The Best Designer Board Games

Designer board games are something that is generally considered to have been started in Germany, and while sometimes referred to as German style board games, this title can be misleading. Designer board games have come from nearly every country and all have great success stories in the popularity they enjoy with fans. Many different Americans, for example, have produced vastly popular designer board games. A number of designer board games do come from Germany, however, but despite the intimidating nature of the titles, players should feel comfortable with any of these games. They often are similar to many games that players already know and love, but often present some form of twist or enhancement that can make them even more enjoyable!
Good designer board games all feature some sort of theme which unites the strategy and methods used within the game. Sometimes these themes can seem somewhat bizarre and unsuitable for a game, but that is also part of the charm of the designer game. Once such game, Bohnanza, is technically about bean farming, which causes many a player to raise an eyebrow. However, the real game deals with heavy negotiation and trading between players. By using different cards dealt from the deck, players must plant different bean crops, trade for certain bean crops, and eventually harvest the crops to gain money in return. The player who, at the end of the game, has the largest amount of money wins. While initially sounding a bit ridiculous, Bohnanza provides players with much enjoyment as the strategy needed in the game always changes based on the other players.
Tigris and Euphrates is another designer board game which enjoys much popularity with fans. Based on ancient civilizations, this game gives players the chance to act as neighboring dynasties which are clashing over this region. Players randomly select tiles from a bag and during the game, place these tiles in strategic positions around the board, gaining control of areas to expand their kingdoms. Different tiles stand for different aspects of the game and through careful placement, players can build and strengthen their domains in ways that will reap vast benefits. At the end of the game, players collect points based on the numbers and types of tiles that they have placed, and the player with the largest number of tiles is declared the winner of the game.
Scotland Yard is a designer game that pits one player against the others in a team. One player is designated as “Mr. X,” a fugitive from the law who is running around London, trying to avoid capture. The other players all form the law enforcement team trying to arrest him before a certain time limit has passed and Mr. X can roam free. The board is a map of London, marked with certain transportation routes and all of the stops along those routes. All players are forced to travel along these routes, with Mr. X trying to evade capture while the other players pursue. The twist is that only 3 forms of transportation are available and each one can only be used a certain number of times by the police team.
Much strategy and careful teamwork is required with these games, as with most designer board games. However, with the many different varieties and themes available, it is no wonder that they have become as popular as they are. Everyone should be able to find a game that suits their interests!

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Five Key Principles To Real Estate Investment Riches

Real Estate Investing is the craze today with people involved in the Carlton Sheets program spending money on courses to find out how they can make money in no money down real estate investing. This article hopes to help you create some sort of mental picture of five key principles that can help you make more money with real estate today.

Principle #1- The money is made in the purchase
Real estate investing is like value investing in stocks and you want to purchase the real estate during a period of a real estate slump. The reason for this is so that you can get a huge capital appreciation when the real estate market heats up again.

Spending time doing real estate valuation is critical since if you cannot satisfy yourself on the maths that is a viable proposition, there is no way that your real estate investment would be a good one.

Principle #2- Monitor Cash flow
Real Estate investment typically have a monthly rental income which then is used to pay for mortgage instalments and other problems with the building like a roof leak. You would thus have to keep a close watch on interest rate hikes since they can potentially erode any calculated return on investment quite quickly. Once you have enough cash coming in, it is suggested that you then keep some of it in a rainy day fund in case some of the rental tenants do not renew their property and then take the rest and consider investing in another real estate investment property.

Principle #3- Leverage on other people’s time
Remember that no one can do everything, so the key is to focus on what you do best. If your strength is in negotiating deals, spend time looking for property and then get professionals and contractors to handle all the rest of the deal for you. Similarly, if you are good at decorating property, then find deals and focus on the interior design of the property. By focusing on what you do best and getting other people to do the rest of the work, you are leveraging on their time and you can then make more money from each new real estate investment that you undertake. Spend your time to build your team of advisors and employees who work for you and you will see your profits start going up. Remember that by rewarding them financially, you will get a group of dedicated people helping you make more money from your real estate investment.

