Which home maintenance tasks to do each month?

If you want to save a fortune in repairs you need to keep your property well maintained. Taking care of those niggly little jobs every month can help your property to realise its maximum resale potential and make it a more comfortable place to live.

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Want to keep your home at its best? Try these monthly maintenance tasks and don’t forget to hoover, check the smoke alarms and boiler pressure and clean the fluff out of the tumble dryer, too! By doing little and often you’ll keep your home safe, warm, secure, tidy and comfortable all year round.

Spring cleaning

Now’s the time to give your home a thorough check, so schedule in a gutter clean and roof check in March. You need to make sure your drains are functioning properly, so clean and check in April. As the weather warms up in May give the house a deep clean and get the boiler serviced. Clean windows and have any urgent repairs done by trustworthy emergency glaziers in Leicester.

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Summer fun

Now’s the time to get outside in the garden, so cut the lawn, clean your garden furniture, repair any fences and even give the house a new coat of paint. Give your patio a deep clean and treat your decking so it stands up to the rigours of those busy outdoor summer months.

Autumn essentials

This is one of the busiest times of year for home maintenance and one of the best times to get to grips with jobs like bleeding radiators so your heating system is ready to cope with the winter. This is also the time to get on top of those niggling repairs so contact a company like emergency glaziers in Leicester to sort out those dodgy double glazing units and have your drains and gutters professionally cleaned. That way you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing your home will stand up to any severe weather that’s on its way. And if you love a real fire, don’t forget to have the chimney swept.

Winter warmers

Winter is a good time to catch up on those indoor jobs like cleaning out the kitchen cupboards and getting rid of any out of date tins. Clean or change the filter in your cooker hood and give the oven a thorough clean ready for the turkey!

Some of the best-selling vinyl albums of the last 20 years

Vinyl has experienced a resurgence in recent years. There’s something incredibly satisfying about listening to music with the original crackles and having to move the needle. If you’re a fellow lover of vinyl, here’s some trivia for you. Here are some of the best-selling vinyl albums of the last 2 decades, just when we all thought vinyl was a thing of the past:

The Beatles’ ‘Anthology 1’

Sitting at number 20 in the Official Charts Company best-selling vinyl albums of the last 20 years is the Beatles’ Anthology I. It was released in 1995 and was the first of three albums containing a fine mix of unreleased music, live recordings and their biggest hits.

DJ Shadow’s ‘Endtroducing’

Things in hip hop changed significantly on the 1996 release of DJ Shadow’s ‘Endtroducing’ . Although the album used a great deal of samples and was produced fairly basically, it has been lauded as a landmark album in hip hop culture.

Oasis

Oasis achieved colossal fame during the 1990s, described as the second coming of The Beatles.
Their 1997 album ‘Be Here Now’ was the band’s third album and highly anticipated by fans. It takes 17th place in the top 20 albums of the last 2 decades. To get your hands on your own Vinyl Records, visit https://www.vinylrecords.co.uk/

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Pulp

The leading band in the Britpop movement, Pulp’s ‘Different Class’ of 1995 rocketed the group to instant stardom. This was actually their 5th album and featured hit singles ‘Common People’ and ‘Disco 2000’, both reaching the top 10 in the UK charts.

Nirvana

Nirvana were in the middle of taking the world by storm before Kurt Cobain’s untimely death. Their live album ‘MTV Unplugged in New York’ was the first album since his death and it’s touching, pained and beautiful vocals won it a Grammy for Best Alternative Music album in 1996.

Blur’s Parklife

This was the album that propelled Blur to the top of the Britpop movement in 1994. The album certified 4 times platinum as the battle commenced between Blur and Oasis for hit singles during the 1990s.

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Paul Weller ‘Stanley Road’

The third album from Weller, it took its name from a road where he lived as a boy in Woking. He has said that it was the most perfect album he has ever created.

Prodigy’s ‘Fat Of The Land’

As of 2012, the Fat of the Land album by the Prodigy had sold 10 million copies across the world, although it was released in 1997. With the success of just this album alone, the band must be enjoying living of the ‘fat of the land’ too.

