How to Overcome Your Addiction to Cannabis

If you have used cannabis for quite a long time, you may no longer feel like you are being as productive or feeling as motivated to get through the work you need to complete. If it is something you have used daily for months or even years, you may have trouble remembering certain things and could no longer feel motivated enough to do the kinds of things that you said you would do. If you are struggling to concentrate, are always in a bad mood, and are having a hard time keeping relationships with people in your life, you may want to stop using cannabis completely.

After choosing to quit, many people wonder about the level of damage they may have caused to their brain. While you may assume that you are going to continue to feel this way for the rest of your life, it is not necessarily true. There are a few different things you can do while focusing on your recovery from an addiction to cannabis so that you can start feeling motivated again and memorize more of what is going on instead of forgetting so much.

Tips For Improving Your Memory

If you are struggling to remember a lot of the things that have happened, you should watch what you are eating and make sure you are consuming foods that support brain health, including foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, such as blueberries and salmon. Aside from altering your diet, you should play different types of games to focus on improving your ability to remember things and concentrate even more than usual. You do not have to go out and purchase games to play because you can easily download some memory games on your phone from the app store.

How to Start Concentrating Better

If concentrating has become a real struggle for you and you are having a difficult time focusing on one specific task at a time, you should create a to-do list and make sure you are only working on one task on the list at a time. When you are trying to complete different tasks, you should avoid any potential distractions. Turn your phone on silent, turn the television off, make sure you are in a private room, and focus solely on what is in front of you.

What to Do About Low Reaction Times

If you do not have a quick reaction to things and have noticed a slowed reaction occurring over a certain period, you should play some video games in your spare time. When you are playing a video game, you need to focus on what is in front of you while listening to the sounds around you to make sure you know what is happening in the game. While you do not want to sit in front of the television for hours on end, it helps to play a video game or two for an hour each day to improve your reaction times.

If you are not into playing video games, you could always participate in other types of games that will help you react much faster than usual. Some of these different activities include baseball, basketball, and softball. If you start playing for an hour or two each day, you may quickly start to notice such a significant improvement.

How to Overcome Sluggishness

You may feel sluggish and sleepy most of the time. If you never feel fully awake, it is going to have a negative impact on your life because then you are not going to want to go out and do things or have fun with anyone. You have likely thought about drinking some coffee or even drinking one of those energy drinks from the store, but those beverages are only temporary fixes. The problem could be that you are just not getting enough sleep. Try going to bed a little bit earlier so that you can get a few extra hours of sleep and see if that makes a difference for you.

Become More Motivated

If you want to be motivated enough to get things done but never feel motivated enough, you should start coming up with a list of all the different goals you would like to achieve after you quit. Develop a rewards system where you would get to treat yourself to something special if you were to achieve at least one of the goals on your list. It is a great way to keep yourself more motivated to get certain things done.

Top 5 Professions That Will Never Leave You without Money

The rhythm of life in the modern world demands us more and more, the strong competition in the labor market and inflation are factors that contribute to decapitalize us. Many people run out of money without having spent a week of their collection day. Finding options that help you generate additional money is a way to solve and prevent the inconveniences caused by the lack of this important asset to acquire the necessary assets to live. Professions such as reverse phone, writing, photography, design are in great demand, practical to perform and are very well-paid.

The activities most in demand and that offer great possibilities to work are the activities related to education, the technological area, and marketing, are fields of work that are in great demand in today’s world.

In education, the request for essay writing services generates a wide source of work, because the academic evaluation is based on rehearsals and students are constantly overwhelmed by a large number of assignments and the lack of time to fulfill their obligations.

The technological area offers a wide range of work opportunities, the programming and technical service of electronic devices generates another labor field with great demand.

The life of marketing is writing; therefore the works related to the writing have a high demand in this world of great competitiveness. There will always be work for writing, for designers, and for the technological area.

