StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Crucial Investing Tips for 2018

In the early days of 2018, it’s a good time to consider what’s the same and what’s new as the new year unfolds. With investing specifically, some basic principles remain unchanged, but there are some new kids on the block to pay attention to as well.

Let’s dive right in with a few investing tips for 2018.

Crypto Currencies

Everyone is curious about crypto currencies right now. With the sudden rise in Bitcoin during 2017 and other digital currencies being discussed like Ethereum and LiteCoin, there’s certainly good speculative money to be made. The old idea of “buying on the dips” is likely to prove useful to handle the ups and downs of these internet currencies.

Just be careful about the fees involved with each purchase as small batch sizes sometimes, especially in the case of Bitcoin, become quite expensive to complete. Be aware of how you’re buying the bitcoin and where it’s being stored too.

While it’s common to use an intermediary to make the purchase, it’s possible to hold a balance in a digital wallet like Electrum which is open-source and cross-platform (they have multiple desktop client and mobile apps too). This way, it’s not tied to a digital wallet provider and not at risk from the digital currency robberies that have taken place previously; this is the way Bitcoin was originally intended and set up where an intermediate was not required.

Fast-moving NASDAQ Technology Stocks

NASDAQ stocks are primarily technology based. They’re often quite expensive, but they go through periodic price adjustments where there’s often good opportunities to pick up bargains. At stateschronicle.com, they cover NASDAQ stocks that have recently fallen in price and are worth researching ahead of a possible purchase. Obviously, always perform your own due diligence before diving in.

Re-balancing a Portfolio

When setting up a portfolio, you create allocations for each planned asset class. These are based on your level of equity exposure that you’re comfortable with along with a sensible mix of non-correlated assets where some zig when others zag in the markets. Balancing a portfolio in this manner helps to mitigate steep moves upwards (or downwards) and smooths out the bumps.

For instance, in 2017 U.S. stocks had a banner year having risen over 21 percent. However, investors who put an equal amount into international stocks would have enjoyed over 27 percent return on their foreign investments. A 50/50 split would have achieved 24.5 percent return pre-costs.

 

Rebalancing a portfolio is a semi-regular action that sells down investments that have risen in price and buys more of what has been in the doldrums. While it may seem counterintuitive to sell your winners, the idea is to keep reasonably close to your planned asset allocation while avoiding any whipsaw with inflated investments coming crashing down. By rebalancing, the accepted risk levels of a portfolio are maintained too.

Investing in 2018 isn’t much different to other years except there are more opportunities for smaller investors to buy different types of alternative investments including dabbling in digital currencies. Keeping a sensible eye on maintaining a proper balance to your portfolio avoids overdoing things.

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article

How to Get a Work-Life Balance When Working at Home

Although there are many advantages to working from home, there can also be problems associated with trying to work in the same place you live. Not only do you need to make sure you get all your work completed, but you also want to spend time with your family. Here are some of the ways you can try to achieve a better work/life balance.

Set Yourself a Schedule

When you are working from home, it can be easy to just pop into the office room and answer a few emails. However, if you do that, you will find yourself doing it more often, with opening a couple of emails to replying to them and then working a few extra hours – just because. It is important that you stick to a schedule, so create one that sets out your day carefully and includes an end to your work. Allow yourself time to work, but also make sure that you only spend set hours in the office. If you are working for someone else, then it is important that you are honest and clear about the hours you work from the beginning of your employment.

Give Yourself Space You Need

While you can set up your office area anywhere in your house, it can make a lot of difference if you need peace and quiet. Ideally, you need a room to yourself that you can use as an office, then you can close the door, and the others in the house will know you’re working. Alternatively, you can always look at mobile offices that you can set up in the garden. It will give you a dedicated space, and it won’t take up a room in your home.

Work Smarter Not Harder

There are some that believe you have to work all the hours you can to be successful. While you need to put in the hours to do a good job, you don’t have to spend the whole day and night in the office. By doing the things you need to do efficiently, you can get far more work completed in less time. If you have a lot of jobs to do, consider taking on a virtual assistant that can help you with the routine tasks.

