Saving, investing and making money with technology

Month: May 2016

Rebalance your investments for better benefits and lower risks

Asset allocation and portfolio rebalancing are topics that you’ll hear about when talking finances. Most times these terms are overlooked, unless there’s a market crash, which should not be the case. By following a well-executed balancing programme, you could increase your total returns and decrease your overall risk. Don’t mix up balancing of your portfolio with a balance transfer, Home Loans offer.

What is asset allocation?

This allocation is an investment strategy that aims to balance risk and reward by adjusting the percentage of each asset in a portfolio, based on the investor’s risk tolerance, financial goals, and investment tenure. The three main asset classes for an investor include fixed incomes, cash, and equity. Each asset has its own levels of return and risk, so over time each asset will perform differently.

How does this work?

Deciding how to allocate your assets may appear simple, but it’s a little more complex than it looks. First, you will need to note down your three most important assets; your income profile, financial goals, and risk tolerance. Average Indians investors have very little equity exposures as they prefer to not risk it all. They will mostly invest in property and use an interest calculator for Home Loans to make sure that their EMIs stay on point. Studies show that even young investors, who earn handsomely, are more likely to invest in a low-risk scheme, even though they can afford to take significantly higher risky investments.

How often should you rebalance?

A majority of financial advisors will tell you that your portfolio must be rebalanced once, every year. However, a more frequent reorganisation leads to higher transaction costs and fewer tax implications. If you sell your debt mutual funds too soon, or if you break your fixed deposits early, then you will have to deal with heavy exit loads and penalty charges. If you happen to sell your equity mutual funds and stock, you will pay 15% to tax on these capital gains. If you aren’t careful at this time, you may end up rebalancing your portfolio too often.

With all this, the effort of stabilising your portfolio can be difficult to manage. You won’t be able to rebalance unless you track your investment portfolio. Financial portals, including Value Research, offer portfolio trackers that can help you at this time. You can import your mutual fund statement from the registrar and get assistance from online agents, which will include details like past transactions and other details.

Can you rebalance your portfolio by yourself?

Rebalancing your portfolio isn’t very easy, as you will have to make a few difficult calls. You will have to sell assets that are doing well and buy ones that aren’t, and that’s a difficult thing to do. In fact, many financial planners say that small investors should not rebalance their portfolios themselves, as they have neither the emotional maturity nor the discipline to do it. Going to a professional who has both these qualities can help you make difficult choices simpler and help you understand the complexity of rebalancing. They will also take into consideration all market realities, to help you find a good balance.

So, here it is. Just keep reviewing your portfolio as often as you can and consult a financial advisor. In the end, you will be able to increase your returns and reduce risks you might have faced otherwise.

 

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5 Fascinating Investments To Pad Your Financial Portfolio

When you have any extra money at all to invest into different opportunities, the challenges and the rewards can be both fascinating and lucrative. There are classic examples like the stock market, or even just putting money in the bank or in bonds. But if you want to be more creative, there are tons of things just waiting for you to poke your interest into.

Take, for example, franchise opportunities, investing in renewable energy, looking into investing in app development, putting money into educational websites, and even potential starting or sponsoring a YouTube channel. These are ways that you can really make your money stretch, while doing socially worthwhile things as well.

Franchise Opportunities

At the top of the list of interesting investments would be something like buying into a franchise. Whether you’re going to manage it, work for it, or just be a part of an investment team is entirely up to you, but the fact that you get to work with people and markets, branding and advertising, and strategizing within a known platform – that’s some pretty exciting stuff, and if you do it right, you can make a whole lot of money without gargantuan amounts of effort on your part.

Renewable Energy

There is a lot of discussion about renewable energy right now. And the fact is, at some point, oil and coal are going to be gone. And that leaves sun power, wind power, and wave power left to energize the entire world. If you figure out how to invest in these sources early, you’re going to make a killing when that transition comes. So if you’re smart about where to put your money in the long term, that’s going to be a unique opportunity for you to jump onto.

