Marine VHF Radio

Types of VHF sets:

Non-DSC sets

Non-DSC VHF sets on yachts and motorboats will still continue to work, will still be legal to use and certificate holders do not need to do a conversion course until they choose to upgrade. After 2005 Coastguards will cease to monitor Channel 16 in the way that they do now, that is with a dedicated officer on headset watch 24 hours a day, but they will continue to have a loudspeaker watch on channel 16 in the operations room. Increasingly the boat without VHF DSC radio will be at a disadvantage.

A transportable set is an invaluable second radio for use in an emergency when it can be taken into a life raft or used on deck to communicate in a rescue situation. It is useful for safety reasons in a tender when going ashore or in a safety boat when organising dinghy sailing events. A portable set is a good buy for non-boat owners who charter or who go afloat occasionally. They have a limited range but do require licensing and certification. Portable sets with a very limited DSC facility are available. They are intended as an addition to a full VHF DSC set, not as a substitute. Note that the portable set covered by a ship’s radio licence can only be used on the vessel covered by the licence or by its tender(s). It is illegal to use the portable ashore.

VHF DSC radio sets

From 2001 all new non-portable radios sold must be VHF-DSC or be capable of being converted to DSC by the addition of an extra ‘black box’. These are called DSC Controllers. It will provide the digital selective calling (DSC) facility which is the special feature of the new type of set. What this does is to send, on channel 70, a burst of digital signals in a code to ‘call up’ another DSC set. This call can be directed at an individual, using their MMSI, a group of boats or ‘all stations’ in an emergency. Once the link has been established by the digital ‘call’, normal voice   transmission  will be used. The DSC is essentially a new method of establishing communications, more reliably than was possible before. The digital signals are of high radio quality and rapid, the alert taking just 0.5 seconds. It can be used in both routine and distress situations.

There are different classes of controller with varying levels of capability for use in different types of vessel.

The Class D controller is the one designed for use with VHF on yachts and motorboats who make passages within VHF range of the coast. Fitting one of these is not compulsory on private boats. On small boats used at sea commercially, sea school boats for example, it may become a requirement. This will be to the great advantage of their students who will be able to see the sets in use and appreciate their advantages.

Other controllers for VHF DSC are available to meet the requirements of ships. These include Class A and B Controllers, which have enhanced capabilities.

What is the range of the set?

Those sailing across an ocean, or even the Bay of Biscay, need radios that transmit over vast distances. Licensing arrangements are different too.

The range of  transmission  of VHF radio telephones is limited by a number of factors. The height of the aerial is very significant as the propagation of the radio waves is only slightly more than ‘line of sight’. This includes the aerial height of both the transmitting and the receiving station.

When talking from yacht to yacht expect a range of 10 to l5 miles with aerials fitted at the tops of the masts. Those commonly fitted to yachts are known as ‘unity gain’ aerials. They are made of thin wire and often have wind instruments attached. They are recommended because, although the range is not as good as the taller rigid aerials used on motorboats, they cope better with the heeling effect often experienced on yachts! The better range of a ‘high gain’ motor cruiser aerial is only achieved if it is mounted vertically.

It should be possible to talk to a Coastguard station from 30 to 40 miles offshore because of the height of their aerial.

Transmitting range is also affected by the transmitting power of the set. The maximum power allowed is 25 watts. There is also a low power setting, which reduces the transmitting power to 1 watt. This should be used for all short range routine communications. You might think that it is always a good idea to broadcast your signal as far as possible. This it not so. Remember that each channel can only be used for one  transmission  at a time. Powerful signals cause more inference to other radio users. If you are calling another craft nearby or a marina, use low power. Try to use low power for all routine communications. The use of low power does not change the receiving range of the set.

A portable VHF set has yet another type of aerial. This is flexible and will operate at a wider range of angles. The low aerial height and a maximum power output of 5 watts reduces the range of  transmission  of these sets. Between portable radios the range can be up to 5 miles, increasing to 10 miles to a Coastguard station, if there is no land in the way! Remember, with portable radios there is always the risk that the battery will go flat.

The information about ranges of  transmissions  is for average conditions and good circumstances. Ranges can be influenced by:

o Atmospheric conditions, especially high pressure, can increase the range and cause interference from distant stations.

o Land. Boats operating near land may have poor reception with signals being blocked by hills or buildings.

o Incorrect installation of the aerial, or damage to the coaxial cable connecting the aerial to the set, can give poor reception.

o The proximity of other electronic equipment can cause interference.

