Green Living – Eco Home Design and Environmental Friendly Habits

Why green life?

I have 8 grandchildren and I would love for them to live in a world as good or better than the world we know today. But this will only be possible if we pay more attention to the use of natural resources and the environment. I think I have to take responsibility for what I can do with my daily life, and I would recommend that you do the same if you take care of your grandchildren.

Is it hard to live greener?

Many have the feeling that living more green is very tedious, expensive and difficult. But listen to these tips and see if they suit your temperament and abilities. As with many things in life, it helps to think and plan a little in advance what you want to do. For me, the following approach to greener everyday life was helpful.
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Generate ideas for green living

Take five minutes to list many things you expect to reduce your and your family’s environmental impact. Just put an end to the ideas that come to mind. If possible, do it as a family event at the table and include everyone in this green storm. Think of three types of greener life as follows and put your green ideas into three categories:

1. Green ideas that will save you money
2. Green ideas that will be neutral for your economy
3. Green ideas that will cost you money

1. Green ideas that will save you money

Ideas for a greener life that will save you money should be implemented immediately. It is foolish to waste money and at the same time pollute more or use more resources than necessary. Many companies here in Denmark have used this to reduce their environmental impact and at the same time improve their competitiveness and profits from this green initiative. Many private households would also benefit from this.

Examples of green ideas that will more or less save you money from the moment you implement them are:

– Avoid running toilets and dripping faucets (remember the garden too).
– Let your lamps and electricity work more than necessary, e.g. in rooms without any persons, and lamps in electrical equipment standby.
– Drive your care softer and reduce petrol consumption and keep tires longer.

2. Green ideas that will be neutral for your economy
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If you think of your grandchildren as I recommend, you should also consider green ideas that will be neutral for your economy. Ideas for a greener life need just a little attention from you in your daily life.

Such green habits could be

– When shopping, avoid extra bags and packaging from the store if you do not need it.
– Make your own compost in your garden and keep as many nutrients in your garden as possible instead of ‘exporting’ garden waste and you have to buy fertilizers etc.
– Reduce the consumption of red meat and prepare foods with more fish, chicken and turkey and supplement with more vegetables. – It will be healthier.

3. Green ideas that will cost you money

Ideas for a greener life that cost you could also be worth considering, so read on. Here I will emphasize the impact on the environment when you buy new types of equipment, such as a new freezer, a new car, a new computer, a new washing machine, etc. The whole trend of eco house design will often belong to this category.

Take the time to explore the different qualities related to the environmental impact of different brands and models of machinery and equipment. Seek an independent environmental impact assessment. In Europe, we have the A to E label for energy consumption and the most environmentally friendly washing machines, etc. will have an A label. Most consumers, at least in Denmark, will be very aware of this label and opt for it if it is not too expensive.

The beauty of such a cost is that in most cases it will pay off in the long run to pay extra for an environmentally friendly model because you will save electricity or other problems in the long run. In many cases a premium environmentally friendly machines it will also be of the best quality and it will help you too. So you see it’s not that hard to start with someone new green habits and you can still look your grandchildren in the eye because you care about their future.


How Does Cryptocurrency Gain Value?

Cryptocurrencies are the latest ‘big thing’ in the digital world and are now recognized as part of the monetary system. In fact, enthusiasts have labeled it a ‘money revolution’.
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Clearly, cryptocurrencies are decentralized digital assets that can be exchanged between users without the need for central authority, most of which are created by special computing techniques called “mining”.
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The acceptance of currencies, such as the US dollar, the British pound and the euro, as legal tender is because they were issued by the central bank; digital currencies, however, such as cryptocurrencies, do not depend on public confidence and trust in the issuer. As such, several factors determine its value.
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Factors determining the value of cryptocurrencies

Principles of a free market economy (mainly supply and demand)

Supply and demand are the main determinants of the value of anything valuable, including cryptocurrencies. This is because if more people are willing to buy a cryptocurrency and others are willing to sell, the price of that particular cryptocurrency will rise, and vice versa.
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Mass Adoption

Mass adoption of any cryptocurrency can bring down its price per month. This is because the supply of many cryptocurrencies is limited to a certain limit and, according to economic principles, an increase in demand without a corresponding increase in supply will lead to an increase in the price of that particular commodity.
More cryptocurrencies have invested more resources to ensure their mass adoption, and some have focused on the applicability of their cryptocurrencies to urgent personal issues as well as key everyday cases, with the intention of making them indispensable in everyday life.
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Fiat Inflation

If a fiat currency, such as the USD or GBP, becomes inflated, its price rises and its purchasing power declines. This will then cause an increase in the cryptocurrency (we use Bitcoin as an example) compared to that fiat. The result is that with every bitcoin you will be able to acquire more of that fiat. In fact, this situation was one of the main reasons for the increase in the price of Bitcoin.
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Fraud and the history of cyber attacks

Fraud and hacks are also key factors affecting the value of cryptocurrencies, as they are known to cause wild changes in estimates. In some cases, a team that supports cryptocurrency may be fraudsters; they will pump up the price of cryptocurrency to attract unsuspecting individuals, and when their hard-earned money is invested, fraudsters cut the price, which then disappear without a trace.
It is therefore imperative that you watch out for cryptocurrency scams before investing your money.

