Features

Portfolio Theory

Updated 1 year ago

Portfolio theory, which I studied, claims that a very good approach to investments is regular rebalancing of your investment portfolio. Why rebalance – To rebalance is to make the mix of investments back to the 60/ 40% of stocks and bonds, or whatever mix of investments, you and your advisor thought was a good choice for you. Over time different assets ‘classes’ like stocks in large firms or small companies, municipal bonds or government bonds, perform differently. If bonds perform less well than stocks in a given period of time the mix may bein at 60 stocks and 40$ bonds but may become off kilter for you and may be 70 / 30. This new mix of assets may put your investment at a higher risk.Though there are many proponents of rebalancing not everyone agrees that this theory of a great one. ( I don’t know your goals, objectives or risk tolerance, so please see your advisor for a plan that is best for your needs.) Just say no- But the stock market downturn for the last few years made many doubt the wisdom of the rebalancing theory. Professional publications that I read loudly argued the merits of leaving things alone and the article hyperlink included in this story shows some equations that show that portfolios left alone – that go out of balance- perform better. I want you to know that investment theory is evolving. That professionals disagree. Don’t you feel that you must hold a particular view because things are always changing. Citations:Vanguardhttps://institutional.vanguard.com/iip/pdf/ICRRebalancing.pdfRebalancing can be hazardoushttp://seekingalpha.com/article/63576-rebalancing-can-be-hazardous-to-your-portfolioMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videoswww.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2009 by Market Surveys of AmericaDisclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial and all other companies listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated. Opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of WSFG. The material has been prepared for informational purposes and is not a solicitation to participate in any trading strategy.

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Katie’s Award-Winning Chocolate Fiddlehead Cakes

Todd Simcox

Updated 1 year ago

Ingredients:2 1/2 C. sifted flour 1/2 C. soft butter 1 3/4 C. sugar 1/2 C. sour milk (add 1tsp lemon juice or vinegar and let set a few min. to sour) 2 C. finely chopped fiddleheads 1/3 C. chocolate chips 1 t. baking soda 2 t. vanilla 1/2 C. applesauce 1/4 C. chopped nuts 2 eggs 4 T. unsweetened cocoa Directions:Mix flour, baking soda and cocoa, set aside. In large bowl place butter, eggs, applesauce, vanilla, sugar and milk. Beat until well blended. Gradually beat in dry ingredients. Stir in fiddleheads and nuts. Fill greased individual cake pans 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack before glazing. You can glaze with 1 C. peanut butter blended with 1/2 C. powdered sugar and enough milk to thin to the consistancy you want. Drizzle over cakes. Recipe submitted by: Kathierine Smith 

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The Psychology of Money

Updated 1 year ago

As a financial advisor and curious woman, I want to know as much as I can about how we think about life but especially money. That has brought me to learn as much as I can about today’s topic: The psychology of money. Money brings out our concerns about love, power, and self-esteem. Let’s talk about some issues that crop up pertaining to money.Fear- I have worked with several folks who worry or are fearful and it shows in the way they handle money. Perhaps they grew up and they were very poor and they never want to be in that desperate situation again. The fear may show itself in hoarding money, overspending or believing they can save enough money to protect them from every potential problem in life. Or maybe it is only in receiving expensive gifts that our worth is duly noted by others.Procrastination- Money can mean a lot more than just greenbacks. It can signify love, acceptance, safety even self-esteem. We don’t always recognize that emotions are intertwined with how we handle money. Perhaps our quirks around money show in irrational ways: we won’t save, we don’t want to discuss money, we avoid the topic completely. We may even think money is evil.A helpful tool is making a Money Tree. Who’s important to you and what is going on with them now and maybe in the past that may be influencing your actions? Is someone very sick right now and your worry or concern is stalling the actions you need to take in your life? Maybe wanting the good opinion of a particular family member is creating discord in your life. Maybe you feel like you have to fix everyone’s financial state because you have been blessed and feel guilty. The thing about money is it isn’t always just about greenbacks. It can be peer pressure, guilt or fear. Having a discussion with a trusted advisor could be just the prescription for you.Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2009 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial and Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Spanking: What are the Potential Effects?