For these reasons it is best to have the fitting done, or at least checked, by a professional electronics engineer.

A portable radio has a range of 5 miles to another portable, 10 miles to a Coastguard Station.

All distress calls should be transmitted on high power.

Many yachts carry emergency VHF aerials in case of dismasting, which is a very good idea, but failure of the electrical supply is a more frequent problem! The emergency aerial has a plug attached to connect it to the back of the set. For maximum range, situate the aerial as high as possible, but realistically expect a greatly reduced range. When the mast is lost, many people are surprised to hear the radio apparently still working. This is because the co-axial cable is acting as an aerial over a short range, but transmitting without an aerial will damage the set permanently.

A portable radio could be useful under these circumstances!

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.

Top 10 Motorcycles Songs

1. Meatloaf – Bat out of Hell

Released in 1979, and again in 1993 it was written by Jim Steinman with lead vocals from Meatloaf. Steinman was insistent that the song should contain the sound of a motorbike engine being revved, and complained to producer Todd Rundgren in the final recording session when it was not added. Rather than use a recording of a real motorcycle, Rundgren himself played the section on guitar, leading straight into the solo without a break.

2. The Doors – Riders on the storm

Taken from their 1971 album, LA woman this song reached number 22 spot on the UK singles chart. The song was inspired by Ghost Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend.”

3. The Eagles – Life in the Fast Lane

This is the third single from the Album Hotel California which was written by Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey and Don Henley and reached number 11 in the Billboard Hot 100

4. Steppenwolf – Born to Be Wild

Born to be wild was Initially released in 1968 and was used on the soundtrack for the famous motorcycle movie Easy rider, staring Jack Nicholson and Peter Fonda riding Harley Davidson Hydraglide bikes from 1949, 1950 and 1952

5. Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run

Written in Long Branch, New Jersey in 1974 the song is a love letter to a girl called Wendy. Springsteen himself is a celebrated bike fan. He recently auctioned off his Harley Davidson at the NY Comedy Festival Event ‘Stand Up for Heroes: A Benefit for the Bob Woodruff Family Fund‘ for US$ 85,000.

6. Rush – Ghost Rider

This song is based on the motorcycle story Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road. by Rush’s drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. Peart embarked on a 14 month 55,000 mile motorcycle journey across America after losing two of his family members.

7. Manic Street Preachers – Motorcycle Emptiness

This single by Welsh Rock band Manic Street preachers was inspired by a book by SE Hilton called Rumble Fish and is about biker gang culture. The lyrics have been interpreted by some as an attach consumer/capitalist lifestyle and how young people are expected to conform.

8. Shangri-Las – Leader of the Pack

This song became number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1964 and is about a girl called Betty who is seeking her parent’s disapproval by dating Jimmy, the leader of a motorcycle gang. Her parents claim he is from the “the wrong side of town” and will be a bad influence on her.

9. Bob Seger – Roll Me Away

Roll Me Away was written in 1982 by Bob Seger on the album The Distance by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. Tit reached number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100 char

10. Prince- Purple Rain

The song Purple Rain, taken from the album of the same name reached number 2 in the America charts. The album was thought by many as among the best rock albums ever it was ranked by Rolling Stone Magazine as the second best album of the 1980s.

How Does Telepathy Work? And Can Anyone Use Telepathy?

The question most frequently asked is how does telepathy work. Well firstly telepathy is direct communication which transpires between two minds. Telepathy can also be transmitted through feelings such as “I have a gut feeling” which is very common in all people and animals. Telepathy can also be transmitted via emotions and images which are practiced by many.

One does not need to have a degree of some sort in order to practice telepathy as telepathy is an inbred natural phenomenon we all have and some call it “sixth sense”. Many people also term telepathy as coincidence for instance the phone rings and on the other end of the line is the person you were just thinking about – that is telepathy   transmission  of thought.

There are many classes available that offer courses whereby your mind is trained to transmit words and phrases. The very best way to reopen this 6th sense is through meditation which allows one to calm the mind and when the mind is calm telepathy becomes second nature. And with training one can then intentionally communicate with another person.

Quantum physics states clearly that the human mind interacts with the universe as well as interacts in and around many other universes. The human is a part of not “apart” from the universe and all that is within the universe which is why we are able to telepathically communicate with all other living matter or energy.

Telepathy is a form of energy as we are all energy beings. Here is a simple example when you make a phone call you are passing a message directly to another person via a transmitting receiver and telepathy is no different accept you don’t have a transmitter or receiver in your hand you are transmitting via the brain in the form of energy.

