5 Clear Indicators It’s Time For Bank Users To Shift To Credit Unions

Recently however, credit unions have gained in popularity as viable alternatives – offering benefits which often surpass those provided by conventional institutions like banks. If you still bank at an established institution then perhaps now is the time to consider switching over – here in this article we explore five clear indicators which suggest switching.

1. Dissatisfaction With High Fees And Low Savings Interest Rates

One of the primary drivers behind people making the switch from traditional banks to credit unions is dissatisfaction with high fees and low interest rates offered. Banks frequently charge customers fees for checking accounts, ATM usage, overdrafts and wire transfers that can quickly add up and take a bite out of your finances. Credit unions provide an attractive alternative with reduced fees that don’t add up quickly while still giving access to valuable services at competitive interest rates.

Credit unions are known for offering more cost-effective financial services to their members. Credit unions are non-profit organizations that give back any profits generated back to members through increased savings interest rates, lower loan rates, or reduced fees – meaning you keep more of your own money in your pockets when banking at a credit union.

Credit unions tend to offer more forgiving policies when it comes to overdraft fees, providing more leniency when it comes to overdraft charges. They may even provide financial counseling services in order to assist you with managing your finances better and avoid costly mistakes. If you’re dissatisfied with the high fees and impersonal service at your current bank, it may be time to explore the benefits of credit unions like Power Financial Credit Union, which often provide lower fees, personalized service, competitive loan rates, ethical banking practices, and opportunities for members to have a say in decision-making.

2. Frustration With Impersonal Service

Many bank users have experienced the frustration of dealing with impersonal customer service at traditional banks. It’s not uncommon to be treated as just another account number, and getting personalized attention can be challenging. Credit unions, on the other hand, are known for their community-focused banking approach.

Credit unions tend to be smaller and more community-minded than big banks, focusing on building strong relationships with their members rather than banking as customers. When banking at a credit union, members-owners don’t just bank as customers; their success depends on providing outstanding customer service. This motivation keeps credit unions striving to offer outstanding services.

Moreover, credit unions frequently offer a more personalized approach to financial solutions. Credit unions take the time to understand your individual financial situation and offer tailored advice or loan solutions that best meet your needs. If you feel as if your bank doesn’t care about being more than a number, credit unions might just be what’s needed for a change.

3. Desire For Competitive Loan Rates

Interest rates play an integral part in your financial wellbeing when borrowing for housing, cars or personal expenses. Traditional banks may have more competitive loan rates but credit unions tend to outshine them in this department.

Credit unions are known for offering lower interest rates on loans such as mortgages, auto loans and personal loans compared to banks and other lenders – offering significant savings over the life of your loans. One factor contributing to their competitive rates is their not-for-profit structure; rather than prioritizing shareholder profits over providing benefits for members resulting in more advantageous loan terms and lower rates for members.

If you’re in search of loans but looking to reduce costs, considering switching to a credit union could be a compelling argument for doing so. Lower interest rates can make a dramatic difference to your finances by helping you achieve goals more affordably.

4. Concerns About Ethical Banking Practices

Concern has grown about the ethical practices of traditional banks in recent years. Customers are becoming more interested in aligning their financial choices with their values, leading them to seek ethical or socially responsible banking options like credit unions that often excel in this area.

Credit unions tend to be more transparent about their operations and governance structures, creating trust among their members. Furthermore, credit unions tend to have strong roots within communities they operate in as they’re accountable to their members instead of external shareholders – this often results in more ethical banking practices and responsible banking approaches.

Credit unions are widely renowned for supporting local initiatives, charities, and community development efforts. When banking at a credit union, you can have peace of mind knowing that your financial institution is investing back into the community to bring about lasting social and economic change.

5. Desire For A Say In Decision-Making

Have you ever felt powerless over how your bank operates? It’s understandable; traditional banks tend to be large corporate entities where decisions are made by a small group of executives and shareholders – leaving customers feeling disengaged from this crucial part of decision-making processes.

Credit unions operate under a democratic approach, where members have an equal say in its governance. Members often get to vote on important matters like electing board members and making policy decisions, giving you a voice in how your institution evolves over time.

Credit union board members often volunteer their services from within their local communities. Their commitment can foster an immense sense of community belonging and empowerment for credit union members.

Conclusion

Credit unions provide a viable solution for individuals and businesses searching for a more member-centric, cost-effective, ethical banking experience. If your current bank offers high fees, impersonal service or low savings interest rates that don’t align with your values or financial goals effectively enough, switching may be wise financial move. Credit unions offer reduced fees, personalized service, competitive loan rates as well as opportunities to influence decision making processes through membership participation. Considering credit union membership could help achieve your financial goals more efficiently!

