A Simple Way to Manage Investments

One investment criterion important to many people, and perhaps to you, is: How easy are my investments to supervise? For example, does the investment require constant care, supervision, or expense, such as the complete or partial ownership of real estate property with its rental, repair, maintenance, taxation, and other management problems?Or does the investment require none of your time, such as your contributions to a pension fund? Some people feel confident and enjoy the time and effort that may go into managing their investments. Others have neither the skill, time, nor patience to bother with their investments. There are investments that satisfy both groups, depending on personal objectives.The best method to manage all investments is the Investment Portfolio Evaluation Grid. It is a great chart to help organize your present portfolio, even if your investments right now are some money in a savings account, or an IRA or pension plan.Start by creating 7 columns and input the following: Date, Cost, Present Market Value, % Total Portfolio Market, Annual Return, Yield, and % Return on Market.Next, input all your investments on the left in rows: Savings Accounts, U.S. Savings Bonds, Treasury Securities, Certificate of Deposit, Bonds-Tax-Free, Common Shares-Dividends, Preferred Shares, Blue-Chip Shares, Real Estate, Second Mortgages & Trust Deeds, IRA & Keogh Accounts, Pension Plans, Insurance Annuities, Growth Stocks, Undeveloped Real Estate, Precious Metals, Stock Options, Commodity Contracts, Commercial Paper, Other, and Total Portfolio.Determine the percentage of the market value of your portfolio as a whole. Divide the present market value of the individual investment by the total present market value of your portfolio. Determine the percentage of what it costs you to make an investment. This is easy to figure with interest bearing investments. A $1,000 10% bond you paid $1,000 for has a 10% yield. On stocks or real estate, estimate yield by dividing the amount of increase in value and/or dividend by the amount you paid. For example, if you paid $100 for a stock and received a $5 cash dividend, the yield would be 5%. Determine the percentage of the return on your portfolio as a whole. Divide the annual dollar return on all investments by the total present market value of your portfolio.For each investment you now have, fill in all the information you can in the columns to the right. The last three columns (Annual Return, Yield, and % Return on Market), tell how your investments have performed for you, as well as their relative value within your portfolio. If you do not have exact numbers for everything, do not worry. At this point you are just seeking an overview of what you have. A big picture will start to form that indicates how your money is allocated. You can also see what types of investment vehicles serve your objectives.If you are like many people who are just starting to invest, your grid is heavily weighted toward protection of principle. You may not even be aware of some of the listed investments. Before you get into the characteristics of different investments, you will benefit greatly from having a reference point with which to evaluate the various investment opportunities. Consider all the personal factors in your financial picture, including the other people affected by the decisions you will make.Forecast as much as possible, where your current and potential income sources will take you 5-20 years from now. What standard of living is important to you now and in the future? Will you need to provide for children? Do you wish to retire early? Where do you want to allocate investment and other disposable income? To a house in the hills? In world travel? To building a business?These and dozens of other personal questions should get some serious thought at this point. Do not be rigid. Expect your priorities and goals to change. But better a mutable plan for the future than none at all. Allow yourself to dream and get excited about the possibilities. Though it is difficult, even dangerous, to generalize about what investment objectives are most important to different groups, the following information will give you broad guidelines to consider, if you are:a) Single, with low to average working income, with a savings-oriented temperament, seek investments that produce income but that also provides some long-term capital growth.b) Single, with an average to high working income, and/or an aggressive temperament, seek investments with strong total return (the sum of the current yield and the capital-gain yield), concentrating on long-term, and high-growth vehicles.c) Married, with no dependents earning an average to high income growth-oriented but aggressive, look at safe income-producing investments, such as bonds and money-market mutual funds.d) Married, with dependents, a low to average income and a conservative temperament, seek secure investments with long-term growth in both capital and income, perhaps blue-chip stocks.e) An older person, with income from Social Security and some savings, and a goal of more income while preserving current capital, seek a conservative income fund that pays dividends and has appreciation value, or a money-market fund with a satisfactory yield.Take a look at your new chart and you will see Percentage of Portfolio typically allocated to investments goals. You can use this as a guideline when considering how to allocate your investment money. However, at a younger age, safety and capital gain has greater weight. In later years the need for income and safety of principle tends to increase.

