We favor investments that are low cost, tax efficient, diversified, liquid, and simple. Many investors often run into trouble when they invest in things that do not have these five characteristics. Investments with these five characteristics have been profitable over time, but typically are not very exciting. There is generally not a “hot story that you need to act on now!” associated with them. The financial services industry generally does not favor these type of investments because they generate very little profit from them. We are in the business of helping to maximize the wealth of our clients, not the financial services industry. Keep in mind that this list of investment characteristics is not comprehensive. Other factors to look for in investments might include attractive valuation, low correlation to your other holdings, a nice dividend yield or interest income, a tilt towards areas of the market that have produced higher returns such as value stocks, an appropriate risk level for you, etc.Low Cost. We typically invest in low cost index based funds and exchange traded funds (ETF’s). The funds we invest in have an average expense ratio of only.30% per year. The typical actively traded equity mutual fund has an average expense ratio of 1% or more. With investment funds, the best predictor of future relative performance is the expense ratio on the fund; the lower the better. Hedge funds typically have annual expense ratios of 2% plus 20% of any profits earned. Some variable annuities and permanent life insurance “investments” can have annual expenses of 2% or more. By keeping a close eye on the costs of our investments, we can save our clients significant amounts of money each year and help them achieve higher returns over time (all else being equal). With investment products, you don’t get better performance with a higher cost product, in fact you typically get worse performance.Tax Efficient. Our investments (index based funds and ETF’s) are extremely tax efficient and they allow the investor to have some control over the timing of the taxes. These types of funds have low turnover (trading activity), which is a common characteristic of tax efficient investments. We recommend avoiding mutual funds with high turnover due to their tax inefficiency. After the recent big increase in the U.S. stock market, many active equity mutual funds have “imbedded” capital gains of as much as 30%-45%. If you buy those mutual funds now you may end up paying capital gains taxes on those imbedded gains even if you didn’t own the fund during the increase. ETF’s typically do not generate long and short-term capital gain distributions at yearend, and they do not have imbedded capital gains like active mutual funds. Hedge funds are typically tax inefficient due to their very high turnover. In addition to investing in tax-efficient products we also do many other things to help keep our client taxes minimized such as tax loss harvesting, keeping our turnover/trading low, putting the right type of investments in the right type of accounts (tax location), using losses to offset capital gains, using holdings with large capital gains for gifting, investing in tax-free municipal bonds, etc.Diversified. We like to invest in diversified funds because they reduce your stock specific risk, and the overall risk of your portfolio. Bad news released about one stock may cause it to drop 50%, which is horrible news if that stock is 20% of your whole portfolio, but will be barely noticed in a fund of 1,000 stock positions. We tend to favor funds that typically have at least a hundred holdings and often several hundred holdings or more. These diversified funds give you broad representation of the whole asset class you are trying to get exposure to, while eliminating the stock specific risk. We are not likely to invest in the newest Solar Energy Company Equity Fund with 10 stock positions, for example. We don’t believe in taking any risks (such as stock specific risk) that you will not get paid for in higher expected return.Liquid. We like investments that you can sell in one minute or one day if you decide to do so, and those which you can sell at or very close to the prevailing market price. With liquid investments you always (daily) know the exact price and value of your investments. All of the investment funds we recommend meet this standard. We don’t like investments which you are locked into for years without the ability to get your money back at all or without paying large exit fees. Examples of illiquid investments would be hedge funds, private equity funds, annuities, private company stock, tiny publicly traded stocks, startup company stock or debt, illiquid obscure bonds, structured products, some life insurance “investments,” private real estate partnerships, etc. We prefer investment funds that have been around for some time, are large in size, and have high average daily trading volumes.Simple. We prefer investments that are simple, transparent, and easy to understand. If you don’t understand it, don’t invest in it. All of our investments are simple and transparent; we know exactly what we own. Complicated investment products are designed in favor of the seller, not the buyer, and usually have high hidden fees. Examples of complicated and non-transparent investments that we generally avoid are hedge funds, private equity funds, structured products, some life insurance “investment” products, variable annuities, private company stock, startup company stock or loans, etc. “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.” -Albert Einstein.We believe most investors should have the majority of their portfolio invested in things that have these five excellent characteristics. By doing so you will avoid plenty of mistakes, negative surprises, and risks along the way. In addition, we believe your after tax investment returns will likely be higher over long periods of time. Of course not every smart or good investment will have all of these characteristics. For example, income producing real estate property is illiquid (and often not diversified) but can be an excellent long-term investment if purchased and managed properly. Owning your own business is illiquid and not diversified but can be an excellent way to build wealth as well. We believe these five investment characteristics become even more important as you enter retirement, since at that point you may be more focused on reducing risk and preserving your wealth than building it, and you may need the liquidity to spend and gift part of your wealth during retirement. These five excellent investment characteristics can be a good screening device for possible investments and good factors to think about when investing.
Five Excellent Investment Characteristics
5 Tips for Buying an Office Chair for the First Time
Since office chairs come in a lot of styles, shapes, and materials, making a choice can be quite overwhelming. For instance, some of them are made for accessional use, while others are more suitable for routine use. Aside from this, there are other factors to consider, such as price, finish, color, and style. Given below are some tips to help you make a better choice.
1. Consider your usage
These units are designed for a variety of purposes. For instance, if you get an executive chair, it will allow you to talk to your senior employees comfortably. On the other, if you are suffering from back issues, it is better that you opt for a chair designed to make your back feel comfortable. Basically, these units are designed in order to provide more support for your back and body. The good thing is that you can adjust these chairs based on your sitting posture.
