Choosing The Best Home Theater System For Your Man Cave

If you’ve been kicking around the idea of adding a premium home theater system to your man cave or media room, you’re in for a fun, and possibly frustrating experience. There are many components that need to be considered in order to provide a state of the art experience. Among the most important components in a home user system is the use of a television or the viewing screen.  As with anything, there are many choices that can be considered and will satisfy the viewer and their friends.

For example, an individual may choose to go with a large plasma screen TV or may want to use LCD technology that brings about high definition capability.  In addition, the individual may choose to just simply install a large viewing screen and the images can be projected onto the screen using other audiovisual equipment.  Also, when it comes to selecting these types of viewing components, it is important to do one’s homework as well as purchase the right size of viewing screen.   A right sized viewing screen should be in proportion to the room that is being considered for the home theater system.

The purchase and installation of home computer speakers is the another major component for experiencing an optimal home theater.  Therefore, it is important to understand what type of home theater speakers are available and how to go about getting the best speakers that match the intent of the home theater.

Types of Home Theater Speakers

There are many type of home theater speakers available to the individual who is wishing to add or upgrade to their speaker system.  Therefore, it is important to do one’s homework and research prior to the purchase of any home theater speaker system.

Specifically, it would be important to search the Internet and to find out what sort of speaker systems are available and what the speaker systems entail.  For example, there are front speakers, a center channel speaker and speakers that can be placed in various parts of the room.  Some of these speaker systems contain all of these components or sometimes the individual needs to add on speakers to their home entertainment system.  Additionally, some of these speakers can be large in appearance and freestanding or some of the speakers can be small, but powerful, and put on shelves.

In addition, it is important to determine what the wattage is that the individual is looking for.  Specifically, the wattage output of the speakers

How to Shop for the Best Home Theater Speakers

The best way to shop for home theater speakers is to actually go to an electronic store or to a friend’s or relative’s home that has a home theater speaker system.  The advantage of actually listening to a quality speaker system is that the individual can get a sense of what the capacity of a speaker system can do and decide for themselves what they want based on this first-hand audio entertainment experience.

Once this has been established the individual knows what they are looking for and then can shop in a more experienced fashion.  Specifically they may want to have a certain amount of power to attain the level of sound that they are wanting, determine whether they want to utilize wireless speakers, etc.

In addition, it is important to read customer reviews of certain home theater speaker systems that the consumer is focusing in on.  Also, once a wireless outdoor speaker system has been decided upon then it is important to get the best financial deal on the purchase of this set of home theater speakers.  Therefore, the individual can conduct comparison-shopping.

Be sure to read my next installment of the home theater design where I give television & screen recommendations.



Investment Diversification Is A Must

source: stocksituations.com

You hear that diversification is key to investing.  Investment advisors want you to avoid individual stocks because picking them is too hard, so they will recommend a group of mutual funds for you to invest.

The problem I have with this is during a down market like we are seeing in 2008 and 2009, is that virtually every stock has plummeted.  It did not matter if you were invested in small-cap stocks, large-cap stocks, international stocks, or a sector like energy stocks – everything has fallen.

If the recent bear market has taught us anything, it is certainly that diversification is very important.  Many people, including older investors, were in the stock market way too heavily and are now experiencing deep loses in their portfolio.

It does not have to be that way.  There are many alternative ways to make your money work for you in an economy such as this.

One option is something called private REITs.  A REIT stands for Real Estate Investment Trust.  A REIT can be publicly traded or private.  A public REIT could experience much of the same affects of the stock market.  However, a private REIT usually guarantees a certain rate of return over a period of time.  The downside is that your money is tied up in the REIT and there is usually a penalty for early withdrawal.  At some point the private REIT sells its share publicly (usually when market conditions are favorable) and it is concluded at that point.

You hear a lot of commercials about gold, and right now, they are accurate.  Gold tends to be a safe haven for money when stocks or bonds get volatile.  Many people think they have to go to the local coin shop down the street and buy gold coins or gold bullion to participate, however that is not the case.  Investors could invest in gold through an exchange traded fund (ETF).  An exchange-traded fund (or ETF) is an investment vehicle traded on stock exchanges, much like stocks. An ETF holds assets such as gold and trades at approximately the same price as the net asset value of its underlying assets over the course of the trading day.  One common one is called GLD.

