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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Tips to Keep Your E-Commerce Sales Hot This Holiday Season

7 Must Try Tips to Keep Your E-Commerce Sales Hot This Holiday Season

The holiday countdown has just begun and as the festive mood gathers momentum, people start going on the shopping binge. The soaring number of people opting for online shopping in holidays is simply incredible. This is the great opportunity for e-commerce companies to boost their sales.

If you are eying for making most of this shopping season rage, you might as well get prepared to attract your prospects toward your online storefront. Make this season celebrations a win-win manifesto for you and your customers. However, the reality is you are not alone in this shopping carnival; your competitors must also be strategizing to take full advantage of this. So how are you planning to increase your online sales?

Here are some great tips for you:

1: Make sure your site is ready with holiday theme

Your website and its landing page are very crucial points of contact with your customers. Give them the reason that you are equally excited about welcoming as well as serving them. Spruce up the look and feel of your store so that people take you seriously and that you mean business when it comes to advertising your products. Being in the same holiday spirit as your customers are will encourage them to shop with you. During holidays, customers expect that you have something unique and enchanting holiday collection products for them that can provide a good value for their money. You need to focus on visual design and aesthetics according to the coming festival, for example, Black Friday, Christmas, New Year. You can use small, simple festive elements with a campaign that can attract families.

2.Provide a great mobile experience

With a precipitous growth in mobile devices in recent years, online shopping has reached to unprecedented levels. Smartphones and tablets are the biggest drivers of e-commerce today. In light of this, holiday season will witness an added effect for e-commerce traffic from mobile devices. So your website should be highly mobile responsive, for you need to engage more with mobile users. An Econsultancy report throws light on the importance of growing mobile experience. The report says, 62% companies with a mobile responsive website see an increase in their sales as compared to companies with desktop-only websites. A seamless mobile experience will provide a frictionless and easy way for your customers to make purchases.

3. Reduce cart abandonment by giving discounts and offers

Cart abandonment is one of the most annoying things you might come across on your site. Even if your products are resonating with your buyers, but you have no idea what stopped them from making the purchase. This is the high time to figure it out and respond to it immediately. You need to consider whether the checkout process is confusing, or the cost of shipping is discouraging for them.

To prevent the abandonment from happening, ensure that your shipping costs are transparent throughout the buying journey of the customers. Forcing your customers to create an account could be counterproductive because it makes the purchase process longer. Just make your checkout process short and seamless. It is also true that most of the customers visiting your store for the first time don’t make purchase. But you can lure them back by giving discounts and sending festive sales offers to their selected items.

4. Create holiday themed content

Holiday season is the time for sharing and caring, so spread some euphoria with holiday-themed content. The content specially curated for holiday would be a perfect way to add a festive touch to your messaging. On the other side, customers appreciate when they see brands are putting efforts to add holiday fun and joy to their marketing communications. A study by Infogroup found that emails featuring Black Friday themed content generated a 33% higher conversion rate than business as usual (BAU) messages. There are many ways to leverage themed content. One of the effective ways is to host an online photo submission contest, where customers can show off their creativity and have some fun together. Another way to engage your customers is by posting holiday decorating tips, or how-to videos to celebrate different festivals.

5. Provide fast and free shipping

Nothing can give your customers an instant gratification than offering them same-day deliveries at their doorsteps. This is the one area in which brick-and-mortar stores have a distinct advantage over online stores. In fact, instant delivery is one of the topmost reasons why people still live to shop at physical stores. Therefore if you convince your prospects to provide a lightning fast delivery, they’ll shop more at your site especially during the holiday season. Another way of keeping up your sales momentum is to offer free shipping to your prospects. Shipping costs are among the top reasons why customers abandon the cart because they essentially want to save money that is spent while physically going somewhere for shopping. So keeping in mind the holiday season competition, free shipping will keep your floating. If you don’t offer free delivery while your competitors do, your sales are at risk!

