During the recent stock market carnage, two sectors that investors seem to be complaining the most about are real estate and banking. Many banks’ stocks, even those of major banks have fallen by around 50 per cent.

As I write this, Banks are all down around 50 per cent from their one-year high points. However, real estate stocks have done far worse. The stocks of companies that were once pointed to as leading lights of the industry have fallen by 70 to 80 per cent or even more in some cases. Curiously, the fall in real estate stocks appears to have surprised many people far more than banks’ declines have.

The reason appears to be that there are plenty of stories around that supposedly explain why bank stocks have declined. The agricultural loan waiver was one, the rise in interest rates is another and the sub prime mayhem in the financial sectors in the US (and to a lesser extent, Europe) is yet another. Do these stories make sense? By themselves, they do, yet they don’t add up to the kind of price decline that has happened.

Interestingly, unlike real estate, there are still buyers for bank stocks. Many mutual fund managers for example, are happy that they can now buy bank stocks at far more reasonable prices. It seems that bank stocks are basically suffering from a stampede towards the exit from foreign investors who are now painting all financial stocks around the world with the same brush.

Investors in both these sectors are complaining loudly. So does that mean that bank investors and real estate investors are in the same boat? Not quite. Here’s a story that will help you figure out the difference:
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The good news for women: they live longer, so they will have longer to enjoy their retirement. The bad news: they live longer, and so their retirement will be much more expensive than for their male counterparts.

The fly in the ointment: As a woman, you may have to put in more effort before you get to enjoy a worry-free, financially secure retirement.

Women earn an average of 76 percent of men’s salaries. Does that shock you? Yes, even now, women are still way behind the earning curve in corporate America. But rather than get into a discussion of the fairness or unfairness of it all, let’s concentrate on just what women can do to ensure that they aren’t left out to dry in their retirement age!

After all, because women typically live longer than men, combined with the skyrocketing divorce rate, many women will find themselves alone in their older years. (Statistics show that most women are alone by age 56!) And the figures show us that if a woman took out any time from her career to have children (about seven years) she will pay for it later with only 50% of what her male counterparts will receive in retirement benefits.

So, what can a woman do to ensure that she can retire in style? Start by taking a look at some of our suggestions below.

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This article explains a few things about motivating your way to SELF IMPROVEMENT, and if you’re interested, then this is worth reading, because you can never tell what you can never tell what you dont know.

When you think about Self Improvement, what do you think of first? Which aspects of Self Improvement are important, which are essential, and which ones can you take or leave? You be the judge.

Pain may sometimes be the reason why people change. Getting flunked grades make us realize that we need to study. Debts remind us of our inability to look for a source of income. Being humiliated gives us the ‘push’ to speak up and fight for ourselves to save our face from the next embarrassments. It may be a bitter experience, a friend’s tragic story, a great movie, or an inspiring book that will help us get up and get just the right amount of motivation we need in order to improve ourselves.

With the countless negativities the world brings about, how do we keep motivated? Try on the tips I prepared from A to Z…

A – Achieve your dreams. Avoid negative people, things and places. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

B – Believe in your self, and in what you can do.

C – Consider things on every angle and aspect. Motivation comes from determination. To be able to understand life, you should feel the sun from both sides.

D – Don’t give up and don’t give in. Thomas Edison failed once, twice, more than thrice before he came up with his invention and perfected the incandescent light bulb. Make motivation as your steering wheel.

E – Enjoy. Work as if you don’t need money. Dance as if nobody’s watching. Love as if you never cried. Learn as if you’ll live forever. Motivation takes place when people are happy.

F – Family and Friends – are life’s greatest ‘F’ treasures. Don’t loose sight of them.

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The site claims to scour far more of the Web than Google does. It promises to sift through more than 120 billion pages to arrive at the best results. Google no longer publicly offers up its breadth, though its silence there will only stir up the hype that Cuil is, in fact, the new Google.

Cuil is a search engine devised by a group of former Google employees. My initial impression of the site was that is was easy to use. It claims to have the largest database of indexed pages in the world, 121 billion – although Google won’t disclose the number of pages it has indexed. But how many pages a search engine has indexed may not mean that much. What matters is if it can find the one simple page a person is looking for.

So I did some tests of my own. I started with word “pirate”. Cuil’s top search result was a site called “Talk like a Pirate Day.” This site didn’t appear on the first page of Google’s results, although Google did find a wikipedia reference to it. Google’s top result was The Pirate Bay, a notorious file-sharing website. Pirate Bay was listed second in Cuil’s results. Beyond that, both sites offered, more or less, the same information.

But it was after the initial search that Cuil really began to shine. While Google offers some related searches, including pirate-related costumes, pictures and games, Cuil offered a much greater variety in alternative searches, including movies, games, software, sports, and even party suggestions.

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Search engine Cuil launched earlier this evening, claiming a bigger index size (120 billion web pages) than Google or any other search engine. The pedigree of the founders and execs, which includes three ex senior Googlers, means the service will be compared to Google from day one. And the way they will be compared is index size and, more importantly, relevance/ranking of results.