Among the most profitable professions, with the highest demand and that adapt to your lifestyle are the following:

  1. – Photography services; It is a profession with a lot of demand, you have the freedom to choose where you do it, it’s nice, you can travel, enjoy the adventure, the recreation, and rest while you make money. It is a profitable job and requires little effort. You do not need to make large investments; the investment is initially made when you acquire the equipment. It is a work from home college students ideal since it is done in free time and the topics are varied, you can specialize in the area that you like. In free moments and summer, you can enjoy the most beautiful landscapes, enjoy and make money.
  2. – Freelance; It is a profession that you can do from the comfort of your home, it has the particularity that you choose your schedule, which allows you to study, enjoy and take care of your loved ones. It is a working modality in which you can offer the world your services according to your best abilities. Freelancer is a job that will not leave you without money since you can constantly receive projects. You just have to be responsible, provide good service and make sure you get a good income, plus you do not need to make a large investment. You can offer freelance writing online design services, programming or marketing, depending on the area in which you have more skills. The investment is minimal, only with a laptop or PC with Wi-Fi or Internet connection; you reach all corners of the world and offer your service.

3.-Technical service of electronic devices; we are used to the lifestyle that the automated world facilitates us. Technology is necessary to make tasks more practical and increase productivity. Every day thousands of requests for technical service of devices are generated, it is an activity that you can do in your free time, you do not need to make a large investment and it is very profitable. Only with the necessary knowledge, basic tools, you can provide a good service.

4.-Writing services; It is a profession with a very high demand and very well remunerated. Students are constantly requesting essay writing services, and you can offer writing services for various purposes. It is a job that is related to all areas of life in society. You can do it in the comfort of your home, in free time while you study, at a time that you decide and what is even better, money is always present.

5.-Programming; It is a very demanded profession at present. The world is automated, devices or machines need software to work, so it becomes a good option when choosing a profession that does not leave you without money. Every minute thousands of requests for this service are made. It does not require investment; only knowledge mixed with responsibility and honesty. It is a profession that guarantees permanent income from money.

Before starting an activity, it is advisable to look for information regarding the activity to be performed, document, take into account the experience of other people so as not to make the same mistakes, make a good study of the target market, read a money magazine to learn more of the topic, make an evaluation about the costs and possible gains and identify your strengths and weaknesses. Taking into account these recommendations you have the advantagewon of starting an activity with security and the money will always be present.

How A Lack of Sleep Can Affect Your Job

Sleep is important, yet a surprising number of us are living with lousy sleep habits and terrible sleep patterns. You may know from personal experience that a lack of good sleep can leave us feeling exhausted in the morning. The consequences continue all day long. We’ll tend to be more irritable, we’ll find it harder to pay attention at work, and our work and personal lives will suffer. The list of consequences of sleep deprivation goes on and on — but what can we do about it?

The best ways to get regular sleep involve real lifestyle change and healthy decisions. Our sleep patterns are just that — patterns — so smart sleep habits include going to bed and rising at regular hours and respecting our bodies’ circadian rhythm — a natural pattern associated with the day-night rhythm of the earth. Getting regular exercise and eating well can help our sleep, too, as can avoiding alcohol and other intoxicating substances (especially right before bed — in addition to encouraging us to stay up later, these substances can often affect the actual quality of our sleep even after we nod off). So it may be worth opting out of happy hour a couple of times a week.

Of course, in our high-paced corporate world, we seem to celebrate those who can stay at work late and night and run on 4 hours of sleep a night. But less sleep can make us less efficient, so the reality is that, in order to do your best work, you should be well-rested. Any good boss will recognize and respect that.

However, even the most careful work on sleep patterns and lifestyle decisions can be insufficient for those of us who suffer from sleep disorders. The number of us who fall into that category is very large.

Sleep disorders are very common, experts say. The most common sleep disorders include insomnia and narcolepsy, each of which affect about 10% of the population. That’s a lot of people — and not all of these folks are diagnosed! In fact, some of the most common sleep disorders are also among the most underdiagnosed.

One striking example of an underdiagnosed sleep disorder is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is treatable, experts at SoClean Canada — a company that specializes in cleaners for CPAP machines, often used to treat sleep apnea — tell us. However, there’s no way to treat a patient who does not know that they have a problem, and a startling number of sleep apnea sufferers are undiagnosed. Some 80% of moderate and severe cases go undiagnosed, experts estimate, which means that there are as many as 22 million sleep apnea sufferers in the United States — the vast majority of whom are dealing with the condition in ignorance and on their own.

Sleep apnea, by the way, is a disorder that involves breathing disruption during sleep. The symptoms include difficulty staying asleep and loud snoring. This is not a diagnosis, of course, but if you’re experiencing exhaustions, you should speak to a medical expert about the possibility that you are suffering from sleep apnea or another sleep disorder.