Learn to Say No

It can be easy just to continue to do a thing for your clients or your boss without thinking about what it means to your family. You are not obliged to work 24 hours a day, so you should learn to say no when they are asking things that are unreasonable. If you have set hours of work, then it makes it easier to say you are not available. If you have a mobile phone for your work, then you need to make sure you turn it off when you are not available. People can leave you a message, and you can get back to them later.

There are many people who love working from home and still manage to fit both home and work life into their day. All you need is a little planning and to learn to say no when you aren’t available.

StrategyDriven Practices for Professional Article

Highly Effective Habits That Make You More Productive at Work

Whether you are a business owner or an executive, staying effective at work can be a challenge. There will be times when you are less productive and can’t seem to focus on the tasks in hand. Other times you cannot do things correctly and keep making unnecessary mistakes.

After speaking to a lot of successful entrepreneurs and professionals, we discovered that this issue can be solved by developing a few effective habits. We are going to take a look at those habits in this article.

Develop a Morning Routine

Having a solid morning routine is a must. It helps prepare the brain for a busy day ahead and it allows you to enjoy little, pleasant things as you start the day. Some entrepreneurs love to start the day by having a cup of coffee and reading the news. You can tailor your Google News feed based on your interests or catch up with the latest financial news from America Herald online.

Remember that you are free to develop a morning routine that works for you. You can add a short exercise – a 30-minute walk or jog can be very refreshing in the morning – and fine-tune every part of the morning routine to suit you personally. The only thing to keep in mind is staying consistent. You want the brain to know, unconsciously, that the morning routine means it is time to start the day.

Work in Short Bursts

Staying focused for a long period of time can be challenging, which is why it is often better to work in short bursts. Most entrepreneurs love to work for 30 minutes, and then take a break for 15 minutes before repeating the cycle. Others opt for shorter bursts with a longer break between them.

The time you allocate for working doesn’t matter. What matters is that you devote your entire attention and energy to getting some work done during those short bursts. You will be surprised by how much more productive you can be, even when the day is a difficult one to handle.

You can also use the breaks for productive yet relaxing activities. You can read books, check the latest news and updates, or deal with easier tasks that also help you refresh.

Get Enough Rest

Going the extra mile and working long hours are very tempting, especially when you’re trying to get your business or your career of the ground. That said, spending 5 out of 5 workdays a week working late is not necessarily something you want to do if you want to stay productive in the long run.

Keeping a balanced life is still important. In fact, multiple studies have shown that professionals who are able to maintain a more balanced life are also more productive at work. When it is time to leave the office, stop worrying about work and shut that part of your brain for a moment. Focus on leisure activities or getting enough rest instead so that you are ready for the challenges that come tomorrow.

These habits are easy to get into with a bit of practice, but they are known to be very effective in helping you become more productive at work. Give them a try and be sure to share your experience in the Comments section below!

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article

How to Turn Traveling the World into a Career

It’s a story everyone has heard and maybe even experienced a hundred times before – the hard worker desperate to escape their monotonous corporate life to pursue adventure in far off lands. Each of us has at least a seed of wanderlust waiting to grow and tempt us away from routine and stability. The biggest obstacle people face when torn between staying and leaving is usually their finances. How do you expect to support yourself and perhaps your family while you give in to your dreams of chasing the horizon?

Think Carefully

The romance of fleeing the stifling regularity of living in one place and sailing off into the sunset could come crashing down when you are suddenly struck by how much you miss your own shower or bed, so make sure you’re mentally prepared for your trips. Take a few weeks to think about your reasons for traveling – do you want to experience more of the world? Are you seeking excitement and new stories to tell? Or are you simply a bit bored and could easily cheer yourself up with a short holiday? Before spending a lot of money on tickets and hotels, check with yourself that you won’t regret it once you’re halfway across the world.

