Weight Loss Tips and Tricks For Effective Weight Loss

Everyone wants to look good today, especially the young. But more and more people today understand that looking good need not be healthy, and being healthy is more important than just looking good. Of course, the better deal would be to look good and healthy.

Many would assume that you can just lose some weight or pockets of unwanted fats here and there in your body; and that constitutes weight loss to good health. But nothing is farther than the truth. To lose weight and keep healthy is to burn more calories compared to what you take in.

Your optimal weight is measured by your BMI which relates your height and weight measurements to the amount of fat in your body. More and more Americans are overweight today as they consume more saturated fat or processed foods which attract more diseases.

Losing weight is usually easy for many but the challenge is maintaining the weight loss. However, if you adopt a weight loss program on a regular basis, it will be easy.

Tips and Tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks for your weight loss program to work effectively.

Have more low nutrition foods, such as fresh fruits and green veggies; these contain less calories and high fiber, which translate to faster weight loss and keeping extra weight at bay. Avoid highly saturated fatty foods like deep fried foods as extra fat is always stored away as excess fats.

Part of the weight loss maintenance program calls for a fewer food selection especially snacks. The fewer choices you have in front of you, the less tempted you are to binge.

Drinking lots of water or low calorie beverages is an excellent way to keep your weight consistent as you get full with water instead of fats.

Listen to your mom who always tells you to chew your food. There is a lot of truth in that advice as it would take you longer to finish your meal, which you would feel fuller than if you were to gobble down quickly.

It is crucial to stabilize the amount of sugar in your blood to maintain your weight loss. This can be achieved by eating the right types of food such as whole grains and dried beans which release their glucose slowly into your blood streams.

Others who love the hot pepper have the advantage of another way to maintain their weight loss by taking on a bit of hot pepper with mustard on their meals. This easily increases the body metabolism by 25%.

Changing certain foods will go a long way as in using low fat and sour cream instead of the full cream. Changing the way you cook your foods or how they are prepared gives you greater control on maintaining your weight loss.

There are so many ways you can work on to lose weight and to maintain it.

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Throwing a Birthday Party for Someone in the Hospital

When someone is in the hospital on their birthday, it can be a tough situation for the person. They may be feeling depressed or lonely when thinking about their upcoming birthday. Thankfully, there are many ways to bring cheer into this loved one’s life by throwing them a birthday party in their hospital room.

While it is tricky to throw a party in a hospital, it can be done with regard to the hospital’s rules and regulations. Before planning an event, it should be made clear how many people are allowed to attend and any other rules the hospital would like attendees to adhere to.

One of the easiest ways to brighten up the party atmosphere in a hospital room, it to have party guests bring in birthday balloons and flowers. These small gifts will make the birthday person feel special and more at home while in the hospital. If the hospital will allow it, it is also nice to post a birthday banner and some streamers. It is important to make sure the party is not intruding on another patient’s space.

The next order of business for throwing a birthday party in a hospital, is to get a cake. Generally, candles are not allowed in hospitals due to the flames and smoke. However, a beautiful cake is always welcomed. If possible, personalizing the cake is a great way to add flair to the cake.

To make the person feel extra special, shower them with birthday gifts. Since they are in the hospital, finding gifts that they can use while in the hospital are the most thoughtful. Some gifts to keep in mind are blankets, pillows, books, movies, music, or games they can play while in their hospital room. These gifts will show that everyone attending wants to make their stay at the hospital as comfortable as possible.

Making the party a surprise will add something special to the day for the person. For a surprise party, make sure to coordinate the event with the hospital personnel before the big day to ensure everything goes according to plan.

For loved ones in the hospital, a birthday can seem grim. It doesn’t have to be that way. All that is needed is a little planning and coordination with the hospital so they can have the birthday they deserve even under the circumstances. Throwing a birthday party for someone in the hospital will not only show them that they are being thought of while away from home but also brighten their special day.

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Reasons to Hire a Graphic Designer

Who is a graphic designer?