 

6.Hassle-free return policy

You need to incorporate a hassle-free return policy for your customers if in case they don’t find a product fit for their needs. This is how customer experience works. An excellent customer experience is very important for generating e-commerce sales. If customers get a sense that you care for their benefits as well then they will keep coming to your store. A 2016 consumer survey from Shippo, a shipping application-programming-interface firm, found that 87% of respondents believed that free returns were an important part of their ecommerce buying decision. Thus, the more hassle free your return policy is, the more secure shoppers will feel when making a purchase from your online store. If the return rates are higher for your store, you can give more info about the product as possible, including lots of product shots, and detailed product descriptions. This will help customers better arrive at a conclusion whether to buy the product or not.

7. Use social media ads to engage prospects

Social media advertising is an effective way to target audiences on specific networks through demographic information so targeted consumers can see your brand in their feeds. The way social media is becoming popular among masses, no business owner can undermine its significance for generating sales, especially during holiday season. For example, Facebook can be used to engage with prospects who have been liking your products for a long time but haven’t yet purchased any of them. Optimizing your Facebook ad campaigns will truly engage your most important leads. Another platform to leverage at this instant is Instagram. Visual content is not only treated more favourably on Instagram algorithm, but it’s also more likely to be shared and remembered than written content. Also you need to factor in the relevancy of your ads. If they aren’t relevant to your audience, you are wasting your time.

 

Final Words

With the arrival of festive holiday season, people start flocking to offline as well online stores. Since majority of people are shopping from the comfort of their cosy homes, e-commerce stores have a lot to offer to them. You have to strategize your plans and make smart moves so that you can clinch last minutes sales.

 

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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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The Death of Buy To Let? Not for Savvy Investors

 

Changes in Property Investments

There has recently been a slew of negative headlines, bad forecasts and gloomy warnings about the death of buy to let. Stamp duty changes, tax rises, and new policies have muddied the waters around property investment. However, these dire warnings should be taken with a large pinch of salt. For savvy investors, buy to let property investment can be incredibly lucrative, you just need to be smart.

In the past buy to let property was a popular choice for get rich quick investors, looking to sell quickly and move on. After the economic crash and the slowdown of the property market, huge price rises are rarer, but not impossible. In certain areas of the UK, property prices have grown considerably over the past 12 months. According to the UK cities house price index, in Liverpool, house prices have risen by 7.5%, in Glasgow they have risen by 7.2%, in Nottingham by 6.9% and Manchester by 6.8%. These high growth areas often also benefit from affordable low entry prices, allowing investors to diversify their portfolios or purchase in more than one locations.

Doing Your Research

By doing research on which areas of the country are best for house prices and investing in regions which are benefitting from regeneration and investment, you can still make a considerable profit when buying and selling property. Property investment specialists like RW Invest are encouraging investors to look to cities like Liverpool and Manchester where property prices are on the rise and rental yields are good. Studio apartments, student accommodation and HMOs are all alternatives to the typical residential property investment. Opportunities to purchase buy to let properties are worth pursuing, and if you can find a below market value property in a high growth area you can make impressive profits.

Long Term Benefits of Buy To Let

The real benefit of buy to let is when you look long term. One key way of measuring an investment is through the rental yields. This tells you how much of your property you will earn back in rents over a year. For example, a property worth £100,000 that earns £6,000 a year in rental income would have a rental yield of 6%. The higher the rental yield the quicker a property will pay for itself. Rental rates have been on the rise in the UK, and the conditions are perfect for buy to let investors to find new properties. The UK housing crisis has seen a huge increase in the number of people looking for rental properties. With less houses available to rent and a harder time buying a first property, tenants are staying in rentals for longer than ever before and paying more for them too.

Rob Bence, presenter of The Property Hub’s Property Podcast said in a recent GQ article “Investing in property may have become a little more complex, with changes to tax relief rules and increases in Stamp Duty Land Tax now in play but property remains the safest form of investment and it is absolutely still possible to prosper from it”. Buy to let is definitely not dead and its unique benefit of earning rent as well as increasing in value makes it a doubly profitable venture. For smart investors who do their research, invest in up and coming areas and plan a long-term strategy, buy to let property investment can still pay off.

