8 Things Small Business Owners Need to Know About Finance

Figuring out how to manage finances is one of the most challenging things you’ll face as a small business owner. Often, people get into the business world because they have an exciting idea or product to share. The chances are that you won’t have a lot of experience with accounts, taxes and cash flow too.

While learning as much as you can about money matters can seem like an exhausting process at first, it’s something you can’t afford to overlook when you start bringing your company to life. Knowing these 8 simple things about finance will help to keep your organization on track.

1. Sometimes You’re Going to Need a Loan

When you first launch a business, sometimes it’s tempting to try and do everything by yourself. The last thing you want is to be in debt before you’ve ever started making a profit. However, the truth is that most people simply don’t have the capital required to handle the demands of a business without a little support. A loan can be the most useful tool you have when it comes to starting your business, and even overcoming cash flow problems. Just make sure that you compare your options so you can ensure you’re getting the best interest rates.

2. Have a Billing Strategy

No matter how good you are at staying on top of things like cashflow, there’s nothing to say that your clients will be just as efficient. Most companies will have at least one customer that always seems to be late when paying their bills. Too much cash tied up in your unpaid invoices can quickly lead to cash flow problems. With that in mind, it’s important to make sure that you have a billing strategy in place. The good news is that there are tools online you can use to automatically invoice clients and send them reminders when they’re late.

3. You Need to Pay Yourself

When you’re running a small business for the first time, you might find yourself trying to put everything you earn back into the company. Any extra capital is a great way to help your business grow, but you also need to look after yourself and your family too. Remember that you’re playing an important role in your company, and you deserve to get paid for your work. Don’t focus on everyone else and forget to look after yourself.

4. You Need to Spend Money to Make It

This phrase might sound like a cliché at first, but it’s true. If you want to make real progress in any industry, then you need to be willing to invest in yourself and your business. With that in mind, make sure that you take risks from time to time, and invest in your growth. This could mean that you need to take an extra loan out at some point so you can afford to buy additional equipment, materials, or pay for staff, but a good risk analysis will help you to see if it’s worth it in the long-term.

5. You Must Remember to Look at ROI

Speaking of investing in the long-term, it’s a good idea to have a way to track your return on investments. Every time you start pouring money into projects for your business, make sure that you set up a measurement system that will show you which of your strategies are good for your future, and which might not be worth the effort.

6. You Need to Constantly Monitor Your Books

Monitoring your books might be an obvious task for financial health in your business, but it’s something that people often forget that they need to do regularly. If you’re the kind of person who might leave managing cash flow to the end of the month, try setting up an hour in your schedule each day where you can look at your incoming and outgoing expenses and make some crucial notes. The last thing you want to do is neglect your accounts.

7. It Helps to Establish Good Habits

Make sure that you do everything you can to develop good financial habits – even if it just means that you block aside some time at the end of each week to check that everything is running smoothly in your business. Running a small business often leaves you strapped for time, but your financials aren’t something you can afford to cut corners on. Start building good habits for your finances now.

8. You May Need Help

Finally, don’t expect to become a professional accountant overnight just because you’ve decided that you want to run your own business. If you don’t know anything about taxes and deductions, and you don’t have time to learn, then invest in an accountant or bookkeeper to help you. You’ll thank yourself for it in the long-term.

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How to improve your personal finances using a checklist

Personal Finance Checklist

Revamping your entire financial plan may seem like a gigantic task, so it’s easy to become overwhelmed. But by breaking your fiscal dreams into smaller, more manageable goals you’ll be setting yourself up for success while gaining some confidence about your money-making decisions with each item you cross off. Making a checklist can by the key to getting your money – and long-term goals – in order. Here are a few examples of simple changes that can make a major impact.

Start small.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they’re trying to make a substantial change in their life is focusing on objectives that aren’t easily attainable. This is an easy way to sabotage yourself, because the task seems so large you can’t possibly reach it. Think about restructuring your budget in the same way you would expect to start a diet or exercise plan. You wouldn’t expect to be able to run marathons within the first couple of weeks, so why would you hold your finances to a similar standard? Like with most goals, the little things add up. Instead of backlogging every purchase you’ve made in the last six months, start today by tracking all of your extra expenses such as movie nights, eating out, and entertainment-related costs like cable TV or your Netflix subscription. No detail is too small when it comes to money management and financial stability.