In other words when you send a telepathic message you are extending your energy to the other person and you then drop off that energy with the intended person and immediately you will retract your energy. How does telepathy work it is simple and straight forward method of sending and receiving.

Do I Really Need a Lawyer to Get a Trademark?

As an experienced Trademark Lawyer, I am frequently asked if individuals or small companies need an attorney to register for a federal trademark. The short answer is no — just as one doesn’t technically need a mechanic to change a car transmission or perform a major engine overhaul. Nonetheless, in both cases, hiring a professional is still advisable.

First, it is essential to conduct a thorough search of all available public records to determine if your proposed name and/or logo are confusingly similar to names or logos that are already being used in commerce by others.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website allows one to search public records online for free. However, smart businesses hire a third party research firm to conduct this exhaustive research for them. If you attempt to do such a search yourself, you will probably miss something, and that could create significant problems for you down the line. Further, there are multiple sources of information about unregistered, but still relevant “common law” uses that must be considered.

This voluminous research will undoubtedly reveal third-party uses that are somewhat similar in some way, shape or form to your proposed use. For example, if you are interested in using the mark “COMPUTER” in connection with jeans, there will be other marks with “computer” in them. Are they confusingly similar? That is the key question, and like most nuanced issues in law, it is often a matter of degree and professional opinion.

Once you are comfortable with the knowledge that your proposed brand name and logo are clear of any major, conflicting third party uses, there are a number of questions to still ask: Is the mark “generic”, that is, the name of the class of goods for which you intend to use it?

For example, one cannot trademark the brand name “computer” for use in connection with computers. However, “computer” could theoretically become the brand name of a pair of jeans, because in that context, it is actually “arbitrary” or “fanciful.” Other categories of marks are “merely descriptive,” that is, does it merely describe an attribute of the product you are branding? Is the term “suggestive,” that is, does it not describe but suggest a feature of the goods? A legal professional can evaluate this issue based on how similar cases were handled on the past.

If you are still comfortable with the mark as proposed, you would then file a formal application in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This application costs a fee of several hundred dollars all the way up to thousands of dollars, based on the number of “classes” of goods or services that you intend to use the trademark in connection with.

Eventually, you would receive a response from an Examiner working at the Trademark Office. That Examiner would probably ask a number of questions about your proposed mark, and often will seek further clarifications about your application. BE CAREFUL. Whatever you say in response to these questions will become public knowledge as part of the government file.

Further, whatever you do in response to these Office Actions can limit or affect your rights later. For example, disclaiming a portion of the mark, or narrowing the classes of goods for which you are seeking a trademark, can come back to haunt you later. It is easy to give away your rights, but much harder (and sometimes impossible) to ever get them back.

So, to answer the recurring question, one does not technically need an attorney to apply for a US Federal Trademark on a new brand name that one intends to use in commerce. However, it is a long and complicated process, especially if you are unfamiliar with it. And like replacing a car transmission, it requires skill and experience.

Five Things You Will Want to Know About the Honda CR 500

If there ever was a member of the Honda CR series that was popular, then it has to be the Honda CR 500. This, by the way, is the same machine that Robbie Knievel used for his entire jumping career, which featured an astonishing twenty world records. It is still remains a popular machine, the fact that its production was stopped by Honda, as did the production of the entire Honda-CR series. As such, many people continue to search for information regarding the Honda CR 500. And if you happen to be one of these, then you will find our discussion on ‘five things you will want to know about the Honda-CR 500’ interesting.

1) One of these things you could want to know about the Honda CR 500 is its engine power. This is something that motorcycling enthusiasts are very keen about, a factor on whose strength alone many have been known to make significant purchasing decisions. As it turns out, the engine power of the Honda-CR 500 (at 491 cc) maxes at 69 Horse Power – at 8,500 revolutions per minute, quite remarkable power by any stands.

2) The second thing you may want to know about the Honda CR 500 is about its transmission. As it turns out, the Honda CR 500 comes with a complete five-speed gear box. This is a remarkable feature, for a machine that was first developed in the 80s – and considering that there are ‘modern’ motorcycles that are yet to attain the complete five gear speed transmission up to this date.

3) The third thing you may want to know about the Honda-CR 500 is about its suspension, especially if you are a person who cares about the ‘comfort of your rides,’ as do many people. As it turns out, the Honda CR 500 comes with a complete and refined suspension, a remarkable thing, seeing that many motorcycles come with what can only be described as ‘crude’ suspension: whose effects the users are left to contend with.