Engineering Jobs – Mechanical Engineer

The basic definition of the work an engineer is to apply the principles of science and mathematics to develop economical solutions to technical problems. Since the array of work possibly done by engineer is quiet large, engineers have to specialize in one of several fields. Mechanical engineers are specialized in the research, development, design, manufacturing, and testing of electrical tools, engines, machines, and other mechanical devices. Mechanical engineers will work mainly on power-producing machines including electric generators, internal combustion engines, and steam and gas turbines. But they can also work on other power-using machines including refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, machine tools, material handling systems, elevators and escalators, industrial production equipment, and robots used in manufacturing.

As a mechanical engineers, you can also be in charge of the design of tools which will be used by other engineers in their work. Among all the engineering specialization, mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Indeed mechanical engineers are not restrained to one particular position in companies or to any sector possibly working in production operations in manufacturing or agriculture, maintenance, or technical sales. Many mechanical engineers even work as administrators or managers.
How to become a mechanical engineer? For most entry-level engineering worker, you will be required to have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Those who graduate from college graduates in a physical science or mathematics may also qualify for some engineering jobs, especially in specialties in high demand. But most potential candidates must have graduate from faculties such as electrical, electronics, mechanical, or civil engineering. Studying mechanical engineering is quiet easy in the country counting over 360 colleges and universities offering bachelor’s degree programs in engineering which are even accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), Inc., and 230 colleges, or so, offering also accredited programs in engineering technology.

In the U.S., the job prospects for mechanical engineers will be good with an overall rate of employment growing at an average rate through 2014. However many changes are expected to overhaul the sector with a massive decline of the employment of mechanical engineers in manufacturing industries. However civil engineering and jobs in high-growth technologies including biotechnology, materials science, and nanotechnology will likely compensate this decline for mechanical engineers.

Get in the Game – NASCAR Mechanics

If you’re into mechanics and cars, then perhaps this scenario appeals to you. Just picture this: as you stand at your station, you are patient despite the excitement that abounds. Screaming fans, loud engines, and brightly colored cars surround you. This is where you work. As your car pulls into the pit, you work like a maniac to make sure your driver can get back out on that track. You may not change tires or gas up the car, but you ensure the proper working of the vehicle so that your team can win! After all, you are one of the best NASCAR mechanics.

Steer Your Way to a Mechanic Career

NASCAR mechanics have a variety of tasks in which they may specialize, including tires, brakes, and welding. And it’s best to attend mechanic schools to learn these skills. Just ask Lee Bob Cunningham. During the week he works as a mechanic on the Aaron’s Toyota Camry (#99) in the Busch Series, fielded by Michael Waltrip Racing, and at races, Cunningham shifts gears, changing rear tires in the pit. But Cunningham didn’t just walk off the street and into a job at NASCAR after he realized he wanted to work with cars. His decision, prompted him to decide on one of the mechanic schools, the NASCAR Technical Institute (Mooresville, NC), to provide him with training that would get him the job he desired.

“I’ve been a big NASCAR fan for as long as I can remember,” says Cunningham. When he heard that there was a school where he could learn to do what NASCAR mechanics do, Cunningham looked into it immediately. He needed to gas up his mechanic career in order to go far. After spending about a year and a half at the school, Cunningham was ready to look for work with teams seeking NASCAR mechanics. He had had training in many different concentrations, as each class lasts for three weeks. He learned basic automotive skills, along with fabricating, welding, and set-up. He then attended a training school that taught him to do a pit stop correctly.

Crossing the Finish Line

After attending one of the country’s mechanic schools, Cunningham began putting his resume out to everyone he could. “I tried out with a lot of teams,” he says. “You start to know a lot of people that way.” This kind of networking is extremely vital in securing a job as one of the NASCAR mechanics. In October 2005, Cunningham received an offer for a job as the eighth employee at Michael Waltrip Racing. “I wanted to learn just coming out of school,” he says. “It was a start-up and a small shop so I got to know people quickly and they got to know me. It was a good learning experience for me.”

Cunningham says that the most challenging part is the competition both on and off the racetrack. “The pit crew is pretty challenging because you are competing against some of the Cup guys and people who have been at it for 15 years,” he says. But with a certificate and training at an accredited institution, you’re sure to get great experience and train to become one of the great NASCAR mechanics.

Competition is also fierce among peers. “The probability of getting in [as one of the NASCAR mechanics] right away is pretty slim,” he says. “The teams usually call the school for the top five people and there were roughly 1,600 kids in my program.” But one shouldn’t allow that to get in the way of a dream. Cunningham didn’t. His advice to overcome this obstacle? “Never give up,” he says. He knows how hard it is to start out and not know anyone. However, “if you keep going back to the same places and ask for the same people, they get to know you.” By making yourself a known presence you’re sure to get somewhere, he says.