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Roads to Riches With Feng Shui

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When I first started this column, one of the earliest issues I addressed was the misconception most people have about Feng Shui and Wealth. If there are two things in this world that can make people try anything, it is money and love. Feng Shui, unfortunately, has been used as a means to sell people all kinds of items, in the name of helping them acquire more of one and find the other.

So this week, I want to talk about what ‘wealth’ means in classical Feng Shui, and what is the rationale behind certain common practices that have become associated with ‘wealth enhancement’. By understanding these basic fundamentals and appreciating the philosophy of Feng Shui, I hope that people will then be able to understand how to respond when they are faced with a ‘Feng Shui’ wealth-enhancing claim, or offered a magic ‘Wealth’ formula.

Think Vibrant Qi, not Wealth

The word ‘Wealth’ has sort of crept into the technical vocabulary of Feng Shui. Feng Shui practitioners use it as a short-form to explain the outcome of using certain energies or sectors in a property. Rather than getting all technical, they cut to the chase. Somewhere along the way, the concept of ‘Wealth Sector’ turned up. As I have said in my previous article on this subject, Feng Shui doesn’t actually in any of the classics speak directly of ‘Wealth’ or ‘Money’. So a Feng Shui magic money-making formula is something that should definitely make you ask question rather than reach for your wallet.

What then do the classics like Di Li Bian Zheng speak off? They speak of ‘Prosperous Qi’ (or Wang Qi) and means of identifying where Prosperous Qi resides. They speak of techniques and methods for gathering the Qi, and avoiding or transforming negative Sha Qi.

The Book of Burial (one of the oldest classics on Feng Shui), by Kuo Pu, which explores the central tenets of Feng Shui, says Qi gathers at the boundaries of water, and is dispersed by wind. It does not say, MONEY appears wherever there is an aquarium. It does not say, put 8 goldfish into the aquarium and you will inherit a thousand/million bucks. It does not say anything about ships of gold, paw-waving kitty cats above cash registers and building a fountain in your backyard.

Getting the Vibrant Qi

Feng Shui, like many Chinese Metaphysical sciences, is one of those practices in which complexity and simplicity are embedded within each other. You need to understand the basics to appreciate the complex formulas. But at the same time, mugging formulas and being able to recite them by heart, without understanding the fundamentals of Feng Shui, is of no benefit either. That is why formula books are not the answer to successfully applying Feng Shui, because without an understanding of the fundamentals, the formula is just a bunch of numbers. A cookie recipe doesn’t make much sense to a person who doesn’t know how to bake.

When it comes to using Feng Shui to enhance Wealth opportunities, first, we need to understand the type of Qi that can promote Wealth opportunities. In Feng Shui, we need to locate the ‘Prosperous Qi’. To the average lay person, this is usually called ‘Yang Qi’. However, Feng Shui practitioners refer to it by its more technical name, ‘Prosperous Qi’ or ‘Wang Qi'(in Chinese) because Qi can be classified into 5 types of Qi, according to its timeliness and at the professional level, it is important to know exactly what type of Qi and what stage of timeliness it is at.

I must dispel the notion that ‘Prosperous Qi’ can be somehow ‘created’. You cannot ‘create’ Prosperous Qi by making an area more ‘Yang’, say by putting red lights or bright lights in a certain area. The Qi has to have the Prosperous quality in the first place, based on the time period. Remember, in Feng Shui, it is about what is natural, and prevailing in the environment that we are interested in, not the artificial or the man-made. In any case, you cannot simply decide that you want your Front Door to be where the Prosperous Qi is located and try to force the situation. The location of the Prosperous Qi is not dictated by convenience, but by the Qi map, as derived from the calculations. The name of the game is to work with what you have, without having to make costly and needless aesthetic changes to your house that make it obvious you are trying to ‘Feng Shui’ the place!

