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Cryptocurrencies: Reasons You Shouldn’t Ignore Bitcoin

If you’ve tried stocks, forex, and options, and you’re still not satisfied with with your investment returns, it might be time to take a look at cryptocurrencies. What the heck is a cryptocurrency? You’ve probably heard of one before and never realised its classification: Bitcoin.

What Is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital currency that’s based on an advanced algorithm that attempts to control the total or absolute number of Bitcoins in existence while also creating an opportunity for speculators who want to “mine” Bitcoins.

Like the gold rush of yesteryear, this new rush is for a commodity – a virtual commodity. It’s a new class of money that has seen its ups and downs but is still alive and kicking. If you spend enough time on Google, you will probably read about the failures of the system more than you’ll read about its successes. The incident with Mt. Gox is probably the most famous, and a blemish that Bitcoin fans and supporters often shy away from.

At the same time, Bitcoin has come under fire from regulators who want to control the cryptocurrency to make it safe for everyone. So far, regulations focus on the exchanges, controlling how they operate. This provides legitimacy to a sceptical investment audience that, until recently, didn’t know what to think about investing in Bitcoin.

GABI’s Capitalisation On Bitcoin

The Global Advisors Bitcoin Investment Fund is the first regulated investment fund that invests in Bitcoin. If you’re looking for a way into this arena, this is your ticket. The fund hopes to introduce the world to a safe way to invest in Bitcoin. Rather than buy Bitcoin yourself, you can buy into a fund which will manage transactions on your behalf. It’s still unclear whether the fund will take advantage of investing in trading platforms, because investing in Bitcoins directly seems to be the most profitable avenue right now.

Problems With Bitcoin

Bitcoin isn’t without its problems. Even with current regulations, many regulators and traders still point out the obvious fact that the currency has no physical commodity backing. While exchanges are regulated, the currency itself is not, and may never be.

Forex traders, for example, benefit by working on stable, secure, platforms like the Metatrader platform, where brokers are regulated and currency exchanges are standardised. With Bitcoin, so such infrastructure exists yet. But, companies like GABI hope to change that.

If it can pull this off, it will help lead the way in making Bitcoin an accepted worldwide currency that’s used for more than just underground purchases of drugs and other illicit products and services.

How To Invest

Many experts, like James Rickards and Jeffrey Robinson, advise against getting into mining for Bitcoins, especially now that the easy pickings are gone. Instead, they recommend investing in the companies that process transactions or investing in a fund that manages the buying and selling of Bitcoin.

That way, you have a layer of protection between you and the actual Bitcoin market. It also simplifies the process of investing, as you can invest in a currency you’re familiar with, like the pound, and let professionals manage the logistics of the exchange.

Alex Fletcher has kept an eye on bitcoin investing since the early days. A passionate writer, he likes to let others know the latest currency investing news and options. You can look for his helpful posts on a variety of blog sites today.

5 reasons you don’t need a car

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Good morning Loves.  I don’t actually have a car, I used to but I sold it and that was the best financial decision I ever made.  I bought a brand new Honda Civic in 2007 and I sold it three years later with less than 30,000 miles on it.  All that to say I didn’t use the car a lot; not only that but I didn’t need it.

Car payments are very expensive

BF and I live downtown in a big city and we bought the car for the sole reason that we didn’t have one.  We quickly learned that the benefit of the car wasn’t worth the $800 cost.  Yes you read that right.  With the car payment, and insurance costs along with the gas and parking expenses we were paying $800 a month for our car.  I admit it was nice to have when we wanted to take a weekend road trip to Boston, New York or Toronto but the overall benefits weren’t worth the monthly expense.

You can take the less convenient route

Some days I miss my car; I miss it when I have to walk home in the rain, I miss it when I need to get somewhere really quickly and walking there is going to take me more time than I’m actually going to spend at the destination and I really miss the car when I have a lot of groceries to carry.  Although the convenience of having a car is nice, I just can’t justify the costs and other headaches that come with the car.

There’s a cheaper option

I liked having the car over the last two weeks because we needed it for a specific purpose, it was super convenient to drive around town and the neighboring suburbs going to Target, Wal-Mart and grocery shopping.  The entire two week car rental only cost us $360 plus $140 in gas and $30 in parking; that’s a lot less than the $800 we were paying when we had the Honda.

Think about the environment

I’m a very impatient person and there’s nothing I hate more than wasting time.  I don’t like sitting in a traffic jam with the car running or sitting at a red light waiting for my turn to turn left.  Not only is it a waste of time but it’s also a waste of gas and it’s incredibly bad for the environment.  As I sit in a car with the engine running, not moving I can’t help but think about all the pollution I’m sending out into the air as well as all the money I’m wasting on gas.

It’s OK if you need it for a specific purpose

Don’t make the same mistake I did and buy a car just because you don’t have one and think you should.  With our move October 1st BF and I rented a car for two weeks.  Our new apartment is a lot bigger than our previous living space so we knew we’d have to run a lot of errands to run such as groceries, furniture and household supplies.  It was really nice to have a car over the last two weeks but at the same time I was happy to return it Sunday night.