App Investment

Another interest way to invest right now is into tech startups that work with app development, and specifically the mobile kind. Think of how much money moves around inside of the iOS world even with things like little games, reminder apps, or photography utilities. Lots and lots of money! And if you invest in the right person doing the right thing, a lot of that money can come back to your for almost zero input on your part.

Educational Websites

There are a few major education websites that are developing right now, and they’re taking the world by storm. For a pretty small monthly subscription fee, you get access to the most updated information in the world, and you can even go at your own pace. Investing in these types of companies may have a huge return in the future.

YouTube Channels

YouTube is still relatively unexplored as a way to change the culture of the world. In the same way that Facebook changed everything, the right moves in the YouTube universe will do the same thing, so if you invest in a channel now, it could definitely give you a good return on your investment.

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How Science And Technology Are Helping Fight Addiction

One of the biggest steps toward discovering more about addiction has been the realization that it is a mental illness, a brain disease. The fact that addicts have an illness and aren’t just people making wrong choices (after that first wrong choice, that is) helps make it easier, or at least more effective, to help cure people of their addictions.

It is with science, medicine, and technology, that people are able to better fight addiction. Here are some ways that these things are working to help people with addiction, and helping addicts stay in recovery and not fall back off the wagon.

Vaccines And Medications

With inventions like a possible vaccine for heroin, and police and EMTs carrying a shot that can pull people out of an OD, there are major changes currently happening with world of drug addiction. The more people that can be saved from overdosing on their drug of choice, the more people there are that may be ready to turn their lives around.

There have, for years, been medication used in the treatment of addictions. Things that make alcoholics sick if they have a drink, and drugs that help keep drug addicts from vomiting or going into shock as they come off their drugs.

Mobile Technology

There’s an app for that! Even addicts can use technology to help in their recovery, because there is, literally, an app for that. There are apps for alcoholics and for drug addicts. There are apps for shopaholics, and even apps for people with gambling addictions.

Technology has made it easier for you to stay in touch with sponsors, find the nearest AA or NA meeting, and even call a friend or put out a shout out for help on social media.

Mental Help

Now that more people are realizing that addiction is a mental illness, and can be cured like one, there is more and more help out there for people with addictions. It is also a fact that many people lean toward drugs and alcohol, and other addictive behaviors, when they have other, underlying, mental illness. Depression and anxiety being self treated by an individual can become drug and alcohol addictions.

By getting a dual diagnosis, an addict can get treated not only for their addiction, but also for the underlying illness that may have lead to their addiction in the first place.

You too can use science and technology when it comes to both learning about addiction and learning how to deal with your own addiction. You can even take some time to learn about how people fall into patterns of addiction and how rehab works to help heal the mind and soul and get a person back on track.

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Plastic and flexible OLED to reach $18bn by 2020 by Dr Guillaume Chansin, Senior Technology Analyst, IDTechEx

IDTechEx Research has just released new forecasts for the OLED display market. OLED is an emissive display technology which is gaining significant market share against liquid crystal displays (LCD). OLED was initially adopted in mobile phones but can now be found in tablets, TVs, and wearables. This latest IDTechEx Research report, OLED Display Forecasts 2016-2026: The Rise of Plastic and Flexible Displays, says the market will reach nearly $16bn this year and will grow to $57bn in 2026.

The two main manufacturers of OLED displays have both announced large investment to expand their production capacities. Samsung Display has plans to spend more than $3bn between 2015 and 2017 to build a new production line. Their rival LG Display is trying to lead the industry by committing over $9bn for two new manufacturing plants.

OLED displays that are manufactured on flexible substrates have been successfully introduced on the market, featuring in consumer devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge or the Apple Watch. Compared to conventional glass-based displays, plastic OLED displays are much thinner and lighter, enabling slimmer devices or bigger batteries. Future flexible displays will also make foldable mobile devices a reality.

The rise of plastic and flexible displays is the most important trend in the industry and is offering opportunities in the supply chain. Recently, Kateeva raised another $88m to accelerate their growth. The company supplies the mass production equipment to deposit thin film encapsulation on flexible OLED displays. All the new investors are located in China and include BOE and TCL Capital.