Streamline your payments.

Consolidating or organizing all of your bill payments is another simple task to add to your checklist. Determine the bills that you pay regularly, their frequency, amount, and whether or not they can be paid online. If possible, set up all bill payments to withdraw from your bank account automatically and keep track of your email or online confirmations. This can usually be done either through the servicer or your bank. By automating the process, you’ll reduce the amount of time you spend each month gathering paperwork and information. You’ll also simplify your own record keeping, since you should be able to locate most of your payments with just the click of your mouse. Even better, you won’t have to worry about accruing late fees since you know exactly when your account will be debited for each bill cycle.

Pay yourself first.

Having a comfortable savings account is one of the most important steps towards financial security. As part of your monthly, bi-weekly, or even quarterly checklist, send a portion of your paycheck to your savings account each time you get paid. Depending on your personal goals, income, and expenses this amount may vary. However, don’t underestimate how quickly even $10 or $20 per paycheck can add up over time. If possible, set up an automatic deposit so you’ll get used to receiving a lower amount. This is one line item that will give you a bit of satisfaction every time you check it off your list.

Keep your budget balanced.

Keeping your overall budget in order is usually one of the most daunting tasks, but breaking it up into smaller sections will make it a breeze to get through. Make a list of all income sources, everything you spend money on regularly, and for at least one month track all of your expenses to get an idea of how much you should allot for miscellaneous spending. Once you have your list, break the expenses into categories such as utilities, travel, housing, food, insurance, loan payments, and childcare. Your static expenses are those that are consistent for every pay period, and your flexible expenses are the less predictable ones such as car repairs or additional medical costs. Based on what you typically spend per month, you should be able to outline how much is needed to put towards extra expenses on top of your static ones. Being able to check off when each of these obligations are met will give you some peace of mind, and you won’t have to second guess whether you paid that bill or not.

Money Management for Retirement.

Money management is a huge part of most of our lives, and many of us have areas that we’d like to improve. Whether you’re saving for a dream vacation, college, or retirement, keeping track of your goals and when they are met is a valuable tool that you can use for all of your financial plans – no matter how big or small.

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Copy Trading: Why It’s a Great Idea for Beginners

 

Copy Trading And What It Is All About

The financial markets are becoming more accessible with online trading platforms and top brokers offering their services, so it is not surprising to see new investors taking advantage of this opportunity to explore the available instruments. There are more forex and stock traders today than ever before, and this is a good sign of a growing investment landscape.

Entering the now open financial markets, however, is not as easy as it seems. You still have to know your way around the traded instruments and the market as a whole. More importantly, you need to enter the market with a clear plan in mind. There are a lot of things to understand about the financial markets before you can make successful trades.

Many new traders turn to copy trading – and the broader social trading networks in general – for help. You too can learn about the financial markets while copying the trades of other, more experienced investors. But is copy trading a good idea?

Learn from the Best

Copy trading allows you to copy the trades of top investors on the market, but it doesn’t stop there. You still maintain complete control over the trades you make, including when it comes to deciding which investors you want to copy and how each trade is adjusted to your portfolio.

This level of control makes copy trading perfect for helping you learn about the financial markets you are entering. Rather than reading articles and relying on other resources, you can learn directly from top investors while benefiting from their trades at the same time.

Copy trading also lets you be a part of the market in real-time. You can apply the same technical indicators as the ones used by top investors, follow fundamentals from the same sources, and learn about the trades being made based on analysis and the usual decision-making process.

Allows You to Invest with Limited Knowledge

One of the biggest advantages of copy trading for beginners is that it allows new traders to start investing even if they have limited knowledge of trading and how the markets work. If you’re new to trading, it may be difficult to understand the challenges and pitfalls you should avoid and understand market behaviour.

People who first start trading currency pairs might be overly cautious at first, in order to not make mistakes. This makes the whole learning process much lengthier and will slow down your progression. But with copy trading, you’ll basically have a seasoned trader walking you through trades and showing you exactly which moves you should make. This will allow you to start making profits much faster than you would otherwise.

Saves Time

People are often unaware of how much time it takes to devise a trading strategy, and how time-consuming market analysis can be. Fundamental and technical analysis will most likely dominate your time if you’re doing everything on your own, especially if you’re not familiar with in-depth analysis in the first place. But with copy trading, all the hard work will already be done for you, and you can significantly reduce, or even completely bypass analysis altogether.

