The Vacuum Will Draw it in If You Leave it a Vacuum

Transitions in themselves are difficult. We leave something familiar behind and head toward something unknown. Even if the move was desired, there is always a period of adjustment, a time when things are not as comfortable as they were. We are in flux and not quite sure where we are going.

As familiar props fall away, we enter a rarefied zone of unknown possibilities. Before new forms can come into existence, we first must pass through a place without form. This is the juice of the transition. It is here that the vacuum sucks in to itself all the things that belong to us. If we are brave enough to stay in this void long enough to allow the natural process to take place, we will draw to us what we need.

This is not merely wishful thinking. It is physics, a law of the universe that is always true. When you want to add something new to your life, get rid of something old. Throw something out, give away clothes, and get rid of the deadbeat boyfriend. The universe will recognize a vacuum, and it will soon be filled.

To understand how it works, we must be willing to stop trying to control the process. The more we panic and hastily add to the empty space, the further away we move from what nourishes our souls. There is a conscious evolution to this transition that will reveal itself in time. This potent period heralds a new beginning, and it is in our best interests to let go and get out of the way.

We may feel afraid, but that is okay. Sure, it’s scary when we don’t know what is happening, but fear has no power over us when we are willing to acknowledge the feeling, feel it, and do nothing. It is only our reaction to fear that causes us to be impatient and jump the gun. We are so petrified of the nothingness; we create something, anything, to hold on to.

In reality, we are more frightened of being afraid than we are of the actual nothingness. Once we surrender to not having all the parts of the puzzle, we can relax a little. We know we can step in and take charge if need be, but now is not the time. Even though our natural inclination is to do something, we need to do nothing and wait.

To stay in the void takes courage and discipline. The universe has innate intelligence and will automatically create a vacuum out of that nothingness. And left alone, that vacuum will pull to it exactly what we need.

Chapter 26 from Reality Works Copyright © 2002 Chandra Alexander

Choosing a Retro Argentina Football Kit – A Look at 2 Famous Argentina Football Shirts From the Past

The blue and white stripes of those Argentina football shirts from the past are perhaps even as iconic as the yellow and blue kits of Brazil. That is why the retro Argentina football kit is so sought after these days, especially Argentina football shirts from the seventies and eighties.

Diego Maradona the manager has really struggled to get his Argentinean team to qualify for this year’s World Cup finals, in South Africa. At one point during qualification it looked like the unthinkable might happen and that the World’s biggest football competition would be without one of its most flamboyant teams. Thankfully, that was not the case, but nonetheless the current side does not appear to be the force that it was when Maradona the player was the star of the team.

Below we look at two famous Argentina football shirts from the past, from a time when the “La Albiceleste” were the best team in the world.

Argentina 1978 World Cup Shirt

The Argentina 1978 World Cup strip is a retro Argentina football kit from one of the most memorable tournaments of all. Argentina were on home soil and so were well fancied, however, they were up against the “total football” of the Dutch, who were extremely unlucky in the 1974 World Cup and were expected to win it this time round.

The final between Argentina and Holland was a classic, with Johan Cruyff the star of the show. However, Argentina had their stars too, including Ossie Ardiles, just before his groundbreaking transfer to Tottenham Hotspur later that summer. They also had Mario Kempes, who was the leading goal scorer in the 1978 tournament, scoring a total of six goals, including two in the final itself.

Argentina managed to beat Holland 3-1 after extra time to win the World Cup and ensure that the 1978 World Cup shirt would become one of the most iconic Argentina football shirts of all time.

Argentina 1986 World Cup Shirt

The Argentina 1986 World Cup strip is another retro football kit featuring the famous blue and white stripes. It is nearly always associated with one man, a football genius who practically single-handedly won Argentina their second World Cup. That man of course was Diego Maradona and it is partly because of those performances wearing that particular retro Argentina football kit that he is considered by many to be the greatest footballer that ever lived.

These vintage football shirts have such a classic look to them and really do look great with a pair of jeans and trainers. As well as the classic blue and white stripes, the retro football kit features the gold and blue Argentinean shield.

if you think you get lenders then read this

The two most frequently asked questions by investors are:

What investment should I buy?
Is now the right time to buy it?

Most people want to know how to spot the right investment at the right time, because they believe that is the key to successful investing. Let me tell you that is far from the truth: even if you could get the answers to those questions right, you would only have a 50% chance to make your investment successful. Let me explain.