Photo from Flickr

Your dream kitchen isn’t far off

If you are a foodie or you love cooking or just love good interior designs at home, either ways you must be planning to create that dream kitchen. A good kitchen is an essential part of the house and therefore there is a lot of thought and planning that should go into it. The planning has to be intricate and comes into life progressively as it passes through the various planning stages. There are several factors that one has to bear in mind, the important ones being design, finance, construction consultants and periodic renovation checks.

At the preliminary level, of course design seems of paramount importance. Advanced modular kitchens not only aim to look stunning but are space efficient and convenient. The most popular design, keeping these three factors in mind, is the triangular setup. With the cooking station, cooling station and baking station being placed at the three vertices of the triangle. The design also depends on whether you are building your kitchen from scratch or renovating it. And in the latter case what is the extent of the renovation? It is always a good idea to borrow expertise from an architectural draught person. They can help you maximise you floor space and working station, and spare good advice on material, design feature. The essentials of a good design are based on the pivotal idea of optimising on light, heat and other energy sources.

The next move would be to appoint a good builder as he/she would be responsible for bringing the idea into life. See, you need to like your builder because if you don’t get along well together the task gets more uphill. You need to be open to critical opinions, be it good or bad. The builder should have good experience as that makes him all the more reliable. And finally the overall work ethics that includes their presentation, mannerism, dressing and the way they talk.

You would be obviously worried about the budgeting bit therefore that is another aspect which requires a lot of calculations.  For the basics, like building charges and consultation charges, go for Fixed Price Quotes and save yourself from the hassles of haggling. But when it comes to the more luxurious bit of your kitchen, ply ware, utensils and electronic ware, why not explore online?

Making purchases online has several benefits, some of them being saving money, saving yourself from the hassle of going through stores after stores to find the perfect thing and having the hugest collection of everything, just a  click away. Also when it comes of budgeting, sites like Chameleonjohn.com offer coupons that can add to your savings and ease of shopping. Coupons available at ChameleonJohn are particularly handy in buying decorative pieces for your kitchen as they have a huge array retailers enlisted with them.

As the process progresses and you see your dream kitchen shaping up, please be wary of certain risks especially if you are still occupying the house while the renovation is going on. And welcome home the new beauty.

The Big Move: Taxi Truck Packing Tips and Tricks

You’re moving. It’s an exciting, but also dangerous, time in your life. Dangerous? Yes. While many Australians use taxi trucks to haul their belongings from their old home to their new home, there’s the inherent risk of damaging your belongings during the move. If you hire movers, the risk increases exponentially. Here’s how to limit the damage and keep most of your stuff intact.

Get The Right Packing Materials

The right packing materials make all the difference. In general, the lighter the packing material, the better. So, opt for foam peanuts or air bags. But, when it comes to protecting large pieces of furniture from dings and scratches, use special mover’s blankets or just buy really thick padded blankets.

Mover’s blankets are special blankets that contain sections of padding that won’t bunch up in one part of the blanket. When you cover your furniture with this stuff, it will prevent minor and even moderate scratches, chips, dings, and other damage.

Hire The Right Taxi

Getting the right taxi for the job is another important step in the moving process. Not only do you need to hire a taxi truck service that can accommodate your move, you need a taxi that’s big enough to haul all of your things.

Some taxi services don’t do a very good job with long-distance moves. Other services will actually provide land, air, and sea (as well as customs) services if you’re moving out of the country. The taxi itself needs to physically accommodate you too.

If you get one that’s a bit too small, you’ll be cramming your stuff in there and hoping it doesn’t break – better to buy one that’s slightly oversized than undersized.

Prep The Cab

Pack the cab of the taxi with tools for taking down and reassembling furniture. You’ll want to have a lot things like screwdrivers and socket wrenches as well as sockets and allen wrenches. Also, put anything that’s super-delicate up front so that it doesn’t get smashed in the back accidentally.

Use Clothes To Pad Furniture

Another idea that will greatly reduce the number of boxes you have to pack is to use clothes to pad other items. Let’s say you’re moving a lot of trinkets and other delicate items. Rather than buy additional padding, use your clothes as padding. Simply wrap up delicates in a t-shirt or two, and you’ve saved yourself the added expense of additional boxes, padding, and possibly reduced the size of the taxi you need.

Move The Furniture Yourself

You can hire movers, but moving the furniture yourself is going to be the least expensive option. Of course, if you are physically incapable of moving the furniture, then by all means hire a professional. For example, a couch might be tough to move yourself unless you have a few friends to help you. But, a full-sized piano is nearly impossible to move unless you’re very strong.

Load The Heaviest Items And Appliances First

Load heavy items, like refrigerators, stoves, and dishwashers first. Put them at the back of the taxi, near the cab. Why? Because, if you have to stop suddenly, it will lessen the probability of these things shifting and sliding.

Always Buy Insurance

Even the best packing in the world won’t guarantee all of your belongings a safe passage to your new home. Renter’s and homeowner’s cover often doesn’t apply to moving, so you’ll have to buy a special moving policy.

Some moving agencies, and even taxi rental agencies, will tell you it’s unnecessary. But, as will anything else in life, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Katie Coupp is married to a serviceman and moves a lot. When she finally gets settled, she likes to blog about her hectic life in the hope that it helps others to also cope.