Credit Scores – How Do They Work?

Credit scoring is a complicated process and each of the 3 major credit
repositories have their own credit scoring models in place to determine a
borrower’s credit score. The 3 main credit repositories are Equifax, Experian,
and TransUnion. Equifax has credit scores that range from a lowest possible
score of 300 and a highest possible score of 850. Experian has a range of
340-820 and TransUnion 150-934. Just like computers have upgraded operating
systems over the years such as, Windows 98, Windows 2000, and Windows XP, the
credit scoring system versions update periodically also. Not all lenders use the
same version or the most updated version when obtaining a credit report and
credit score for a borrower. Therefore, this is one reason why you may have
varying credit scores between one lender and another.There are five major components or factors that help to determine your credit
score. Roughly 35 percent of your credit score is derived from your payment
history, 30 percent from how much you owe compared to how much you have
available, 15 percent comes from length of credit history, 10 percent from new
credit and recent inquiries, and the final 10 percent comes from various other
items such as the mixture of credit you currently have. Next we will discuss
each of the five components in further detail and explain the basic principals
as to how credit scoring works. This information is to be used only to help
educate and as a guide to assist with the basic ideas involved in credit
scoring.Payment History (35%)Your payment history is the most important factor of credit scoring.
Bankruptcies, collection accounts, slow pays and late payments, foreclosures,
judgments, and liens can negatively affect your credit score. However, an
established history of on-time payments and a clean credit history will
positively impact your credit scores and help to increase them over time. The
older any negative credit history or adverse credit factors are, the less they
will negatively affect your credit score. Therefore, recent late payments or
other derogatory credit will negatively affect your credit much greater than
aged bad credit.Revolving Credit Balances to Maximum Limits (30%)The second biggest factor in credit scoring comes from how you utilize your
revolving credit. The credit scoring models are going to look heavily upon how
much revolving credit you have available compared to how much you have used. For
credit scoring purposes, having all revolving credit or credit card accounts
maxed out to their limits is not a good thing, nor is it going to help better
your credit scores. You don’t want to pay off all of your revolving credit
accounts because that will not show the credit bureaus how well you manage your
credit. Your ideal credit ratios should be roughly 20-40 percent usage. What
this means is that if you have a credit card with a $1000 limit you do not want
to max. out the credit card balance, but you would want to maintain a balance
between 200 and 400 dollars. If you do realize that you have borrowed more than
50% of your available credit limit on your card or your balance is getting close
to your limit, you should either try to pay your balance down to the 40% mark or
call your credit card company and see if they are able to raise your limit. The
biggest mistake you can make is to let your balance exceed your maximum credit
limit. This will negatively affect your credit score a great amount.Length of Credit History (15%)The longer and more established your credit history is, the better and more
positive of an impact it can make. Someone who pays their bills on time for a 10
year period of time is a much better risk than someone who only has a 1 year
history of paying their bills on time, even if they both carry the same credit
score. When you pay off credit card accounts do not close them, keep them open
and use them periodically in order to continue to build an established length of
credit. Closing your accounts can actually have more of a negative affect on
your credit score due to limiting the length of time that particular account was
open for. The longer you have established credit accounts, the better it is for
you. It is possible to still have a good credit score with a short credit
history; however lenders may not approve you for optimal financing options due
to the lack of history still.New Credit and Inquiries (10%)The amount of new credit you have opened, will have somewhat of a minor impact
on your credit scores. If you have numerous inquiries resulting from applying
for a lot of new credit and add many new trade-lines in your credit report, this