More Options to Choose From

Today’s copy trading services also allow you to tap into the same vast array of instruments that you can trade on the open market. Regardless of the CFDs and foreign currency pairs you are interested in, you can always find investors whose trades you want to follow.

This also gives you more flexibility in terms of shaping your portfolio. While you learn about the markets, your portfolio will continue to grow, and you stand a chance of banking profits along the way. There is no better way to learn than while profiting from real trades!

On top of that, you also have different platforms to use. ZuluTrade, for example, focuses more on their copy-trading features and signals. EToro, on the other hand, offers features related to both copy trading and the broader scope of social trading. The options are indeed endless.

Easier to Get Started

Copy trading doesn’t just make entering the financial markets easier. Getting started with your own copy trading account is also very easy to do, especially now that you have sites such as InvestinGoal helping you every step of the way. Via InvestinGoal, you can find reviews of popular copy trading services and platforms. These reviews help you choose the platform that suits your specific needs best. There are tips and tricks for beginners and even more resources to use as you learn about the market.

You even have news and social trading blogs to utilize as you venture further into the financial markets. With so many resources available, becoming a successful online trader – and starting that journey using copy trading as your weapon of choice – is easy.

Better Diversification

The added control you now have when copy trading helps you eliminate some of the issues associated with copy trading in the first place. Rather than taking the passenger seat and hoping for the best, you now have the ability to go deep into the trading strategy and find tactics that work for you.

In terms of diversifying your investment portfolio, for example, you are no longer limited to following one investor at a time. This means you can enter multiple markets, learn about them simultaneously, and copy the trades of top investors in each market.

The same can be said for risk management. In the old days, copy trading was often associated with a lack of risk management. This is due to many new investors taking copy trading as a way to make money quickly, which it isn’t. The more you are involved in managing your portfolio’s risks, the more profitable you will be in the long run.

Is it a Good Idea?

Is Copy Trading a good idea. We would have to say yes, read our opinion
Copy trading is a fantastic way to enter the market when you have little to no experience. That said, it is something that needs to be approached with learning in mind. Copy trading is how you learn from the best investors and be a great investor yourself, all while making money in the process.

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How PPI Claims And Compensation Have Affected The UK Economy

 

Payment Protection Insurance

PPI, perhaps the most high profile scandal in British financial history, has naturally earned its notoriety over the past few years since the reveal in 2011 that millions of British consumers had been mis-sold the insurance. With billions of pounds worth of compensation being paid out since, it has had a catastrophic impact on the UK. In this article we’re going to evaluate that very influence as we take a look at how ppi claims and compensation have affected the UK economy.

PPI: The History

Before we assess the impact that PPI had on the UK, let us first give you a succinct insight into its history.

PPI otherwise known as Payment Protection Insurance was sold alongside credit cards, loans and other financial agreements as a failsafe should a borrower’s income ever fall, due to them either being dismissed from their job or becoming so seriously ill that they were no longer capable of repaying their loan.

The insurance became increasingly prominent throughout the 90s and into the new millennium as lenders discovered they could add lucrative commissions onto PPI policies. As more and more financial intuitions began to exploit the protective policy for financial gain, a series of civil cases began to be contested in court whereby consumers claimed that PPI’s were essentially ineffective.

This culminated in 2011, when the Financial Conduct Authority officially released a public order stating that millions of PPI policies had been mis-sold to consumers and that they were owed compensation as a result.

It is believed that between the years 1990 and 2010 that over 45 million consumers were mis-sold PPI.

What It Meant For Lenders

As you can imagine such a demand for compensation would have a disastrous impact on any industry and that’s without considering the fines and legal fees each of the UK’s banks and lenders would have incurred as a result of mis-selling PPI.

The most recent total supplied by the Financial Conduct Authority, reported that since January 2011 that £32.9 billion worth of compensation had been paid out to consumers. To put that figure in perspective, that is over triple the £8.77 billion it cost the public to pay for the 2012 London Olympics.

However PPI is still prominent today, having an significant effect on the lending industry with Britain’s most high profile banks, Lloyds, Barclays, RBS, HSBC and Santander collectively setting aside a further £35 billion to cover the overall rising cost of compensation.