‘What’s The Morning Story Glory’ – Oasis

Oasis make the list again and this album makes the top spot for the best-selling vinyl albums of the last 2 decades. It was released in 1995 and was winner of the Best British Album of the last 30 years at the Brit Awards in 2010.

 

The Montpellier area of Cheltenham

Montpellier in Cheltenham has always been one of the most coveted areas of the town. With many people looking to buy property in the area. For those people searching for Sell my property in Cheltenham online it is worth taking a look at www.ocheltenham.co.uk/ as they are experts in the Cheltenham property market. Cheltenham has expanded over the years and areas that would once have been like smaller villages on the outskirts of the many town area are now a part of the much larger town. This happens across the country and is proof of the area’s popularity both in terms of businesses looking for places operate from and also for people looking for places to live. As well as Montpellier the much sought-after area of Pittville with its access to the pump rooms and Pittville park has also seen an increase in the number of new houses being built as well as the desire from people to move there.

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Back to the Montpellier area.

Montpellier has been a part of the wider Cheltenham town since medieval times, but it became one of the trend setting areas that influenced the fashion and entertainment direction that the overall area went in. It was one of the first areas of the town to start offering the delights of the spa waters and quickly influenced other areas in Cheltenham to start offering the same.

As well as having a long history as one of the most fashionable areas of Cheltenham Montpellier has continued to grow. The area is home to many bespoke shops and cafes and restaurants as well as a wine bar and a small shopping walkway. The historical building of the rotunda with its incredible architecture has been occupied by a Lloyds bank branch and the façade of the building can still be admired today.

Opposite all the shopping area is the Montpellier gardens which several times a year is home to some of the Cheltenham festival events as well as also housing a variety of other activities throughout the year. The garden offers lots of seating as well as a small children’s play area and café style kiosk that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

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When visiting the town centre for shopping or perhaps to enjoy a show at the Town Hall it is definitely worth walking up to the Montpellier area to have a look at the stores that are located there and perhaps pop into one of the cafes and enjoy a coffee and slice of cake whilst enjoying the architecture of the buildings around you.

Link Building Packages That Won’t Break The Bank

If you’re well-acquainted with search engine optimisation, you’ll know that there are many different factors involved in an SEO campaign. SEO companies will often place importance on various aspects of their work but there is no denying that link building is an essential component for website owners looking to improve the reputation of their website and climb through the ranks to achieve those yearned-for first page positions within the search engines.

Link building is often regarded as a complicated process but the secret is to fully understand the importance of a natural process. The link building specialists at SEO Positive will never ‘spam’ a website to achieve good but short-lived results. Using purely white hat techniques, SEO Positive is able to draw upon years of combined experience within the industry to develop an effective and affordable link building package for your business. The methods adopted by SEO Positive have been proven to achieve results for clients from a huge range of industries and backgrounds, many of which will be happy to provide testimonials.

The experts at the company simply know what works!

You’ll also be hard pushed to find another company that provides clients with such honest and transparent reporting systems. Clients are designated a client account manager who will conduct the necessary research into your link strategy and oversee the entire link building campaign. Your project manager will look to buy links of varying quality and price so that you can be sure you’re getting the best value for money available. You will receive an easy-to-follow link building report that outlines exactly what you have received for your money, ensuring that you can keep track of your progress.

And best of all, if you’re looking to develop your online promotional campaigns further, SEO Positive offer a huge range of search engine marketing services such as search engine optimisation, Pay Per Click account management and website design.

Noteworthy Ecommerce Websites

So you already know that Ecommerce is short for Electronic commerce, which mainly consists of the buying and selling of goods or services over the world wide web with the use of the internet. Now you want to know which websites are best for your specific browsing needs. As with everyone who basically lives and breathes the internet, online shopping can be as tiring as the actual thing at the malls when given a website that is overwhelming with information, design and functionality. A good ecommerce website compromises the following: extensive inventory, competitive prices, user-friendly interface and fast-loading web pages. Any additional feature to this list is already icing on the cake.