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Bullion or Bitcoin: Picking Your 21st Century Safe Haven

Bitcoin, the world’s first cryptocurrency, has gained significant attention for its potential as an alternative investment vehicle, often compared to gold due to its finite supply and characteristics as a store of value. As such, both Gold bullion bars and coins and bitcoin have been touted as hedges against financial instability and currency debasement. However, the debate remains about which asset class offers better safe haven qualities and should be included in a well-diversified investment portfolio.

Key Takeaways
Bullion and bitcoin are considered safe haven options, but they have their distinct strengths and weaknesses.
Diversification in risk management plays a critical role in determining an investor’s choice of a safe haven asset.
Global financial crises can impact the performance and safe-haven qualities of both bullion and bitcoin.
Understanding Bullion and Bitcoin
In this section, you’ll discover the two safe haven investment options, Bullion and Bitcoin. They both offer different features and benefits to investors and understanding how they work will help you make an informed decision on which one is right for you and your portfolio.

Bullion: A Traditional Safe-haven
Bullion typically refers to gold and other precious metals, which have been an investment option for centuries. Gold has been considered a safe haven from risks and offered protection against market turbulence. It’s a tangible asset that carries intrinsic value and has a stable history of retaining value.

From 2006 to 2018, gold proved itself as a good investment, maintaining or increasing in value, even during times of economic crisis. This makes gold a popular choice to diversify your investment portfolio, reducing the overall volatility and providing a hedge against risky investments.

Bitcoin: A Digital Asset
Bitcoin, a digital asset created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, has quickly gained popularity as an alternative investment option. It’s decentralized, which means no single entity controls the currency, making it more resistant to political risks. As a digital asset, Bitcoin is also accessible to anyone with an internet connection, making it an attractive option to a broader range of investors.

Since its inception in 2009, Bitcoin has seen significant growth in value, particularly after 2012. While it has experienced high volatility, some investors see it as a potential safe haven during market turmoil. However, its status as a safe haven remains a subject of debate among experts, with some studies finding only weak safe haven benefits for bitcoin.

As you explore these two safe haven options, consider your investment goals, risk tolerance, and portfolio diversification needs. While bullion offers a more traditional and stable choice, Bitcoin may appeal to those who are willing to embrace the risks inherent to digital assets for potentially higher returns.

Safe-haven Evaluation: Bullion Vs Bitcoin
Emerging Economies and Safe-haven Assets
In today’s unpredictable economy, you may find yourself seeking a safe-haven asset to protect your hard-earned savings. Traditionally, gold and other precious metals have played this role. With the advent of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, a question emerges: should you put your trust in bullion or Bitcoin as a safe-haven investment?

Emerging economies often experience fluctuations in currency values and the equity market, making safety a top priority for investors. During events like the European debt crisis, safe-haven assets have proven their value by providing an investment shelter when other assets drop in value.

Evaluating Safe-haven Properties
To decide between bullion and Bitcoin, let’s compare their potential safe-haven properties:

Gold (Bullion):

Gold Bars has a long history of retaining and even increasing its value during economic turmoil.
It’s widely recognized and accepted, making it easy to trade and liquidate.
Gold maintains its purchasing power even during inflation.
Its value is primarily driven by demand instead of market speculation.
Bitcoin:

As a cryptocurrency, Bitcoin offers unique security through decentralization and encryption.
It’s relatively new, making its stability less established compared to gold.
Some instances suggest that Bitcoin can outperform traditional safe havens during specific periods, like the equity market decline in the early 2020s.
Bitcoin lacks universal acceptance and remains subject to regulatory scrutiny and potential restrictions.
With these comparisons in mind, you should carefully consider your risk tolerance and personal preferences when choosing between bullion and Bitcoin as a safe-haven asset. Each option carries its strengths and weaknesses, so weigh them against your financial goals to arrive at a decision that suits your unique circumstances.

The Role of Diversification in Risk Management
In the unpredictable world of financial markets, it’s essential to have a strategy to navigate through the ups and downs. Enter diversification – a cornerstone of risk management that you must consider when building your investment portfolio. This section will discuss the diversification benefits and the relationship between financial markets and diversification.

Diversification Benefits
So, why is diversification important? By spreading your investments across various assets, you can reduce the impact of a single underperforming asset on your overall portfolio. When some assets are performing well, others might be facing a downturn, contributing to balance and reducing the portfolio’s overall volatility.