can have a damaging effect on your credit score. First, it may negatively affect
your scores because you have a lot of new, un-established accounts. Second, it
can negatively impact your score because you have a lot of inquiries with
various lenders for various types of financing over a short period of time.
Credit inquiries can affect your credit score, not a ton, but enough to lower
your score. This is not to say don’t shop around or don’t have more than one
firm pull your credit when looking to buy a car or a home. You definitely should
use due diligence and shop between a couple of lenders to make sure you are
getting a good deal. When you are comparing quotes however, you should try to do
all of your shopping within a 30 day max. period of time. All inquiries that are
made when applying for an auto loan or a mortgage loan are treated as only one
inquiry when they are done within a 14 day period of time. Therefore if you are
ever told to not have anyone else pull your credit or else your scores will
lower, this has little truth to it. There is only one type of credit inquiry
that counts toward your credit score. That one type of inquiry is when you are
making an application for credit: such as a home loan, auto loan, credit card,
etc… When you pull your own credit, a creditor you already have an account with
pulls your credit, and/or a prospective employer pulls your credit, these do not
have any impact on your scores. Understanding this can help you make sure that
you do not fall victim to all of the urban myths regarding credit inquiries.Types & Mixture of Credit (10%)Having a mixture of the various types of credit will have a small impact on your
credit scores. For a person who has a good mixture of credit such as a home
loan, auto loan, 2-4 credit cards and maybe a personal loan this could be deemed
a good mixture of credit versus a different person who has 15 credit cards and
no other credit. The ideal number of credit cards to maintain is 2-4. Also,
other types of liabilities are important to have, such as installment loans and
a mortgage loan.”Knowledge is power” and the most important step to applying for a loan is to
understand your credit report, your credit scores and how credit scoring works.
It is highly recommended that every person checks their credit report at least
once per year to help protect themselves from inaccurate information and from
identity theft. A new law was recently passed that permits a borrower to have
access to their credit report one time each year for no charge to allow them the
opportunity to review their credit history and verify the accuracy of all items
listed. You are permitted to obtain a credit report from each of the three
credit repositories, TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. You can obtain your
free report by logging into the annual credit report and following
the directions. When you obtain your free report it will not contain your credit
score, but you can pay a small fee if you would like to find out what your score
is when you are ordering your free report. It is also highly recommended that
you pull a report from each repository individually as opposed to all of them
together so that you can dispute any erroneous information to each bureau
separately. If you report a problem to only one of the bureaus it will not be
fixed among all three of the bureaus. Remember the bureaus are separate of each
other and have no communication amongst each other either. Some creditors report
to only 1 bureau, some report to 2 bureaus, some report to all three bureaus and
some don’t report to any. This is why you must make sure that you check all
three credit repositories when you are utilizing your free annual credit report.
In conclusion, your credit is very important and understanding the basics of how
your credit scores are obtained is equally as important.Credit scoring is a complicated process and each of the 3 major credit
repositories have their own credit scoring models in place to determine a
borrower’s credit score. The 3 main credit repositories are Equifax, Experian,
and TransUnion. Equifax has credit scores that range from a lowest possible
score of 300 and aHere is a quick contact list for the 3 main credit repositories:Equifax Credit Bureau P.O. Box 740241 Atlanta GA 30374-0241 * (800) 685-1111http://www.equifax.comExperian (Formerly TRW Credit Bureau) P.O. Box 949 Allen TX 75013-0949 * (888)
397-3742http://www.experian.comTrans Union Corporation (Credit Bureau) Consumer Disclosure Center P.O. Box 390
Springfield PA 19064-0390 * (800) 916-8800 * (800) 682-7654 * (714) 680-7292http://www.transunion.com

