Cold Sores and Staff Infection

Cold sores are a result of infection with the herpes simplex 1 virus. This is a viral infection that once you have contracted stays in your system for life. The only treatments available are antiviral management, because there is no cure.

A person who suffers from atopic dermatitis should be extremely cautious around anyone with a cold sore. Atopic dermatitis, better known as eczema, is rashes and irritations on the skin caused by any number of environmental allergies. This condition causes very itchy dry patches of skin that can break open and are prone to secondary infection from scratching. Studies have shown that patients with eczema are more likely to carry stash on their skin than those who do not.

The herpes simplex virus can spread rapidly in a person with atomic dermatitis. This can cause an infection known as eczema herpetic. It can spread over the whole body or remain localized in areas of active eczema outbreak. This situation should be monitored very carefully by a medical professional.

Herpes virus is very contagious and the spreading capability increases in the person who has eczema. The virus can spread over the whole body very quickly leaving you open to secondary infections and especially staph. As noted above the eczema carrier is also more apt to have the staph already present on their skin, thus when scratching sores or rashes, the staph can penetrate and make a bad situation even worse.

If you have eczema and been exposed to the herpes simplex virus, it is important that you see your doctor immediately. They may want to start you on an antiviral medication sooner rather than later to ward off a potential outbreak.

Signs that you may be getting a herpiticum outbreak will include blisters, sores within the areas of eczema. These tiny blisters will soon pop and spread the virus at an alarming rate. There is a chance of fatality if not treated properly. You may feel tired or feverish and notice some swelling in the area of the rash.

It is important to note even if you are not overly concerned for yourself, you should be concerned for your family and coworkers. The virus is very contagious and should be treated immediately. Besides early treatment can lessen the severity and duration of your outbreak.

In very severe cases, your doctor may prescribe a bleach bath to kill the bacteria. However, this should never be undertaken without a doctor’s advice as the wrong dilution can cause severe problems. Phototherapy and laser therapy are also alternative therapies that your doctor or dermatologist may consider.

The main thing to remember is prevention is better than cure, use good hand washing practices and keep yourself healthy. When you are run down your immune system becomes compromised and less able to fight off infection and the herpes particles.

Porn Addiction May Deplete You From Life

Masturbation and explicit entertainment addiction are mutually related, and most addicts of both these habits don’t know where masturbation dependence comes to a close and smut enslavement starts. Numerous addicts get no delight from smut alone. The porn pictures fortify masturbation, and after that, masturbation gives the quite undeniable high that causes the fixation; and thus it goes round and around.

The sorts of pornography that addicts use as their resources to jerk off are various and range from standard photos and scenes to hentai drawings, animated cartoons to webcams and shooting themselves doing sexual acts and afterward stroking off to it. The quantity of genital climaxes of both genders changes per session. A few addicts can climax up to 15 times each day or more – consistently – relying upon how raised they are in their addiction.

Porn dependent youths in High School regularly need to go to the washroom to stroke off amid classes when compelled by urgent and over-the-top porn contemplations which actually command their brains. Like porn addicts of all ages, recollected pictures and recordings divert them from everything else. However, the addicts of all ages get surpassed regularly with the desire to utilize porn and jerk off regardless of the fact that they are not contemplating porn and can’t settle or capacity until they do.

At the point when explicit entertainment addicts attempt and quit porn, the considerations of things they have seen move round their brains like marbles and torment them. Recouping addicts can recall these pictures numerous years after they last utilized porn as a medication. Porn addicts frequently feel constrained by their dependence on jerk-off in broad daylight in public places. In case, they don’t jerk off during these circumstances, they frequently can’t adapt to the fractiousness and disturbance that accompanies the derivation of not having discharged routinely.

At the point when their life circumstance permits it, the porn addicts spend an entire day or days seeing porn. Amid these circumstances, the addicts portray feeling like ‘zombies’. They attempt to get relaxed, yet need to continue stroking off throughout the night until the time has come to get up and to go to work or school. It is extremely basic for porn addicts to have an example amid drinking sprees of being fixated on discovering certain sorts of porn pictures or scenes and can put in hours or even days looking for them.