Consider the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused massive fluctuations in the financial markets. By diversifying your investment portfolio, you can mitigate the downside risk that comes with such volatile events, providing you with a safety net. A well-diversified portfolio can help you achieve better long-term returns and safeguard your wealth during turbulent times.

Financial Markets and Diversification
Now, let’s discuss the role of financial markets in diversification. You can diversify your investments across a range of financial markets, including equities, bonds, real estate, and even digital assets like Bitcoin. Each market has its own dynamics, which can be hedged against each other, leading to risk reduction.

For example, Bitcoin has been perceived as a potential hedge or safe haven tool in the era of digital assets. It offers weak hedge and safe haven benefits, as shown in studies that assessed its role in portfolios of developed and emerging markets stocks, bonds, and real estate during a 10-year period and the COVID-19 pandemic.

When managing risk in your financial life, remember the importance of diversification in various market sectors. Embrace a healthy mix of equities, fixed income, and alternative investments to better protect your wealth and balance your portfolio. In this way, you can pave the path toward more stable, long-term financial success.

Effects of Global Financial Crises on Safe-haven Assets
During times of financial turmoil, such as the 2008 global financial crisis, you might wonder what happens to safe-haven assets. In fact, these assets can experience various impacts depending on the severity of the crisis and the specific asset type.

For instance, during the 2008 global financial crisis, silver and the Islamic stock index emerged as safe havens against the US stock market turmoil. In contrast, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Islamic stock index and Tether, a stablecoin cryptocurrency, proved to be safe havens. So, it’s crucial to understand that an asset’s safe-haven status can change depending on the nature of the crisis.

Besides traditional safe havens like gold and silver, other options like cryptocurrencies have gained attention during recent extreme events. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, anecdotal evidence suggests that gold served as a safe haven for the oil and stock markets, while investors questioned whether Bitcoin could also play a similar role.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, emerging economies experienced a significant impact due to the fragile global financial system and the interest-rate bound. It’s essential for you to understand that safe havens can play a crucial role in protecting investors’ wealth during these turbulent times.

In conclusion, the effects of global financial crises on safe-haven assets are multifaceted and can differ depending on the specific crisis. As an investor, it’s essential for you to stay informed and make wise choices when selecting safe-haven assets that can help protect your investments during times of market upheaval.

Frequently Asked Questions
What factors influence a safe haven investment?
When considering safe haven investments, multiple factors play a role in their effectiveness. These include market volatility, liquidity, geopolitical events, historical performance, and the overall economic environment. It’s essential to weigh these factors when assessing the role a safe haven asset like gold or Bitcoin can play in your portfolio.

How do traditional assets like gold compare to digital assets?
Traditional assets such as gold have been a trusted store of value for centuries, providing stable returns and risk diversification. Gold maintains a good safe-haven ability for crude oil futures across various time horizons, even during events like the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, digital assets like Bitcoin are relatively new financial instruments. Bitcoin has shown some safe-haven properties on a short-term basis, but it remains a highly volatile and riskier asset compared to gold.

How does market volatility affect Bitcoin and bullion?
Market volatility plays a significant role in determining the performance of Bitcoin and bullion. While gold often maintains its value during market turmoil, acting as a hedge against declines in stocks or bonds, Bitcoin’s price can be more unpredictable. Its value tends to be influenced by investor sentiment, regulatory changes, and various other macroeconomic factors. This difference in volatility characteristics is an essential aspect when considering these assets as safe havens.

What role does liquidity play in these safe haven options?
Liquidity is vital for the appeal of safe-haven assets. Gold, as a highly liquid market, allows investors to trade, buy, and sell quickly, making it a reliable choice during times of market stress. On the other hand, the liquidity of Bitcoin can vary significantly depending on market conditions and the platform being used for trading. This potential difference in liquidity levels is an essential factor to consider when evaluating Bitcoin and bullion as safe havens.

How do geopolitical events impact Bitcoin and bullion?
Geopolitical events can trigger market uncertainty and affect the performance of various assets, including Bitcoin and bullion. Historically, gold has served as a hedge against geopolitical risks, often rising in value during such events. However, the effect of geopolitical events on Bitcoin is less predictable. Bitcoin’s decentralized nature means it is not directly tied to any country or government, but its performance during political tensions can still be influenced by factors such as investor sentiment and regulatory changes.

