What Is Going on in Equities Markets Around the World

 

Global stock markets are agonizing through some of the worst selloffs in recent history. The performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the NASDAQ Composite Index, and the S&P 500 has been nothing short of disastrous heading into the month of love. Equities traders, speculators, economists, and media talking heads have used every conceivable adjective in the book to describe the torrid time that markets are enduring. Equities traders have used terms like writhing convulsions to meteoric drops, bearish markets, corrections, and worst multi-year performance.

This begs the question:  Where are markets headed?

It’s important to take a step back from the current grim reality before simply weighing in on the otherwise lackluster performance of global markets. If we look at the following major indices, we can appreciate how well they have performed, and how significant the current market movements are:

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently down 6.58% over 1 month
  • The S&P 500 Index is currently down 6.05% over 1 month
  • The NASDAQ composite index is currently down 5.75% over 1 month

When we extrapolate further, we can see that the Dow Jones has a 52-week trading range of 20,061.73 on the low end and 26,616.71 on the high-end. Clearly, the current level of 23,715.44 (Friday, February 9, 2018) is firmly in the middle. The S&P 500 index has a 52-week trading range of 2,296.61 on the low end and 2,872.87 on the high-end. The current level is 2,583.74 – again right in the middle. The tech heavy NASDAQ composite index has a 52-week trading range of 5,685.15 on the low end and 7,505.77 on the high-end. It is currently trading at 6,744.55, 1,000 points above its 52-week low.

Why Are Markets Convulsing Right Now?

Major investors, and everyday folks are scared that runaway inflation and rising interest rates could hurt stock market investments. It must be remembered that the fundamentals of the US economy are sound – there is no questioning that. According to Olsson Capital trading guru, Edward Bronstein:

 

‘We have to appreciate the bigger picture here. The Fed has been pushing to raise interest rates ever since the US economy turned the corner. By December 2015, we started to see incremental increases to the federal funds rate in 25-basis point intervals. Come Wednesday, March 21, 2018, we are likely to see yet another rate hike if stock markets stabilize and employment numbers continue to shine and inflation keeps rising.

 

According to the CME Group FedWatch tool – a great barometer of sentiment for interest rate movements, there is a 71.9% likelihood of a rate hike of 25-basis points in the region of 1.50% – 1.75% in March. Unfortunately, stock markets don’t like rate hikes, especially when they are part of a series of ongoing rate hikes. When the monetary authorities decide to raise interest rates, the value of stocks declines. The thinking is that consumers have less personal disposable income, companies are paying more in interest, and naturally this is going to lead to lower demand for company products and services, and ultimately to lower prices.

 

So, to be safe, investors take their money out of stocks and put it into safe-haven assets like gold, gold ETFs, treasuries, and interest-bearing accounts. They are also going short on derivatives trading options like CFDs and spread betting. Is the stock market going to continue its massive selloff? Probably not. But for now the safe money is on a market correction before the value-investors jump back into the markets to pick up bargain deals on top stocks.

 

While the year to date gains have been erased from major bourses around the world, we should take pause and see what US inflation figures will be before determining whether Fed action is warranted. Meanwhile, German, US and UK bonds have reacted with high volatility to current economic conditions. Oil is down, gold is down, copper is down, and the USD is down. The current trajectory of financial markets is attributed to bearish sentiment.

 

 

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4 Areas of Your Company That Are Worth Your Investment

 

 

 

 

To have a profitable and successful company you need to have your money invested in the right places. Whatever industry or sector you are trying to conquer, you have to put your money where your mouth is and show that you support all areas of your company to make it to the top.

Investing wisely in the right areas will not only help your company to grow, but it will also increase your business’ profit and help you stay ahead of your competition. However, you have to be willing to back what you believe in if you want it to work and perform. A financially healthy company is one that knows where to spend the money and why it’s important to ensure you deliver the best results for both yourself,  your employees and your customers.

Below are a number of areas within your business which you can invest in further to reap the rewards. Use these tips to understand what’s going to help you find success.

People

Your employees are the backbone of your company, and they know a good employer when they see one. They work hard each day to make sure your business is not only surviving but thriving. Invest in good people and see how quickly your company starts to take a turn for the better. Talented, smart and hardworking employees are what will take your business to another level. Be choosy about the hiring process and select candidates who have a strong character, the right skills and are onboard with your vision.