Personal Finance Online: Goal Setting With Students

Students come with a wide variety hopes, dreams and needs. While many of them share the same goal – getting an education – very few of them are prepared for this critical stage in their life when it comes to money. While they all practically live online and are permanently glued to smartphones, only the very smartest conduct their personal finance online.Goal setting with students is relatively easy to explain because they completely understand the concepts of choosing what they want and implementing a plan to achieve it, but while they are encouraged by educators who provide them with a goal setting template by way of lectures and seminar timetables, they each have to take responsibility to create their very own goal setting worksheet, timetable, study plan, and pin it to their wall.So why don’t people take the skills they learned while goal setting with students, and apply them to the world of personal finance? After all they ‘live’ online so why not train, learn and plan their personal finance online too? The answer comes in the tools available and knowing what to do with them.There are four areas where personal finance online can be enhanced with students, and goal setting is only one part of a process which touches all four areas.Earning Money As A Student First jobs are character building for students. They get to find out what they enjoy doing, and what they hate doing. Earning money as a student allows strong developments in skills such as influencing people, task management, reading situations, and making judgments.The best earnings goals though, are the ones which enhance entrepreneurial flair, independent choices, and return financial rewards. So many students ignore this, thinking a job equals money equals spending. The smartest thing to do when teaching goal setting with students, is to give them the skills of personal finance, knowing the value of their earning, and the ability to make money not take money.Saving Money As A StudentIndependent money is a thrill like no other for a student, and the impulse to use it to the fullest extent normally extends to living life large, in the moment.Yet remembering the famous marshmallow test by Professor Walter Mischel, one of the core principals of sharing goal setting with students is that of delayed gratification – the skill to wait until later to enjoy the money.Saving money as a student therefore is a pillar of personal finance online because when a student understands the concept of “Pay Yourself First” they will save. Tools which track and coach personal finance online help in this financial goal setting because it allows the student to see where their money goes, see what are expenses versus expenditure, and minimise the waste that can only come from the typical hedonistic student lifestyle.Spending Money As A StudentStudents need no help to spend money, it’s programmed into them long before concepts like personal finance online are ever introduced to them – but spending within a structured thought process is a central tenet of financial goal setting with students. Informed and considered thought before splashing out the money does not have to make a students life boring, and it can avoid a lot of pain later.Since there is a lot of shopping online as a student, it is easy to adopt these four questions when considering personal finance matters online. This as true in London England as it is in any other place with students.Do I need it?
Why Do I want it?
Will it impact the rest of my Month?
Does it affect my Debt?Investing Money As A StudentStudents are not known for their wealth,but considering the power of financial goal setting with students as described above, the principles of adopting personal finance online would not be complete without investing.Even a small about of money invested while a student will grow massively due to the magical impact of interest compounding. The rewards for students who invest significantly outweigh the risks, since rather than save, they are actually giving every penny a purpose when following the principals of personal finance online because it can be seen, tracked, followed, and enjoyed all through their core activity – being glued to the internet.Budgeting in personal finance is not the shiniest activity, but a concentration on this subject can be exponentially rewarding. Done effectively, it can become the core skill in money management and is a must-have objective while educating on goal setting with students. This way they can avoid or minimise debt, pay it back faster, live within their means and not beyond their means.

Site Promotion – Simple Website Promotion Tactics That Work

Website promotion is not difficult – it can just be repetitive and boring, and that’s where automated site promotion tools can really help you. Below are several tips that will help you promote your sites and grab the #1 position in Google.Tip 1. Be realistic, you aren’t going to get the #1 spot in Google for keywords that have lots of competition but If you target the right keywords the you will have a great chance of achieving that elusive number 1 spot.Tip 2. Don’t be over reliant on SEO. Set up your title, keywords and description and make sure to use your keywords in each article of post on your site. If possible use a keyword related domain name. Using just these basics I regularly get the #1 spot for keywords with over 6,000,000 competing pages.Tip 3. Promote your sites slowly. If there is one thing guaranteed to hinder your site promotion it’s suddenly getting hundreds of back links to your site. Google likes site to get links gradually so take your time …remember the hare and the tortoise?Tip 4. Where possible use automated site promotion tools. These can save you hours of work in getting your site to those top spots. But remember Tip3 and use them sparingly, establish a routine there you promote each site once every month and you’ll soon notice the difference.By employing just these simple and easy methods you can start to see the positive effects that proper site promotion can have on your income. Establish a regular regime and you’ll soon be on your way to an excellent online income.