So here are some commerce websites that are noteworthy. Noteworthy includes having a great web design London that does not in anyway become an eye sore while spending much time on the website, an interface that can be smoothly navigated thru, sufficient information, fast-loading pages and easy check-out system.

Amazon.com
Hands down must be the best ecommerce website there is to date. It is considered the anchor store for online shopping. It is an online-shopaholic’s fantasy world. It carries almost anything that you could think of that can be purchased with an input of your mastercard or visa numbers. Is has a simple design and is user-friendly even to those who are newbies to the world of online shopping.

Etsy.com
Another ecommerce website to take note of is etsy.com. This website carries more of hand-crafted products that are original and purchase worthy.

Ebay.com
There maybe no other auction website better than this. So if you are looking for pre-owned items, whether it be a handbag or an ipod, or is planning to sell an item then this is the ecommerce site for you.

Zappos.com
Free shipping and return shipping is the selling point of this ecommerce website. Not satisfied with your purchase on zappos.com will not trouble you in the very least since this site offers free return of the item. As we all know, the fear of having bought an item that does not fit you or does not satisfy you as you would have thought actually prevents you to push thru with the purchase. With Zappos.com, that fear is eliminated, giving you a worry-free shopping spree. But of course there is a downside to a seemingly perfect feature, the free return shipping policy does not apply to all countries.

Are You An Internet Marketer Wannabe?

Are you one of the many thousands of Internet marketer wannabes who have decided to become the next batch of Internet Millionaires?

You’ve read that about 600 million people have access to the Internet – and yet it is still in its infancy. Every month millions of newcomers and thousands of businesses are reported to be setting up online.

With this huge and expanding audience coupled with the fact that marketing and advertising can be done on the Internet so easily and at only a fraction of the costs of traditional methods, we now have a fantastic opportunity to be successful in online business.

Many companies have now aligned themselves with the Internet which has created many new paradigms in the past few years. Residual Incomes are made available to people from all walks of life. You can now make money online with simple and proven formula used by many to earn multiple streams of residual income.

However please beware of the hurdles ahead because it is not as easy as it seems. It takes a lot of hard work and some financial investment. The following is a short list of some of the things you should be aware of:

1. DECIDE WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO SELL

1.1. Selling Products
When you sell a product you can either carry out the whole operation of manufacturing or creating the products, handling orders, stocking and inventory management, shipping the goods, and processing the payments OR you could simply join some affiliate programs and market for companies that will handle all the administration for you.

Your job is therefore merely to get the orders to the companies and receive commission as a result of your effort. The question we should ask ourselves is “What products should we sell?”
We should all know that the item that has been recognized as the number one business product of the future is “information”. Examples of highly successful information products are the ‘how-to’ and “self-improvement” e-books which tell the readers how to solve certain problems.

If you are knowledgeable about a particular subject you could consider writing and developing your own products and delivering it via the many channels opened to you such as websites, newsletters, ezines and emails.

1.2. Selling Services
One advantage of selling a service is that you can often generate a ‘residual’ income. It is possible to have a monthly passive income as long as the existing customers continue to use your service. But we should ask again “What types of service are suitable for online selling?”

As the Internet boom continues the most obvious possibility is any service which could help companies in using the Internet in their business. An excellent example is a web hosting service whereby the host will provide the space to put up websites of others with the necessary tools to manage it while providing technical advice and service to their clients.

2 A Comprehensive Business Plan
Don’t start until you have made a plan that includes what the markets are, what products and services you’re selling to these markets, how to acquire these products (and services), how you will market and sell them and how to get the money to pay for all these things. Like any other forms of work, you must have a plan for your Internet business. Set an achievable short term, medium term and long term objectives, prepare a budget and stick to them as far as possible. Carry out periodical checking to determine any deviations from the plan and take the necessary remedial actions.

3. An E-Commerce Program
You must have the capability to accept orders, arrange for payment, preferably by credit card, and ship the product. Otherwise you should do as many successful Internet entrepreneurs do, that is, joining good affiliate programs where you need not worry about processing of orders, collection of payment, packing and shipping of the products as these would be taken care of by the merchants i.e. the affiliate program owners.

