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Look at Franklin Balanced C Fund (FBMCX)

Franklin Balanced C Fund FBMCX seeks income and growth of capital FBMCX maintains a diversified portfolio of stocks convertible and debt securities FBMCX invests a minimum of quarter of its assets in debt securities FBMCX invests more than 25 of its assets in equity
  • April 4th 2017 at 11:35

Time to Buy DFA US Sustainability Core 1 Fund (DFSIX)

DFA US Sustainability Core 1 Fund DFSIX seeks growth of capital for the long run DFSIX invests bulk of its assets in small cap value companies DFSIX primarily focuses on investing in securities of domestic companies This All Cap Value product has a history of positive total returns
  • April 4th 2017 at 11:35

3 Top Franklin Templeton Mutual Funds for Better Returns

With around 738 2 billion assets under management as of Feb 28 2017 Franklin Templeton Investments is a well known global investment management firm Founded in 1947 the company offers investment management strategies and integrated risk management solutions to individuals
  • April 3rd 2017 at 15:37

How is American Century Large Company Value Investor Fund (ALVIX) Performing?

American Century Large Company Val Inv ALVIX a Zacks Rank 2 Buy invests primarily in larger companies Under normal market conditions the fund invests at least 80 of its assets in equity securities of companies comprising the Russell 1000 Index This Large Value fund as of the
  • April 3rd 2017 at 13:39

Guide to American Beacon Small Cap Value Investor Fund (AVPAX)

American Beacon Small Cp Val Inv AVPAX a Zacks Rank 2 Buy invest ordinarily at least 80 of the total assets of the fund are invested in equity securities of small market capitalization U S companies This Small Value fund as of the last filing allocates their fund in three
  • April 3rd 2017 at 13:39

Overview of USAA VA Bond Fund (USVAX)

USAA VA Bond USVAX a Zacks Rank 2 Buy invests primarily in long term investment grade Virginia tax exempt securities The fund invests its assets in securities issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia its political subdivisions and instrumentalities and by other governmental entities
  • April 3rd 2017 at 13:38

Quick Guide to Templeton Growth C Fund (TEGTX)

Templeton Growth C TEGTX a Zacks Rank 2 Buy invests mainly in the equity securities of companies located anywhere in the world including emerging markets The fund may invest up to 25 of its total assets in debt securities of companies and governments located anywhere in the world
  • April 3rd 2017 at 13:38

Oppenheimer Main Street Y Fund (MIGYX) in Focus

Oppenheimer Main Street Y MIGYX a Zacks Rank 2 Buy invests mainly in common stocks of U S companies of different capitalization ranges presently focusing on large capitalization issuers The fund can also buy debt securities such as bonds and debentures but does not currently
  • April 3rd 2017 at 13:38

Focus on Principal MidCap S&P 400 Index Institutional Fund (MPSIX)

Principal MidCap S amp P 400 Index Institutional Fund MPSIX seeks growth of capital for the long run MPSIX invests bulk of its assets in companies which fall within the range of the S amp P MidCap 400 Index As of December 31 2016 the companies which are included in the mid cap
  • April 3rd 2017 at 13:38

Why USAA Capital Growth Fund (USCGX) Worth Another Look?

USAA Capital Growth Fund USCGX seeks growth of capital for the long run USCGX heavily invests in equity securities of both domestic and global companies which are expected to have strong international marketplace USCGX may invest all its assets in foreign equity securities This
  • April 3rd 2017 at 13:38

This Top Stock Mutual Fund Cheers Retirement Investors With Gains

A tail wind has kicked up this calendar year behind 7 5 billion American Century Growth Fund TWCGX That s nice news for investors holding the fund in retirement accounts and other portfolios The fund s 9 93 160 gain this year going into Thursday topped 73 of the fund
  • April 1st 2017 at 00:59

Friday Apple Rumors: 2017 iPhones May Feature True Tone Display Tech

InvestorPlace Stock Market News Stock Advice amp Trading Tips Leading the Apple Inc NASDAQ AAPL rumor mill today is news of the next iPhone generation using True Tone display tech Today we ll look at that and other Apple Rumors for
  • March 31st 2017 at 23:00