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Care Products For Skin Care – Tips on Searching Should Start With Skin Care Natural Products

Contrary to what most people think, aging skin is a problem that can be easily taken care of if you use the right anti aging treatment products. The only thing you should be aware of is finding the best products can be a little tricky if you do not have a basic idea of what is good and what is bad for your skin. So, let us take a look at (skin) care care product and how you can choose these products for your skin.In order to find out the best products aging reversal, you should first find out which is the best anti aging skin treatment available today. Actually, finding that is not as hard as you think it is. Just go by the basic thumb rule when it comes to skin care – anything natural is only good for your skin. So, natural skin care, or organic skin care as it is popularly called, is obviously better than artificial skin care. Let us see why it is so.There are two important things you should consider when you are looking for the best anti aging skin treatment. First, it should be really effective. Second, it should be very safe. Going by these two conditions, one can safely assume that organic skin care is indeed the best way to take care of your skin.Artificial cosmetic products are full of chemicals that are bad for your health. And when I say ‘bad for your health’, I don’t just mean skin rashes or allergic reactions, but serious health problems in your internal organs. If you find chemicals like alcohols, phenol carbolic acid, parabens, triclosans, liquid paraffin, and artificial fragrance in a skin care product, do not buy it. These chemicals are commonly found in artificial cosmetic products and they can cause serious health problems like allergic reactions, anemia, depression, renal failure, stroke, and cancer. This is the reason why organic skin care is considered the best anti aging skin treatment.Organic skin care products do not contain any of these harmful chemicals. They are full of natural ingredients which are very safe to use. No matter what your skin type is, you can use organic skin creams as there are no health risks associated with using them. This is why they are considered the best anti aging skin care treatment products.Recently, a lot of skin care experts have been talking about some organic ingredients which are considered the best at treating skin care problems today. They include seaweed extract, manuka honey, CynergyTK, and special forms of CoQ10. All these ingredients are very rare and extremely effective. They can reverse the aging process, repair your damaged skin, get rid of all the skin problems, and improve your skin condition tremendously. Most importantly, they are completely safe to use. So, if you are looking for the best anti aging skin care treatment products, look for the ones with these ingredients.Now you know two important things about skin care – which is the best anti aging skin treatment and how to find the best anti aging skin care products. All you need to do now is get yourself a bunch of good organic skin creams, cleansers, and night creams and use them regularly. You will be surprised to see the results.

Parking Facilities Near Airports – How to Decide Where to Park Your Car When You Travel

Parking is probably one of the biggest concerns travelers have when deciding to fly. The safety and security of airport parking can be lacking, however the prices still tend to be astronomical. In most areas alternative parking lots are usually available for less. These facilities are often secure due to fact people fly at all hours of the day and night. While these facilities are a bit further away, most will offer complementary shuttle service to and from the airport.Offsite parking lots are usually located in a well lit areas. Many of these areas will park the car for you and will bring the car up to the front near the kiosk. Not only do they offer great customer service, but most of them have extremely competitive pricing options. In metropolis you can get ones that offer monthly rates for frequent travelers, saving big bucks. Other discount programs are corporate frees, referral discounts, and cheaper long term parking.With so many features at lower rates, terminal parking at the airport is being challenged. If you’ve ever driven around an airport lot looking for a spot for an hour, you know the frustration. Offsite parking areas know in advance when their lot is full, so you don’t have to waste time or money.Remember that not all parking areas are created equal. Sure, you might be able to find a great deal offsite, but be sure to research the business before using their facilities. There are reports of credit card scammers and con artists setting up “fake” lots that they don’t even own. Check to see if the service has a professional website and that there aren’t any complaints filed against them.Parking facilities near airports can be a cost effective way to save money with the added services and benefits that business competition provides. Remember to be smart and observant when using these facilities, especially if you are travelling alone. Check for well lit easy to find areas that are located near major areas.