Can diversification strategies include both Bitcoin and bullion?
Yes, a diversification strategy can include both Bitcoin and bullion. Including different asset types in a portfolio helps to spread risk and potentially enhance long-term returns. While gold serves as a more traditional safe haven, adding Bitcoin to your portfolio can offer exposure to a newer, digital asset class with the potential for high rewards. It’s always important to evaluate the specific risks associated with each asset and adjust the allocation according to your risk tolerance and investment goals.

Copy Trading | What Is It and What Are Its Benefits for forex traders?

Can Copy Trading Be Profitable?
Trades made by other investors in financial markets can be copied by other traders. This is called copy trading. There are different ways to copy the trading of another investor. For example, a trader can make any transaction, simulate trade entries, take profit, and stop loss orders.

Forex trading requires a lot of technical analysis and many beginners and inexperienced traders do not have the necessary knowledge to succeed in this area, so Forex copy trading is a popular option to start operating in this market. In this article, we are going to review the benefits of copy trading for forex traders.

What Is Copy Trading?
Copy trading is an innovative way to trade in the financial markets. The idea of copy trading is very simple. This method involves copying trades initiated by other traders. The most important mission of copy trading is to help new and inexperienced traders to find their professional path in the market. Before we delve into copy trading, you need to know what trading is and understand the parties involved in copy trading:

Provider: The provider is also known as the signal provider. This person is actually a trader whose trading patterns are copied
Copier: Also referred to as a follower, is a trader who is copying other trades
Copy trading is invaluable for beginner traders who don’t have enough time to learn and create custom trading strategies or do extensive research. In this case, one becomes a mere copycat who repeats the trading behavior of experienced traders. In simpler terms, copy trading is discovering successful traders who have a stable trading history.

Meanwhile, many experienced traders also open accounts on copy trading platforms. They try to gain new experiences and maximize their returns in the market by referring to the performance of Master Traders. As an alternative, users may manually copy transactions after receiving trade notifications.

Benefits of Copy Trading
More than 30% of novice traders (with less than a year of experience) find the financial markets complicated. They believe that copy trading helps them to have an effective and profitable trade. Copy trading generated more than $50 billion in profits in 2020, and this figure is expected to reach $80 billion by 2025! In the following, we will explore the benefits of copy trading for forex traders.

Ideal for Beginners
With copy trading, traders have other people to help them do their research. This means you can start trading immediately. Additionally, for traders who have limited time to trade full-time, copy trading is a great option. You can learn how market professionals trade. This is great because you can see how experienced traders trade without spending a minimum amount of time.

Portfolio Diversification
By using copy trading, forex traders can access trends or opportunities that are inaccessible without the help of other traders’ expertise. This option is especially suitable for newcomers who are learning more about the market. Also, copy trading can be used in various markets such as forex, commodities, stocks, indices, and metals.

By copy trading, you get to know different assets. When you copy the trades of a professional person, if he trades stock indices, you will also get to know this market. If they are a commodity market trader, you will also get to know the commodity market.

Better Risk Management
Copy trading provides access to several risk management tools. Copiers can choose from a wide range of copying methods to configure profit and loss levels. Also, you get to know how professionals manage risk. This issue is very important. Do you know how many people in the forex market have become margin calls due to not being aware and not following risk management?

You can easily control your losses with copy trading in forex. When the results are not according to your expectations, you can easily turn your attention to someone else’s trades. As the saying goes, when you don’t get healing from your doctor, change it.

You Can Work as a Full-Time Signal Provider
Copy trading is what makes it possible for you to work as a full-time signaler for yourself. What we mean is, now that you are copying someone else’s trades, you can sell all your trades as signals.

Where Should I Start for Copy Trading?
After you understand what copy trading is, you can start your own business to invest in this area. In this section, you can learn about copy trading step by step. The first step in copy trading is to create an account on a trusted stock and trading platform. Most trading platforms have options to follow other traders. There are different standards for choosing the right trader. For example, you may want to follow a trader who has higher profits or a consistent trading pattern.

The second step is to decide how much you want to invest and how financially prepared you are for the risk. As you know, in any investment method, you should not put all your eggs in one basket. Start with a small percentage of disposable income and remember that investing always comes with the risk of losing some of your money!

The third step is just watching. There are trading platforms that automatically copy-trade your chosen assets with the investors you copy. However, there is a handy way to copy trade by watching the portfolios your peers are buying or selling.

Copy Trading Can Bring You More Money
Now that you are familiar with the concept of copy trading in Forex and its advantages and disadvantages, you understand that this category is an effective and efficient method. Especially if you are a beginner. Never forget to go to a professional trader to get good trading experience.

