Why I decided to leave my 3rd son intact, after choosing circumcision for the first two.

I have been pretty vocal on my personal page about circumcision over the past year and I don’t think a lot of people truly understand WHY it is that I made this decision.  This also seems to be the biggest question I get when people are why I left my son intact, especially since his brothers are circumcised.

First… my response is this, you live and you learn.  Yes- I LEARNED what a circumcision actually is, I LEARNED the true functions of the foreskin (the “flap” of skin that is removed– Oh yes it serves very important functions for a man- all of which are taken away from him at birth or shortly after with Routine Infant Circumcision), and I LEARNED WHY we do it in the United States.

I only wish that someone would have given me all this information when I was 21 and my first born was brought into this world.  Unfortunately, I had no idea.  With my second son- I really started to question it.  I really didn’t feel right about it, but I felt pressure to make him “normal” so I had it done… and I regretted it pretty much instantly and I still do.

I knew when I found out I was expecting another boy that I would leave him intact.  I knew that I really regretted allowing that to happen to my son’s and that I would break the cycle now.  I also want to inform other parents-to-be that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CHOOSE TO CIRCUMCISE your son.  It is not necessary, it is not normal, you ARE taking something away from him, and most of all- truly– it is not your body and not your decision to remove body parts from your child because in some way, you feel this is how a man’s penis is supposed to look.

I am not going to harp and preach on circumcision in this post.  I will leave you with a link to video that I feel every person should watch Elephant in the Hospital.  I hope you will take the time to watch the video because it does have really great information in it.

What made me change my stance?

Well first… I was not exactly “pro cut” I feel like I was a sheep- just doing what I thought I had to do.  And for that, my sons suffered.  After my second son was born, I feel like something immediately clicked and I knew what I did was wrong.  I also met a friend that was a huge intactivist and she shared some info with me to help solidify the feelings that I was already having.  Once I realized everything- did some of my own research… I knew where I stood.

1. It is NOT a sin NOT to circumcise your sons.  This is one thing that I hear- about how the bible says you should or you are “unclean” or you are sinning.  This is not true.  Not only this, but the circumcision that is performed today is not at all like the circumcision that was performed by Abraham in the Bible.
bible circum circumcision-biblical-vs-modern

2. The foreskin has functions!!  We are led to believe the forskin is just a flap of skin that has no purpose and will cause infection if we leave it attached.

This is NOT TRUE.  The foreskin has 16 functions, all of which are lost with circumcision, and most of which can not be regained with restoration.

16 functions of the foreskin

 

3. It is NOT my body.  I think this is the biggest one parents need to remember.  How do you know that your son wants to be circumcised?  You don’t!  An infant can not express if he wants to have this elective cosmetic surgery done, why should you be the one to decide this for him?

4.  It is cruel.  Think about what actually happens during circumcision… YOU ARE ALLOWING THIS HARM AND PAIN TO HAPPEN TO YOUR NEWBORN BABY!  We are so desensitized and are so concerned with what is “normal” that we don’t care that we are intentionally causing pain to our children.  Pain that can have life long negative effects!  (And a circumcised penis is not “normal”!!)

5.  It is not important for my sons to “match”… If you are choosing to circumcise because your husband is… Why?  Do you think they are going to “compare”… no and if they somehow notice… you can explain how you did better for your son because you had all the information.

dad match

I really hope this helps to answer the questions most people have asked me about my choice to leave my son intact (after choosing to circumcise the first two).  The one thing I can urge every parent to be is– do your research!  Don’t just do it because you think you have to… you don’t!  You can break the cycle and your son will thank you for it when he older.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments.  :-)

Incredible Sights In California That The Whole Family Will Love

Golden Gate Bridge at Sunset

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If you want a state that has it all, look no further than California. It has wide, open desert, snow capped mountains, fir forests, and green pastures. There are huge sprawling urban centers where dreams are made of, beautiful wine regions, and, of course, Disneyland. If you’re looking for an area to road trip around, it might as well be California, because it has literally everything a holiday could ever need, for parents and kids alike. If you want a family friendly holiday, look no further than California .