Pharmacy Technician Course – New Pharmacy Profession Opportunities For You

Pharmacy technician course it’ s a great chance for all the students that want to embrace a career in pharmacy but do not want to go on with their studies with a post secondary intensive learning course. A pharmacy technician course may have many recognition types. As a result, the basic stage is equal to a 6 months instruction program and scholars who attain this short-term course gain a certificate. The following stage encompasses generally twelve months preparation course, and its completion is in the end rewarded with a certificate.The superior stage for an accredited pharmacy technician course is in fact an associate’ s degree and its completion calls for a 24 month training program. A pharmacy technician course may vary in accordance to on-campus study or web-based study or any other distance preparation program. Accredited preparation must be your primary target when you would like to get certified as a pharmacist. After graduation, your accomplishments will be rewarded with a bachelor’ s diploma, and if such be the case with a master’ s diploma in pharmacy.A pharmacy technician course is a subject of great interest for many students. This training is absolutely reckoned due to monetary factor, to the increasing opportunities on the labor market and to the flexible attendance elements. A profession as a pharmacy tech could be the appropriate option for you. The most important responsibilities of a pharmacy tech are: the sale of drugs and pharmaceutical products, office duties, database operations and other. It’ s not so easy to execute these tasks, but with professional preparation courses you will be able to do it.As it is has been earlier stated, aspiring technicians may either take the first step with on-the-job preparation, or with an accredited pharmacy technician course. The first selection is quite limited, because pharmacists generally credit better proper accredited instruction. The pharmacists which already attended a formal pharmacy technician course are familiar with the technical terminology. The accredited preparation program already took charge of their lab and medical practice (they should be capable to calculate a sure amount of chemical substances using the proper technology). Additionally, the scholars are taught how to handle clients. It is essential to pay attention to the legislation regarding the pharmaceutical field. That is why, certified pharmacy technician course provides the necessary information on how technicians should deal with ethical issues and to avoid legal problems.Certification in this activity is optional, but successfully enhances your chances for promotion and for upper monetary compensation. The Pharmacy Technician Board and the Institute of Certification of Pharmacy are 2 institutions in US that offer certifications for the aspirant pharmacy techs. This activity demands permanent preparation, as the drug market enhances permanently its provide. A pharmacy tech course is as well intended to improve the essential skills for young aspiring pharmacy techs. If you consider that a career in pharmacy is interesting to you, get informed and choose the course that suits you best.

Nutrition Certification Programs in a Nutshell

Find Nutrition Certification Programs in the United States and Canada. If you enjoy a healthy lifestyle and would like to share your innate skills on leading a healthy life, then enrolling in any one of several nutrition certification programs will give you cutting-edge knowledge in eating nutritious diets to promote overall wellness and longevity.There are a variety of specialized training opportunities like holistic nutrition or sports nutrition; however, most nutrition certification programs include basic studies in biology (human, plant, animals, etc.), anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and chemistry. Other subject matter involved in nutrition certification programs are studies in nutritional assessment, preventive nutrition, digestion, metabolism, macrobiotics, soil ecology, herbology and biochemicals, herbs, vitamins and minerals, among others.Nutrition certification programs vary in course duration, and may be offered at a more advanced level for the established medical professional or more introductory for the novice. Typically, most nutrition certification programs run from 26 weeks to 72 weeks.Additional therapies that are sometimes integrated into nutrition certification programs include natural healing modalities like applied kinesiology, Ayurvedic medicine, aromatherapy, naturopathy, homeopathy, and other massage therapies.As a supplementary study, students participating in nutrition certification programs will gain essential education in prescription drug and nutritient interaction, and how adverse effects of these interactions or lack thereof (vitamins, minerals) can affect body functioning. Subsequently, many nutrition certification programs teach students about food allergies and how to identify these sensitivities and manage health through customized diets.Graduates of nutrition certification programs should know that the vast majority of the United States requires licensure, certification and/or registration. Once candidates have fulfilled all educational and training requirements, they can advance to becoming professional nutritionists or dieticians, where they can work in a variety of healthcare settings including hospitals, family practices, or other health-related facilities. Earnings vary, however experienced nutritionists have the potential to earn well over $63,000 annually.If you (or someone you know) are interested in finding nutrition certification programs, let professional training within fast-growing industries like massage therapy, cosmetology, acupuncture, oriental medicine, Reiki, and others get you started! Explore career school programs near you.Salary source: Bls.gov (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)Nutrition Certification Programs in a Nutshell┬ę Copyright 2007The CollegeBound NetworkAll Rights ReservedNOTICE: Article(s) may be republished free of charge to relevant websites, as long as Copyright and Author Resource Box are included; and ALL Hyperlinks REMAIN intact and active.