Buy Facebook Inc (FB) Stock and Donโ€™t Look Back

InvestorPlace Stock Market News Stock Advice amp Trading Tips Facebook Inc NASDAQ FB is up nearly 25 in 2017 And the crazy thing is that isn t surprising For a company with 1 86 billion monthly users that continues to log a compounded annual growth rate CAGR around
  • March 31st 2017 at 23:00

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) Stock Is a Rotten Apple

InvestorPlace Stock Market News Stock Advice amp Trading Tips Without a doubt if ever there was a candidate for a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde stock it would be Advanced Micro Devices Inc NASDAQ AMD Source Shutterstock Not long ago on a CNBC roundtable segment an
  • March 31st 2017 at 23:00

The 10 Cheapest Vanguard Funds on the Market

InvestorPlace Stock Market News Stock Advice amp Trading Tips Vanguard is already well known for The task of finding cheap Vanguard funds is simple but filtering through to find the cheapest Vanguard funds on the market takes a bit of time and research Fortunately we ve done
  • March 31st 2017 at 23:00

Quiz: test your film and TV knowledge

By Louise Bastock

Blog version

Forget your A-list celebrities and Hollywood hotties, for us itโ€™s the real-world locations that star in our favourite films and TV programmes that really steal the show! But could you tell the difference between your Australian Outback and your Arabian desert scene, differentiate your Mad Max from your Martian?

Take our quiz to exercise those television and movie muscles and see if you can guess which shows these awe-inspiring locations starred in.

And if youโ€™re looking to add some extra star power to your future travel plans, check out our brand new book A Spotterโ€™s guide to Film and TV Locations.

Just back from: Maldives

By Emma Sparks
ES1

Paradise definitely suits Emma Sparks ยฉ Emma Sparks

Emma Sparks, Deputy Editor at Lonely Planet, recently returned from a trip to the Maldives.

Tell us moreโ€ฆ I spent five days exploring an island nation Iโ€™d always dreamed of visiting, in as many different ways as possible โ€“ by land, sea and sky. I stayed at Shangri-La Villingili Resort & Spa which is tucked away on a private island in the southernmost atoll of the archipelago. If you want a far-flung, middle-of-nowhere island escape, this is it.

In a nutshellโ€ฆ I can confirm: the Maldives looks just like it does in the brochures. The water is that blue. The sand is that white. The over-water villas are as epic as you imagine. But thereโ€™s more to these tropical isles than meets the eye. Drag yourself off the sunlounger and dig a little deeper to find abundant wildlife, rich culture and fascinating history.

ES3

Maleโ€™s fish market ยฉ Emma Sparks

Good grub? Fishing is the second largest industry in the Maldives, after tourism. Fishermen still catch tuna using traditional pole and line methods โ€“ and I found plenty to eat in the form of the ubiquitous tuna curry, as well as mas huni (chopped tuna, coconut, chilli and onion) and flatbread, which makes for a tasty breakfast. A visit to the fish and produce markets of Malรฉ, the capital, was an eye-opening experience โ€“ a true taste of local life. Fish-flavoured crisps, anyone?

Defining moment? Two incredible wildlife experiences stand out in my mind. First, coming face-to-face with a sea turtle for the first time โ€“ a travellerโ€™s rite of passage. And secondly, being entertained by hundreds of playful spinner dolphins which surrounded our boat during a sunset cruise. Unbelievable.

If you do one thingโ€ฆ Get a glimpse of local life by visiting the inhabited islands โ€“ I toured Addu City by bike, exploring an old British military base and stopping for โ€˜short eatsโ€™ (local spicy snacks) at a local cafe. Malรฉโ€™s also worth a day or two, with its impressive Islamic Centre and ancient coral stone mosque.

ES2

The Old Friday Mosque in Male, made using ancient coral ยฉ Emma Sparks

Fav activity? I like to climb up mountains when I visit a new place โ€“ but the Maldives is the worldโ€™s lowest countryโ€ฆ So while summiting the nationโ€™s highest point, Mount Villingili (5m), was a novelty, I decided to find a different way to get a birdโ€™s eye view of paradise: parasailing. Soaring above the deep blue lagoon was remarkably peaceful โ€“ as if I wasnโ€™t relaxed enough!

Quintessential experience? Itโ€™s undeniable: the Maldives is a wonderful place to chill out. How you relax is up to you. Sunrise yoga overlooking the beach; snorkelling along the reef spotting colourful fish; or indulging at the spa โ€“ whatever it is, itโ€™s time to unwind!