Some other factors to consider that affect the value of cryptocurrencies include:

  • The way cryptocurrency is stored, as well as its usefulness, security, ease of acquisition and cross-border acceptability
  • The strength of a community that supports cryptocurrency (this includes funding, innovation and loyalty of its members)
  • Low related cryptocurrency risks as perceived by investors and users
  • Sense of news
  • Cryptocurrency market liquidity and volatility
  • Country regulations (this includes banning cryptocurrency and ICO in China and accepting it as legal tender in Japan)

Good Reasons to Use Crypto-Currency Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a relatively new type of currency that has only just begun to appear in mainstream markets.

Critics say using Bitcoin is not safe because –

  • They have no authentic value
  • They are not regulated
  • They can be used to conduct illegal transactions

All the major players in the market are still talking about Bitcoins. Here are some good reasons why it pays to use this cryptocurrency.
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Quick Payments – When payments are made through banks, the transaction takes several days, much like bank transfers take a long time. On the other hand, transactions in the virtual currency Bitcoin are generally faster.

“Zero Confirmation” transactions are instantaneous, with the trader accepting a risk that has not yet been approved by the Bitcoin blockchain. If the merchant needs approval, the transaction takes 10 minutes. This is much faster than any interbank transfer.
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Cheap – Credit or debit card transactions are current, but you will be charged a fee for using this privilege. In Bitcoin transactions, fees are usually low and in some cases free.
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No one can take it away – Bitcoin is decentralized, so no central government can take away a percentage of your deposits.

No refund – Once you trade Bitcoins, they disappear. You cannot return them without the consent of the recipient. Therefore, it becomes difficult to commit money back fraud, which is often experienced by people with credit cards.
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People buy goods and if they find that they are defective, they contact a credit card agency to make a cancellation, effectively canceling the transaction. The credit card company does this and charges you an expensive refund fee ranging from $ 5 to $ 15.

Secure personal information – Credit card numbers are stolen during online payments. Bitcoin transactions do not require any personal information. You will need to combine your private key and Bitcoin key together to complete the transaction.
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You just have to make sure that your private key is not accessed by strangers.

Not inflationary – The Federal Reserve prints more dollars whenever the economy is dispersed. The government is injecting newly created money into the economy, causing the currency to depreciate, causing inflation. Inflation reduces the power of people to buy things as commodity prices rise.

Bitcoins are in limited supply. The system is designed to stop mining more Bitcoin when it reaches 21 million. This means that inflation will not be a problem, but deflation will be triggered, where commodity prices will fall.

Semi-anonymous operations – Bitcoin is relatively private, but transparent. The Bitcoin address is revealed on the blockchain. Anyone can look in your wallet, but your name will be invisible.

Easy micro payments – Bitcoins allow you to make free micropayments like 22 cents.

Replacement for fiat currency – Bitcoins are a good option for holding national currencies that are experiencing capital controls and high inflation.

Bitcoins are becoming legitimate – Major institutions such as the Bank of England and the Fed have decided to take bitcoins for trading. More and more outlets such as Reditt, pizza chains, WordPress, Baidu and many other small businesses are now accepting Bitcoin payments. Many binary and Forex brokers also allow you to trade bitcoins.
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Bitcoin is a pioneer of a new era of cryptocurrencies, a technology that allows you to peek into a future currency.

Gold A Slam-Dunk Sell in China As ‘Aunties’ Buy Bullion

Wearing a thick coat to protect against the autumn cold while standing in front of Beijing’s busiest jewelry store, Yang Cuiyan, a 41-year-old housewife from Anhui Province, holds a gold necklace for which she paid 10,000 yuan ($ 1,640) or a five-month salary. It is another reason why China is ready to overthrow India as the world’s largest consumer of gold, even though investors around the world are leaving the yellow metal.

“I don’t know anything about the stock market and I don’t have enough money to buy property, so I concluded that gold is the safest choice,” she said. “I can wear it when I get home to show everyone I’m fine.”

Buy gold bars:

Yang traveled 650 miles from her rural home (1,000 kilometers) to the Chinese capital to shop and visit relatives. Ms. Yang is one of the growing legions of middle-aged Chinese women, respectfully called ‘aunts’, who bought gold jewelry and gold coins this year in 2013, adding support to the gold market, while many professional investors are avoiding it. metal as a means of preserving value in early 2013.

The world’s second largest economy is gold bars! Leverage consumption in 2013 rose 29 percent to a record 1,000 metric tons, according to estimates by traders, analysts and gold producers in China polled by Bloomberg News.

That demand could fall 2.4 percent in 2014 from this peak, indicating purchases larger than any other country and more than the U.S., Europe and the Middle East “combined”.

Buy gold bars: In the 12 months to September 2013, China’s demand for gold jewelry, bars and coins rose 30 percent to 996.3 tons, while use in India rose 24 percent to 977.6 tons, nearly “1,000 tons.” each in just 12 months! Wow, that’s a huge record for a one-year purchase according to the London-based World Gold Council. The first country to buy gold for the calendar year 2012 is again India.

“In China, you look around and see very few places where you can invest your money,” said Duan Shihua, a partner at Shanghai Leading Investment Management Co. “With the stock market falling and the government forcing people to give up real estate, gold will remain a favorite choice.”