A graphic designer is a professional who is skilled to create and assemble photos or images, motion graphics or typography, with an objective to enhance and upgrade the aesthetic appeal of your business. They can work out solutions to make your brand stand class apart in this highly competitive market by making it appear more professional, thus opening your services and products up to an entirely new audience and market.

Here is a quick glance at what all a graphic designer can do for your business.

To better explain and understand the benefits of hiring a graphic designer, we present to you a few points.

Gives your brand a much-needed boost

Who says that every business has to stand out to thrive? For instance, locksmith is a small community and it gains trade from being the only proponent of an important service. For businesses that have tough competition, however, high quality branding is second to none.

A brand is all about how your customers perceive you. It is made from customer facing element of your business – the policy of your customer service, how you tackle their queries, the tone of copywriting, the name of your company, and – above all – how your brand looks.

The logo of your company, the website layout and marketing materials, chosen colours and font, give the first impression to visitors of what your business and company is like. A professional graphic designer knows how to manipulate these elements to make sure your customers perceives you in a positive way. Remember, while a weak brand is instantly forgettable, a strong brand is hard to forget.

Prepares your business for future

A picture has the power to communicate message in a more effective and better way. Also, it explains the complex message much faster than a paragraph can ever. This, certainly, is going to be the most important tactic for business to catch the attention of audience in the near future.

It is a known fact that internet users are short on patience and switch from one page to the other within a few seconds. The best way to hold their attention span is by creating graphics that are attractive and captivating. One of the finest examples of image communication is the symbol based language of emoji. Also, the major search engine stresses the importance of improving image searches.

Solves issues and problems creatively

Modern businesses can never have several creative thinkers that actually is good because graphic designers have the ability to solve the problems in a creative way. This creative problem solving skill make them high in demand. Throughout a graphic designer course, students are bombarded with one problem after another and are motivated and encourages to experiment and find their own unique visual solutions.

Consequently, such a professional can extend help in many ways such as with your business decisions. The area might not be related to their expertise but they can show how to look at it from a different perspective altogether.

Saves times

Time is precious. If you are running a business, it is apparent you might not have sufficient time to take care of graphic design. Good and attractive design is not something you would stumble upon. It is the right blend of skills that need a specialist training and a lot of practice. It will take you several years to master the software required to complete graphic design projects to a professional level. However, when you hire a graphic designer, you do not have to worry about anything.

What are you waiting for?

With so much to offer, investing in the services of a graphic designer is worth a consideration. Tap the benefits of their services and give your business the exposure it needs to flourish.

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Could Your Sedentary Lifestyle Be Contributing To Your Acid Reflux?

Could a sedentary lifestyle be a contributing factor to the upsurgence of acid reflux in our society? I typed these words into Google search: statistics about sedentary lifestyles. What I found was eye-opening and pretty darn scary!!

These were the statistics from the first article that popped up, “Sitting Disease is Taking a Toll on Your Body:”

  • 300,000 deaths occur annually due to inactivity and poor dietary habits in the United States alone.
  • 20% of all deaths of people 35 and older are attributed to a lack of physical activity.
  • 65% of Americans watch 2 or more hours of TV everyday.
  • Sedentary lifestyles are responsible for an estimated $24 billion in direct medical spending
  • Women are more likely to lead sedentary lives than men.

Shocking! And this was just the infographic!!

Could my being sedentary be a contributing factor to my acid reflux? At age 57, I am facing the sober fact that my sitting lifestyle has not served my aging digestive system. When I needed to change my habit, I grabbed antacids, acid-blockers, acid-reducers and proton inhibitor medications instead. It seemed to work for a while but invariably, the symptoms returned. And this time, with a vengeance!

Fast forward to the past few days. I’ve had a resurgence of acid reflux. Like an alcoholic does when he or she has fallen off the wagon and goes back to a Twelve Step Meeting, I went back through the treatment regimen and supplementation recommendations from my naturopathic doctor to see where I’d gone wrong. Vitamins and supplements, check. Drinking water, okay, I can add a bottle or two. Greek yogurt, hate it but I’ll buy some more and put flaxseed in it. And so on and so on.