4. Well Written Sales Copy
The content of your website should have attractive and hard hitting selling materials to persuade your prospects to buy from you while maintaining and keeping the existing customers. Copywriting requires some skill. If you can’t do it yourself you will have to hire professional copywriters to do it for you for a fee.

5. Patience and Perseverance
Building a successful business on the Internet takes not only a lot of effort and time, it also requires some financial input on your part especially for acquiring the necessary knowledge and to advertise your business. Don’t be trapped by the “overnight miracle” and “become-an- instant-millionaire” hype and stories.

You’d be tempted with countless of seemingly very attractive offers and promises from the Web to help improve your business. Many of these would lead you to disappointment and frustration. You should persevere and re-invest your early profits back into the business.

6. Get Your List As Soon As Possible
In Internet marketing, always remember three very important words. They’re…LIST, LIST and LIST. Also, do not forget the popular Internet adage, “The Gold is in your LIST!” This means that a big chunk of your time, effort and concentration should be directed to getting the right strategy to drive traffic to your site. Advertising is therefore of utmost importance.

7. Be Disciplined
Although this is a home based business with all the freedom in the world, it’s prudent to have some form of discipline. Once you’ve decided to sit in front of the computer to start working online, you must stay focused and do not allow any distraction to affect your concentration. Treat it as your business and not a hobby. It’d be nice to stick to a schedule which is also made known to other members of your family so that they’d know when to leave you alone. However do not get carried away and spend too much time in front of your PC because your loved ones, including your pets also deserve your attention and time.

8. Stay away from the temptation to spam.
Do not ever try to spam i.e. sending unsolicited e-mails to unexpected recipients under any circumstances. I get very annoyed when I find chunks of unwanted e-mails plugging my mailbox resulting in the e-mails from my friends and business associates being “lost” in the midst of these junks mails. The frustrating process of deleting them is enough to drive me through the roof! If you insisted on “spamming”, you’d very likely have your name and registration terminated. It is therefore not worth the while because eventually your business would suffer.

9. Know how to place your advert
There are many locations where you can place an Ad such as newsgroups, forums, ezines, websites some of which you have to pay for while some are totally free of charge. It is possible to post your Ad to a mailing list, newsgroups, and also discussion forums using a signature file to promote your products.

10 Steps To Save Your Retirement

Many of the brightest and hardest-working marketing and advertising people in the country are obsessed with getting you to spend money and, if necessary, to go into debt to do so. Absolutely all the media that reach you every day are designed to get you to spend money. In order to save money in this environment, you will need determination to withstand the constant pressures to spend now.

What is it that separates those who are successful from those who are not?

Successful individuals have a strong personal vision of what they want and why they want it. That vision gives them the strength to stick to their strategies even when doing so is uncomfortable. It gives them the determination to persist when they are discouraged. This is the same characteristic of women entrepreneurs and is the reason their new, small businesses are successful.

The 401k Plan

Today, the 401(k) plan has become the main investment vehicle for working women to save for retirement. But many don’t take full advantage of their plan, and this could leave them with a lot less at retirement. Here are some steps we believe you can take to improve and eliminate any retirement worries about whether or not your retirement will be pleasurable or public charity; or whether you will have all the free time to spend with your family or friends.

1. Increase your contributions to the maximum that you can manage. Many women contribute just enough to take advantage of their employer’s matching contributions, and then they stop. By adding more to your account, beyond the matching contributions, you’ll end up with more in retirement.

2. Invest at the start of each year instead of taking a little bit out of each paycheck. Nothing in the law says you have to invest in a 401(k) plan a little at a time, from each paycheck. By investing early, you’ll put your money to work sooner for your benefit.

3. A few years ago it was reported that more than 30 percent of the money in 401(k) plans was invested in money-market funds or similar accounts. For investors nearing retirement, that may be appropriate. But most workers in their 40’s and 50’s need growth in their retirement investments. Put more of your investment fund in equities and less in money-market funds.

