As a corporate event planner, you’re looking for the one thing that will bring your attendees back to the office ready to shoot their efforts into high gear with some high caliber education and knowing how to get the job done. But don’t you really want them to be motivated too?What Makes A Great Event In Las Vegas Or Anywhere? Entertainment is the baseline of any event, whether you’re in Vegas, or Los Angeles, or some other incredibly magnificent city. The fundamental base of your event hinges on the entertainment.Your Event Guests Remember The Entertainment!The food maybe exquisite, and the lessons learned maybe spectacular, but the entertainment set in a spotlight, with glam appeal will be the diamond in the rough of any event. Ambiance during the entertainment may keep your attendees in check, balanced, and aware of the incredible entertainment before them, but they’ll remember the music, the faces of the band, and the details of what’s on stage before they recall the color of their tablecloth.Where Do You Find Great Entertainment? We searched great entertainment for corporate events on the Internet and came up with a list of qualified organizations that sponsor the best entertainment. The results were pretty interesting. Sometimes the top rankings in the industry were at the top of the screen, other times near the bottom. For some searches, the best entertainment managers were listed on page two or three. So just a blanket search isn’t enough. You’ll need more.When You Find The BEST Entertainment Manager… You’ll want to know why they’re the best!The secret to knowing who is the best entertainment provider comes in testimonials, visibility, view factors that are usually easily and readily available when you look at their website. The entertainment manager will pay the same attention to detail for you that they pay on their website:1 – Check for Quality.Is their website managed well, organized, and purposeful? Do they offer plenty of information about their bands, the best deals, and their profession? Do you have a sense of professionalism from their entertainment management website? Can you identify some clear goals and indication that they know what they’re doing based on their site?2 – How Long Have They Been in Business?Randomly, a new company will have it all together and present themselves as capable. But seriously, do you want to risk it? Couldn’t you imagine a website owner with some high quality content, graphics, and details that have been there a while, being a better choice?3 – Customer SatisfactionThere it is… The one thing that makes a huge difference to you. When your selected firm offers insights into older performances, you’ll know you’re in good hands.
The Best Mutual Funds Vs. Best Investment Strategy for 2014 and Beyond
Millions of Americans own mutual funds and see them as their best investment options. Consider this question: would you rather own the best funds or have the best investment strategy for managing your funds in 2014 and beyond? With history as my guide, I offer an opinion here, as well as a plan you might want to consider.Within a 10-year period (2000 to 2009) investors experienced two bear (down) markets where stocks lost 50% or more of their value while bonds did just fine. Both times stocks recovered, and by 2014 were again at all time highs. Bonds were the best investment options and the funds that invest in them were the best funds in both bear markets. Even the best funds in the diversified stock department left their investors little to cheer about in that 10-year period of time. The best investment strategy since early 2009: be heavily invested in diversified stock funds. Who could have known they would be the best investment options available to average every-day people?The truth is that NO ONE knew this, and in 2014 it would be extremely risky to assume this was still the best investment strategy. The last two major bull (up) markets before this current one (2009 to 2014) were followed by the above bear (down) markets. In each case even the best funds in the diversified stock arena took big losses, and often the best funds in an up stock market are the worst to hold in a down market.The previous bull market lasted about 5 years, and as of early 2014 this last one was 5 years old. Maybe it’s time to start looking for the best investment strategy for three different reasons. First, the bull market in stocks is 5 years old and stocks are not selling cheap. Second, even the best stock funds will be losers in a bad market. Third, with interest rates rising, bond funds are not relatively safe or dependable anymore. For 30 years (until recently) they were the average investor’s best funds and were among the best investment options out there. Problem: if interest rates continue to rise, bond funds will lose money. That’s the way bond funds work.Sometimes the best investment strategy is to be aggressive in stocks, if you have the stomach for it. For most of us with long term goals, the risk that goes with that strategy far outweighs the prospects for higher returns. After all, if you take a 50% loss in a bad market, you then need to earn 100% (double your money) just to cover your losses. In the bond funds area, the vast majority of conservative investors still hold on to the belief that they are the best funds and that the best investment strategy is to just hold on and everything will be just fine.If history tells us anything, it makes two things in the investment world crystal clear. One: you will never find the best investment or the best funds on a consistent basis. And two: the best investment strategy is to never put yourself into a position where you are open to heavy losses that are difficult to overcome. So, it’s time to make a plan and put together the best strategy in case stock funds and/or bond funds stumble in 2014 and beyond.Virtually all mutual fund families offer a safe investment option called a money market fund. Reallocate your portfolio so that you are invested equally in a money market, stock, and bond fund. Then set it up so that an equal amount of money flows from the money market fund to the two others each month. The monthly amount should be such that in two to three years the money market fund will be down to almost nothing. Example: $90,000 portfolio, starting with $30,000 in each fund and $1000 flowing monthly from money market fund… $500 to stock fund and $500 to bond fund. In about 30 months the money market fund will be about depleted.Even if you don’t hold the best funds, this could be the best investment strategy for the middle-of-the-road investor who wants to basically be invested about half in stocks and half in bonds ultimately. You will be less exposed to stocks and bonds over the next couple of years; hence your potential for big losses is diminished in the event the markets turn ugly. If stocks and/or bonds fall you will be picking up more and more shares as fund prices fall. This is called dollar cost averaging and is a time-tested investment strategy. If fund prices don’t fall during this time period you’ll earn a respectable return, with peace of mind, because you lowered your level of risk. At that point consider going through the same process again.Remember that bull markets are always followed by bear markets sooner or later. Bear markets are generally shorter in duration but they can be brutal. Don’t be overly concerned with finding the best funds for 2014 and beyond. Focus on having the best investment strategy. This way you can stay invested without the fear of taking big losses in stocks or bonds if things turn sour.In the best funds vs. the best investment strategy for 2014 and beyond debate, I suggest you focus on strategy. Unfortunately, most investors ignore investment strategy. That’s why most average investors have not done well for the past dozen or so years.
