How to Invest and Why You Need a Plan | investing

What makes rich people rich? Looking at the spending pattern of various income groups in the U.S. makes it clear: Savings. The real difference between the rich and the poor is that the rich spend a larger share of their income on savings (pensions and insurance) and education.Source: WSJ, Labour Department,When building wealth, preserving wealth, and passing it to the next generation is the formula for financial success it is surprising that less than 20% of Americans do have a written plan when it comes to investing and even retirement [1].The paradox in human behavior is that we are perfectly rational and capable of planning for a major event in our lives, but this is usually forgotten when it comes to investing. In fact, you will find that only a third of investors have a written plan guiding their investment strategy and retirement plans.Why is a plan needed?
The investment world is a harsh jungle, a world of murky waters where the smartest and the most organized survive and become successful while the rest are gobbled up. A written plan short circuits our normal response to something as emotional as money. It prevents us from resorting to our gut feelings and emotions. Instead of following the herd mentality that may prompt you to make unwise investment decisions, a plan will force you to stick to a rational strategy that is underpinned by fundamental investment principles. Some of the difficult emotions that you will have to overcome while investing include:
1) The fear of failure
2) The tendency to continue with a certain approach just because you started it
3) Personal matters such as relationship issues at homeIt is also important to point out the main reasons why investors fall prey to the market and lose their precious funds:
1) Omitted facts and figures mislead investors into investing in a structurally unsound company or financial instrument
2) Overconfidence makes some investors think that they are invincible and that they can always beat the market.
3) Everyone wants to be seen as a champion, the successful general capable of leading an army to victory. This can make you make investment decisions that are not based on rational thinking but rather the desire to impress your friends, co-workers or family membersBy having an investment plan written down and actually following what it says, you will have dramatically increased your chances of winning and increasing the size of your nest egg or investment portfolio. The following are simple steps in creating a plan and avoiding the herd mentality and instinctual impulses that turn us into fools when investing:1. Set up specific and realistic goals
For example, instead of saying you want to have enough money to retire comfortably, think about how much money you’ll need. Your specific goal may be to save $500,000 by the time you’re 65.2. Calculate how much you need to save each month
If you need to save $500,000 by the time you’re 65, how much will you need to save each month? Decide if that’s a realistic amount for you to set aside each month. If not, you may need to adjust your goals.3. Choose your investment strategy
If you’re saving for long-term goals, you might choose more aggressive, higher-risk investments. If your goals are short term, you might choose lower-risk, conservative investments. Or you might want to take a more balanced approach.4. Develop an investment policy statement
Create an investment policy statement to guide your investment decisions. If you have an adviser, your investment policy statement will outline the rules you want your adviser to follow for your portfolio. Your investment policy statement should:Specify your investment goals and objectives,Describe the strategies that will help you meet your objectives,Describe your return expectations and time horizon,Include detailed information about how much risk you’re willing to take,Include guidelines on the types of investments that make up your portfolio, and how accessible your money needs to be, andSpecify how your portfolio will be monitored, and when or why it should be rebalanced.A smart investor with a written down plan and strategy has already won half the battle without making a single financial decision. By implementing the plan and adhering to laid down rules of operation, the smart investor will avoid the pitfalls caused by human emotion and behavior and end up winning big.

DDGS Tests to Ensure Quality Feed For Livestock and Poultry | Livestock

With the price of corn steadily rising, other means in which to feed the nations’ two and four legged food sources are being pursued. Corn, once considered the unquestioned king of all eatable crops, has grown unpopular over the years as a human food product as both unnecessary and expensive to produce.These days, it costs more to produce and refine corn than it can even sell for as food in the first place. Switching to producing ethanol based products is seen as both more cost effective and environmentally friendly.DDGS stands for Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles. It’s a by-product of the distillation process. As ethanol production has grown increasingly popular, DDGS have become an efficient, effective way to feed the nations livestock and poultry. It is an effective way to cut back on waste.Worries over the quality and nutrient values leave many resistant to it, preventing it from becoming the nation’s primary source of animal feed. Sold primarily as a protein source, it accounts for about 15 to 20 percent of a cow’s diet. As prices for DDGS fall, more studies are being done to determine just how much of a cow’s diet can be replaced.Each animal differs when it comes to diet and many of the studies have been focused on pigs, which leaves dairy farmers and livestock producers hesitant to fully embrace this new trend. As DDGS can slowly lose its nutritional value over time, there are also concerns about its actual cost effectiveness.The economics concerning cost effectiveness related to feed prices is determined primarily by three main factors. Feed prices, the cost of changing out feeds, and the overall difference in feed performance are all heavily taken into account before any drastic changes are made. In most cases, animals have taken favorably to their new diets, with few problems. Other farmers worry though about the catastrophic outcomes should their own animals not make the switch so conveniently.So far, the switch to DDGS has done little to affect the favor and substances of the nation’s animals as they are consumed by the public. Taste, texture and flavor all rated equally to those animals that were fed other diets. For the most part, nutrients remained equal among all the animals in relation to other feeds.Among other worries, many Americans are concerned about the things they put in bodies. Many swear they can taste the difference between grass-grazed cattle and feed based cattle, and can explain how farmed salmon is different from open sea versions.Many ranchers are worried that adding DDGS will cause a barely informed public to raise unnecessary concerns about the differences of how their burgers taste. Informing the masses of change can be an expensive, tricky and sometimes futile situation.A fickle meat-consuming public can lead to drastic drops in the meat market. Teaching and informing an already confused public about what DDGS actually is, is a task many in the meat industry would rather not face. With the push to increase ethanol in the U.S., Americans might just not have a choice.