A Brief Boost

There is some evidence to suggest that PPI claims and compensation’s effect on the UK wasn’t wholly negative, in fact in the immediate aftermath it actually boosted the UK economy briefly.

In 2012, the country’s overall disposable income was at a low, amongst a rise in unemployment and the recession still looming over UK’s most prolific industries, many households were struggling to buy anything other than necessities.

However as bank’s began to compensate its consumers, household’s suddenly had an additional £2000 to spend on whatever they wanted. This impact was so significant that it actually led to the Independent Office for Budget Responsibility to up its estimate of real disposable household income by 0.5%.

A New Industry

Also the effect of PPI compensation has led to the creation of new jobs, specifically in the form of claim management companies.

Helping consumers to find out whether they are eligible for compensation or not, they hire customer service staff, complaint handlers, call centre executives and many more managerial positions.

Without the PPI scandal’s effect these businesses wouldn’t have been created and thousands of employees wouldn’t have been recruited. However as we approach the 29th August 2019, the PPI deadline, there is much uncertainty surrounding the security of these businesses and their worker’s positons.

There you have it, the exact effect PPI claims and compensation had on the UK economy. Damaging the lending industry, briefly boosting the economy and creating an entirely new industry, whether or not you consider its effect to be positive or negative you cannot debate that it has been vast.

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What Millennials Can Learn from Boomers about Retirement Planning

Boomers retiring by the tens of millions each year.

How many times have you heard it said, “If I only knew then what I know now…” about everything from financial planning to raising kids? It’s likely that you’ve heard it at least several times a week and now even millennials are becoming tuned in to the problems besetting boomers as they age and retire.

The world is a much different place than it was, even a generation ago, and so it would be wise for the younger generation to look at some of the trials and tribulations of boomers as they begin retiring by the tens of millions each year.

Insufficient Planning Delays Retirement

One of the major problems that many boomers face is that they didn’t plan sufficiently for their future. They assumed their Social Security check along with that 401k or other retirement investment would be sufficient to provide for them in their senior years.

Back a few generations, there simply weren’t the resources to plan well for retirement and today’s retirees are learning that they should have planned better. Today there are financial products that are aimed at growing wealth for your senior years and these are the products millennials should be investigating when seeking to invest in their own futures.

Unexpected Rises in the Cost of Living

What it all boils down to is that no one really expected the cost of living to skyrocket as it has. Some attribute it to the cost of production, keeping prices rising while others attribute it to higher taxes and the increasing cost of fuel and food. For whatever reason, the cost of living has far surpassed the rise in wages and this is something no one could have foreseen but perhaps should have planned for anyway.

Avoid Borrowing against Retirement Savings

Another one of the big mistakes boomers made, almost across the board, is to have borrowed heavily along the way against their retirement savings. This is a big problem that millennials should learn from. If at all possible, don’t delete those savings! Find a way to finance what you need to pay but leave that money where it is so that it can continue growing.

You know what they say about good intentions, so don’t be caught in the ‘intend to replace it’ trap. Chances are you will never replace that money once it has been spent. Just as you think you’ve got your head above water, another crisis surfaces and so it goes. Put that money away and forget it’s there. That, perhaps, is the biggest lesson you can learn from boomers.

The Logic of Downsizing Early

When it comes to downsizing once the nest is empty, altogether too many people fail to liquidate assets early enough. That big six bedroom home you live in and raised your children in may be sentimental but now that it’s paid off, sell it, buy a smaller property and invest the profit made from the sale.

Too many middle age people hang on to the family homestead thinking to save it for the kids, or to have a place for them if they need to come home. It’s time for grown kids to be grown kids. Think about your future by downsizing as soon as the nest is empty. Can you imagine how that amount of money can grow over the course of a couple decades until you are ready to retire?

Diversify Your Investments

And one final thing which millennials should learn from boomers is that they failed to diversify their investment products early enough. Altogether too many people lost their savings with the economic crisis of a decade ago and now those boomers simply don’t have enough time to recover their losses.

By diversifying your retirement investments, you can have that added bit of protection if one market should fail. The last time it was real estate that led to a global crisis. What will it be next time around? No one knows so diversify, unless of course you are a fortune teller and can predict the future.