That’s the bottom line here: to get the kind of help you need, you should speak to a doctor. Don’t let your work or home environment suffer, either due to poor habits or an undiagnosed condition. Make that your next step, and start reclaiming your sleep — and your life!

Should You Start Your Own Business?

We’re all working hard, but in many cases, we don’t seem to be making more money. Is it our imagination, or is there something else going on? In many cases, it’s the latter. For that, we can blame something known as wage stagnation. There are a lot of job openings, but the wages just aren’t keeping up. For 2017, the Federal Reserve set a wage growth target of 3.5 percent for the United States. Instead, wages grew only 2.6 percent. Other countries are experiencing similar issues, and experts blame a variety of factors, including the decline of labor unions and the rise of what’s known as the “gig economy.” In light of all that, it’s tempting to think about quitting your office job and starting your own business. There are a variety of factors to consider before you turn in your two weeks notice, though.

Know What You Bring to the Table

It’s easy to sit in your cubicle at work and dream about starting a business that’s an instant success and allows you to retire at age 40. When you’re sitting in your office, you probably don’t have time to really map out the details of what it would take to get your own business up and running. The old cliché that “the grass is always greener on the other side” very much applies here. If you don’t like your current job, then just about anything seems better than what you’re doing at the moment. It’s an easy thing to imagine that working from home or renting a storefront will magically lead to higher take home pay, but you have to work really hard to ensure that becomes a reality. You have to talk with reputable financial advisers, like those at Global PEG, and figure out if your business plan is truly viable.

If you have a family, you also need to make sure that they’re OK with you quitting your boring but steady job for a much more unpredictable lifestyle. For instance, will you be able to get health insurance through your spouse’s job, or will you have to look elsewhere? Will your spouse and children be OK with the long hours that are required when you’re trying to get your business up and running? Don’t assume that they’ll be OK with all this; instead, sit down and have a long conversation — or five.

Beware of Scams

If you have any social media presence whatsoever, you’ve probably gotten a message from a friend asking you to come to a “spa party” or other event. When you get there, the “spa party” is actually an excuse to try to sell you facials or lipstick or something else that your friend obtained through a multi-level marketing company, or MLM. Such companies often charge people a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars to buy stock in makeup or clothes or nutritional supplements. The “independent consultants” then have to both sell their stock and recruit others to sell if they want to make any money. Making money is a lot more easily said than done, as it’s hard to find others to recruit unless you join a company that’s just starting and on the rise. Such schemes are especially attractive to parents who want to quit their job and stay at home with their kids but also need to bring in a source of income. Unfortunately, that source of income is mostly a myth, as a Federal Trade Commission report indicates that 99 percent of MLM participants lose money.

If you’re thinking, “Well, so what? 90 percent of small business fail anyway,” then think again. That 90 percent number gets thrown around a lot, but it’s not backed up by facts. According to the Small Business Administration, 39 percent of legitimate small businesses end up being profitable. Another 30 percent break even, while the other 30 percent end up losing money. Those numbers are daunting, but if you’ve done your research and consulted with some experts, the odds don’t seem nearly as scary. Be ready to work hard. Be ready for less stability than you’d like, especially in the first few months or even years. But if you play your cards right and get a little lucky, you can end up being one of the true success stories.

The Growing Problem With E-Mail Security

E-mail security has been a huge issue since the technology’s emergence in the mid-1990s, and for all of our tech sophistication and heightened awareness of the problem, it’s only gotten worse.

Cybersecurity specialist Kazpersky Labs, for example, reports that while the volume of spam dropped last year, the firm’s tracking showed a 59 percent jump in phishing attacks. But the bad actors are a creative lot – just when you think you have a handle on one e-mail scam, they change tactics and you have to adjust your defenses.

Throughout most of 2017, for example, the types of e-mail to look out for contained malicious URLs, linking back to sites hosting malware. Proofpoint found the volume of these e-mails jumped by 600 percent in the third quarter – a 2,200 percent from the same 2016 quarter. But by the fourth quarter, cybercriminals switched their preferred scamming methods from malicious URL use to messages carrying malicious attachments. The volume of these messages jumped by 300 percent during the fourth quarter from the third.

Keeping up is almost like trying to win at the whack-a-mole game.

It’s fascinating (in a train wreck kind of way) to look at the ebbs and flows of the scams that the bad guys use to convince people to act, and how adept they are at seizing on major events and issues to get past their guard.