We now expect the market for plastic and flexible OLED displays will reach $18 billion by 2020. The two main segments are currently smart phones and smart watches. Once the technology becomes more mature it will be possible to see larger sizes and applications in automotive displays.

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How Technology Is Continually Changing The Way We Get Things

If you think about it, over the decades the way the goods and products you use everyday have been traveling are always changing. Yes, they still often come across seas on a boat, and they even still travel by train in some areas. You still see hundreds, if not thousands, of semi trucks on the roads, taking items from manufacturers to the stores they will be sold in.

However, things do continually change, like the fact that less trains are traveling across country. More towns have torn up or neglected their tracks. So, how does your food get from one point to the next, and not spoil?

The Way Food And Products Travel

Businesses purchase, or even rent, semi trucks to travel the expanse of the United States in order to get the items people need, from one point to another. In fact, most businesses get their items delivered this way. Though, when the items are coming to you, if you didn’t drive directly to the store to get them. They may come a little differently.

When it comes to foods, businesses that deal with items that need to be frozen or refrigerated actually use semi trucks that have built in refrigeration or freezer systems so that foods make it from one side of the country to the other without spoiling.

Your Own Vehicle Technology

Even the way you travel to the store to purchase the items that you want and need, for you, your home, and your family, has changed over the years. Some people, in an effort to better the environment, forego owning their own vehicles and may travel to the store by foot, bicycle, taxi, Uber, or by simply taking the bus.

Those that own their own vehicles may have decided to invest in a more eco-friendly vehicle. They may have an electric car or a flex fuel car.

No More Driving To The Store

And, many people don’t even set foot in a store these days to do any of their shopping, because with the internet you really don’t have to. You can shop from the comfort of your own home without even leaving the couch. The postal service, FedEx, or UPS will deliver your items right to your door.

Technology has made it so easy to buy online that many online shopping destinations now have easy to use apps so that you can shop right from your phone. You don’t have to be at home, but you don’t have to go to the store either!

With all of the smart technology coming out, from smartphones and smart TVs to the talk of smart cars that will drive us where we want to go, it’s no wonder the way we shop and the way the things we need get to us has changed so much over the past few decades.

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Getting a Better Understanding of Credit Scores and FICO Scores as it Relate to Risks


Borrowing a loan for a car, applying for a credit card, financing a home can be very challenging experiences for people all over the U. S. Specifically, because the approvals for each of these financial products can differ greatly from one institution to another. Leaving people like me and you very confused about what criterion is actually used to obtain any type of financial product. Typically, part of the confusion exist because the score that’s reported to these agencies can differ significantly from credit score institution to another. To that end, one of the first things to consider when looking at my credit history is finding out the distinctions between FICO and other credit score bureaus.

 

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In the past, most people did not know what their credit score was or what it meant. These were normally selective criterion used in the background that people simply trusted as accurate. Today, with information being stolen and identity theft, people are starting to pay more attention to their records and how they affect them, With this being said, when trying to figure out how my credit score stacked up with others and the applications that I submitted, the process seamed to get more confusing. Specifically, because the application process for different banks and credit unions are not the same or similar in some cases. For instance, when applying for a car loan, the credit bureaus that were used was either Equifax, TransUnion or Experian. All of which are more commonly known by the average person that frequents the Internet for their information.

 

Unfortunately, because these bureaus calculate their scores differently, it is also difficult to anticipate which score will be used for my car loan. So, when trying to get ahead of the game by gathering any information that can jeopardize getting the vehicle loan, I would also have to find out which credit score the dealer or credit union used to approve or reject the loan. Compounding these problems was the fact that some people said that my FICO score would be used in these calculations instead of the data that Experian, TransUnion or Equifax had on file. Meaning this score could also be different and the decision would be made off a credit score that I could not verify quickly before being turned down,

 

So, with this in mind, I started to conduct a little extra research about FICO scores and how they affect the overall approval process of loans. Based on the information that I found, FICO has been around for approximately 25 years so it is relatively new in the game. Even though it existence can only be dated back to this time frame, it is also important to note that the FICO® Score is actually used by 90 % of lenders. So, this is information that must be taken into consideration when applying for any kind of loan. By reviewing and understanding this system in advance, people will get a better understanding of how they are viewed as a potential credit risk and why their loan applications were denied, even when their Experian and Equifax credit scores appeared to be high enough.