There are two key influencers that can lead to the success or failure of any investment:

External factors: these are the markets and investment performance in general. For example:
The likely performance of that particular investment over time;
Whether that market will go up or down, and when it will change from one direction to another.
Internal factors: these are the investor’s own preference, experience and capacity. For example:
Which investment you have more affinity with and have a track record of making good money in;
What capacity you have to hold on to an investment during bad times;
What tax advantages do you have which can help manage cash flow;
What level of risk you can tolerate without tending to make panic decisions.

When we are looking at any particular investment, we can’t simply look at the charts or research reports to decide what to invest and when to invest, we need to look at ourselves and find out what works for us as an individual.

Let’s look at a few examples to demonstrate my viewpoint here. These can show you why investment theories often don’t work in real life because they are an analysis of the external factors, and investors can usually make or break these theories themselves due to their individual differences (i.e. internal factors).

Example 1: Pick the best investment at the time.

Most investment advisors I have seen make an assumption that if the investment performs well, then any investor can definitely make good money out of it. In other words, the external factors alone determine the return.

I beg to differ. Consider these for example:

Have you ever heard of an instance where two property investors bought identical properties side by side in the same street at the same time? One makes good money in rent with a good tenant and sells it at a good profit later; the other has much lower rent with a bad tenant and sells it at a loss later. They can be both using the same property management agent, the same selling agent, the same bank for finance, and getting the same advice from the same investment advisor.
You may have also seen share investors who bought the same shares at the same time, one is forced to sell theirs at a loss due to personal circumstances and the other sells them for a profit at a better time.
I have even seen the same builder building 5 identical houses side by side for 5 investors. One took 6 months longer to build than the other 4, and he ended up having to sell it at the wrong time due to personal cash flow pressures whereas others are doing much better financially.

What is the sole difference in the above cases? The investors themselves (i.e. the internal factors).

Over the years I have reviewed the financial positions of a few thousand investors personally. When people ask me what investment they should get into at any particular moment, they expect me to compare shares, properties, and other asset classes to advise them how to allocate their money.

My answer to them is to always ask them to go back over their track record first. I would ask them to list down all the investments they have ever made: cash, shares, options, futures, properties, property development, property renovation, etc. and ask them to tell me which one made them the most money and which one didn’t. Then I suggest to them to stick to the winners and cut the losers. In other words, I tell them to invest more in what has made them good money in the past and stop investing in what has not made them any money in the past (assuming their money will get a 5% return per year sitting in the bank, they need to at least beat that when doing the comparison).

If you take time to do that exercise for yourself, you will very quickly discover your favourite investment to invest in, so that you can concentrate your resources on getting the best return rather than allocating any of them to the losers.

You may ask for my rationale in choosing investments this way rather than looking at the theories of diversification or portfolio management, like most others do. I simply believe the law of nature governs many things beyond our scientific understanding; and it is not smart to go against the law of nature.

For example, have you ever noticed that sardines swim together in the ocean? And similarly so do the sharks. In a natural forest, similar trees grow together too. This is the idea that similar things attract each other as they have affinity with each other.

You can look around at the people you know. The people you like to spend more time with are probably people who are in some ways similar to you.

It seems that there is a law of affinity at work that says that similar things beget similar things; whether they are animals, trees, rocks or humans. Why do you think there would be any difference between an investor and their investments?

So in my opinion, the question is not necessarily about which investment works. Rather it is about which investment works for you.

If you have affinity with properties, properties are likely to be attracted to you. If you have affinity with shares, shares are likely to be attracted to you. If you have affinity with good cash flow, good cash flow is likely to be attracted to you. If you have affinity with good capital gain, good capital growth is likely to be attracted to you (but not necessary good cash flow ).

You can improve your affinity with anything to a degree by spending more time and effort on it, but there are things that you naturally have affinity with. These are the things you should go with as they are effortless for you. Can you imagine the effort required for a shark to work on himself to become sardine-like or vice versa?

One of the reasons why our company has spent a lot of time lately to work on our client’s cash flow management, is because if our clients have low affinity with their own family cash flow, they are unlikely to have good cash flow with their investment properties. Remember, it is a natural law that similar things beget similar things. Investors who have poor cash flow management at home, usually end up with investments (or businesses) with poor cash flow.

Have you ever wondered why the world’s greatest investors, such as Warren Buffet, tend only to invest in a few very concentrated areas they have great affinity with? While he has more money than most of us and could afford to diversify into many different things, he sticks to only the few things that he has successfully made his money from in the past and cut off the ones which didn’t (such as the airline business).