Aron Groups is an experienced and reliable broker in the forex market. It offers its users the possibility of copy trading. Aron Groups provides its new traders with enough educational content and facilities to learn more about copy trading and make a profit.

Presenting a Vision With Editorial Photography

It has been said numerous times that a picture is worth a thousand words and nowhere else is this truer than with editorial photography. Newspapers and magazines that publish photographs that accompany articles are using this type of photography to add visualization to their printed stories. The use of pictures to accompany articles may not pay as much as commercial or corporate photography but is a great way to achieve name recognition.

With most pictures appearing in magazines or in newspapers credit is given to the photographer, which will help them build their portfolio. In newspapers, photographers vie for awards for their work, and winning prizes as well as having their name appear with their work can give them a portfolio to use to gain photographic work in other more lucrative industries.

Some newspapers and magazines, and now internet sites may use the same photographer to create editorial photography as well as advertising or product images and photographers that can do both can build their portfolio even quicker. However, pictures used for advertising or marketing purposes usually do not have any accompanying credit and the photographer will need to have some sort of documentation that they did, in fact, take the picture.

Other aspects of editorial photography can include pictures of disasters such as car accidents or the aftermath of violent storms. Essentially these are the images that accompany articles in the editorial side of the news business. Videographers working for television news bureaus are also involved in editorial photography and only they use video equipment and are often referred to as video journalists as their pictures tell a story.

Editorial photography refers to the pictures in a magazine that aren’t ads. The photographs that go along with the articles – even the cover of the magazine. Some photographers shoot only editorial type work, others shoot both editorial and commercial. For many professionals, despite the typically lower pay, editorial photography offers them a chance to tell a story they believe to be important to a wider audience. By taking pictures that present facts in an enticing manner they can often convince newspapers and magazines to use their pictures, along with additional editorial content to tell a story that may otherwise be overlooked. They can also be used to help people in need. For example, photographs taken in the aftermath of recent tornadoes have been used to show the devastation and to raise awareness for help needed in those communities. These pictures play a role in public donations for those hit hardest by the storms.

Generating B2B Leads for Your Financial Software: No Time Like the Present

A financial and accounting software is an ERP computer application (or more specifically an Enterprise Resource Planning software) that integrates the many procedures of an organization’s accounting into a well-to-do computer program. Many of these types of software incorporate a powerful yet easy to use application for the maintenance of data pertaining to general accounting, portfolio management, stock maintenance, inventory control, sales, purchases, and other expenses of the business. It can also make reports in a click of a button to streamline processes and lessen overall operational costs with regards to financial and accounting.

This type of computer application may be a substantial need for many but the truth is that not everybody knows of this marvelous ERP software. Hence, the common mentality of a person that if-I-don’t-know-it-I-won’t-touch-it kind of feeling sinks in. It is because of this feeling that the manufacturers, programmers, and even resellers of financial and accounting software could not generate enough quality ERP leads for their own good.

There are a lot of businessmen (and women) out there that do not know the existence of this software. As such, sellers of these software might have to put in an extra amount of effort to search and qualify software sales leads lest they lose out to their competitors. In today’s business era, no matter what type of industry a company may reside in, losing out on the competition is not an option.

For these sellers of this type of software, outsourcing to a reputable telemarketing firm should be their first option in hopes of generating quality ERP leads.

The reasons for this is as plain as day: precision, expertise, and haste.

First of all, let us talk about their precision in targeting software sales leads. Many of today’s reputable telemarketing firms not only have professional telemarketers but also data specialists. These specialists make sure that the lead database they use remains updated at any given time. Hence, when a company wants to contact a specific market to generate interests for their financial and accounting software, the campaign poses no threat of contacting leads that are not within their targeted specifications.

Furthermore, when it comes to expertise, professional telemarketers have it second to none. Telemarketing firms can guarantee the expertise of their telemarketers as they hold multiple training programs to hone their representatives’ skills and talents at all times. This is to allow the software company to safeguard their name always even when these telemarketers are faced with a lot of negativity during the course of a call.

Lastly, their haste; using the telephone to produce interest is by far one of the fastest methods to get the word across about the financial and accounting software. When compared to traveling around town just to talk to leads, this method is certainly a lot quicker. In a span of a few minutes, a conversation with a lead can be done. Hence, many telemarketing firms promises more than a hundred calls within a span of an eight-hour work day.

Manufacturers, programmers, and resellers of financial and accounting software should not waste time in outsourcing to a well-known telemarketing firm. After all, there is no time like the present to generate quality ERP leads.