Another “gold driver” are the Golden Brides of India. In India, thousands of brides get married “every day” and it is traditional social etiquette to give away “golden jewelry” because it is so highly valued there. India and China are similar in this respect as another “driver” is in demand [more Gold].

After 14 percent [drop] in gold prices in two days in april 2013, images in chinese media ‘aunts’ clearing shelves in gold stores illustrate the demand for gold bars that defies the views of the biggest banks in the west and highlights limited investment opportunities in china. The world’s most successful investor, Warren Buffett, said he was not attracted to the metal, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s head of commodity research, Jeffrey Currie, who correctly predicted this year’s collapse, called it a “dunk” in 2014.

Gold price forecasts:
Bullion is 34 percent below the record set in 2011 and is on track for its first annual [loss] since 2000 after falling 24 percent to $ 1,276.64 an ounce in London this year. Standard & Poor’s GSCI meter of 24 goods [fell] 5 percent since late December 2013 and the Bloomberg U.S. Government Bond Index [lost] 2.1 percent. While the MSCI All-Country World Stock Index rose 18 percent over the same period, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 3.4 percent.

According to a median estimate of the 10 most accurate precious metal analysts tracked by Bloomberg in a survey released last month, Bullion will average $ 1,175 in the third quarter of next year. Prices were last at that level in 2010. Goldman expects prices of $ 1,050 by the end of 2014.

While disposable income per capita in urban areas rose 9.5 percent, China’s cash per capita income in rural areas in the first nine months jumped 12.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. China’s economy grew 7.6 percent this year, 2013, and is projected to grow 7.4 percent in 2014, according to a median estimate compiled by Bloomberg.

China ranks fourth in the world in terms of the number of people with $ 1 million or more in investment assets, after their number of high-net worth individuals in the country rose 14 percent to 643,000 in 2013, according to Cap Gemini SA and Royal Bank of Canada. The United States ranks first in the number of millionaires, followed by Japan and Germany.

Lack Of Disciplined Investing Causes Most Losses

Lack of disciplined investment causes most investment losses. It’s that simple. If our investment program loses money over the years, we should probably blame ourselves, not the economy, bad luck, lack of knowledge or falling stock prices. Time solves these challenges.

The biggest single reason for investment losses: lack of disciplined investment. It’s one element only time won’t fix.

The mystery is why discipline and investment are mutually exclusive for so many people who have little difficulty being disciplined about other things. For example, it is not too difficult to be disciplined in the game. Breaking the rules is far less satisfying than playing the game the way it should be played.

So why do we have so many problems with disciplined investing? Why do we so often think that our way of working or our ideas should be better than the very simple rules that govern successful investment programs?

You just have to look at the number of people who lose, or whose return is bad, to be sure of one of two things: investing is a scam or a large number of people misunderstand. Why would that be, when the rules are pretty simple?

One of the problems with discipline is that no one else can tell us how to develop it. It’s something we have to do for ourselves. But maybe it only helps to know in advance that disciplined investing is so difficult for so many people. At least we can be ready for that lack of discipline that, looking back, we all recognize and regret.

There are only a few rules that are necessary for long-term investment success. One is proper diversification according to your age. The second is regular rebalancing, a simple method of taking some profit and reallocating capital to backlog investments (assuming you made reasonable choices in the first place). There are a few others, of course, but they have less to do with choosing the right investment than you think.

Patience is an important attribute, as well as confidence in your decisions. Self-confidence may sound ridiculous to a novice investor who understands little. Just take the time to learn about these simple rules and you will see the mathematical certainty behind some of the key ones. When you do this, you will gain all the confidence you need to get through the heavy patches that will inevitably come.

With confidence, you have everything you need. This will allow you to bring discipline, determination and patience with you.

Those Mysterious Eagle Shortages at the Mint

“The gap is missing.”

That’s the enigmatic way the U.S. Mint puts it. “When this inventory is exhausted, no additional inventory will be produced,” the mint added in a rather harsh, nonsensical tone. In short, what the government agency is calling for is the confusing fact that it has given up trying to meet today’s record consumer demand for Eagle’s own gold coins.


This is, or at least should be, disturbing news. Especially at a time when we should trust the government enough to put it in full control of key health and energy aspects of our personal lives, Washington now seems to completely ruin a simple case of supply and demand. With wild consumer demand for their – wait for it –mega successful products (Gold Eagles), the Mint now blames its three suppliers for not providing it with enough gold blanks … even as they procrastinate not providing those suppliers with enough crude gold and silver metal to make blanks at all.

In Orwellian vocabulary, this is another unfortunate case of government “double thinking”.

Lack of competition in our money?

Why the government appears to be sabotaging one of its few successful commercial enterprises is questionable to say the least.

Perhaps the Mint has become overly politicized and now refuses to further embarrass the U.S. dollar, which has fallen with its record gold sales. Sure, gold is rare – that makes it so valuable – but this is the US government we’re talking about: it should have no problem getting the gold it needs for its coins, even with some kind of payment – go base.

Perhaps Washington is not interested in stirring up controversy over “competing currencies”.

