Is There a Lot of Risk Investing in Bonds?

Every investment you go for carries a certain amount of risk. The question is whether you are happy with a large amount of risk, or you would prefer settling for a smaller amount. Investing in bonds is no exception to this rule, and this means you have to think carefully and work through the facts before you decide whether to invest or not.

When you invest in bonds you need to be able to accept that part of your bonds or possibly even all of them may be lost. So if you are investing money you do not want to lose, you may be better off looking for a more secure investment.

Of course you can make a decent profit on a bond investment – it all depends on the nature of the investment, how risky it is and the various conditions in place at the time.

Generally speaking there are different types of bonds available with different goals in place for them. So if you do not like to take much risk you can think about investing in a bond that is more secure. If you want to go for more profits you need to opt for one that also offers more risk. This is how the bond system works.

The best position to start from then is one of knowledge. For example you need to know how settled you are with the idea of ​​risking your money. Some people save up a certain amount to invest in bonds, knowing they are not relying on this amount of money for any other reason. In this way they will know that if the worst happens and they do lose the lot, it will not affect their life in any way.

One thing to bear in mind with the risks associated with bonds is that they are generally safer as an investment vehicle than the stock market is. So if you find stocks unappealing because of the risks involved, bonds provide the next step down and it could be enough to make you feel safer in investing in this way.

Finally, look at the yield for any particular bond to gauge how risky it is. The better the yield is heralded to be, the more risk is involved with it. You can use this as a yardstick to figure out whenever you have found the right bond investment for you.

4 Ways Cloud Computing Rules

Cloud computing goes where you go. Because it is hosted on an independent server and not on your office desktop computer, you can take it with you. With an access code, it does not matter what computer or device you are on, you can always have access to your documents as long as you have an internet connection. You are never far from your work.

You can access it anywhere.

As long as the device you are using has access to the internet, you can access the cloud. You can always access your work. It also provides a platform where you can share work with co-workers across long distances. They can log on and see your work real time, make changes, and you can see those changes right away.

You always have what you need.

You drop your files into the cloud from your office desktop computer and you can grab them later from another computer or device. Cloud computing can even offer programs so if the computer you are using does not have a program on it that you need to run your files, you can use those programs in the cloud platform. There will never be a work stoppage because a file is missing or the program you need to run a file is not available.

You do not have to worry about running out of space.

The cloud is stored on an external server, not your company's server or your office desktop computer. The outside source has extra room where you might not. You will also not have to worry about downloading extra programs for all your devices. You can put the program on the cloud and all your employees can access it. That can save your organization money as well as space.

Files are never forgotten.

Once you save a file in the loud, it will always be there. The cloud has numerous safeguards so that you will not lose your data. In the past, if you forgot to drop a file on your drive drive before you left for a business trip, you were stuck without that file for the duration of that trip. Now, with cloud computing, all you need to do is go online and pull it up. You will never be without anything you need.

Cloud computing is an advantage the modern business person can not be without. The convenience of having access to your files anytime and anyplace in this fast pace work environment is a tool in which you will thank your lucky stars. Even if you are at a computer that does not have the program you need to use your file, you can use the apps in the cloud. With those apps on the cloud, multiple users can use the programs simultaneously, saving your company time and money since you will not have to put the same programs on all your devices. Plus, because they are on the cloud, files will never be forgotten.

Running Gear Review – Nike Plus Vs Garmin Forerunner 205-305 GPS

As a gadget and tech junkie, it was to my good fortune that my initiation into the world of distance running roughly coincided with the appearance on the market of several new high-tech running gadgets: the Garmin Forerunner 205 and 305, and the Nike+ system. I have used both the Garmin Forerunner 205 and Nike+ for greater than 6 months each, and what follows is a review and comparison of my experiences with them.

The Nike+ System

Back in 2007, I was just beginning my life as a runner, and I was looking for tools to help me progress. The Garmin Forerunner and Nike+ systems both had instant appeal to my techie side, however I was initially hesitant to invest the several hundred dollars (at the time) needed to buy a Forerunner. I was also swept up in the excitement surrounding the introduction of the Nike+ system, and my first pair of “real” running shoes were Nike+ ready. Since I owned an Ipod Nano, and had shoes that could accommodate the little Nike+ foot pod accelerometer internally, I decided to give Nike + a try. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll say at the outset that I no longer use the Nike+. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone since it does have its benefits and uses. The Nike+ certainly helped my running in those early days, and the motivation provided by the on-line Nike+ challenges was great. I liked being able to gauge my pace, track distance, and record my runs on-line. But for a perfectionist like myself, the Nike+ has some major drawbacks.