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How to Overcome a Financial Setback

Successful personal financial management is a delicate balancing act. Not only does daily spending require you to make the most of your household resources, but you are also vulnerable to unexpected expenses. Effective budgeting and spending discipline keep you on track under normal circumstances, but what’s your best approach when major expenditures hit out of nowhere?

Unfortunately, even the best financial planning cannot account for future spending. As a result, cash flow falters when extraordinary costs set in. Home repairs, health emergencies, employment irregularities and other financial challenges are beyond your control, but there are steps you can take to soften the blow when hardship strikes. In fact, you can start hedging against financial distress today.

Maintain a Household Emergency Fund – Though it is easier said the done, at times, the importance of maintaining back-up resources cannot be overemphasized. Even if you can only manage to set-aside a small deposit from each paycheck, you’ll be better off when financial setbacks arise. Whenever possible, use automated withdrawals to ensure your emergency fund grows over time. And always sequester the money from your regular household cash flow, to minimize the likelihood you’ll spend it on bills and groceries. More than one-quarter of Americans don’t have any savings reserved for a rainy day, so you are not alone if your resources lag behind ideal financial health. Fortunately it is never too late to start contributing to a household contingency fund – and though rates are low, your savings will grow as it gains interest.

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Use Credit Discretion – Borrowing enables lifestyles we’d not afford without outside funding. Homes, cars and other major purchases would not be possible without financing, which also extends to day-to-day purchases. Protecting your positive credit rating is an essential aspect of your personal financial health, giving you access to financing when it’s needed.

Credit card accounts, loans, and other important credit relationships are especially important during periods of financial distress, when cash flow interruptions can occur. Personal loans and other forms of short-term financing, for instance, fill the gap when financial distress muddles your monetary outlook. If a loan is needed, compare rates and terms online, selecting repayment terms you can afford. The key to moving beyond a temporary financial setback is maintaining discretion, so your debt remains manageable as you stabilize cash flow.

Earn More – Each person’s budget is unique, but managing personal finances always boils down to balance. To achieve long-term financial stability, your outgoing spending obligations mustn’t exceed your income. Maintaining a balanced budget ensures daily expenses are covered and creates surpluses, which can be invested for the future. If your household budget consistently falls short on the supply-side, there are only two ways to achieve equilibrium. Either cost-cutting measures can be used to bring expenses in-line with income, or you can bring in more money, to offset the shortage.

Earning more is not a novel concept – most wish their bosses would share greater wealth. Salary increases aside, there are other creative ways to make more money.

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Consulting Opportunities – Provided there is no conflict of interest with a current or former employer, shopping your expertise may result in added income. Retirees with decades of experience are particularly well-suited for part-time consulting employment. Your creativity is the only limitation, so put your skills to work for hire. Accounting specialists, for instance, commonly prepare tax returns to earn extra money during the filing season. And teachers serve as tutors, during summer months, to add cashflow.

Hone Your Skills – Marketability is closely tied to income, so expanding your skill set may be all that’s needed to raise your earning power. In fact, some employers pay for training, so moving to a more lucrative position is often possible, without changing employers.

Spend Less – Money saved is like added income, so when financial difficulties arise it is essential to measure every purchase. For help enduring hard times, redouble household budgeting efforts, with an eye toward reducing waste. By tightening up energy use, grocery spending and travel costs, you’ll see immediate savings and feel as though you’ve earned a pay raise.

Unexpected financial hurdles are a natural part of personal money management. While these short-term difficulties can set you back, there are steps you can take to head-off lasting problems. Your chances are best with an emergency fund in place, to draw from when costs arise. But even when financing is required to get back to firm ground, affordable funding is available to meet your need for cash. Use it wisely, or better yet, establish a supplemental income stream to fortify your household earnings.