A Look At The Improvements Present On The New HTC Sensation XE

Not so many months ago we were writing about the new HTC Sensation, a phone that was set to take the smartphone market by storm thanks to some great specification. This model is still one of the superior handsets available but an updated Sensation XE device is set to be launched with some fairly impressive features.

There are two major differences between the original handset and the new XE device. The main improvement will be to the delight of music lovers as the model incorporates Beats Audio, a technology that improves the audio playback on the model by enhancing both software and hardware that is supplied with the phone. The hardware update is in the form of high quality new headphones that are supplied with the device which offer a much better frequency response especially on lower frequency sounds. The software built into the phone detects when these headphones are plugged in and switches the handset from standard audio mode to Beats mode in order to optimise the music playback. You do not have to be a music lover however to benefit from some of the other improvements that this model offers. The original Sensation was a very fast phone and the XE steps this speed up a gear by offering a massive 1.5Ghz dual core processor which is coupled with an impressive 768MB of RAM memory.

The new HTC Sensation XE comes supplied with a powerful 1730mAh battery that should help eliminate some of the problems the original model experienced in the battery life department. This new cell should offer users an excellent standby time of around 540 hours when connected to a 3G network and a talk time of approximately 7.4 hours. Design wise the model sticks with the same aluminium design that the original phone offered but this has been spiced up with some attractive looking red elements together with a much darker finish rather than the silver and bronze look sported by its predecessor. This look is certainly eye catching and undoubtedly makes this phone one of the most stylish looking handsets available. The HTC Sense user interface is present once again together with all of the advantages that it offers especially when it comes to social networking thanks to the excellent Friendstream feature which collaborates a host of your accounts together in one easily manageable location.

The HTC Sensation XE is a great phone that takes all of the superb features that were offered on the original model and updates certain aspects. The result is a phone that boasts ultra modern looks and high speed operation together with unrivalled audio quality.

The Present Statistics On Single Parents Show Parallels To Married Folks

It is a well known fact that the instance of single parent households is on the rise, without an end in sight as the divorce rate continues to hold steady at slightly above fifty percent.

However, single parent homes don’t come about solely as a result of a divorce situation. In other words, there are those scenarios where a custodial parent becomes the only one raising a minor child because his or her spouse has recently passed away. Others become single parents because they don’t want to get married at any time in their lives, but they still wish to raise a child for the fulfillment and satisfaction that doing so provides.

Unfortunately for single parents, a majority of those individuals who are married feel they have the freedom to pass judgment on why their single counterparts are living without a spouse.

Opinions such as these translate into the stereotypes that single parents raising children are branded with, such as that it is these folks who apply for food stamps or other public assistance because they are without the benefit of a spouse to help support them or they just don’t want to get a job.

However, as the statistics on single parents has shown, this sector of the population has more similarities than not in common with those adults who are currently married with children.

For instance, contrary to the general belief that parents in the singles category are the ones who are sucking up all the public assistance resources available to the United States at large, single parent information has shown the truth to be otherwise – as approximately seventy-nine percent of single mothers hold employment of some kind, while ninety percent of single fathers are also working for a living.

Meanwhile, according to single mom statistics only twenty-seven percent of custodial maternal figures are using public assistance, while less than twenty percent of custodial single parent fathers ask for government help at some point.

Other false information about this group of parents abounds that is amply proven wrong by the statistics on single parent households.

For example, many point to single parents as the reason the teen pregnancy rate is so high. Though it is true that many teenagers who become parents themselves come from a single parent household, this family situation does not in turn automatically cause a youngster to run out the front door and become promiscuous.

As statistics have shown, minor children raised by a single parent are no more likely to have substance abuse issues or disciplinary problems in school and elsewhere than those children growing up with two parents in the same house.

Yet, falsities that do make their way into the public’s stream of conscious have to originate from somewhere, and those regarding single parenting are no exception. And when considering the circumstances of divorce and single parents from many decades ago, it makes sense that the married half of the public has come to believe what they do about parents without partners.

What are some of the more grim figures which existed years ago that have given people a reason to form the opinions they currently hold about single individuals raising children?

To start, as far back as the year 1995 almost six in ten children living with their mothers only had to endure a lifestyle on or close to the poverty level – thereby causing most of these single mother families to require public assistance.

In this same year, many children were living with a single mother who had never before been married – a phenomena that presented its own challenges to the single mother parenting crowd.