According to New American“…our nation once had competing currencies and this competition has led to honesty in the field of money. “

“…the government did not have a monopoly on coinage. As a result, the nation has progressed, as it always does when there is healthy money. But today, the only legal money is fiat money issued by the Federal Reserve, which is considered money by law. Its value continues to decline as there is virtually no limit to how much can be issued. If our country were to the gold or silver standard, inflating the supply of these precious metals would be impossible. “

Could this be the reason why the current government feels it is a victim of its own success with its popular Eagles? Are Mint officials now brainstorming, in the age of taxpayers, wondering how they can inject a firm measure of failure into its successful gold coin program?

Cure Ron Paul and Washington’s Bizarro World

Congressman and former presidential candidate Ron Paul has big problems with the Federal Reserve and the way our monetary system is run.

In particular, his two laws, the Free Currency Competition Act and the Fed’s Revision: HR 1207, aim to give up the reckoning with the dollar which, due to the trillions Washington has thrown around in recent years, is sinking rapidly. in value. Congressman Paul’s healthy idea about money is this …

“This medium of exchange should satisfy certain properties: to be durable, ie not to be easily worn, to be portable, ie to be easily transferred, to be divided into units that can be used for everyday transactions. ; it should be recognizable and uniform, so that one unit of money has the same properties as any other unit; it should be scarce, in economic terms, so that the existing supply does not meet the needs of all those who seek it; be stable so that the value of its purchasing power does not fluctuate sharply; and should be reproducible so that enough units of money can be created to meet the needs of the exchange.

“Over the millennia of human history, gold and silver have been the two metals that have most often met these conditions, survived the market process and gained the trust of billions of people.”

Going back to that new American article, “The Texas legislature also makes a realistic claim that a return to competition in money would lead to the end of inflation, even to the end of unconstitutional wars financed by Fed banknotes. Deficit spending on a number of other unconstitutional programs would also be eliminated. “

In the free market economy, the principle of supply and demand prevails. Entrepreneurs first learn what demand is, and then figure out how to offer it. With Washington and the Mint, however, the opposite seems to be the case. Once demand begins to rage in this case, government bureaucrats withdraw and make great efforts to cut off supplies.

As Seinfeld might say, that’s the way business is run at Bizarro World (Superman Comics).

Fortunately, Mint’s Gold Eagles aren’t the only game in town. There are other popular and available gold coins such as Canadian maple leaves and Australian and British sovereigns. There are also semi-numismatic and numismatic American gold coins such as St. Gaudens and Liberty from $ 20. Visit a reputable coin dealer, such as my Lear Capital, to understand the difference.

Sustainable Green Development – Definitions, Strategies, and Implementation

As a green building consultant, one of the biggest underlying flaws I hear in the green building debate is that green building costs more and is less cost effective. Our goal is to help you design projects that are profitable and green. Yes, you can be profitable and green at the same time, they are not mutually exclusive.

In addition, one question continues to confuse developers – what exactly is sustainable planning and development? What does sustainable development mean? Why are we worried about problems like climate change, environmental pollution and energy shortages? Why is everyone talking about sustainable development? Is sustainable development advice just the latest word to spread? Is it simply fashionable to claim that you are environmentally friendly and plant trees and switch to CFL bulbs to show proof?

Al Gore says, “There is a growing sense that we are reaching the limits of Earth’s ability to sustain our civilization.” This is a popular view and the answer to all these questions is an obvious ‘no’. The climate on Earth is negatively affected and the accelerated economic development undoubtedly leaves little for our future generations. The threat to our environment is real, clear and close. How can we minimize the damage? Leaving a healthier country for our future generations? The answer lies in sustainable planning and development.

How do we define it? The U.S. Department of Energy defines sustainable development as – “Sustainable development is a strategy by which communities seek approaches to economic development that also benefit the local environment and quality of life.”

Christine Ervin, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, defines sustainable development as: “Sustainable development enables economic progress and environmental quality to be compatible goals. Communities find that sustainable development strategies save taxpayers money, improve local business profits, and to make the community more livable. “

When Thomas Jefferson made the following statement in 1789, he may not have spoken of sustainable development, as the term is used today, but there was a definite vision of what the future might look like if humanity refused to be prudent with the gifts of nature, “Then I say Earth belongs to each … generation during its time, in full and in its own right, no generation can contract debts greater than those that could be paid during its existence. “

Robert Gilaman, president of the Context Institute, defines sustainability as “Sustainability refers to the ability of a society, ecosystem or any such system that is ongoing to continue to function indefinitely without being forced to decline due to depletion of … key resources.”

The answer must begin at the ‘micro level’, with us, who use the prey of nature for progressive urbanization. The solution to the problem must begin with the way we ‘build’, ‘create’ and ‘redecorate’ our cities, towns and homes. Green development initiatives are first level solutions for sustainable development.

Solutions for sustainable development are needed and they must be pervasive, long-term policies involving governments, societies and people. But before we start talking about the benefits of sustainable development, let’s look further: “How do we define sustainable development?”

There are many definitions, but the most widely accepted definition of sustainable development is “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Easier, anonymous, sustainable development is “Growth without cheating our children”.

The definition of sustainable development may differ in different geographical areas, cultures and countries. Ultimately, however, it is a process that requires global participation at the individual level. Individual contribution is important because it forms the basis of the ‘Three Pillars of Sustainable Development’ – economic, environmental and social.