The most serious problem I had with the Nike+ was that it was only really accurate if I ran at the same steady pace on every run, and stuck to more-or-less flat ground. Any deviation from the pace you calibrate it at messes up both the pacing data as well as the distance recording for your run, and at times I found these measurements to be quite far off. Now, for many runners this is not a big deal, but if you like to mix up your training and include things like intervals, tempo runs, and long, slow runs, the Nike+ comes up way short. Furthermore, for me as a road racer, tenths of a mile and accurate pacing data matter a lot, so these shortcomings presented some major problems. That being said, I’m glad that I used it, and it did help a lot when I first started out. Even after I upgraded to the Garmin Forerunner 205, I did still continue to use Nike+ for treadmill runs (this probably goes without saying, but GPS doesn’t work on a treadmill). The Nike+ recordings on a treadmill are accurate enough, and in my case are more accurate than the readout of my treadmill’s own data console (it has never worked quite right for some reason).

I do believe that the Nike+ can be a valuable tool for a new or recreational runner. It’s cheap (less than $30.00), so it won’t dent your wallet too much if you decide you don’t like it, and the website and on-line community associated with Nike+ are both motivational and interesting. If you’re a new runner just starting out, or an experienced runner who tends to run most of your runs at the same pace, then the Nike+ would be a great addition to your running toolbox, and would surely provide some motivation for you to hit the road. However, as mentioned above, it has some major drawbacks for a serious runner who cares about missing tenths of a mile or needs really accurate pacing information.

Garmin Forerunner 205/305 GPS Wristwatch

If you want a personal running computer that will allow you to take your running to the next level and permit you to mix up your training runs with speed and long distance, you’re going to need something more than Nike+. I, unfortunately, am a perfectionist, and the inaccuracy of the pacing and distance data provided by Nike+ continually bugged me (and I was growing tired of mapping my runs on-line to figure out actual distances that I had covered). So, after about six months of consistent use, I decided to relegate the Nike+ to the treadmill only, and I asked Santa for a Garmin Forerunner 205 for Christmas. Sure enough, the fancy new GPS wristwatch was in my stocking, and it has not been absent from my wrist during a run in over a year. Simply stated, this is one of the coolest and most useful gadgets of any kind that I own, and it has allowed my running to progress in ways that probably would not have otherwise occurred.

First, let me explain the difference between the two current-generation Garmin Forerunner models (a fancy new waterproof model is on the way – the Garmin Forerunner 310 XT – but I’ll explain in a bit why I’d still go for one of the current ones for now if you’re considering a purchase). The two current models are the Forerunner 205 and the Forerunner 305. The only real differences between the two watches (besides color – the 205 is blue, and the 305 is red) are that the 305 can sync with an included heart rate monitor, an optional foot pod accelerometer (for the treadmill), and an optional speed-and-cadence sensor for your bike. Otherwise, from what I can gather, they are virtually identical. Given the minor price difference between the two Forerunners (about $10.00-$15.00 more for the 305), it would seem to make sense to go with the 305 if you’ve decided to buy a Forerunner.

So, I have now been using the Forerunner 205 regularly for over a year, and I have absolutely nothing but good things to say about it. The pacing data is right on (I have run enough chip-timed races with the 205 to verify this), as is the distance data. In addition to time, current pace, and distance, I have three data screens (which is the max on the 205/305) set up to show such variables as average pace, elevation, percent grade, calories burned, and time of day. Of all of these, the only one that seems somewhat iffy from time to time is the elevation, though if you smooth it out in one of the training programs that sync with the Forerunner, elevation patterns look pretty good as well. So far, I have pretty much exclusively used the Forerunner in its most basic mode – to simply track my data while I run. It is possible to configure things like training/pacing partners and interval workouts on the watch, and to use it as a (very) basic real-time GPS mapping device for things like hiking, but I haven’t used it much for this. In addition to running, I have used it while walking, snowshoeing, and biking (less extensively), and it works great for all of the above.