Technology

These days you’d be silly not to invest in using technology to propel your business and make it more efficient. For example, many brands are adopting Digital Banking solutions to give them more control over the financial process. It helps deepen user engagement and makes processing payments more secure. You won’t regret spending the money when daily work is completed more efficiently and quickly, and your customers are more satisfied.

Innovation

You can’t stay where you are forever. That’s why you have to invest in innovation and give people the opportunity to be creative and come up with groundbreaking solutions to some of the most complicated problems you’re facing. This is one of the only ways you’re going to beat out your competition and make a name for yourself in the marketplace. You don’t want to be chasing your rivals and wishing you were doing a better job.

Marketing

You’re not going to get very far if no one knows who you are or what you sell. You need a clear and concise marketing strategy, the right people to manage it and execute it, and strong partnerships that help you succeed. There’s not much of a future for your business without any marketing. Provide a solid budget for your team and let them show you how much of an impact it has on the success of your company. There are now many marketing channels available that require careful management and a strategic approach.

 

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Spread Betting Advantages and Disadvantages

 

 

All in all spread betting is high risk gambling. Unlike traditional methods of gambling where you only lose your stake money, when it comes to spread betting profits and losses are potentially unlimited which makes them risky. If you have tried your hand at gambling whether that is in the form of actual casinos, bets or online casinos and are feeling confident then here is what you need to know about spread betting as well as the secrets of financial betting.

The most important thing to remember before you get involved in spread betting is to actually understand what you are doing. The basic explanation of spread betting is that it simply allows you to speculate on whether the price of an asset will rise of fall, depending on your opinion and predictions. You can gamble on almost everything from shares and commodities to stock market indices and house prices. The appeal with spread betting is you don’t actually have to buy the underlying asset you want to trade, you can just take a view on the prices offered by the spread betting provider as to whether the price will increase or drop.

How Spread Betting Works

A spread bet is a bet on the future movement of an underlying asset. In general terms if you believe the asset is going to rise you place a buy bet, if you think the asset is going to fall you place a sell bet. To place a spread bet, spread betting firm offer you a quote which consists of a bid depending on whether you think the asset is going to rise or fall. If you do choose to place a buy bet your profits will rise in line with any increase in that price. If you place a sell bet your profits will rise in line with any fall. However if you have chosen to sell and the asset falls you will have dramatic losses, there are many examples of spread betting with all outcomes.

Advantages

One of the biggest advantages to spread betting is the tax break, with UK law there are no taxes on your betting profits either stamp duty or on capital gains. Another is that it can be an easy and cost effective way to trade if you know what you are doing. As when you buy shares through a broker you have to pay a fee. With spread betting that is not the case as the spread betting provider makes their money from the difference between the bid and offer prices. It isn’t just about the cost spread betting allows you to speculate on a whole range of markets that would be difficult to access otherwise.

Disadvantages

The biggest disadvantage to spread betting is that if you have chosen a market that can be very volatile, unless you place a stop loss you could have a large amount of losses if you position moves against your prediction. As a long term investment it is not viable as if you hold a bet open over a long period of time the costs associated increase and it may be more beneficial to have bought the underlying asset. Ultimately you have no right as an investor, no voting right and you will not benefit from dividends.

 

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A Comprehensive Guide to Google Map Marketing

It makes navigation easier whether you are driving or looking for a specific location on foot.  If you are a business owner with a local store in your city, you can also leverage Google Maps to increase visibility among your local target audience.

Truth be told, things are now tougher for local businesses as they are facing competition from far and wide. You have to compete with online businesses with lower overhead costs which allow them to offer lower prices for the same products and services. In fact, the internet was supposed to be a death knell for brick and mortar businesses but this has not come to pass.

 

                                     The Place of Local Search in Modern Business

 

Local search is becoming more influential as businesses seek to harness the power of the internet to bring more traffic through the door. Whether you are running a laundry business or a barber shop in your neighborhood, it is possible to boost the numbers by using local search engine optimization (SEO) tools of which Google Maps is the best.

