is no such thing as a free lunch. Beneath the pinstripe suit is the thinly veiled fee and commission structure that has rotted the financial services industry to the core.

Even now, with heavily regulated financial institutions and your financial advisor’s responsibility to disclose to you the commissions and fees paid to them for a transaction, this can still make you feel uneasy and wary, and leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. your mouth.

After the recent global financial crisis, there is a big question mark over the validity, integrity and systemic overconfidence in the financial services industry. Instead of being required to put your financial interests above their own and create the best financial plan for you, financial advisors are only required by law not to sell you something that is completely inappropriate. This, combined with the need to make money, can sometimes mean that your best interests are not always at heart. As this article will show, there has never been a more appropriate time to become financially literate and embark on the process of becoming your own financial advisor.

Many financial service providers focus on a) commissions or b) service fees. In turn, they impart some regular financial advice and offer average returns on investment. Commission-based “financial advisors” are working for commissions paid to them by a brokerage firm, mutual fund company, insurance company, etc. Fee-based financial advisors are selling their skills and time for an hourly or à la carte rate.

Of the two different approaches, fee-based financial advice is the lesser of two evils, so to speak. However, on-demand services may be more suitable for a small investor. This is particularly true of a smaller investment portfolio where less active management is required. In this case, paying an occasional fee is probably not going to ruin the portfolio’s returns in the long run.

Many financial advisors are now what they call “fee-based” (meaning they earn their share of both fees paid by you and commissions). True lump sum financial planners remain a rare breed. Unfortunately, a very high percentage of financial planners do not work for you, but are essentially salespeople for financial institutions who market financial products for a commission. They will consciously or unconsciously tend to sell you a product that pays them the highest commission. So many times their agenda and yours are completely different.

One Trick Products Ponies

Often the only product a financial advisor understands is the one they are selling. An insurance agent will enthusiastically promote insurance products, while your stockbroker will promote individual shares or a basket of shares. In both cases, neither of them can be aware of your complete financial situation and, therefore, cannot provide you with advice. The best use of your money at this point might be to pay down debt or create an emergency fund.

Good financial planning is not so much about trying to beat the market or multiplying your wealth. It’s really about making sure your portfolio is well diversified and that other aspects of your finances (budgets, credit scores, insurance coverage, tax planning, estate planning, and retirement accounts) are in the best possible shape. Therefore, proper financial planning encompasses more than investments. It should also allow you to protect your assets, minimize your taxes, and take care of your dependents, etc., while building your wealth over time.

Your average fee-based financial advisor isn’t likely to think about the big financial picture. On the other hand, financial advisors who charge only fees are likely to be more objective when looking at entire portfolios.

When to get professional advice

If you’re going to do DIY financial planning, you’ll need time, education, experience, objectivity, and the inclination to achieve the same level of proficiency that many professionals offer. To be honest, very few average investors have the ability to become their own financial advisors. They just don’t have that inclination and are too busy with their daily lives. Therefore, you need to be brutally honest with yourself about how financially educated you are as you create and implement your financial plans. You can’t afford to punch above your weight, make costly mistakes, and possibly suffer a financial knockout blow!

So while I think it’s a great idea to strive to become your own financial advisor, I think it’s important to note that I also think it’s crucial to have a team of A-grade financial professionals (financial, tax, and legal experts). who you can turn to for critical advice.

There are times when you will need a more experienced second opinion than your DIY financial advice skills may be capable of. Here are just a few examples of when it is helpful to get professional advice:

  1. When you are moving from one stage of life to another (getting married, having children, retiring, getting divorced, etc.)
  2. Any major financial transaction such as buying a property, buying or selling a business, receiving an inheritance, etc.
  3. When you find yourself in a financial impasse or suffering from inertia and are not sure what to do next.
  4. When you are looking for the best way to protect your family in the event of an accident, illness or death;
  5. In times of great economic and market changes.

Conclusion:

To become financially literate, you will need to gain an understanding of the financial requirements/limitations you have and the strategies, tools and techniques you will need to achieve your goals. As you delve into the intricacies of DIY financial planning and wealth building, you’ll quickly realize why it’s a full-time occupation for even the average financial planner. The question is whether you want to become an expert or whether you would rather transfer this financial responsibility to someone else…someone else who may or may not have your best interests in mind. Either way, this is a decision that should not be taken lightly.

Pets

toys for your hound

A lot of thought should go into choosing the right toys for your hound. You must first learn about the breed and understand its mannerisms before going to the store and buying anything old.

By nature, if a Bloodhound doesn’t have much to keep its mind occupied, it’s just like any other animal on the planet, it gets bored. Many new dog owners will spend a great deal of money pampering their new pet by going to their local pet store or buying all sorts of toys online that they think will be pleasing to the dog.

Bloodhounds like to have jobs to do, such as walking or running, training for search and rescue, or whatever they think will please their owner. They love to play and I don’t think they’ll ever get past that stage. Now don’t be fooled, he’s a very intelligent animal and some owners end up being the ones looking instead of searching, so you’ll want to keep your mind on the task at hand and not something else.

While they are idle in their yard or barnyard, they are always looking for something to do. Most bloodhounds like to chew, so you’ll want to choose a toy that will last and won’t hurt them if they ingest it. Once they are old enough to play with each other, they will want other items to occupy their time.

A toy that is good and will last a while is a wind-up toy. They will pull each other if they have a playmate and try to take it from the other. It is always good entertainment for the owner to watch their new dog play. Get involved with them as much as you can. Pull the string but let them as long as they have it so they know that this is their toy and no one will take it away from them.

Eventually the rope will get old and fray and they will start to eat it. Toys don’t last forever and once they do you’ll want to take them off and get a new one. They will be very happy to see a fresh new string to play with.

Another great chew toy for them is hooves. These can be found at almost any pet store. Ask the store manager where you can find them. They’ll also last a while and keep you busy for hours, but just like with rope, once they start to shrink and there are splinters everywhere, you’ll want to replace them with a new one.

Since bloodhounds like to chew, a new owner might be disappointed in the new dog because he likes to chew on his kennel. This is common to almost all bloodhounds I have seen. Some will literally destroy the house if they don’t have enough to keep them busy, and others will just nibble on it for a while.

The best toy for any bloodhound that I have found is a plain old stick. They come in many flavors, pine, aspen, willow, maple, oak. You will have to adjust the dogs taste to what is available to you. Where I live aspens are plentiful and I get them a fresh stick often and it keeps them busy for hours.

Toys for your hound don’t have to be fancy, just safe and practical to keep them busy and not hurt themselves by eating something that’s bad for them or gets stuck in their intestines.

Have fun with your dog, they won’t be around forever. Once you find a good toy for them, you will enjoy playing and watching them for hours on end every day for a lifetime.