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Beginner’s Guide to Using a DSLR for Blog Photography

Those days are gone when people used to take photos on their mobile phones to use it for their blogs. But recently, to survive in this competitive market bloggers use ideal professional photography for their blogs. A blog works well if it accompanies good content with quality pictures. Not everyone who owns a DSLR is a photographer. If the camera is used the right way, one can do a lot better. So if you wish to learn the basics of blog photography, here is the guide for you.

Learn about the settings

We often tend to avoid reading the manual for devices like mobile phones, but it goes without saying that to understand the capabilities of a DSLR, it is important to read the manual nicely and to understand the things properly. Learn about the settings, features and controls and therefore acquaint yourself well with the camera. Not every DSLR have the same features. So look out for the special and specific features for every camera to gain mastery over it.

Know about the shooting modes

There is no doubt that one can click quality pictures in the auto mode but if you have a DSLR, it is for a better reason. Choosing the manual mode will provide you with hands-on experience and control to deal with the photographs. While auto mode is simple as you require to point and shoot but to use a manual mode, you will need to gain knowledge of exposure, aperture, ISO and shutter speed. You can find amazing shopclues coupons with great discounts while you shop online for a DSLR.

Understanding exposure

Without lighting or exposure, your DSLR cannot make a huge difference in the photographs. Light being the key element, it either leads to the making of a good photograph or breaks it. So, it is of vital importance for you to understand exposure. According to the light situation, you can play with the shutter speed, ISO and aperture of the DSLR that can directly adjust the exposure of the photograph.

Raw vs. Jpeg

Choosing the ‘jpeg’ file as your option, you allow the camera to process the data to an image file. Once the image file is ready and is transferred to the computer, you have less control of editing the photo. But what happens in a raw format? Shooting a picture in the raw format lets you preserve the data and allows good flexibility. When transferred to the computer, the data is processed in a high quality as compared to the ‘jpeg’ format. Working in a raw format will definitely let you play around with the editing of the image.

Now that you know the basics of shooting with a DSLR, all you need to do is practice and keep practising as only practice can make you acquire the art of photography at its best. Observe the changes and differences of shooting in different modes and settings. Using the Amazon promo code, you can select and purchase the best DSLR you will be requiring for your blogs. Have fun while you learn and click incredible photographs!

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How Google AMP Is Changing Mobile Browsing

Speed has always been a big concern on the internet. It is an even larger concern when it comes to mobile browsing. Mobile device users are typically on the go and want their content to load immediately. Speed is paramount to their experience. Since mobile device ownership has already surpassed PC ownership, website owners have to take this metric into consideration if they want to be successful.
What can you do to keep your site up to par in terms of speed, especially on mobile devices? This is a question you should be asking yourself if you want to establish or maintain a ranking in Google’s search results. The solution may actually come from Google itself in the form of Google AMP.

What Is Google AMP?

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. The AMP project is all about improving the speed of web pages on mobile devices. It is an architectural framework that consists of three components used to create and display websites with speed. The three components are AMP JS, AMP HTML, and the AMP Cache hosted on Google servers.
For the most part, sites are built using AMP HTML and then stored in the Google AMP cache. The cache is optional, but it definitely helps in terms of speed and has some additional benefits for marketers that are covered later.

Google-AMP-project

The Source Of The Speed

Sites built using the AMP framework are built around several restrictions. These restrictions are implemented for the sake of improving speed and to make the site accessible on all platforms. For example, most JavaScript is not allowed, with a few exceptions. This should not come as a surprise since it has been known that JavaScript slows down page loading significantly.
AMP HTML is basically just HTML without all of the extra stuff that hinders fast loading times. It is still possible to design a perfectly acceptable web page, you just have to use a stripped down version of HTML with very few tags. Some tags that are missing include:
– Video tags
– Audio tags
– Embed tags
– Form tags
They supplement some areas by adding their own unique AMP tags to the framework. There are amp-video and amp-img tags that allow AMP to deliver media only when it is required by the browser.
Yes, this will create some new difficulties for publishers, marketers, and developers. However, the end result is a leaner, faster website. Google claims that pages built using the AMP framework will load four times as fast and utilize only a fraction of the data used by pages without AMP. (http://www.wired.com/2016/02/google-will-now-favor-pages-use-fast-loading-tech/)