Updated 5 years ago

By- Dr. David Prescott – Acadia HospitalThe Controversy Around Spanking: Arguments about the potential benefits and drawbacks of spanking as a means of child discipline have been ongoing for decades. Research shows that a majority of Americans do not oppose spanking as an occasional way of stopping undesirable behavior. And, most people agree that spanking can cross a line to where it constitutes physical abuse. However, answering the question of whether or not spanking truly causes problems in children has proven to be complex and difficult. Recent Research on Negative Effects of Spanking: A soon to be published study conducted at Tulane University examined the impact of spanking 3-year old children, following them until they were 5 years old. Results showed that children who were spanked more frequently at age 3 were more likely to show aggressive behaviors by age 5. The study was unique in that it attempted to sort out the impact of spanking from other potential factors which could cause aggression, such as levels of aggression/violence between parents, neglect by parents, or stress/depression in the mother. When the impact of these other factors was removed, it still appeared that children who were spanked frequently were more likely to be aggressive. Children who were spanked more than twice a month at age 3 were 50% more likely to commit aggressive acts at age 5. Researchers also found that the differences were not accounted for by children’s natural level of aggression. That is, it did not appear that children who were naturally more aggressive were simply more likely to be spanked. Are There Benefits to Spanking? Both research and surveys of parents show that the primary benefit associated with spanking is its immediate effect on undesirable behavior. Spanking is typically highly effective in getting an action to stop right away. The drawback cited by those opposed to spanking is that corporal punishment creates an environment where new learning is unlikely to occur. Stated another way, children who are spanked are typically at such a high level of emotional arousal that they are unlikely to learn more appropriate behaviors. It is only when emotions have calmed that learning “the right thing to do” can occur. What do Professionals Recommend? Most pediatricians and psychologists are in agreement that repeated use of spanking causes more harm than good. The American Academy of Pediatrics takes the following position: The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly opposes striking a child for any reason. If a spanking is spontaneous, parents should later explain calmly why they did it, the specific behavior that provoked it, and how angry they felt. They also might apologize to their child for their loss of control. This usually helps the youngster to understand and accept the spanking, and it models for the child how to remediate a wrong.What to Do Instead of Spanking? Psychologists and other health professionals have developed many techniques to help children learn more appropriate and desirable behaviors without using corporal punishment. Strategies such as using time out, rewarding positive behavior, and teaching non-aggressive ways of coping with anger and frustration have benefitted many parents and children. Many parenting books, as well as the web sites of the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, offer guidance on these approaches. For more Information: American Psychological Association: www.apa.org/topicsAmerican Academy of Pediatrics: www.aap.orgAmerican Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: www.aacap.org

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Five Tips for Insuring Your Life

Updated 1 year ago

I hope no one you love ever dies. It is my special hope that no one you love dies young. But people do die and sometimes the death is especially tragic because the loved one is young and has a family counting on their love and their income.Why have life insurance? When a parent or guardian dies, the family not only looses the love of their parent may loose their lifestyle, too. They may no longer be able to stay in their home, go to the same school, or have a stay-at-home parent or one that only works part-time. Your death alone would be devastating, but to add to that the loss of a child’s whole world would be such a heavy load on their little heart.How much insurance is right? The answer to this question depends on you, your income, the age of your dependents, the income or finances of the household. Would you want to keep the living standards the same, or change them? Do you want to cover college costs? What about the mortgage? Is that covered with another insurance policy? Will the insurance need to cover the cost of a babysitter for several years? Are there other family members for whom you contribute income and who would suffer a financial blow should you die unexpectedly? Some web sites I saw say have 5-10 times your annual salary in insurance, while other sites recommended a more detailed analysis of your needs. What type of insurance? There are several types of life insurance with the two most common being whole and term. Whole life insurance lasts from the time you purchase it until you die- so long as you pay the premiums. It accrues cash value. Term life is purchased for periods of time, such as 10 years or twenty and is often used to cover a particular time in life where more substantial insurance needs occur, such as those of parents while children are dependent. Term life doesn’t not have cash value. There are other types, but these are the two basic.Keep your health and credit score in mind- Your driving record, health history, and even your credit score are all pieces of the underwriting used to determine your cost for any insurance. Think about it, if you drive drunk and smoke like a chimney you may not live as long as your careful, health conscious twin whose rates may be substantially lower than you insurance rates.Company strength- The insurance you choose needs to be payable to your family and from a company whose financial position is strong. Their insurance rates may be different than other companies, but they need to be in business years from now to pay that claim.Everyone dies. Money won’t fix that horrible loss, but is could make life without you much less painful.Citations:Met lifehttp://www.newyorklife.com/nyl/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=3fcace42249d2210a2b3019d221024301cacRCRDToday- 10 tipsGet rich slowly 14 tipshttp://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/04/28/14-tips-for-purchasing-life-insurance/ Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2009 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Health and other non-variable insurance products are not offered throughWSFG. Information should not be construed as legal or tax advice: you should consult with an attorney or tax advisor. Norumbega Financial and WSFG are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Take this Ice Cream and Make It

Updated 5 years ago

It’s a successful family business that’s been around for decades.Gifford’s serves up their famous ice cream in more than 60 different flavors.All of it, about ten thousand gallons a day, gets produced at their plant in Skowhegan.In this edition of Take this Job and Love It, Sharon Pelletier decided to see if she could get the scoop behind ice cream making.