4) The fourth thing you may want to know about the Honda-CR 500 is about the colors it comes in, especially if you are a person who cares about aesthetics – as every proper person is supposed to. Now although the Honda CR 500 came only in flash red when it was first released in 1984, it has evolved over time (color-wise), so that today, we have it coming in many literary ‘hot’ colors: flash red, the so-called nuclear red and the so-called fighting red. So, Honda-CR 500 mainly comes in red, but different hues of it for variety.

5) The fifth thing you may want to know about the Honda CR 500 is regarding what led to the discontinuation of its production by Honda. As it turns out, the reasons were mainly environmental, and not mechanical (or to do with popularity), as one would imagine. Yet in spite of the discontinuation of its production, Honda-CR 500 remains a much-loved machine, with strong sales on the specimens of it that are still on the market, and the pieces of it that emerge on the ‘second hand motorcycles’ market every now and then.

Scooters – What Are the Features of a Scooter?

Scooters are quickly becoming a popular choice for cost conscious consumers looking for an economical way to get around town. Scooters have many benefits from low costs to above average fuel efficiency. However, when looking to purchase a scooter there are many features that you’ll either get standard or can upgrade. Here are some of those features:

Front Hydraulic ABS Disc Brakes Scooters can come with hydraulic anti-lock braking system (ABS) disc brakes on the front wheel. Hydraulic ABS disc brakes is a safety system on motor vehicles which prevents the wheels from locking while braking. Providing the best possible brakes to have because they provide the best stopping power.

100 MPG Scooters can get up to 100 miles to the gallon. While this may occur with the newer and higher end models, this kind of gas mileage makes this scooter very fuel efficient and economical. This vehicle is the perfect alternative to cars and motorcycles to save on gas and keep extra money in your pocket!

Electric Start / Kick Start Most scooters come equipped with an electric start. The electric start starting system makes starting simple for anyone. They can also come equipped with a kick start. The kick start can also be used at any time.

4-Stroke Engine Gas motor scooters come equipped with up to a 250cc 4-stroke engine. These engines typically have the ability to go up to 55 miles per hour (MPH). With an engine this size, there is enough power for two people to ride.

Fully Automatic Transmission Scooters also have installed a fully automatic transmission. Operated by the simple to use ‘twist & go’ throttle acceleration in other words with a fully automatic transmission there is no clutch or gear shifting at all.

Storage Most scooters come equipped with a large storage compartment located underneath the seat. This extra storage can be used to put all your items that you would normally put in a car glove compartment. Other storage may include a detachable rear storage trunk to put bigger items such as a briefcase, laptop, or luggage.

Scooters come equipped with many features including front hydraulic abs disc brakes, fuel efficiency of up to 100 mpg, electric start / kick start, a 4-stroke engine, fully automatic transmission, and storage space.

General Motors Unveiled A Right-Hand-Drive Hummer H3

The Hummer is the closest thing that General Motors can come up to the Jeep. It should be remembered that GM has been trying to build a vehicle that can match Chrysler’s Jeep and so far the best that they can build is the Hummer. Unfortunately, what supposed to be a competition has ended in forming two distinct classes headed separately by Jeep and Hummer.

The Hummer and the Jeep are distinct from each other not only with the obvious exterior features but also with its auto components starting from the complex down to parts like Jeep ignition coil from that of the Hummer’s own version of ignition coil. But both vehicles are remarkable machines that are worth checking out.

Recently Bob Lutz, GM vice chairman, global product development, unveiled a prototype right hand drive H3 during the opening ceremony of their new Hummer facility in Manchester, UK.

GM is hoping that Hummer’s iconic design and unparalleled off-road capabilities would appeal to a wide audience globally. Lutz said that they are determined to build upon the brand’s unique recognition in Europe and most especially in the UK.

The right hand drive Hummer H3 will be built at GM’s Struandale plant in South Africa and will be made available in other right-hand-drive markets like those of Japan, Australia, and South Africa.

It can be remembered that it was in late 1999 when General Motors acquired the Hummer brand. It was only in May 2005 that the H3 made its debut in North America which helped the Hummer brand to become one of the fastest growing truck brands in the United States by the end of 2006. The H3 with its smaller, more efficient package makes it accessible to more customers.