What had not changed was the long hours sitting on my rump. From sun up to almost another sun up, for hours at a time, I am in a seated position. (Even writing this article, I’m seated on my recliner with my laptop in my lap!) My mind is constantly engaged but my body is not. So in many ways I am the poster child for the afore-mentioned article.

According to WebMD, a 10-15 minute walk throughout the day can help your digestion. It can rid you of gas, heartburn, constipation and stomach cramps reports Ameya C, a contributing writer for StyleCraze, the world’s largest website for women. The Universe is sending me–it’s sending us–a wake up call. Today is the day to make a decision. Will it be hard? Heck yes! But as someone once said to me, “When has something being hard been a good enough reason not to do it?”

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The Order of Things – What Happens in a Kundalini Yoga Class?

“Keep the teachings as given. Each kriya is whole unto itself, a perfect jewel that acts to create a flow. [Kriyas] are perfectly designed sets meant to produce predictable and subtle impacts on the total Self.” ~ Yogi Bhajan

Kundalini Yoga is more than just exercise to stimulate the body. This yoga moves energy! KY is all about having an energetic experience. It is important to deliver the teachings correctly to produce expected results. How can we be pure vessels for the teachings if we mess around with the formula? It is specific and proven. It ain’t called a science for nothing!

To give you a bit of background, Kundalini Yoga classes have a specific 6-part teaching structure to follow, as outlined below.

  1. Tune in with the Adi Mantra
  2. Pranayam (breath work) and/or appropriate warm-up
  3. The Kriya (the exercise set)
  4. Relaxation
  5. Meditation
  6. Ending prayer and Long Sat Naams

Within this teaching structure is a critical piece involving the third point, the Kriya. The critical piece is not to omit or alter the Kriya in any way other than duration.

That means that we teach the exact sequence of exercises in each set. We do not change the order or add or subtract poses. Kundalini Yoga is a science to bring a specific outcome. Don’t mess with what works.

Another important point to acknowledge is that we really are honor-bound to maintain the integrity and sacredness of the Kundalini Yoga Teachings, especially now that Yogi Bhajan has passed on. It is the legacy of every teacher to preserve the purity of the teachings.

The system and techniques are proven to work. Period. Why be so arrogant as to think that you should change them? Can you do any better than perfection? Yogi Bhajan tells us, “It is a three-thousand-year-old proven path – it’s not going to stop.” So stick with the program…because it works. The only way you’ll reach Infinity is to give yourself the capacity to experience the teachings as they were meant to be taught.

┬ęCopyright 2010 Kundalini Yoga With Sharlene Starr. All Rights Reserved.

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Choosing a Career For Life – Healthcare Industry Vs Automotive Industry

Choosing a career is an important goal for any individual. Most of us want to make a choice that will last forever. When looking into one field or another it is the long term benefits that help us make our final decision about what career path to take. The following tips will help you determine which career for life you are most interested in when thinking about the healthcare industry versus the automotive industry.

As a healthcare provider you are providing your services for the welfare of the society and to the people. The healthcare field has many opportunities from working in hospitals and clinical facilities all the way to in home care. Often there are benefits and competitive salary packages for healthcare professionals. These benefits often make the healthcare industry an ideal choice. The automotive industry has a range of opportunities as well. You can be involved in the development and production of vehicle components. This will allow you to be a part of new technology when it comes to the cars we all drive. There is also the sales side of the automotive industry that allows you to provide service and a product to people.

When you are thinking of making a choice like a career for life it is important to think about the features and benefits of your fields of interest. The following is a list of features and benefits that will help you choose between the healthcare industry versus the automotive industry.

Helping the Society: A healthcare professional has the opportunity to provide care to a large number of people. Lending this helping hand to society is not only rewarding but satisfying as well. The automotive field on the other hand is to make a better product and to sell it at a high price. Most often what the bottom line profit is tends to be more important than customer satisfaction. In addition, working to develop new designs and keeping up with the latest technology can make for a stressful environment to work in.