What if you haven’t done any investing and you have no track record to go by? In this case I would suggest you first look at your parents’ track record in investing. The chances are you are somehow similar to your parents (even when you don’t like to admit it ). If you think your parents never invested in anything successfully, then look at whether they have done well with their family home. Alternatively you will need to do your own testing to find out what works for you.

Obviously there will be exceptions to this rule. Ultimately your results will be the only judge for what investment works for you.

Example 2: Picking the bottom of the market to invest.

When the news in any market is not positive, many investors automatically go into a “waiting mode”. What are they waiting for? The market to bottom out! This is because they believe investing is about buying low and selling high – pretty simple right? But why do most people fail to do even that?

Here are a few reasons:

When investors have the money to invest safely in a market, that market may not be at its bottom yet, so they choose to wait. By the time the market hits the bottom; their money has already been taken up by other things, as money rarely sits still. If it is not going to some sort of investment, it will tend to go to expenses or other silly things such as get-rich-quick scheme, repairs and other “life dramas”.
Investors who are used to waiting for when the market is not very positive before they act are usually driven either by a fear of losing money or the greed of gaining more. Let’s look at the impact of each of them:
If their behaviour was due to the fear of losing money, they are less likely to get into the market when it hits rock bottom as you can imagine how bad the news would be then. If they couldn’t act when the news was less negative, how do you expect them to have the courage to act when it is really negative? So usually they miss out on the bottom anyway.
If their behaviour was driven by the greed of hoping to make more money on the way up when it reaches the bottom, they are more likely to find other “get-rich-quick schemes” to put their money in before the market hits the bottom, by the time the market hits the bottom, their money won’t be around to invest. Hence you would notice that the get-rich-quick schemes are usually heavily promoted during a time of negative market sentiment as they can easily capture money from this type of investor.
Very often, something negative begets something else negative. People who are fearful to get into the market when their capacity allows them to do so, will spend most of their time looking at all the bad news to confirm their decision. Not only they will miss the bottom, but they are likely to also miss the opportunities on the way up as well, because they see any market upward movement as a preparation for a further and bigger dive the next day.

Hence it is my observation that most people who are too fearful or too greedy to get into the market during a slow market have rarely been able to benefit financially from waiting. They usually end up getting into the market after it has had its bull run for far too long when there is very little negative news left. But that is actually often the time when things are over-valued, so they get into the market then, and get slaughtered on the way down.

So my advice to our clients is to first start from your internal factors, check your own track records and financial viability to invest. Decide whether you are in a position to invest safely, regardless of the external factors (i.e. the market):

If the answer is yes, then go to the market and find the best value you can find at that time;
If the answer is no, then wait.

Unfortunately, most investors do it the other way around. They tend to let the market (an external factor) decide what they should do, regardless of their own situation, and they end up wasting time and resources within their capacity.

I hope, from the above 2 examples, that you can see that investing is not necessarily about picking the right investment and the right market timing, but it is more about picking the investment that works for you and sticking to your own investment timetable, within your own capacity.

A new way to invest in properties

During a consultation last month with a client who has been with us for 6 years, I suddenly realised they didn’t know anything about our Property Advisory Service which has been around since April 2010. I thought I’d better fix this oversight and explain what it is and why it is unique and unprecedented in Australia.

But before I do, I would like to give you some data you simply don’t get from investment books and seminars, so you can see where I am coming from.

Over the last 10 years of running a mortgage business for property investors:

We have executed more than 7,000 individual investment mortgages with around 60 different lenders;
Myself and our mortgage team have reviewed the financial positions of approximately 6,000 individual property investors and developers;
I have enjoyed privileged access to vital data including the original purchase price, value of property improvements and the current valuation of close to 30,000 individual investment properties all around Australia from our considerable client base.

When you have such a large sample size to do your research on and make observations, you are bound to discover something unknown to most people.

I have discovered many things that may surprise you as much as they surprised me, some of which are against conventional wisdom:

Paying more tax can be financially good for you.

This one took me years to swallow, but I can’t deny the facts. The clients who have managed to get into a positive cashflow position have paid a lot of tax and will continue to pay a lot of tax, whether it is capital gains, income tax or stamp duty. They don’t have an issue with the tax man making some money as long as they continue to make more themselves! They regularly cash in the profits from their properties and reduce their debt, but always continue to invest and park their money where the return is best. In fact, I can almost say that the only people who enjoy positive cashflow from their investment properties are the people who have little concern about paying taxes as they treat them as the cost of doing business.

