Three Steps to Make An Investment Plan | investing

If you invest you need an investment plan. Your chances of reaching your financial goals soar if your investments are based on sound principles and a written plan. Your chances for failure are increased exponentially with every investment planning step you fail to complete.The financial world changes rapidly. Markets go up, they go down. Economies change pace and business cycles fluctuate. Politics, monetary policy, and world events knock your finances off course at a rapid pace.A pilot has a plan before taking off. They run through a pre-flight checklist, make sure they know where they’re going, what to expect from the weather, and what time they need to leave to reach their destination.Can you imagine if your pilot didn’t have a plan? What is your backup if the weather pushes you off course? What if you have a mechanical issue and need to land somewhere else? Every pilot knows ahead of time how to deal with challenges.Investing can be complicated, confusing, and even scary. But a well structured investment plan can take the fear out of investing and keep you on track to reach your goals.Just how do you create an investment plan? Here’s a few short steps to get you well on your way to investing success! These are just a start however and there is much to be learned over time. I recommend reading “Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth” by Nick Murray and “The Only Guide To A Winning Investment Strategy You’ll Ever Need” by Larry Swedroe.
Define Your Goals. You need to know where your going to figuring out how to get there. What are you investing for? Retirement? The kids college? A large purchase? Once you define your goals you can calculate how much it will take to achieve them. Vanguard.com has some excellent investment calculators.
Create Your Investment Policy: An Investment Policy Statement (IPS) is a document which defines the parameters for which you’ll invest. It should be in writing and it’s a very important part of your investment plan management. It helps you avoid ad hoc revisions to an otherwise well thought out investment strategy and provides a framework for making wise investing decisions in the future. Your Investment Policy Statement should detail the types of investments you’ll own, how you’ll select the managers for your investments (which mutual funds or ETF’s may be purchase), how you’ll replace those investments when necessary, what percentages of which asset classes will be purchased, when you’ll need to draw income and how much, how you’ll manage and monitor your investments, when you’ll re-balance your portfolio.
Manage, Monitor and Maintain: Finally it’s not enough just to invest your money and forget about it! Investing takes time and you should schedule a portfolio investment review at least annually if not semi-annually.
Each investment review should track your current investment assets against a benchmark of where you should be in order to meet your goals. It should also prompt a fresh round of due diligence and an asset allocation check on your investments. Mutual funds or ETF’s which were once great may have fallen out of favor, and because the world changes so rapidly it’s a certainty that your asset allocation will have changed which may require adjusting.The important thing to remember is that if your investment plan was created properly up front, you should continue to have faith and confidence in it – yet the process will need to be monitored and refined. Make changes and adjustments over time as your financial situation changes, but never make emotional random changes in response to market fluctuations.

Wedding Day Transportation | transportation

Most soon-to-be-married couples think creatively when planning wedding transportation. When planning for wedding transportation it is very important to look at original ideas. Most couples making wedding plans, use the telephone book as the starting point, looking for the limousine service with the lowest prices. It is no doubt that using a limousine is very fitting transportation, but it is also the least creative. If you want your wedding day to stand out, you need to get creative. Some transportation challenges to look at prior to the wedding day are mentioned here as well as some alternative transportation ideas you may not have thought about.Don’t delay making the arrangements for the transportation for your wedding. These plans should be made at least six months to a year in advance of your wedding date. Planning the wedding transportation should be on your checklist right after your have finalized the location for the wedding ceremony and the reception, and once you have decided on the number of attendants you want in your wedding party. Why is planning the transportation so important? Well, the arrangement for the transportation has to do with the time it takes to move your wedding party from point A to point B and then to point C without leaving anyone behind as well as meeting the time schedule you have set.Begin with transporting the bridal party from where they will be dressing to the wedding ceremony.If you decide to transport the entire wedding party it may take multiple trips to get everyone to the reception. Concerns about transportation end once the wedding party arrives at the reception.Since all the logistics have been resolved it is now time to start the search for your wedding transportation. First, re-look at the wedding budget worksheet Looking at your wedding budget worksheet to check the amount of money set aside to cover transportation is the first step to take. The options for wedding transportation can be very expensive. Besides limousines, you can make a grand statement by being transported in a stretch Hummer or SUV, either of which can transport large groups. Classic or vintage cars are a stylish option. You may want to consider other ideas such as the use of a beautifully decorated horse-drawn carriage or a hot air balloon that would land on the driveway or lawn of the location of the ceremony. If your budget permits, make a dramatic entrance in a helicopter, or a less expensive alternative could be a motorcycle and side car. Really any transportation idea that you may have that fits with your theme is an idea worth investigating. Of course a personal vehicle is always a fine option and is the least expensive.Be sure to ask about wedding package deals like a free bottle of champagne, or transportation at the end of the evening. And always carefully review the contract before you sign. Verify that it states date, pick-up times, total costs and payment schedule, and any other details, the driver’s name and what he or she will wear, and the cancellation/refund policy.