The Golden Gate Bridge

A true marvel of engineering, and an iconic structure of our nation, the Golden Gate Bridge is a must-visit for any American. San Francisco itself is basically the perfect city break destination, with beautiful streets, a harbor full of sea lions that the kids will go mad for, and plenty of amazing independent cafes, bars, and boutiques. A visit to the island of Alcatraz is a must too. Situated in the bay of San Francisco, the ex federal prison can now be reached by ferry, and tours of the prison are seriously interesting for parents and children.

Yosemite National Park

A national wonder, Yosemite National Park spans a large area of northern California, and offers some of the most stunning views of the United States. Stunning granite cliffs, giant sequoia groves, glaciers, and waterfalls leading to crystal clear streams make the Yosemite Valley look more like an oil painting than a real place. Kids love the diverse wildlife of the area – keep an eye out for a moose, or even a bear and its cubs! It’s just awe-inspiring, and has to be seen to be believed.

Desert

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Death Valley

Outside of Africa and the Middle East, Death Valley in eastern California is the hottest place on the entire planet and the lowest point below sea level in the whole United States. In fact, the highest air temperature ever recorded was in Furnace Creek, Death Valley, and hit a whopping 134 degrees. While you can’t spend too long down there, the scenery is utterly breathtaking, and it’s really educational too.

Los Angeles

The City of Angels is a city like no other. Full of famous stars and people full of dreams, it’s a city that’s grown up around Hollywood. With shopping, food, beaches, and beautiful hikes, it’s got everything you need for a great city break, and plenty of fun for the kids too. Be sure to take a Los Angeles taxi from your hotel to Beverly Hills for some star gazing, take a walk down the Walk of Fame, and shop til you drop on Melrose Avenue.

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Napa Valley

This is one maybe more for the parents than the kids. If you like wine, you’re going to want to visit the Napa Valley. Rich vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see, and produce some of the best wine in the world. The scenery is utterly idyllic, and the sun beats down on scorched earth while you relax with amazing wine, great food, surrounded by really friendly local people. The children will love being outdoors, spending their days horse riding, boating on the lake, or lounging around the pool. You could close your eyes and almost pretend you were in Spain – it’s true bliss.

California is one of those states that you could spend years traveling around, and still not visit everything you’d like to see. With such a range of terrains, stunning cities, and beautiful scenery, it’s no wonder it’s one of the world’s favorite vacation states.

Get Your New Kitchen Cooking As Soon As Possible To Save Stress During Your Move

Moving house is fun, but it can be unsettling. For the first few days in your new home, you won’t know what to do with yourself. Living out of boxes isn’t fun, and being in a new place can be disorienting. The sooner you get settled, the better. That’s when you can start enjoying the home you dreamt of! The whole house will need your attention, but some rooms can’t wait. The kitchen is the one place you need functional from the go. None of us can go without food. When the kitchen is out of order, it causes immense amounts of disruption. That’s why you should set your sights on getting the kitchen sorted as soon as you can! Here are a few tips on how to get your kitchen functional in no time at all!

KEEP ESSENTIALS TO HAND

Consider keeping your kitchen up and running, even before you’ve moved in. Think, during the packing process, what you need to keep available. Pack a small box that you don’t tape up, and keep it on hand throughout your moving day. Put some snacks in there, and maybe some sandwiches! Remember, too, to include a kettle, mugs, and tea supplies. Your movers are sure to appreciate a cup of tea once you get to the other end! Having these pieces on hand will help you resume a running a kitchen as soon as you reach your destination. They’ll also ensure that you don’t go hungry.

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DO A FOOD SHOP

A food shop may be the last thing on your mind, but the sooner you do one, the better! Any food you brought with you will be in boxes and will be minimal anyway. It isn’t practical to transfer perishable food! With your cupboards empty, you’ll find life hard. Give yourself the first night off by treating yourself to a takeout. Then, go shopping first thing the next morning. Doing such a regular activity will help to make you feel normal again. Not to mention that you’ll feel much better once your cupboards are stocked again. Make a big event of the first meal you cook in your new home. It may take you awhile to get used to your new kitchen so the sooner you start using it, the better! It’s doing regular activities like this in your new house that will make it feel like home.