Just about every property strategy works. It just depends on who does it, how it is done, when it is done and where it is done.

When I first started investing, I went and read many property investment books and attended many investment educational seminars. Just about every one of them was convincing and this confused the hell out of me. Just when I was about to form an opinion against a particular property strategy, someone would show up in one of my client consultations and prove that it worked for them!

After testing many of these strategies myself, I came to realise that it is not about the strategy,(which is only a tool) but rather it is about whether the person is using the tool appropriately at the right time, in the right place and in the right way.

There is no such thing as the best suburb to invest in, forever.

If you randomly pick a particular property in what you think is the best suburb over a 30 year window, you will find that there are periods during which this property will outperform the market average, and there are periods when this property will underperform the market average.

Many property investors find themselves jumping into historically high growth suburbs at the end of the period when it is outperforming the average, and then stay there for 5-7 years during the underperforming period. (Naturally this can taint their view of property investing as a whole!)

There is no such thing as the worst suburb to invest in, forever.

If you pick a property in the worst suburb you can think of from 40 years ago, and pitch that against the best suburb you can think of over the same period of time, you will find they both grew at about 7-9% a year on average over the long-term.

Hence in the 1960s, a median house in Melbourne and Sydney was valued at $10k. The worst property around that time may have been 30% of the median price for then, which was say about $3k. Today, the median house price in these cities is about $600k. The worst suburb you can find is still around 30% of that price which is say $200k a house. If you believe a bad suburb will never grow, then show me where you can find a house today in these cities, that is still worth around $3k.

Median Price growth is very misleading.

Many beginner property investors look at median price growth as the guidance for suburb selection. A few points worth mentioning on median price are:

We understand the way median price is calculated as the middle price point based on the number of sales during a period. We can talk about the median price for a particular suburb on a particular day, week, month, year, or even longer. So an influx of new stocks or low sales volume can severely distort the median price.

In an older suburb, median price growth tends to be higher than it really is. This is because it does not reflect the large sum of money people put into renovating their properties nor does it reflect the subdivision of large blocks of land into multiple dwellings which can be a substantial percentage of the entire suburb.

In a newer suburb, median price growth tend to be lower than it really is. This is because it does not reflect the fact that the land and buildings are both getting smaller. For example, you could buy a block of land of 650 square metres for $120k in 2006 in a newer suburb of Melbourne, but 5 years later, half the size block (i.e.325 square metres) will cost you $260k. That’s a whopping 34% annual growth rate per year for 5 years, but median price growth will never reflect that, as median prices today are calculated on much smaller properties.

Median price growth takes away people’s focus from looking at the cost of carrying the property. When you have a net 2-3% rental yield against interest rates of 7-8%, you are out-of-pocket by 5% a year. This is not including the money you have to put in to fix and maintain your property from time to time.

Buying and holding the same property forever doesn’t give you the best returns on your money.

The longer you hold a property, the more likely you will achieve an average growth of 7-9%. But you will be bound to hit periods where your property outperforms the 7-9% growth and periods where it under performs the 7-9% growth.

The longer you hold a property, if its growth is at or above average, the lower its rental yields will become.

The longer you hold a property, the higher the capital gains tax you will need to pay when you sell, and the less likely you will be able to sell it.

The longer you hold a property, the more likely there will be a need for an expensive upgrade of the property.

The longer you hold a property, the more likely you will forget which part of the equity actually belongs to the tax man, AND the more likely you will be to try to leverage the equity that doesn’t belong to you. This can get you into a negative equity position with a negative cashflow forever, unless you have proper financial guidance.

Regional Observation: A Basic, Non-Professional View Of The Southeast Florida Landscape

I am what I call an “armchair urban and regional planner.” Some of you reading this article may know me just from seeing me drive around in my broken down Toyota. While writing about Southeast Florida’s changing landscape from “accidental region” into a complex multi-regional megalopolis is cool, I someday would like to photograph my visions. Stay tuned. In the meantime, here are some descriptive observations I’ve come up with – some original, some perhaps not – throughout the course of casually observing the region while commuting to and from:

COASTAL URBAN CORE = The densely populated core area of Southeast Florida, between I-95 and U.S. 1, where the majority of Southeast Florida’s residents reside.