Watch the interview

Want more behind-the-scenes adventures? Find out where our picture editor, Claire Richardson, just got back from.

Emma Sparks travelled to the Maldives with support from Shangri-La Villingili Resort & Spa. Lonely Planet contributors do not accept freebies in exchange for positive coverage.

Travel quiz: April edition

By Emma Sparks

Travel-Trivia

Our UK magazine hitย its 100th issue this month โ€“ so to celebrate, our quiz has taken on a numerical theme. Take theย quiz of the century (possibly an exaggerationโ€ฆ) and see if you can get 100% correct!

Take the quiz

Find quizzes just like this, plus plenty of travel inspiration and planning tips in Lonely Planet Travellerโ€™s UK edition โ€“ or take a peek behind the โ€˜zines at the latest issue!

Just back from: Singapore

By Louise Bastock
The Singapore Sling was originally created to allow ladies to enjoy alcohol in public2

Claire enjoying a Singapore sling at the Raffles Hotel ยฉ Claire Richardson

Claire Richardson, Picture Editor at Lonely Planet Traveller magazine, recently returned from a trip to Singapore.

Tell us moreโ€ฆย My boyfriend and I were in Singapore for a family birthday celebration and amid the festivities we had a week to explore the island city-state.

In a nutshellโ€ฆย Singapore is a magical jumble of different cultures, food and architecture, where modern skyscrapers tower over old colonial shophouses and where youโ€™ll find one of the worldโ€™s best street food scenes.

Good grub?ย Itโ€™s impossible not to enjoy good food in Singapore. We were based near the East Coast Road in Joo Chiat, which has a lively street-side dining culture and every cuisine imaginable from Thai and Malaysian to gourmet burgers and Korean Barbeque. I loved the simplicity at 328 Katong Laksa, which serves just one dish โ€“ their signature spicy laksa. This warming bowl is arguably the best laksa in Singapore โ€“ make sure you wash it down with their fresh lime juice, which helps cut through the spice.

Laksa

Katong Laksaโ€™s signature spicy dish ยฉ Claire Richardson

Quintessential experience?ย Iโ€™ve always been told that a visit to Raffles Hotel for one of their world-famous Singapore slings is the quintessential Singapore experience. The hotelโ€™s colonial architecture, dating back to 1887, is beautiful and still has oodles of charm, but be warned: the Long Bar โ€“ where the famous sling was invented โ€“ is very touristy and the sweet cocktail will set you back an eye-watering $32! I was amused to see that the tradition of casually throwing your peanut shells on the floor was still in full swing โ€“ the only place in Singapore where littering is warmly encouraged.

Fave activity?ย I was quite blown away by the beautifully designed Gardens by the Bay in the south of the island, near the marina. Two enormous glass houses loom over the botanical gardens, one of which โ€“ the Cloud Forest โ€“ houses the worldโ€™s highest indoor waterfall. My highlight was the Supertree Grove, where high tech โ€˜treesโ€™ dominate the skyline. Reaching up to heights of 50m โ€“ as tall as a 16-storey building โ€“ these giant vertical gardens house hundreds of plant and flower species. I felt like a cast member on the set of Avatar as I walked between two of the tallest trees on the OCBC Skyway elevated walkway.

Supertree Grove and OSBC Skyway2

Dusk falls over the Gardens by the Bay ยฉ Claire Richardson

Youโ€™d be a muppet to missโ€ฆ the Garden Rhapsody show, a spectacular light and sound show at the Supertree Grove. Iโ€™d recommend a sunset walk along the skyway, before heading down to the grass beneath the trees to watch the 7:45pm show. Local families bring picnics and couples recline as the trees start to shimmer and glow, changing colour in time to the music. We may have joined in with one or two of the uplifting show tunes.

Thrill-seekers shouldโ€ฆ head over to Sentosa Island; connected to the main island, this offshore resort is a one-stop adventure land. We had a brilliant day riding rollercoasters and dodging transformers and dinosaurs at Universal Studios. Thereโ€™s also the SEA Aquarium, zip lines, a water park, surfing and beaches to enjoy.