The compulsion is like a parasite which destroys their life in entirety. They sense that they are in chains which they can’t get rid of. They are under the course of a severe impulse to get involved in porn over which they feel they have no control. Numerous addicts talk about feeling like they are always living in a boxing ring being beaten up by their dependence on erotic entertainment. Some depict it like being in a sand trap; whilst others say it is similar to suffocation.

What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth technology specifies a two-way, short-range radio link that enables communication between PCs, mobile phones, PDAs, and other computing, electronic, and home theatre equipment. With Bluetooth, you can easily synchronize contact or calendar data between a PDA and laptop, talk on a hands-free phone, or print without cables. It is a cable replacement technology like infrared, but offers many advantages over infrared.

The Bluetooth specification focuses on keeping costs low, power consumption minimal, and the size small. Its low power consumption means it can be used in battery-powered devices. Bluetooth offers faster data rates and greater   transmission  distances compared with infrared and there are no line-of-site restrictions. It operates at the 2.4 GHz radio frequency, ensuring worldwide operability.

History

Bluetooth is named after a 10th century Danish king, Harald Blatand (Harld Bluetooth) who was known for uniting warring groups in current-day Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. It was originally developed by Ericsson, but is now managed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG).

The Bluetooth SIG is an industry group with members from the telecommunications, computing, and chip manufacturing industries. To date over 2000 companies are members. The Bluetooth SIG oversees a qualification program to ensure compliance with the standard and interoperability with other Bluetooth devices. Any device bearing the Bluetooth logo has successfully completed interoperability testing.

Technical Details

Speed: The gross data rate supported by Bluetooth is 1 Mbps. Actual data rates are 432 kbps for full-duplex and 721 kbps for asymmetric  transmission .

Frequency: Bluetooth uses the unlicensed ISM (Industrial, Scientific, and Medical) band at 2.4 GHz. In most countries, this band is available. In a few countries it is reserved for military use, but even these countries are moving to make the band available for general use. Because Bluetooth shares the same frequency range as 802.11b WLAN products, these two technologies cannot operate in the same space under some conditions.

Security: Bluetooth is designed to be as secure as wire using authentication and 128-bit encryption. Applications can also build their own security on top of the Bluetooth connection.

 Transmission  distance: Bluetooth’s typical range is up to 10m. The range depends on the radio power class used. A class 2 radio has a typical range of 10m. More powerful classes support longer ranges and have higher output powers. Most devices use a class 2 radio and mobile devices, like mobile phones, where low power consumption is crucial, can only use a class 2 radio.

Architecture: With Bluetooth, up to 8 devices can be connected simultaneously. A piconet is the term for a collection of Bluetooth devices connected in an ad hoc fashion. All devices are peer units, but one device acts as a master and the other slaves for the duration of the piconet connection. Each piconet can support up to 3 full-duplex voice devices. Within a 10m area, there can be up to 10 piconets.

Applications

Bluetooth is becoming the preferred wireless technology in the WPAN (Wireless Personal Area Network). Personal applications include:

– Users can connect PCs to transfer files.

– Workers can collaborate on the same document using Microsoft NetMeeting.

– Users can connect to a printer without cables.

– Users can synchronize data between a handheld PDA and laptop.

– Users can listen to music via a wireless headset.

– Users can talk on their mobile phone with a wireless headset.

– Users can connect their laptops to the internet using their mobile phone’s GPRS or UMTS network.

The Importance of Food in Our Life

Food is the basic necessity for all of us and we all earn money to get this basic necessity. We need to eat 3 meals a day to keep our body running so that we can manage our daily functions. Many of us ” Eat food to live” while there are others who “Live to eat food”. In fact, nutrition assumes a special importance in each and everyone’s life.

Types of Foodstuff

The food is normally divided into two main categories given below:-

1- Vegetarian food- These include stuffs like milk, fruits and vegetables. These are those stuff that are obtained from plants and trees.