Last year’s big opportunities?

The FIFA 2018 world cup preparation, giving rise to fraudulent, if official-looking messages about lottery wins and promising free tickets. And the cryptocurrency craze has provided a rich vein of blockchain-themed tricks, like malware-laden websites disguised as cryptocurrency exchanges. Another trick is malware in spam emails, billed to be utilities for earning Bitcoins.

There is a cost to all this. Phishing scams alone cost American businesses about $500 million a year. But there are a lot of impacts of cyber attacks – obvious and those beneath the surface – to think about, as a study by Deloitte showed.

The firm identified 14 cyberattack impact factors with direct and/or intangible costs that will add to the pain of a major cyber incident. The direct costs ranged from attorney fees and litigation to customer notification, and technical investigation to cybersecurity improvements. Beneath the surface? Operational disruption, for one. Then there are increases in your insurance premiums and the lost value of customer relations and contract revenue. It’s not a pretty picture for potential damage, Deloitte’s modeling showed.

Any number of solutions will help mitigate the risks that come with our increasing dependence on e-mail as a fast, efficient and inexpensive way to communicate with each other.

The best place to start is to make people aware and equip them to be on guard against malicious e-mails that might make their way into e-mail boxes. The tips bear repeating: Never click on a link or an attachment on an unsolicited e-mail. Always check the sender. Bad actors can be quite skilled at replicating logos to look like the real deal, but your bank is not going to ask you to share sensitive information like your social or account number or bank account password through this channel. And common sense applies. Offers that seem too good to be true usually are, especially if the outreach is out of the blue.

But e-mail security issues have a broad scope, and are an enterprise-wide concern. It makes a holistic, enterprise wide approach to secure messaging the imperative for any organization that exchanges sensitive information with customers.

The way of the future? Increasingly, it’s moving toward integrative solutions that enable users to control, track, share and protect sensitive business information as a means of heading problems off at the pass.

How You Can Learn to Trade on Rules-Based Trading

We are creatures of habit. Habits form patterns that become rules of a sort for how we live our lives in a dependable way.

One of the most compelling illustrations of this is Danish photographer Peter Funch’s “42nd and Vanderbilt” project. He stood at that corner in New York City and from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. between 2007 and 2016 took photos of commuters on their daily pilgrimage. Many of them were the same people, day in and day out, just more grey and grizzled over time. Their faces always had the same expressions, mostly grim. Many wore the exact same shirts in 2016 that they wore in 2007, or shirts in a similar color and style. They also consistently did the same things, like holding a to-go coffee cup the same way.

That sort of habitual consistency is also frequently seen in the stock market. People who figure out how to read the patterns and act accordingly can make a lot of money, and because of that consistency, they can do so in a way that mitigates a lot of the risks of playing the market.

It’s called rules-based trading, and I should know because it’s a strategy I’ve used and share.

Rules-based trading is really a dependable approach for beginners and those with a low appetite for risk. It’s quite simple, actually, for those who do their homework and who are mindful of and keep to schedules.

It’s a way to piggy-back off the seasonal buying and selling that marks the activities of the institutional investment community, and reflects both bullish and bearish environments. Here are some examples.

On the bull side, take a look at Rockwell Automation. Between Nov. 13 and Dec. 26 in 21 of the last 23 years, the stock has gone up, with an average return of 5.76 percent. The return on options plays: 50 percent to 100 percent.

On the bear side, there’s Skecher, whose stock has declined between Sept. 14 and 27 in 17 of the last years, showing an average 6.82 percent decline. Putting options on that play will get a return of 50 percent to 100 percent.

Here’s why this system is a good one to put in place. You know what you’re getting. It’s designed to “set and forget.” You place your trade and don’t do anything more with it until it’s stopped out, the target is reached or you hit a trailing stop loss. You’re set as long as you keep it all within the precisely defined windows.

You avoid the psychological pressures of trading, but still get the fun of watching how it’s going without having to constantly be monitoring and analyzing new information. However, you do have to do your homework to identify likely targets (through data available on platforms like Yahoo Finance and Bloomberg) and apply the option strategy that fits.

Rules-based trading is an excellent way to build market knowledge and discipline that, over time, you’ll be able to take to the proverbial bank.

Certus Trading makes it easier to get into rules-based trading with our Profit Scheduler Club for options. We do the data analysis and show what options strategies will apply best, equipping you to comfortably make the trade.

