Home is your sanctuary, your castle, the place where you feel the most secure and protected. It is natural to feel this way. So, it is not surprising that you store your prized possessions and valuables at home as well. But is that the best choice for all your valuables?

The recent wildfires in California are the latest in a string of devastating disasters to impact homeowners in the U.S. Together with the hurricanes along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and tornadoes and flooding in the Midwest, residential property losses are expected to approach $100 billion according to CoreLogic. Making matters worse, as much as 80 percent of these losses are not insured. Together with the surge in residential burglaries over the last few years, it appears homes are under siege.

Because of these events, the cost of homeowners insurance is expected to increase dramatically in 2018 and beyond.

Create an inventory. Start with a written and video inventory of your prized possessions and valuables, including jewelry, cash or hard assets like gold, electronics, family heirlooms, and collectibles, such as coins, watches, or anything else that has monetary or sentimental value. Prioritize it starting with the highest value items first. With this as your starting point you can now begin putting a plan in place.

Maintain secure off-site storage. On average, $2 billion of gold, silver and jewelry are stolen from homes each year and 93 percent of that property is never recovered, while fires and natural disasters destroy billions of dollars of valuable personal property every year. Using a safe deposit box to store these smaller valuables, cash, and collectibles substantially reduces the risk of loss from such events.

Follow basic security rules.

- Don’t broadcast on social media when you are out of town for work or vacation.

- Leave lights on variable timers.

- Accompany repair or utility staff while in your home.

- Keep valuables out of sight and make sure to stop mail delivery while out of town.

- If you have a safe, make sure it is bolted down, preferably to a concrete floor.

Have a disaster plan. You typically have advanced warning of flooding, most wildfires, and hurricanes. Know what you would take if you needed to flee your home, what you would place in your safe deposit box and where you would store items left behind. Place your important documents in your safe deposit box and store them digitally in the cloud where they can be accessed at any time.

— Brandpoint


According to Forbes, the top 10 colleges in the U.S. are:

1. Harvard University

2. Stanford University

3. Yale University

4. Princeton University

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

6. California Institute of Technology

7. University of Pennsylvania

8. Duke University

9. Brown University

10. Pomona College


1.5 percent: According to consulting firm Korn Ferry, workers around the world can expect to see an average pay increase of 1.5 percent in 2018, but it is also the smallest increase that has been forecasted in the last five years.


Google experiments with smartphone photography

Google recently released a trio of free photo apps for users to download and test photo effects. The apps, called “Appsperiments,” are a look into the future of smartphone technology as the effects of photo manipulation will increasing rely on software-created effects. The group of apps includes a photo booth with pose-detecting features, the ability to remix videos and the ability to turn a group of photos into a comic book panel. According to Google, there are 1.6 trillion possible layouts for photos and is collecting feedback on the apps to use on future products.

— More Content Now