Training Programs: Considering the various levels of healthcare positions you are able to choose a program that specializes in the area you are most interested in. Once you complete a training program and have your diploma or certificate in hand you ready to start your career. In the automotive industry training is often conducted within the industry. Typically training is conducted for a period 12 to 24 months. You are educated on various subjects and then are able to choose the area in which you wish to specialize in.

Education Levels: A healthcare career usually requires less than 4 years of college education unless your goal is to become a doctor or practitioner. There are several areas in the field that you start working in with just a high school diploma. In the automotive industry you are looking at 4 years of college education to be in the top salaried positions. There is little opportunity for the high school graduate.

Choosing a career for life based on the above features and benefits can help you make an educated decision. When comparing healthcare vs. automotive industries the healthcare field is sure to be a more rewarding and achievable choice.

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Accuracy and Attention to Detail – Key Requirements for a Pharmacy Technician

Many Americans are looking for a recession proof job, which is fulfilling and rewarding. The pharmacy industry experienced a surge in growth lately. The projected growth rate of a particular kind of technician is especially promising. Pharmacy techs are indispensable in the day to day operations of the pharmacy. Many jobs are available, and a pharmacy technician can work in many different work places. Many pharmacies are open 24 hours, which can result in odd work hours for the technician.

A pharmacy tech is often considered the right hand of the pharmacist. He/she has a variety of duties in the pharmacy. The particular duties of a pharmacist technician depend largely on the place of employment, experience, and seniority. Online and retail pharmacies operate in many ways similar to pharmacies located in drugstores and grocery stores. In most work environments, the technician’s duties include data entry for storing and sorting purposes, labeling bottles, filling prescriptions, as well as dispensing medications to patients/customers.

Keeping an accurate count of stored medications, and maintaining the stock, are also duties of a pharmacy technician. This includes all over-the-counter medications as well. Filling out insurance claims, and contacting insurance companies are the responsibility of a technician. Questions related to prescriptions sometimes require a technician to contact the patient’s physician for verification. The preparation of IV solutions, creams, and ointments can also be done by the pharmacy technician.

As an assistant to the pharmacist, clerical and administrative duties are also fulfilled by the pharmacy tech. This mainly includes answering the phone, and managing the financial operations of the pharmacy. Customer service is a big part of the daily duties of any pharmacy technician. Regardless of the size of pharmacy, dealing with customers, or patients if your workplace is a hospital or clinic, is a requirement.

Filling prescriptions and dispensing medications are tasks that need attention to detail. Accuracy is important, as filling a prescription incorrectly can ultimately cause a lot of harm to a patient/customer. Adverse reactions can even cause death. Medications are often named very similar. Double-checking the medication and the dosage ensures, the patient/customer receives the right medication for his/her condition. It is also important to be aware of exchanging brand name medications with equivalent generic medications, as these may contain additional ingredients.

Pharmacy techs are not allowed to advise patients/customers. For any questions regarding medications, they have to refer the patient/customer to the pharmacist. The pharmacist is the person, who has to give information about possible adverse reactions or general information about medical issues to the patient. Technicians can only refer to the pharmacist for question, even though they may know the answer.

A career in this field is rewarding. Someone, who likes to deal with people, enjoys responsibility, is diligent, and has the required attention to detail, will find this occupation very fulfilling. The predicted job growth rate is higher than average. Pharmacy technicians can advance by being certified. A CPR certificate is an example for such a certification. The median salary of a pharmacy technician is around $ 25,000-30,000 annually.

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Startup Law 101 Series – Ten Essential Legal Tips For Startups at Formation

Here are ten essential legal tips for startup founders.

1.  Set up your legal structure early and use cheap stock to avoid tax problems.

No small venture wants to invest too heavily in legal infrastructure at an early stage. If you are a solo founder working out of the garage, save your dollars and focus on development.

If you are a team of founders, though, setting up a legal structure early is important.

First, if members of your team are developing IP, the lack of a structure means that every participant will have individual rights to the IP he develops. A key founder can guard against this by getting everyone to sign “work-for-hire” agreements assigning such rights to that founder, who in turn will assign them over to the corporation once formed. How many founding teams do this. Almost none. Get the entity in place to capture the IP for the company as it is being developed.