2- Non- Vegetarian food- These include stuffs like meat and meat products, chicken, turkey, fish, squid etc. Non vegetarian food are generally obtained by killing animals.

Nutrition from Foodstuff

Nutrition from food is necessary and without this daily dose of nutrition animals may not survive for long. It is important to support life as nourishment obtained helps the cells present in our body to carry out its routine functions. Different stuffs provide different levels of nutrition. The nutrients are divided into six classes which are given below:-

1- Carbohydrates- These provide energy to the body and are found in items like rice, bread and other grain products.

2- Fats- It consists of a group of compounds that are generally insoluble in water. These are found in items like butter, ghee, fish oil, lard etc. Fats are stored in the human body for use at a later use for energy.

3- Minerals- These are needed for the maintenance of proper functions in the body like the transport of oxygen throughout the body, stimulating growth, normalizing the nervous system etc. Minerals can be found from a variety of food items such as meat, cereals including cereal products such as bread, fish, milk and dairy foods.

4- Protein- These are important components of muscles, skin and hair. Proteins are helpful in creation of various enzymes in the body that control various important functions. Major sources of protein include milk, meat, fish, egg, and vegetables.

5- Vitamins- They are an essential component of animal body required for good health. It is organic compound required as a nutrient. Good sources of vitamins are fruits, vegetables, cereals, milk and eggs.

6- Water- It is popularly known as the”elixir of life”. The human body comprises of 55-78 % of water. It is required for the essential functioning of the various important parts of the human body.

Thus, these points given above reflect the importance of food and nutrients in our diet. As long as a human is alive, he needs water and foods in the required quantity.

Automatic Motorcycles

German inventors Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach first developed motorcycles in 1885. It was a revolutionary petroleum-powered means of transportation that had provisions for a pair of stabilizing wheels. It came to be known as the riding car. Former models were large, bulky and had poor handling capabilities. Development of motorcycles began to progress after the First World War that saw extensive use of motorcycles, especially by Germans. These models were made with the help of new internal combustion engines that many manufacturers and producers of bicycles adapted in their designs.

Motorcycles were widely used as an economical solution to deal with rising prices of transportation. Prices of motorcycles were high at that time but yielded better returns over a period of time. As new internal combustion engines became additionally powerful and designs outgrew its bicycle origins, the number of motorcycle producers reduced. India was the largest manufacturer of motorcycles until Harley Davidson launched its bikes in the market in 1928.

Motorcycles are moderately complicated machines that make use of a “chassis” to support other parts of the bike, a “fairing” to mask the front end of the handle, “suspensions” to absorb shocks and reduce wear and tear of the motorcycle, wheels, an engine, a   transmission , and brakes. These are a few basic elements of a bike, along with some more technical mechanics involved, such as oil tank, chains, odometers, and so on. The engine comes in two variants where one of them is a popular option for most due to its simple usage.

Automatic Motorcycles eliminate the hassle of frequently changing gears during traffic or other stops. Nevertheless, manual  transmission  is preferred as it is more economical that the automatic  transmission  models. Auto  transmission  feature takes a toll on the fuel consumption of the bike. Young people find it easy to use automatic Motorcycles because this operation is less complicated and the performance is comparable for limited use.

While purchasing an Automatic Motorcycle it is advisable to opt for a 4-stroke engine as it provides better fuel economy.

Painting Light

HOW TO PAINT LIGHT

I teach students how to paint and draw light. I am also a lighting specialist. My fascination with light encompasses, not only the commercial, retailing aspect, but the artistic as well. Once drawing and painting skills are developed to the point where students can accurately put down what they see, creating light and shadow is studied and faithfully delineated subject matter emerges in a world of space and volume.

LEARNING TO SEE

Basically, the depiction of light and shadow is accomplished by using dark and light colors in painting and tonal gradations in drawing. For a beginning student this often requires some visual skills.. First, I tell the student it is necessary to convert what they see to a two-dimensional vision that they can translate to a two-dimensional surface like a canvas or a sketchbook page.