The location of the Prosperous Qi is determined through two methods: through calculations based on the direction of the property, such as Eight Mansions or Xuan Kong Flying Stars and through evaluation of natural environmental features. Usually, calculation-based methods are used for Interior Feng Shui and the environmental features observation method, known as Forms, is used for External Feng Shui.

So for example, we want to locate the Prosperous Qi in a house that is facing the South 2 direction. The Prosperous Qi of the house is located where the Facing Star #8 position is. Each house of course will have its own Prosperous Qi location and the role of the practitioner is to locate this Prosperous Qi area.

As the location of the Prosperous Qi is different, based on the Qi map of the property, as derived by the calculations, it is a fallacy to think that there is a standard universal ‘Wealth Direction’ for everyone. There isn’t – it depends on your house direction. Now, you might notice that not everyone living on the same row as you (with houses facing the same direction!) is equally rich and wealthy. In the Feng Shui context, the external forms still have to be taken in consideration. But there is also the Destiny context – a person who lives in a house with a direction personalized to his/her Destiny will definitely have an edge over a person’s with a house that is less in-tune with his/her BaZi.

Once the location of the Prosperous Qi has been pinpointed, the Qi must be activated. Locating an activity room (such as the television room or living room) in this sector is one way of stimulating the Prosperous Qi in a location. Placing a Main Door in the Prosperous Qi location is also a form of activating Prosperous Qi to a suitable area. Sometimes, for the purposes of activating the Qi, Feng Shui consultants recommend clients place Water in certain locations. It is purely to activate the Qi. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Water itself or fish in the water, but the Yang quality of the Water. Water, even when still, is always moving because the molecules continue to move. The fish just help to keep the Water active and also, provide some aesthetic appearance.

When you have the right type of Qi at hand, then you need to collect that Qi. There’s no point in having the Wealth stars in the right location on the Flying Star chart, or locating the sector of Prosperous Qi, if the Qi cannot collect. This is where the landform of the environment, and the internal forms of the property, make all the difference. An extremely important aspect of Qi collection is having a good Bright Hall or Ming Tang as it is known in Chinese.

A Bright Hall is not a hallway with a lot of lights. Nor is it present because your porch happens to be well-lit or you have a 100 bulb chandelier in your house. If this is what a Bright Hall is, all the shops selling lights would be minting it! Instead, a Bright Hall is a broad spacious and open area that enables Qi to settle and collect. Ideally, a property should have three Bright Halls, in tandem with the principle of Three Divide, Three Harmony (the San Fen San He formation).

Having it, making it and keeping it

Making more money and having more wealth opportunities is not just a case of fixing your Feng Shui. Your personal Destiny Code comes into the equation as well. Feng Shui cannot fix or give you what you do not have (in your Destiny) in the first place. So, you may need to re-align or moderate your goals, adjust your perspective, change your attitude, and see how Feng Shui can help you, within the path that Destiny has laid out for you. Sometimes that means having realistic expectations. Sometimes, that means being prepared for hardship or be willing to take on certain challenges. Sometimes, that means adjusting the timing of your plans.

I might add, being rich does not mean you have great wealth. It means you have the capacity to make money, and keep it for long enough to enjoy it. And even where people have the capacity and destiny for great wealth, that does not guarantee that they will actually become rich, or fulfill their destiny.

Yes, you read it right. Some people actually do not fulfill their Destiny!

A Destiny chart may show a tremendous capacity for wealth or opportunity for wealth, but it will not become a reality if the person is unwilling to do what it takes to achieve his/her Destiny. BaZi tells you that you can be rich, but it does not always also say, it will come easy. There are no short-cuts in life!

Why does Bill Gates still go to work every day? Has being the richest man in Asia stopped Li Ka Shing from continuing to pursue business opportunities? Destiny is but one part of the equation. Being willing to take the chance, make the sacrifice, face the challenges – that is the other component. Some people have a Destiny that demands hardship, great personal sacrifice, even going through bankruptcy, divorce, bad relationships, bitter family ties, before they can emerge to see the pot of gold at the end of the proverbial rainbow.

