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Business/Investment

Solving problems that can occur during construction

There are many problems that can occur during construction

Construction projects are underway, as you are reading this, all over the world and projects can last right through the night. In many cases problems can occur during construction which can come about due to the weather, man power or even poor tools. Take a look at some problems which can occur and how you can prevent them from happening:

Weather problems

Construction projects can last for a great amount of time meaning that due to the changing of the seasons, workers will have to prepare for maybe all four of them. In some cases, torrential rain can occur which can cause the ground of the construction to become wet, soft and can often halt the project depending on the severity of the rain. To prepare and overcome this visit JWA for bog mats which you can place down during and after the rainfall and enable the workers to be able to walk across the boggy ground without any problems whatsoever.

Tool problems

In some cases, workers will be using tools which are old and have seen too many jobs themselves. This can cause a problem, especially with the most commonly used tools, if too many of them break or are not performing the job properly, it can slow down the project to a near stop and cause you to be way behind on the deadline. It´s imperative that if hiring a construction company that you include within the contract that all tools being used will be assessed before the construction project starts and ensure that they will last throughout. In some cases, it will be necessary for new tools due to the wear and tear or length of the project, but ensuring this is outlined within the contract will keep you in budget and won´t halt the construction process

Construction worker problems

In most cases you will be contracting workers from another company and it is the job of this company to keep the workers happy and nothing to do with you. Making sure you hire a reputable company to provide the workers is a sure-fire way that you can avoid any problems during your project. If a poor company is hired, you could have contracted 20 workers per day but they are only sending 10, meaning your deadlines will probably not be kept to and if they are, they will be of poor, rushed quality. Keeping in great contact with the company is also a good way that you can ensure that everything is running smoothly, if you´re the project manager then you will usually be the person that takes the flack if something goes wrong from the bosses upstairs.

As you can see from the above three points, complete risk analysis, preparation and planning are the most important things you can do before you actually go ahead and start the project. Remember that if you don’t prepare, things will most likely occur and it could end the construction project entirely!

Business/Investment

What Are the Key Elements of Creative Teams?

What is the commonality between scientific collaborators, successful Broadway musical production teams, and the Boston Red Sox have in common? This was something that was researched a few years ago by Northwestern University and their results have driven innovation management software for businesses packages ever since. Essentially, the study look at a wealth of teams known to be highly creative and who had exhibited phenomenal performances when they worked together.

Unsurprisingly, one of the key things they found was that each team was made up of a fantastic diversity of people and individuals. Indeed, no two people in any of the teams were even remotely the same. However, this diversity was seen not solely in the age differences, gender differences, or ethnic differences between the participants. While those differences were also present, those weren’t the ones that caused true breakthrough performances. What was far more important, and turned out to be the true key predictor, was that the best performing teams had people in it that had been there a while and that had a lot of experience, but also a few newer members who were very new to the field. Indeed, in the study, teams with nothing but experienced people, so those that didn’t add any newbies, didn’t do as well as those who did add new people. Clearly, therefore, it is the influx of new blood and new ideas, combined with existing experience, that brings about real innovation.

So how does this apply to your team? Is it simply as easy as adding some new members to a team that is feeling a bit staid and old? Well, according to Northwestern University, that is exactly what is needed. Best of all, you don’t need to create a full time position for someone new. Simply bringing them in for a couple of hours to brainstorm is all that is needed!

So What about Facial Hair?

One of the best ways to increase creativity is to expose teams to a range of different forms of information, from a wealth of different sources. Those sources can be really unexpected, in fact. Consider, for example, that research has consistently shown over half of all people believe that men who are clean shaven are more honest than those who have a beard. The reason for this is that a face full of fur is something people subconsciously associate with poor hygiene, concealment, and diabolical intent. Yes, really.

If you have ever looked at the Forbes Top 100 list of the richest people of the world. What you will find is that not one individual on that list has a beard. In fact, very few have so much as a moustache! Similarly, no candidate running for American presidency has had a moustache or a beard since 1910.

