All the investing advice you’ll ever need?

Source: http://www.nextavenue.org/is-this-the-only-investing-advice-you-need/

Your behavior as an investor will have a larger impact on your retirement lifestyle than the performance of your investments.

1. Max your 401(k) or equivalent employee contribution.

This is a good piece of general advice — once you’ve first paid off any high-interest consumer debt and accumulated an appropriate cash reserve. For workers with no 401(k) company match, it might be better to contribute to a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA.

2. Buy inexpensive, well-diversified mutual funds such as Vanguard’s Target 20xx funds.

I’m not a big fan of target-date funds, and Vanguard’s target-date funds contain just a few asset classes. But they’re better than loaded, actively managed funds.

3. Never buy or sell an individual security. The person on the other side of the table knows more than you do about that stuff.

Maybe they do, and maybe they don’t. But there’s no doubt that owning individual securities is riskier than owning a well-diversified stock fund. Additionally, it’s unlikely that you know something about a company that isn’t already factored into its stock price.

4. Save 20 percent of your money.

5. Pay your credit-card balance in full every month.

6. Maximize tax-advantaged savings vehicles like Roth, SEP and 529 accounts.

7. Pay attention to fees. Avoid actively-managed funds.

8. Make your financial adviser commit to a fiduciary standard.

Most people who provide financial advice are not required to act in a fiduciary capacity with their clients. They are not required to disclose conflicts of interest or recommend investments that are in their clients’ best interests — only those that are “suitable”. If your financial adviser isn’t acting in a fiduciary capacity with other clients, it’s unlikely that you’ll be treated differently.

9. Promote social-insurance programs to help people when things go wrong.

Apparently, the professor had only six pieces of financial advice to offer, but there was some space left on the index card. If we can’t keep politics off the card, I’d replace his No. 9 with …

Keeping your Attitude and Your Assets Positive
Pollack’s list is fine as far as it goes, but it’s hardly all-inclusive. Let’s flip the card over and add a few more pieces of advice.

10. Make sure you have adequate amounts of umbrella, disability and life insurance — just in case.

11. Keep your estate-planning documents up to date.

Note to all collectors — your children don’t want your stuff, they want their own stuff.

12. If you have to choose, make saving for your retirement a higher priority than saving for your kids’ college.

13. Don’t kid yourself. You probably know less about financial planning and investing than you realize.

14. There is no perfect portfolio — yours should emphasize simplicity and shun complexity.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that complex investments are somehow better than “plain vanilla” stock and bond mutual funds and ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds).

15. You can only control the inputs to, not the performance of, your portfolio.

16. Successful investors focus on their goals and investment strategy, not on the stock market.

The long-term performance of your portfolio will be inversely proportional to how much you tinker with it. If you must peek, limit your stock market updates to Wednesdays and Fridays.

17. Your behavior as an investor will have a larger impact on your retirement lifestyle than the performance of your investments.

18. Your financial adviser should create a comprehensive and comprehensible financial plan that will keep you on course to your financial goals.

If you don’t have a financial plan – you don’t have a financial adviser.

19. Investing isn’t about hitting home runs — singles and doubles will serve you well in the long run and help you avoid making big mistakes.

20. Before getting into more consumer debt to impress your friends and neighbors remember this — one third won’t notice, one third won’t be impressed and one third will think you’re a self-obsessed fool.

21. Maintain your optimism — the perennial pessimists have always been wrong, and there’s no reason to believe that their track record will change anytime soon.

