Harry Potter

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Where The Rich And Famous Really Put Their Money

When a group of Russian hackers broke into the credit history database of celebrities and public figures like Beyonce and Bill Gates (embarrassing them by revealing what they earned), it highlighted the need for some of the world’s biggest earners to make sure that their money was kept securely in a private bank account.

Discretion is paramount when it comes to celebrities, but there are some things about their investment habits which are in the public domain for all to see…


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Tech start-ups

Ashton Kutcher may be playing Steve Jobs in real life, but he’s also pretty involved in the tech world in real life. The star has had financial interests in Skype, news reading app Flipboard and mobile social network Foursquare. His investment in Skype at the right time paid off well: the company was acquired by Microsoft for $8 billion after being valued at $2.8 billion. Certainly a smarter move than throwing it away on bottles of Moet at the Chateau Marmont.

Justin Timberlake must have been similarly inspired after playing Sean Parker in The Social Network: the crooner has become an investor and ambassador for MySpace which is trying to claw back market share from Facebook and make a comeback.

Other retch-savvy stars include Leonardo Dicaprio (who’s proved he’s not just a pretty face by investing in photo sharing platform Mobli), Edward Norton (who has backed crowdfunding platform Crowdrise) and Bono, who has famously made a lot of money from his Facebook shares.


Celebrities, just like the rest of us, lost a lot of money when the property bubble burst. But those who held on to their property might start to benefit now that the market is showing tentative signs of recovery.

Oprah Winfrey has amassed an impressive portfolio over the years while actor Rupert Grint, not content with starring in the Harry Potter films, has a property portfolio worth an estimated £12.9 million.

Starting a business

And then there are the celebs that aren’t just content with investing in other people’s businesses – they want to start their own.

Actress Jessica Alba turned her passion for organic living into a thriving business selling baby products (the Honest Company). Kim Kardashian, who some may dismiss as being a ‘do nothing’ celebrity, is actually a savvy businesswoman who has successfully launched an online shoe business which now has over three million customers signed up. Brad and Angelina have even brought out their own brand of wine.

Altruistic investments

There are of course some investments which might earn the celebs a bit of extra cash, but the main driving factor is more altruistic. Beyonce bought a theatre which she had a soft spot for that closed down for a year, while tennis player Andy Murray has saved a local Cromlix House Hotel in his home town Dunblane, refurbishing it and sprucing it up before it opens in 2014.

Invest in what you know: lessons from Jay Z

Blue Ivy Carter is one lucky baby: she had the smarts to be born into one of the world’s richest and finance-savvy power couples. Sports fan and music mogul Jay Z has cleverly spread his money in a string investments in companies he backs, like music companies, a vodka brand and sports teams, largely focussing on industries that he already understands or at least has a personal interest in himself.

Invest like a celebrity: privacy comes first

For a celebrity or a High Net Worth Individual, privacy is one of their biggest concerns. They don’t necessarily want the world knowing how much they earn or what they’re investing in this month.

They tend to gravitate towards limited liability companies (so they don’t have to be named) and private bank accounts for complete discretion.


Catherine Halsey is a keen blogger that writes about a variety of topics including finance and travel.


6 Ways To Waste A Lot Of Money


The rich get richer and the poor get poorer according to the old saying. But the fact is that if you are rich you can find plenty of ways to spend money and not all of them are entirely or even remotely sensible. So if you’re a banker, a lottery winner, have scooped the pool in a roulette game or simply have more cash than sense, here are some ways to reduce your bank balance fast.

1. Get a Flashy Car

Are you mad about motors, crazy for cars or dippy for driving? An expensive sports car may seem like an ideal way of showing off your wealth and having a bit of fun into the bargain. Think again. Most of the time your precious super car won’t be any faster than an everyday hatchback because you will constantly be stuck in traffic. What’s more, whilst you might think you’re getting admiring glances as you sit there in fact people will be thinking how silly you look and probably wondering if you’re deficient in the trouser department.

Your millionaire’s motor will also guzzle fuel and every time you take it to the garage you’ll be faced with the sort of bill most people only encounter when their teenagers have spent too long on their mobile phones.

2. Buy a Boat

If you thought the car was expensive you won’t believe how much it costs to buy and run a boat. It can cost millions to buy in the first place – especially if you want to impress the neighbours at Monaco – then it’ll spend about ten months of the year tied up to a dock (which you’ll have to pay for). You’ll need to pay a crew to look after it and a skipper to drive it whilst you lounge in the back with a G&T, trying not to look seasick. The cost of fuel means it’ll cost you a couple of grand each time you head out of the harbour and every few years you’ll need to have it hauled out of the water and repainted. You may as well just get a big bag of money and throw it in the sea.