The intelligent millennial will take a good look around them and fully understand the predicament most boomers are in now as they face retirement. It is always good counsel to be told to learn from your elders, in both their triumphs and failures, but never more so when planning for retirement. Don’t fall into the same trap your parents and grandparents fell in. You can learn a lot from boomers if you care to open your eyes. Plan now and live comfortably later – a great investment strategy altogether.

 

 

For Further information

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How Financial Technology is Creating Growth Opportunities for Small Businesses

Changing the Way Small Business Are Financed

One of the major problems many economies have had to deal with is that which concerns catering to the needs of small businesses in a changing business environment. The traditional model of new companies turning to banks for finance was limiting for most entrepreneurs.

Small business owners found it unbelievably hard to secure funding through a bank, with loan requests being declined for reasons ranging from insufficient collateral to economic concerns, and everything in-between. This made survival difficult, never mind expansion.

Thanks to new fintech firms, small and medium businesses can now access cheaper alternative financing and grow. The innovative ideas and new developments brought by fintech companies have changed the business sector and made it easier for startups to navigate the financial services landscape through the following ways:

Advances

Fintech enables small businesses to get the funding they need to expand. Peer-to-peer lending sites such as Funding Circle, LendGenius, and Kabbage provide microloans for business owners that often have difficulty finding lending support. This helps make it possible for small businesses to carry on their operations unhindered.

The requirements for getting approved by these companies are less restrictive than commercial banks. Fintech advances also attract lower interest rates, involve little to no paperwork, and do not require collateral. Add the convenience that they offer on top of that, and you will see just how far financial technology has brought us.

Expense Tracking and Electronic Invoicing

Another way that fintech removes the barriers that small businesses encounter when they try to expand is that it provides them with reliable expense monitoring solutions that are flexible enough to allow them to meet their business needs.

Fintech firms like Sage offer tools with which small-sized businesses can monitor all the money coming in and going out of the company’s accounts. This helps business owners to understand how much money is in the business at any point in time, as well as how that money is being spent. When a business can have a clear picture of its finances in this manner, it will find it easier to make informed financial decisions.

Further, fintech enables small businesses to automate invoicing, simplifying the accounting process as a result. This helps entrepreneurs to not only deal with cashflow challenges but also to maximize efficiency.

Provision of Digital Payment Options

Before now, one of the major problems for businesses that operate on a small scale is how to send money across international borders. The procedures for sending funds across borders was long and tedious. As a result, it discouraged clients from buying from overseas businesses. Fortunately, payment solutions like PayPal, Stripe, Venmo, Skrill, etc., now make it easier for small business owners to accept payments globally. This enables businesses to achieve international growth, as any customer can pay for items regardless of their location.

Last Word

Fintech has contributed in no small measure to helping small-sized businesses to drive revenue and grow market share in a tough business environment by addressing the market failures that they encounter.

The ease with which organizations can access funding, track expenses and conduct business have significantly enhanced their ability to keep their finances in check, achieve growth, and measure results effectively.

 

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Payday Loan Improvement: Has Regulation Truly Made A Difference

Payday Short Term Loans That Make Sense

Payday Loans were created to ease the financial pressure that workers face before they receive their pay cheques at the end of the month. The short term loan would be paid directly into the worker’s bank account before they were expected to repay in full, with interest, when they eventually received their pay. The type of loan came under much scrutiny, with critics citing that it made it too easy for a vulnerable person to ‘over borrow’ and therefore, face long term financial hardship. It was as a result of this condemnation, that a series of laws were introduced in an attempt to regulate payday loans.

We’re going to explore those very laws and examine whether the regulation made a difference.

Which Regulation Was Introduced?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) was the organisation responsible for the regulation introduced into the payday loan market.

The first action the FCA took was to introduce a cap on interest rates charged on loans, which were frozen at 0.8% per day the amount borrowed. There was also another condition added, that no borrower should have to pay back more than twice the amount of their original loan.

They also regulated and reduced the fees that payday lenders could charge for arranging a loan, as well as introducing a cap on the borrower default fee, meaning that if a borrower failed to meet the conditions of their loan, they could only be charged a maximum of £15.

The FCA’s final ruling was that each payday lender had to list their loan rates on at least one price comparison site to prove their legitimacy, as well as improving competition and price transparency within the market.

Did The Regulation Make A Difference?