Principle #4- Learn how to use leverage with a good rainy day cash balance
Did you know that many real estate investors started off with very little money to invest? Even large real estate developers like Donald Trump have learnt the power of leverage when investing in property deals. You want to leverage as much as you can so that you can control property worth many times more than what you own. Remember however to keep a rainy day fund containing a portion of the rental payments so that you can hedge yourself against a possible period where unit occupancy of your real estate investment is low. Leverage when used well can make you lots of money but if managed badly, will bankrupt you. Thus planning your cash flow and learning how to use debt is critical before you start serious real estate investment.

Principle #5- Spend time networking with real estate professionals
Do you want the latest real estate investment deals? The best way to learn of them is to break into the local real estate professional group and make friends with them. Learn some real estate investment lingo and spend time making friends with them because they are your eyes and ears on the ground and they can tell you about recent developments and changes in rental, property and infrastructure of their geographical location. Having the first player advantage is what many large real estate investors have and by spending time to network with real estate brokers, you will substantially close the gap.

In conclusion, spend time looking at these five principles and determine how they can be applied to your real estate investment and you might start seeing an increase in your real estate income.

Black Jack In The Casino

Whether you’re new to casino gaming or a casino veteran, blackjack is one of the simplest and most fun card games casinos have to offer. The objective in blackjack is to beat the dealer by getting a hand as close to 21 as possible without going over. To play casino blackjack, you need only a basic understanding of the rules and a desire to have fun.

So how do you reach 21? In blackjack, the cards have values. Number cards two through ten are counted at face value, while all face cards (King, Queen and Jack) are worth ten points. The ace is a special card in blackjack: you decide whether it’s worth one or eleven points. Since casino players are dealt two cards to start, if you get an ace and a face card or ten, you have 21, an instant win, as long as the dealer doesn’t get 21 as well. This two-card winning hand is called a blackjack hence the name of the game!

Casino rules for blackjack are basically the same at all casinos. After you get your first two cards, your options are to hit, stand, double down, split, or sometimes surrender. Hit means to take another card; stand means to keep what you have. A double down means you will double your bet in exchange for taking only one more card (you can draw up to five cards in blackjack). If your first two cards are the same value, you can split, or separate them and play each card as a different hand. Not all casinos offer the option to surrender, which means you would withdraw from the hand and receive half your bet back.

When you play blackjack at a casino, be sure to know which table to choose. Most casinos have color coded blackjack tables according to the minimum bet the table accepts, usually $3, $5, $25 or $100. In any casino, it’s a given the $3 and $5 tables will be crowded, but they’re great for beginners at casino games because all of the cards are dealt face-up, as opposed to the one-up, one-down method at higher tables. So the next time or the first time you visit a casino, make a stop at the blackjack tables and aim for 21!

However you have to realise that you can loose alot of money in a casino if you are not careful, always warm up on a low betting table befor joining a big game. you have to see if lady luck is on your side. also give your self an ammount limit and do not exceed that limit, buy your chips once there gone leave! gambaling can be addictive and cause you many problems.

The 7 Steps Of Do-it-yourself Financial Planning

You are in control

You are already your own financial planner. Regardless of the extent of help you receive from professionals, you ultimately are the decision maker and you are responsible for your own finances. Although the financial world has become increasingly complex, it is becoming easier today to do a lot of your own planning. The variety of resources has expanded such as software for money management and planning; online tools for banking, financial planning and investing, and resources, and books and blogs that are easy to understand. These resources may be good news for you if the cost of professional fee only financial planners is out-of-reach to you. Besides the cost of fees, others may avoid planners because they have heard stories of advisors trying to sell a product that didn’t fit their situation. Cost savings and avoiding product pitches are excellent benefits of being your own planner.

Everyone should take a more active role in their financial affairs. Not only does it help with educated decision making and fraud avoidance it also helps you better communicate with your other professional advisors such as your accountant and attorney. You will also find yourself spotting opportunities when they cross your path.

Becoming a better manager of your family’s finances will also help you ‘dig out’ if you are struggling financially. When you consider the low savings rates and the high household debt, many more people find themselves in this category today.