CITY-PLEX = A city complex. A “Metroplex” or “Twin City” typed urban area. A metropolitan area with two or more major cities closely aligned (Ex: Dallas-Ft. Worth, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Minneapolis-St. Paul, etc.)

CITY-REGION = The representative description of a region or sub-region by its largest major city. (Ex: “The Miami Region”)

FLAGSHIP MODEL = A regional model in which the largest and most influential metro area, among two or more large, influential metro areas, within that regional structure, functions as the immediately recognizable, representative body of the entire regional structure.

IMMEDIATE MIAMI VICINITY = Miami and its immediate surrounding areas.

LOCAL CHALLENGE OF INTER-REGIONAL MOBILITY = The regional dilemma involving the complex set of problems that concern the best way to achieve optimal citizen, business and governmental logistical mobility, within context of a regional setting.

MASS-TRANSIT BUBBLE = A small self-contained area, within a regional context, serviceable by mass transit, that also feeds into a mass transit loop. (Ex: Palm Beach County is its own service area but feeds into the larger Tri-Rail serviced Tri-County Area.)

MASS-TRANSIT LOOP = A large interconnected area, serviceable by mass transit, that’s bound by sub-regional borders. (Ex: Treasure Coast, Tri-County, the Keys, Everglades.)

MASS-TRANSIT NEXUS = The dynamic convergence and culmination of all available mobility options within a regional setting.

METRO BELT = A metropolis, region or mega region served by a beltway styled freeway system. (Ex: Jacksonville, Tampa, Atlanta, Washington, D.C.)

METRO NODE: A major urban concentration or point, usually a specific city with surrounding suburbs and towns, within a regional setting. (Ex: Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach are major urban points within Southeast Florida’s coastal regional structure.)

METRO STRETCH = An elongated, densely-populated, highly-urbanized metropolis, megalopolis or mega region formed along a coastal highway network. A flagship modeled region along a major highway system that lacks a beltway freeway system.

MIAMI-INFLUENCED AREA = Synonymous with Southeast Florida. The entire regional structure that includes the city, county and natural areas of Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

PBTC METRO = The general news channel viewing area, within the larger Southeast Florida regional structure, commonly referred to as the Palm Beaches and the Treasure Coast.

REGIONAL DILEMMA = An issue, want, need or concern that drives an individual, business or governing entity to utilize all available mobility options, within a regional context, to acquire economic, political or social satisfaction.

REGIONAL-INTERFACE DESIGN = The general craft of designing, planning and constructing how residents and visitors will best access resources and mobility options on a regional level.

REGIONAL REALIZATION = The matching of a region’s goals with its vision of itself.

SPHERE OF INFLUENCE = The general common characteristic vicinity of a major metro area, within a regional structure, that includes the largest city or city complex and its surrounding suburbs, exurbs and bedroom communities. (Example: Miami’s sphere of influence extends from Miami roughly upwards to Pompano Beach. Ft. Lauderdale’s sphere of influence extends roughly from Hollywood to Boca Raton. West Palm Beach’s sphere of influence extends roughly from Lake Worth upwards to Indian River County.)

SOUTHEAST FLORIDA MASS-TRANSIT NEXUS = The dynamic convergence of large national and regional mass transit systems that will culminate and interact with smaller mass-transit outfits, throughout the South Florida regional structure.

These are all just ways of looking at Southeast Florida’s landscape, in simple terms, from the point of view of a non-professional citizen. I’ll be updating my findings, as I go along, to match further observation. In the meantime, for those considering locating a business headquarters, brand or institution in this region, please contact any local chamber of commerce or convention and visitors bureau for more standardized descriptions.

Men’s Shirts – Hello Mister Bond

“Hello, Mr. Bond.”

James bond in his crisp white shirt is the epitome of style and confidence. Men’s shirts are a way to break out of the office doldrums and really show your own creative genius. Make your shirts a real statement about your style. Dark rich colours with contrasting light coloured ties; a monochromatic combination of light sexy baby blue or powder pink with perfectly matching tie; the 100% cotton white shirt with pearl buttons and sophisticated top stitching all make a statement when you walk into the room. What ever it is that you want to communicate; think about it, find your groove and make a splash. Cheer up the girls in the office with your dapper ways.

“Made it, Ma! Top of the World.”