For me, the two features that matter most from a training and racing standpoint are accurate pacing and distance measurements, and as I said above this is where the Forerunner blows away the Nike+. I actually trust the Forerunner more than most of the on-line mapping programs when it comes to calculating distance, and being able to import all of my data into the computer is great. For the latter, I have skipped the included Garmin Training Center software and instead use an amazing, free program called Sportracks. Sportracks downloads all of the data from the Forerunner and lets you look at it in almost any way that you could possibly want. Among other things, Sportracks gives you GPS route maps, tons of data graphing options (e.g., pace vs. distance, pace vs. elevation, mile splits, etc.), and keeps a detailed running log that includes run times/dates, weather conditions pulled from the internet, distances run, and calories burned. As a scientist who loves data, Garmin Forerunner + Sportracks makes me one very happy runner.

A few last comments about some potential concerns with the Forerunner bear mentioning. One of the concerns I initially had about these watches was their size. Yes, they are big, but I have never noticed it as a nuisance while running, and I actually think the size is a positive rather than a negative since it makes it easier to read your data on the go. This is one of the major reasons why I would probably not consider upgrading to the newer and smaller Forerunner 405 – if you pack too many data streams on a small screen then things could get awful hard to read at mile 20 of a marathon. The other concern someone in the market for a GPS watch might have is the forthcoming new Garmin Forerunner 310 XT, which is waterproof to 50m and offers wireless data transfer. It would take a lot of new bells and whistles for me to spend an extra $100-$200 to choose to purchase the new 310 XT over the current 205 or 305. The new watch looks sportier, and the wireless sync feature is nice, but I don’t really care if I can dive to 50m with it on. If for some reason I’m out for a run and I wind up 50m underwater, I probably won’t be resurfacing to make it back home anyway (though in all seriousness, I can see how the 310 XT might be useful to a triathlete). For me, I’ll stick with the 205/305.

Hopefully I’ve given you a feel for what the Garmin Forerunner 205/305 can do. Really, there’s probably a lot more that it is capable of than what I have discussed here, but the best way to experience it is to try it out. As a runner who has now completed 1,266.01 miles (did I mention that I love accuracy!) with the Garmin Forerunner 205 (and it’s still going strong, with no major problems), I can honestly say that next to my running shoes, this is the most essential piece of running gear that I own. I highly recommend the Forerunner – get one and you won’t be disappointed.

National Level E-Commerce Strategies For Developing Nations and Emerging Economies

I wrote an article before trying to mention three major national levels in which I think the developing nations and emerging economies should follow in order to get the benefits of E-commerce; which are Raising awareness about the benefits of E-commerce among their societies, Applying Electronic ways of doing business for their enterprises, whether small medium or large businesses, and making Governments play the leading role in the advancement and application of E-commerce such as through applying E-government technologies. In this article I would try to add other major strategies which I think should be given priority.

1. E-commerce Policy making

Driving E-commerce policy is among the major strategies that developing nations and emerging markets should focus. No E-commerce transaction can be done without a policy. Policies could be country specific with the current conditions of the nation. However, nations can take lessons from each other.

2. Use of Local language

Lack of local language Internet content is one of the obstacles E-commerce is facing in the developing nations. English is the most widely used language over the Internet. There is a high need of content by other languages ​​especially those from the developing world. Thus it is very important for the societies of these nations to prepare Internet content with their own language. It is also another effective strategy in order to promote E-commerce in the nations.

3. Gender issues – giving equal access

In many countries, women make up the majority of the rural population, which is often marginalized in terms of telecommunications infrastructure, education and training.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, E-COMMERCE AND DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2003

Most developing countries and emerging economies lock half of their E-commerce capacity behind doors. If all E-commerce opportunities are given with equal access for women, changes could be doubled. Thus, these nations should be sensitive on gender issues. Equal access for education and infrastructure should be granted if they want real change.

4. E-commerce Infrastructure

Telecommunications, banking, Hardware and Software are among the major infrastructures E-commerce needs to run. Unfortunately, the high cost of Internet, hardware and software are obstacles that limit E-commerce activities in the developing world. Infrastructures are primary for the establishment of E-commerce. Thus, these nations should set strategies to eliminate this problem.