2019 Banking Industry Outlook 6 themes driving banking industry trends counting the Costs of a Data Breach

 

Banking And Technology

For 2019 and past, banks must contend with many issues engaged to regulations and legacy systems, upsetting models along with technologies, new challenge, and an impatient customer base while chasing new techniques for lasting growth. Our 2019 Banking Industry Outlook inspects the six macro themes from customer centricity to cyber risk facing all the industry’s five primary business portions in the coming twelve to eighteen months. Companies that can address these issues opportunities to effortlessly balance long-term goals with short-term performance pressures might be amply compensated.

There is considerable opportunity for banking institutions on the coming year, but lasting development will probably rely on navigating 6 dominant themes.

The banking industry comes in 2019 having a fresh air of careful confidence among clouds of policy doubt. Today, the clouds have cleared a little. For banking institutions around the globe, 2019 might a crucial year for accelerating the change into more strategically minded, digitally connected, and operationally agile organizations better equipped to maintain market leadership in an ecosystem that is rapidly evolving.

But this present year also promises multiple challenges, including complex and diverging regulations and legacy systems, troublesome models and also technologies, new competitors, and an often restive customer base with ever-higher anticipations. For banks’ 5 company lines retail banking and corporate banking, capital areas, payments, and wide range management 6 broad themes might be particularly critical for sustainable long-term development into the coming twelve to eighteen months:

Customer-centricity: True customer centricity is certainly a Holy Grail for banking institutions, which have made notable strides in moving away from sales-dominant countries. But clients objectives are evolving at a much faster speed, many thanks in particular to the superior experiences they enjoy with other industries. Being alert in experience delivery is as essential today as aiming at right areas as well as right consumer segments with all the ideal resolutions.

Financial Technology and Banking

Fintechs and techs are going to have a very strong impact on banking in the near future . Banking institutions can learn from fintech firms, which have set a benchmark that is new surpassing customer objectives in financial services. Fintechs have changed the direction of innovation in banking. However, incumbent institutions that are financial likely to keep their dominance offered their scale of operations, regulatory barriers to entry, and customers’ reluctance to change. That does not mean that banks should lean on their market laurels, but just the opposite. Rather, they are able to discover techniques to improve the customer experience. Banks could reproduce just what fintechs are doing, collaborate with them, or obtain them. Moreover, banks could take an expansive view of competitive benchmarking to consist of the most beneficial in class fintechs along with big tech companies.

Tech Administration

Technology administration. As much as banks may wish they might, discarding legacy systems just isn’t an option. Modernizing the main generally seems to be considered a concern on par with buying a profile of new technologies for example Blockchain as well as robotics and intellectual automation. There exists a lot to be done, as well as it is not going to be easy. Banks can aim to strike a balance between retaining competitively differentiating activities in-house as well as others that are externalizing. By 2020, technology units inside banks will possible start making changes by themselves from running platforms to arranging technology information flows across most of the stakeholders.

 

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The Successes and Failures of Fintech

The global fintech market is characterised by a booming digital payments industry valued at $3,403,168 million in 2018, with a total transaction value projected to increase by 13.2% by 2024. Among the largest sectors of the fintech industry are the personal finance sector and the burgeoning Robo-Advisors sector. According to market research (Research and Markets), the total market’s transactional value for 2019 through 2024 is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.6%. Fintech’s rise to prominence was facilitated to a large degree by the failure of central banks and established financial systems following the global financial crisis. A growing demand for workable financial solutions, structures and frameworks yielded innovative fintech solutions for improved efficiency, better management, and enhanced cost effectiveness.

Financial Tech Companies

The leading financial technology companies have set the standards high, with ambitious objectives aimed at solving real-world problems. Sometimes these incubator solutions have prospered, at other times they have failed. The rationale for ongoing R&D into Fintech solutions is to replace redundant, expensive financial frameworks and entrenched systems with leaner and more efficient solutions. Fintech’s advances have not been without the occasional stumbling block. One such area of concern is small business lending. Predatory pricing techniques and invasive business practices have tarred this particular segment of the fintech industry. Greater regulatory compliance and oversight are needed to establish credibility among users.