The following are 7 steps to do-it-yourself financial planning:

Step 1: Commit

The first step to financial planning always begins with commitment. Whether you are having financial difficulty, or have just avoided setting goals and mapping out a plan – commitment is the first step. Commitment provides the discipline and focus needed to help sustain you on the path towards your goals.

Step 2: Set Goals

Without specific goals and a plan to achieve them financial success stays a foggy dream. Therefore the second step is to list the dreams that will motivate you. Write down all of the goals you want to achieve in the short and long term. This will serve as the driver, or the fire in the engine giving you the motivation to move forward. Everyone has dreams, but without constant watering and attention dreams will go dormant. Leave your past mistakes and inaction behind you, light a new fire and chart a course forward. You have an enormous amount of potential and talent, and if you have made mistakes you now have more experience and wisdom. Dare to imagine what you could achieve because your best years are ahead of you.

Step 3: Assemble and Organize Information

Get your stuff together. Planning is easier if you assemble everything in one central location. Make an organized filing system either in a cabinet, accordion file, a box, any way that works for you. Now locate and file all of your tax returns, receipts, insurance policies, contracts, wills, mortgages, deeds, titles, pay stubs, employee benefit statements, banking (loan, savings and checking), bills, investment and retirement plan statements and any other important papers.

Step 4: Manage Cash Flow

Your household is a business. You need to know how much you are earning and spending each month. Balance your checkbook and establish a budget. There are dozens of books and software to help with this, and your bank’s website may provide this as well. This will help you know when and where you are overspending.

Step 5: Self Educate

Establish a sound foundational knowledge base about financial matters. Start with books about budgeting and money savings tips, debt, basic insurance and investing. Be sure to include reading about mutual funds and financial planning. Avoid get-rich-quick, real estate, gold or innovative ‘secrets’ books. Stick to the fundamentals. I find the “For Dummies, ‘For Idiots’ and ‘D-Mystified’ book series to be very helpful for many people. Lastly, stay informed about current financial topics by reading financial magazines, newspapers, the business section of papers, and blogs.

Step 6: Create a Written Plan

A written plan serves as a road map towards your financial destination. It helps you understand where you are presently and the steps that you need to take to move forward. A financial plan is a process. Your life will change, therefore you should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. You should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. If you write your own financial plan, you will have to obtain financial planning software. Your other options are to pay to have a written financial plan completed by a fee financial planner or by an institution or professional that provides products. Be sure to find out about how the planner is compensated and what your fees will be.

Step 7: Engage Professionals

Most people can’t entirely do all of their financial planning by themselves. Assemble a team of trusted professional advisors that you can rely on to help you implement different aspects of your plan, answer your questions and be on the lookout for you. The professionals that can be the most advantageous are a proactive tax accountant and financial advisor with extensive planning, investment and insurance knowledge, an attorney qualified in estate planning, and a banker that can help with credit ratings and debt management. Before committing to anyone, get referrals for trusted professionals from people whose opinion you respect and don’t be afraid to ask challenging questions.

Pronunciation: Get Better In Another Language

Pronunciation can affect how we communicate. Many people, who have had a go at learning a foreign language, have experienced that sinking feeling when they try a well-constructed sentence in another language only to be met with a blank face.

Why is this?

Languages are built on sounds. If I speak English and live in an English-speaking country I expect a speaker to say sounds in a particular way. In French or Spanish I would expect to hear different sounds. When we can’t recognise the sound we try and adjust how we are listening, a bit like tuning a radio, but if we can’t guess the sound, the chances are we won’t understand what is being said.

The Blocks of Pronunciation

Pronunciation has two main aspects to it, physically producing it and the sound that is produced from it, the hearing of the sound. As we get older the ability to do both of these, i.e. physically work out how to make the sound and recognise it, can diminish. This doesn’t mean we can’t continue to learn new languages but we need some extra tricks to help us.

Let’s look at some ideas on what we can do when we learn a new language.

How am I saying it?

Try saying the letters. Notice how your mouth is working. If you don’t know how a sound is physically made you may find it harder to say it.

What sounds are the same?