The “social” pillar of people interacts with the other two – environmental and economic, and in that sense launches the concept of sustainable development.

Since we use the environment for social and economic purposes, we are the ones who have to decide whether the current exchange between “ecology” and “economy” is beneficial for us in the long run. We can continue to use wood to build our homes and destroy all of our forests, or decide on healthier alternatives that help the economy grow and keep our planet safe and secure for our future generations so they can build their homes. In this sense, ‘people’ form the focal point in the whole picture. Therefore, by definition, you and I, an individual house – owner, builder or investor, are part of the basic principles of sustainable development – people, the planet, profit.

So what steps can you, as a builder or homeowner, take to ensure sustainable real estate development? You can do a lot. Changing the bulb to CFL may not be a complete solution, but it is definitely the first step towards that. As a homeowner, you can search for sustainable development topics online and examine the different choices you can make for a greener home. Informative articles on sustainable development abound on the Internet and you can learn a lot about how to make environmentally healthier choices for the new house you plan to build or for the remodeling work you have in mind in your vacation home.

However, greater responsibility lies on the shoulders of the real estate developer community because if we build it ‘green’ from scratch we make a stronger impact. Contrary to popular belief, the role of private sector investors in sustainable real estate development is crucial and much more cost-effective. Building a ‘green’ makes sense and is cost effective. In addition, sustainable real estate development has the thumbs of the government – “In the not too distant future, all development will be green. Developers, builders and buyers will discover that green not only improves their pockets, but also their health and quality Developers who first they will have an advantage in the huge emerging market … “- William S. Becker, Director of the Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development, US Department of Energy.

The benefits of sustainable development for a real estate builder or builder are multiple and make financial sense. Take the case of Wal-Mart, whose environmental initiatives reap benefits such as significantly reduced energy consumption and lower water bills. Charles Zimmerman, Wal-Mart’s vice president of prototype development and new formats, says they have achieved this by using “refrigerators that generate 50% less heat and no mercury, low-heat lighting sources, low-light bathrooms and waterless urinals that reduce water bills.” water in half. ” Other Wal-Mart initiatives like ‘Daylighting’ have paid off in less than 2 years.

If builders and developers install similar systems in the design phase of the project, sustainable housing development can become a reality. Building and architectural design that helps homeowners reduce their monthly household expenses would, in itself, be a strong enough reason for green builders ’products to be sought after.

Benefits and increased profitability through sustainable real estate development are catching up and in the blink of an eye a year can become the standard. Says Brenna Walraven, president-elect of the National Association of Building Owners and Managers and director of national asset management at USAA Reality Co. based in San Antonio. “Within five years, sustainable construction will become the norm, partly due to falling product costs. Retail and the rest of commercial real estate must continue to work harder for green … it reduces costs, it’s a good job and, more importantly, it is the real thing. “

Sustainable real estate development has traditionally been undermined by the perception of increased costs for investors. However, if sustainable building development measures are incorporated in the design phase, these costs can be completely eliminated, if not significantly reduced. For example, the use of combined heat and power generation can reduce the overall capital cost of a community system such as heating. Other costs incurred due to measures such as low / double flush toilets and energy efficient appliances are comparable or similar in many cases to their more popular standard versions.

Buildings consume 35% of national energy each year. There are more than 76 million residential and 5 million commercial buildings in the U.S. today, and this total is expected to increase by another 38 million by 2010. Can you imagine the stress on energy resources and the subsequent increase in energy purchase costs for households in this moment? Using sustainable housing development measures such as daylight and solar water heating would not only reduce this stress on energy resources, but would also allow the investor to offer the client a more cost-effective housing option in the long run.

Another way that developers and builders can benefit from sustainable development is to use more economical, sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives to construction and building materials. The use of recycled building materials can reduce construction costs and thus increase profits. There are direct financial benefits here, and costs, as explained above, can be minimized.

Innovation always pays dividends, and builders and developers who use sustainable development alternatives can be the ones who make a profit. There has never been a better time to adopt sustainable development measures and continue to make a profit than today. What we sow now, we will reap tomorrow, and thus sustainable development for investors and builders.

The Future of Digital Currencies

“Ah, but it’s digital now.” “Digital” is a word whose origin lies in the Latin digitalis, from digitus (“toe, toe”); now its use is synonymous with computers and televisions, cameras, music players, watches, etc., etc., etc. But what about digital money or even digital democracy?

The printing press in its time provoked a revolution, which many hailed as a democratic force for good. The books available to the masses were indeed a revolution; and now we have e-books and technology devices to read them. The fact that the original words are numerically encoded and decoded back into words electronically does not mean that we believe less in the words we read, but we still prefer the aesthetics of a physical book to a piece of high-tech plastic that needs to recharge its battery to keep working. Can digital currencies like bitcoin really contribute to positive social change in such a spectacular way?

To answer this, we need to ask ourselves what about money, how do we understand it, use it and incorporate it into a sustainable model of a ‘better world for all?’ Money, unlike any other form of property, is unique in that it can be used for anything before it happens. It does not imply anything, but it can be used for great good or great evil, and yet it is only what it is despite its numerous manifestations and consequences. It is a unique, but much misunderstood and misused commodity. Money has the ease of buying and selling and the mathematical complexity that financial markets show; and yet there is no notion of egalitarianism, moral or ethical decision-making. It acts as an autonomous entity, but is also endogenous and exogenous to the global community. It has no personality and is easily interchangeable, and yet it is treated as a limited resource in a global context, whose growth is driven by a set of complex rules that determine the way it can behave. Yet, despite this, the outcomes are never completely predictable and, moreover; adherence to social justice and aversion to moral insolence are not prerequisites for its use.