Do Nutritional Supplements Work? Some Surprising Facts

Some big, unfounded rumors are circulating about nutritional supplements.And they’re circulating under the guise of science and experience. But instead of helping you make wiser choices for your health, they do the opposite. They make it harder.Because these false tales ignore volumes of research and several thousands of years of human healing practices using food, herbs and minerals.What fallacies am I talking about?A December 2013 editorial published in The Annals Of Internal Medicine, titled “Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements” concluded:”We believe that the case is closed- supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.”[1]Now here’s the thing… I agree we need to pay attention to results of the studies the authors referred to when they came to this conclusion. This editorial refers to several recent studies. Each of these studies underscores some important reasons why nutritional supplements don’t work in specific situations.But other than that, they’re dead wrong.Because if anything these studies only highlight the mistakes people and doctors make when it comes to using supplements. Simply put, when people choose poor quality supplements and use the wrong supplement for the wrong reasons, supplements don’t do much good.In contrast, as hundreds of people who have consulted with me as a doctor have discovered, when you choose the right, high quality supplement for the right health concern, you’ll see the benefits.The key is to make knowledgeable choices.A single article is too limited to cover 40 plus years of knowledge I draw from in recommending supplements to my patients. But I can offer some basic guidelines that will help you make better choices when you use supplements.Here’s what you need to look out for in order to ensure the nutritional supplements you use work.Get The Right Dose Of NutritionThree of the studies the editorial team used to make their case showed multivitamins did little to change the risk of brain problems, cardiovascular issues after a heart attack or overall health risks for older people.I wasn’t surprised by this.In trying to cover the whole spectrum of nutrition without overdoing it in any one area, multivitamins usually only offer a small percentage of the nutrients you need to take care of a specific health concern. And often enough they include nutrients you don’t even need depending on how you eat.For example, most multivitamins contain 400 IU or less of vitamin D. While this is the official recommended daily allowance for vitamin D, most holistic doctors would consider this a drop in the bucket when it comes to raising your blood vitamin D levels.I have my patients get blood tests to assess vitamin D levels and then recommend supplements accordingly. Often enough, I recommend at least 1000 IU – sometimes as much as 5000 IU – to get them to healthy vitamin D levels in the blood.Multivitamins provide a baseline for nutrition. Not strategic intervention that can really make a difference.And this brings me to the next issue…Choose The Best Nutritional Supplements For Your Specific NeedsJust because vitamin A supplementation worked for your neighbor, doesn’t mean it will work for you.Perhaps you eat lots of winter squash and chlorella, rich in this vitamin. You don’t need a supplement.Not everyone needs the same amount of supplementation.Supplementation works best when it’s tailored to your individual health concerns, eating habits, lifestyle and genetic makeup. When adding supplements to your diet, start with you – with what you’re struggling with and what you know are your weak points.This is why studies involving people without any nutritional deficiencies to assess the effectiveness of supplements may have had less significant results.It’s also why multivitamins have limited effectiveness. The higher quality ones may give you a nice nutritional base. But they do little to offer you the strategic nutrition that thousands of studies have shown can make a difference with specific health concerns.But it doesn’t matter what dose of supplement you choose, if you don’t pay attention to this next issue, you won’t get what you need…Choose Natural SupplementsSynthetic versions of vitamins can not only be less effective, they can be dangerous. As the Annals of Internal Medicine editorial team correctly pointed out, some research has shown that vitamin A supplementation can in fact increase your risk of lung cancer.However, if you get the precursor for vitamin A that’s found in chlorella and other whole foods – beta carotene – you don’t have to worry. Unlike with vitamin A, your body only converts the beta-carotene it needs and gets rid of the rest.Natural substances are hard to mimic in a chemistry lab. We may do a pretty good job, but several different vitamin studies have shown that synthetic forms of vitamins – like the ones used in several vitamin A and E studies – can disrupt the way your body uses nutrition.But even if you go natural, you still need to pay keen attention to the next criterion…Make Quality A PriorityListen, do you think some wilted spinach that’s been sitting in your fridge for 2 weeks will give you the same nourishment as that spinach picked from your garden minutes ago? Of course not!So why would you assume all supplement ingredients are of the same quality?Sure they may be natural ingredients. But natural doesn’t necessarily mean quality.Plenty of manufacturers scoot by with ingredients your body can’t use – or contain little concentration of the active compounds you’re seeking. Multivitamins are particularly notorious in this area. If you pick one up at random from the local pharmacy, I can just about guarantee that many of the nutrients in the multivitamin you selected will be hard for your body to use and offer limited benefits.For example, calcium carbonate – found in many multivitamins as well as calcium supplements – is much harder for your body to breakdown and absorb than calcium citrate.[2]When it comes to botanical supplements, their quality depends heavily on how they were sourced and processed. For example, if eleuthero root is harvested in the winter months, when much of the plant’s energy is stored in its roots, you’ll get a much higher concentration of active ingredients, eleutherosides. However, not every eleuthero producer takes care to harvest at this time, leading to a range of potency when it comes to eleuthero supplements on the market.However, as good as a high quality extract or isolated ingredient is, rarely can they compete with the best form of supplementation.The Best Nutritional Supplements Are Made With Whole FoodsWhile we’ve discovered some applications for isolated vitamins and plant compounds… and while I sometimes suggest my patients use certain extracts or isolated vitamins… when it comes down to it, nothing beats the complex chemistry of food for giving your body the best nutrition.Nutrients found in food work together to nourish you in incredibly complex ways. It’s like a symphony with hundreds of players. And often enough, when we try to isolate nutrients, we miss out on powerful health benefits.For example, when it comes to the supplement, eleuthero, scientists have found that some of the isolated compounds, eleutherosides, seem to increase immune health. But they also found that none of the isolated eleutherosides worked as well for strengthening your immune health as taking whole eleuthero.[3]3 Tips For Finding Nutritional Supplements That WorkAs a doctor who’s witnessed hundreds of people recovering excellent health thanks to the use of nutritional supplements, I know this widely publicized editorial from the Annals of Internal Medicine has the potential to cause tremendous damage. By referring to a few non-representative and poorly designed studies to condemn nutritional supplements as a whole, the authors have robbed people of health options that can make all the difference.But I also understand the need, highlighted by the studies referred to in the editorial, for better understanding of how to choose and use supplements more effectively.Here are a few suggestions:

Do your research. Go beyond the headlines and ask questions. Get information that addresses all the questions I raised in this post. Learn more about the health concern you have, the nutrient you’re considering using and the company that produces supplements that provide this nutrition.

When in doubt, consult with a professional like a holistic doctor. As part of our professional work, we keep up with the research. In addition, we have our years of practice to draw on in seeing how supplements work on a case by case basis. A holistic doctor can help you determine the quality of a supplement. And they can help you decide if it’s the right one for your needs.

Consider using supplements that have already gone through rigorous quality assessments. For example, supplement distribution companies like Emerson Ecologics set high standards for the supplements they carry in order to help practitioners like me make good choices more easily. While you will need an official practitioner recommendation for purchasing from them, you will know that the supplements they carry are well vetted.
Become The Expert: Know The Best Supplements For YouThe most important thing you can do to use supplements effectively is to know yourself. Get to know your body and note how supplements work for you.And keep this in mind: Studies are important. But they also only capture a snapshot of the reality. Your unique biochemistry may not fit into this.Because of this, you can know better than any doctor or researcher what supplement works for you. When it comes down to it, no one else can do as good a job as you in making the final decision about which are the best nutritional supplements for you.While professionals like me can help you with guidance and advice, you need to be the expert when it comes to your health.Sources:[1] Eliseo Guallar, MD et al. Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements. Ann Intern Med. 2013;159(12):850-851-851[2] Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Calcium. Office Of Dietary Supplements.[3] Steinmann GG et al. Immunopharmacological in vitro effects of Eleutherococcus senticosus extracts. Arzneimittelforschung. 2001 Jan;51(1):76-83.