Also, land or houses can be a good way to diversify.  This is definitely not for everyone, but sometimes rental income is a good diversification tool.  However, it also poses risks, because you could have bad tenants and of course you may have cases where your property goes un-rented for an undermined period of time.  But again, the key to your strategy should be diversification, so this would only be part of your portfolio.  I have a personal example to share here.  I recently took advantage of the mortgage rate drops, and I refinanced my current home at 4.5%.  After seeing my other investments take such a hit this year, I have decided to focus on paying off my house in 15 years.  If I move, I plan to rent the house and continue with my plan to pay it off.  In the end, I hope to have an asset with value and also a vehicle for returning monthly cash flow in the form of rent.

In conclusion, I want to encourage people to think creatively and learn to really diversify their investment portfolio.  If you need help, seek the help of investment advisor or money manager.  However, be cautious if he or she wants to only sell you a family of mutual funds.  Ask questions about other opportunities they have as well, such as private REITs, annuities, etc.  It is okay to invest in mutual funds, I own several myself, but in a market like we have now, it is easy to see now important non-stock diversification really is.


Basic Tax Saving Tips for Americans

Record number of Americans dump U.S. passports

Tax Saving Tips in America. Taxation are monetary charges levied with an organization to support debt and carry out its programs and objectives. U.S. residents are subject to a taxation such as those on goods and services, real estate, and income. Income earners are required to file results to document taxes paid, pay taxes owed and obtain tax concessions.

A tax deduction is an expense you incurred that the government permits you to subtract from your earnings that is taxable. The interest you’ve got paid throughout the entire year on a home mortgage or another mortgage may be tax-deductible. Since home loan repayments are frequently a big cost, this deduction may total hundreds or tens of thousands of dollars in savings. Holiday home or only one second residence can qualify to get a mortgage interest deduction. Real-estate fees and express house are also deductible from your federal tax.

Charitable Giving
Contributions made to qualifying charities such as spiritual institutions and the Red Cross are tax-deductible. Non-cash donations can also be tax-deductible to the worthiness of the items given. As an example, if you contribute #039 several hundred dollars&; worth of garments to a charity that offers it to the destitute, you’re able to deduct the value of the garments out of your taxes. Charitable giving should be recorded.

Tax-Advantaged Pension Accounts
Another method to avoid paying taxes is always to save using tax-advantaged retirement accounts, like 401(k) plans and personal retirement accounts (IRAs). With 401(k) plans, money can be put before spending taxes. Likewise, contributions made to traditional IRAs in many cases are tax-deductible. A Roth IRA is a particular form of IRA which allows after tax earnings to be contributed and then grow tax-free. Providing funds to these forms of accounts enables workers save more for retirement and in order to avoid taxes.

Worker Expenses
In case your occupation that needs you to spend cash that’s not repaid by your employer, a few of your expenses might be tax-deductible. The IRS lists passport for a business trip, the following as potential tax deductions for workers: dues to professional organizations, supplies and resources used in job search expenses, union fees, your work and work -related instruction.

Sources: Tax Preparation & Filing 

Tax Services Los Angeles

CNN Money Tax Tips


How To Recover From Identity Theft

identity theftHaving your identity stolen can make you feel mad and violated. If you have excellent credit on top of that then you probably feel scared. There are certain things you must do as soon as you realize what happened. So, if you’ve experienced this crime you’ll need to know how to recover from identity theft.

The Federal Trade Commission (Consumer Protection Division) is the agency that keeps track of identity theft and its victims. Identity theft is a big business and with our economy in shambles, it’s only going to get bigger. There are many people right now who do not know that their identity has been stolen. So, here are some tips on how to recover from identity theft.

First you must contact the police. You’ll need that police report down the line. In fact, keep it forever. Next, request an extended alert on your credit report from all 3 credit reporting agencies. An extended alert will remain on your report for 7 years compared to an initial alert which lasts 90 days.

It’s been advised to cancel all credit cards that you don’t need. Call each company and request closure of your account. Make sure they document the conversation by sending you a letter stating “account closed by consumer”. Keeping extra credit cards just increases your risk of being a victim.

Also, contact your bank to flag your account. Choose an amount and tell the bank to contact you when an amount higher than that has been withdrawn. If you have access to your account online, check your balance daily. Many people have discovered a discrepancy early which helps the bank to recover the money. Not to worry, you will be reimbursed within 24 hours.