Challenges Ahead for Sectors of the Fintech Industry

So, what’s really going on in the Fintech space? What are the notable failures and what are the possible bright spots on the horizon? It appears that the most significant losses are attributable to banking companies and online lenders. Several big-name enterprises like CAN Capital, OnDeck and even Lending Club have suffered acute losses, as reflected in their stock prices. For example, LendingClub Corp stock has dropped from over $25 per share in 2014 to just $3.60 per share today. This begs the question: Why are online lending companies failing while traditional financial institutions are enjoying incremental growth? An interesting insight is provided by acclaimed investor, J. Christopher Flowers. His analysis of fintech companies is revealing. Fintech companies don’t follow the narrative of financial companies. Fintech is geared towards massive growth and dominance in double-quick time. Financial enterprise is typically slow and steady, with incremental growth over time.

Funding For Technology

With tech funding, investors plough huge amounts of money into new ventures with a short-term perspective. In financial circles, trust needs to be built, reputations established, and market penetration achieved. All of these things take time to process. With fintech it’s about who gets to market first in a rush for dominance. Fintech enterprises in the online lending industry are all about pushing sales, first and foremost. Proof of this dash towards rapid growth and dominance in the online lending market is evident in the high cost per click with keywords on Google. To cut a long story short, advertising campaigns with many online lenders are geared towards growth at all costs. By working with established fintech enterprises, fintech newbies fall into the trap of stagnation. The reason d’etre of fintech is disruptive technology, while incumbent enterprises are set in their ways. This makes it rather difficult to gain traction.

Fintech Success Stories to Rebalance the Scales

Fintech has a place in today’s fast-paced world, particularly in areas where clunky processes hamper the efficiency of important business functions. One striking example of fintech at work is in the area of global payroll payments processing. Payroll costs are a major bugbear for companies all over the world. Global payroll operations across multiple territories and jurisdictions typically cost companies substantial sums of money and they are associated with significant security concerns, legal complexities, and compliance-related issues. Fintech companies offering sophisticated solutions in the form of automated payroll processing solutions are having an impact on the profitability and efficiency of company operations. Many companies have touted solutions for global payroll, but only a select few generate the types of results that are needed to validate their adoption. The hallmarks of effective global workforce management platforms are cost-reducing solutions, fully automated payroll systems, and full compliance with GDPR. By eliminating email dependency in the payroll function, it is possible to improve data security and coverage for employees and the company.

 

A big part of the inefficiency problem with global payroll management is compliance. Each country, territory or jurisdiction has specific rules in place regarding payroll management. With automated payroll solutions, compliance is guaranteed. Thanks to local verified experts in place, it is easy to enjoy complete control and transparency of all payroll-related activity. Automated payroll solutions run on autopilot, without any complexity. By connecting with local suppliers, companies can enjoy best-in-class payroll management through secure, efficient and compliant payroll solutions. Many other promising areas are ripe for fintech development. Innovative technologies are giving rise to systems, products and services making it easier to manage finances for businesses and individuals, secure payments channels, and facilitate greater efficiency across the board. Digital banking is slated to double in size within a few years, and mobile payments are expected to reach $275 billion by 2021 (Statista). Various other fintech fields are being cultivated, including biometric banking identifiers, insuretech, regtech (fintech regulatory compliance systems), blockchain, and concepts such as ‘Social Money’. Each of these fintech markets is enjoying substantial investment, and adoption of these new technologies is quickly gaining traction.

The Future of FinTech

The future certainly looks bright for fintech and all its applications. New developments are being brought to market at breakneck speed. While some concepts will inevitably fail, but offer solutions to existing challenges.

 

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The Revolution in Virtual Reality

 

A new front-runner has emerged in IPO New technologies; Wall-Street.com spotlights this new exciting technology from MIT Technology Review.

Virtual Reality: The Next Frontier

Virtual reality technology has revolutionized, challenging everything humanity knows about virtual worlds. Imagine being able to find yourself in a beautiful and magical land simply by putting on a pair of goggles. This may sound far-fetched or like something in a Sci-Fi movie, but it is months away from being a reality.