Cheap Travel Agents – Are They the Best Way to Save on Your Travel Plans?
With the advent of the internet it has become a little easier to find cheap travel agents. The traditional agents now face fierce competition because customers are saving money by booking direct with airlines and hotels on the web. Competition has also increased through smaller agents operating solely online. Such companies are usually operated by just one person so overheads are very small.When looking for cheap travel agents it is important to do your homework and exhaust all options before deciding which one is giving you the best deal. Make sure you are aware of any hidden costs and commissions. Another important factor is making sure the travel agent you opt for is fully bonded. One trick is to find the best deal and then visit your high street agents to see if they are prepared to offer you anything better. Though, sometimes success with this strategy can be limited to certain times of the year.Not as many people bother with the traditional high street agents anymore because of the internet. This can sometimes be a mistake especially because there are many cheap travel agents on the high street who also offer discounts on other services such as scuba diving lessons, ski lift passes etc. Not only could this save you money but also a lot of time and research as they do all the legwork for you.It is true that many savings can be made by spending time to search for cheap travel agents but remember such companies do need to make a commission with every vacation they sell. Remember to check airline rates and hotel rates separately to see if you can save that way.Of course the best way of saving money is if you have a friend or relative in the travel industry who is willing to let you know when any deals with massive savings become available. Not everyone is so fortunate though but I am sure if you are polite enough most travel agents will keep your name and telephone number and will call you with any deals they think might interest you.
Putting HOPE Back into Health Care
Our current health care system is ailing. Satisfaction among patients as well as health care providers is as low as it has ever been.Even in the era of doctor making house calls, people had confidence in their doctor, who, back then, represented the health care system. Confidence was based on trust, that the doctor was offering the best treatment and advances possible.Today, patient trust is dwindling. Yet, there is still a great deal of trust in doctors and nurses. In a recent poll, the professions that were most greatly admired and respected by the public, second to firemen, were doctors and nurses.Lack of confidence stems not from the health providers themselves, but from the system that the doctors and nurses work for.Let’s examine some potential areas eroding public confidence in our health care system:1.) Speed: Our system has always moved quickly, but the current pace is nothing short of phrenetic. Oh yes, a doctor or nurse could move slower, but the price would be at the expense of patients who would not be seen or cared for that day. Quietly, health providers talk about feeling like they are part of a “conveyor belt” that treats paperwork more than it does people.Indeed, the amount of paperwork has increased exponentially and the “system” doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Insurance companies, particularly managed care, has heavily contributed to this additional layer of bureaucracy taking time away from patient care. At the risk of offending managed care companies, this is the truth. Managed care was originally designed to contain costs. But the impact on care of patients is one that has yet to be determined.2.) Commercialiazation of health care: commercials etc….erodes public confidence. Patients regularly verbalize an overwhelmed and distorted image of the role of medication from watching television commercials. This is not the patient’s fault! And it works both ways, commercials can be suggestive, or implant resistance in patients who might genuinely benefit from a trial of medication. Patient’s decisions are influenced by marketing, rather than medical facts, and that just doesn’t make good clinical sense.3.) “Pill popping society” – stems in part from commercialization but also from a stressed society looking for ways to make it easier to cope4.) Conventional health care has yet to accept natural modalities as part of its treatment regimens. Yet, public opinion on this matter is very evident. Annual spending on Complementary/Alternative modalities exceeds ______/year. Yet, a large reason for this lack of integration into conventional health care remains lack of scientific research. Without large funding sources like pharmaceutical companies, natural treatments have been left largely to a word by mouth market.And the word has spread like wildfire. And most often from people with chronic health challenges whose health has been restored. Yet why haven’t these potentially life-saving remedies been studied? In fact, for many health providers in conventional medicine, caring for people suffering with these chronic health challenges, it is heart wrenching not to be able to offer people more hope.5.) The U.S. Health care system is rated 37th in the world according to the World Health Organization. Clearly these dismal results becry the need for health care solutions and transformation for the sake of our people.Health: not simply the eradication of disease but the concept of healing, restoration and rejuvenation, particularly for those with chronic health conditions. Included in this is the incorporation of preventative health care into mainstream medicine.Transformation of health care = Hope for all