To take this back to innovation, if you do want to get your creative juices flowing, particularly if you have brought in an outsider to help with this, then make sure everybody has a shave first!

Business/Investment

Plan Your Trades Wisely

Any new venture requires research and planning. Trading is no exception, but unfortunately, many people jump in unprepared so that their trades are little more than gambles. If you want to become a successful trader, you must have a trading plan. Not only will it help you understand when to place trades, it will tell you know when to exit a trade, manage your risk and help you keep emotion out of your trading. It is important to invest time into researching and developing a plan that will work for you before you begin. Trial the plan, analyze its successes and failures and modify it as necessary and you will be more likely to have success in the future.

Set Your Goals

Before you can create a trading plan, you must set your goals. Take a piece of paper and pen and write them down to make them more concrete. You need to take into account your personality and your trading style in order to be able to set realistic and workable goals. Assess your strengths and weaknesses and how they will impact your trading. Include timeframes when setting your goals so that you have daily, weekly, monthly, bi-annual and annual goals. All of this is the first step to planning your actual trades.

Plan Entry, Stop and Profit Targets

By planning when you will enter a trade and when you will exit a trade, you avoid trading by emotion. Knowing when to exit a trade is just as important as understanding the signals of when to enter the trade. Exiting in time helps you manage your bankroll and will allow you to come back to trade another day. Setting these points forces you to plan a logical strategy and helps you stick to your strategy when you are trading.

Decide on Risk:Reward Ratios

You must plan your risk:reward ratio once you have already set your entry, stop and profit targets. The higher the ratio, the more reward you will have compared to risk and therefore, the more appealing the trade will be. A ratio of around 1:1.5 would look good. As part of this, you need to work out your risk in terms of how much of your capital you can risk on any one trade or in any one day. The amount will depend on your personal risk tolerance, but is typically between 1% and 5% of your total capital.

Keep Records

Keep records of everything. Of your plans, of your analysis, of your risk levels and targets, of your trading records and of your charts. These records allow you to go back and analyze the success or failure of your trade. From this, you can sit and tweak your plan, improving it as you go.

Conclusion

The key to trading successfully is planning your trades wisely. This will be different for each person as goals and personality vary between people. However, planning, recording and modifying your plans are the key to becoming a successful trader.

Business/Investment

LLC vs. Corporation

Applying for federal tax ID numbers is an important first step in starting a new business.  When a business owner applies for a tax ID through IRS-EIN-Tax-ID, he or she must choose the type of entity the business is.

The sole proprietor tax ID number is the obvious choice for self-employed people who have no employees besides themselves.  It is also appropriate for people who are only employers in that they employ babysitters or housekeepers.  When it comes to bigger companies, however, it is not always easy to choose an entity type.  Here are some factors to consider when choosing to register as a corporation or limited liability company (LLC).

Corporation

The IRS treats corporations as though they are completely separate entities from their owners and shareholders.  The term “corporate personhood” means that corporations have rights and obligations just like people.  They can owe money and be owed money, and they can be parties in lawsuits.

This can be a problem when the corporation owns property.  Both the corporation and its owners are responsible for paying taxes, leading to double taxation.  The tax burden on corporation owners can get quite heavy.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

A limited liability company (LLC) is not required to pay taxes on its income.  The profits and losses of the LLC are figured in with the tax obligations of each of the owners of the LLC.

While LLCs are an attractive choice for very small businesses, problems arise when the company gets bigger.  Only a corporation can issue stock certificates to shareholders; an LLC cannot.

Whether to register your business as a corporation or LLC depends on the size and goals of the company.  To keep things simple for a small business, an LLC is the better choice.  For a large, long-lasting company, registering as a corporation is better.