English has many more sounds than other languages but it also has a lot of sounds in common with other languages. Good dictionaries in a new language will usually offer an English sound or word to compare with. Use it to check what sounds are similar.

Which sounds are hard to say?

Go through the alphabet of the new language and mark out the ones you find hard to say. Give them some attention. Try and physically make the sound and see how your mouth works. Say the alphabet. Look at how children use the alphabet song in English to help them remember the alphabet, doing the same in a new language will also help memorise the letters and sounds.

Read out loud.

Find some reading form your course book or any other book. There are two advantages here. One you get to say the letters and words. Secondly you get to practise sounds that you expect to hear and you become accustomed to the sounds of the language.

How good do I need to be?

There is much discussion on this. For many of us the ability to get by in other languages is good enough. If we can say what we want, simply, slowly and the person we are speaking to, can understand us, then our pronunciation is probably good enough. After that it is a matter of choice. Some people become very good at other languages and get to very good levels of pronunciation. Not many of us are such gifted linguists but there’s no reason why we can’t make the words so that people can understand us.

Things To Know About Real Estate Loans

Investing in real estate is quite expensive. Most people cannot afford to buy real estate with cash. With a real estate loan, the dream of your own property can be realized.

Many agencies such as banks, credit unions and lending companies offer real estate loans to those who can avail it. There are certain qualifications in order to qualify for a real estate loan.

Real estate loan is a loan on real estate usually secured by a legal document by which the owner transfers to the lender an interest in the real estate to secure the repayment of a debt or mortgage. There are two classifications of real estate loans: commercial and residential real estate loans.

In order to qualify for any of those two classifications of real estate loans the following are some of the requirements needed:

Commercial real estate loan:

Commercial real estate loan application form and real estate addendum.

Current business financial statements and most recent year tax return.

Guarantor’s current personal financial statement and most recent year personal tax return.

The applicant should sign the application form and the application materials should be submitted to the agency or institution where the applicant wants to apply for a commercial real estate loan.

Residential real estate loan:

Residential real estate loan application form.
Financial statement and most recent year income tax return.
Guarantor’s current personal financial statement and most recent year personal tax return.

In the same way as commercial real estate loans, the application materials for residential real estate loans should be submitted to the agency or institution where the applicant wants to apply for a residential real estate loan.

The materials needed for a real estate loan varies according to the requirements of different agencies and institutions.
Whn applying for a real estate loan, there are certain steps that the applicant should follow.

The following are the simple steps that an applicant should follow in order to hasten the processing of the real estate loan.

Select terms. Mortgage terms affect both interest rate and payment. With large amount of flexibility, lenders allow the applicant to tailor the loan to fit the budget needs.

Research the lender. In order for the applicant to save money, the easiest way to purchase real property in low rates is by finding the lowest costing loan. Research and find lenders who offer low cost loans.

Apply for real estate loan. After finding the right lender, the applicant can now apply for real estate loan accompanied with the requirements.

There are common mistakes when applying for a real estate loan. The following are some of it. To make the right impression and secure the loan, it is important to be aware of these common mistakes.
Not thoroughly researching the options. Thorough research on options should be made.

Not having the ducks in a row. Make sure that all the documentation the lender would expect is at hand and an applicant should be prepared to show why the property makes fiscal sense.

Failing to negotiate the best deal. Negotiation should be done to have the best deal.

Not selecting the best lawyer. Hiring the best lawyer is important. Hire lawyer that is very experienced in negotiating the types of real estates loans.

Going straight to a family lender. It is good to have a rapport with a lender, particularly when loan is needed. However, there are new real estate products offered constantly, ant it is worth the time to check out some of the other possibilities before going straight to favorite lender.

Knowing everything about real estate loans is very important when investing in real estate. Make sure you follow all the steps mentioned above.

How Personal Finance Works

The concept of personal finance came a long way and it began when money were exchanged for goods. People got jobs in order to make a living and they were compensated in cash. Nowadays, due to the several financial alternatives that we have at our disposal in order to achieve our financial goals, it is vital to become an expert in making the right choices.