We’ve been testing the engine for the last hour. Based on our test queries Cuil is an excellent search engine, particularly since it is all of an hour old. But it doesn’t appear to have the depth of results that Google has, despite their claims. And the results are not nearly as relevant.

A search for Dog returns 280 million results on Cuil and 498 million on Google. Judging relevance of results is subjective, but Google returns Wikipedia as the first result, then dog.com. Cuil returns Dog.com, wikipedia isn’t listed on the first page of results. Both are meaningful results, but Google is better.

More searches, Cuil v. Google: Apple (83 m v. 571 million) – neither mention the fruit. France (102 m v. 1.5 billion) – Cuil’s category refinement makes their results better for this query. Stonehenge (800k v. 8.5 million). Silicon Valley (3.2 m v. 24 m). Techcrunch (600k v. 6.5 m).

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Personal bankruptcy is a procedure which, in certain jurisdictions, allows an to declare Personal Bankruptcy. In other jurisdictions, bankruptcies are reserved for corporations.

A personal bankruptcy is a form that when filed will discharge obligations to creditors. Bankruptcy forms can be located online or an attorney can prepare one for you.

Contrary to popular belief, personal bankruptcy does not discharge all debts. Specific types of student loans, called secured student loans, must be paid even after some one has filed bankruptcy. Also, it won’t discharge taxes owed to the state or federal government. Likewise, child support payments and money owed to victims of drunken driving accidents will still be required to be paid.

Personal Bankruptcy does however discharge ‘unscheduled debts’. Unscheduled debts are things like money owed to creditors, which include credit card companies, auto loan lenders, and money owed to personal contacts that lent you money. These creditors and others who are owed must line up to try and get any property not exempt under their state’s exemption laws. Those who are deemed most worthy get their pick of the debtor’s bankruptcy estate first, and on it goes until nothings left but assets that are exempt from being taken under that state’s laws.
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That is nothing new. Some of the most popular websites are known for really bringing out the worst in people, but it seems to be getting worse. Let me give you an example.

A girl in the UK found a black widow, an extremely venomous spider that generally lives in North America, in a bowl of grapes that had been bought in a local store.

The story became big on Digg.com, a popular Web 2.0 site where readers can vote for (a digg) or against (bury) a story. The spider story quickly became a hit on the site, raking in more than 800 diggs in just about 24 hours.

Then the readers chimed in. Posting responses to stories is part of the reason for Digg’s popularity. Many readers commented on how creepy the story was or discussed spiders in general.

But some of the responses were just rude. Some people took to blasting the Daily Mail, which originally published the article, for not covering “real news”. The girl who found the spider was called a con-artist and accused of looking to make a quick buck.

Then there was the person who just seemed miffed that some people don’t like spiders and wrote, bad grammar and all, “I signed in to burry this article… spiders exist get over it.”

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Don’t fall behind : Finance charges, interest payments, getting discouraged about your finances… all problems that can occur if you let yourself fall behind. Whether it’s bills, credit cards, or student loan payments, falling behind can be a very difficult problem to come back from. The more you have to pay out in charges, the less you will have to invest in your future.

Set goals : If you don’t know where you are headed, how do you get there? In order to accumulate wealth you need a plan. Write out your goals, a way to achieve them, and you’ll be on your way to an early retirement.

Invest early : The greatest thing you can do to build wealth is start early. Even if you can’t invest much, start with what you can and let your money grow over time. As Albert Einstein said, “compound interest is the greatest mathematical discovery of all time.”

Invest in what you know : Whether you are looking to invest in real estate, stocks, or anything else, make sure you know how the investment works. The great Warren Buffett was often criticized for not investing in technology during the dot-com boom. His answer was simple. If you don’t know the business model, what the company does on a day to day basis, or how it generates revenue now, and in the future, then stay away from it. This principle can be applied to all types of investing.
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Oil at $150? Very likely and could be soon. How about $170, or even $200? That is possible before the end of this year. There are those who see the price of a barrel of oil hitting $300 and even $500 in the next few years. Impossible you say, well just remember that last year a barrel of crude was selling at $70 and even then the markets were complaining that it was already too high.

The oil conundrum is playing havoc with local, regional and international markets. The producers say it’s not their fault and consumers blame speculators and a battered dollar. Others point to the current crisis between the West and Iran, which in recent days moved from rhetorical ranting to sabre-rattling. There is confusion, fear, mistrust and greed in the oil business today, but what else is new?

Oil has been a central pillar of international politics and trade for decades, and the West has traditionally played dirty games when it came to preserving the life-line of its economy and civilization. Cheap oil enabled Western societies to flourish and expand, the United States being the most notorious example. Wars were waged, coups staged and regimes toppled in order to maintain control of production, exploration rights, distribution and price.

It is unlikely that the rules of the game have changed in recent years, but it is now a fact that the new economies of China, India, Russia and others are competing ever more with the West for a bigger share of available oil. Economic displacement is a matter of time, with studies predicting that China will unseat the US as the biggest world economy in 30 to 40 years if not before.

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