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Healthy Living

Updated 5 years ago

Keeping your Facts – and Fats – StraightBy- Dr. Amy MoviusMost of us know that a healthy diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fiber – and low in fat. In fact, it is recommended that fats make up no more than 25-35% of our daily calories. Keep in mind that fat contains more than twice the calories, gram for gram, than carbohydrate or protein. Then there is consideration of the type of fat in question: trans fats, saturated fats, unsaturated fats, hydrogenated fats, omega 3 fatty acids?? It can certainly be confusing, but the particulars are worth getting to know as the differences can have a huge impact on your health.Saturated Fats (Bad Fats)Saturated fats are perhaps the easiest to understand, since these are fats that come from animals – think meat and dairy. Saturated fats contain cholesterol. There are a few plant sources such as coconut and palm oil.Unsaturated Fats (Good Fats)Unsaturated fats come in two varieties, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. These fats are found in fish, nuts, seeds, and oils from plants. These fats may help to reduce cholesterol, especially when used in place of their saturated counterpart. Omega 3 is a type of polyunsaturated fat.Trans Fats/Hydrogenated Fats (Good Fats gone BAD!)Hydrogenation is a process, used on unsaturated fats (good fats), that produces hydrogenated or trans fats (very bad fats). Hydrogenation produces products such as margarine, shortening, and cooking oils (partially hydrogenated and hydrogenated vegetable oils). Trans fats are insidious in our diets: they sneak their way into many baked goods as well as fried foods. In a large study of women, the most common sources of trans fat were margarine, beef/pork/lamb as main meal, cookies, and white bread. Though they do not contain cholesterol, they still cause bad cholesterol to rise, maybe even more than the cholesterol-containing saturated fats. To add insult to injury, they may also decrease good cholesterol. It is recommended that trans fat constitute no more than 1% of our diet. Since 2006, trans fat content must be listed on nutrition labels. This can be enormously helpful when shopping: my family discovered a formerly beloved pancake mix contained trans fat. Eating out can still be perilous, however, as there is no labeling requirement at this time. Hydrogenated vegetable oil is typically used for commercially fried foods. Keep in mind these products can still be labeled as “cholesterol free’ and “cooked in vegetable oil”. One order of fast food French fries easily exceeds the daily recommended intake of trans fats by several times!Now that you know the skinny on different fats, use the following American Heart Association guidelines to keep your family eating and feeling well.1. Use naturally occurring, unhydrogenated vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower or olive. 2. Avoid saturated fat in your diet. Limit total fat to between 25 and 35% of calories, mostly from unsaturated sources (fish, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils)3. Read labels and select processed foods made with unhydrogenated oil rather than partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils, or saturated fats.4. Use soft margarine instead of butter and choose liquid or tub varieties over harder stick forms. Look for “0g trans fat” on label.5. Don’t eat fried or baked goods often as they tend to be high in trans fat. French fries, doughnuts, cookies, cracker, muffins, pies and cakes are examples.6. Limit commercially fried foods and baked goods as they are usually very high in fat in general, and it is often hydrogenated or trans fat.7. Avoid fried fast food. They are usually cooked in hydrogenated products and are very high in trans fat.8. Use fat-free and low-fat dairy products.Again, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grain and high–fiber foods is also recommended. The American Heart Associated has a lot more great information on keeping you and your family healthy at www.americanheart.org.

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Setting Financial Goals

Updated 1 year ago

So you’ve got a budget and you’re chugging along. Now you realize that you don’t have a way to make future dreams and goals come true. You need to set financial goals! Here’s how (and I’ve included web sites that have some worksheets that you may find helpful).Include everyone- Include your beloved and the kids if applicable in making this financial map for your future. The more money is spoken about out loud, the better for your family’s health.Make short and long-term goals- Goals can include things as close as this month all the way out to well into retirement. The further out you plan, perhaps the more loose you may want to keep the plan.What’s the cost?- Now that you have decided what you’d like to accomplish, what is the cost of this most excellent dream? Write it down, and investigate less expensive and more creative methods of financing the dream.Break it down- How much will you need to actually save to reach the goal? If you initial plan was not realistic because you can’t save that much that fast, take it back a notch or trim some of the vision. OR, get a part-time job. You no have the tools to make life decisions because you can weigh what you want and what lifestyle you are willing to live with to get to that goal.Goals change- Recognize that life is full of surprises. You will mature and your goals may change. That’s okay. Help the family realize that when you begin this planning process. Save!- Start saving and figure out how to track your success. Citations:University of TN Extension worksheethttp://www.utextension.utk.edu/publications/pbfiles/pb1454.pdfRutgers worksheet:http://njaes.rutgers.edu/money/pdfs/goalsettingworksheet.pdfConsumer Counseling Credit of DVhttp://www.cccsdv.org/resources/setting-financial-goals Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2009 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other companies with websites listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Healthy Living: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Updated 5 years ago