UNPACK AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

Decluttering your house of all those boxes is important. Decluttering the kitchen even more so. Unpacking as soon as you can will free up space you need to cook. It’ll also ensure you know where everything is again! Make sure the kitchen is the first room you get to work on by marking what’s in each of the boxes you pack. Have the boxes marked ‘kitchen’ put straight into the room, so you don’t have to hunt for them when the time comes. You’ve already sorted the food, so focus on boxes containing cutlery and cooking equipment!

Feeling More Frumpy Mummy Than Yummy Mummy?

It’s easy to get into a rut with your appearance and end up being more of a frumpy mummy than a yummy mummy. The truth is that when you’ve got little ones to take care of, you have a tendency to put your appearance on the back burner, to concentrate on your little ones.

While there’s nothing wrong with dressing in clothing that’s comfortable and easy to pull on, like sweatpants and jumpers, for instance, you can end up feeling frumpy and lacking self-esteem because of it.

The key to feeling more like a yummy mummy is to put time and thought into what you wear, as well as into your hair and makeup. There’s nothing wrong with going bare-faced every so often, but if you want to feel good about yourself, you need to make time to style your hair and apply your makeup each day – you’ll feel better for it.

To become more yummy and less frumpy, here are the steps to take:

Treat yourself to some new clothes

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The first step to feeling more confident in your appearance and less frumpy is to treat yourself to new clothes. If the clothes that you usually wear are a little on the frumpy side, now is the time to update your wardrobe. Start off by having a look online to get an idea of what’s in fashion, and then do some shopping.

You can either shop online or head to your local shopping centre and shop there, depending on your personal preference, of course. If you are going to shop online, make sure to take advantage of deals and discount sites, such as www.plusvouchercode.co.uk. When you’re a parent, every penny counts.

As for what to buy, leggings can work well as they’re comfortable and when teamed with a dress, stylish jumper or tunic, can look stylish. Or, how about buying a nice pair of jeans, to team with tops and jumpers? Skirts and tops can also look lovely, teamed with a pair of thick woolen tights.

Get a new haircut

To prevent having to scrape your hair into a bun or ponytail each morning, have your hair cut into a new, easy-to-style do. That way you can ensure that doing your hair in the mornings doesn’t have to be time-consuming or stressful. Opting for an easy-to-do style means that you can wake up, brush it, and be ready to go, and feel good about how your hair looks.

Practice minimal makeup looks

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To get your everyday makeup look right, minimal makeup is a must. You don’t want to look overdone up. You want to wear enough makeup so that you feel good about yourself. Spend a couple of evenings practicing applying your makeup quickly so that in the mornings you can get your face on before the kids wake up. It might only be a little bit of makeup, but it will give your self-esteem that boost it needs.

So there you have it, everything that you need to know to look and feel better. Take note of the tips above, and you can wave goodbye to being a frumpy mummy.

Beginner Sewing Projects: Ideas And Tips! #FamilyFun

If you’re a beginner sewer, there are a few things you should know first. This guide aims to give you some great ideas and tips for your future projects. Practise makes perfect, so use them and see what you can do.

Go Supply Shopping

Go supply shopping if you haven’t already. There are a number of things you’ll need depending on what you want to make. Here’s a list that could help you:

  • Three pairs of scissors. One for fabric, one for paper, and one for, threads and seam lines.
  • A seam ripper.
  • Pins.
  • Measuring tools.
  • Marking tools.
  • Painters tape.
  • Needles and thread.
  • A sewing machine.
  • Patterns.

Understand Your Sewing Machine

When you have everything you need, it’s time to find your way around your sewing machine. You must understand your sewing machine before you even think about starting a project. You can find all kinds of tutorials and reviews online to help you if you need them, on all kinds of machines including the Brother se400. Make sure you have the right machine for your needs and that you practise with it before starting a project. It shouldn’t take you that long, and there should be a ton of resources to help you online.

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Learn The Basics

When you’re confident with your machine, you can learn the basics. Don’t try to run before you can walk. It’s a good idea to learn how to do a perfect zigzag stitch, as well as sew a straight line. These two skills are used in many different projects and it’ll do you good to master them first. Although it’s a good idea to read plenty of books and watch videos, don’t be afraid to make up your own techniques either. Trust your instincts. You can always try it one way and re-do it if it doesn’t work. You might just come up with your own techniques that work better than the ones you’re reading about.