Business/Investment, Style

This $4000 Car Will Get You Dates

Go get yourself a 16 year old Subaru Outback and watch your life get better. Sure, Subaru is the car company that has made “Love” a central part of its advertising, but this car sells sex. It might not appear sexy from the outside. Hell, it probably even looks ugly, but one thing is certain — this 4000 dollar car will get you dates.

It’s less of the car getting you dates, actually, and more of how the car will allow you to get dates when you drive it. First of all, the car is already pretty old so you’ll be able to drive it with confidence. Forget about worrying if you’re going to scratch the thing because it probably has 20 dents all over the body already. You spend a lot of time in your car. Americans spend hours everyday in their car, so you need to be sure that it will make you confident. A Subaru Outback will allow you to do that because you’re basically saying “it’s all right here — take it or leave it.” Translate that car confidence into your daily life and you’ll be living up dates left and right.

When you pick your dates up and they get into your car, they’re going to feel totally at ease. This care oozes relaxation. Subaru initially made the car back in the 90s to cash in on the SUV craze but they couldn’t actually make an SUV for whatever reason. What resulted was a weird looking utility vehicle that hits all the right notes. They’re comfortable to sit in, they can fit everything you need, and you’ll never have to put on false heirs when you’re sitting in the Outback. Millionaires in the Pacific Northwest are known for driving these cheap cars for precisely that reason.

Back when the car first came out, the millionaires driving these cars didn’t have the money that they have today so they had to buy a Subaru. What they realized, over time, is that this car does not quit. If you buy a 16 year old Outback for 4 grand, chances are you’ll be driving that car for a few years and get more than your money’s worth. This equalizes the playing field. You won’t have to worry about if you car screams “I’m broke” to anyone looking at it because the car is meant for everyone. Rich people and poor people alike drive this car because it just works, on some weird level.

Sure, if you only have 4000 dollars, you won’t have your pick of the litter. If you go with this car though, you won’t need any of the other ones. The Subaru Outback is the perfect investment for you because you’ll be able to be your true self which will lead to more self-confidence, resulting in more dates. People are attracted to the real you and the Outback shows that better than most cars on the market.

Business/Investment, Real Estate, Style

How to Save for Retirement in Your Twenties

It’s tough to save for retirement in your twenties, but it’s not impossible. In fact, it’s easier today than it has ever been in the past. Most younger people are not earning a ton of money, but they are still able to save for retirement by investing, creating an IRA, and saving what little you can. Here are some recommendations for you to create a roadmap to a better life.

Individual Retirement Account

You should open your IRA immediately, even if you can only put 50 dollars in a month. Depending on which company you decide to go with, there may be some contribution limits, but you should be able to find an account that fits your unique situation. If you can only put away $100 dollars or less a month, you’re still saving. IRA accounts allow for you to make more money over time and you’ll never get your early twenties back. An IRA has many benefits, but starting one as soon as possible has the biggest benefit of all. If your employer offers a Roth 401(k) plan then you should immediately open an account with them. Employer contributions can increase your retirement savings by 40% over a lifetime.

Savings Account

You can open a savings account online today and always have something to fall back on. With your savings account, you’ll want to put at least $50 dollars a month into it, unless you can stand to put in more. A savings account will improve your credit score and allow for you to make more money in the future so it’s a good idea to get one started as soon as possible. You can’t always ask your friends and family to lend you money, so a rainy day fund ensures that you’ll be able to stand on your own two feet.

Investing

There is always the tried and true investing in real estate, but also there are apps out there that allow you to squirrel loose change away every time you make a purchase with your debit card. The money will then go into a portfolio that is diversified and continues with an upward trend. While it may seem like a risky idea to go with a startup, these platform based investing tools have been able to sustain themselves while competing with institutions that have been around for a hundred years. You can’t help but love an underdog! Your portfolio should, ideally, be 70% stocks and 30% bonds. This is a time honored distribution which, on average, sees a 9.1% return every year since.