By- Joan Marie Pellegrini Irritable bowel syndrome (otherwise commonly known as “IBS”) is a condition of the colon. We do not know what causes it and therefore it is very difficult to know how to cure it. The current most common medical theory is that IBS is a disorder of the nerves that control the function of the colon. IBS causes abdominal pain, bloating, gassiness, diarrhea, and/or constipation. The symptoms can be so severe that it limits one’s activity and ability to work. A doctor may diagnose IBS by the classic set of symptoms and by ruling out other common disorders. The doctor may order tests to rule out a malabsorption disorder such as lactose intolerance or celiac disease. Sometimes a colonoscopy is indicated in order to evaluate for inflammatory bowel disease. Once a patient is given a diagnosis of IBS, there is a four-pronged approach to treatment. The four prongs are: dietary modification, stress reduction, exercise, and (lastly) medications. Dietary modification: A person with IBS should keep a food journal in order to determine which foods cause the most symptoms. Common foods to avoid are milk products and foods high in fat. Also, it is important to add fiber. There are many types of fiber on the market and most of them will cause less gas and bloating than the fiber found in foods. Many people find that the soluble fibers cause the least amount of symptoms. I usually recommend to my patients that they use a combination of soluble (inulin) and insoluble (psyllium) fibers along with increasing the fiber-rich foods in their diet. If someone has diarrhea, then it is usually recommended to avoid or limit caffeine intake. On the other hand, caffeine can benefit the person with constipation. Stress reduction: Just about everyone with IBS notices that their symptoms are worse with stress. In fact just about every disease is worse with stress. There are many components to stress reduction with include psychological evaluation, counseling, breathing exercises, biofeedback, acupuncture, yoga, prayer, etc. Exercise: The colon is fairly responsive to exercise. Many people notice that their constipation is much improved with aerobic exercise. It is not quite understood how exercise benefits the bowel but it is a well known fact that it does. Exercise can also be a source of stress reduction. Medications: This is generally considered the last resort. There are medications that treat the symptoms such as laxatives for constipation, anti-diarrheals or anti-spasmodics for diarrhea, simethicone for the gas, and pain medication for the pain. In general, narcotics are least effective for bowel-related pain. Anti-depressants also may be effective. Finally, there are two drugs on the market for IBS (Lotrenex and Amitiza). These drugs have fairly serious side-effect profiles. If you or a loved one have been given a diagnosis of IBS, the goal is to manage the symptoms and not allow the disease to control your life. There is no cure but there is promise in the future as more reseach is done on bowel motility disorders. Just about every patient who embarks on a well-rounded treatment program will experience significant relief. However, most of the options listed above will need to become part of a person’s lifestyle in the long run. The following is one of my favorite sites for information on IBS:http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/irritable-bowel-syndrome/DS00106

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Healthy Living: Chocolate

Updated 5 years ago

By- Dr. Jonathan WoodDoes a daily “dose” lower your risk of heart disease and stroke?Why do the Kuna, indigenous peoples from islands off the Panamanian coast, have virtually no hypertension (high blood pressure) and no increase in blood pressure with age? And why do these findings disappear with migration to urban centers like Panama City? This phenomenon has been described in similar isolated populations and usually, when investigated, is connected to a lower salt intake in the native environment. But the native Kuna have higher salt intake than their urban counterparts. So why the extraordinary differences in cardiovascular disease? The answer: cocoa! The Kuna drink an estimated (likely underestimated) 5 cups of a native cocoa drink each day. It is their primary drink and it contains large amounts of flavanols, a naturally occurring antioxidant and blood vessel relaxer. When this “Kuna phenomenon” was first described less than 10 years ago, a flurry of studies of chocolate and cocoa followed. Could this be the new “red wine”, something yummy that actually was good for your heart health? Unfortunately, to get the same amount of flavanol contained in the 5+ cups of Kuna cocoa drink, one would have to eat and estimated 4.5 lbs of dark chocolate or 15 lbs of milk chocolate! These amounts are obviously not practical nor advisable to suggest. So studies have been done looking at smaller amounts and trying to account for the other less healthy things (fat, sugar, etc) in commercial chocolate But it has been difficult. And the amounts still have seemed too large to promote without more solid data.But now, once again, chocolate is in the news – – and it’s good news! A German study due to be published tomorrow in the European Heart Journal looked at detailed diet (including chocolate), blood pressure, several known cardiovascular risk factors, and some other demographics in a group of nearly 20,000 men and woman, age 35-65. This group was then followed over 8 years. 300 of them suffered heart attacks or strokes during that time. When controlled for all the other factors, it seems that the lower chocolate diet in these 300 people may be responsible: i.e. the more chocolate eaten, the lower risk of stroke or heart attack. Of note, the effect was more pronounced for strokes than heart attacks.The particularly interesting aspect of this study was the amount of chocolate that seemed to be needed to confer “protection”. The difference between the “low” chocolate group (more strokes) and the “high” chocolate group (fewer strokes) was 6 grams/day. And how much is 6 grams? Not much…• 1½ Hershey’s Kisses = 6 grams• 2 little “rectangles” from a standard Hershey bar = 6 grams (i.e. 1 bar should last 6 days!)• 11 Nestle semi-sweet morsels = 6 gramsAnd should you choose milk or dark? Clearly, dark chocolate has more flavanols than milk chocolate, so if you like it, dark chocolate is a better choice.So should we all rush out and start a daily dose of chocolate? Probably not – – this study was a retrospective observational design and needs to be repeated in a prospective way. But is a little bit of chocolate okay or perhaps even healthy? Likely, yes. And it seems a very little bit (6 grams) may go a long way…if you can control yourself and not eat the whole bar! Remember, our chocolate bars (unlike the Kunas’ drink) have much more in them than just cocoa… A good rule of thumb: everything in moderation!