Changing your style is one way to get noticed in an increasingly competitive job market. Your jacket is the frame and the men’s shirt the matting that will enhance artwork contained within it. The shirt works to frame the tie, braces (which are underwear) and the face. What colours will enhance these features? Look at the whole picture and determine what story you want the viewer to participate in. Sometimes the shirt can be the artwork; attention to detail in fabric, colour, design, print, top stitching and collar are like the brush details on a fine painting. The suit and tie then ground and frame the art, which is the shirt and should not compete with it.

“Hasta la vista, baby.”

As a minimum a man should have at least 3 white shirts and 2 blue. This gives us 5 shirts and we can do the laundry on the weekend. If you plan to work through most weekends or travel extensively for business or pleasure. Invest in more. The more shirts you have the less frequently you have to do laundry or make it to the dry cleaners.

“Well it’s not the men in your life that count, it’s the life in your men.”

Colour, fabric and style of collar and cuff will tell a story about the man and the shirt. Buy the best quality fabric that you can, the smoother and finer the cotton the dressier the man’s shirt. Choose a collar that suits your face and body frame and make sure that the cuffs fit properly. The cuffs of a man’s shirt should not slide off over the wrist nor should they get stuck when you lift your arms up in the air.

“Love your shirt.”

Finally, make sure that the shirt fits. Measure and try on before buying. Do not purchase men’s shirts in plastic bags with the pins still in. Take it out and try it on. Make sure that the fit is not too tight or too big through the torso. The current fashion is a little more tailored and fitted through the upper body.

“You had me at Hello.”

Men’s shirts make a statement. Think about the leading men in film, remembering their most famous roles it is easy to picture the shirt that each was wearing. What do you want to be remembered for? Find a style that really makes you feel like a leading man in your own life.

Just a Game Or Mathematical Genius?

This word bookmaker is used to refer to persons who take bets on competitive events at pre-established odds. The job of a bookmaker is to accept bet placements in such a ratio that regardless of who loses and who wins, he will still have made a lot of profit.

In certain countries, this activity is considered illegal and even in those ones where it is legal, at times there are no legal provisions for enforcing debts that arise from such activity. But in countries where it is recognized by law, the government earns quite a large amount of revenue from it and that is why certain countries have a legal bookmaker under the state’s control.

It is more established in the United Kingdom than in the United States; in the former, it is legally acknowledged and bets are placed on a broader array of sports. They even have an organization in charge of regulating settlement disputes. On the other hand, the latter has made it illegal in all states but Nevada and when carried out illegally, it only covers college sports and professional events.

Even though the UK still has them located at the racecourse, technology has caught up with some and made them shift to their PCs with the internet making the job a whole lot easier. But this limits under age gamblers and those in countries where it is prohibited as they are not allowed to gamble on such websites. They may connect online casinos but their disadvantage is that they increase the numbers of gambling addicts. Some operators though have shied away from technology seeing as the betters are cutting down their profit margins by comparing notes with other bettors through betting exchanges, a resource which even they can use to determine how to place their odds based on market trends.

Governments are not having a lot of success in regulating online outfits from entering their spaces. Greater success has been experienced by those authorities that have licensed all forms of betting but put in place stringent measures for the operation of associated outfits. This way, the government exercises a measure of control over how they are run.

A sleazy side to the industry becomes evident in cases of match fixing, where teams play to a prearranged outcome – either fully or partially which is both a legal breach and also a contravention of the rules of any game. But many countries are now relaxing their stance as the industry is now getting significant roles to play in society like in sponsoring sports activities and that has got the names of some of the firms on players’ T-shirts and on stadium signs a situation which is facing a lot of opposition in certain countries where there is low tolerance for gambling and such ones continue in the war against online participants.

Clearwater Beach to St. Petersburg Beach — Homes and Condos for Sale

Just west of Tampa in Pinellas County you will find Florida’s West Coast Barrier Islands. These islands have some of the most electric communities to be found among beach communities world-wide. They include Clearwater Beach, Island Estates, Sand Key, Belleair Beach, Belleair Shores, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores, Redington Shores, North Redington Beach, Madeira Beach, Treasure Island and St. Pete Beach.

These areas are blessed with sandy beaches and natural unspoiled landscapes with clear, sparkling Gulf waters, a subtropical climate, and an abundance of glorious Florida sunshine — 365 days a year!

Pinellas County’s barrier islands are accessed via causeways and bridges and each community has its own unique flavor. Because of the mix of many different cultures, foods, music, and entertainment, life on these islands varies from one island to the next. You can find everything from a relaxed escape from the usual rat race of everyday life, to the exhilarating hip-grinding beats of the live music being played at the clubs.