This is not meant to be a complete guide to retiring in your 50s, but you should be able to start putting away enough money to live on when you’re old and brittle. It’s not the sexiest thing in the world, saving for retirement, but it is one of the smartest things you can do. If you ever need to liquidate your assets or pull money out of your accounts in a pinch, you’ll be able to. Forget about getting loans and just be self-sufficient.

Business/Investment, Entertainment, Style

The Best Comic Book Events in the Last Year

The last year has brought some truly terrible comic book events to the fold, but we read them anyway. For this list, we’ll be discussing Marvel and DC exclusively; there is nothing wrong with Vertigo, Valiant, Dark Horse or some of the other publishing houses. Marvel and DC allow for an accessibility that others do not, and are more easily explained. Anyway let’s get this party started! Here are the best comic book events in the last year:

1. DC Rebirth

It can be denied by nobody that DC’s new publishing line, Rebirth, is a runaway success. Following the response of fans everywhere when they created the Flashpoint Paradox which thrusted the entire DC comic book universe into the New 52, DC knew they needed to come up big for their readers. What resulted was a meticulously detailed roadmap for how the executives at DC were going to fix their comic book lines. They did 3 key things differently: double shipping, few comic books, actually made a plan.

While Marvel is raising their prices and putting out an unprecedented amount of title relaunches, DC decided to do something completely different. They decided to slap the Rebirth banner on all of their titles, but they didn’t launch 52 new titles like their last publishing line. Instead they launched around 30 which resulting no cancellations. Prices also went down. Now you can get two books from DC every month for $6 dollars when compared to $5 dollars from Marvel for one book. Even if you’re a Marvel fanboy, you can’t help but be impressed by what DC is doing.

2. All Star Batman

After the Fiasco that was All Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder by Frank Miller, most fans gave up hope on the All Star line. The All Star line was created after Grant Morrison gifted the world All Star Superman, a 12 issue event that is considered one of the best Superman stories of all time. All Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder had moments that have been lampooned by fans for years like when Batman kidnapped a 12 year old boy and called him retarded or confessed to eating rats. The series also created the “I’m the goddamn Batman” meme which has plagued the character since its inception.

So famed Batman team Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, a team which won awards and fans after their New 52 run on Batman, decided to put out an All Star book for Batman that wasn’t absolute garbage. All Star Batman has been one of the undoubted successes of DC Comics in the past few years and is putting the All Star line back on top. Not much can be said because the series is still running, but it’s an instant classic.

3. Monsters Unleashed

This is the only Marvel book to make the list. When you have Secret Wars, Civil War 2, Clone Conspiracy, and Secret Empire to contend with, it’s to come out on top. Monsters Unleashed was a 5 part series written by Cullen Bunn and featured the classic monsters of the Marvel universe in a way they had never been featured before. It’s a crazy trip through memory lane, but also a fun way to introduce new characters.  The story follows a young man that can summon great beasts through his drawings, but they’re linked to the core of his essence so they’re never expendable. If you’re a fan of monster movies or just interesting character development then this is the recent Marvel event for you!

Business/Investment, Entertainment, Travel

The Best Odd Jobs For When You’re Hitchhiking Across America

If you’re on a shoestring budget, hitching across the US then you’re probably looking for some work to earn some extra money. The trick thing about odd jobs is that you want to find a place to work that meets your requirements: pays cash, starts immediately, nearby. You’ll be able to find all kinds of work out there but here are the types of job I relied on while forking my thumb out into the road.

Get Your Odd Job Online

WWOOF It!

Okay, so with WWOOF, you don’t actually make money unless the people there are really cool, but you will get a memorable experience. WWOOF is a worldwide opportunity for travellers and volunteers to work on organic farms. Most farmers and growers will allow you to live on their property and feed you, in exchange for work on the farm. WWOOFing is a great way to meet people and get a good, home cooked meal while out on the road. You won’t make any money,  but you will have a place to crash.