Second, how do you get a founding team together without a structure? You can, of course, but it is awkward and you wind up with having to make promises that must be taken on faith about what will or will not be given to members of the team. On the flip side, many a startup has been sued by a founder who claimed that he was promised much more than was granted to him when the company was finally formed. As a team, don’t set yourselves up for this kind of lawsuit. Set the structure early and get things in writing.

If you wait too long to set your structure up, you run into tax traps. Founders normally work for sweat equity and sweat equity is a taxable commodity. If you wait until your first funding event before setting up the structure, you give the IRS a measure by which to put a comparatively large number on the value of your sweat equity and you subject the founders to needless tax risks. Avoid this by setting up early and using cheap stock to position things for the founding team.

Finally, get a competent startup business lawyer to help with or at least review your proposed setup. Do this early on to help flush out problems before they become serious. For example, many founders will moonlight while holding on to full-time jobs through the early startup phase. This often poses no special problems. Sometimes it does, however, and especially if the IP being developed overlaps with IP held by an employer of the moonlighting founder. Use a lawyer to identify and address such problems early on. It is much more costly to sort them out later.

2.  Normally, go with a corporation instead of an LLC.

The LLC is a magnificent modern legal invention with a wild popularity that stems from its having become, for sole-member entities (including husband-wife), the modern equivalent of the sole proprietorship with a limited liability cap on it.

When you move beyond sole member LLCs, however, you essentially have a partnership-style structure with a limited liability cap on it.

The partnership-style structure does not lend itself well to common features of a startup. It is a clumsy vehicle for restricted stock and for preferred stock. It does not support the use of incentive stock options. It cannot be used as an investment vehicle for VCs. There are special cases where an LLC makes sense for a startup but these are comparatively few in number (e.g., where special tax allocations make sense, where a profits-only interest is important, where tax pass-through adds value). Work with a lawyer to see if special case applies. If not, go with a corporation.

3.  Be cautious about Delaware.

Delaware offers few, if any advantages, for an early-stage startup. The many praises sung for Delaware by business lawyers are justified for large, public companies. For startups, Delaware offers mostly administrative inconvenience.

Some Delaware advantages from the standpoint of an insider group: (1) you can have a sole director constitute the entire board of directors no matter how large and complex the corporate setup, giving a dominant founder a vehicle for keeping everything close the vest (if this is deemed desirable); (2) you can dispense with cumulative voting, giving leverage to insiders who want to keep minority shareholders from having board representation; (3) you can stagger the election of directors if desired.

Delaware also is an efficient state for doing corporate filings, as anyone who has been frustrated by the delays and screw-ups of certain other state agencies can attest.

On the down side — and this is major — Delaware permits preferred shareholders who control the majority of the company’s voting stock to sell or merge the company without requiring the consent of the common stock holders. This can easily lead to downstream founder “wipe outs” via liquidation preferences held by such controlling shareholders.

Also on the down side, early-stage startups incur administrative hassles and extra costs with a Delaware setup. They still have to pay taxes on income derived from their home states. They have to qualify their Delaware corporation as a “foreign corporation” in their home states and pay the extra franchise fees associated with that process. They get franchise tax bills in the tens of thousands of dollars and have to apply for relief under Delaware’s alternative valuation method. None of these items constitutes a crushing problem. Every one is an administrative hassle.

My advice from years of experience working with founders: keep it simple and skip Delaware unless there is some compelling reason to choose it; if there is a good reason, go with Delaware but don’t fool yourself into believing  that you have gotten yourself special prize for your early-stage startup.

4.  Use restricted stock for founders in most cases.

If a founder gets stock without strings on it, and then walks away from the company, that founder will get a windfall equity grant. There are special exceptions, but the rule for most founders should be to grant them restricted stock, i.e., stock that can be repurchased by the company at cost in the event the founder leaves the company. Restricted stock lies at the heart of the concept of sweat equity for founders. Use it to make sure founders earn their keep.