3. Have Plastic Surgery

There are lots of things that money can’t buy and eternal youth is one of them. A face lift will relieve you of a lot of money but instead of looking younger you’ll look like you’re facing into a strong gale all the time and the only expression you’ll be capable of is a fixed grin. Go in for surgery too often and your nose will end up somewhere around your forehead. As for tummy tucks, boob jobs and various other bits it would be cheaper just to hire a stand-in to appear for you in public.

4. Wear Big Bling

We all like a bit of jewellery but you can take things to extremes. If you buy really expensive jewellery you’ll be constantly scared to wear it in case you lose it or it gets stolen. You’ll have to pay a couple of security guards to follow you around and hire a safety deposit box to store it when you’re not wearing it. All of which is too much hassle so it’ll just end up sitting in the bank and gathering dust.

5. Ring for the Butler

Staff are another big ticket expense for the wealthy. Having a butler and a maid and a cook may impress your friends but it means you’ve always got strangers in your house and it becomes a work place rather than a home. You’ll also constantly worry that you need to do things properly to impress the staff, whilst the cook is doing unspeakable things to your gravy because you don’t pay her enough, or that the butler is looking down his nose at your choice of claret.

6. Stock up the Cellar

Which brings us neatly to the subject of wine. A decent cellar is something that many people aspire to. That’s fine and there’s nothing wrong with a nice glass of wine now and again. But what’s the point of blowing thousands on a bottle of an obscure vintage that you’ll never actually drink? This indeed is probably undrinkable anyway owing to the amount of time it’s spent being shunted around between numerous dusty cellars.

Author Byline: Lucas Conner is a freelance writer and finance guru who believes that if you play roulette games at least you have a chance of winning some money back.

Gift Ideas For Men Who Never Grow Up


There’s a reason why boys’ toys are just as popular with grown-ups as they are with kids – men just like to play. Reliving their boyhood, getting to grips with a shiny gadget or taking on an exciting new challenge, the innocence and excitement is the same as it was when we unwrapped our gifts from Santa as small children. There’s a bit of Peter Pan in all of us, so don’t always try and go for the suave, sophisticated and cultured when shopping for the man in your life, a remote controlled car may prove a bigger hit than that executive paper weight. Here are five gift ideas to help men roll back the years:


These simple building blocks have enjoyed a new lease of life in recent years, with official licensed characters from film franchises such as Harry Potter and Star Wars attracting movie buffs as much as inquisitive kids. Building something impressive is a great task for men to tick off and the feeling of achievement never wanes with age. There are some complex constructions to tackle with Lego too, it doesn’t always have to be child’s play.

Paint Balling Vouchers

Boys have loved playing with toy guns for generations and paint balling makes it acceptable for grown men to run around in the mud shooting each other and making a right mess. Add in that competitive element and the chance to splatter paint over your friends and it’s perfect for the young at heart to let off some steam.

Air Hockey Table

Recreating an arcade or the sixth form common room may not sound like the most tempting thing, but giving someone one of the classics such as air hockey, pool or table football will doubtless bring the same excited grin that you would expect from a child. Getting pals round to challenge for supremacy on the air hockey table will make for endless hours of fun, plus pick a sturdy one and it can always double up as a dinner table.

Nintendo Wii

Computer games are the ultimate obsession for many men who never grow up and the Wii is an affordable way to let them indulge this passion. It has the right combination of modern technology and retro charm, with the chance to roll back the years with characters like Mario and Sonic, but also has the added edge of almost secretly encouraging some physical activity, with various fitness programs and active games available.

Football Stadium Tours

Your man may enjoy the chance to shout his guts out and get out all his week’s anger and frustration yelling at the ref every Saturday, but give him the chance to go behind the scenes of his favorite football team and he will soon regress to the football-obsessed child dreaming of one day playing on the hallowed turf. Stadium tours are available at some of the biggest clubs in the country, as well as Wembley, the home of English football, and make great gift ideas for football fans who love to dream.

Produced by Activity Superstore, the UK’s leading gift experience supplier. From Gifts For Men to Gifts For Her we’re sure you’ll find the perfect gift in our range of over 1,000 products.

Top Quotes Inspired by Oprah Winfrey to Keep You Hype!

