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Dopamine and finance #finance #rewards

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centres. So what does this have to do with finance? The fact that people crave pleasure and rewards has everything to do with finance. Take a look at the photos of those celebrities leaving Buckingham Palace right after being rewarded with a medal for services rendered. They are positively beaming. Rewards can come in many ways, a person simply being nice to you can zap those reward centres of your brain with dopamine. That can be the check out girl at Aldi (yes, they are trained to do it) or the assistant in Harrods who treats you like royalty. Besides buying products, you also get an experience.

The dopamine effect

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Bargain hunting odd items #thrifty

Sometimes we bargain hunt for the unusual item. We are going to a fancy dress party and need some vintage clothing. Where do you start looking for those odd items? One great place is your local charity shop and you can also look at Oxfam’s online shop for great bargains on good quality clothing and other pre-loved goodies.

 Looking for those odd items

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Photographing groups of people #photography

I photographed the opening of Hill Top Youth Club yesterday evening. I don’t normally use photos from these events for my blog but this one gives me an opportunity to write about photographing groups. This particular type of photography has all kinds of problems. I did take a couple of test shots before I started. The room had off-white walls and so reflected plenty of light. There was some natural light but still needed the flash. For this type of shot, I usually shoot wide open using my 18 – 105mm lens and try to zoom in for a fast shutter speed of 1/100 of a second or better. There wasn’t too much room to manoeuvre so I did my best!

groups of people

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Writing your own story #ramble

Yes, it’s Sunday morning and I’m allowing you into the dark recesses of my mind and sharing my thoughts once again. It is a wet weekend so where will I go today? I’m not staying in! I think I might go to Poundland and see if I can scan my own shopping through the till without some kid coming to my aid. It happens to be near my favourite sweet shop so I might as well pop in there as well. I talked to a couple of students this week via Skype. One of them is a writer and so very creative but at a cross-road in her life. I told her to create her own story. Life is a journey, but a journey is a story. In fact, when I am writing a story besides putting many characters in the story I put many places in the story too. Life is like that, isn’t it? Many places and many people.

Writing our own story

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Ideas for new investors #finance #investments

If you’re new to investing and haven’t yet bought your first shares it might be a good idea to see if your analysis of the stock market is good. Several brokers offer ‘fantasy’ accounts and I have a couple with London South East. One is a copy of my ‘real’ portfolio and one is just to track a few companies. It is a good idea for new investors to open an account and then use their ‘portfolio’ like an investment game.

ideas for new investors

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The changing face of money #thrifty

I went to a meeting last night and it happened to be in a club with a bar so I had a pint. That’s three times this week that I’ve actually parted with cash. The days of money being slips of paper and metal coins seem to be coming slowly to an end. Earlier in the week, I did my food shopping and paid with my debit card and I used cash to pay the window cleaner yesterday. With a purchase that I made in a small shop earlier in the week, that is only four times I’ve used money this week. It makes it so much easier to keep track of where the money goes. The changing face of money, moving from cash to cards, helps us to keep track of where our money goes.

the changing face of money

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Shooting with low-light at events #photography

I did a few photo-shoots at the weekend and needed to cope with low-light conditions. The first event was part of the Birmingham and Sandwell Jazz Festival and was a performance by Chickenbone John playing an amazing guitar made from a cigar box.

JAZZ (20)

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Follow the leader #ramble

It’s Sunday and so once again I let you into my inner most sanctum and share my thoughts with you. I went into a crowded room yesterday and it made me slightly nervous. Eventually, I found my way through the crowd to the front near the stage to take photos. I remember an experiment in a similar environment where a fire alarm went off and 95% of the people simply followed other people out of the room. Of course, someone had to go first; someone had to lead. Then it was simply, follow the leader. Once I was at the front of that crowd yesterday, I became aware of the fire exit about four yards from me. I wasn’t about to be a follower if there was any sign of a problem.

Follow the leader?

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Waiting for the share price to hit bottom #finance

My portfolio of investments looks like a disaster zone at the moment. Many of the share prices have crashed in recent weeks and this week the share price of Carillion crashed from around 190p to just 55p although it is beginning to rally a little today. The share has been shorted a lot in recent weeks but this crash doesn’t really make sense. Carillion has huge debts but it recently paid a very good dividend. Why if its cash flow was in question did it pay such a large dividend? The CEO has now resigned and they have hired HSBC as a second corporate adviser. It seems likely that their debt will need to be restructured and Jeffries are saying they will need a 500 million rights issue. The rights issue should have come a couple of months ago, along with a suspension of dividends. What was the board thinking? Hopefully, the share price has now hit bottom and the only way is up!

has your share price hit bottom?

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Having the right tools for the job #thrifty

If you have the right tools for the job it can make work much easier. That can mean buying tools for doing the garden, DIY or even cooking. I prefer to buy quality when it comes to buying tools but we can still look for value for money. My motor mower from Screwfix was expensive but it is self-propelled and I just follow it around the lawn. I am still worn out when I finish the lawn but it is a lot easier than a hover-mower. It was value for money for me.

right tools

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Conveying a mood #photography #art

There are always interesting things to photograph and photography isn’t just about taking snaps. I look at photography as an art in itself and I look for unusual things to photograph.  I found this little chapel down a side street in Bilston and took a few shots early in the evening. The art of photography is imagining what mood an image will convey and I thought this chapel looked cold and lonely.

what mood does this image convey?

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Getting your priorities right #ramble

It is Sunday morning and so once again I allow you into the darkest recesses of my mind and share my thoughts with you. I missed out on the carnival yesterday, I wasn’t well but felt better later and tried for a parking spot. I decided to just walk around with my camera; carrying my camera bag too would be too tiring. I didn’t get a parking place so came home slightly disappointed but it did make me think. Something needs to be done about the parking if events are going to be staged attracting a lot of people. You have to get your priorities right. Don’t you?

Getting your priorities right

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