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Source by Joey Yap

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Where to Find Those Efficient and Hardworking Affiliates?

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Everyone wants a hardworking affiliate, employee, associate, partner, or even spouse, and why not? It’s the next best thing to doing the work yourself. However with the massive outbreak of work and income opportunities available online, how can you beat everyone else and find that one (or more) ideal person who will make your online business explode with success? Here are some of the most ingenious and uncommon ways to snag the idea affiliates for your affiliate program

Direct Sales Agents

Direct sales people are really one of the most enterprising, hard-working individuals in business. They mostly work on commissions or rebates and are willing to literally go door-to-door offering their products to anyone and everyone they bump into. Imagine how much easier their job would be if they could be an affiliate and simply work via the Internet and a mobile device or desktop.

Also, most direct sales people tend to carry more than one brand in their product arsenal so signing up as an affiliate would be almost the same type of work but using a different approach.

Colleges and Universities

Many college kids would be interested in a part-time income opportunity if it would mean funds to help pay for their education, loan, or partying. All you have to do is make sure to offer them products they can endorse as a student.

Freelancers

Did you know that the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest annual report show that 75% of U.S. businesses used freelancers in 2011? Freelancers earned a whopping US$990 billion in 2011 which is a 4.1% increase from the previous year. The only industries where the number of freelancers decreased were in insurance, finance, and construction. Most probably your affiliate program isn’t a part of these 3 industries.

Furthermore, online business and finance experts are predicting the growth to increase incrementally every year even with an economy that is improving. People just want income security and more control over their earnings. With the spate of lay-offs, it’s understandable why many would prefer to work as an affiliate than as an employee.

Scout For Them At Affiliate Conventions

There are annual affiliate conventions held in different cities around the country. You should try to catch one when it is held somewhere near your location. The average turn-out for these types of conventions has increased regularly over the years. Last year, many of them were sold out weeks before the event.

Advertise!

The US Census Bureau has said that as of 2012, 15% of Americans are poor, 43% of young adults depend on their parents to some extent for money. Even more surprising is that the median income of young adults in 1982 was $31,583 and last year it was $30,604 for the same age group! Income is dropping and people are looking for ways to earn additional income outside of their 9 to 5 jobs. That’s where you can come in playing the hero and helping others realize their dream income.

Finally, go online and talk about your product. Make the affiliate marketers come to you and have the luxury of picking the best candidates. You will need some help in marketing your affiliate program so target a marketer who’s experienced in affiliate program and SEO.

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Source by Lina Stakauskaite

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Recession Is Here… Six Costly Mistakes Home Sellers Make During Recessions And How To Avoid Them

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The U.S. is officially in a recession. What is a recession? A recession is a business cycle contraction or general economic decline due to significant drop in spending and other commercial activities. Most pundits and politicians will blame Covid-19 crisis for the recession, but even pre-Covid-19 the proverbial writing was on the wall.

The U.S. had over 120 months of economic growth, which was the longest expansion in the modern history. Other indicators, such as negative yield spread on treasuries (long term bonds having lower interest rates than short term T-notes), were pointing to an imminent change of the economic cycle and an impending recession. The only real question was: when and how bad?

Then Covid-19 came… If the cycle was going to change anyway, Covid-19 acted as a huge and unexpected accelerant to make the recession much more immediate and severe.

Inevitably during recessions all classes of real estate, including residential homes and condominiums, will be negatively impacted as lower consumer spending and higher unemployment rates affect real estate prices and marketing times.

Here are the six costly mistakes home and other real property sellers make during recessions and how to avoid them:

Mistake #1: This will pass and real estate market will be hot again soon

First thing to remember is that real estate cycles are much longer than general economic cycles. Even if the general economy recovers, which eventually it always does, a typical real estate cycle takes as long as 10 to 15 years. The cycle has four key stages: Top, Decline, Bottom and Rise.