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What it Takes to Start a New Business

Updated 1 year ago

Almost 600,000 new business start each year. Do you have what it takes to be one of the entrepreneurs who plan to open your own business this year? Here’s a list of some of the characteristics that may help you.Discipline- You need a plan and then you need the discipline to stick with the plan. People will hesitate to even begin to do business with you if you don’t have what it takes to stay in business very long. That discipline is important to me. I get my hair cut by women who have the discipline to run a great business, I go to church where- I agree with the doctrine- but they also run a disciplined business. That makes me confident.Risk taker- Starting a business is all about taking a calculated risk. Few people want to take more risk than necessary, and I think minimizing your risk is important, but you will be risking your reputation, your money and your time when you start a business.Spirit of excellence- Building a business takes hours, days, and years of consistent excellence. You will not have repeat customers if you always fail. Mistakes are normal, but you need to be committed to an attitude of excellence in your business activities.Determination- You need passion, a fire in your belly, a determination to succeed because you won’t get every contract, not every person will want to hire you- and really you don’t want them anyway. Not every human being breathing is a good customer for you services. Being an entrepreneur can sometimes be discouraging, so you need to be determined to succeed.Communication- Owning your own business means doing it all- at least at first. You need to share your passion for your goods or services. You need to negotiate with suppliers, you need to work with employees and train them and instill your passion for the work in them. You may need to work with investors and convince them of the excellence and worth of your business. Communication is key to your success.Energetic- To do all this you need to be hardworking and have a lot of energy. It really doesn’t matter what you are doing for your business, you will probably need all these skills to succeed. Live long and prosper!Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2009 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial and Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Mind and Body: Paying Attention to Both is Key to Good Health

Updated 5 years ago

By- Dr. David PrescottMore and more, health care providers are paying attention to the relationship between medical disorders and mental health problems. One the one hand, having a medical event like a heart attack or stroke leads to a greater chance of experiencing a mental health problem. On the other hand, high levels of psychological stress, depression, or anxiety, put you at higher risk for certain medical conditions. No matter which angle you take in looking at the mind/body connection, it is important to take steps to maintain good psychological health.Is there really much overlap between mental health and physical health? Absolutely yes! Several statistics and facts illustrate this point. • It is estimated that over two-thirds of primary care office visits are due to stress related symptoms. • 10-14% of people hospitalized for any medical condition have major depression. • The diagnosis of depression is estimated to be missed in up to 50% of visits to primary care doctors. • For certain medical conditions, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, about 25% of patients have diagnosable panic disorder. • High levels of hostility have been found to predict heart disease more often than high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, or obesity • Men high in optimism were less than half as likely to develop heart disease than were the more pessimistic men What are some of the medical conditions most associated with mental health problems?Cardiac Illness and Heart Attacks – Both major depression and anxiety disorders, like panic attacks, are very common following a diagnosis of coronary heart disease or having a heart attack. It is estimated that one in six people who have a heart attack develop panic disorder, and over ½ (up to 65%) of people develop major depression. Untreated major depression is even correlated with an increase risk of death within 6 months of a heart attack. Cancer – About one in four people diagnosed with cancer develop major depression. Symptoms of depression may be difficult to diagnose during cancer treatment, since poor appetite, weight loss, and loss of energy are characteristic of both depression and treatment for cancer. Diabetes – Rates of depression in diabetes are very similar to cancer (about 25%). Not only is treating depression important in and of itself, but untreated depression may make compliance with treatment for diabetes more difficult. Obesity – The relationship between obesity and depression is complex. In one study, women with obesity had a 37% higher rate of depression than women without obesity. However, it is not clear yet whether depression may cause obesity in some people, or whether obesity may cause depression. It seems likely that both are true! In any case, simultaneously treating both depression and obesity is the best hope for conquering these conditions. Why is it important to treat both medical illnesses and mental health disorders? While clinical anxiety and depression are more frequent in people with significant medical conditions, it does not mean that you are simply supposed to get used to the problem. Getting counseling or medication for anxiety and depression not only helps you feel better, but allows you to focus more energy on recovering from things like heart attacks or cancer. What can I do to make sure that both conditions are treated? Probably the most important step is to tell your doctor or your psychologist/counselor about your concerns with both your emotional and physical health. Don’t think that the fact that you are feeling extremely sad or worried is something you should just keep to yourself, or is something that just happens after a major medical event. Ask your doctor, or a mental health professional, whether what you are feeling is normal, and if there is anything you should do to address the problem. For More Information: Mental Health America: http://www.nmha.org/go/information/get-info/depression/co-occurring-disorders-and-depressionAmerican Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/mind-body