A Few Things You Probably Didn’t Realize About Vacation Pay if You’re an Employer in Ontario

As an Employee, You’re Entitled to Three Weeks of Vacation Pay if You Have Worked With the Employer for Five Years.

In Ontario, there are minimum employment standards around vacation leave that gives rights to employees for time off with pay. While there are some job classifications that are excused, most employers must abide by the Employment Standards Act (ESA) when it comes to providing vacation with pay.

As of January 1, 2018, vacation time and pay splits employees into two groups based on the number of years an employee has worked with the same employer. Take a look at the difference in the minimum vacation time and pay:

Minimum Standard Less than 5 years  5 years or more 
Vacation Time Two weeks of
vacation time after
each 12-month
vacation entitlement year
Three weeks of
vacation time
Vacation Pay Four percent of the
gross wages (excluding
any vacation pay) earned
in the 12-month
vacation entitlement
year or stub period
(if any)
Six percent of the
gross wages earned
in the 12-month
vacation entitlement
year or stub period
(if any)

As an employer, you have the right to decide if you’d like to provide greater rights and privileges to your employees than what is required by the ESA. However, you absolutely cannot give or pay less than the terms and conditions listed above. If you do, you could be susceptible to receiving an ESA claim against you.

7 Things to Know About Vacation Pay in Ontario

Vacation pay is often a commonly asked topic that HR consultants get questions about. Here are seven things to know, in addition to the minimum standards for vacation leave:

  1. A vacation entitlement year is a recurring 12-month period; it can be tallied starting from the employee’s hire date or alternatively, around the calendar year. If it’s the latter, you must provide a pro-rated amount of vacation time for the period between the start dates of your employee and your calendar year; this is called a “stub period”.
  2. If an employees does not complete a full vacation entitlement year or stub period, employers don’t have to provide vacation time. However, employees do earn vacation pay as they earn salary or wages.
  3. Your employees must take vacation within ten months after finishing a vacation entitlement year or stub period.
  4. Employers must schedule vacation time in blocks: two or three-week blocks, or in one-week blocks of two or three. For shorter episodes of time off (i.e. one day), your employee may request to do so and the agreement can be made in writing.
  5. For most cases, earned vacation pay must be given in a lump sum before your employee takes the time off. However, there are several exceptions to this.
  6. In cases of termination, you are obliged to pay your employee their earned vacation that has not yet been paid. This is required within seven days of the employee exiting the workspace.
  7. If your employee asks for a statement of their vacation pay which is expected in writing, you must provide these records within seven days of the request.

For vacation periods, it’s important to follow the standards set out by the ESA and ensure that you are abiding by them. It’s also important to note that most employees identify vacation policies as a key part of their total package.

Sunil Tulsiani, the man who wants to make you a millionaire

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need a mentor. Someone that has walked the path you chose and succeeded. In real estate investment, there are few people that are as qualified to serve as a guide as Sunil Tulsiani.

With names like Robert G. Allen and Robert Kiyosaki, the before mentioned claim might sound a little exaggerated. However, Mr. Tulsiani not only has achieved huge financial success during his career but he has also managed to develop an exceptional level empathy that makes him the logic choice.

According to more than a hundred recommendations on his LinkedIn profile, Sunil has helped several people learn how to create, maintain and develop stable sources of income. Moreover, many of his apprentices go on to become industry leaders and give speeches about real states investment. Or as Nam Ratna says:


“We hired Sunil as our mentor a couple of months ago and in less than 90 days, we had more than doubled our investment! Furthermore, my partner/brother has shared stage with Brian Tracy and my other partner is selected to share stage with Robert G. Allen in Toronto. 

I find Sunil to be down to earth, well connected and a top mentor!

We look forward to be part of Sunil’s 100 millionaire list.

Thank you Sunil!!”

As you can see, his clients not only trust Sunil Tulsiani but they also want to make him proud. This inspirational pattern repeats testimonial after testimonial which makes you want to learn more about the man.

Who is Sunil Tulsiani?

Sunil Tulsiani is an entrepreneur that has been reaping the benefits of a successful career in the industry of real estate investment in Canada. He and his family migrated to Toronto in 1981 looking for a better life.

During an interview with the Canadian Real Estate Magazine, he explained he and his family lived in a “difficult area of Toronto.” But he didn’t let the challenge of being an immigrant nor the toxic environment that surrounded him corrupt his convictions. And as soon as he could, he went on to accomplish his first professional dream: Becoming a police officer.