Understanding Which Fabric To Use

Choosing which fabric to use can boil down to many different factors. Sometimes, it’s best to use the type of fabric that the pattern you’re using calls for, as the designers will often know best. However, it can also depend on your skill level, and how you like the feel of a fabric against your skin. Consider the print, and make sure you read the care instructions first. Then you’ll know which fabric is best for you.

Projects

There are a few projects that are pretty easy to take on whatever your skill level may be. Here are a few ideas you might like:

Sewn Tote Bag

Tote Bag

Sewing a tote bag is probably one of the easiest things you can do as a beginner. This is usually a simple case of cutting equal rectangles, hemming them, and then sewing them together with a machine after deciding where your handles will go. You then create and sew your handles, as well as decorate the bag. It couldn’t be easier!

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Baby Blanket

There are a number of different ways you can sew a baby blanket. It could be a simple case of gathering fabrics you like and sewing them together. You could even use fabrics that are special, such as your baby’s first outfits. It’s up to you as to whether you want to make it double sided or not.

Cushion Cover

When many people first start sewing they decide to make a cushion cover. This is another super simple thing to make that you can show off in your home afterwards. This is a case of choosing a nice fabric and the back stitching it so you have a fold in the back for the cushion to go in. It’s a lot easier than it sounds and you can show off your creation afterwards.

Pajamas

Maybe you could even sew your own pajama bottoms when you have a little more confidence. Pajama bottoms, or lounge pants, are really simple. This is something you can try when you feel a little more confident with patterns and the like. However, it’s a great item to practise with. Using linen material can be a great way to start out before you start using materials that are a little harder to work with.

Hopefully these beginner sewing projects and tips have inspired you to get started on your sewing journey right away. It can be so much fun and you’ll love developing your new skill. If you have anything you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Come back soon!

Thank you to Family Fun Magazine for these craft ideas!

 

NAME-STAMP BLOCK Tutorial #FamilyFunMag

Another fun Winter- time craft, make your own NAME-STAMP BLOCK!  Idea courtesy of FamilyFun Magazine!

Great for new spellers—or anyone who likes to make her mark!

stamp-block

What you’ll need
Paper
Craft foam
Craft glue
2-inch wooden block(s)
Stamp pad & notebooks (optional)

Instructions

  1. Write your recipient’s name in 1¼-inch-high block letters on a piece of paper (you can also use a stencil or print out the letters in a font you like at 100 points). Cut out each letter. You can get six characters onto a block, so if she has a short name, fill in any blank spaces with a fun design like a heart or a star; if she has a long name, use two blocks.
  2. Trace two of each letter onto craft foam; cut out.
  3. Stack the letters and glue them together. Then glue each letter to a side of the block backwards. Repeat for all letters.
  4. If desired, package your blocks with a stamp pad and notebooks.

Easy how-to Kid’s Craft: FISH FRIENDS

Are you looking for an easy craft kids can make while they are couped up inside this winter?  Check out this easy how-to tutorial for instructions on making stuffed Fish Friends.  

Your kids can make a whole school of these quirky stuffies for their crew!

fish

What you’ll need

Fish templates (find them at familyfunmag.com/printables)
Fabric (about ¼ yard per fish)
Chalky colored pencil
Kid-safe needle
Embroidery thread
Opaque white fabric-paint pen
Beans or fiberfill

Instructions:

  1. Cut out the templates and trace onto your fabric with colored pencil (feel free to let kids draw their own fish bodies too!), then fold the fabric in half and pin. Cut through both layers about ½ inch outside the marking.
  2. Starting at the bottom, stitch the fish together along the chalk line, leaving about 6 inches open along its belly.
  3. Add the fish’s features with the paint pen, letting each side dry in between. Help your child iron to set the paint per manufacturer instructions.
  4. Stuff the fish with beans or fiberfill, and then stitch it all the way closed.

So You’ve Moved Into A New Area! What Happens Next?