POWERFUL GRIDS

Seeing objects two-dimensionally can be done in several ways. The easiest (and most time-tested) is to construct a grid in front of the subject matter–that could be actual objects, a photo or a picture. This can be done most simply by holding a pencil vertically and horizontally against the viewed objects, comparing their shapes to the vertical and horizontal lines of the pencil.

Another time-tested method is to literally construct a grid on plate glass or Plexiglas and place that grid in front of the objects. Now the viewed objects are intersected by many squares (depending on how large or small the squares in the grid are.) Each quadrant (square) of the grid can then be painted or drawn independently and upon completing the entire grid, the composition of objects is finished to compose an accurate picture of the objects.

Light and shadow are more easily discerned and created with this grid method. How objects are illuminated can be defined on paper or canvas by observing and re-creating light and shadow at play in each quadrant. In accomplishing this by shading and highlighting, illumination and therefore, volume is created, the illusion of the three-dimensional space is created, reborn on a two-dimensional surface.

EARLY LINE AND COLOR

Accuracy, as well as light and shadow were not always the motivation behind depicting artful images. Before the Renaissance, art works in Europe depicted objects ( figures, landscapes, buildings) in a flat space. There was no light and shadow. Figures were delineated and colored in a style much like a coloring book. These images translated well to stained glass windows and mosaics. Their simplicity of line and color contributed to the strength of the iconography, often of religious significance.

EARTHLY LIGHT

With the discovery of perspective, space and volume became important to artists as well as the depiction of light and shadow. Symbolic icons and images described by line gave way to depictions of illuminated space. In perspective, objects recede and advance in a two-dimensional space that is totally visually believable. To augment the receding and advancing figures with directional light and shadow completed the believability, creating a world the eye could explore as a simulated, illuminated three-dimensional environment.

GOLD LEAF TO EARTHLY LIGHT

Spiritual light, the vehicle of infinity was often expressed with the use of gold leaf in Medieval altarpieces. The warm, glowing, reflective surface behind religious figures imbued the work with a rich and reassuring statement-the glory of heaven and God’s power. A more earthly light replaced gold leaf in the Renaissance. Spiritual figures were bathed in sunlight and swathed in shadow. The light that illuminated the humble shepherds was the same light that shone on Jesus and his followers.

REPEATING HISTORY

It is interesting to me that the journey a beginning drawing or painting student takes often replicates the historical transition from the Medieval use of line and color-in style to the Renaissance application of illuminated space and volume. And, with more advanced students, their journey often continues to repeat the contemporary return to line and color-in, the preference for depicting flat, shallow space and solid color.

I find this reassuring. The art world is wide open, brimming with many styles, images, materials and skills. For today’s artist, everything is available, to use towards a creative purpose. All of history as well as the latest technological/digital images are ready to be researched and developed.

Yeast Infection Information

What is the yeast infection?

A yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of naturally occurring yeast organisms in the genital area. Women usually get yeast infections in the vaginal area. Men can get a yeast infection on the penis.

What is of causes of yeast infection?

Yeast infections are not usually sexually transmitted. Although many women get a yeast infection without any noticeable cause, it can be triggered by anything that changes the natural balance of micro-organisms in the vagina, such as taking antibiotic medication.

People with certain diseases, including diabetes and HIV infection, are especially vulnerable to yeast infections.

Symptoms of a yeast infection?

Symptoms may include itching, soreness, or a burning sensation in the vagina, and a thick, cottage-cheese-like discharge. In men, itching and rash at the head of the penis is the most common symptom.

Symptoms of yeast infection in women?

For women, your doctor or other health-care provider will collect a sample of fluid with a small swab from the vagina and have it tested at a laboratory. For men, a yeast infection can usually be diagnosed by a simple visual exam.

Treatment of yeast infection

Medicated creams, vaginal suppositories, or pills taken by mouth can be used to cure a yeast infection. Many of these treatments are available without a prescription at drugstores. You should see a doctor if your yeast infection won’t go away after you’ve taken a full course of medication, or if it keeps returning, as there may be other causes of your symptoms as colloidal silver.