 

 

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How Blockchain Is Transforming The Online Gaming World

Blockchain and the Impact on Transforming The Online Gaming World

Blockchain technology has certainly taken over every domain of digital transactions. It has revolutionised the world of cryptocurrencies and has given everyone around the world a new platform to do online transactions. The Blockchain technology has definitely exceeded expectations and has reached new heights year in and year out; the tech has even lengthened its reach and can even be found in the online gaming world. In fact, it has made quite an impact in gaming and it should be very interesting to see how Blockchain will revolutionise the gaming space.

Private, Legal, Low Cost and fairly accessible Option

Cryptocurrencies have managed to find their way into the casino industry and in doing so its expanded its status. An increasing number of online casinos have introduced cryptocurrencies as a main payment or as a substitute payment method. The great thing is that these forms of payment are safe, accessible and well documented which further strengthens the reputation of cryptocurrencies. With the use of cryptocurrencies these gaming companies allow their members to remain anonymous and give them a piece of mind knowing that it is extremely safe. Cryptocurrencies also make it easier because gamers and gamblers don’t run into any difficulties with regards to financial documents or setting up an account.

Reduces Fraud and Loss of Revenue

Fraud and a loss of revenue is relatively widespread on the internet and this is really unfortunate. Studies have confirmed there were approximately two million online fraud incidents reported in 2017, with the general belief being this number is only the tip of the iceberg. Blockchain technology has ensured the extermination of fraud and revenue loss which will save the online casino industry billions every year.

Developers are creating Blockchain driven games

Blockchain has created many games but it has taken their technology to a new extreme. Developers have created Decentraland which is a virtual reality platform which is powered by Ethereum Blockchain. Decentraland allows people to own different pieces of land which you are free to do whatever you want to with. With this so called ‘digital real estate” players are able to access an entire new platform that has businesses, services and social activities.

Ensures more equality in the online gaming industry

Most players have the idea that the house always wins but that is no longer the case thanks to Blockchain. The majority of gamblers have accepted the fact that they would most likely lose more often than not, but Blockchain has created equality in games. Smart contracts, cryptography and Blockchain technology have all worked together to develop a system which has ensure that there is equality in any games that contain their technology.

Therefore, it is clear that the Blockchain technology has had a significant effect on the online gaming industry. Blockchain technology has given this industry room to flourish and has also made the online gaming industry a much safer environment to get involved in. This technology has also improved payments, betting and encouraged the creation of new types of games.

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MoneyGram is on the Decline

MoneyGram International, Inc goes by the ticker MGI on the NASDAQ GS. At the time of writing (November 2018), MoneyGram stock was priced at approximately $4.40 per share. For the year-to-date, MoneyGram stock has declined from $12.28 per share, shedding almost $8 in 2018. The company’s market capitalisation is currently $245.46 million with no price/earnings ratio and a -0.56 earnings per share. The 1-year target estimate price for MoneyGram is $6.25. It is noteworthy that MoneyGram traded as high as $15.54 over the past 52 weeks, indicating that there has been a significant downgrading of investor confidence and performance in this stock.

 

MoneyGram International Inc is a money transfer service with HQ in Dallas, Texas. It offers international money transfer services with locations all over the world. According to Zacks Investment Research, MoneyGram stock is no longer the darling of investors in the money transfer services industry. There were several reasons why the stock capitulated, notably fundamental weaknesses in its money transfer business which comprises a substantial source of the company’s overall revenues. More importantly, MoneyGram faces a slew of challenges from up-and-coming start-ups, online money transfer services and other FinTech operations. At a time where the industry was growing at a rate of 6%, MoneyGram was plunging in double digits.