The island of Sand Key is just one of the many different communities you will find here. Sand Key is mostly a residential location of townhouses, homes, and luxury high rise condominiums. This island community does offer shopping and restaurants as well, housing two major hotels on its north end. This is a place to slow down and take the time to truly enjoy the simpler things in life. For the more adventurous, there is the Sand Key County Park, and nearby Clearwater Sailing center that provides for various recreational activities.

Clearwater Beach is another of Florida’s Barrier Islands. Clearwater Beach is 4 miles of pristine sandy beach, and supplies visitors and residents with plenty of water and beach activities including parasailing, fishing, swimming, jet-skiing and volleyball to name just a few. Clearwater’s infamous “Pier 60” has music, arts and crafts, and a daily celebration of the spectacular sunsets viewed from the pier. This community is alive with activity. They have hotels, shopping, and fine dining. Waterfront homes and condominiums are what residents can find for quality housing. A trolley is used to transport people between Clearwater beach and the mainland and also for trips to nearby Sand Key. You will find plenty of venues providing live music and you are only a short-trolley trip away from the city of Clearwater’s many music and dance nightclubs.

Madeira Beach is yet another island community just off Florida’s western coast. As a direct-entry point to the Gulf, you will find daily fishing, and cruising charters. This community has plenty of waterfront shops and fine dining restaurants. Residents are found living in various dwellings such as condos, apartments, and luxurious waterfront single-family homes.

Belleair Shores is a private community island with million-dollar waterfront homes. Access to this areas beach is restricted to use by residents only. There are no public access beaches in Belleair Shores. This is a community for those who desire to live in an area removed from the common everyday life found in other communities.

So if you’re looking to relocate to the sunny Pinellas West Coast of Florida, and would like to move away from ordinary living, consider contacting a Tampa Bay area real estate agent to discuss the different island communities. Your real estate agent can arrange for you to tour the different Barrier Islands that populate Pinellas County Florida’s West Coast, so that you can discover the community that offers the lifestyle and housing options that are right for you. Your real estate representative can assist you in finding the financing to buy your new property as well. These friendly, knowledgeable real estate agents are also a good resource for all of the information that you will need in order to make your transition to becoming a Florida resident a smooth as possible.

Real Estate And Social Networking In Today’s World

Social Networking is and has become a huge part of how we all do business and communicate with others. The electronic world is upon us and we as Realtors need to embrace the new technologies that present themselves to do our business more efficiently and to react to our clients in the same way that they live their lives. I have been teaching the use of Social Networking in today’s Real Estate market for a while now within my market center and can tell you that it has been welcomed with open arms by most of the agents in our offices.

This was not always the case. When I first tried to introduce YouTube for example, it was frowned on as a place where people with too much time on their hands could play around. And although this is the case for some of the individuals on YouTube, the environment that is now owned by Google, has been a tremendous opportunity for people, agents, companies, etc to advertise their wares indirectly through the use of video media. And on top of that, it is FREE. The agents in the office, after an extended time of understanding what it can do for their business, saw the light bulbs in their heads go off.

YouTube, Facebook, Online Forums, Social Bookmarking, Blogging, etc are all opportunities that are available in our lives to become known in an online world. We all want to be known, and the more you interface online, the more chances of being found. My classes now are pretty much sold out (I don’t charge anything) and the agents understand the importance of what I teach.

In addition to being found, these mediums assist in the SERP (search engine Ranking Page or Position) which is where your website will be found after performing a search for a particular term. For example, if I were to want to rank on a term like Tampa Real Estate, I would probably include those words in my keywords for my YouTube video, or my blog, etc. This in turn would eventually be indexed by the search engines, and would be pointing back to my page so it would be a pointer to my page and if someone came across that info, they may click through to my page and so on.

Real Estate is all about Networking in every sense of the word and Social Networking should make perfect sense, be Social and Network. So for you agents out there that have not embraced Social Networking, you either need to understand where your clients are communicating with each other, or you need to find another profession. Real Estate is in the middle of a transition, and you can either be along for the ride and position yourself well, or not. It is really up to you.

I Love NY – T-Shirts, Mugs, Posters, and Other Ways a Simple Message Triumphs

Want to wear one of the greatest advertising campaigns of the last century? Take a look at some “I Love NY” t-shirts next time you have a chance. The design — brainchild of the brilliant Milton Glaser — couldn’t be simpler. The letter I, a heart N, and Y, arranged in a square. In fact, the only thing simpler is the message — of course people love New York. How could the city maintain millions of residents and attract millions of tourists if that weren’t the case?