Get Organized and Explore Your Options

Now that you’ve thought about it carefully and got the right vaccinations, make sure to plan at least a little bit ahead, even if the lack of schedule is precisely why you want to travel. Decide on a few key locations and do your research. There are sites dedicated to helping you on your journey such as www.mrhudsonexplores.com where you can learn from the experiences of others before venturing out for yourself. Focus on the reasons you are traveling and make them marketable. Here are a few examples to inspire you:

• Foodies can get in touch with businesses to blog about the restaurants they visit in different countries.

• Backpackers and hikers are sought after by companies that sell travel products because they make great spokespeople for reviewing the equipment. You would be paid to test their gear and write about it to boost their sales.

• You can find work abroad teaching English as a foreign language.

• Working in the travel or tourism industry will allow you to visit new places while being paid. Cruise ships are especially good at offering a wide variety of jobs – chefs, hairdressers, entertainers, bartenders – the list is endless.

• Hotels also require a vast range of staff. Working in an international hotel will give you opportunities to live in exciting places and contribute to the fun of other people’s vacations.

• If you consider yourself very knowledgeable about the places you love, why not become a tour guide? Share your passion for the place by teaching others all about it. You will be paid to work in your favorite locations while getting to know them more intimately.

Look online for companies willing to sponsor you to travel for them or simply apply for jobs where ships, planes or hotels are involved. Everyone has skills that would be valuable abroad, so find out what yours are and book them a seat on your next flight.

Gear up for the Holidays: Get a Head Start on your New Year Resolution Today!


It is that time of the year when you start thinking about the holidays. Finding just the right clothes for all those year-end do’s. Buying presents. Binging and letting yourself go. And of course then comes the inevitable New Year resolution to lose those post-holiday bulges and welcome a fitter you. This year why not try something new? Advance your New Year resolution and get that gym membership now! Without the pressure of living up to a New Year’s promise and competing with all those fabulous Instagram gym updates from friends, you might actually make use of that membership. Besides, you end up looking fabulous for the parties and might even skip piling on the pounds during the holidays! We at consolidate times have compiled a handy checklist that will help you get started and stay motivated right into the New Year!

1. Do the research

You know all those times when you started on a mission to get fit and it did not work out? This time don’t allow that to happen. Load up on the information before you start so that you won’t get dispirited by minor bumps and plateaus. First you need to understand your body type and what routines will work best for you. A certified trainer can help you with that. Secondly, don’t fall for the fad diet craze. What works best for a health regimen is a nutritious, balanced diet that is designed keeping your body and your tastes in mind. Get all the information you can and then talk to your trainer about customising the diet that you know you can stick to. And be sure to include some basic life style changes that will help you on the journey to fitness.

2. Indulge in some shopping

Nothing perks you up quite like a good-intentioned round of shopping for yourself! You are getting ready for a new you – be sure you have the right outfit for it! A fitness routine can greatly benefit from proper tracking. Go ahead and buy that latest fitness tracker you have been lusting after! And while you are at it, invest in some brand new training apparel and shoes too. There is nothing like being fully equipped when you start off on a mission! Now you can guilt – read motivate – yourself to get out of bed when the alarm goes off in the morning without hitting snooze.

3. Set clear goals

You know this is just a beginning. So don’t think about dropping two dress sizes by Christmas. Discuss with your trainer what is do-able by New Year and stick to it. And then discuss the plan for after the New Year bashes. Setting realistic expectations and practical timelines will give you greater chances of sticking to the routine. Also, the small successes you encounter on the way will fuel you up for the longer ride ahead!

4. Find a partner in crime

If you have a like-minded partner to join you in this endeavour you have greater chances of sticking it out! Don’t try to enlist your entire friends’ circle – that could end up counterproductive. Find that one person who is as motivated as you and you can make sure neither suffers a slump as you take it one day at a time all the way to New Year’s!

5. Push yourself

Now that you have made a commitment, make sure you stick to it! Reminders on your phone, Post-Its on the fridge, public pledges in a family group, a couple of supporters who call up to enquire if you have worked out today – do everything it takes to prod you to go forward! Once you move past the initial phase, you will need less reminders and you can begin to take pride in yourself and your body.

Get started now and when everyone else is still thinking about New Year resolutions, you will find yourself miles ahead! Happy holidays!