Year of the Fire Monkey

年快樂

One of the significant holidays of Chinese people is celebrating their So-Called Spring Festival. This festival gathers all family members to celebrate their traditional beliefs. It’s one of the prestigious events wherein they take a leave from work and celebrate with families. For most, celebrating Chinese New Year brings good luck. Nowadays, celebration of the spring festival does not only apply to China but it is happening around the world

Chinese New Year is represented by 12 zodiacal animals – The Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Each of the animals has certain attributes and bring certain luck based on the beliefs of the Chinese.

As per Chinese Horoscope Calendar, the year belongs to the Fire Group and pertains to the year of the Monkey., Therefore, Year 2016 is the year of the Red Fire Monkey.

Based on Chinese Fortune Calendar, Monkey is the 9th animal of the 12 zodiac signs. It is the first animal in the metal cycle. Monkey also contains the water element. As per their opinion, Metal is connected to gold while Water is associated with wisdom and danger. Thus, they predicted that the year of the Monkey will have more financial events. It is also said that the year of the Monkey is also connected to the Wind element which symbolizes rapid changes. It is advice to take precaution when making changes with regards to your finances, career, business relationship and love.

Chinahighlights.com has provided us the lucky and unlucky things this year of the Red Fire Monkey.

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Susanlevitt.com states that in Monkey Year, activities will be more successful when taken during the hours of the Rat, Dragon, Snake and Monkey.

Rat hours are 11 pm – 1 am

Dragon hours are 7 – 9 am

Snake hours are 9 – 11 am

Monkey hours are 3 – 5 pm

Your Fortunes also depends on your zodiac year. Susan Levitt  provides some insights. Source: Your Fortune in Fire Monkey.

RAT – You and Monkey are best friends along with Dragon. Now life can be fun and exciting, full of Monkey-inspired treats and surprises. Monkey 2016 is excellent for you to get married or engaged, to launch new endeavors, or have a child. Periodically, take the time to stop and regroup or rethink when needed, especially during the 2016 Mercury retrograde cycles April 28 – May 22, Aug 30 – Sept 21, and Dec 19 – Jan 8, 2017. Looking for love in Monkey year? Rat is most compatible with another Rat, a Dragon, or Monkey. Ox is also compatible.

OX – Wily Monkey energy adds some liveliness to Ox’s routine, and Monkey year is a great time for you to experience a big change of scenery. But Monkey’s fast ways aren’t your style. Ox prefers slow, steady, and natural. But Ox respects Monkey, who takes risks, is a good leader, and knows how to succeed. Next year Phoenix (Rooster) 2017 is your lucky year. Looking for love in Monkey year? Ox is most compatible with another Ox, a Serpent, or Phoenix. Rat is also compatible. Sheep is least compatible.

TIGER – Monkey is your opposite. But you still benefit from the action and liveliness of Monkey year. Monkey can stretch the truth, so think before you pounce. Not all ideas are worth pursuing. Looking for love in Monkey year? Tiger is most compatible with another Tiger, Horse, or Dog. Pig is also compatible. Monkey is least compatible.

RABBIT – Monkey brings many opportunities that you will enjoy: travel, social events, fine dining, fairs, and festivals. Enjoy the Monkey fun, and express your creative side. Rest if you feel overwhelmed by too much activity. Feng shui of your home and office is a must for sensitive Rabbit to maintain balance during Monkey year. Looking for love in Monkey year? Rabbit is most compatible with another Rabbit, a Sheep, or a Pig. Dog is also compatible. Phoenix (Rooster) is least compatible.

DRAGON – Your lucky year! Say yes to everything! Monkey is your best friend (along with Rat) so you’ll like the vibrant and exciting energy of this Fire Monkey year. There are opportunities for success in business. Just avoid lawsuits or any type of legal entanglement. Looking for love in Monkey year? Dragon is most compatible with another Dragon, a Rat, or a Monkey. Phoenix (Rooster) is also compatible. Dog is least compatible.

SNAKE – You and Monkey are on the same wavelength. Luck is with you this year, especially during summer. And your good luck continues in Phoenix (Rooster) year 2017. But lay low when in doubt because 2016 yang Fire energy can, at times, be too stimulating for yin Snake, even the 1977 Fire Snake. Looking for love in Monkey year? Snake is most compatible with another Snake, an Ox, or Phoenix (Rooster). Monkey is also compatible. Pig is least compatible.

HORSE – Fire Monkey brings lots of active, yang energy that Horse thrives on and finds inspiring. A year for adventure, new journeys, and excitement. Just don’t let affairs get out of hand in summer. Looking for love in Monkey year? Horse is most compatible with another Horse, a Dog, or Tiger. Sheep is also compatible. The Rat is least compatible.