In addition to the growth in the United States, Hummer was also able to expand to other parts of the world. And by 2006, Hummer was able to obtain an approximately 34 percent sales growth globally translated to 82,000 delivered vehicles compared to the 61,000 figure achieved in 2005. This performance was further strengthened by the new Hummer H3.

All the previous H3s were assembled in General Motors North American facility in Shreveport, Louisiana however the new international H3, intended for markets outside North America are assembled at the Struandale Assembly facility in Port Elizabeth, South Africa where GM was said to have invested more than $100 million to prepare for production of the H3.

The Hummer H3

From the start the Hummer vehicles have created a class of their own characterized by extreme style and capability unparalleled by its competition. The latest addition to the Hummer family is the H3 which is designed to answer the demand from global markets for a premium everyday driving vehicle but at the same time maintains that legendary Hummer performance.

The H3 was designed for global distribution and was built in South Africa. The H3 embodies the brand’s unique styling features and iconic shape. Plus its premium interior design and 3.7 liter engine is offered with the choice of a manual or automatic transmission and a full-time four-wheel-drive system.

H3 is also loaded with original Hummer style and capability which boost its compact dimensions. But compared to the Hummer H2, the H3 is 39 mm shorter, 171 mm lower and 73 mm narrower. Although roughly the same length as the larger family saloon, the H3 is remarkable in navigating through traffic and yet still maintains its prowess when it comes to crawling and climbing capability off-road.

The 4782 mm long Hummer H3 is powered by GM’s Vortec 3.7 liter engine which revs up 242hp/180kW at 5600 rpm and 328 Nm of torque at 4600 rpm. It also comes with dual overhead camshafts and variable valve timing. The H3 is the first Hummer ever to offer the choice of a manual or an automatic transmission.

The H3’s Hydra-Matic 4L60 electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission and the five-speed manual transmission provides it with ultimate driver control. At the heart of the H3 is its electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system which is amplified with traction control, an optional rear differential and StabiliTrak control which is offered as standard feature. The H3 can cross 407 mm deep water at 32 km/h or 610 mm deep streams at an 8 km/h pace plus climbed 407 mm vertical steps or rocks.

Lastly, the H3’s more compact size increases it maneuverability making it easy to park or to make tight turns when off-roading.

Making Investment Plans

Steps In Investing

Step 1: Meeting Investment Prerequisites-Before one even thinks of investing, they should make sure they have adequately provided for the necessities, like housing, food, transportation, clothing, etc. Also, there should be an additional amount of money that could be used as emergency cash, and protection against other various risks. This protection could be through life, health, property, and liability insurance.

Step 2: Establishing Investing Goals-Once the prerequisites are taken care of, an investor will then want to establish their investing goals, which is laying out financial objectives they wish to achieve. The goals chosen will determine what types of investments they will make. The most common investing goals are accumulating retirement funds, increasing current income, saving for major expenditures, and sheltering income from taxes.

Step 3: Adopting an Investment Plan-Once someone has their general goals, they will need to adopt an investment plan. This will include specifying a target date for achieving a goal and the amount of tolerable risk involved.

Step 4: Evaluating Investment Vehicles-Next up is evaluating investment vehicles by looking at each vehicle’s potential return and risk.

Step 5: Selecting Suitable Investments-With all the information gathered so far, a person will use it to select the investment vehicles that will compliment their goals the most. One should take into consideration expected return, risk, and tax considerations. Careful selection is important.

Step 6: Constructing a Diversified Portfolio-In order to achieve their investment goals, investors will need to pull together an investment portfolio of suitable investments. Investors should diversify their portfolio by including a number of different investment vehicles to earn higher returns and/or to be exposed to less risk as opposed to just limiting themselves to one or two investments. Investing in mutual funds can help achieve diversification and also have the benefit of it being professionally managed.

Step 7: Managing the Portfolio-Once a portfolio is put together, an investor should measure the behavior in relation to expected performance, and make adjustments as needed.

Considering Personal Taxes

Knowing current tax laws can help an investor reduce the taxes and increase the amount of after-tax dollars available for investing.

Basic Sources of Taxation-There are two main types of taxes to know about which are those levied by the federal government, and those levied by state and local governments. The federal income tax is the main form of personal taxation, while state and local taxes can vary from area to area. In addition to the income taxes, the state and local governments also receive revenue from sales and property taxes. These income taxes have the greatest impact on security investments, which the returns are in the form of dividends, interest, and increases in value. Property taxes can also have a significant impact on real estate and other forms of property investment.