Why Now?

Though virtual reality goggles were invented almost three decades ago, they did not take off because of exorbitant prices and poor technology. The first virtual reality goggles from thirty years ago cost $100,000 for a single pair! Furthermore, players of another virtual reality game in the 1990’s complained of nausea and disorientation while playing.

Oculus Rift

Now things have changed. Oculus VR is introducing the Oculus Rift in 2014, an affordable virtual reality headset that utilizes smartphone technology for an incredibly clear and realistic experience. As players lean in to look at a flower, the simulation follows their movement in real time.

Palmer Luckey, the 21 year-old founder of Oculus VR, has dreamed of virtual worlds since his video games day as a child. From a young age he worked towards his dream; he designed a working prototype that would evolve into Oculus Rift at the age of 16.

How Much?

At the moment, Oculus Rift cost around $300, which makes it affordable for the general gaming public.

Not Just for Gamers

Although currently aimed at video games, virtual reality could have many uses in other fields such as phobia therapy, emergency response training, and architecture.

Investment Opportunities

Oculus Rift has already gained $91 billion in funding and much media attention. Facebook recently bought the company for the large sum of $2 billion. Therefore, it may seem as if there are no IPO investment opportunities.

However, Oculus Rift has inspired many other companies to start their own virtual reality development. Large companies such as Sony and smaller, more specialized video game companies need investors to take on this challenge.

There’s More!

This revolution in virtual reality is by no means the only exciting development in IPO new technologies. There are hundreds more articles about possible investment opportunities here at Wall-Street.com, each one archived and easily accessible through the search bar in the upper right hand corner of the site.

Sources: Tech Review

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US Dollar Still Ahead of other Currency Markets

The US dollar has been outdoing other currencies for a while now. While other countries are being bombarded by economic struggles, the US economy seems to be standing firm on its own.

Volatility prices are decreasing at a rapid rate, which is forcing the US to consolidate. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Dollar Index is reporting an upward surge in the US greenback when compared to other currencies such as the Australian dollar and the Japanese Yen. As the US dollar continues to stay on top of other currencies, binary option like Scam Watchdog is making sure that dealers in foreign currencies have the right information when it comes to their security.

 

Asian Currencies

Asian stocks received some encouragement based on the positive report given by the US Federal Reserve. The Feds painted a positive picture of the country’s performance in the past and leading up to the present. Asian stocks rose base on positive performance that the US is expecting to continue generating growth for the rest of 2015 and leading into 2016. The Japanese Nikkei rose 1.2 percent while shares on the Australian market went down 0.7 percent.

Asian Pacific shares went up 0.4 percent and this is showing a certain level of confidence in the US economy. In this week, the greenback rose to its highest gain to 0.1 percent when trading took place on the Asian exchange. The dollar traded at 124.075 yen.

The euro went down 0.2 percent and stood at $1.0964. The fall of the euro might be a reflection of a strong risk appetite, which is being used as a currency to fund risk assets investments.

In the US, positive inflation and housing data led to an outstanding performance by the country’s currency. Since the information about inflation and housing was revealed, Janet Yellen who is the Federal Reserve chairperson hinted that it might be time to lift the country’s interest rates sometime down in the year.

 

New Zealand Currency Ranks High With the Dollar

New Zealand’s currency was the only bright spark when compared to the US dollar. The Kiwi currency went into recovery mode after slumping for six years with an amount of $0.6498. The recovery brought a sense of relief to financial analysts in the market. An acceptance therefore came about among key players in the economy that the finances of the country are picking up at a rapid pace. The fast growth of the Kiwi economy is causing a concern among big financial players in the economy and thus there is now a move on by government to cut interest rates to facilitate growth.

 

Since the US dollar has shown an increase over the past week, dollar bulls are investing in the country’s currency in an effort to snatch greater profits from their investment. One dealer that deals with an international bank based in London says, “All of the commodity currencies are taking a hammering from the dollar’s rise”.

How Will the Gold Market Preform Against the Dollar

The gold market also helped to strengthen the US dollar. As gold went down 4 percent, the dollar went up because of added pressure placed on other currencies such as the Canadian and Australian dollars as well as the Norwegian crown.