In order for a currency to perform effectively the financial functions required of it, the essential value of money must be the generally accepted belief of those who use it. In November 2013, the US Senate Committee on National Security and Government Affairs recognized that virtual currencies are a legitimate means of payment, an example of which is Bitcoin. Due to the very low transaction fees charged by the ‘Bitcoin network’, it offers a very real way to enable the transfer of funds from migrant workers who send money back to their families without paying the high transfer fees currently charged by companies. The European Commission has calculated that if the global average remittance is reduced from 10% to 5% (the ‘5×5 initiative’ supported by the G20 in 2011), this could result in an additional $ 17 billion flowing into developing countries; using a blockchain would reduce these fees to almost zero. These wealth transfer companies that extract wealth from the system can become de-mediated by the use of such infrastructure.

Probably the most important thing to note about cryptocurrencies is the distributed and decentralized nature of their networks. With the growth of the internet, we may only be seeing the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in terms of future innovations that could harness the untapped potential to enable decentralization, but on a scale never seen before. So, while in the past, when there was a need for a large network, this could only be achieved by using a hierarchical structure; with the consequence of the need to hand over the ‘power’ of that network to a small number of individuals with a controlling interest. It could be said that Bitcoin represents the decentralization of money and the transition to a simple systemic approach. Bitcoin represents an equally significant advancement as peer-to-peer file sharing and Internet telephony (Skype for example).

There are very few explicitly produced laws for digital or virtual currencies, but there is a wide range of existing laws that can be applied depending on the country’s legal financial framework for: taxes, banking and money transfer, securities regulations, criminal and / or civil law, consumer rights / protection, pension regulations, goods and supplies regulations and others. So, the two key questions that bitcoin faces are whether it can be considered a legal tender, and if it is an asset, then it is classified as property. It is common practice for nation states to explicitly define a currency as the legal tender of another nation state (e.g. the US dollar), preventing them from formally recognizing other ‘currencies’ as a currency. A significant exception to this is Germany, which allows the concept of a “unit of account” which can therefore be used as a form of “private money” and can be used in “multilateral clearing circles”. In the second circumstance to be considered property, the obvious difference here is that, unlike assets, digital currencies have the capacity to divide into much smaller amounts. Developed, open economies are generally permissive to digital currencies. The United States has issued the most guidelines and is very represented in the map below. Capital-controlled economies are effectively controversial or hostile by definition. As for many African and several other countries, this topic has not yet been addressed.

Starting from the principle of democratic participation, it is immediately obvious that bitcoin does not satisfy the component of positive social impact of such a goal insofar as its value is not one that can be influenced, but is subject to market forces. However, any ‘new’ cryptocurrency can offer democratic participation when a virtual currency has different management and issuance rules based on socially grounded democratic principles.

So what if a “digital” currency could provide a valid alternative to existing forms of money in playing a positive role: the goals of promoting a socially inclusive culture, equality of opportunity and promoting reciprocity; which are, as their name implies, alternative and / or complementary to the official or national sovereign currency? Virtual cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are a new emerging dynamic in the system; although in its infancy, the pace of cryptocurrency innovation has been dramatic.

There are many factors that determine the ‘effectiveness’ of money to bring about positive social and environmental change; pervasive political ideology, economic environment, desire of local communities and individuals to strive for alternative social outcomes while striving to maximize economic opportunities, building social capital and much more. If the local digital currency could be designed to build additional resilience in the local economy and improve economic performance, then the introduction on a broader basis deserves research. When the current economic system fails, it manifests itself in the following ways: increased social isolation, higher crime rates, physical abandonment, poor health, lack of a sense of community, among other undesirable social influences.

Is the future digital?

Wall Street’s Secret Language Revealed

Say these five words out loud very quickly: Bifurcation, Backwardation, ZIRP, NIRP, Contango.

Did you do that?

If so, did you sound like a cheerleader singing some foreign language?

These are the actual words used by many Wall Street marketers, gurus and promoters.

They may sound ridiculous or confusing, but they serve several purposes. (1) Detect or describe certain market conditions. (2) They act as “signals” for trading purposes. (3) They are intended to confuse and / or impress you.

And these are just some of the many words, acronyms and sayings that make up Wall Street’s “Secret Language”.

The funny thing is that most people (including me) aren’t impressed with words that don’t make sense.

However, if you have a basic understanding of them, you will be better equipped as an investor and are more likely to stay ahead of the crowd. Think of it as learning how to “connect the dots” of a financial puzzle.

Compare this to trying to do business in a foreign language (German, French, Japanese, Greek, etc.). If you don’t understand the language, you will probably lose money … A LOT of money.

So, just like learning any language, you need a good teacher or translator who makes it simple and easy to understand.

Here we come.

In this article, we will present a few words so you can see how easy it is to learn a language and, at the same time, understand how Wall Street makes things so confusing.