4. Research indicates that over long periods of time, small-company stocks outperform large-company stocks. Since 1926, In the equity part of your portfolio, shift some of your money into funds that invest in small companies. Don’t put your entire equity portfolio in small-company stocks. But consider investing at least 25 percent of your U.S. equity investments in that fund.

5. Numerous studies have shown that value stocks outperform growth stocks. According to data going back to 1964, large U.S. value companies had a compound rate of return of 15.1 percent vs. only 11.4 percent for large U.S. growth companies. Among small U.S. companies, the difference was even more striking: a compound return of 17.4 percent for the value stocks vs. 12.1 percent for the growth stocks. Don’t put your entire equity portfolio into value stocks. But if there’s a value fund available to you, consider investing at least 25 percent of your U.S. equity investments in that fund.

6.Rebalance your portfolio once a year. Your asset allocation plan calls for a certain percentage to be invested in each of several kinds of assets. Rebalancing restores your asset balance and allows for the possibility that last year’s losers may be this year’s gainers. Diluting your diversification actually increases risk in your portfolio over time, which is a result that’s just the opposite of what most investors want.

7.Without compromising proper asset allocation– use the funds in your plan that have the lowest operating expenses. Choose funds with low turnover in their portfolios.

8. Don’t borrow or make early withdrawals from your 401(k) unless that is the only way to respond to a life-threatening emergency. Furthermore, if you take an early withdrawal before you are 59.5 years old, your withdrawals will be subject to a 10 percent tax penalty (in addition to regular taxes) unless you are disabled. Just don’t do it.

9. If you leave your job, you’ll get a chance to roll over your 401(k) into an IRA. Take that chance. In an IRA, you have the same tax deferral as a 401(k), and you’ll have the flexibility to invest in virtually everything you can get in a 401(k), plus much more.

10. Here’s the most important thing you can do to maximize your 401(k): Keep your contributions automatically payroll deducted, and make them no matter what. It’s simple, but it’s not easy. Half of the households in the United States have net worth of $25,000 or less. In a typical year, about two-thirds of U.S. households do not save money.

Remember, to be successful, first, imagine your early retirement; the Caribbean condo, the yacht, the new Lexus. Luxury and pleasure as far as your eyes can see. Create a strong vision, and then don’t let go. The power of a clear, strong vision applies to more than just your retirement savings. Let your vision shape your life, instead of the other way around, and all of the time in the world can be yours. You won’t be spending your Golden Years working at the Golden Arches.

Five fireside accessories that you need in your life this winter

Looking out of my window, it’s dark by 4.30pm; winter is here. As the nights draw longer and the cold comes in, all I want is to be curled up by the fireplace with a good book.

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That said, a bare fireplace is almost as bad as no fireplace. Make yours more inviting by treating your home to these must-have fireside accessories and keep your house cosy all winter.

However, when lighting fires, make sure you have adequate fire safety at home and never leave a burning flame unattended.

1 Candles

The warmth of the fireplace can only be improved by placing scented candles on the mantelpiece. Selecting candle holders of different heights adds variety to your home and provides an excellent place to add foliage or other decorations over the festive period.

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2 Log holder

To create that roaring fire, you’ll need logs to burn. Invest in a stunning metal log holder to add something a little different rather than a wicker basket, see a company such as https://www.themetaltree.co.uk that sells beautiful, alternative log storage options perfect for any home.

3 Tools

Any real fire needs the right tools. To keep your fire burning through the cold nights you will, at least, need a poker, shovel, tongs, rake and brush to keep your fireplace looking its best. That said, just because fire tools are functional doesn’t mean they can’t be beautiful. Find a set matching the tone of your room to make even the necessities appear to be ornaments.

4 Big mirrors

Often, the space above the fireplace can be a big expanse of wall needing something extra to bring the room together. Forgoing artwork in favour of an oversized mirror creates the illusion of an extra window, without the need to let in any more cold air. Mirrors also make your room feel bigger and help to create a focal point.