5.  Make timely 83(b) elections.

When restricted stock grants are made, they should almost always be accompanied by 83(b) elections to prevent potentially horrific tax problems from arising downstream for the founders. This special tax election applies to cases where stock is owned but can be forfeited. It must be made within 30 days of the date of grant, signed by the stock recipient and spouse, and filed with the recipient’s tax return for that year.

6.  Get technology assignments from everyone who helped develop IP.

When the startup is formed, stock grants should not be made just for cash contributions from founders but also for technology assignments, as applicable to any founder who worked on IP-related matters prior to formation. Don’t leave these hangning loose or allow stock to be issued to founders without capturing all IP rights for the company.

Founders sometimes think they can keep IP in their own hands and license it to the startup. This does not work. At least the company will not normally be fundable in such cases. Exceptions to this are rare.

The IP roundup should include not only founders but all consultants who worked on IP-related matters prior to company formation. Modern startups will sometimes use development companies in places like India to help speed product development prior to company formation. If such companies were paid for this work, and if they did it under work-for-hire contracts, then whoever had the contract with them can assign to the startup the rights already captured under the work-for-hire contracts. If no work-for-hire arrangements were in place, a stock, stock option, or warrant grant should be made, or other legal consideration paid, to the outside company in exchange for the IP rights it holds.

The same is true for every contractor or friend who helped with development locally. Small option grants will ensure that IP rights are rounded up from all relevant parties. These grants should be vested in whole or in part to ensure that proper consideration exists for the IP assignment made by the consultants.

7.  Protect the IP going forward.

When the startup is formed, all employees and contractors who continue to work for it should sign confidentiality and invention assignment agreements or work-for-hire contracts as appropriate to ensure that all IP remains with the company.

Such persons should also be paid valid consideration for their efforts. If this is in the form of equity compensation, it should be accompanied by some form of cash compensation as well to avoid tax problems arising from the IRS placing a high value on the stock by using the reasonable value of services as a measure of its value. If cash is a problem, salaries may be deferred as appropriate until first funding.

8.  Consider provisional patent filings.

Many startups have IP whose value will largely be lost or compromised once it is disclosed to the others. In such cases, see a good patent lawyer to determine a patent strategy for protecting such IP. If appropriate, file provisional patents. Do this before making key disclosures to investors, etc.

If early disclosures must be made, do this incrementally and only under the terms of non-disclosure agreements. In cases where investors refuse to sign an nda (e.g., with VC firms), don’t reveal your core confidential items until you have the provisional patents on file.

9.  Set up equity incentives.

With any true startup, equity incentives are the fuel that keeps a team going. At formation, adopt an equity incentive plan. These plans will give the board of directors a range of incentives, unsually including restricted stock, incentive stock options (ISOs), and non-qualified options (NQOs).

Restricted stock is usually used for founders and very key people. ISOs are used for employees only. NQOs can be used with any employee, consultant, board member, advisory director, or other key person. Each of these tools has differing tax treatment. Use a good professional to advise you on this.

Of course, with all forms of stock and options, federal and state securities laws must be satisfied. Use a good lawyer to do this.

10. Fund the company incrementally.

Resourceful startups will use funding strategies by which they don’t necessarily go for large VC funding right out the gate. Of course, some of the very best startups have needed major VC funding at inception and have achieved tremendous success. Most, however, will get into trouble if they need massive capital infusions right up front and thereby find themselves with few options if such funding is not available or if it is available only on oppressive terms.

The best results for founders come when they have built significant value in the startup before needing to seek major funding. The dilutive hit is much less and they often get much better general terms for their funding.

Conclusion

These tips suggest important legal elements that founders should factor into their broader strategic planning.

As a founder, you should work closely with a good startup business lawyer to implement the steps correctly. Self-help has its place in small companies, but it almost invariably falls short when it comes to the complex setup issues associated with a startup. In this area, get a good startup business lawyer and do it right.