A Boost From The AMP Cache

Stripped down HTML is not enough to encourage marketers and website owners to start creating AMP pages. They could just use bare minimum HTML themselves and not worry about conforming to new standards. Google makes the project worthwhile by implementing the Google AMP Cache server.
The server works as a content delivery network for pages that are built using the AMP framework. It caches the pages, automatically improves their performance, and pre-renders the pages before displaying them to browsers. When combined with AMP HTML this equates to lightning-fast loading times rarely seen elsewhere.

Benefits For Marketing

Is speed “that” important? Some studies have shown that improving site speed can increase organic traffic by as much as twenty percent due to increased rankings.(http://www.retailtouchpoints.com/cross-channel-strategies/885-the-growing-need-for-speed-how-site-performance-increasingly-influences-search-rankings) Other studies have shown even higher percentages.
Google has explicitly stated that they take page speed into consideration in the ranking process. If they care about speed, then you should too.
There is an additional benefit that comes from using AMP pages in conjunction with the Google AMP Cache server. Google has changed the way they prioritize mobile search results. AMP pages will now take priority and appear at the top of the search results page on mobile devices. This change alone will have a monumental impact on mobile SEO efforts across the globe and will require marketers to begin using AMP if they want to stay on top.

Now Is The Time

While it is true that not every developer fully supports Google’s attempt at simplifying the web, there is no denying that it will become an important part of web development and marketing efforts for years to come. Now is the time to start creating AMP-optimized pages.

Brock Hamilton is a successful entrepreneur and internet marketer. To read about the latest tips and advice on boosting your income visit his site, Income.com today.

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2 Clinical Outreaches Changed By Technology

clinical outreach

The advent of the internet as well as smartphones, tablets, and laptops has brought drastic changes to the way each individual lives their life. Long phone conversations seem to be a thing of the past and your social circle is no longer limited geographically. One sector that has shown incredibly promising change is that of clinical outreach.

Clinical outreach could encompass a number of different sectors, but is essentially improving access so people can get the help they need. Whether this is beginning an addiction treatment program or finding pregnancy help options, people can now reach out without leaving the comfort of their home. Included here are a few areas that are able to give direct help to clients in need.

Substance Abuse Help

When it comes to a problem with a stigma attached, substance abuse may top the list. Those who suffer with a drug or alcohol problem are often ashamed of their disease or find themselves in denial that they have a problem. One way clinics are able to get these individuals to seek help and get out of their rut is through online outreach.

For instance, an individual who is questioning their daily booze intake, may Google the appropriate amount of alcohol per day. The fourth link down on the page will lead you to this site which talks about reducing your drinking and safe alcohol consumption. With a more pointed Google search addressing the need for help, you will get results for countless rehab centers and clinical programs in your area. Without leaving your home, you can find out if your insurance is accepted and you are able to go to treatment.

The repercussions of this movement are astronomical. Many addicts will be able to follow a veritable trail of digital breadcrumbs towards getting the aid they need; all without enduring painful phone conversations or leaving their home. For many addicts, getting help is a matter of being in the right place at the right time, and the internet allows this opportunity to happen more frequently.

Crisis Pregnancy Aid

As long as there have been people, there have been crisis pregnancies. Becoming pregnant is a huge life change and impending parenthood is scary enough even when you are prepared. For those who were not expecting a baby, a pregnancy can seem like a traumatic event. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be like this.

While the pro-choice movement has always been very vocal about the ease of an abortion, you may be questioning whether you really want to end that life. In this case, Googling pregnancy options could lead you to Human Coalition, where you are able to get a free test, ultrasound and find adoption options. Many women who are overwhelmed by the medical cost are delighted to find that the adoptive family may be able to foot their medical bills.

Imagine the relief a young woman feels when she can find a loving home for her child without having to make the heartrending decision for abortion. By having internet options available at the touch of a button, many young women can find answers to their pressing questions and feel empowered by their choice, instead of feeling that abortion was their only option.

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