We all know how frustrating it can be to watch the stock we failed to trade when the timing was right. I've had some great experiences in the market, but ever since I took a big hit in '08, I hesitate to pull the trigger even when I'm confident in a stock's fundamentals. More often than not, my inaction leads to significant opportunity costs, and pondering "if only" and "what if" can be maddening.

Now, with a new presidency on the horizon and increased consumer confidence in the economy, I'm finally taking a more aggressive approach to my market behavior. I spoke with a friend of mine who's been at one of the largest hedge funds for over a decade, and seems to always know how to take advantage of the market in any period of flux. He told me that it's natural to feel apprehensive, especially after a loss, which is why he uses Real Money, a membership-based website headlined by Jim Cramer, to gain a competitive edge for his personal portfolio as well as for his clients.

When it comes to "pulling the trigger," Jim Cramer is one of the biggest advocates. Along with a staff of over 30 handpicked investing professionals, money managers, advisors, and analysts, he provides both long and short-term actionable investment ideas. Real Money's advisors aren't just journalists reporting the news after it's happened, but a proactive community of Wall Street experts that showcase their experienced perspectives and market-tested strategies in real-time, whether the market is up or down.

On the password-protected site, investors of all levels will find exclusive stock market information, including stock ideas from specialists like sell side technicians and chartists. Real Money's in-house chartist, Bruce Kamich, has a 40-year career with several bulge bracket firms, plus extensive knowledge of commodities, interest rates, equities, and ETFs. He's spotted some huge trends he shared with us, like the gold stocks, NovaGold and Yamana Gold, both for some very big gains. More recently, he made impressive calls on Timken Steel and giants of the oil-and-gas sector including Chesapeake Energy, which has rallied around 33% for he and his followers since his recommendation in October.

One of my favorite parts of the program is the advice and the alerts I receive throughout the trading day so I can act quickly before the news breaks on public domains. Cramer also posts three times each trading day on his daily market blog, which provides useful conclusions in a breezy and readable format, so I can always keep my finger on the market's pulse. You can follow along with the Real Money Ideas section, on the homepage when you login, to see which contributors' ideas pan out so you can decide whose ideas to follow. As a member, you can even contact any site contributor via email, including chief economist for ALM Advisors, Roger Arnold, and Jim Cramer himself.

With Real Money, I realized that there's always money to be made whether the market is bearish or bullish. With advice from professionals who have spent decades in the trenches, and are transparent about their strategies, I've become a more confident investor, and act on stock ideas to stop missing out on returns.

Update: The folks at Real Money are extending a special offer to our readers! Follow this link to get Real Money FREE for 14 days with no obligations! (It's also discounted to just $3/week if you choose to continue your membership.)

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Over two years into the most momentous event in our lives the world has changed forever … Some of us have PTSD from being locked up at home, some are living like everything’s going to end tomorrow, and the rest of us are merely trying to get by. When the pandemic hit we entered a perpetual state of vulnerability, but now we’re supposed to return to normal and just get on with our lives.

What does that mean? Packed bars, concerts, and grocery shopping without a mask feel totally strange. We got used to having more rules over our everyday life, considering if we really had to go out or keeping Zooming from our living rooms in threadbare pajama bottoms.

The work-from-home culture changed it all. Initially, companies were skeptical about letting employees work remotely, automatically assuming work output would fall and so would the quality. To the contrary, since March of 2020 productivity has risen by 47%, which says it all. Employees can work from home and still deliver results.

There are a number of reasons why everyone loves the work from home culture. We gained hours weekly that were wasted on public transport, people saved a ton of money, and could work from anywhere in the world. Then there were the obvious reasons like wearing sweats or loungewear all week long and having your pets close by. Come on, whose cat hasn’t done a tap dance on your keyboard in the middle of that All Hands Call!

Working from home grants the freedom to decorate your ‘office’ any way you want. But then people needed a change of environment. Companies began requesting their employees' RTO, thus generating the Hybrid Work Model — a blend of in-person and virtual work arrangements. Prior to 2020, about 20% of employees worked from home, but in the midst of the pandemic, it exploded to around 70%.

Although the number of people working from home increased and people enjoyed their flexibility, politicians started calling for a harder RTW policy. President Joe Biden urges us with, “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again.”

While Boris Johnson said, “Mother Nature does not like working from home.'' It wasn’t surprising that politicians wanted people back at their desks due to the financial impact of working from the office. According to a report in the BBC, US workers spent between $2,000 - $5,000 each year on transport to work before the pandemic.

That’s where the problem lies. The majority of us stopped planning for public transport, takeaway coffee, and fresh work-appropriate outfits. We must reconsider these things now, and our wallets are paying

the price. Gas costs are at an all-time high, making public transport increase their fees; food and clothes are all on a steep incline. A simple iced latte from Dunkin’ went from $3.70 to $3.99 (which doesn’t seem like much but 2-3 coffees a day with the extra flavors and shots add up to a lot), while sandwiches soared by 14% and salads by 11%.

This contributes to the pressure employees feel about heading into the office. Remote work may have begun as a safety measure, but it’s now a savings measure for employees around the world.

Bloomberg are offering its US staff a $75 daily commuting stipend that they can spend however they want. And other companies are doing the best they can. This still lends credence to ‘the great resignation.’ Initially starting with the retail, food service, and hospitality sectors which were hard hit during the pandemic, it has since spread to other industries. By September 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4.4 million resignations.

That’s where the most critical question lies…work from home, work from the office or stick to this new hybrid world culture?

Borris Johnson thinks, “We need to get back into the habit of getting into the office.” Because his experience of working from home “is you spend an awful lot of time making another cup of coffee and then, you know, getting up, walking very slowly to the fridge, hacking off a small piece of cheese, then walking very slowly back to your laptop and then forgetting what it was you’re doing.”

While New York City Mayor Eric Adams says you “can't stay home in your pajamas all day."

In the end, does it really matter where we work if efficiency and productivity are great? We’ve proven that companies can trust us to achieve the same results — or better! — and on time with this hybrid model. Employees can be more flexible, which boosts satisfaction, improves both productivity and retention, and improves diversity in the workplace because corporations can hire through the US and indeed all over the world.

We’ve seen companies make this work in many ways, through virtual lunches, breakout rooms, paint and prosecco parties, and — the most popular — trivia nights.

As much as we strive for normalcy, the last two years cannot simply be erased. So instead of wiping out this era, it's time to embrace the change and find the right world culture for you.

What would get you into the office? Free lunch? A gym membership? Permission to hang out with your dog? Some employers are trying just that.

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Did you hear about the Great Resignation? It isn’t over. Just over two years of pandemic living, many offices are finally returning to full-time or hybrid experiences. This is causing employees to totally reconsider their positions.

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