SHEEP – Success can continue from the previous Sheep year. But Monkey’s fast pace is not always to your liking. Extravagance is popular in a Monkey year, and people want luxuries. So be sure to avoid debt because “Sheep eat paper” meaning that Sheep can really spend. Travel is highlighted, especially in summer, but do it on your own terms. Looking for love in Monkey year? Sheep is most compatible with another Sheep, a Pig, or Rabbit. Horse is also compatible. Ox is least compatible.

MONKEY – Now is your year for action! All seasons are fortunate but luck is strongest in autumn. You benefit from the strong, fiery, yang energy of your own year. An excellent time to start new endeavors, succeed in business, and make big change happen. Seek new horizons through travel and adventure this year when risks are rewarded, and reticence loses out. Fire Monkey year is not a yin cycle when things come to you, but a yang cycle to go out and get! Looking for love in Monkey year? Monkey is most compatible with another Monkey, a Rat, or Dragon. Snake is also compatible. Tiger is least compatible.

PHOENIX (Rooster) – Roster, Chicken, Cock, Hen? I call you Phoenix, offering a lifetime of opportunities to be reborn and transformed. Monkey year is a time of excitement, adventure, and new experiences for you. It’s fine to take risks and discover new outcomes. Take a chance because you’ll discover very quickly what does work, or what’s not worth pursuing. You start a new life cycle in Fire Phoenix year 2017. Looking for love in Monkey year? Phoenix is most compatible with another Phoenix (if they don’t peck each other), an Ox, or Snake. Dragon is also compatible. Rabbit is least compatible. In Phoenix year 2017 you’ll start a new life cycle.

DOG – Monkey year brings yang energy to get things done, and Dog likes accomplishments. There’s much activity and personal involvement in this passionate Fire Monkey year. This new energy is inspiring to Dog, but it might encourage you to be overly enthusiastic or unrealistic. So stay vigilant and responsible, natural Dog traits, because projects might not develop as planned. A year to stay balanced and avoid extremes of temperament. You’ll start a new life cycle in Earth Dog year 2018. Looking for love in Monkey year? Dog is most compatible with another Dog, a Tiger, or a Horse. Rabbit is also compatible. Dragon is least compatible.

PIG – Monkey  year can inspire you to be the life of the party! So join the whirlwind activities in this exciting Fire Monkey year. Accept all social invitations, and travel is highlighted. Just keep a clear perspective and not get carried away. Don’t let people take advantage of your generosity, or mistake kindness for weakness. Looking for love in Monkey year? Pig is most compatible with another Pig, a Sheep, or Rabbit. Tiger is also compatible. Snake is least compatible.

note: all predictions is excerpt from the real article. Credit to Susan Levitt

For further informations about your fortune for the year of the Red Fire Monkey, you may check the following sites:

These forecast were only guides based on their traditions and presumptions. Believing to it is your choice. Nevertheless, a guideline may not bring any harm.

Once a famous rapper Eminem said, The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed. 

But, 

If you develop the absolute sense of certainty that powerful beliefs provide, then you can get yourself to accomplish virtually anything, including those things that other people are certain are impossible., William Lyon Phelps quoted.

 

 

Living Room Ambiance

Modern-Classic-Interior1.jpgPhoto from hngideas.com

Living Room is where families gather to bond or simply watch a movie together. It is the place where we entertain our visitors or have some conversation with friends. It is the first place we see once we enter our home. And, we would like to have a clean and nice living room to uplift our mood when we go home after a hard day work.

We reinvent our living room most of the time. Redecorate it if there are occasions, during holidays or whenever we feel like decorating it.

Here are some various ideas in remodeling your Living Room:

  1. New Paint for your living Room – Tired of the same wall color of your living room? Try to repaint it with a different color. You may use a lighter color to create a refreshing look.
  2. Change Curtains  – Curtains gives style in your living room. Sometimes, the color of the curtain that we use depends on the season. For example, If it’s Christmas Season, we use our Christmas-themed-like Curtain. It could be Red, Green or White Curtain for Christmas.
  3. Have some Cushion for your sofa and change the cover often – Make it a habit to change your Cushion Cover. We would like to have a clean environment with free of dust especially if we have a baby or children. Choosing your Cushion covers gives different aura in your living room. We may use printed design or just plain colors.
  4. Have some artworks, figurines or Fresh flower – Having some artful designs in your living room makes it more attractive. Aside from the hanging Family portrait and the Framed photo on top of your cabinet, you may also put some lovely figurines of angels or animals. A Fresh flower in a vase at the center of your living room table will give the room a fresh look. Or you may opt to use an artificial flower instead of a fresh one.
  5. Rearrange your Living Room Furniture – This requires a hard work as you need to relocate your furniture to have a new and better look. For furniture that looks old, don’t throw them away. You just have to think of an idea to make it look like new again. For example, for the book shelves that has faded paint, you just need to repaint it or cover it using wall vinyl or any printed paper you wish. Use your creative mind and transform that old furniture into a new one without spending too much money.