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Pros and Cons of Becoming an Auto Mechanic

There are various positive and negative realities of becoming an auto mechanic. You need to be familiar with all of them before becoming 100 percent committed on pursuing this profession. By being involved in auto shop courses and working as a mechanic apprentice early on you will gain invaluable information that will help you make a thought out choice. In this article we aim to showcase some significant advantages and minuses of working as an auto mechanic and set you on the right path to pursuing this subject further.

Pros:

1. Doing work on your own vehicles.

As a mechanic you’ll be able to work on your own personal vehicles which means you will save money by doing the work yourself. Additionally, you can buy and repair older vehicles and sell them for a profit.

2. Great place to begin for launching your own shop.

After you obtain the essential expertise you will have the opportunity to open your own shop. This will require not only technical skills but additionally behavioral skills that you will need a lot when dealing with clients.

3. Employment stability.

As increasing numbers of individuals are putting off the purchases of new vehicles their older cars need more repairs and maintenance. By entering this field, you can expect to always have a place to work provided that you possess the essential skills.

Cons:

1. Expensive resources.

The equipment required for the career are costly. Initially the majority of your wages will go towards your tool assortment. It is a sizable investment but will pay off for itself eventually.

2. Entry-level salary is fairly low.

When coming into the field of automotive repair, you will notice that your income will not be very high. Dependent upon your location and past experience the earnings may vary individually for each person but tend to be anywhere from $8 to $15 per hour. If you need a high paying job instantly, this may not be the career path for you.

3. Long hours and continuous training.

Fast paced mechanic shops are generally filled with cars and remain open to satisfy client expectations. Anticipate to work nights and weekends. Furthermore, with all the changing technology in cars a mechanic will need to continually retrain themselves. As a mechanic you will also have to retake the ASE examinations every 5 years in order to maintain your certification. This training costs money and typical courses cost between $500 to $2,500.

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Alternative Investment Fund Regulations

What is an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF)

AIF is an Alternative Investment Fund Regulations privately pooled investment vehicle which collects funds from investors, whether Indian or foreign, for investing it in accordance with a defined investment policy for the benefit of its investors. AIF may be in the form of a trust or a company or a limited liability partnership or a body corporate.

Why AIF

AIF Regulations endeavor to extend the perimeter of regulation to unregulated funds with a view to ensuring systemic stability, increasing market efficiency, encouraging the formation of new capital and consumer protection.

Who are not covered

Currently, the AIF Regulations do not apply to mutual funds, collective investment schemes, family trusts, ESOP and other employee welfare trusts, holding companies, special purpose vehicles, funds managed by securitisation or reconstruction companies and any such pool of funds which is directly regulated by any other regulator in India.

Categories of AIFs

An AIF needs to seek registration broadly under one of the 3 categories –

Category I AIF: The following are covered under Category I

1. Funds investing in start-up or early stage ventures or social ventures or SMEs or infrastructure

2. Other sectors or areas which the government or regulators consider as socially or economically desirable including the Venture Capital Funds

3. AIFs with positive spillover effects on the economy, for which certain incentives or concessions might be considered by SEBI or Government of India or other regulators in India

Category II AIF: The following are covered under Category II

1. AIFs for which no specific incentives or concessions are given by the government or any other Regulator

2. Which shall not undertake leverage other than to meet day-to-day operational requirements as permitted in these Regulations

3. Which shall include Private Equity Funds, Debt Funds, Fund of Funds and such other funds that are not classified as category I or III

Category III AIF: The following get covered under Category III

1. The AIFs including hedge funds which trade with a view to making short term returns;

2. Which employ diverse or complex trading strategies

3. Which may employ leverage including through investment in listed or unlisted derivatives

Applicability of AIF Regulations to Real Estate Funds

After knowing what an AIF is and its broad categories, we analyse whether AIF Regulations are applicable to the Real Estate Funds

Firstly AIF has to seek registration under AIF Regulations under one of the three categories stated above. Therefore if a Fund does not fall under any of the three categories stated above, then it will not seek the registration with SEBI.