Let us consider the last real estate cycle, which lasted approximately 14 years:

  • 2006 – Prices hit the Top
  • 2006 to 2012 – Prices Decline
  • 2012 – Prices hit the Bottom (Trough)
  • 2012 to 2019 – Prices Rise*
  • 2020 – Prices hit the Top
  • 2020 to? – Prices Decline

*NOTE: In 2016 the national residential real estate price index reached its pre-recession 2006 peak levels. It took 10 years for the real estate market to recover.

The way to avoid this mistake is to recognize that real estate cycles take years to run and plan accordingly. Additionally, nobody knows for sure when the prices will hit the top or bottom until after the fact.

Mistake #2: Low interest rates will make the economy and real estate market rebound

Between 2006 and 2011 the interest rates (Fed Funds) were continuously cut by the Federal Reserve Board and went from low 5% to almost 0%. However, that did not stop the real estate recession and depreciation of property values.

Undoubtedly, low interest rates made the economic decline and real estate recession less severe and saved some properties from foreclosures, but it still took six painful years for the real estate market to hit the bottom and then four more years for the prices to go back to their pre-recession levels.

Some markets had never fully recovered. For example, residential home prices in some parts of California, Arizona and Nevada are still below their 2006 highs.

To avoid this mistake, one needs to realize that although low interest rates help stimulate the economy and the real estate market, they do not cure them.

Mistake #3: I don’t need to sell now, so I don’t care

If you do not need to sell until the cycle plays out, which typically is over ten years, then you will not be as affected, especially if you have a strong equity position, limited mortgage debt, and solid liquid assets.

However, it is good to keep in mind that “life happens” and either professional or personal circumstances can change and we may need to sell property before the downturn runs its course.

Furthermore, if a property has a mortgages and its value declines to the point being “upside down,” meaning the mortgage loan balance exceeds the value of the property, then the options of selling, refinancing or even obtaining an equity line of credit, will be significantly limited.

This does not mean that everybody should be rushing into selling their real estate if there is no need to do so, just keep in mind that circumstances may and often do change and property options will be affected, so plan in advance. As one wise proverb says: “Dig your well before your thirst.”

Mistake #4: I’m selling, but I won’t sell below my “bottom line” price

This is a common and potentially very costly mistake. Generally speaking, every seller wants to sell for the highest price and every buyer wants to pay the lowest price. That’s nothing new. When selling real estate, most sellers want to achieve a certain price point and/or have a “bottom line.”

However, it is important to understand that the market does not care what the Seller, or his/her Agent, think the property value should be at. The market value is a price a willing and able buyer will pay, when a property is offered on an open market for a reasonable amount of time.

Overpricing property based on Seller’s subjective value or what is sometimes called an “aspirational price,” especially in a declining market, is a sure first step to losing money. When a property lingers on the market for an extended period of time, carrying costs will continue to accumulate and property value will depreciate in line with the market conditions.

Additionally, properties with prolonged marketing times tend to get “stale” and attract fewer buyers. The solution is to honestly assess your selling objectives, including the desired time-frame, evaluate your property’s attributes and physical condition, analyze comparable sales and market conditions, and then decide on market-based pricing and marketing strategies.

Mistake #5: I will list my property for sale only with Agent who promises the highest price

Real estate is a competitive business and real estate agents compete to list properties for sale which generate their sales commission incomes. It is not unusual that Seller will interview several agents before signing an exclusive listing agreement and go with the agent who agrees to list the property at the highest price, often regardless if such price is market-based.

Similarly to Mistake #4, this mistake can be very damaging to Sellers, as overpriced properties stay on the market for extended periods of time costing Sellers carrying expenses such as mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance.

Furthermore, there is the “opportunity cost” since the equity is “frozen,” and it cannot be deployed elsewhere till the property is sold. However, the most expensive cost is the loss of property value while the real estate market deteriorates.