Being a minority in the force, Sunil Tulsiani had to work twice as hard as his colleagues, and after years of “catching the bad guys,” he attained the rank of platoon commander. But, after 15 years of sacrificing his personal life for his job, he needed a change.

So, he took a year’s leave and decided to become financially independent. He wanted to spend more time with his family.

With that goal in mind, Sunil started attending as many business conferences as he could, until he stumbled upon Robert G. Allen’s $5000 workshop. Not 7 days had passed, when Tulsiani purchased his first condo covering only 5% of the full investment. Following the best practices in the industry and using tricks he picked up on the road, he managed to earn almost a million dollars in profit during his first year as an investor.

The creation of the Private Investment Club

His success in the real estate world gave Sunil Tulsiani name recognition, and before he realized it, a public speaking career started to take form.

“I was petrified. I was always the shy guy in meetings, so to go up on stage was very daunting,” Mr. Tulsiani on his first speech.

Sunil overcome his shyness and quickly became a confident and reliable speaker. Moreover, the tips and tactics he shared were so valuable that more and more people started to attend his conferences.

So, the former police officer decided he wanted to help others achieve the same level of success he was enjoying as a real estate investor. His goal? Transforming 100 unknown individuals into millionaires. It sounds crazy, but there was a clear strategy behind it all.

The solution was simple and elegant. Sunil was going to gather a group of like-minded people that wanted to thrive in the real estate industry, regardless their background. He called it the Private Investment Club, and this organization’s objective was to provide its members with the tools to become high-performing investors.

From coaching to financial support, the members of PIC started cooperating with one another with a simple goal in mind: Making money investing in properties. The initiative took off as PIC collaborators’ portfolio started to grow, establishing Sunil Tulsiani as a guru of real estate investment.

A big mistake that could have killed the guru’s reputation

Tulsiani met Joe Henry Chau in 2007. The latter was a developer working on a hotel-condo in Curacao, a famous touristic spot off-shore Venezuela. Usually, business people are wary of projects that are under development, but Sunil had already made millions with similar projects using different tactics to mitigate the risks. So, he took the bait.

His brother flew in to scout the place, and confirmed everything Mr. Chau said was true; it was a good investment opportunity. So, Tulsiani decided to pitch the project to PIC members, and many of them were interested since they only had to cover 10% of the total cost.

Then, the infamous 2008 real estate crisis kicked in which forced Tulsiani and his collaborators to inject capital to keep the project alive. However, Joe Henry Chau had used shady methods to run the initiative, and he was later found guilty of fraud. The result? Tulsiani and several members of the Private Investment Club lost millions of dollars.

That of course affected the guru’s reputation, and many of the people involved even accused him of having deceived them. However, he was cleared of any fraud charges. In despite of that, he took money out of his own pocket to cover some of his client’s loses.

Instead of shutting down his company and accepting defeat, Sunil decided to use the knowledge from that experience to become a wiser investor. Now, he doesn’t take unnecessary risks with pre-construction developments, and clearly explains the risks of investing to anyone that wants to work with him. But, what about his reputation?

The waiting list to join the PIC grows every day. Even after the Curacao fiasco, people still believe in Sunil and want to do business with him. If you want proof, that first recommendation we mentioned at the beginning of the article is from few days ago (February 7, 2018).

If you are considering becoming a property investor and are looking for a reliable mentor, Sunil Tulsiani is the smart bet. You can start by checking out his books and YouTube channel where he gives invaluable entrepreneurship advice. Be warned, you might become a fan after a couple of research hours.

PPP’s role and challenges in public services reform in post-conflict economies

There’s a lot of ongoing talk in business, government and academic circles about public private partnerships (PPPs). They have a role to play in public sector reform. They’re the best way to undertake major infrastructure projects on time and on budget. And why can’t the tech innovations that are transforming businesses be brought to the public side to improve government services?

It’s the developed countries that have leveraged these deals most extensively. The World Bank, for example, notes that the U.K. has the most projects, 648, while Korea has 567 and Australia, 127. The institution further notes that the market is growing “in absolute terms…(with) the growth cycles of PPP investments…influenced by five big economies – Brazil, China, India, Mexico and Turkey – that have increased their market share over time.”