Personal Finance management begins most of the times with handling pocket money when we are children and afterwards we gain the ability of planning and spending our finances. Personal Finance includes several different aspects such as investments for future requirements, retirement plans and others. No matter how much money you have, the important issue is how you spend them. A detailed budget will always help you keep a track of your money and not spend more than is necessary. Furthermore, it will help you calculate how much money you can save and what amount you can invest.

Personal Finance is of real help as long as you have a realistic plan when it comes to handling your money. A good management of your finances includes investing, insurance, managing risk, understanding debt and credit and knowing the value of money. Debt can be bad for your finances especially if you borrow more than you can afford to return. Unfortunately, this happens quite often because many persons don’t calculate how much they can pay on a monthly basis for their loan, taking into consideration and the other expenses.

Personal Finance management should also include expenses for housing, transportation, food, personal insurance and pensions, healthcare and entertainment. If you see that you are accumulating more and more debts and you are not able to pay your debts on a regular basis, it is probably a good idea to budget your money. However, if you feel like you aren’t able to do that, a last option would be to hire a financial planner who can help you get out of this mess.

Money Tips represent another useful idea that could help you manage your finances better and become satisfied with your style of life. Some persons need such tips more than others ad it has been proven than women often have a hard time when it comes to establishing their budget. Many women spend more than they actually earn and they become trapped in debts, but fortunately this can change.

Money Tips are important and they can help us overcome a difficult financial situation. It is believed that money represents power, love or control and that our beliefs about money and relationships influence the way we manage our finances. Money Tips can be very helpful for people who are in a difficult financial situation and here is a list of the most important tips: don’t rely on others for your financial security, set goals and stick to them, don’t use money when you feel bad, spend less than you earn, build an emergency fund and learn from your money mistakes.

Money Tips will help you understand that your financial security and comfort depends on your attitudes regarding money and your willingness to take action in order to change your financial situation. Do not wait for miracles if you want things to start changing and no matter how hard it is, stick to the goals you set at the very beginning.

Get Control Of Your Personal Finance With A Budget

It is fairly common knowledge that money matters can be simplified and controlled with a budget. One of the keys to personal finance management is creating and using a household budget. It is not a really hard task, but one that many people avoid. The reason is that it can often be hard to avoid overspending and having a budget really puts spending problems out there.

A budget is basically a list of expenses and income. It should include all expenses, even the seemingly little expenses like a morning coffee purchase. The budget can be made out weekly or monthly, whatever way is best for the household. For someone who gets paid once a week, a weekly budget may be best. For someone who gets paid once a month, a monthly budget would work nicely. Although, it is really a matter of personal choice as to how the budget is made out.

The income section of a budget is usually fairly simple. Most people can easily track their income. Some people choose to list their income after taxes, while others list the income before taxes and include taxes as a expense. That is strictly a matter of choice.

The expenses section is where most people have trouble. It can be hard to see our spending habits in black and white. It is really important, though, to be honest and list everything. You may find it is helpful to keep a spending log for a week. Your spending log is where you will write down every purchase you make. This can be a good way of tracking all the little expenses you incur throughout a week.

Your expenses section of your budget should also include utilities and housing expenses. If you have a car payment, include here as well. You need to include money spent on gasoline, bathroom items, food and any other thing you spend money on. You do not have to include large, one time purchases, though, as they are not a routine part of your expenses.

Once you have your income and expenses listed you need to add each up. The total of your expenses should not exceed the total of your income. If it does then you need to cut back on your expenses. You may have to stop some spending or try to find creative ways of reducing your spending.

The whole idea of a budget is to ensure that you are not spending more then you are earning. Your budget is a blueprint for how you should be spending your money. Once you have your budget made out and it is balanced you need to stick to it. Only spend as much as you have allotted in your expenses and you should find your personal finance situation becomes much easier to deal with.

Easy Card Games To Entertain

My own experience makes me feel that every child will benefit from playing card games.

It is a healthy experience for a child to play with grownups as an equal; and to play with other children without noticing difference in age.

It is good for the child’s character to get practice in losing without squawking and in winning without crowing. (Many adults could use some of this practice too!)

A young child can learn about numbers and easy arithmetic from a simple card game. A child of any age can exercise his brain by the logical thinking that is needed in the more advanced games.