During the last recession, we have seen multiple cases where overpriced properties stayed on the market for years and ended up selling for 25% to 40% below their initial fair market values.

The solution is to make sure that your pricing strategy is based on the market, not empty promises or wishful thinking.

Mistake #6: I will list my property only with Agent who charges the lowest commission

Real estate commission rates are negotiable and not set by law. A commission usually represents the highest transactional expense in selling real properties and is typically split between Brokers and Agents who work on the transaction

Some real estate agents offer discounted commissions, in order to induce Sellers to list their properties with them. But does paying a discounted commission ensure savings for the Seller? Not necessarily.

For example, if the final sales price is 5% to 10% below property’s highest market value, which is not that unusual, due to inadequate marketing, bad pricing strategy, and/or poor negotiation skills, it will easily wipe out any commission savings and actually cost the Seller tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenues.

The solution is to engage an agent who is a “Trusted Advisor,” not just a “Salesperson.” A Trusted Advisor will take his/her time and effort to do the following: 1) Perform Needs Analysis: listen and understand your property needs and concerns; 2) Prepare Property Analysis: thoroughly evaluate your property and market conditions; 3) Execute Sales and Marketing Plan: prepare and implement custom sales and marketing plan for your property; and 4) Obtain Optimal Results: be your trusted advocate throughout the process and achieve the best possible outcome.

Finding such a real estate professional may not be always easy, but it certainly is worth the effort and will pay off at the end.

In conclusion, this article has outlined six costly mistakes real estate Sellers make during recessions and how to avoid them. The first mistake is not understanding that real estate cycles are long and take years. The second mistake is a misconception that low interest rates alone will create a recovery. Another mistake is not realizing that circumstances may change and not planning in advance. Mistakes number four, five and six pertain to understanding the market value, proper pricing and selecting the right real estate professional.

By understanding and avoiding these mistakes, real estate Sellers have significantly better chances of minimizing the negative impact of a recession while selling their properties.

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Source by Robert W. Dudek

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Useful Tips To Build The Best Gaming Computer

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Every gamer will want their computer to be the best gaming computer among their peers. Sometimes, with a little knowledge and tips and tricks, it is possible to build the best gaming computer and show it off to your peers. This article will show you how:

1) You can’t get the best gaming computer from computer retailers

If you want to get the best gaming computer, you have to build your own. Different gamers have different requirement for their gaming machine. Unless you are willing to pay a high price, you will not be able to buy a commercial computer that fulfills all your gaming needs. The only option you have is to build your own gaming computer.

2) You don’t have to be rich to build the best gaming computer

It is not necessary to burn a hole in your pocket to build the best gaming computer. With some due diligence, do some market research and compare prices around the marketplace. Merchant such as TigerDirect and NewEgg give regular discount to their products and you could save a lot of money if you catch them during their promotional period.

3) Most expensive parts do not have to be the best part

Sometime, the latest model or the most expensive model does not have to be the best part for your computer. It requires various components to work together to form the best computer system. When choosing a computer part, what matters is how well it can integrate with the rest of the components. Compatibility is more important than individual performance. What use is there if you spend lot of money on the latest quad-core processor and find that your motherboard doesn’t support it?

4) You don’t need to change the whole PC to own the best gaming computer

It is a misconception that you have to change the whole gaming machine to build the best gaming computer. If you already have a good barebone system, what you need to do is to upgrade the necessary parts and your gaming computer can roar back to life instantly.

5) Brand is important

Unless you want to see your computer system malfunction every few days, it is important that you purchase the parts from branded manufacturers with strict quality control. Motherboard brand such as Gigabyte, ABIT, ASUS are some quality brands that you can consider

If you follow diligently to the tips stated above. You will be on your way to build the best gaming computer. While price can be an issue, it is better not to scrimp on important computer parts such as motherboard, CPU, RAM and graphics card as it will cost you more to upgrade in the future.

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Source by Damien Oh

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