Types of Income-Income for individuals can be classified into three basic categories:

1. Active Income-This can be made up of wages, salaries, bonuses, tips, pension, and alimony. It is made up of income earned on the job as well as through other forms of noninvestment income.

2. Portfolio Income-This income is from earnings produced from various investments which could be made up of savings accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, and futures, and consists of interest, dividends, and capital gains.

3. Passive Income-Income gained through real estate, limited partnerships, and other forms of tax-advantaged investments.

Investments and Taxes-Taking into tax laws is an important part of the investment process. Tax planning involves examining both current and projected earnings, and developing strategies to help defer and minimize the level of taxes. Planning for these taxes will help assist investment activities over time so that an investor can achieve maximum after-tax returns.

Tax-Advantaged Retirement Vehicles-Over the years the federal government has established several types of retirement vehicles. Employer-sponsored plans can include 401(k) plans, savings plans, and profit-sharing plans. These plans are usually voluntary and allow employees to increase the amount of money for retirement and tax advantage of tax-deferral benefits. Individuals can also setup tax-sheltered retirement programs like Keogh plans and SEP-IRAs for the self-employed. IRAs and Roth IRAs can be setup by almost anyone, subject to certain qualifications. These plans generally allow people to defer taxes on both the contributions and earnings until retirement.

Investing Over the Life Cycle

As investors age, their investment strategies tend to change as well. They tend to be more aggressive when they’re young and transition to more conservative investments as they grow older. Younger investors usually go for growth-oriented investments that focus on capital gains as opposed to current income. This is because they don’t usually have much for investable funds, so capital gains are often viewed as the quickest way to build up capital. These investments are usually through high-risk common stocks, options, and futures.

As the investors become more middle-aged, other things like educational expenses and retirement become more important. As this happens, the typical investor moves towards more higher quality securities which are low-risk growth and income stocks, high-grade bonds, preferred stocks, and mutual funds.

As the investors get closer to retirement, their focus is usually on the preservation of capital and income. Their investment portfolio is now usually very conservative at this point. It would typically consist of low-risk income stocks and mutual funds, high-yield government bonds, quality corporate bonds, CDs, and other short-term investment vehicles.

Investing In Different Economic Conditions

Even though the government has different tools or strategies for moderating economic swings, investors will still endure numerous changes in the economy while investing. An investment program must allow the investor to recognize and react to changing conditions in the economy. It is important to know where to put your money and when to make your moves.

Knowing where to put your money is the easiest part to deal with. This involves matching the risk and return objectives of an investor’s plan with the investment vehicles. For example, if there is an experienced investor that can tolerate more risk, then speculative stocks may be right for them. A novice investor that wants a decent return on their capital may decide to invest in a growth-oriented mutual fund. Although stocks and growth funds may do well in an expanding economy, they can turn out to be failures at other times. Because of this, it is important to know when to make your moves.

Knowing when to invest is difficult because it deals with market timing. Even most professional money managers, economists, and investors can’t consistently predict the market and economic movements. It’s easier to understand the current state of the market or economy. That is, knowing whether the market/economy is expanding or declining is easier to understand than trying to predict upcoming changes.

The market or economy can have three different conditions: (1) recovery or expansion, (2) decline or recession, (3) a change in the general direction of its movement. It’s fairly easy to observe when the economy is in a state of expansion or recession. The difficult part is knowing whether the existing state of the economy will continue on the course it’s on, or change direction. How an investor responds to these market conditions will depend on the types of investment vehicles they hold. No matter what the state of the economy is, an investor’s willingness to enter the capital market depends on a basic trust in fair and accurate financial reporting.

Stocks and the Business Cycle

Conditions in the economy are highly influential on common stocks and other equity-related securities. Economic conditions is also referred to as the business cycle. The business cycle mirrors the current status of a variety of economic variables which includes GDP, industrial production, personal disposable income, the unemployment rate, and more.

An expanding business cycle will be reflected in a strong economy. When business is thriving and profits are up, stock prices react by increasing in value and returns. Speculative and growth-oriented stocks tend to do especially well in strong markets. On the flip side, when economic activity is diminishing, the values and returns on common stocks tend to follow the same pattern.

Bonds and Interest Rates

Bonds and other forms of fixed-income securities are highly sensitive to movements in interest rates. The single most important variable that determines bond price behavior and returns is the interest rate. Bond prices and interest rates move in opposite directions. Lower interest rates are favorable for bonds for an investor. However, high interest rates increase the attractiveness of new bonds because they must offer high returns to attract investors.