Taskrabbit

In most major cities, there are opening for Taskrabbit workers. Taskrabbit is an app that allows anyone to name their price for a service they can provide. Most of the time, you’ll be picked to arrange furniture or pick up groceries, but there are a varied amount of jobs on Taskrabbit and you’ll be able to pick and choose which services you’ll perform at a rate of your choosing — pretty much the best option.

Freelance with Craigslist

If you have a particular set of skills, then you can post your willingness to use those skills for someone’s project on Craigslist. This option is last for a reason, but you’ll find all sorts of jobs in the area. One tip: look for gigs at events as those are more like to pay you cash on the spot.

No Internet, No Problem

Okay, so you don’t feel like posting everything about your life on the internet but you still want to make money on the go. You do have some options. You can create and sell trinkets as you travel. One thing that’s great about hitchhiking across America is that you’ll meet all sorts of people that haven’t done anything as interesting as what you’re doing — they’ll gladly pay a few dollars for an interesting story if it means they can walk away with a trinket. Another good option to learning an instrument and busking. Busking is easy but in some towns can provide the police with a reason to get in your business. If you see others doing it, chances are you’re good to leave your guitar case open on the sidewalk and play Wagon Wheel three or ten times.

There must be a thousand ways to make money while hitchhiking across America. You might end up in the North or the South, but you’re most likely to find work online these days. If volunteering your services on an organic farm with WWOOF doesn’t pique your interest, then you should definitely check out Craigslist and Taskrabbit for local jobs. Otherwise, you could always make little leather statues and sell them on the side of the road with a guitar in your hand.

Business/Investment, Real Estate, Travel

The Best Cities to Invest In Real Estate in America

If you are looking to invest in real estate, then you should consider cities which are on the upturn so that you can have the largest return on investment possible. There are some cities that are in ruin, yet millennials run to them for cheap housing. If you weigh all the data, it will be easy to see that some of these unconventional picks are worth your attention.

Bozeman, Montana

You probably didn’t expect a city from Montana to be topping a “best of list” unless it was for “Best Cities to Go to Montana State University” but there is a method to this madness. Bozeman, historically, has been a small, working class city. The local university brings in a quarter of the town’s population every year but there have been others coming to the city for the past few years. It seems that the way Montana’s tax system is structured has created a haven for startup technology companies who can’t compete in Silicon Valley. These companies are moving to Montana instead and picking off the fresh engineering students from the university. The city is becoming more affluent and many fly fishers from the northeast are starting to buy up real estate.

Detroit, Michigan

Another unconventional pick, yes, but Detroit is one of the best cities to invest in real estate in America lately. A few years ago the city was bankrupt and there are hardly any jobs. However, there are a bunch of jobs starting to open up just 30 minutes north of the city and many millennials are moving to Detroit for dirt cheap housing. Neither the native locals nor the millennials can afford to purchase real estate which is what makes Detroit a sleeper hit.

Dallas, Texas

Cost of living in Dallas is poised to become one of the highest in the nation of the course of the next few years. Advising that figure is 6.2% three-year populace development, 3.9% employment increases a year ago and 9% yearly home cost picks up. Homes in Dallas are additionally underestimated; notable midpoints compared to adjacent city’s cost of living make Dallas a sure thing.

Seattle, Washington

The weed trade has turned Seattle into the crowned jewel of the Pacific Northwest. In the past year, prices have raised 12% and there is no end in sight. Restaurants in the city are doing so well, in fact, that they have done away with tipping waitstaff and restaurateurs are now paying them an overly rate. The population of the city is booming and more companies are moving to, what could be, the hottest city in America right now.

Those are four picks that probably were not expected for most real estate hounds, but the reality of the situation is that America is bouncing back. There were so many cities which were devastated back in the 2008 recession that are starting to do very well as a result of intelligent policy making. While other cities in America fall deeper into debt, the ones cited on this list are becoming major metropolitan hotspots.