For instance, two-thirds of the children living among this group of mothers found that their parent didn’t finish out her high school years, thus setting a bad example in the educational realm. In addition, these children were forced to suffer the effects that unemployment of a parent brings about, as unmarried single mothers were twice as likely to be unemployed or not even intending to become a member of the labor force at all.

Four million children lived with their grandparents during this mid-nineties decade. But sadly, thirty-seven percent of those four million adolescents did not have either parent also living in the home along with their grandmother and grandfather – making those children have to cope with the idea of an absentee mother or father.

Despite the pitfalls of the past, many single parent families have been able to rise above it as the current statistics show. For example, back in the nineties a majority of prison inhabitants gave single parent households a bad name since much more than fifty percent of inmates came from an environment of this type.

Today, that figure stays right around fifty percent, which means that one out of every two persons sitting in jail comes from a family where the parents are still together in a marital capacity – thus proving the point that in this day and age, growing up in a one-parent environment is not a precursor to a life of crime and whiling away the years behind the walls of a penitentiary.

From the information that has been gathered regarding single parenting, it is easy to conclude that this group has it harder when it comes to raising children and staying financially afloat at the same time. But as the most recent statistics on single parent households have demonstrated, there are more similarities than not to the manner in which each set of children grows up and turns out as an adult.

Sometimes all it takes to get through the divorce process is to know that there is a person who is on your side to help you from start to finish – a person who can answer your questions and even guide you when it comes to filing your marital dissolution documents with the local family law court.

Garden Photography and the Unique Challenges It Presents

The beauty of living in the South is that I get to enjoy my garden almost year round. While gardens in the Northeast look a bit sad in the winter. Gardens in the South provide color throughout the year. This is especially true in several local gardens in Charleston South Carolina. There are several former plantations in the area that filled with color from one season to the next.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is probably the most visited and is definitely my favorite. Magnolia Plantation dates back to 1670′s with areas of the gardens left in its original state. This of course has granted me a wonderful opportunity to capture beautiful 300 year old English gardens. This along with the historic background makes for a garden photographers dream setting.

There are always challenges for any photographer when taking pictures. Garden photography has its own set of unique challenges. First and foremost for me is lighting and the challenges it presents.

Bright sunny days are great for going to the beach, but not for taking pictures. The best natural lighting you can have is when the sky is overcast. The problem with having bright sunshine is that you get a reflection of the leaves. This causes an issue with you having too much contrast in your raw pictures.

Try and avoid midday sun if possible. You can try and create an area of shade with a blanket or bed cloth. There is one inexpensive method that I like to use and that’s cardboard. If you are able to get the right lighting the next issue is proper angle.

Getting the right angle on the subject you are focusing on is extremely important. You want to look at it from different positions and angles. This way you can eliminate any objects you don’t want in the shot. This can be a pole in the ground or a group of wires that’s used to brace a nearby tree. It could even be a hose or broken branch. Get close to the ground and look at it from that angle. Take a few shots with your camera shooting upright. Moving in closer after each shot and as close as an inch or two.

Use of a tripod can be very useful in low lighting situations that you just created. As well as close up shots. This will allow you to get a steady shot as well. I like to think I have a steady hand, but some shots are a little blurry at times.

Every season brings new life to gardens. Birds and bees in the Spring. Winter rye grass in the Fall. Sunflowers in the Summer. So, the last point that I can share is most important. Explore your surroundings and enjoy what nature has to offer. You’ll never find a subject in the garden that you have to ask to smile or hear complaints from.

I’ve been a Charleston photographer for over 10 years and each and every time I explore the area gardens with my camera at my side. I find something that I didn’t realize was there before. Makes each trip a very unique and rewarding experience.

Designing Custom Cases For Product Presentation and Sales

Nothing is more frustrating than arriving at a potential clients to make a sales presentation, only to discover that the centerpiece of your presentation has been damaged during transport. After all, you want to exude the most professional and capable presence possible, and a mangled product or product samples certainly doesn’t help your overall image. Unveiling a classy and well-designed presentation of your products or equipment is critical when making a powerful, convincing impression; custom cases will help ensure that you are looking sharp and present a dazzling 1st impression.

Advanced Technology Makes Designing Custom Cases A Cinch

Thanks to advancements and improvements in manufacturing technology, it’s easier than ever before to order a custom case and have it designed precisely. Things like variable size thermoforming, blow molding, wood and aluminum fabrication with CNC technology and many other advanced techniques have made achieving optimal results more reliable than ever. There’s no longer any need to cobble together a makeshift case when you have oddly- sized, exceptionally fragile or multiple items to bring along for an important sales presentation, thanks to the technology behind creating custom cases and foam.