What happens if a yeast infection is left untreated?

Discomfort and inconvenience are the worst problems associated with a yeast infection.

Do sex partners have to be treated?

In general, sex partners do not need to be treated unless they have symptoms.

By the way, women can also get yeast infections from men. So it’s important to treat both partners if a yeast infection is suspected. To minimize the risk of passing the infection to a partner, it is generally recommended that you abstain from sexual activity until all of your symptoms are gone

What if I’m pregnant?

We don’t know of any serious effects – on the mother or the baby – of a yeast infection

During pregnancy, but you should tell your doctor that you’re pregnant when you seek

Treatment for a yeast infection as colloidal silver.

A yeast infection is not usually sexually transmitted. However, all pregnant women should be tested for diseases that ARE sexually transmitted (STDs), including HIV, as early as possible in pregnancy. You should be tested again during your pregnancy if you or your partner engages in activities that increase your risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD). For example, you are at higher risk for STDs if you have a new sex partner during pregnancy, or if you have more than one partner. If left untreated, STDs can be devastating for your baby. To protect yourself and your baby against HIV and other STDs, use a latex condom whenever you have sex.

How can I avoid a yeast infection?

Avoiding unnecessary antibiotic medication may help reduce the risk of a yeast infection.

A yeast infection is generally not sexually transmitted. You can reduce your risk of getting most other infections that ARE sexually transmitted, including HIV, by having sex only in mutually monogamous relationship with a partner you are sure is not infected. If you are having sex outside of such a relationship, you can reduce your risk of STDs by:

1) Always using a latex condom (or other type of latex barrier) whenever you have sex vaginal, anal, or oral. Condoms made of “natural” materials, such as lambskin, protect against pregnancy, but not against STDs. If you are allergic to latex, you can use condoms made of polyurethane or other synthetic materials.

2) Limiting the number of people you have sex with. The more partners you have, the higher your risk.

3) Avoiding alcohol and drugs when you have sex. Drinking or getting high makes it much harder to remember to use condoms to protect yourself and other.

An Introduction To Birth Control

The dictionary defines birth control as “a regimen of one or more actions, devices, or medications followed in order to deliberately prevent or reduce the likelihood of a woman becoming pregnant.” Birth control has become imperative in today’s world, due to the global rise in population, need for family planning and also to safeguard oneself from unwanted pregnancy.

There are various methods of birth control that one can adopt, including the withdrawal method, or coitus interruptus; barrier methods like condom, diaphragm, cervical cap or contraceptive sponge; chemical methods like contraceptive pills, contraceptive patch, or the progesterone-only pill (POP); intrauterine methods; fertility awareness methods and more. Other than the preventive methods, one can also adopt abortion methods like surgical abortions, chemical abortions and herbal abortifacients to end unwanted pregnancies. Some permanent birth control solutions are surgical sterilization, which includes tubal ligation for women and vasectomy for men.

Although there are many alternate methods of birth control available in the market, the most commonly used methods are contraceptive pills and condoms. Contraceptive pills or oral contraceptives consist of a pill with doses of synthetic hormones like progestin or estrogen, taken orally by a woman to prevent pregnancy. The contraceptive pills are considered to be a reliable mode of preventing pregnancy, but can sometimes also result in certain side effects like obesity, headaches or depression in some women. Condoms were traditionally manufactured for men but now are available for female users. Condoms serve a dual function, as they not only help in avoiding pregnancy but also prevent sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS.

In Canada and the US, contraceptive patches are also fast gaining popularity. A woman applies contraceptive patches on her skin for a week, and they release synthetic hormones to prevent pregnancy. They act in the same manner as contraceptive pills. Contraceptive patches in Canada and US are sold under the brand name Ortho Evra, and are sold only by prescription.

With the advances in science and technology, we might witness new innovations in birth control methods; however, in order to choose the right mode of birth control one must consult one’s doctor.

Is Out-Of-State Real Estate Investing Right for You?