Sign up for a credit monitoring service, so you can keep track of any new accounts that are opened or attempted to be opened by the criminals.  Credit monitoring will also allow you to get regular credit reports so you can see any inquiries that need to be removed or other problems that could end up effecting your credit score.  You can find out which credit monitoring plan is right for you at http://www.stopidentityfraud.org/credit-monitoring-services.  It’s a free resource for consumers who want to better protect themselves from identity theft or victims who need assistance.

Start being more vigilant of your surroundings. Make sure no one can tamper with your mail. Get off of mailing lists with credit card companies. Many people have had their identity stolen by someone talking on a cell phone which also doubles as a camera. It’s a given that most identity theft victims never know how or when they’ve been victimized.

If you have a good or excellent credit score you have more to lose than the average person. Credit will be extended more readily to someone with a great credit history. So that makes you the type of person identity thieves consider a goldmine. So the time to take action is now. Don’t become oblivious to what the world is telling you. Protect your name and your rights.

It’s sad to say, but it is what it is. The latest statistics say that every 2 seconds someone becomes a new victim of identity theft. So whether you’ve been a victim or not, protect yourself before it happens. Learn how to recover after identity theft and put these people out of business.

Well over 200 million personal data records were lost or exposed in the United States in the last two years. Chances are your identity is already compromised.

Quick Facts

  • Identity theft hits 1 in 4 US households
  • Over 79 million identities were lost in the past 12 months
  • Over 3 million social security numbers are illegally traded online
  • Identity theft costs people an estimated $6.4 billion/year

3 Reasons to Get A Fixed Rate Home Equity Loan

Beautiful-Home-with-Breathtaking-Panorama-and-Green-Features-Villa-by-Najjar-625x500An individual who is bankrupt but has enough equity in the house they own such as their house should never have a problem about obtaining finance. One reason that is sufficient enough to block someone’s way of getting a fixed rate home equity loan with a reasonable interest rate is having a bad credit record.

Meeting the requirements of certain conditions is just one of the basics that can contribute to the fact that this procedure can never be that easy but then being a bankrupt won’t be one of those concerns. These specially created fixed rate home equity loans are exclusively intended for those bankrupt people thus helping them meet the needs and terms to arrange their financial affairs.

Having a standard home loan is better compared to meeting the standards for the credit score normally reserved for the fixed rate home equity loans even though it is much lower, the interest rates are good and the steps necessary to accomplish it is not that difficult.

The equity release is available as a percentage of the leftover equity in the home if the outstanding mortgage were paid of in its entirety although if a secured loan is already part o the equation, this will be taken off as well.

To make things easier, let us say you have taken 50,000 dollar mortgage from a individual with a one hundred thousand dollar home which will then leave you with fifty thousand dollars and from that, a portion for a home equity loan will be available from eighty five percent of that leftover total. The fact that this home loan is secured on a property simply implies that a large sum of money is accessible thus giving the intended bankrupt individuals the chance to be in touch with the good conditions this loan has to offer. The fact that the individual borrowing the money should never have a problem making the payments since he will be given better interest rates and repayment conditions as compared to those bankrupts is presented with this loan.

1st Time Home Buyer Requirements Explanation

Credit checks on secured fixed rate home equity loans are never very thorough as the lender is aware of the collateral in the property so is more at ease with lending it to someone who is bankrupt. As the demands for this form of loan have been reduced, the loan applicant can expect a swift resolution which is not something that would normally happen for a secured loan.

The first of the few remaining steps that you need to take after credit verification has been completed is the thorough analysis of the house’s deeds. The borrower’s means to cope with the repayment conditions is something that is of an issue added with the thought that the individual borrowing should at any rate present the proof that he or she is employed and has some resources to depend on.

There are several options available to you in regards to mortgage financing. Of course they all come with a set of benefits and risks attached, so determining the type of loan that is most compatible with your lifestyle is crucial.

Whether you are considering a fixed-rate mortgage, an adjustable-rate mortgage, or a balloon mortgage, make sure to include all facets of each loan within your overall consideration. For example, depending on what you can afford to invest, the terms that are available with each type of loan vary. If you are leaning toward more of a long term investment, opting to finance a through a fixed rate mortgage would your best. Fixed-rate loans offer terms of ten, fifteen, twenty, or thirty years before the loans has to be paid off or refinanced. One advantage to this type of financing is the interest rate is fixed and this rate decreases over time. It is also the least risky way to finance because the rate of an investor is ‘locked in’ so he/she does not have to worry about fluctuating interest rates in the market at large. Fixed-rate mortgages appeal to households that are going to either be living in the home, renting it out, or just holding on a long term basis.