These interventions went a long way to making the payday lender industry far more legitimate; however there is still room for improvement which was detailed in a report published by Citizens Advice.

They found that after the caps and regulation were introduced, that borrowers were far less likely to find themselves in extreme financial difficulty, provided that they communicate to their borrowers that they were having trouble repaying their payday loan.

The 44% of borrowers who were experiencing difficulty in paying back their loans, but actually spoke to their lender, managed to agree a more affordable alternative repayment plan.

This statistic illustrates two points; the first is that lenders are more than happy to provide alternative options for borrowers provided that they tell them they are experiencing problems. The second, however, is that more than half of borrowers are unwilling to voice their concerns regarding repayments, due to the fact they perhaps feel embarrassed or ashamed at their inability to repay their loan.

Therefore, while payday lenders have clearly improved their methods for making loans easier to repay, work can still to be done in regards to the line of communication between lender and borrower.

Ultimately, it’s clear that the payday loan industry has evidently improved after regulation, however it’s still not perfect, and things can still be done to better the industry for both lenders and borrowers.

 

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How Banks Can Reimagine their Business Processes to Deliver Real-Time Personalized Banking Experience

Global Financial Services

The global financial services sector is on the cusps of significant disruption, with fantasy technologies like AI and blockchain fast changing the way banks operate and deliver services to clients. More so, the emergence of financial technology (fintech) and regulatory technology (regtech) firms who continue to muscle into financial services has created a digital race of some sort in the industry.

Along with robo-investors, digital banks have been launched to help individuals transact as fast as can be imagined, and they are making a difference. The disruptive momentum of fintech vendors is helped by a growing population of tech-savvy consumers who expect personalized services.

The customer-focused nature of these new breeds of tech startups has made traditional financial institutions realize that they are at risk of falling behind in the innovation race unless they acquire transformative technologies that will enable them to keep up with advancements in an ever-evolving business environment.

Reshaping the Customer Experience by Leveraging New Digital Tools

To deliver real-time, personalized banking experience to clients, businesses need to address significant customer pain points as well as identify new ways to satisfy them in differentiated ways. Today, we live in a generation where people are never far away from a smartphone.

To put this in perspective, 87% of millennials never separate from their mobile devices, according to a report. Another report says customers use mobile banking apps 7,610 times a minute. Also, 70 percent of consumers who own a smartphone prefect transacting from their phones. These make mobile one of the most clear-cut ways to differentiate.

To meet client needs in this digital age, banks must do their due diligence to appropriately integrate digital tools such as live chat, self-service, mobile, and Omni channel support and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence into their processes.

Ways to Optimize the Customer Journey Experience

Information gathering is key to improving the customer journey. To deliver banking services in real time, banks first have to have enough data to make informed decisions. This requires gathering deep customer insights so that institutions can get a better sense of their needs, which can be achieved by investing in systems that recognize every customer irrespective of the platform used.

That said, here are the ways banks can improve banking experiences for consumers:

  1. Improve the account opening process and make the onboarding experience efficient

An exceptional account opening experience can help banks earn customer loyalty and remain competitive. To this end, institutions are advised to make the account opening process faster and provide robust mobile account opening services to make it easier for today’s connected customers to open accounts on a mobile phone. The more straightforward the process, the better the customer experience.

  1. Consider a user-friendly authentication solution

A complex authentication system can get customers frustrated. Institutions are advised to consider authentication solutions such as those based on one-time passwords, as they offer robust security and are user-friendly.

In addition, less intrusive technologies like Facial Recognition, Touch ID, and Iris Scanning are other effective solutions institutions might want to consider.

  1. Embrace the disruptive potential of AI-powered chatbots

Chatbots are some of the fascinating stories in fintech. It wasn’t so long ago that they were nothing more than automated answering agents. Today, they help address customer complaints, thanks to their ability to engage consumers with their intelligence.

Implementing this innovation will help financial institutions lower cost while improving the customer experience by providing personalized, always-on service. This is the future of Banking.

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How to Begin Investing as a College Student

College Students And Investing

You might think that your college budget doesn’t allow for a variety of things, such as making investments. It’s going to be tricky, but your student years are one of the best times to start investing. After all, you’re on a learning curve and not afraid of making mistakes.