While the euro and other world currencies directions are heading downwards, the US dollar is on an upward trend. With many woes facing certain countries like Greece and others, the value of international currencies are expected to continue falling. However, with a strong US economy to contend with, the greenback will always be outperforming other country currencies.

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10 PPC Strategies to Follow in 2019 for a Successful Campaign

 

 

 

2019 has started, which denotes it is time to update the strategy for the pay-per-click crusade for the New Year. Here are the top 10 PPC Strategies to Follow in 2019 for a Successful Campaign.
  1. Focus On The Key Service Or Product:

In case you have several services and products that you desire to promote, so you ought to begin small. It’ll assist you in getting the best out of the funds spent. When it is the 1st crusade, make one ad to promote your primary service or product that’ll reduce the amount of cash which you will while looking for the best possible technique.

Beginning slowly will let you concentrate on your processes of crusading and thus, you’ll be capable of analyzing the amount to be invested and approach to be applied on the marketing. That’s how you attain a winning pay-per-click result that you’ve been hopeful for the 1st effort.

  1. Remarket By The Long-Tail Keywords:

It’s the secret sauce in online advertising, since repeat consumers provide more value. A good method to do that is to pursue the long-tail-keyword queries in each remarketing stand. Do so by making a list of retargeting users apiece advertisement group topic by utilizing the UTM parameter. You can also take it to a whole new level by using lookalikes, which is beginning to catch on these days. It allows you to target similar people, thus extending the remarketing to new people.

  1. Never Disregard Negative Keywords:

You always make sure that the advertisements emerge for all the relevant keywords which’s a good thing. But it’s even more significant that the ads do not appear for unrelated keywords as they simply outnumber the relevant ones. To keep the bad people away from the shop, you have to recognize them individually and then get preventive order from the court.

Invest a lot more time in managing the all-inclusive list of negative keywords than managing the relevant ones. Make sure that you append negative keywords regularly. It’ll assist you a lot in controlling advertisement spend especially if you have a small budget.

  1. Expect Human Intelligence & More Automation:

Let’s be obvious on it; automation is something that is already making inroads when it comes to pay-per-click advertising. If you’ve been eager with 2018 trends, then you’ll comprehend that the search engine has already made key paces in that. For example, Google is placing advertisements appropriate for everybody thanks to automation. It’s because of the number of data points utilized to crop up with smart features for the marketers. As we enter 2019, marketers will be expected to adopt such automated bidding tactics instead of 3rd-party tools.

Such sentiments already resonate fine with digital marketers. Furthermore, the automation results in the notion that manual tracking methods will quickly be a thing of the past. As said by the Media Director at Acronym, marketers will be expected to shift concentration to the consumers while allowing the automation systems to take on the tough work. As for discussing the competition between human intelligence and automation, it ought to be noted that creativeness will be the task for the pay-per-click marketers.

  1. Reassess The Pay-Per-Click Budget:

Does a low marketing budget denote you do not have to work as much on the pay-per-click strategies? Certainly, not. There is always a way to promote online even if you do not have a limitless budget. What you have to do is observe where most of the pay-per-click budget is going. Contemplate which platforms are providing you a helpful ROI. And then go down even further and observe which crusades have provided you the best outcomes. From there, assess if you can improve the most successful campaigns. Or if it makes sense to spend more in the campaigns and channels that did not do so well in recent months.

  1. Utilize The Inverted Unicorn Strategy:

Regular advertisement targeting is basically casting a thin net to boost engagement rates. It is the usual targeting of a specific niche or demographic to carry them in. However, the Inverted Unicorn comprises two other totally unrelated interests in targeting. From that, whoever might also occur to be an element of your actual targets might be carried in. You can also utilize such apparently unrelated interests in customizing the advertisements. They can append more dimensions to the ads, making them be conspicuous and seem more forceful. Such advertisements would actually have extraordinarily low costs owing to strangely high engagement rates.