Have you made up your mind to start investing in real estate, but you’re torn in deciding where to invest?

Are you thinking about making a local investment, but wondering if an out-of-state investment might be better?

This is one of the first of many choices you’ll have to make when you decide to invest in real estate: the simple question of where you should invest your hard-earned dollars. While there are definite benefits to investing in your area, there are also some potentially profit-limiting downsides.

That’s not to say investing in outside areas doesn’t have its own pros and cons. Let’s take a look at both and see why out-of-state real estate investing might be a profitable option you have not yet explored.

Investing Locally

This is the most obvious choice for many real estate investors, but is it really right for you?

If you choose to buy a property local to you, you’ll rest easier about your investment since you know the market. First, you know your competition. You might know the names of professionals you can trust and you’ll have an intimate understanding of what the cost of living is for that area and how to make things more affordable.

Second, if you like to be hands-on, it will be much easier for you since you’re right there. If you want to see the property, it’s just a short drive away. If you want to talk to the property manager face-to-face, you just put it on your calendar for the end of the day.

Drawbacks to Local Investments

On the other hand, investing solely local can narrow your options. Not every market has the inventory of good investment opportunities that you can avail yourself of if you invest out-of-state. The local inventory of available properties may or may not be big enough or well-suited for investment opportunities.

You also run into the problem of whether your local market is the one you want. The recession made a huge impact on housing markets throughout the country and some areas have recovered at different paces than others. You might find yourself out-priced in your current market, but even if you aren’t, you might not be able to see a favorable future where you’re at.

Investing Out-of-State

If you decide to invest out-of-state, you can greatly increase your options. You can literally choose any location, any market and invest in properties there. Whether you want to invest in Florida vacation homes and coastal villas or homes in the suburbs of Detroit, the sky’s the limit. You can make your investment fit your price point and interests.

By investing out-of-state, you can put your money to work in markets with high ROI. You pick and choose which markets you’re interested in, and which ones are rising stars in the real estate investment scene, ignoring your own market’s changes.

Investing out-of-state also allows you to scale based on your needs. For many would-be investors, their local market is priced too extravagantly to make real estate investment prudent. The cost of living in a different state, just a few borders east or west, might be considerably lower. That means you can snatch up excellent properties at a much lower cost than you might in your own market.

Even better, you can snag those investment deals on excellent properties that would go for three to four times as much, if not more, in your own local market. Your purchasing power becomes much stronger in other markets, because everything’s relative.

Challenges of Out-of-State Investments

There are still some challenges to these remote investments. First of all, you have to learn who you can trust and maintain the peace of mind that comes from having easy local access to your investment. You also have to be able to trust that the property you’re investing in is what it’s advertised as.

The property is also more difficult to visit if you like to be hands on. You might have to fly out to visit the property, which some people enjoy but others are seriously bothered by. If you are the type of investor who prefers the more passive turn-key approach, this is an excellent opportunity.

Finally, the market won’t be what you’re used to. Nothing will be quite the same as being there and immersing yourself in the market, but you can learn and study. You just have to rely on someone else to have knowledge of the nuances of the market.

Doing Out-of-State Right

There is a solution to all of the challenges of real estate investing outside your state. When you find a reputable, proven company to handle your turn-key real estate transaction, you have someone you can count on to know the market you’re investing in. Here are the main reasons you should find a partner to work with you on your out-of-state investments.

  • They can keep a more educated eye on the market, since they know all of the nuances of that area.
  • They’ll serve as your presence near your investment, keeping everything on track, so you don’t have to make numerous trips to the property.
  • If the turn-key real estate investment firm is reputable, they want you to succeed. This means they’ll do anything they can to make sure you do succeed.

The question becomes, whom can you trust? You want to make sure you engage in a partnership with a firm who is reputable, knowledgeable and engaged in your market. Referrals from other investors are key, so be on the lookout for like-minded people who have been there and done that.

You should also investigate what the turn-key operation offers you, and what their fee or cut of your profit is. Ideally, you’ll want a partner who can help you throughout your investment lifecycle, from acquiring the property to managing it.