Maintain Professionalism With Custom Cases

First impressions matter. From your personal presentation to the way you transport and present your case contents, your goal is to give the best product and company impression possible. Nothing can compromise your carefully considered presentation quite like a shoddy looking case. Arriving at a potential client’s office with a sleek, custom designed case is vastly preferable to arriving with a cardboard box or pulling product from an unorganized jumble from the bottom of a cheap carrying case.

Custom Cases For All Of Your Branding Needs

Even if the centerpiece of your sales presentation is a logistical nightmare to carry or ship from place to place, there is bound to be a custom case solution out there that will meet and exceed your expectations. The right case consultants will be more than able to fulfill your needs and come up with custom case designs along with recommendations on the appropriate selection of case fabrication that will allow you to get your items where you need them safely and securely. All the while, you will maintain your professional appearance – a win-win situation.

For an additional branding perk remember that most cases are available with custom printing options. What better way to make your mark than to have your company’s logo printed on the case in color. Remember you will never have a second chance to make that first impression and case consultants will ensure your success.

6 Tips to Deliver a Deadly Presentation

Leadership and lecture are inseparable. In the world of business, information and instructions flow down the levels of hierarchy through the mode of presentations, beginning from the top position – occupied by the CEO.

Everyone in an organization, including the CEO, is assigned with certain roles and responsibilities. And, at some point or other, he may have to address people from the presentation’s platform. Therefore it is better to prepare for bigger roles.

We intend to make this job a bit simpler for you. Here are some tips that can help you deliver an effective presentation.

1. Make sure the hardware’s working fine

Before the meeting commences, send a team from the IT department to install the hardware – projector, screen, mouse, laptop, etc. Arrive at the venue early to ensure that you have personally tested if everything is set in order and all technology equipment and audio-visual support are working well.

Also, it is good to give a mini presentation to just chairs to ensure that everything goes as per the plan.

2. Start with a concern or question

Don’t waste time in unnecessary discussions that are not relevant in the context of the presentation. Throw a question straightway, raise a concern, present a problem or bring a shocker – anything that makes the audience think, be curious, concerned or even scared.

Getting the audience interested from the word ‘go’ can be a great start for your presentation.

For instance, if you are gathered to discuss sales strategies for the quarter, start with a pie chart or bar graph of the sales for the previous quarter. Similarly if you are venturing into a new business, you can start with the challenges (supported with facts).

3. Avoid handouts

Some people do prefer to distribute handouts or the printed copies of presentation. I personally find this conventional practice a big hindrance in the successful accomplishment of the objectives of presentation.

With the complete draft and information in their hands, the participants tend to read the message ahead of you. It kills their interest as they already know “whats’s up next”. If you have lost your audience before you have even started, your presentation may end up as a mere lecture of no significant consequence.

Therefore, rather than distributing handouts, you can upload the complete presentation on slideshare.net from where everybody can access it whenever they want, without bothering about misplacing the hard copies or damaging the CDs.

And of course the global message of ‘save paper’ has always been a concern to consider.

4. Ask questions and invite ideas

Make your presentation interactive by promoting a two-way communication. Ask relevant questions but to the right people. Questions arouse interest and engage audiences.

Present your point supported with substantial facts and invite suggestions and ideas. Don’t impose your opinion. Appreciate good ideas.

You can also consider a modification or addition to your slides if required. It encourages the audiences to feel comfortable allowing them to pay attention and come up with suggestions.

5. Use your time effectively

In business, time translates into money. Value time and try to conclude your presentation within the pre-decided window. If you stretch the time unnecessarily you will be wasting your time and making your audience impatient.

Use the time effectively. Cut irrelevant discussions short. Postpone individual concerns for some other time. Plan efficiently and then stick to your plan.

6. Patience pays

Patience is a virtue of leaders. You need a lot of it during presentations. Irritating questions, repeated requests to visit the previous slides, difficulty in understanding a concept or an irrelevant argument – these will test your patience in many ways.

Be patient and try to get in some humor in the course of your talk. It will help create a healthy atmosphere and get your audience involved.

There are so many other elements of a delivering a killer presentation that you can learn with experience. Improvement is a continuous process and everybody learns from experiences. The more you experience, the more you learn.

You can also learn from other’s experiences through CEO peer groups. At a CEO conference or CEO group, you will get to meet expert and experienced leaders who would share their experiences with you, therefore making you wiser and more experienced.