For some visual Living Room Ideas, click the link below

 

Taxes and Investors

InvestorsPhoto from www.nordicban.org

Filing of Taxes have already started and there are still a lot to learn about. As per Investopedia, there are various types of taxes that a business should pay depending on the company’s physical location, ownership structure, and the nature of a business. They may be required to pay the following:

  1. Federal Income Tax
  2. State or Local Income Tax
  3. Payroll Tax
  4. Unemployment Tax
  5. Sales Tax
  6. Foreign Tax
  7. Value Added Tax

Though, Many are hoping not to pay taxes, Paying Taxes is a must. You must rather pay the taxes on or before its due date rather than regret it in the end.

For individual Investors, Investopedia has enumerated these helpful Tax Tips that can help you save money

Source: Tax Tips For The Individual Investor

  1. Dividends – Reinvested dividends increase your investment in a fund and thus reduce your taxable gain (or increase your capital loss).
  2. Bonds – When the stock markets perform badly, investors make the flight to quality and look elsewhere for places to put their money. Many find a safe haven in bonds. When you are calculating your taxes, remember to report the interest income on your tax return: you may not have to pay tax on all the interest you received.
  3.  Write-Offs – For investors who invest in small business ventures or are self-employed, there are many operating expenses that can be written off. For homeowners who have moved and sold their home during the year, an important consideration when reporting the capital gain on the sale is the actual cost basis of the purchase of the home. If your home has undergone renovations or similar improvements having a useful life of more than one year, you will likely be able to include the cost of such improvements into the adjusted cost base of your home, thus reducing your capital gain incurred on the sale and the resultant taxes.
  4. Tax-Deferred Programs Are Like Free Money – Every time you trade a stock, you are vulnerable to capital gains tax. Making your purchases through a tax-deferred account can save you a pile of money. Tax-deferred accounts come in many shapes and sizes. The most well known are individual retirement account (IRA) and simplified employment pension (SEP) plans. The basic idea is that you are not taxed on the funds until you withdraw, at which point you are taxed at the rate of your income tax bracket.
  5. Match Your Profits and Losses in the Same Year – it is a good idea to match the sale of a profitable investment with the sale of a losing one within the same year. Capital losses can be used against capital gains, and short-term losses can be deducted from short-term gains.
  6. Add Broker Fees to the Cost of Your Stocks – These expenses should be added to the amount you paid for a stock when determining your cost basis. When you sell the shares, subtract the commission from the sale price of the stocks. Think of these costs as a write-off because they are direct expenses incurred to help you make your money grow.
  7. Try To Hold On to Your Stocks for At Least 12 Months – take a moment to consider the tax advantages of using a longer-term buy-and-hold strategy if you are not doing so already – the savings can be worth more than you think.
  8. The Bottom Line – Part of a successful financial plan is astute tax management: ensuring you are actively taking advantage of tax avoidance opportunities that apply to your situation and also making sure you do not overlook any expenses or other income-reduction techniques that can reduce your taxable earnings.

 

GetSmarterAboutMoney.Ca explains that if you’re an investor, you’ll need to pay the taxes on interest-bearing investments, dividend-paying investment, capital gains and foreign investments. The amount of taxes you need to pay depends on the type of investment you made, the tax laws where you lived, if investments are held in tax-sheltered plan and based on your income. For Further information, click this link to read the full article.

TurboTax has also shared some Tax tips for Investors.

Source: Tax Tips for Investors

  1. Put your Retirement Account to Work
  2. Review your Portfolio Mix
  3. Play the Match Game
  4. Maximize Itemized Deductions

To know what to report on your investments and have an idea how they were taxed, You have to to categorized your investment –  if it generates interest income or you have sold the investment. Determining if its Ordinary income or Capital gain will help us understand how our investment is taxed. You must also understand what basis means. In investment, Basis means the amount of investment in an asset. You should also know how to compute your capital gain or loss. And learn to use your capital losses to reduce your tax liability. If things do not go according to plan, you can always ask for the assistance of a Tax professional or an Accountant. For further information, read the full article here.

 

 

 

Celebrity Houses in Los Angeles

Would you like to have a glimpse of your favorite Hollywood stars houses? Take a look and be captivated on these gorgeous houses of some famous artists.