Let’s start with ZIRP. It is an acronym meaning “Zero Interest Rate Policy”.

It was launched after the collapse in 2008 in order to “allegedly” stimulate the economy. It is true that the ZIRP has caused critical damage to most of the nation’s pension plans. (Interest rates need to be high so they can fund their plans for their retirees.) The ZIRP has also crippled most senior citizens who depend on interest on their investments for a living.

Although rates are rising slowly, it will take a long time to repair the damage done by the ZIRP.

But let’s move on to NIRP. It is another acronym meaning “Negative Interest Rate Policy”. Yes, you read that right. NEGATIVE interest rate policy.

This is more collateral damage than the collapse of 2008 and is in force mainly in European countries.

Here’s the crazy part. When a country’s government bonds have negative interest rates (currently -0.05% to -0.36% or more), investors have to PAY THEM to keep their money.

It is a losing offer for an investor and it is hard to imagine someone buying bonds with negative rates, but millions have been sold.

We’ve just scratched the surface here, but we hope you see how very confusing and misleading these acronyms are.

What Is Bitcoin and Is It a Good Investment?

Bitcoin (BTC) is a new type of digital currency – with cryptographic keys – that is decentralized to a network of computers used by users and miners around the world and is not controlled by a single organization or government. It is the first digital cryptocurrency to attract public attention and be accepted by a growing number of merchants. Like other currencies, users can use digital currency to buy goods and services online, as well as in some physical stores that accept it as a form of payment. Currency traders can also trade bitcoins in bitcoin exchanges.

There are several major differences between Bitcoin and traditional currencies (e.g. the US dollar):

  1. Bitcoin does not have a centralized authorization or clearing house (e.g. government, central bank, MasterCard or Visa network). The peer-to-peer payment network is managed by users and miners around the world. Currency is anonymously transferred directly between users via the Internet without passing through a clearing house. This means that transaction fees are much lower.
  2. Bitcoin is created through a process called “Bitcoin mining”. Miners around the world use mining software and computers to solve complex bitcoin algorithms and to authorize Bitcoin transactions. They were rewarded with transaction fees and new Bitcoins generated by solving Bitcoin algorithms.
  3. There is a limited amount of Bitcoin in circulation. According to Blockchain, there have been about 12.1 million in circulation since December 20, 2013. Difficulties in mining Bitcoin (solving algorithms) are becoming more difficult as more Bitcoin is generated, and the maximum amount in circulation is limited to 21 million. The limit will not be reached until around 2140. This makes Bitcoin more valuable because more and more people are using it.
  4. A public book called ‘Blockchain’ records all Bitcoin transactions and shows the ownership of each Bitcoin owner. Anyone can access the public ledger to check transactions. This makes digital currency more transparent and predictable. More importantly, transparency prevents fraud and double consumption of the same Bitcoins.
  5. Digital currency can be acquired through Bitcoin mining or the Bitcoin exchange.
  6. Digital currency is accepted by a limited number of retailers on the web and by some retailers.
  7. Bitcoin wallets (similar to PayPal accounts) are used to store Bitcoin, private keys and public addresses, as well as to anonymously transfer Bitcoin between users.
  8. Bitcoins are not insured and are not protected by government agencies. Therefore, they cannot be recovered if a hacker steals secret keys or loses them on a faulty hard drive or due to the closure of a Bitcoin exchange. If the secret keys are lost, the associated bitcoins cannot be recovered and will be out of sight. Visit this link for the Bitcoin FAQ.

I believe Bitcoin will gain more public acceptance because users can remain anonymous while buying goods and services online, transaction fees are much lower than credit card payment networks; the public book is available to all, which can be used to prevent fraud; the supply of currency is limited to 21 million, and the payment network is managed by users and miners instead of the central government.

However, I don’t think it’s a great investment tool because it’s extremely volatile and not very stable. For example, the price of bitcoin rose from about $ 14 to a peak of $ 1,200 this year before falling to $ 632 per BTC at the time of writing.

Bitcoin has risen this year as investors have speculated that the currency will gain wider acceptance and become more expensive. The currency fell 50% in December as BTC China (China’s largest bitcoin operator) announced it could no longer accept new deposits due to government regulations. And according to Bloomberg, China’s central bank has banned financial institutions and payment companies from handling bitcoin transactions.

Bitcoin is likely to gain more public acceptance over time, but its price is extremely volatile and very sensitive to news – such as government regulations and restrictions – that could negatively affect the currency.

Therefore, I do not suggest investors to invest in Bitcoins unless they are purchased at a price of less than $ 10 per BTC as this would allow much higher margin of safety.

By the way, I believe it is much better to invest in stocks that have strong fundamentals as well as great business prospects and management teams because core companies have intrinsic values ​​and are more predictable.

Discovery: Victor Liang has no position in Bitcoins and has no plans to change his position in the next 72 hours.

Financial Choices

I have been noticing and studying many changes in the world of finance lately.

Let’s go back to the beginning of time. I imagine that long before money was used, people came up with a way to exchange goods and services. Maybe they used shells or feathers or other things in nature to track transactions.

The concept of money is believed to have been used around 5000 BC, but it took until 700 BC for societies to make metal coins. Countries then begin to mint their own unique coins and paper money of various values ​​and designs.