Moving house is one of the most stressful experiences that you can go through. But what a lot of people forget is that the stress isn’t always over when you’re safely in your new place. Here are some top tips on what to do when you’re safely in your new house and trying to make a new life…

Pretty House

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Start Renovating Your Home

Very few people are lucky enough to move into a new house that’s absolutely perfect for them and that requires no changes at all. Make sure that you keep an open mind about what you’re going to do in your house – unpack and give it a few weeks so that you can figure out what exactly you need to prioritise in terms of changing it. For instance, if you’d ideally like a new kitchen as your one is small and dark, but your bathroom is in need of repair because the shower doesn’t work right, then obviously you need to focus on the bathroom first. Make sure that you budget carefully for the changes you want to make.

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Check Out Local Services

You should already have checked out the important things like your kids’ new schools, so now it’s time to find out what else is in your new area. Try out the different grocery stores in your vicinity and find out which is best for your needs, and look at recreational activities that your kids might enjoy. Talk to people to find a local plumber who’s reliable and good, in case of any emergency plumbing needs. You could also start researching daycare for any younger kids you might have, along with churches if you’re religious and any gyms or fitness classes for yourself.

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Make New Friends

It’s important that you reach out socially so you don’t end up feeling isolated. Introduce yourself to your new neighbours – you could even have a small housewarming party so you get to know them even better. Get friendly with your colleagues and start going to a class like yoga or Zumba so you have more of a chance to get to know new people.

New friends

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Stay In Touch With Family

If you’re in a whole new area and you’ve moved away from your friends and family, it’s a good idea to try to stay in touch with them even in those first hectic weeks. It’s especially easy to lose contact with friends and if you don’t get in touch them as much as usual they may assume that you want to move on and leave your old life behind. Keep them up to date on what you’re doing, and make sure you call them for a catch up every now and then – you could even arrange a date for them to visit you. As for your family, chances are they’ll be missing you a lot. Send them update and recent pictures of your kids so they stay involved in your life. You may drift from some people – remember that’s okay. Not all friendships are for life, but that doesn’t make them any less valuable.

Helping Your Elderly Parent Stay Happy, Healthy And Independent

Watching a parent grow old is tough to say the least. For most of your life, they were one of the few people you always, always felt you could turn to for help when things got bad. When their physical and mental abilities start to wane little by little, it’s obviously not the most pleasant thing to witness. While watching one or both of your parents move into old age is hard, it’s a fact of life, and marks a time when we need to start paying them back for all their great work! Here are a few ways you can help your parent to live independently in their old age.

Grandma

Image: Free Stock Photos

Getting the Essentials to Them

A healthy diet, as well as access to various essentials, is essential to anyone’s physical and emotional wellbeing, no matter how old they are. Because driving can be a very strenuous activity for someone in old age, it may be a good idea to organize food and medicine deliveries right to your parent’s door. If your parent is tech-savvy enough, consider introducing them to an online grocery shopping service, or coming up with a system where they give you a shopping list and you take care of it for them. Medicine deliveries can be a little harder to organize, but certainly not impossible.

Preparing the Home

When you find yourself having to care for an aging parent, one of the most challenging things is knowing how to prepare the home for them in the best way possible. After all, the home should be a safe haven for them where they can feel relaxed and live with relative ease and convenience. Every residence is different, so a good first step will be paying your parent a visit and having a look around their place. Put yourself in their shoes, and look for any potential hazards or difficulties they might encounter. The key places to check out here are the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Changes might include installing rails so that there’s less risk of your parent falling, lowering shelves that could be hard to reach, and installing better lighting. If you want to go all-out, it may be worth looking into the young niche of smart home technology. If you weren’t already aware, smart home tech can allow an infirm (or simply lazy, if you’re interested!) person to control their lights, appliances, heating and media from a single interface on their smartphone or tablet. You can even get added security features. Check out these Alarm Reviews doorbell cameras, for example.