Here Are 14 Details About Disney Parks That Most People Don’t Know

Credit: http://www.wimp.com/disney-details/

1. There are 14 rides that operate to this day since the grand opening of the Magic Kingdom.
2. Trash cans are strategically placed around the park so that you are never more than 30 ft from one.
3. Inconspicuous Mickey Mouse heads are hiding in plain sight all over Disney World and its resorts.
4. A secret, exclusive suite is concealed in Cinderella’s Castle, available only as a promotional giveaway.
5. The Magic Kingdom staff have access to hidden tunnels all over the park.
6. Disney World doesn’t sell gum. It prevents unpleasant surprises on rides and tables – and in hair.
7. The “Tree of Life” in the Animal Kingdom was previously an oil rig.
8. The brown path in Liberty Village is representative of sewage flow during the Colonial Era.
9. “Smellitizers” can be found all over Disney World, which emit scents that correspond with the surroundings.
10. The aquarium in “The Seas” is so vast that the “Spaceship Earth” sphere fits comfortably inside of it.
11. The seemingly unkempt, withering garden in front of “The Haunted Mansion” is intentional.
12. Up until a few years ago, the “Toy Story” characters would drop to the ground when someone yelled, “Andy’s coming!”
13. In “Tomorrowland,” you can see the palm trees fold in at dusk and then unfold at dawn.
14. A basketball court is secretly tucked away inside the “Matterhorn” ride for staff members.

Can’t go wrong with random Disney facts!

13 Disturbing Behind The Scenes Secrets From Disney World

Source: http://www.answers.com/article/1281842/employee-secrets-disney-world-probably-doesnt-want-you-to-know?paramt=21&param4=fb-us-de-entertainment-hppv&param1=stories&param2=50957721&param5=10152398798266186&param6=6023555942049

I just wanted to be able to read this all on one page instead of 30 pages with ads.

1. A character can NEVER take off their mask.
Even if they become so nauseous in their costume that they need to throw up, they’ve gotta do it right there inside of their masks.  Under no circumstances can they remove their mask in front of the guests.  If they do need to leave, they will cover one eyes with their hand and raise the other arm in the air to alert maintenance that they aren’t feeling well.

2. Characters will be fired if they’re seen with the same character.
You’ll never see two Snow Whites, two Mickeys, two of anything!  One former character performer opened the curtain to the same character she was switching out with once.  Without even knowing if any guests saw her, she ran back into the costume room and was nearly sick.

3. Cast members are not allowed to tell anyone which character they play.
According to a former employee, cast members who play characters can say “I’m friends with ____” or “I hang out with this certain character” but you can never say who you actually play.  No pictures of yourself in costume are allowed on social media or you will definitely be fired!

4. Someone died and their family got free passes.
Really! One former cast member said that he once worked a register in Tomorrowland at Disney World.  A man had a heart attack and died in the store. His family was “behind the scenes” in the employee areas obviously heartbroken.  Guests are never allowed behind the scenes but Disney made an exception to give this family their privacy.  The family also got free lifetime passes.  Guests are never allowed behind the scenes but Disney made an exception to give this family their privacy.  The family also got free lifetime passes.

5. They don’t take shoplifting lightly.
One visitor to Disney went to Magic Kingdom for a high school band trip.  One of his friends stole a few keychains from one of the stores.  A few minutes later, while walking through a crowded area, someone stepped on the back of someone’s shoe so he had to stop and adjust it.  At this time, when his friends stopped, two security officers came to the group, asked the shoplifter to quietly come with them to a “Cast Members Only” door.  He was charged with shoplifting, had to pay a fine, and had to do community service.

6. Announcements over the speakers are rare – but important.
Breaking the magic is not something Disney likes to do, but when it’s important, they will.  There’s a park-wide sound system that will stop the music and make an announcement looking for a specific person.  One former cast member made an announcement looking for someone who was waiting on an organ donation – an organ became available and that person had to get to the Orlando hospital right away.  Pretty cool!

7. Disney gives out a lot of free money.
Complain to the right cast member about the right issue and you’re almost guaranteed to get some money back.  Disney has a huge budget built in for this exact purpose.  They like to keep their guests happy!

8. Disney keeps notes on their guests.
That’s right – if you’re mean to a cast member, it’s going on your permanent record.  If you have a magic band (you get them for staying at a Disney resort and can be used on food and at stores), the cast member at the computer will be warned if you’ve been out of line with another cast member.  All Disney resorts use the same system, so watch yourself!

9. Disney will reward the nice ones.
On the other hand, if you’re nice to cast members, they’ll often go out of their way to make your experience a little more magical.  One cast member at a Disney resort said she often sent up chocolates or other treats, or even extra fast passes to sweet guests.