If we look at the Category 1, registration is required by funds which invest in start-up or early stage ventures or social ventures or SMEs or infrastructure

If we look at the definition of infrastructure, Explanation to Regulation 2 (m) states that Infrastructure shall be as defined by the Government of India from time to time.

And in the normal parlance, the term typically refers to the technical structures that support a society, such as roads, water supply, sewers, electrical grids,

telecommunications, and so forth, and can be defined as “the physical components of interrelated systems providing commodities and services essential to enable, sustain, or enhance societal living conditions.

Therefore infrastructure does not include the real estate or construction activity since this activity deals in investing in land, developing the land by way of construction of flats, townships and other residential and commercial projects.

But if the real estate fund carries on certain projects for a social purpose like purchasing land for charity etc.; then the fund may be covered under social venture funds.

The clause further states that ‘or other sectors or areas which the government or regulators consider as socially or economically desirable and such other Alternative Investment Funds as may be specified;’

The AIF Regulations have been notified just a few days back and till date, no other AIF funds have been specified in the Category 1 by the Government. Further what the government or regulators consider as socially and economically viable is a very broad concept. However, till the Government specifically comes out with specific inclusions under Category 1; a Real Estate Fund will not be covered under Category 1 and therefore would not require Registration.

Further, the clause also states that – Alternative Investment Funds which are generally perceived to have positive spillover effects on economy and for which the Board or Government of India or other regulators in India might consider providing incentives or concessions will bee included

By adding these lines to the Category 1, SEBI has made the category 1 very vague and open to dispute and litigations since what SEBI intends with positive spillover effects on the economy is not defined or clarified. Different people or organizations may have a different opinion on this which would lead to unnecessary litigations and hardships to business owners. However, till any clarity comes on this, the business owners need to take a cautious approach to the decision of seeking Registration under AIF Regulations.

Category II AIF

Now we examine whether a Real Estate Fund falls under the Category II AIF

If we look at the funds covered by Category II above, they

1. Shall not fall in Category I and III

2. Shall not undertake leverage or borrowing other than to meet day-to- day operational requirements and as permitted by these regulations;

3. Shall be funded such as private equity funds or debt funds for which no specific incentives or concessions are given by the government or any other Regulator

For Real Estate Fund under Category I, we notice that at present it does not fall under Category I and it also does not fall under Category III since these are basically hedge funds. Further, no specific incentives or concessions are given by the Government to the Real Estate Sector. Therefore if we look at the applicability of Real Estate Fund under Category II, these funds may fall under the Category II AIFs if they do not take leverage or borrowing except for short-term requirements.

Impact of AIF on the Real Estate Funds

Under these Regulations, the minimum investment amount has to be Rs 1 crore from each investor. Therefore attracting the funds from the investors would become tough for the real estate funds, who used to raise amounts as less as INR 1 million from the investors. Now they would need to find high-value investors though this is not the only challenge that lies ahead for those raising domestic corpuses. They now also have to invest 2.5% of the corpus or Rs 5 crore, whichever is lower, to ensure that the managing company’s risk is aligned with that of the investor. Moreover, a single investment in a company or a project cannot exceed 25% of the entire corpus.

Further a Real Estate Fund registered in the form of an LLP also would be covered under the AIF Regulations. In an LLP Structure, since the investors are also partners, the risk to the rights of the investors being misused is very minimum. Therefore applying the AIF Regulations to the LLP Structure would reduce the flexibility available to such a Structure.

Conclusion

If we look at the AIF Regulations from a short term perspective, in light of the difficult fund raising environment today, the higher ticket size for investors could potentially throw up some challenges and could in a manner constrict the growth of the asset class, but clearly, in the long run, these regulations appear to have an element of maturity to play a pivotal role in the development and shaping up of the future of alternate asset class in India. It is also clear that alternative investments are more sophisticated and risky as compared to investments in equity and debt and till market matures it is advisable that only HNIs and well informed investors make an investment in this asset class and once the market matures it is made open to all. In the long run, we may see more investments in the Alternative asset class (in terms of quantum and maturity) due to the increased investor confidence in these funds.

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