Unfortunately, there are no college courses on how to build your wealth. You’ll be pleased to know, however, that it’s not going to require thousands of dollars in capital to start your investment journey. You do need to know how to do it, and how to do it best. Below is an introduction to some of the most popular options for college investors and the best ways to get you started.

5 Main Ways to Invest Money

  1. Cash in the bank is considered to be one of the safest options, but it’s not a great investment. Interest rates paid by banks tend to be lower than inflation. Certainly don’t leave your hard-earned money under the mattress because if you’re burgled, you’ve lost the lot.
  2. For most people, property is the single best investment. It’s one you can start as soon as your income allows, simply by buying your own home. Once you’ve got your foot on the property ladder, you can climb your way up.
  3. Antiques, art, wines, and collectibles can be a very interesting way to invest. Collectibles are often cheap, making them an affordable form of investment. However, it’s not the easy path to riches you might think. You need to be an expert in the things you collect to avoid being taken for a ride.
  4. Equities can provide the beginner with the opportunity to make sizeable profits. They are a stake in a company, with shareholders often getting paid a dividend. Shares, stocks, and equities provide good growth potential. Equities allow you to invest smaller amounts, while also being cheaper to hold.
  5. Bonds are the fifth option. They have a guaranteed interest rate and a date on which they’ll be redeemed. Bonds issued by governments are considered safer than company bonds.

Tips for College Students Who Want to Invest

If you want to invest in any of the options mentioned above, you should learn as much as you can. It’s possible to gain enough knowledge by reading books and articles online, and the information you gain will help you become a successful investor.

Any debts you have need to be paid off before making any kind of investment. Finding out how to refinance student loans will help you to repay these quicker. Making risky investments while you’ve still got high-interest loans to repay will only make your financial situation worse.

Making investments will require a brokerage account, so you need to find a reputable brokerage firm to handle your investment transactions.

A sensible thing to do when making investments is to diversify your portfolio. Don’t invest all your funds in one single company. Instead, put invest in various industries and investment types.

Investing is not only for rich people. You can make money, even if you’ve only have a small amount to invest. Practice makes perfect, and before you know it, you’ll be making more money. Start small, and any money you make can be used for further investments, and increase your learning.

 

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3 Ways You Can Implement Project Management Skills in Business

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

 

You may think a degree in business is enough to help you in your career of choice. While it may help you land your first job, for you to prosper, you need to continue improving yourself, otherwise your skills will become overlooked. Completing an MBA in Project Management can help develop your skills, which will, in turn, propel you forward in your career. Through project management, you can learn how to make goals and meet them within the constraints your business or client imposes.

Here are three ways your can implement project management skills in business.

Organizational Skills

Business requires a level of organization, however, chaos can ensue. You need to ensure that you are able to organize not only yourself but also your team. Otherwise, you may miss deadline, fail to meet quality or miss out on details that could impact the business as a whole. As a leader, it is up to you to meet the client’s brief, while knowing how to manage the scope of the project, the budget and the quality and time that is needed.

Strategic Planning

It’s in the name – ‘management’ means you will be managing a number of projects as well as people, so that you can meet deadlines and ensure the quality is up-to-scratch. You may be assigned one project at a time or perhaps two. If it is the latter, then multi-tasking is a required skill.

You may need to work with other sectors within the business, such as designers, contractors and other project managers. Ill-defined project management can be detrimental to a project and the client’s objectives, which is why, if you are needing to improve your skills, you should look for ways to improve your knowledge in the area. Project management MBA program can help teach you about strategy, as well as leadership, making business decisions and marketing.

Working Within Budget

All projects will require you to work with a set budget. This is a necessity, so that your business – and client – can breakeven or make a profit. To ensure you do not overspend, you need to learn how to work with money and keep finances in order. Project management can help you work within this common constraint.

As a project manager, you need to speak to your client and understand the outcome they are hoping for. While a budget may seem restricting, it can help you mold an image of what it is your client is after – without overstepping the mark. This is a problem you need to solve, which is why learning problem-solving skills can help you deliver to your client and impress them.

Project management has the ability to help you improve your skills personally as well as your professional life. You can become a better leader, know how to manage within certain Res-Ptrictions, work with clients as well as co-workers, and establish or improve pre-existing planning, organizational and marketing skills. Project management skills can be obtained easily, through the internet and through online courses.

 

 

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