  1. Switch Off Audience Network In FB Advertisements:

By switching off the Audience Network, you can eradicate up to ninety percent of click fraud from sketchy websites. You will be capable of seeing them on both Display Network on Google AdWords and FB. Say no to managed posts on Google Display Network to save yourself from problems. While you can keep out such websites from the reports, it will take a lot of time to exclude them all. Such hack eliminates a huge majority of them from the FB advertisements in just one click.

  1. Amazon Impressive Run With Advertisements:

Amazon has a net worth of over one trillion dollars; there’s no uncertainty that the electronic commerce platform is winning. It further shows that Amazon is a force to reckon with particularly when it comes to pay-per-click advertising. You ought to note that it’s so far captured the interest of Facebook, Google, and Bing when it comes to advertisements placement.

  1. Utilize Video Advertising Strategies:

Video ads are easy, quick, and a great method to draw a broader audience. In this hurly-burly world that we live in, very few individuals actually have some time to read through long ads or content. Short 1-2-minute video advertisements are absolutely the way to go. They have to be attention-grabbing, fun, and succinct with a high production value if they are gonna be effectual. So make sure you employ an expert creative team that can make best-quality video advertisements for you. Remember, a lot of such are targeted and will be emerging on major social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, SnapChat or Twitter.

10. Think Of The Buyer’s Intent:

When you are going for pay-per-click marketing, taking the buyer’s intent in the contemplation is quite helpful. You have to acquaint and comprehend that each user who comes to search engines does not go for purchasing, so you need to check what the targeted buyer’s desire. The key to pay-per-click marketing success is to comprehend the phrases utilized by the users when they are set to invest their cash, and it’ll prove to be beneficial for your bottom line.

Customers choose to read reviews and best products with offers available when they finally decide to buy. Keep all such things in mind when you are going to improve pay-per-click marketing returns.

 

 

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4 Things You Need to Digitize Corporate Training

 

Corporate eLearning has grown by a whopping 900% over the past decade and this market is predicted to surpass $243 billion in revenues by 2022. It helps to know that digitization of corporate training is much more than just a transfer of your learning materials to the cloud. It requires the right strategy, the right tool, and the right team. If you want to transform your corporate training, get ready to embrace this trending training strategy for enterprises.

Here are four elements you need for achieving successful digitization of corporate training:

1. Corporate training strategy

A proper strategy is indispensable for effective digitization of corporate training in any organization. Training strategies build the foundation for successful eLearning programs and ensure that both instructors and trainees get all the benefits out of every training. The first thing to do is to set your goals. This could be virtually anything that you want to achieve, right from higher knowledge retention rates by delivering more engaging learning materials to increasing the number of employees enrolled in the program.

It is important to know that these goals do not materialize just by themselves without a clear-cut plan. You have to pay attention to several factors when you set the goals. At the start, you have to identify exactly where your business is heading towards, what are your business goals, and what do you need to achieve them. After that, you need to assess your existing workforce in terms of their skill and knowledge levels. This will help you get a precise idea of the gap between your company goals and the current level of skills and knowledge. You need to get all the job descriptions and required skills for all your employees ready before you can identify the training & development needs for each one of them.

2. LMS Software

Once you have outlined your training strategy, it is time to move forward and adopt a LMS software. Some of the fastest growing industries today such as healthcare, information technology, eCommerce, education and construction are top adopters of LMS software, which has become an essential tool in their corporate eLearning process. In layman terms, it is a software platform specifically built to disperse knowledge to employees in an engaging way. But it goes far beyond just that.

LMS software is designed to track learners’ progress, engagement, and score as they take their courses online. Online training software literally transitions the Classroom to the cloud and allows employees to access courses from anywhere they want. They can learn from the convenience of their homes, while on the break, or when they are commuting. Your training strategy determines the type of online learning software you should choose to meet your specific needs. For instance, if you want to enable your employees to learn on the go, you should look for a mobile-ready LMS platform. On the other hand, if you want to keep track of all the learning efforts of your employees, you may go for Tin-Can enabled ProProfs LMS solutions.