Getting Started

We’ve gone over the benefits and drawbacks of out-of-state investing, so now the decision is yours to make. Do you still want to invest locally or have you realized that the time is ripe to diversify your portfolio and invest in out-of-state properties? The benefits of out-of-state real estate investment are huge and the drawbacks can easily be mitigated by partnering with someone in the area in which you’re investing.

Developing a Plan: The Basis of Successful Investing

Warren E. Buffett offers the following advice on the qualities of a successful investor. Buffett essentially suggests that a successful investor does not need an extraordinarily high IQ, exceptional business acumen, or inside information. To enjoy a lifetime of successful investing, you need a solid decision-making framework and the ability to maintain your emotions.

A successful investment strategy requires a thoughtful plan. Developing a plan is not difficult, but staying with it during times of uncertainty and events that seem to counter you plan’s strategy is often difficult. This tutorial discusses the necessity of establishing a trading plan, what investment options best suit your needs, and the challenges you could encounter if you don’t have a plan.

The benefits of developing a trading plan

You can establish optimal circumstances for experiencing solid investment growth if you stick to your plan despite opposing popular opinion, current trends, or analysts’ forecasts. Develop your investment plan and focus on your long-term goals and objectives.

Maintain focus on your plan

All financial markets can be erratic. It has experienced significant fluctuations in business cycles, inflation, and interest rates, along with economical recessions throughout the past century. The 1990s experienced a surge of growth due to the bull market pushing the Dow Jones industrial average (DIJA) up 300 percent. This economic growth was accompanied by low interest rates and inflation. During this time, an extraordinary number of Internet-based technology firms were created due to the increased popularity of online commerce and other computer-reliant businesses. This growth was rapid and a downturn occurred just as fast. Between 2000 and 2002, the DIJA dropped 38 percent, triggering a massive sell-off of technology stocks which kept indexes in a depressed state well into the middle of 2001. Large-scale corporate accounting scandals contributed to the downturn. Then in the fall of 2001, the United States suffered a catastrophic terrorist attack that sent the nation into a high level of uncertainty and further weakened the strength of the market.

These are the kinds of events that can tax your emotions in terms of your investment strategies. It’s times like these that it is imperative that you have a plan and stick to it. This is when you establish a long-term focus on your objectives. Toward the end of 2002 through 2005, the DJIA rose 44 percent. Investors who let their emotions govern their trading strategies and sold off all their positions missed out on this upturn.

The three deadly sins and how to avoid them

The three emotions that accompany trading are fear, hope, and greed. When prices plunge, fear compels you to sell low without reviewing your position. Under these circumstances, you should revisit the original reasons for your investments and determine if they have changed. For example, you might focus on the short term and immediately sell when the price drops below its intrinsic value. In this case, you could miss out if the price recovers.

An investment strategy that is based on hope might compel you to buy certain stocks based on the hope that a company’s future performance will reflect on their past performance. This is what occurred during the surge of the Internet-based, dot-com companies during the late 1990s. This is where you need to devote your research into a company’s fundamentals and less on their past performance when determining the worth of their stock. Investing primarily on hope could have you ending up with an overvalued stock with more risk of a loss than a gain.

The greed emotion can distort your rationale for certain investments. It can compel you to hold onto a position for too long. If your plan is to hold out a little longer to gain a few percentage points, your position could backfire and result in a loss. Again, in the late 1990s, investors were enjoying double-digit gains on their Internet-company stocks. Instead of scaling back on their investments, many individuals held onto their positions with the hope that the prices would keep going up. Even when the prices were beginning to drop, investors held out hoping that their stocks would rally. Unfortunately, the rally never happened and investors experienced substantial losses.

An effective investment plan requires that you properly manage the three deadly sins of investing.

The key components of an investment plan

Determine your investment objectives

The first component in your investment plan is to determine your investment objectives. The three main categories involved in your objectives are income, growth, and safety.