5 A good blanket

No experience of curling up by the fire is complete without the perfect throw or blanket to cover up cold toes. Find one that makes you feel at home so even when the rain is pouring you can keep cosy.

Grab your blanket, a good book, make yourself some hot chocolate and snuggle up by the fire until the sunshine returns.

 

I know it’s sad, but I can’t wait for them to leave

This morning I heard Joe and Katie talking about how they were looking forward to going away for the week down to Cornwall for a spot of windsurfing. When they saw me looking at them, they started talking in that human code that they seem to think that I don’t I understand.

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“How do you think you know who will be staying at you know where?”

What they mean is how do they think I will be staying at Dog Boarding Surrey venue https://nestledownboardingkennels.co.uk They always worry so much when they go away and leave me at the boarding kennels. Fretting about whether I will miss them, and will I forgive them for leaving me when they come back, and will I be a good boy for the owners?

Well I can tell you exactly how I am going to be … ecstatic!! Now don’t get me wrong I do miss them both when they are away, but the kennels is amazing. I finally get some time to myself where I can ponder on what I am going to have written in my memoirs – now all I have to do is perfect holding a pen in my mouth and learn to write. Oh, and spell. Anyway, back to the kennels. The place is sheer luxury a room all to myself, no more having to listen to Joe snoring at night. He really should get that looked into, he sounds like some sort of pneumatic drill and it is really hard to dream about chasing my tail when all I can hear is him. Also, the lady at the kennels gives the best tummy rubs. Not that I would ever tell Katie that.

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All this excitement thinking about my impeding stay in the kennels has got my tail waging furiously. I mustn’t let them see me being too happy about it. I don’t want to spoil the illusion that I am going to be devastated when they leave and pine away for them for a week. I wonder if my good friend Bertie will be staying there this time. He has been there the last two occasions I have stayed Bertie is hilarious he likes to think that he is some sort of detective, always trying to work out where the dogs in the other kennels have come from and what their families are like and he has such long fur over his eyes that can often be heard crashing into his food bowl in the middle of the night.

Well, I’m off to start packing my favourite toys to take with me. I will fill you in on all the kennel gossip when I get back.

FCA Outlines Plans to Use AI to Identify Mis-Selling

There have been many blogs/articles outlining the benefits of AI in the financial sphere. But now there is a move to utilise this technology in a different way.

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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has recently outlined plans to use automation to stop independent financial advisors from mis-selling products. If an advisor makes a false or misleading statement about a financial product, this is classified as mis-selling, as are omitting facts or not outlining risks associated with any investment.

The FCA’s Richard Monks told a recent conference that he wanted to explore the idea of using machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to investigate companies or individuals that are likely to mis-sell products. The predictions would be based on a wide data pool, including publicly available data, data about complaints and historical records of approved persons and/or controls. Using big data could help identify the advisors who were likely to mis-sell.

If you live in or near Wiltshire and are looking for an independent financial advisor Marlborough is a great place to start. A small market town and civil parish, there are a number of firms and independent financial specialists based there.

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Good financial advice should cost less than the benefits it generates in the long run. If you are looking for some independent financial advice, why not take a look at the website of a reputable firm such as https://chilvester.co.uk/ today?

Digital Reporting

Monks added the FCA is also looking to further increase investment in the digital reporting of transactions. Wholesale markets already offer almost real-time transaction reporting and analysis, but retail transactions do not. By adopting digitised transactions for retail, the FCA could be notified almost immediately of any transactions that meet its pre-defined criteria of ‘dubious’, ‘potentially fraudulent’ or ‘potential mis-selling’. This type of digitisation would also reduce the costs associated with regulatory reporting, as a considerable amount of data could be centralised.

IFA Numbers

Regulatory returns showed that at the end of November 2017 there were a total of 25,951 advisors in the UK (with 5270 firms employing at least one advisor). This was a small increase on the previous year.

Better data would enable the FCA to concentrate on high-risk investments made by those firms/individuals that are flagged up by AI as more likely to mis-sell.