Traditionally, PPPs have tended to be projects intended to see through significant infrastructure projects. Singapore, for example, has used them successfully for desalination and water management projects. A PPP has been behind the upgrades to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport in the Philippines, a project that has won much acclaim and is on track to finish in the middle of this year.

But many see PPPs as evolving and as even the best way we can successfully manage some of society’s most pressing issues. In one interview, former World Bank CFO Bertrand Badre said that multi-stakeholder partnerships are the only way to come to grips with the global challenges of sustainable development.

From my perspective, PPPs are just as critical to helping less developed and post-conflict countries rebuild their public sectors. But while the need is great, so are the challenges.

Post-conflict countries can become trapped in cycles of economic regression and further conflict. That results in overextended governments that have established patterns of suppressing the private sector. That’s not the stuff of successful public/private partnerships.

Overcoming those barriers takes rebuilding on a number of fronts, but starting with stronger policy making. This is essential if emerging economies are to learn to broaden their perspectives and borrow best practices from more advanced nations of the world.

My work in this area with the governments of Liberia and Sudan led to a greater understanding and appreciation for the importance of the private sector, particularly the innovators and entrepreneurs, to a struggling country’s long-term survival.

It was, we found, an education process. Government jobs alone cannot grow an economy or create wealth. It takes businesses of all sorts to create an environment that stimulates economic growth – and there should be a mutual interest in nurturing it.

Ultimately, the environment must be stable and one where long-term private sector investments will make sense. Stronger policies help, but they need to be accompanied by a concerted effort to tackle corruption and a willingness to share the risks. In fact, some governments have actually gotten political risk insurance. In the Ivory Coast, such coverage led one PPP to finance construction of an important toll bridge after a decade-long delay.

Public Private Partnerships matter. Post conflict and emerging economies will need them to support their reform agendas as this century advances. It’s time we move from talk to action.

Targeting Millennials as a Real Estate Agent – What to Know

Millennials have become one of the largest group of homebuyers. However, due in part to affordability issues and the reluctance of older generations to upsize or downsize from their current homes and free up inventory, Millennials also lag behind the benchmarks set for homeownership by older generations at the same stage in their lives.

The question facing many real estate agents now is how to successfully market to Millennials and help them achieve their goals.

Fortunately, Millennials are very much like the previous generations in their outlook about homeownership: they regard owning a home as a central part of achieving a lifelong dream and perceive it as an attainable goal. On the other hand, as I mentioned above, there are some obstacles that Millennial buyers face that previous generations have not. There are a few ways that a savvy agent can reach Millennial clients and help them make the best decision for themselves.

As alluded to above, Millennials do not have the same kind of financial wherewithal that clients in previous generations might have enjoyed: they are often burdened with debt from student loans and other financial obligations, and face the prospect of rising costs and stagnating wages. Millennials often buy their first home later in life than, say, members of the Baby Boomer generation and, as a consequence, are looking for houses that are inexpensive and simple to maintain.

In addition, and this cannot be overstated, today’s Millennial home buyer will search for homes online, via computer and smartphone. It is paramount that any real estate agent who wants to connect with the Millennial audience take this fact into consideration when building a marketing plan for his or her properties.

There are a couple important things to keep in mind in relation to this aspect of the Millennial audience:

  • Millennials expect to be able to find the information they want immediately. Info about homes should be clear and easily accessible, whether on a website or social media.
  • They also want to be able to see a lot of high-quality photos of properties online. They want to be able to obtain as much solid information about a property as they can before committing to seeing it in person.

Also, thanks to the influence of home renovation shows on TV and things like Pinterest and the proliferation of home decor magazines, many Millennials have different — some might say higher — expectations than previous generations when it comes to real estate.

  • Millennials want new fixtures and updated bathrooms and kitchens. They want things that are new and they want the appearance of luxury and modernity.

Millennials are also, on the whole, more focused on “experiences” rather than the accumulation of things. This means that they place a greater value on certain aspects of a property:

  • Millennials want open spaces within the house where they can entertain, and they want to be in urban or denser suburban areas where they can connect with others.
  • Millennials generally speaking do not want houses that sit on large lots or are difficult or expensive to maintain.
  • Millennials, in general, are not interested in houses that are in need of extensive renovations; they do not have the disposable income to complete renovations and would rather spend that money on activities and experiences.

Keeping all the above in mind can help real estate agents reach the Millennial audience and connect with them successfully.