An adjustment-rate mortgage, on the other hand, gives the option of paying off the loan within one year or within, three, five, seven, or ten years. A buyer benefits because the interest rates on this type of loan are lower than a fixed-rate loan. The risks arise when considering the idea that the market is always changing and in a rising-rate environment, monthly payment amounts may increase in correlation to the fluctuating market when the adjustment is due.

Typically, there is a five percent increase in regards to the loan term and a two percent increase for the annual rate change. ARMs become more popular among younger households with positive income growth potential. They are also more prevalent in a high rate or rising rate environment.

When looking to invest in property on more of a short term basis, financing with a balloon mortgage would be your best bet. As with ARM loans, the monthly payments and interest rates are generally lower because the loan is to be paid in full, be converted into a fixed-rate loan, or refinanced in either five or seven years.

So after all of the factors have been considered, how you go about financing your investment should be much more defined. It is very important that you choose the right type of loan that will accompany your needs and fit in with your lifestyle.

Researching all of the mortgage finance options available to you and knowing all of the essential variables that are involved in the loan will allow a potential investor to make more of a clear and concise decision.

Hope this helps make some sense of the different types of home loans and assists you in making the right home loan choice for your situation.


3 Tips to Remaining Debt Free After Credit Card Payoff

Credit card debt perhaps the number one problem facing everyone that works for a living. It is so easy to accumulate debt with credit cards that it surprises us when we actually look at our statements every month to check our balance. Though some might have landed up with credit card debt due to some unfortunate event/emergency in their life, most people carry a credit card debt due to their own wrong doings.

Here we are talking about the life after you eliminate your credit card debts and remaining debt free forever. As mentioned before, of all the people that try to become debt free debt not everyone is able to pay off pull this off. There are so many people that will never experience what it is like to be debt free. The credit card addiction will keep them in bondage until they learn to deal with their finances correctly.

There is a group of people that have finally after years of effort made it to a debt free status but was sucked back into to it because of the resurgence of this credit card addiction. These are those people who let themselves loose and go on a spending spree as soon as they pay off credit card debt. Soon, these people again land up with a credit card debt and are again trying to pay off credit card debt.

So, reaching the milestone of paying off credit card debts and other debts is great for the moment but you cannot allow yourself to go backwards again. You have to remember the stress and heartache from having the the accumulated debts hovering over your head and know you do not want that again.

The lessons you learned to defeat credit card debt will have to be used continually after you become debt free. Here are a few additional tips to consider if you are one of the few and proud that has kicked your debts to the side.

Do not spend more than you plan to. Always follow a budget and never spend beyond your budget or plans.
Never go beyond 60 percent of your credit limit. This is a safe barrier to keep yourself protected.
Perhaps the most important rule for anyone using credit cards or those that are debt free is pay the balance off at the end of the month. This is a struggle but in reality you should not buy anything that you cannot pay off given 30 days to do so.
Tags:Submit articleComment articleEmail to friend Print this page Not IF BUT When….
1 out of every 5 homes will have a burglary, fire or carbon monoxide poisoning over the next 6 years.*
9 out of 10 convicted burglars agreed that they would avoid a house protected by an alarm system.**
Every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.
Violent crime rose by double-digit percentages in cities across the country over the last two years
A Home Security System makes your home 3 times less likely to be burglarized. How long until your family or mine falls into one of these statistics? *US Department of Justice, Criminal Victimization in the US, 1999. **US Department of Justice, 1999.

Well over 200 million personal data records were lost or exposed in the United States in the last two years. Chances are your identity is already compromised.Quick Facts
Identity theft hits 1 in 4 US households
Over 79 million identities were lost in the past 12 months
Over 3 million social security numbers are illegally traded online
Identity theft costs people an estimated $6.4 billion/year


The Low T Debate

Low testosterone is among a rise in young men in recent times because stress is up, the amount of physical exercise and the diet has gone down. The sugars and the bad fats foods that you are eating may be the reason lowering your testosterone. Many men take a very slow step in the treatment which makes it difficult for them to recover, but from now onward check these signs to know that if your testosterone hormones are low and thus treat it fast.

That tiredness, depression, mood swings can be, yes a sign of low testosterone in the male, which can happen, usually after age 40. However, nowadays many new men in the range of 25-30 years have also been reported with low hormones .To address this, it is necessary to seek medical attention.