If you are a heavy computer user and spend a lot of time working on your computer, we suggest that you consider an ergonomic chair.
2. Consider your desired parts
The majority of office chairs have some common major components such as armrests, the seat, and the backrest. For backrest, it all boils down to the lumbar support. Ideally, it should match the natural curve of your back so that you can relax your lower back. It is even better if the chair allows you to recline without any problem.
Another important component is the seat. Make sure that the edge of the seat is rounded and downward-sloping. This will help improve blood circulation to your legs. If you are a heavy, tall person, it is better that you go for a chair that features higher backs and wider seats.
While typing, armrests allow you to place your hands comfortably. Apart from this, an adjustable armrest is another great feature to have in your desired unit.
3. Consider the adjustment features
You should adjust the chair to perform your desired task without suffering an injury. It is easy to adjust the mentioned components using levers and knobs while you are sitting in the chair. For example, the chairs of today feature a lot of mechanisms, such as tilt angle control, adjustable lumbar support, and adjustable height control. Make sure that the unit you are looking for allows these adjustments.
4. Consider the material
If you go for an upholstered unit, you can enjoy a cushioned seat and a lot of color and style options. Apart from this, synthetic fabrics with stain resistance offer a higher level of durability. On the other hand, leather is known for comfort and durability. If you are looking for something easy to clean, faux leather is your best bet.
5. Consider the environment
Based on the type of floors you have in your workspace, you should decide on the dimensions, colors, and styles of the chair. For example, you should get a survival type if you have to move around your workspace to get access to different equipment.
If you have a small office, it is better that you opt for a chair that comes with a lower back. Lastly, you can go for a traditional or modern office chair based on your personal interest.
5 Tips to Choose the Right Conference Table
According to statistics, managers spend a lot of their time in business meetings. If you have a properly designed conference room, you can come up with great ideas and have great meetings and discussions. Apart from this, conference rooms may help create a business environment. Since no conference meeting can be complete without a conference table, make sure you invest in a good table. In this article, we are going to talk about 5 things that will help you make the best choice.
1. Room size
First of all, you may want to consider your room size. There should be plenty of room around the table. The idea is to allow everyone to walk about the room. Besides, make sure that doors and windows are also easily accessible. Similarly, if you have an audio-visual station in your office, make sure the room has enough space for it.
Another thing to consider is the seating capacity of the room. After all, you don’t want to end up with a conference table that won’t leave any space for chairs you need in the office. There should be enough elbow room for all of your clients and employees during a conference.
3. Power outlets
In a conference room, some common items include projectors, laptops, and mobile phones. Therefore, make sure that the power outlets in the room are in the right places. After all, you don’t want to end up with a lot of entangled wires and cords during a conference.
4. Design Aesthetic
You may want to consider the design aesthetic of your conference room before buying a conference table. Don’t forget to consider your current furniture articles as well. You can choose from a variety of table shapes, such as racetrack, boat-shape, rectangle, and circle, just to name a few.
Besides, you can ask yourself if you prefer classic or modern furniture. Color choices also matter. Therefore, you should either go for dark or bright colors.
Last but not least, make sure you stick to your budget limit when it comes to buying a conference table. You can choose from a variety of options based on your price range. Based on the size, material, and design of the table, you should make the right choice. Another way to make a choice is to check out review websites. These sites will allow you to check out a huge collection of furniture articles.
Long story short, if you are going to make a great conference room, we suggest that you follow the 5 things given in this article. This will help you choose something that will serve your needs and look great. Hope this helps.
You Can Start A Home Business Today
A successful home business takes careful planning. The information here will give you basic ideas that will help you get your home business off to a good start.
You need to be able to listen to your internal time clock if you work at home or own your own business. It’s true that there is very little that you can do about when your employer wants you to get up, but when you are in charge, try listening to your own body to determine when you should start your day.
Keep home and work communication separate. Don’t send work e-mails from your personal account. Consider getting a separate work phone line. If that is not an option, get caller ID. Don’t take personal calls while at work. Don’t take business calls after work hours. Politely ask friends and neighbors to call before coming to your door.
Before you venture into a home-based business, ask yourself why you want to start a business. Your reasons might include: you want to be your own boss; you want to express your own creativity; you want to supplement your income; or, it might be others. Your reasons for wanting to start a business will influence your decision on what type of business you start.
If you want to run a home business, you need the space to do it in. Make sure you have a quiet office, away from the noises of the rest of the house and family. Make sure your space includes a comfortable desk and chair, as well as adequate storage for your needs. Setting your office up right will make you a more effective worker.
Don’t walk into a home business blind! There are many online discussion forums designed for small business owners to discuss the unique obstacles in this field. Look locally for other small business and home business organizations that meet in person. Either way you go, networking with other business owners gives you an excellent support system.
If you want make some of the products you sell in your home business, take careful account of how much it costs to product it. Two times the cost of the raw material is typically the wholesale price of a product. Two times the cost of wholesale pricing is the cost of retail in many cases. If the final retail price is prohibitive you will struggle to shift the product.
While conducting business in your sleepwear can seem enjoyable at first, you may begin to miss the interaction that you had with coworkers and clients everyday at your previous job. Make plans to meet people at other places besides your home during the week to stay in touch, reinforce your personal connections and meet the need for interaction with others.
Learning from the valuable information above, you will increase your chances of achieving success in whatever home business you choose. Nowhere is it written that this will be easy, especially in the beginning, but hopefully, this article has given you a good jump-start toward success!
Kurt Tasche is an internet entrepreneur who writes articles on internet marketing tips, ways to make money online and personal development. You can read more articles like this on his blog: here