If your plan is to establish a steady income stream, your objective focuses on the income category. Investors in this category tend to be low-risk and don’t require capital appreciation. They use their investments as an income source.

If your focus is on increasing your portfolio’s value over the long term, your objective is growth-based. In contrast to the income category, investors strive for capital appreciation. Investors in this category tend to be younger and have a longer investment time frame. If this is your preferred category, consider your age, investment expectations, and tolerance to risk.

The final category is safety. Investors who prefer to prevent loss of their principle investment. They want to maintain the current value of their portfolio and avoid risks that are common with stocks and other less secure investments.

Risk tolerance

While the main reason for growing your portfolio is to increase your wealth, you need to consider how much risk you are willing to take. If you struggle with the market’s volatility, your strategy should focus more on the safety or income categories. If you are more resilient to a fluctuating market and can accept some losses, you might favor the growth category. This category has the potential for higher gains. Nevertheless, you need to be honest with yourself and the level of risk you are willing to take as you set up your investment plan.

Asset Allocation

As discussed in the previous sections, part of your investment plan is to determine your risk tolerance and investment objectives. After you establish these components, you can begin to determine how you will allocate the assets in your portfolio and how they will match your goals and risk tolerance. For example, if you are interested in pursuing a growth-oriented category, you could allocate 60 percent in stocks, 15 percent in cash equivalents, and 25 percent in bonds.

Make sure your asset allocation reinforces your objectives and risk tolerance. If your focus is on safety, your objectives need to include safe, fixed-income assets such as money market securities, high-quality corporate securities (with high debt ratings), and government bonds.

If your strategy focuses on an income category, you should focus on fixed-income strategies. Your investments might include bonds with lower ratings that provide higher yields and dividend-paying stocks.

If your focus is on the growth category, your portfolio should focus on common stock, mutual funds, or exchange-traded funds (ETF). With this category, you need to vigilant in managing your portfolio by regularly reviewing your objectives and adjusting them according to your risk tolerance and objectives.

Effective asset allocation helps you establish a guideline for properly diversification of your portfolio. This enables you to work toward your objectives and manage a comfortable amount of risk.

Investment choices

Your trading strategy includes deciding what types of investments to buy and how you will allocate your assets.

Growth

If your strategy is based on growth, you might consider mutual funds or ETFs that have high market-performance potential.

Wealth protection/income generation

If you choose to pursue a wealth protection method, you might choose government bonds or professionally-managed bond funds.

Choosing your own stocks

If you prefer to select your own stocks, establish some rules for how you will enter and exit your positions. You objectives and investment strategies will determine these rules. Whatever approach you use, one trading rule you should establish is to use stop-loss orders as a form of protection against downward price movements. For example, if your investment drops 60 percent, it will need to increase 110 percent in order to break even. You choose the price that you will set the order, but a good rule to follow is to set a stop-loss order at 10 percent below the purchase price for long-term investments and a stop-loss order at 3-to-5 percent for short term trades.

Your strategy might also include investing in professionally-managed products such as mutual funds. These give you access to professional money managers. If you hope to use mutual funds to increase the value of your portfolio, choose growth funds that focus on capital appreciation. If your intent is to pursue an income-oriented approach, choose income-generating avenues such as dividend-paying stocks or bond funds. Make sure your allocation and risk structure align with your diversification and risk tolerance.

Index funds and ETFs

Index funds and ETFs are passively-managed products that have low fees and tax efficiencies (lower than actively-managed funds). These investments could be a good way to manage your asset allocation plan because they are low-cost and well diversified. Essentially, they are baskets of stocks that represent an index, a sector, or a country.

Summary

The most important component in reaching your investment goals is your plan. It helps you establish investment guidelines and a level of protection against loss. It’s important that you develop a plan based on an honest assessment of your investment style, level of risk tolerance, and objectives. You also must avoid letting your emotions influence your investment decisions even during the more discouraging times.
If you are still uncertain about your ability to effectively develop and follow a plan, consider employing the services of an investment advisor. This person’s expertise can help you adhere to a solid plan to meet your investment objectives.