Here are the top written quotes from Oprah Winfrey to inspire you to work hard, dream big and achieve your goals. Oprah is one of the most inspiring and influential entrepreneurs of today and has overcome many barriers to achieve her goals. Here are some of her quotes to teach you to think of your life and your business differently.

“The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.”

We all have dreams but for them to actualize, we need goals and a concrete plan to make things happen. Oprah’s dream in life was to get paid to talk and she was able to achieve this by working hard and doing what she loves. While she was in high school and college, she worked for several radio shows which enhanced and honed her skills. Throughout the years, she consistently kept doing what she loves best – talking.

“Devote today to something so daring even you can’t believe you’re doing it.”

When we set plans to achieve our goals, we often procrastinate and set them aside to go back to the life we always complain about. It is important to have a plan that you believe in. Organize your goals and reward yourself every time you achieve them. This motivates you to work harder and keep doing what you love.

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”

People often rush into certain opportunities simply because they’ve seen others succeed and profit from them. What they tend to forget are all the mistakes these individuals have made, the disappointments they had to endure and how much money they have lost before their dreams actually came true. Don’t follow other people’s footsteps because of their success stories. Make your own path, and follow your own passions. Running a business can be extremely difficult to manage and maintain. Giving up can be easy if you have no strong passion towards it. When Oprah was fired from Baltimore as a newscaster because her boss thought she wasn’t “good enough”, that didn’t stop her from pursuing her passion. She later got her own show, The Oprah Winfrey Show which today is worth billions of dollars and is the highest-rated talk show in American television history.

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.”

Imagine that after all the struggles and failures, you have finally succeeded. There is no greater feeling than living the life of your own dreams and waking up in the morning, knowing that you are going to work for yourself and enjoy what you do best. Richard Branson, the billionaire mogul of Virgin Group of more than 400 companies has failed in business many times like in his forgettable ventures, Virgin Cola and Virgin Credit Cards. He lost millions of dollars with these businesses but has not let his failures stop him from going on. When you are doing your dream job and are working hard enough, you might one day able to rent his private island for $53,000 a day.

“Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.”

If you don’t see through the tough times, it is difficult for you to appreciate your business. The struggles allow you to survive through hardships, failures and unexpected seasons like recessions. Use your struggles and mistakes to learn how to make things better for your life and your business. After her failed marriage that ended in a divorce and the responsibility of supporting her daughter, J.K. Rowling struggled to make ends meet. She lived off welfare from the state when she was writing the first Harry Potter installation. She submitted her book to over 12 publishers and got cold-heartedly rejected.  She finally got an offer from Barry Cunningham from Bloomsbury, who agreed to publish her book but insisted she get a day job because there was “no money in children’s books”. Today, the Harry Potter series has been translated into 67 languages and is worth billions of dollars.


The Top 10 Pirated Movies of 2011

The Top 10 Pirated Movies of 2011 according to TorrentFreak.com:

1. “Fast Five”
2. “The Hangover Part II”
3. “Thor”
4. “Source Code”
5. “I Am Number Four”
6. “Sucker Punch”
7. “127 Hours”
8. “Rango”
9. “The King’s Speech”
10. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″

I saw numbers 3-8 legally. Did you download any of these movies?

A Touch of Sookie

I never, in a million years, ever would have thought I would be reading books about VAMPIRES, WEREWOLVES and the like.  Not counting Harry Potter, this kind of paranormal fiction just isn’t my cup of tea.  So imagine my surprise when I picked up “A Touch of Dead” by Charlaine Harris and ACTUALLY LIKED IT.

“A Touch of Dead” are subtitled “The Complete Sookie Stackhouse Stories”.  Once I saw this I was hooked.  I was always curious about the series “True Blood” and if it was as gory as other vampire films and television shows.  If I were t0 base my opinion on the stories I’ve just finished, I may just tune in.

I don’t watch anything on television involving vampires, werewolves or other monsters.  I hate stuff like that because I normally have nightmares (yes I’m a loser but I’m comfortable enough to admit it…moving on).  But these stories basically just touched on the scariness, leaving most of it to the imagination.  Thank you Ms. Harris, it’s much appreciated.

In each story you get a glimpse of each character.  Just enough to whet your appetite.  And each was like a serving of a very tasty pie.  I may just grab some of Charlaine Harris’ other books the next time I’m at the library.

I thoroughly enjoyed this.  I give it 3.5 bookmarks out of 5.

Harry Potter is a Recovering Alcoholic

Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who portrays Harry Potter, admits to having a problem with alcohol since the age of 18. Click his 5'oclock shadow for more details.


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