10. Cast members have three days to learn their lines.
On many rides, such as The Great Movie Ride in Hollywood Studios, cast members have monologues that must be given correctly to the last letter and inflection.  Cast members are given three days to learn the entire monologue (and how to run the ride!) before going live. Those three days are spent in a room with a trainer going over the script until they get it right – one word wrong?  Start over! Disney wants perfection.

11. The cast members are lovers and fighters.
Just like any workplace, there is drama between the employees.  The princesses have fought over girls who have stolen their boyfriends, cast members have hooked up in the Mousketeeria (employee cafeteria), and Mickey has flipped the bird at another cast member in the underground tunnels.  Not all sugar and spice here.

12. Stay inside your safari vehicle. Seriously.
More than one cast member has confirmed this to be true: if you’re on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride at Disney World, you need to stay in your seat.  At one point, the ride goes over a bridge with crocodiles underneath.  The cast member driving the truck is told that if anyone stands up and falls into the crocodile pit that the truck must be driven away quickly and immediately so that other guests won’t see what happens to the person who’s fallen.  The crocodiles are fed from that bridge and will eat anything that falls from it.  STAY SEATED.

13. “Have a Disney day!”
If a cast member ever tells you to “Have a Disney day,” you shouldn’t be excited.  It’s the cast members’ code for “Go screw yourself.”

Tonight’s Ride

Welllll tonight was my longest ride yet.  Again it sucked for about the first 2-3 miles, but then things started to get easier.  I think I always end up climbing for the first few miles.. it’s just where my condo is located.

Tonight’s stats:
Distance: 21.35km
Elevation Gain: 221m
Average Speed: 19.2km/h
Time: 1:06:52
Top Speed: 36.0km/h
Time: 9-10pm
Temperature: 94 F

Tonight’s Ride

I haven’t ridden in about 2 weeks.  Between work and helping buddies, and church stuff, I just haven’t had time.  Either way, I had a good time.  It’s been too long!

Tonight’s stats:
Distance: 17.78km
Elevation Gain: 142m
Average Speed: 20.32km/h
Time: 52:28
Top Speed: 34.2km/h
Time: 10-11pm
Temperature: 82 F

Tonight was interesting.  After the first 2 miles or so I just felt dead!  I was panting and I didn’t think I could go on.  I don’t know what was up.  I stopped for a couple minutes, had some gatoraid and water, and rode a bit slower.  After a little bit I was able to ride again, then I felt my energy coming back, and I was able to go on.  I guess I was just a bit dehydrated.

Follow Up On Last Ride

One thing I didn’t expect from biking was a good ab workout.  The last couple times I’ve gotten off my bike I’ve really felt it in my abs the day after.  Unexpected, but awesome!

Also my butt hearts.. haha the muscle in front of my sits bones feels bruised, but that’s probably normal.  I just need more seat time!

Tonight’s Ride

Continuing to catalog my biking, I did 9.5 miles (give or take) tonight.  I rode from my place out to Pitman wash, then east to Santiago, then back.  It was a really nice ride!  The first portion of the ride I was snickering to myself saying “psh, this riding stuff is a piece of cake!”.  It wasn’t until I was on the way home that I realized it was because the first half of the ride was DOWN HILL.

Either way, a good ride!

My butt still hurts at the end of the ride and I’m not sure if it’s because my seat doesn’t fit me right, or if it’s not broken in.  I’ll give it 100 or 200 miles and if it still feels like crap then I’ll switch seats.. or something.

First Bike Ride!

So I’m getting ready for a bike trip to Japan in a couple years (I know it’s a while a way, but I’m the type that likes to prepare quite a ways in advance).

A couple of days ago I picked up a brand new Trek 520 (a great and pretty standard touring bike from what I’ve heard) and I love it!  It’s suuuuuch a beautiful bike and it’s so much nicer than any other bike I’ve ever ridden.  Please keep in mind that the last time I rode a bike was 17+ years ago as a means of transportation before I had my drivers license.

The ‘real’ bikers suggest keeping a biking journal or log so I figured they know better than I, so why not?

Tonight I went for a little ride around the block and ended up doing about 7 miles.  It was relatively flat terrain and the weather was great (75 degrees with a cool breeze).

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