3. Learning & Development Team

The next thing you’ll need is a learning & development team. If you already have one, you may revisit it and see if it needs an overhaul. Don’t worry, you can do well by adding a new key player to the mix – a digital learning manager. He/she acts as the head of the corporate training digitization project and oversees the digitization of employee training. The digital learning manager’s role is vital for the success of the digitization process, and it helps to create the post in your organization if you are yet to do so. It would be a step in the right direction as it will help in implementing the right digitization strategy for your online training courses.

Further, your learning & development team needs to identify your business objectives and the skill level of employees right from the start is essential to finetune your strategy and execute it. However,, most importantly, the team has to ensure the learning strategy is sustainable and help personalize the training experience to improve knowledge retention. Your learning & development team has to facilitate the digital transformation process, thereby helping your organization leverage new eLearning opportunities and achieve the training goals.

4. eLearning Community Manager

The success of any learning & development team hangs on the ability of an eLearning Community Manager to communicate the importance of online training to your employees. This person holds the responsibilities of encouraging employees to participate in online courses, and moderating the communication that takes place both on the LMS platform and elsewhere in the organization. He/she also needs to take feedback on online training and learning materials. eLearning Community Managers add to the quality of interaction for online learning and help employees adopt new learning methods in an efficient way.

Wrap Up

When they have a detailed training strategy, a versatile LMS software, a dynamic learning & development team, and eLearning Community Manager, enterprises stand to see positive results in their efforts towards digitization of corporate training. Such a well-planned and executed process tends to hand over full control to instructors to ensure they reach their training goals in a delightful manner.

Author Bio:- Robin is a Technical Support Executive. He is an expert in various LMS and employee training software. Currently, he is a resident learning management expert at ProProfs. In his free time, Robin enjoys cycling and sky diving.

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Three Ways to Turn Negative Publicity Into Something Positive

As the classic saying goes, there is no such thing as bad publicity. But while there is something to be said about having people discussing your company, even if it’s not in a positive light, it is still a stressful experience to deal with negative stories, especially when they are not true. With that in mind, let’s look at a few examples of negative publicity, and how company owners should address each situation:

False Rumors

What do Amway and Nutella have in common? Being the victim of false rumors and, in both cases, swiftly addressing the untruths and correcting them. In the case of Amway, there has been a prevalent myth surrounding the company that they are basically a pyramid scheme. This type of misinformation may prevent people from purchasing cleaning products, beauty products and supplements from the company, as well as signing up to work for them. To quash this myth, Amway got busy posting the truth about their company on their website. In the case of Nutella, in 2016 rumors began to fly that the tasty chocolate-hazelnut spread contained carcinogenic palm oil. Ferrero, the company that makes Nutella, launched a campaign that explained how safe Nutella is; as a result, their sales began to flourish again.

True Mistakes

In some cases, companies do make actual errors, ranging from minor to more cringe worthy. Lulumon, a successful yoga pants company, sold pants in 2013 that were quickly discovered to be see-through — not exactly what you want to see or wear when in a crowded yoga studio. Another error happened in 2014, when American Apparel posted a photo of the Challenger space shuttle explosion and labeled it as “fireworks.” In cases like these, the best approach is to acknowledge that an error in judgment or materials was made, apologize sincerely and then do what you can to make things better. In the case of Lulumon, they reacted quickly to recall the see-through pants and replaced them with new pairs. For American Apparel, removing the photo immediately along with a heartfelt apology was a good approach.

Negative Reviews

Thanks to the power of social media and online review sites like Yelp, any customer can potentially complain about your company online. When you pride yourself on providing outstanding products and services, some cranky pants who is falsely accusing you of doing something wrong can be frustrating. While it might be tempting to fire back a scathing reply to the Negative Nellie, it is best to wait until you have calmed down. Then, respond to the negative review in a professional manner; for example, apologize for the person’s bad experience, point out that this is rare in your business, and offer him or her the chance to come back so you can make things right. Other people who read the review and your reply will see that you truly appreciate your customers and want to make sure that they are happy.

Making Lemonade Out of Lemons

If handled correctly, negative publicity can almost always be turned into something positive for a company. So while it is still jarring to realize your business is being talked about in a bad light, it is definitely possible to turn the situation around and use the opportunity to show your company in an outstanding way.