Maintaining Their Health

You may have gone looking for this post in the first place because your parent has had a bout of illness which has now made day-to-day life a challenge. Obviously, this is something that needs to be considered for the future. A lot of hospital discharge regimens will require a schedule of daily medicine taking, the checking of blood sugar levels, and so on. This can seem pretty trivial when there’s a medical professional around to remind you of it, but keeping on top of these things can be an extremely important part of keeping an elderly person healthy and independent for as long as possible. Make sure you can stay in contact with their doctor, nurse, pharmacist or so on at all times to discuss healthcare, new developments in their condition and so on. You can also help things along by encouraging your parent to be more proactive with maintaining their health. Obviously, the exact healthcare needs are going to vary greatly from person to person, and you may need to apply different methods for keeping on top of different medicine cycles, checks etc. the most important thing is to stay organized!

Be Sensitive

Yes, being the adult offspring of an elderly person is emotionally strenuous, but being an elderly person yourself is no walk in the park either! Aside from the more practical steps of getting the home suitable and delivering food, it’s also very important to take care of your parent’s emotional wellbeing. A lot of elderly people will hate the fact that they’re getting old, and will be reluctant or even resentful when accepting help from someone whose diapers they used to change! The most important thing here is to make sure you’re taking things slow, and not overstepping your mark. Unless it would put your parent in serious danger, let them maintain control over as much as possible. When changes do start happening, make sure you’re being more helpful than patronizing!

Don’t Just Waste Your Money – Make Wise Investments, Today!

You’ve probably heard friends, relatives, and colleagues talk about the importance of making investments. If you are someone who has a tendency to splash their cash the moment it arrives in their bank account, investments might be an alien concept to you! But if you are a natural saver, you might already be well on your way to making some good investments. But whichever side of the financial fence you lay on, there are a few things you need to know about investments before you make any big decisions. It is always best to approach a financial advisor with your plans before you take the plunge and make any kind of investment – as many investment plans that look good initially might actually turn out to make you a loss. Some can even turn out to be scam pyramid schemes, which can actually leave you penniless. So never rush into an investment; always evaluate it first. That said, there are some rock-solid investments that provide a worthwhile path for your money. If you have a large sum of money at your disposal, it might be worth looking into some of these investment options.

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Your child’s education

Anyone who is a parent knows how important it can be to invest in your child’s future. We all want to give our children the best start in life – and for most of us, that means providing them with a great education. It is virtually impossible for young adults these days to attend college without some form of financial support from their parents. This is why many people these days are saving for their children earlier than ever – some before the child is even born! It may seem a little ludicrous, but anything that gets the job done and takes the pressure off you can’t be that bad, right? The best thing to do when deciding to invest for your child is to shop around for different saving accounts to find the most desirable interest rate. Don’t think you simply have to go for ones aimed at children – you can find competitive rates elsewhere and simply put your child’s initials on the account. Many of these accounts, however, have limitations for just how much you can put in per month – so work out what you are going to be able to afford and make your decision based on that.

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Property

Everyone knows that property is an asset. You home will probably be the most expensive thing you buy in your whole life – even though, of course, you probably won’t buy it outright! Nearly everyone gets a mortgage to help them get on the property ladder. Getting on the ladder is a priority for a lot of us, and the opportunity to purchase a property is now being extended to more people than ever. For low-income families, financial support can be offered in the form of an FHA loan. Websites such as Lending Tree can help you calculate what you will be able to access in terms of a loan like this. These kind of schemes can be incredibly viable for many people as property is one of the most secure investments out there. Generally speaking, homes go up in value nearly every year. If you do some work on your property or if a good school gets built near it, you may find that it’s value goes through the roof. This can leave you with a sizeable amount of equity in your home, which in turn acts as another investment opportunity.

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Shares

Think of the stock market and you probably think of the Wolf of Wall Street – stressed out brokers yelling down the phone whilst watching shares fall on an outdated computer screen. But, as is the case with most Hollywood movies, the reality is very different. Stocks and shares are actually another solid way to invest your money. There is, of course, some level of risk involved. Shares can go down as well as up, especially if something dramatic happens, such as a market crash or an event like Brexit. But overall, the returns you can make from shares tend to outperform other investments such as corporate bonds and even property. The important thing to remember is that investing in shares is no quick fix. You may need to invest your money for ten or even twenty years before it actually starts to be worth your while. So, if you are someone who tends to fall at the first hurdle, getting involved in the stock market may not be for you. Investment is different for everyone because everyone’s circumstances are different – so think carefully about what to do with your money.