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Making Financial Decisions

Updated 1 year ago

I have a degree in Business with a concentration in Finance, so I am equipped to understand the world of investing, but I also want to help clients feel good about the process of creating their financial plan. To help me do that part of my job better I study books on decision-making. In the Paradox of Choice author Barry Schwartz explains that there are several stumbling blocks to making good decisions. Some of them we control, some is the result of too much choice.MaximizersVs.SatisfiersMaximizers vs. Satisfiers- There are two basic kinds of decisions makers. Maximizers are those of us who want the perfect, only the best choice in their decision. They are plagued by fears that they have not seen all there is to see so they cannot have seen the ‘right’ choice yet. When they finally make a decision they fret and worry that there were better choices out in the world they have missed so even after their decision they are depressed and dissatisfied.Satisfiers have high standards in their decision-making but they believe that their choice is a good one and they let any belief in what else might have been purchased or decided upon, slip away and they rejoice in their choice.The paradox Schwartz refers to in the title is that when we are presented with 6 choices, 30% of people can make a decision and follow through on their choice. But when we are faced with 24 choices of an item, like chocolate, only 3% of people buy. The ‘freedom of choice’ is many times a tie that binds.Why discuss this in a finance section? Investment decision are critical to your retirement future and the book explains how folks decide – very unscientifically- for their investment plans. Overwhelmed and trying to do what is ‘right’ people put a small amount in each investment choice. That wasn’t the reasoning in offering those options. Doing nothing because you are overwhelmed is another common thing I see as an advisor. Decide today to seek help and partner with an advisor who will wisely assist you in planning you financial future. Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2009 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure: Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc.(WSFG). Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial, WSFG and all other individuals mentioned are separate entities: they are independently owned and operated. Opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of WSFG.

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Facts and Fiction of Alcohol Use