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How to Keep Up With Your Business Finances

When running a business, it can be incredibly difficult to understand your finances. However, keeping up with your business’s finances is of the utmost importance and should be one of your main priorities while running a business.

Although it can be easy to lose control of your finances, there are many ways in which you can be sure that you are able to track your expenditure, understand your taxes, and know your profits, some of which are explained below.

  1. Hire an Accountant

One of the most profitable steps that you can take if you struggle to understand your finances is to hire an accountant. Accountants can deal with all your finances for you, and prepare you for the tax year. Not only this, but chartered accountants such as Howlader & Co build a professional relationship with you that can help you to get the most out of your business financially and ensure that your business can be tax efficient. This helps businesses to ensure that they are paying the right taxes, know how much profit they are making, and organize their finances accordingly, taking away the stress of dealing with the complicated tax system alone.

  1. Understand Your Taxes

However, if you plan to control your business finances alone, you should first ensure that you understand your taxes as a business. Unlike during employment, when taxes are taken straight out of your payslip, running a business means that you have to maintain an understanding and submit your own taxes.

Income tax is based on the earnings of your business, and so calculating this is the first step to understanding how taxes work. However, there are many more implications which you need to consider, and these can affect how much tax you should pay.

  1. Track Your Expenses

To ensure that you are ready for the tax year, you should track your expenditure throughout the year. This will not only help you when it comes to submitting tax forms but also means that you will know how much money you have to spend and invest. The best ways to track your expenses include using apps and spreadsheet templates to create simple and yet effective methods of tracking your expenditure.

  1. Project Your Revenue

Not only this but when it comes to understanding your business finances, it can also be helpful to project your revenue. This will help you to adapt your business plan to the amount of money that you have available to spend, and will help you to prepare for any obstacles – or profits – you have in the future, allowing you to invest in your business accordingly.

  1. Write Invoices on Time

Writing invoices and sending these to your clients on time will ensure that you receive payment as soon as possible, reducing the number of outstanding payments that you have. You should establish a timeframe for payment in your invoice template, as this will give you a reference point so that you know when you will be receiving money and ensure that your money is not outstanding for long. If you have not received payment within a week, then you should ensure that you follow up on these invoices.

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GOLD OR REAL ESTATE: WHICH ONE IS THE BETTER INVESTMENT?

To buy gold or real estate, that is the question. If you are savvy enough with these things, it may sound as though we were comparing apples to oranges. And up to a certain point, we are. However, before we delve into which is the better option, let us begin with the features they hold in common. Both forms of investment share at least three features. The first one is rarity, next is durability and lastly scarcity. Given these similar characteristics, it may be hard to decide, but it is way nobler to know the differences between the two before you trade cash for gold.

In the real estate corner, most of the people who study these things will tell you that real estate does well. In fact, investment in real estate would afford an investor income in rent, for example. However, the crash of 2008 was enough to remind us all that housing prices too can fall. Real estate was also at the heart of the Asian crisis in the mid-90s, the lesson here being that no investment option is really foolproof to the vagaries of outrageous fortune. Then again, gold is a lot more portable than real estate. Gold’s suitability in this case becomes even more pronounced during times of calamity, natural and man-made.

Investing in gold, investing in the long-haul

Gold as a commodity is best for the long-haul. The numbers show that gold is a good asset to hold, and has less volatility than stocks. It is even more attractive of an asset when planning for retirement or if you are planning to pay for your kids college fees. Even in the event of a downturn, it is unlikely that gold would lose all of its intrinsic value. Visit www.buyandsellgoldsilver.com for more information.

In tough economic times, such as when there is high inflation, the price of gold typically goes up. This is because in such situations, investors trade cash for gold as a way store value and protect their wealth. Gold is viewed as being a stable commodity whose price is not really affected in such downturns. Experienced investment managers will tell you that gold serves as a good foundation in an investment portfolio, and that is due to its lack of volatility in the markets.

Diversified Portfolio

Ultimately, the best approach in developing an investment portfolio is to have a diversified one. You would buy gold and complement it with investment in equities. Ideally, this would be for the long-haul. Real estate would then top up these investments to enable you earn some extra income, especially in times when the housing markets are strong.