How to Make Money Investing in Stocks in Any Market

I write this with one eye on 2015 and 2016; and the other focused on how to make money investing in stocks. And I remind myself that there are two market concepts that must be understood and considered in order to make money investing in stocks in any market.Nobody can always make money investing in stocks (also called equities), but those who outperform year after year do so by applying two basic concepts. Here we will use 2015 and 2016 as an example because they promise to be challenging years. We’re not talking about finding tomorrow’s glamour stocks or short-term trading here. We’re talking about two important and basic market concepts that many investors either are not aware of, or that they overlook at their own expense.Concept #1 refers to the cyclical nature of markets. Prices will always fluctuate, but there are reoccurring and identifiable price trends that can either make you or break you. A trend of rising prices is called a “bull market”, and just about anybody can make money investing in stocks in these “good” markets. The good news is that they often last for several years. The bad news is that they are always followed (sooner or later) by a trend of falling prices which is called a “bear market’, or simply a “bad” market for most investors.The good news is that bear markets (like the last two) sometimes last for less than two years. The bad news is that they can be swift and brutal – creating losses of 50% or more for investors (like in the last two bear markets). The other bad news is that very few investors ever make money investing in stocks in a bear market. More bad news: if you lose half your money in a bad market, you then need to double your money in the next good market in order to simply break even.As I look forward to 2015 and 2016, I also look back to the years 2000 and 2007. Both years were the beginning of bear markets that followed good markets. Both created 50% losses in less than two years and wiped out most of the profits investors earned in the preceding good markets. As of 2015, the current bull market that started in early 2009 is almost six years old. The stock market has again hit all-time highs. The challenge now is how to make money investing in stocks in 2015 and beyond if a new bear market hits in 2015 or 2016.As we move on to concept #2, note that we are not talking about how to avoid losses in a bear market, but how to actually make money investing in stocks. You can always avoid losses by getting out while you are ahead, or you can reduce losses by cutting your asset allocation to stocks.While just about everyone knows that you can make money investing in stocks when you buy them and equities prices rise… most folks do not know that you can also bet that prices will fall and make money if they do. This is called taking a “short” position. It’s legal, and has been going on for many years. During the Great Depression some people in the know got filthy rich “going short”; and during the financial crisis of 2007- 2008 you could have made big bucks betting against the market as well.This is concept #2 and is the flip side of how markets work. The good news is that it will be easier than ever to make this bet in 2015 and 2016. The bad news is that it’s not for everyone, because you can take significant losses if you go here and prices move UP, against you. Actually, I’ve known people who are repulsed by the concept and some who even think that it’s un-American and should be illegal. That having been said, it’s a fact of life and part of the free-market system we live in.It’s never easy to make money investing in stocks by going “short” because the market trend over the long term has been up. On the other hand, when the market goes south you won’t make money investing in stocks any other way. You’ll lose it along with about 98% of investors. The easiest way to short the market these days is to simply buy stocks called INVERSE EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS (ETFs). Popular examples (stock symbols) include DXD, SDS, and QID. In order, these allow you to short the three major indexes: the Dow, the S&P 500, and the NASDAQ.These (and other) inverse ETFs are designed to go UP in price when the market indexes go DOWN. In fact, if the index goes down 1% they are designed to go up 2%. If you want to try to make money investing in stocks in a bad market, inverse ETFs are the simplest way to do it. They can be easily bought and sold through a discount broker for about $10 per trade.Above all else, keep the concept of bull and bear markets in mind in your endeavor to make money investing in stocks in 2015, 2016 and well beyond. While a rising tide lifts all boats, a falling tide can leave them dead in the water. If you are adventuresome and can handle the risk, you now know how to make money investing in stocks when the tide goes out.

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