The Live Sheep Trade, Live Cattle Trade and Live Goat Trade | Livestock

Australia is the world’s leading supplier of high quality live cattle, goat and sheep exports to countries around the world, in particular the Middle East and Asia.Many countries across these regions do not have the resources or geography to efficiently produce enough livestock to feed their population. Australia meets the demand for essential red meat protein by exporting livestock for food production and breeding, as well as chilled and frozen meat products.Australia currently exports chilled and frozen meat to the countries we export live animals to. They are complementary trades that serve different needs for the range of consumers in these countries.In many of these countries, tradition, religion and lack of refrigeration means they need to import live animals, which mostly supply traditional markets.In these same countries, our chilled and frozen meat products are sold to five star restaurants, hotel chains and for manufacturing or further processing. Both trades work together to feed people in the countries we export to, and are not interchangeable.The live export of sheep, cattle and goats provides a strong return to the Australian economy – an average of A$1 billion a year in export earnings for Australia since 2005-06 – and a recent report by the Centre of International Economics (CIE) found that 74%, or A$742 million, of these earnings go directly to Australian livestock producers.The CIE evaluation confirmed the significant flow-on benefits exporting live sheep, cattle and goats provides to livestock producers and regional economies, as well as the importance of the live trade in providing producers with access to the broadest possible range of markets.It found that without the trade saleyard prices would be 4% lower for grass fed cattle, 7.6% lower for lambs and 17.6% lower for older sheep, confirming that Australia’s livestock export industry provides benefits for all producers.In 2010 Australia’s livestock export industry provided an important additional market for sheep, cattle and goat producers while underpinning domestic livestock prices.2.978 million sheep were exported to key markets across the Middle East through the live sheep trade during 2010. The largest market was Kuwait, taking 1,076,455 head, followed by Bahrain with 515,731.In 2010 Australia’s live cattle export industry maintained its momentum, exporting 873,573 head with a value of A$679 million. While this volume is 8% down on 2009 figures, the value of Australia’s live cattle exports increased by A$17 million, resulting in industry’s highest ever live cattle export earnings.The cattle trade to the Middle East grew significantly, increasing 134% on 2009 figures. 226,547 head were exported to the Middle East, with figures boosted by the reopening of the trade to Egypt and the establishment of the cattle trade to Turkey. 56,441 cattle valued at A$48 million were exported to Egypt following the reopening of the trade. Live cattle exports to Turkey began in September, with 66,002 cattle exported valued at A$55 million.Despite a drop in volumes as a result of the Indonesian Government’s decision to place greater scrutiny on import volumes and reduce the number of import permits issued, Indonesia remained Australia’s largest market for live cattle taking 520,987 head, equal to 56% of all Australian cattle exports, followed by Turkey and China.In 2010 81,014 goats were exported, contributing $10 million dollars in export revenue. Malaysia remained the strongest market for live Australian goats, taking 67,675 – 83.5% of the total Australian goat exports.