The genius of the “I love NY” t-shirts is that they lay a unique claim to a common feeling. By wearing “I love NY” t-shirts, people are saying something fairly common — that they’re fans of New York city — but they’re saying it in an aesthetically appealing way. This is one of the best design tricks around: find a simple way to express a simple thought, but in a way not quite like what anyone has done before. As the uniqueness of the “I love NY” t-shirts demonstrates, it’s pretty hard to do this consistently.

One effect of “I love NY” t-shirts is that copying or referencing the design has become a major part of popular culture. The phrase “I love [x]” was rescued from mawkishness by “I love NY” t-shirts, and forever turned into a lighthearted way to express an exuberantly positive, common emotion. So it’s no wonder that numerous organizations have used the logo with slight variations (including puns on ‘spade’ and ‘club’ as opposed to just ‘heart’).

Another side effect of the “I love NY” t-shirts is that the ‘heart’ logo has transcended the slogan, and turned into an actual verbal expression. Originally textual, the phrase “I heart [x]” has developed as an even more free and fun version of “I love…”, even finding its way into the title of a film, I Heart Huckabees. There aren’t many advertising slogans that can claim to be so ubiquitous. Among the other slogans that have reached a similar level of popularity, few have been able to maintain it for so long. A reference to “Where’s the beef?” today leads to awkward stares, rather than laughs.

Interestingly enough, this popularity simply fed into the original trend. With so many people referencing “I love NY” t-shirts, the shirts themselves turned into a crucial fashion item. With so many reminders of the shirts, someone who briefly considered buying one wouldn’t have the chance to forget — during a single day, they might stumble across a review of I Heart Huckabees, an “I love…” line, and a logo that used a heart icon.

This is the most crucial lesson from “I love NY” t-shirts. If you’re going to create a successful trend, you’ll want to make one that’s self-reinforcing — that gives people a reason, not just to participate, but to make their friends want to participate, too. If you look at the sites of retailers who sell “I love NY” t-shirts, you’ll find that many of them also offer different versions, or plays on the same theme. If you can get people doing that, you probably have a design that’s going to last.

10 Great Computer, Science and Math T Shirts To Make Your Friends Jealous

If you are into science and math, then you should be into funny science or math t shirts that reflect your unique and fun personality. Why not make more science and math friends and break the ice with the simple logical use of printing on cotton. It’s easy, it’s elegant and it just makes sense. If you calculate the cost of the tee and graph it against increased popularity, you will note that wearing funny tees is directly proportional to growing popularity as well as an increase in coolness. On top of that, your clever tees will make you the envy of all your friends, spurring them into action to outdo you. So, whatever you do, don’t share this list.

  1. Stand Back I’m Going To Try Science T Shirt – If everyone takes a few steps back, we won’t have to search for body parts later, right? This is the perfect shirt for the Chemistry majors in your life.
  2. Computer Club Is Sexy T Shirt – Do you know binary? If so, this super cool shirt says Computer Club is Sexy which is perfect for, you guessed it, computer club members.
  3. Apple Pi T Shirt – An apple + the Pi sign, you figured it out, you genius you. This tee is great for math students and teachers alike.
  4. Time Travel T Shirt – “If You Are Interested In Time Travel Meet Me Last Wednesday” is sure to spark some hot conversations. Hey, math and science people have an excellent sense of humor, it’s time others knew about it.
  5. Math is Radical T Shirt – With the use of the right sign, you have a perfect tee shirt for a wild math lovin’ guy or gal.
  6. Mathlete T Shirt – You may not be a track star, a football player or a swimmer, but you can sure solve math problems with multiple swipes of a pencil. You, my friend, are a mathlete and need a tee to show it.
  7. 4 Out of 3 People Are Bad At Fractions T Shirt – If you love a good math joke, this is it. Fractions? What are those? Whole numbers people, let’s stick with those.
  8. Find X Funny Math T Shirt – Circle the X (instead of solving for it), this is one of our most beloved tees, plus, people really think it’s funny.
  9. Keeping It Real Math T Shirt – If you get what i squared is (a real number) and you don’t think it’s “i 2” then you are a math person to be sure. You’ll see this t shirt sorts out the math haves from the math have nots pretty quickly!
  10. Darwin T Shirt – Calling all lovers of science, the Darwin T Shirt is classy and makes you look like you know people.