Despite the utmost importance, not only just go to the urologist, you must also visit the cardiologist and endocrinologist to make a prevention of problems and just treat it when it comes to an uncontrolled level. A few supplements have gained a lot of popularity among the web and many guys have found it helpful. Testosterone boosting supplements like Testofuel and Prime Male are amongst the popular and working supplements made with natural ingredients.

7 signs of low testosterone

  1. Mood changesDuring the menopause phase when the estrogen levels of women drop they feel sudden mood changes. For men these mood changes can occur when the testosterone levels drop. Testosterone hormone plays a major role in various physical as well as mental functioning of a male body. Various expert and researches suggest that a patient with testosterone drop usually suffers from inability to concentrate or focus, fatigue, depression and irritation.
  2. Decreased libido and erectile dysfunctionThe libido and testosterone are directly linked because when this T hormone goes below average the libido also falls. You know that as a man crosses 40 his desire to involve in sexual activities starts dipping and this continues. This hormone is responsible for giving men a sex drive and hence when they become low, sex drives also falls.

    Erectile dysfunction is another sign that your testosterone is low. This hormone is responsible for stimulating the receptors in the brain for the development and release of nitric oxide which helps to provide a man with a strong erection. So if your desire to have sex or you are not able to achieve a strong erection then this means that your testosterone levels are low and hence immediately visit a doctor for the treatment.

  3. Decreased muscle and reduced strengthThis hormone is directly linked with various physical aspects of the body, hence a low testosterone can have a major impact on your body like decrease in muscles, weaker bones and increase fats. You will also feel a sudden drop in your energy levels. Even with small physical work your body will feel extremely tired. A body with low testosterone will lead to more sleep and working out will be a difficult task.

    According to some research, a low T level can lower body metabolism of a man which can lead to lots of fat accumulation. Your strength to perform physically goes down and now you are not able to properly do the physical tasks that you used to do it easily. Low testosterone levels can be increased with the right treatment so you don’t need to live with a weak body.

  4. Changes in body hairAnother sign that the T levels are decreasing in a male body is the extreme hair fall problem. Although severe hair loss and baldness is not always related to low testosterone, but the fact cannot be neglected that baldness is also a symptom. So if you see a severe loss of hair from your body, then visit a doctor to know whether it is low testosterone or some other problem behind your hair loss.
  5. Weak bonesSince the strength of the muscles and bones depends on testosterone many bodybuilders pay close attention to the levels of this hormone. The density of bones also decreases as this hormone is directly related to the mineralization of bone which keeps it strong. Hence, if your joints pain and you feel weaker that it’s a sign of low testosterone and hence go for a checkup.
  6. Sleep disordersSleeping disorder is a common symptom of low quantities of this hormone in men. Either you will feel like sleeping all the time or you will not able to get a sleep at nights. There will be a disorder in your sleeping patterns.
  7. High body fat percentage
    The body fat percentage gradually increases when testosterone lowers and according to experts, this is because this hormone plays a major role in the management of fats. As the levels go down, more fats get deposited in the body.

Tips to increase low testosterone

Testosterone levels in men are down with age but there are recent studies which indicates that with a certain diet, exercise and lifestyle these levels can be maintained. Testosterone levels decline with age, but US scientists believe that if a healthy lifestyle is maintained such reduction can be avoided. So note these tips to get a healthy body. Supplements such as pure forskolin extract also claim to help boost energy and metabolic rate, which can lead to a natural increase in T.

  1. Workouts like weight lifting, cardio intervals with high intensity help testosterone levels. Keep these workouts short because researches show that long workouts decreases testosterone.
  2. A protein rich diet with medium carbohydrates and small amount of good fats can boost your T levels. Foods are very important and hence eat green salads with spinach, beef, nuts, avocados, broccoli and olive oil and other antioxidant rich foods.
  3. Cold water bathing and having more sex tends to improve testosterone levels.
  4. Don’t stay stressed, certain types of yoga forms meditation and with some drugs can help you body deal with this situation.
  5. You can start taking some natural supplements like Testofuel or Prime Male to higher testosterone, but it is better to consult with an expert.

Finally, it is best to Visit a doctor to know whether you are really suffering from low testosterone and if the answer is yes these experts can give you the right treatments. But remember that improving your diet and performing some workouts can help you fix this problem to a great extent.