  1. Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambertblake-shelton-and-miranda-lambert-lower-lvl-sitting-full.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.966.644.jpegThis Los Angeles mansion has been rented by celebrities like Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, Adam Levine, Heidi Klum and RuPaul. Source: Celebrity Homes: An Inside Look
  2. Jonathan Rhys Meyersdoory2014-7507-willow-glen-road-los-angeles-ca-pool-rear-home.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.966.725.jpegThe actor’s cool contemporary pad in Los Angeles features a secluded pool, a lush backyard and airy, open living spaces. Source: Celebrity Homes: An Inside Look
  3. John Legend and Chrissy Teigen15-942779_0.jpgOnce owned by Rihanna. This house is now with five bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a billiard/party room with bar, theater, “9 flat screen TVs,” gym, sauna, “infinity soaking tub,” “fully integrated high-tech Crestron & security system,” and city and canyon views, all set on .86 acres at the end of a cul de sac. Source: Celebrity Real Estate
  4. Michael MacDonaldmichael-mcdonald-entryway.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.966.773.jpegSource: Celebrity Homes: An Inside Look
  5. SIA Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 3.27.13 PMSia new 1.3-acre property in Toluca Lake includes a large, 4,500-square-foot guesthouse that has been used as a recording studio  plus the Traditional-style main house, a swimming pool, and an outdoor fireplace. Source: Celebrity Real Estate
  6. Charlize TheronCharlize Theron.jpgCharlize Theron sold this Los Angeles home for $3.8 million. Source: Celebrity Homes
  7. Calvin Harris Calvin HarrisThis property includes the 4,127-square-foot main house, a two-story guesthouse, and a pool that comes right up to the walls of glass at the back of the house. Source: Celebrity Real Estate
  8. Denise Richards 150629_rea_celebhomes_richards1.jpgDenise Richards’ home in Hidden Hills, Calif., is listed at $7.749 million. Source: Real Estate
  9. Tom Brady Tom BRadyFootball star Tom Brady, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, and their family live in this $20 million Los Angeles mansion.  Source: Celebrity Homes
  10. Halle Berry  Halle Berry.jpgSource: Celebrity Homes

 

 

Why is Gift Giving Important

Businessman offer
Photo From RIS Media

Gift Giving is a sign of thoughtfulness and generosity. It’s a way of showing your appreciation and respect. This also can be a reward to a good performance or showing your affection towards a loved one.

Gift Giving has its benefits. As per Realtor.org, there are approximately two million registered real estate agents in the USA. All of which, invest their time and efforts talking to clients, adhere with their request, visit properties, go over the contract process and close the deals. They do this to make sure that clients have nothing to worry in terms of their real estate needs. Simple gifts could build a long lasting relationship between a client and an agent.

Building a relationship is one of the benefits of gift giving. As per RISMediaGiving a gift has a positive effect both on the giver and receiver, and engenders a feeling of gratitude, which is a key element in loyalty management. According to a study, The Role of Customer Gratitude in Relationship Marketing, “gratitude increases a customer’s trust in the seller…strengthening the quality of the relationship and positively affecting seller outcomes.”

Through a Gift, you only not show gratefulness but it also builds trust and loyalty. Gifts build connection, a professional bond that will make them think of you whenever their friends or a member of their family needs real estate assistance.

Choosing the right gift is hard to think of. A gift should not always be grandiose but it should convey thoughtfulness and gratitude. A simple note, a card, a piece of advice, or something for their kitchen or garden may be a good gift for a client. Think of a gift that will make them remember you. It should have something to tell about you and your business.

Gift giving is not always pertaining to a client but also to your coworkers. Giving your co-workers a gift over the holiday or recognizing their effort is a way of having a long lasting benefit. This will encourage them to do more and may improve your professional relationship.

Source: Why Being Generous Pays Off

 

 

Southern California home sales end 2015 on high note

home-for-sale.jpegPhoto from www.statisticbrain.com

Source: LA Daily News

Research analyst with CoreLogic, Andrew LePage states that Southern California housing market ended 2015 in a high note but with a caution. “December home sales, which were the highest for that month in six years, got a boost from a batch of transactions that normally would have closed in November but were delayed by days or weeks as the industry adjusted to new federal mortgage rules that took effect in October.

A market tracker  says that Southern California has a 10 percent home sales increase, the second-biggest gain of the year.

Sales increased 8 percent from a year earlier to 7,198 properties and rose 8 percent to $500,000 for the media price in Los Angeles county. In November, Sales rise to 38 percent from 5,202 and move up to 2 percent in the median price.

Sales step up to 11 percent from the prior year to 2,413 properties and marked up to 7 percent to $272,000 for the media price in San Bernardino County. Sales are up to 24 percent from November while the median price drenched 2.5 percent.