 

2018 has seen many online money transfer companies come into their own. The volatility of the FX market is but one of several reasons why MoneyGram transfers are losing market share. Governments around the world are placing increasingly stringent regulations on money transfer services, and pricing pressures have come home to bite. Besides for increasing costs of compliance vis-a-vis governance structures and regulations, MoneyGram is having to shelve out millions of dollars which is eating into its bottom line with sharply decreasing growth prospects. Overall, lower remittance rates have resulted in weakness in many Middle Eastern markets for MoneyGram, notably Saudi Arabia. In Africa, MoneyGram has suffered from decreased market share when Nigeria reduced the permitted allotment to just 50% of what it previously was. As a result, stock prices are generally weak and market share is slacking.

 

How Are Competitors Eating into MoneyGram’s Market Share?

International money transfer companies like World First and HiFX are starting to dominate the online money transfer industry in a big way. They are but two of many FinTech operations now coming into their own. When it comes to money transfer companies, a growing number of people are choosing these money transfer companies over established banks and financial institutions.

 

Analysts are of the opinion that MoneyGram is losing market share to these up-and-coming online money transfer service companies. According to International Money Transfers – a leading reviewer of money transfer services – HiFX/WorldFirst comparison charts present many interesting facts and figures, notably:

 

  • World First is a privately-owned enterprise (operating since 2004) with offices across 5 continents. It features 75,000 active clients, and growing. This online money transfer service currently offers 121 currencies, with no fees on transfers, except for small transfers which cost $10.
  • HiFX is owned by Euronet, and is headquartered in London, UK. While this money transfer services company does not offer as many currencies – 5 dozen pairs offered, it accepts clients from across Australia and Europe. The fee is £9 per transfer, and it’s fully regulated by the FOC, FMA, and FCA.

 

There are pros and cons to each of these services, notably that WorldFirst does not offer FX options and is markedly smaller than HiFX. From the other side, HiFX lacks transparency on rates, and is a little clunky in terms of registration. There are mixed reviews on the services offered by HiFX and WorldFirst, but the majority of customer feedback has been positive.

These companies are proving to be a thorn in the side of market giant MoneyGram. As more clients shift to WorldFirst and HiFX, the drip, drip from MoneyGram becomes a slow and steady trickle to alternative online money transfer services.

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Things You Should Know About Buying a Franchise

5 Things That You Should Not Ignore When Selecting the Right Franchise

 

There are thousands of franchise systems today to a point that business owners are confused on which one to buy. The basic factors to consider should include; cost, lifestyle, and skill set although you may consider other things. Despite all these, there are things that you should never ignore no matter the industry.

  1. Consider What Motivates You

We all have different things that motivate us, and you may want to buy a franchise in order to have a more comfortable life. There are franchises that will fit an eight-to-five job, there are those that will fit round the clock and there are those that will fit working at some specific times. Consider what motivates you before getting a franchise.

 

  1. The Size of the Territory the Franchise Covers

As a business or a startup owner, you need your business to grow over time. You do not expect to be stagnant, and that is why you should never ignore, the size of your territory. Some franchises are limited to regions, others to square mile while others are limited to single towns. Be well informed about the territory the franchise you are planning to buy is limited to.

  1. The Opportunities in a Specific Location

Never ignore what is in a name and do not be carried away by the highly rated opportunities. Remember you need to consider what is of great importance to you as a business owner then focus on it. Popular brands come with a cost which maybe too much for you for a start. Check out the franchises that are not in that specific area instead of focusing on big brands. You could find one of the best business opportunities in this.

 

  1. Your Comfort with the Franchise

This is a business that you will be engaging in most of the times and in every job, you need to be happy. Never ignore the comfort you get when you are choosing a franchise. You do not want to be unhappy every time you are working or you think about it. The Franchisor’s culture is wide and thus you should find one that you are comfortable with.

 

  1. The Final Cost of Making the Franchise Profitable

Cost is always a factor in most investments. There is what it costs to buy a franchise, and there is what you invest to make profit. Never ignore the final cost of making your franchise profitable as this was your initial mission. Get all the costs involved from the franchisor and work on your budget. When you decide to run your own business, you need the best franchise for that. No matter the industry you are venturing into, cost, your comfort, your motivation and the opportunities at hand should not be ignored.