Updated 5 years ago

By- Dr. Amy MoviusSt. Patrick’s Day is Wednesday, March 17th – a lighthearted holiday of green clothes, shamrocks, and (for some) alcohol indulgence. If drinking is a planned part of tomorrow’s celebration, be prepared to distinguish the truths about alcohol consumption from the many leprechaun myths.Alcohol is a Stimulant Nope, it’s a depressant. The initial effects may cause euphoria, and thus seem energizing, but actually, it depresses the brain.It’s Better to Drink With a Full StomachTrue! Though you will still absorb the alcohol you drink, you will do so more slowly with a full stomach and so not feel the effects as rapidly.You can Learn to “Hold Your Liquor”False. Drinking alcohol is not like going to the gym where you can train you body to do more. If the same amount of alcohol doesn’t affect you like it used to, you are developing a tolerance, which is a sign of addiction. It means you need help!Hard Liquor Gets You Drunk FasterNope again. Alcohol is alcohol and you body doesn’t know or care if it was beer, wine or vodka: it’s all processed the same way. What defines “a drink” differs between the three: 12 oz beer, 5 oz wine, and 1 oz of 100 proof hard liquor (1 1/4 oz of 80 proof) are all equal to ½ oz of pure ethanol alcohol. The person who only drinks glasses of white wine will have the same breathalyzer result as the one who drank the same number of “shots”.Women Get Drunk EasierTrue. Men and women of the same size absorb and metabolize alcohol somewhat differently. This is related to the different proportions of fat to lean muscle between genders as well as a difference in the amount of alcohol dehydrogenase present, the enzyme that breaks alcohol down.Coffee Can Sober You UpCoffee is a stimulant, which may make you feel more alert, but that is not the same as sober. BAC, or blood alcohol concentration (what a breathalyzer measures) decreases at a set, slow rate as the liver breaks the alcohol down. The BAC decreases at about .015 percent/hr. Coffee will NOT affect this. Neither will a cold shower, exercise or anything else. Time alone will sober you up.Drinking Some Alcohol Can Treat a HangoverNo way. The term hangover is derived from the Norwegian word “Veisalgia” meaning “uneasiness following debauchery”. The unpleasant symptoms include headache, nausea, and fatigue (to name a few) and are largely attributed to the dehydrating effects of alcohol consumption. In addition to the “hair of the dog” myth above, MANY products are touted as hangover remedies. They include medications, vitamins, supplements, and foods (bacon, egg and cheese sandwich for one). These products, and even “hangover kits”, can be easily purchased on-line, or at your local drug store. A 2008 article in the British Medical Journal attempted to study the effectiveness of many of these “remedies”. The found the only thing that cured hangovers was time. A better plan may be to prevent the hangover to begin with, by limiting alcohol drinking to moderation.The Younger Children Drink Alcohol The More Likely They Will Have A Drinking ProblemTrue. If you indulge in alcohol during this (or any other) occasion, don’t allow kids to participate. It’s simply not appropriate.If Someone Passes Out From Drinking You Should Let Them Sleep It Off Remember that alcohol is a depressant. It can impair and breathing, blood pressure, heart rate and can be fatal. If someone passes out you would be better taking them to medical attention, not leaving them in alone in a room. References:1. www.uwstout.edu/aod/resources/alcohol/myths_facts.html2. www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/AlcoholFactsandFiction.html3. BMJ2008:337:a2769

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Take this Job and Love It – Waitressing

Updated 5 years ago

The food is important but so is the service, and that comes down to people.In this edition of Take This Job and Love It, Sharon Pelletier discovered being a good waitress takes skill and practice.

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Sleep Apnea

Updated 5 years ago

By- Dr. Thomas RajanMarch 7-13 marks National Sleep Awareness Week, and it is a great opportunity to take the time to highlight the importance of getting a good night’s sleep.According to the National Sleep Foundation 74% of American adults experience sleeping problems a few nights a week or more, 39% get less than seven hours of sleep each weeknight, and 37% are so sleepy during the day that it interferes with daily activities.One of the reasons some people may not be getting a good night’s sleep is because of sleep apnea. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer. According to the National Institutes of Health, sleep apnea affects more than twelve million Americans. Risk factors include being male, overweight, and over the age of forty, but sleep apnea can strike anyone at any age, even children. Yet still because of the lack of awareness by the public and healthcare professionals, the vast majority remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated, despite the fact that this serious disorder can have significant consequences.Untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, and headaches. Moreover, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle crashes. Fortunately, sleep apnea can be diagnosed and treated. Several treatment options exist, and research into additional options continues. Please talk to your primary care provider for more information on how you can get a better night’s sleep.

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Couples and money

Updated 1 year ago

Maybe you’ve been together for years and you think you know each other. But inside the beautiful brain of the person you love may lurk an assumption and since you are, undoubtedly wanting a happy futre it would be good to make ceratin that you are both on the ‘same page.’Get specific- It’s time for a talk about exactly what the next ten or twenty years will look like. Did one of you mention moving to Florida as a retirement plan and the other ignored that comment? So has your partner maybe then made plans thinking that’s what’s happening while you are just hoping they have forgotten? You’ve got to talk more specifically about your hopes and dreams now before any more time passes.Be creative- If you do end up with very different hopes for the future see if you can stir those great ideas all together and get an even better future. Can you do several of the ideas and make everyone a little happy? There is still time to work out the kinks, to save more money, to come up with a plan. Whatever has come before is water under the bridge. Ditch the ‘woulda-coulda-shoulda’ and focus on now and your great future, together.Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2009 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial and Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Lobster Bisque

Todd Simcox

Updated 1 year ago

Ingredients: 1c fresh lobster meat1 10oz can of tomato soup4 tbls of cream cheese1 med onion, chopped fine2 cups of organic whole milk1/4 tsp whole ground black peppersalt to tasteDirections:Cook onion until soft. Strain off water. On low heat warm milk and beat in the 4 tablespoons of cream cheese. Once the cream cheese has melted add lobster meat, can of tomato soup, cooked onion and black pepper. Add salt for taste. Serve with toasted cheese sandwiches and celery tops. Makes a great cold afternoon lunch. Recipe submitted by: Marvel Hutchings 