It has been documented that the concept of banking emerged around 2000 BC when traders lent grain to farmers so they could plant crops and traders to transport goods.

When I was growing up, there were banks, but the easiest way to determine our financial situation was to put my hand in my pocket. If it turned out to be empty, you knew you were broke! It was scary to think about going to the bank and asking for help.

I remember, in my pre-teen years, when my paternal grandfather encouraged me to buy a “bond” so I could help the country and earn interest by cutting out coupons. I was introduced to the idea of ​​making money through investing.

In 1946, the credit card was introduced in North America. That changed everything! Suddenly people could buy things without money in advance. If you paid the minimum amount on time, your limit has been increased. People have changed their mindset from the first to have the money to spend it on just getting enough credit to buy what they want.

Banking services have risen, and so have interest rates, as well as personal and social debt.

The Canadian Federation of Taxpayers claims that our current federal debt of 713 billion dollars is now growing by 878 dollars per second. If you’re ready for a stunning reality, check out a search on your computer for debtclock.ca This page shows that every single Canadian’s share of federal debt this month is just under $ 30,000.00. And this is just federal debt – not including provincial or personal debt.

And now that the pandemic has disrupted the economy, governments across North America are printing stimulus or helicopter money. The more they print, the less value it has. Think about how similar situations in the past have affected Germany and Venezuela. In the end, the dollar was worth so little that customers needed a cart full to buy a loaf of bread.

So what are the solutions? Many individuals and companies have invested in the stock market. Rumors predict an impending collapse due to economic problems and the devaluation of the dollar. Growing fear has resulted in the search for other options.

Many are buying cryptocurrencies that are digital assets with extremely high volatility. Options such as Bitcoin, XRP and Ethereum have been described as an investment that will turn individuals into millionaires overnight. The suspects describe cryptocurrencies as air that is driven by investor hope and can disappear at the push of a button.

The other group bought physical precious metals such as gold and silver. Instead of buying them as stockpiles of paper or putting them in vaults, they keep them in personal safes. They use historical trends to confirm their hope that the price will explode as the value of the dollar decreases.

Other commodities such as wood, copper and agricultural products are also considered wise choices because prices are rising rapidly.

Now I am definitely not a financial expert and I do not intend to give advice on how to invest. I am, however, a registered psychologist who knows that man’s “sleep factor” is important. Fear and high risk can harm your physical and mental health.

In this age of change, make sure you focus on what you can control, not on things you can’t control. Investigate well before any action. Limit the amount of input you have from “talking heads” that offer opinions, not facts.

Eat nutritionally. Exercise. Get enough rest. Pay your bills. Invest your time in activities that make your soul sing. Laugh often.

And most of all – it is measured by who you are – and not by what you have.

What Is Bitcoin?

Bitcoins have become a very well-known and popular form of currency over time. However, what exactly is Bitcoin? The following article will go through the in-s and outs of this currency that jumped out of nowhere and spread like wildfire. How is it different from normal currencies?

Bitcoin is a digital currency, it is not printed and never will be. They are kept electronic and no one has control over them. They are produced by people and companies, creating the first form of money known as cryptocurrency. While normal currencies are seen in the real world, Bitcoin passes through billions of computers around the world. From Bitcoin in the United States to Bitcoin in India, it has become a global currency. However, the biggest difference it has from other currencies is that it is decentralized. This means that no particular company or bank owns it.

Who created it?

Satoshi Nakamoto, a software developer, proposed and created Bitcoin. He saw it as a chance to have a new currency in the market without central government.

Who prints it?

As mentioned earlier, the simple answer is no one. Bitcoin is not a printed currency, it is a digital currency. You can even make transactions online using Bitcoin. So you can’t produce unlimited Bitcoins? Absolutely not, Bitcoin is designed to never “mine” more than 21 million Bitcoins in the world at once. Although they can be divided into smaller quantities. The hundred millionth part of Bitcoin is called “Satoshi”, after its creator.

What is Bitcoin based on?

For appearance and conventional use, Bitcoin is based on gold and silver. However, it is true that Bitcoin is actually based on pure mathematics. He also has nothing to hide because he is open source. So everyone can look at it to see if it works the way they claim.

What are the characteristics of Bitcoin?

1. As mentioned earlier, it is decentralized. It is not owned by any particular company or bank. Every software that Bitcoin miners makes a network and they work together. The theory was, and it worked, that if one network broke down, money would still flow.

2. Easy to install. You can set up a Bitcoin account in seconds, unlike big banks.

3. It is anonymous, at least in part, that your Bitcoin addresses are not associated with any type of personal information.

4. It is completely transparent, all transactions using Bitcoin are shown on a large chart, known as a blockchain, but no one knows that it is you because no name is associated with it.

5. Fees for transactions are small, and compared to bank fees, the rare and small fees charged for Bitcoin are almost non-existent. It’s fast, very fast. Wherever you send money, it will usually arrive in a few minutes after processing. It is undeniable, which means that once you submit your Bitcoins, they will disappear forever.

Bitcoin has greatly changed the world and the way we see money. Many people are wondering if it is possible to make a living from bitcoin. Some have even tried to do so. Despite that, Bitcoin is now part of our economy, a unique type of currency, and will not disappear soon.