 

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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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Dr. Joe Johnson of Welfont – Serial Entrepreneur And Venture Capitalist Gets Another Homerun!

 

Fastest Growing Real Estate Brokerage in America

Winning the prestigious INC 5000 award for the Fastest Growing Real Estate Brokerage in America over a three year period is no small accomplishment, but for Dr. Joe Johnson, growing up a missionary kid in Brazil, it’s truly a dream come true.

Johnson, a competitive swimmer in college and captain of his swim team seems to run his business with a heads down and swim for the finish line manner. So, when Johnson saw in year three, that his startup venture, (Welfont) stood a very real chance of placing high in the INC 5000 standings, he and his team put their heads down and in 2017 went all out to finish strong and by year end amassed an astonishing 11,359 percent three-year growth rate. To understand how Welfont got to where they are today, it helps to better understand the journey of Johnson’s life. He started his first business, a landscaping company, while still in high school. He had a truck and earth moving equipment but wasn’t old enough to get a driver’s license. But obstacles like these were just minor inconveniences to him. The solution was simple. Improvise. He just hired kids a little older than him who had their drivers license and he was in business.

Early Bankruptcy

Armed with more enthusiasm than business sense, by age 21 his vision and sales far outpaced his financial and staff resources as well as his operational processes. As he is quick to admit, “Out of pure incompetence, by the time I turned 21 years old, I went bankrupt.”

After Johnson went bankrupt at age 21 (on his lawyers’ recommendation), he worked other jobs and eventually earned enough money to pay off the creditors that he was no longer obligated by law, to pay. Somewhere along the way, Johnson had come to learn that a good name is more important than wealth.

 

First Turnaround

Upon graduating from college, Johnson mailed out 2000 resumes applying for the position of CFO. He received four requests for an interview and exactly one job offer from a failing $12 million tech company which he quickly turned around and was sold for a handsome profit. Doing things on a big scale became the hallmark of his storied career, including earning his doctorate at age 41, in Entrepreneurial Leadership from Regent University.

More Turnarounds

Johnson took over the reins and re-launched the struggling SUCCESS Magazine with a new team, which won “Best Design Launch of the Year Award” and gained over 500,000 in print circulation and was subsequently sold for millions of dollars. It was this type of success that fueled his desire to become a venture capitalist and enjoy more of the fruits of his labor.

That opportunity came in 2011 when he bought an insolvent real estate training company, making it wildly successful, earning a seven figure profit in just the first quarter.

Get Motivated Seminars

But fast forward to 2012, when the opportunity came to buy his former employers flagship company, Get Motivated Seminars, Johnson leveraged his previous success and went “all in”. Unfortunately, the previous owners were in a bitter divorce, greatly complicating the transfer of ownership. By year end, it was over, and the doors closed for good.

Down, But Not Out

Johnson’s love of real estate had become deeply ingrained into his psyche. In 2014, he began a consultancy helping nonprofits utilize the tax laws in Section 170 of the IRS code to acquire underutilized commercial real estate assets. It was the beginning of what became known as the Welfont Group of Companies. It soon became apparent that he could help a lot more folks and build a solid business by adding commercial real estate brokerage to the services his company could provide. Within 36 months, transaction volume grew to hundreds of millions of dollars, becoming the fastest growing real estate brokerage in the history of the Inc 5000.

Success is a Journey

Over the years Johnson, now 43, has created hundreds of jobs through various start-ups and turnarounds while earning his MBA and PhD, personally funded over 15,000 microloans in over 80 countries for underprivileged entrepreneurs, saved one of America’s oldest and best loved business magazines from bankruptcy, acquired over 10 million square feet of real estate nationwide and most recently not only ranked in the INC 5000 as the Fastest Growing Real Estate Brokerage in the country, but also ranked #16 in the top 20 fastest growing companies of all types.

 

 

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