It should be clear to you by now that each of these investment options have their pros and cons. You may want to invest in something that guarantees you a quick return, or you may have specific preferences. Discussing your needs with a good gold broker or investment manager will be an important first step in determining how to trade cash for gold, equities or real estate.

 

 

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Student Loan Debt Makes Home Purchase Almost Impossible For Millennials

The Burden of Student Debt Affects the Real Estate Market

Student loan debt has become a paralyzing financial burden for many young Americans. Today, millenials are now moving past their college years and entering the phase in their lives where they are looking to be homeowners. However, being the generation with the most student debt in America does not make the home buying process very easy. Millenials are least likely to own a home compared to generations before them. In 2014, only about 36% of household heads between the ages of 24 and 32 years old owned a home. That is down from 45% in 2005. One of the big factors to this low-rate of homeownership is the amount of student loan debt they have.

While homeownership may be lowering, the amount of student debt continues to rise. This can be attributed to the increasing costs of higher education. The average college student graduates with about $30,000 in both private and federal loans. The more education costs the more students take out loans to pay for their education. This has created a never-ending cycle of debt that affects other aspects of life such as buying a home. The amount of student loan debt now surpass that of credit card debt with the total student loan debt being $1.56 trillion and credit card debt being $1.03 trillion. Here are some ways that student loan debt can make it difficult for millenials:

  • Debt-to-income ratio

    – The number one issue that comes up when trying to purchase the home is the debt-to-income ratio. That is the amount of money you owe to lenders versus the income your bring in. The average income of college graduates is about $59,000. However, the average monthly payment of a student loan is about $350. This becomes a large chunk of monthly expenses. Banks are often wary of those with large amount of debt, especially debt like student loans which are seen as “unsecured debt”. Meaning that this debt is likely to be paid throughout a lifetime. Often, banks would prefer candidates whose expenditures are not more than 36% of their income. However, that can be difficult if your income is only $50,000. This ratio also can be affected by the cost of housing in your specific area. Those that live in higher cost areas can find it even more difficult to secure a home loan.

  • Credit Score

    – Another aspect that strongly affects homeownership for millenials is their credit score. About 8% of student loan borrowers were denied a mortgage because of their credit score. Those between the ages of 19 and 34 years old on average have a credit score of about 625. This is much lower compared to previous generations such as Generation X who had an average of 650 and Baby Boomers whose average was 709. However, as mentioned previously millennials also have a larger amount of debt compared to these generations. Millennials’ debt-to-income ratio is directly affecting their credit scores. Often, borrowers acquire a large amount of student loan debt and upon graduation found it difficult to find stable income to payoff the debt and defaulted into their loans. This caused their credit score to lower and made it difficult to be approved for a mortgage.

  • Down Payments

    – Getting approved for a mortgage can be a difficult first step to homeownership. However, the burdening reach of student loan debt does not stop there. Saving up for a down payment for a home can be difficult when you have such huge loan debt to pay every month. Often some would-be homeowners choose to take out a short-term loan to get immediate cash to use as a down payment . This might be particularly appealing for those living in states with lower student loan debt and lower costs of living. Millennials can access an online car title loan to get immediate cash that they can use as a down payment for their home. Since it is a short term loan, unlike a student loan, it can be paid off quicker and easier.

    Higher Cost of Living – Another aspect of student loan debt that is affecting millennials’ homeownership is the higher cost of living. While millennials seem to be earning much more than previous generations, the increase of income has not combatted the rapidly increasing costs of living. Millennials not only pay more for education and housing than previous generations but they must spend more on other expenditures as well. The cost of childcare is about 2% more than previous years, which might not seem like a lot but when broken down that is about $150 on average for child care compared to about $85 a week in 1985. Millennials also spend more on health insurance, transportation, and entertainment than previous generations.

Homeownership and student loan debt can be a tumultuous relationship. Student loan debt often paralyzes millennials from acquiring an integral part of the American Dream, owning a home. Millennials do have a challenging future when it comes to purchasing a home. However, with careful budgeting and dedication to paying off debt, the dream of homeownership can be a reality.

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