How to Invest and Why You Need a Plan | investing

What makes rich people rich? Looking at the spending pattern of various income groups in the U.S. makes it clear: Savings. The real difference between the rich and the poor is that the rich spend a larger share of their income on savings (pensions and insurance) and education.Source: WSJ, Labour Department,When building wealth, preserving wealth, and passing it to the next generation is the formula for financial success it is surprising that less than 20% of Americans do have a written plan when it comes to investing and even retirement [1].The paradox in human behavior is that we are perfectly rational and capable of planning for a major event in our lives, but this is usually forgotten when it comes to investing. In fact, you will find that only a third of investors have a written plan guiding their investment strategy and retirement plans.Why is a plan needed?
The investment world is a harsh jungle, a world of murky waters where the smartest and the most organized survive and become successful while the rest are gobbled up. A written plan short circuits our normal response to something as emotional as money. It prevents us from resorting to our gut feelings and emotions. Instead of following the herd mentality that may prompt you to make unwise investment decisions, a plan will force you to stick to a rational strategy that is underpinned by fundamental investment principles. Some of the difficult emotions that you will have to overcome while investing include:
1) The fear of failure
2) The tendency to continue with a certain approach just because you started it
3) Personal matters such as relationship issues at homeIt is also important to point out the main reasons why investors fall prey to the market and lose their precious funds:
1) Omitted facts and figures mislead investors into investing in a structurally unsound company or financial instrument
2) Overconfidence makes some investors think that they are invincible and that they can always beat the market.
3) Everyone wants to be seen as a champion, the successful general capable of leading an army to victory. This can make you make investment decisions that are not based on rational thinking but rather the desire to impress your friends, co-workers or family membersBy having an investment plan written down and actually following what it says, you will have dramatically increased your chances of winning and increasing the size of your nest egg or investment portfolio. The following are simple steps in creating a plan and avoiding the herd mentality and instinctual impulses that turn us into fools when investing:1. Set up specific and realistic goals
For example, instead of saying you want to have enough money to retire comfortably, think about how much money you’ll need. Your specific goal may be to save $500,000 by the time you’re 65.2. Calculate how much you need to save each month
If you need to save $500,000 by the time you’re 65, how much will you need to save each month? Decide if that’s a realistic amount for you to set aside each month. If not, you may need to adjust your goals.3. Choose your investment strategy
If you’re saving for long-term goals, you might choose more aggressive, higher-risk investments. If your goals are short term, you might choose lower-risk, conservative investments. Or you might want to take a more balanced approach.4. Develop an investment policy statement
Create an investment policy statement to guide your investment decisions. If you have an adviser, your investment policy statement will outline the rules you want your adviser to follow for your portfolio. Your investment policy statement should:Specify your investment goals and objectives,Describe the strategies that will help you meet your objectives,Describe your return expectations and time horizon,Include detailed information about how much risk you’re willing to take,Include guidelines on the types of investments that make up your portfolio, and how accessible your money needs to be, andSpecify how your portfolio will be monitored, and when or why it should be rebalanced.A smart investor with a written down plan and strategy has already won half the battle without making a single financial decision. By implementing the plan and adhering to laid down rules of operation, the smart investor will avoid the pitfalls caused by human emotion and behavior and end up winning big.