If you do one thingโ€ฆ explore the different neighbourhoods from Little India and Kampong Glam to Chinatown. We were able to travel the world without leaving Singapore, starting with the best Indian meal Iโ€™ve ever had at the Banana Leaf Apolo; to Arab Street in Kampong Glam, where the golden-domed Sultan Mosque overlooks old-school shophouses piled high with colourful silks and carpets; and onto the lantern-draped lanes in Chinatown.

LP Pathfinders: top Instagrams from February 2017

By Amanda McCadams

This monthโ€™s round-up of photographs from our camera-totingย Pathfinders community features colours that pop, surprising textures and one adorable peek-a-boo (thatโ€™s not the Latin term) monkey.

Las Coloradas, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

A post shared by Emily Luxton (@em_luxton) on

โ€˜These stunning pink lakes in the Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve on Mexicoโ€™s Yucatan Peninsula might look man-made, but the colour is all natural! The water turns pink because of an abundance of the same organisms that give flamingos their pink feathers. The lakes, which are part of a local salt works, start out brown or orange. As the water evaporates leaving a higher concentration of salt, the lakes turn pink, creating a magical effect!โ€™ โ€“ Emily Luxton, @em_luxton.

Why we like it: This is the perfect landscape with a surprise punch: clouds dotting the clear blue sky, endless horizon and thenโ€ฆ pink water? And itโ€™s all natural? This is an amazing find and the image is strengthened by the smart use of ย cropping and framing. We oftenย hear, โ€˜rule-of-thirds, rule-of-thirdsโ€™ but in this case splitting the horizon right acrossย the middle just draws us in further in.

Zanzibar, Tanzania

โ€˜The Zanzibar red colobus monkeys are an endangered species endemic toย Unguja Island. They can be found all over Jozani Forest and we sawย plenty. This one was just as curious about us as we were of him!โ€™ โ€“ Natasha & Cameron, @theworldpursuit.

Why we like it: The natural framing that the green foliage givesย to the monkeyโ€™s face is spot on. Using a long lens on the camera has made the depth-of-field very shallow and adds even more emphasis to the little creature. Our simian relatives can be really expressive and with this gaze there is no doubt heโ€™s on to us and our human camera ways.

Shantinath Mandir temple in Jamnagar, Gujarat state, India

โ€˜This Jain temple sits at the heart of Jamnagar, a small town in Indiaโ€™s Gujarat state often passed over by tourists. Though the temple complex is staggering in size, the outside is strictly white, and seemingly plain. But when we passed through the templeโ€™s doors, we were blown away by the explosion of colour!โ€™ โ€“ Alex and Sebastiaan, @lostwithpurpose.

Why we like it: All the colour and repetition makes us want to traverse this corridor and get lost in the patterns. The composition is framing the arches so that our eye is directed down the hall to the painting at the end. That keeps us visually engaged with the image and intrigued by the buildingโ€™s structure.ย 

Uvita, Costa Rica

โ€˜I love the unique perspective drones give; birds really do have the best views. The rocky beach and strong waves in Costa Rica were mesmerizing to watch from above.โ€™ โ€“ Tessa Juliette, @travel_wheretonext.

Why we like it: The spatial play meansย patterns, colours, sizes and textures all get a turn in this coolย shot. It is bordering on theย abstract but after a moment of study we realize it is a super high aerial and we are gazing at rocky shoreline. Our eyes can zoom in or zoom out and make this photograph take on a myriad of meanings.

Cargill salt ponds in Bonaire

โ€˜Very rarely does a man-made feature resemble nature. But these mountains of salt piled up on the shoreline of Bonaire have a very organic quality. Seeing the play of light and shadow in the late afternoon light had me thinking more of the snow-capped mountains of Nepal than of the tropical snorkel paradise in the Caribbean.โ€™ โ€“ Carol Guttery, @wayfaringviews.

Why we like it: The white pyramids and texture against the dusty blue sky stand out and keep our eye moving back and forth across theย geometric forms. The rule-of-thirds is at play in this image andย strengthens it by creating a very sturdy foundation of water, shore and earthen-like mounds to support the large open sky.

For your chance to be featured in our next round-up, sign up to Lonely Planet Pathfinders โ€“ our programme for travel-loving bloggers and social content creators. In the meantime, you can get more Instagram inspiration by following @lonelyplanet.

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