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Sleepwalking

Updated 5 years ago

By- Dr. Jonathan WoodParasomnias are “repetitive unusual behaviors or strange experiences that occur in relation to sleep.” These include common occurrences like nightmares, night terrors, sleepwalking, teeth grinding, and bedwetting, but also the more unusual REM sleep behavior disorders and epileptic nighttime wandering. These can be confusing and sometimes quite dramatic. Fortunately, the most common parasomnias are generally the least worrisome. Sleepwalking is one of these common, but benign parasomnias.Who sleepwalks?Sleepwalking or “somnambulism” is common and most occurs predominantly in childhood. Up to 15% of children age 5-12 will sleepwalk at some point. Generally, the episodes become less common in adolescence, with the majority resolving before adulthood. That said, up to 10% sleepwalkers start in adolescence and 2-3% of adults will occasionally sleepwalk. What is the pattern?Sleepwalking occurs in deep non-REM sleep, a stage that occurs in the first third of the night. Eyes are often open and sleepwalkers will appear awake, albeit clumsy and generally purposeless in their movements. If they talk, their speech will often be slow, as will their responses to stimulation. Sleepwalkers generally have no memory of their escapades. These excursions are generally short and harmless, but occasionally have involved more complex and potentially dangerous behaviors like cooking or leaving the house.What predisposes to sleepwalking?Sleepwalking runs in families and there may be genetic factors. There also may be predisposing factors for sleepwalking, especially in teens and adults. These include use of alcohol or sedatives, emotional stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, obstructive sleep apnea, infection, fever, and occasionally environmental stimuli. Contrary to older teachings, it is now known that there is no association between childhood sleepwalking and psychiatric disorders.What should be done?Be assured of the benign nature of sleepwalking. Be reassured that your child is not ill or disordered. Make the environment as safe as possible by removing obstructions in bedrooms, locking or alarming doors to the outside, etc. Generally, since sleepwalking occurs early in the sleep, parents are often awake when their children sleepwalk and can therefore help them back to bed. If sleepwalking occurs predictably and frequently, awakening your child 20-30 minutes prior to the expected event every night for a several months may extinguish the behavior. This should be discussed with your doctor. Medications are not recommended for sleepwalking. They are sometimes suggested, but the evidence for this is poor and generally comes with more risk than benefit.What should not be done?Don’t try to awaken the sleepwalker! It is rarely successful and can result in the child becoming confused, agitated, or even violent. Waking the child is difficult, counterproductive and unnecessary. The best approach is to let the episode subside and then direct the sleepwalker gently back to bed and to sleep. There is no point in telling children about their sleepwalking episodes: in some children this can cause unnecessary anxiety.What about sleepwalking adults?Sleepwalking in adults, as mentioned, is much less common. If onset is in adulthood, sleepwalking also has a higher incidence of being associated with an underlying neurologic disorder. A physician should be consulted about adult-onset sleepwalking to assure its benign nature. Sleepwalking that occurs later in the night may not be true non-REM somnambulism, but rather a “REM sleep behavior disorder”. This is more of an “acting out of dreams” disorder and is due the patient not having the usual semi-paralysis of muscles that normally accompanies REM sleep and dreaming. This can be dangerous to the patient and his/her sleep partner and needs to be investigated. It is particularly important to not try to arouse an adult from this type of disorder that occurs later in the night’s sleep.Conclusions?Sleepwalking in children and adolescents can be frightening, but does not mean your child is ill or disordered. They will virtually always “grow out of it.” Avoid medications and complex work-ups for this benign condition. Be calm, establish regular sleep routines, make the environment safe, and gently guide your child back to sleep.

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Saving for Retirement

Updated 1 year ago

Saving for retirement is important. It may seem boring but it’s important. Maybe you don’t have a plan. If that’s true I’d really like you start one this year. There are many kinds of plans for all different situations. And I can’t say for sure which one is right for you because I don’t know your exact needs, but here is a general idea of what’s available and how it would work.Retirement plans boil down to two general types: plans for the work place and plans for individuals. The tax code determines narrows down the choices of the plan that is right for your needs. Plans for the work placeThe most common work place plans are 401(k)’s, 403(B)’s and SIMPLE IRA’s. Tax-exempt organizations, such as schools, hospitals and towns probably use 403(B)’s. Business generally use 401(k)’s. Smaller businesses may use SIMPLE IRA’s. They may have less administrative costs and can be used with businesses with less than 100 employees.Plans for individualsFor individuals there are Individual retirement plans, the IRA. There are all kinds of IRA’s which may be why it may feel a bit confusing when you think about them: ROTH IRA’s, Traditional IRA’s, SEP IRA’s. Your needs and particular situation determine what plan is right for you.This can be confusing because the tax code is the controlling regulation for the variations. Talk with a financial advisor, an attorney or your tax preparer for more info. But DO start a retirement plan today! Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2009 by Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial and Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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