Gardening Tools You Cannot Do Without | gardening

A garden is a piece of land or space that can be used to cultivate flowers, herbs or fruits. This piece of land or space could be your backyard, a hydroponic shed or small flower bed at the corner of your property. Gardening is therapeutic, it can help ease stress and provides and opportunity for self enhancement and increase in self worth through the process of bringing crops to life from just seedlings.When considering the idea of setting up a garden, it is important you take note of the required tools to help make the job easier or if you have already setup your own garden getting to know the right tools for the right purpose will also enhance your gardening experience. I shall be talking you through some of the ideal tools that is required to setup and make your gardening experience a blast.Before we commence, I would want to say that when picking garden tools, make sure to invest only in quality and trusted tools, it is no gain saying that you invest in tools that can’t stand the test of work. Also ensure that all tools have a proper place for storage and also they are properly maintained to promote their useful lifespan. Establish a regular maintenance routine and make sure to have your tools kept oiled up to avoid rust. Remove all tools from area that are prone to dampness, let your tools be kept in clean and dry places just as the doctor ordered. There are some key tools required to guarantee an amazing gardening experience, I have outlined a few key tools below;RakeA hand rake is an inevitable tool for every gardener. The rake plays a vital role in loosening the top soil to allow the plant retrieve maximum nutrient from the soil. The rake is also used to clean up the garden of loose dirt and or dried leaves. It is important that you invest in rakes that are metal and hand comfortable handles, this would make the activity of cleaning and raking easy and less stressful.Garden hoseEvery home should have at least one garden hose, they serve multiple purposes. They could be used to water a lawn or wash the car. Rubber hoses have more flexibility and are less susceptibility to cuts and abrasions but are usually more expensive. A garden hose connects to a source of water by means of plastic couplings or of brass fittings. Layers make up hoses and their strength increases with each additional layer. When you have thicker hoses, the likelihood of kinking reduces and this ensures for constant flow of water. Usually, the length of a hose determines the weight. Treat your hose properly so it could serve you well. Avoid leaving pressure on it unnecessarily and running hot water through it. During purchase, make sure you ask the right questions before making your purchase. Avoid light hoses and hoses without adequate thickness.ShovelsA shovel is an essential tool for gardening. They come in different sizes, shapes and a variety of forms. Shovels are made from metal with some having wooden or plastic handles. A shovel is used for scooping, digging and shoveling of soil or dirt. The shovel is important in any garden setup, it helps you save strength on otherwise difficult task of digging.Garden ForkA garden fork resembles a shovel only that it is pointed spikes like that of a rake. Garden forks are usually required in larger gardens and small farms to move large bales of dirt or grass. They are the most ideal tool for moving hay for livestock feed. The garden fork is usually metal and has wooden handles which makes usage easy. It is important that safety measures are observed at all times to avoid injury when making use of the fork and all gardening tools.Pruning SawsA pruning saw is a hand tool that has the same serrated blade as a normal saw and it’s used to trim live shrubs and trees. There are different pruning saws for different purposes and type of shrub or trees. We have the arborist saw and the curved hand cut saw to name a few. A pruning saw is an ideal tool to have in your tool shed, it allows you to take care of renegade shrubs and tree branches.Pruning saws comes in different sizes and types. Just like every tool, for a pruning saw to be keep functioning, it need to be maintained. Ensure to clean it after every use and oil the blades at intervals, sharpen the blades when necessary and use the different pruning saw correctly for their required purpose.Hand TrowelsA garden trowel is a small hand tool that is used For weeding and cultivation. They usually have wooden, plastic or metal handles coated with rubber. Garden trowels that do not have the metal handles are prone to breaking or bending. It hand trowel is very useful for most gardens, I am yet to see a garden tool shed that doesn’t have a hand trowel. It’s one of the mist basic gardening tool.Like all gardening tool, it is important to have a proper maintenance routine. Your hand trowel should be kept clean, sanitized and wiped dry after every use. Infected trowels is harmful to your garden as they can spread disease from one plant to another. The best way to store this trowels is by hanging them up. Most garden trowels are built with a hole at the end of the handle which can be used to hang them.Pruning shearsPruning shears are sometimes called hand prunes. They are used for cutting and trimming of any unwanted branches and weeds. They can also be used to shape out your plants to allow for effective growth, pruning a tree at intervals helps to improve its overall growth potential by weeding off old and unwanted parts. Pruning shears are small and handy just as they are quite inexpensive. After every use, rinse your pruning shears with water, dry them and cover them with their protective cover before placing them back in your toolbox.Like the hand Trowels, hand prunes are very important garden tool for every toolbox. It expected that every garden should have a pruning tool. Hand prunes come in various sizes and shapes for performing different types of pruning. Sometimes the differentiating attribute is the material used in forging it and the manufacturer. Invest only in quality prunes forged from stainless steel to ensure it last longer for the purpose.Green HouseA green house is a protected growing environment created for the purpose of growing tender plants and seedlings or cultivating crops that requires an all year round protection. They are beautiful and useful structures used by gardeners. It serves as a shield between nature and what you intend to grow or are growing and allow for plants to be improved and growing seasons to be extended artificially.Green Houses serves as a shelter from excess cold, heat and pests. In making a buying decision of a green house, take into cognizance, the area you live and what you intend growing. The use of a green house can make you grow things you wouldn’t otherwise be able to grow, you have more time to concentrate on the successful growth of your crops as you no longer battle with pests. The price of your green house varies and it is most times a function of size and material used in its construction. Ultimately, before making a purchase, understand the benefits of a green house, conduct a little research to determine if a green house is right for you and which one works best for you for the purpose you intend for it. Examine your environment to decide the type of green house that works best as these factors will help you make the right decision.Garden pots and planteraThere’s a large variety of pots and planters on the market. If you are looking to buy some, you should definitely get what suits your needs and purpose in terms of functionality, color and style. The kind of pot or planter you use depends on your needs, climate and the kind of plant you intend growing on the pot. Planters are made from different materials to serve different purposes. Some common choices include Concrete, clay, metal plastic or wood. Planters and pots are great ways to bring nature indoors, on your balcony or evn onto your patio.The list of gardening tools is not exhaustive but I have chosen to educate you on this few, it is my hope that you have learnt a few things. I wish you a happy gardening.