Moreover, card games are fun. And this is the best of all reasons for teaching them to children.

These games are for children who are too young to think… and for grownups who would rather not think! Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether the children or the grownups laugh harder!

PIG

This is a very hilarious game for children or for adults to play with children. Anybody can learn the game in two or three minutes, and one extra minute makes you an expert!

Number of Players: 3 to 13. Five or 6 make the best game.

Cards: Four of a kind for each player in the game. For example, 5 players would use 20 cards: 4 Aces, 4 Kings, 4 Queens, 4 Jacks, and 4 10′s. For 6 players you would add the four 9′s.

The Deal: Any player shuffles and deals 4 cards to each player.

Object: To get 4 of a kind in your own hand, or to be quick to notice it when somebody else gets 4 of a kind.

The Play: Each player looks at his hand to see if he was dealt 4 of a kind. If nobody has 4 of a kind, each player puts some unwanted card face down on the table and passes it to the player at his left, receiving a card at the same time from the player at his right.

Each player looks at his hand as it appears with the newly-received card. If, still, nobody has 4 of a kind, each player once again passes a card to the left and gets a new card from the right.

The play is continued in this way until some player has 4 of a kind in his hand. That player stops passing or receiving cards since he is satisfied with his hand as it is. Instead of playing on, he puts his finger to his nose.

The other players must be quick to notice this, and each of them must stop passing in order to put a finger to his nose. The last player to put a finger to his nose is the Pig.

DONKEY

This is the same game as Pig, except that when a player gets 4 of a kind he puts his hand face down on the table quietly instead of putting his finger to his nose. He still gets a card from his right and just passes that along to the left, leaving his 4 of a kind untouched on the table.

As each player sees what has happened, he likewise puts his hand down quietly. The idea is to keep up the passing and the conversation while some player plays on without realizing that the hand has really ended.

The last player to put his cards down loses the hand. This makes him a D. The next time he loses, he becomes a D-O. The third time, he becomes a D-O-N. This keeps on, until finally some player becomes a D-O-N-K-E-Y.

How To Find Top Financial Services

Finding top financial services may sometimes feel like a daunting task. When it comes to your money, you want to be sure that you’re working with a company or an individual that you trust. There’s nothing worse than realizing that you’ve been placing your money in the wrong hands. Since there are many different types of financial services, there are many ways to find the top financial services. Before you start looking, you should educate yourself on the area of financial services that you are looking for. If you can figure out what you should be looking for it will be easier to find it. Self education is the best step that you can take in your own financial management.One of the most important types of financial services that most people will use is their bank or credit union. Since a bank or credit union will provide a wide variety of services, from checking and savings accounts to loans, it makes sense to take some time to choose the right institution for your needs. A lot of people choose their bank based on their commercials or a small piece of the puzzle, like free checking.For an accurate review of the aspects of a particular bank, you can search online for reviews. People aren’t afraid to share their opinions on a bank that has mismanaged their money. These days, thanks to the internet, you can see how a bank really treats its customers and make an informed decision.A good resource for evaluating your financial services options is Bankrate.com. This website has detailed information on the interest rates of checking and savings accounts from a variety of different banks. It’s also a good place to find out about mortgage loans, auto loans, CDs, investments and credit cards. You can use this resource to thoroughly investigate your options before making a decision. It will make it easy to find the top financial services.Besides banks, loans and investments, there are many other types of financial services. If you are going to be investing in the stock market, you’ll need a broker. If you want an expert to do your taxes, you’ll need an accountant. Some people even opt to talk with a financial advisor to help them with a wide variety of financial needs.These types of professionals can be found in your local community or online. Since they work directly with you and your money, you’ll want to take some time to find the right option for you. The best way to start finding these types of financial service professionals is to ask for referrals. Talk to your friends an family about what you are looking for. Many of them may use the type of financial professional that you are looking for.In addition to referrals, you can also use the Better Business Bureau’s website to find reputable professionals in your area. If a company or individual professional has complaints against them, the BBB’s website will let you know. The site is located at www.bbb.org. It is a fast and easy way to find top financial services in your area.