A survey published on the Search Engine Land shows that local searches lead to 50% of the mobile visitors going to a store within the same day. The same study shows more than 60% of consumers leverage local information on Ads while 18% of local mobile searches lead to sales within a day. A similar study shows that 34% of consumers who did a local search on a computer/tablet visited the store within the day.

Importance of Google Maps in Online Marketing

From the above information, the importance of local search cannot be gainsaid and this is the reason why Google Maps must form part of your SEO strategy.  If your business is leveraging the maps and you have listed the company with NAP details, there is a higher likelihood of increased traffic. Users in the area, whether residents or visitors, will find it easier to find your location and this will in turn boost sales.

Research shows that 73% of all website users refer to Google Maps and listings to read online reviews and this should motivate you to adopt this tool as part of your SEO strategy. Your business has to be visible on Google 3-pack for you to reap the benefits. When your business shows up on that pack, the benefits of optimizing for local search become apparent.

Most people who have tried this Google marketing tool have decried how hard it is and truth be told, they are right. Like with every online marketing technique that is supposed to boost your business, there is a lot of hard work and ingenuity that is needed.

Some of the factors that are critical in giving your website a boost in Google’s 3-pack include:

  • Verification of your company on Google’s My Business page
  • Increasing presence of your business name on different online platforms including business listing platforms, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yellow Pages, Yelp, reviews and all other areas where internet users will be searching
  • Leveraging Geo-target
  • Average rating of your business and frequency of reviews on Google My Business Local Page.
  • Website domain authority

These are just a few of the factors that will determine your Google 3-pack listing. Our experts at http://www.rankingbyseo.com will work closely with you to optimize these factors to ensure your business shows up on the 3-pack.

                                         

                                   Considerations for Better Google Maps Marketing

 

The question that comes to the mind of every internet marketer at this point is how best they can optimize Google Maps to promote their business. There is no denying that most of the challenges facing local businesses can be alleviated through the right use of Google Maps but to get there, consider the following:

  1. Create a Google My Business Account – This is your ultimate tool when you are optimizing Google Maps marketing. A business account gives you a dashboard from where you can handle everything related to your campaign. When opening an account, you need to claim your business address, define your business radius, state your business category and make sure your business is Google verified.
  2. Start optimizing your listings – This is where the real work begins because you have to be proactive about the process after verifying your business. There is more information that requires updating including business hours, consolidated contact information, business descriptions and photos of your business. Every feature that makes it easier to identify your business should be included. Make sure any images included are optimized with relevant information and targeted keywords.
  3. Leverage customer reviews – One of the most effective ways to get noticed online is through customer reviews. According to a BrightLocal’s 2016 Survey, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations. Some review sites your business should appear in include Yelp, Urbanspoon, Yahoo! Local, TripAdvisor and Google+ Local among others. Encourage customers to leave reviews, ask for valuable feedback from customers, make sure you handle negative reviews comprehensively, talk to return customers and ask them what brought them back as they will most likely give positive feedback.

Final Thoughts

There are no shortcuts in Google Maps marketing and that’s a fact. It is one of the toughest SEO strategies to pull off yet one of the most effective. There are no hacks to getting this done but if you are proactive, it is easier to get things done. For instance, keep a close look at your brand mentions and immediately correct any inaccuracies in contact information. It is also advisable to add new content that is of high value and which contains local references. Google will make this information available to the local audience which is every online marketer’s dream. Include address, landmarks, directions and other references. You should also build links with other local businesses, especially those closely related to your niche.

With Google My Business Account, you can update all your data from Google Maps, search and Google+. It is easier and cost-effective to manage local data using this dashboard.  With all these benefits, isn’t it time you talked to a professional digital marketing specialist to leverage Google Maps marketing?

 

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Med-X Inc. Resumes Equity rowdfunding

Medical cannabis-focused Med-X, Inc. has resumed its equity crowdfunding campaign through StartEngine.com in a bid to raise $14.1 million through a minimum $420 per 700 shares.The manufacturer of non-toxic insecticide and pesticide for marijuana cultivators and publisher of The Marijuana Times relaunched the campaign on Sept. 28, 2017 following the lifting of its Securities and Exchange Commission temporary suspension arising from a late filing last year.“We have been qualified by the SEC and believe we are in full compliance to resume our Regulation A+ crowdfunding efforts once again,” said Chief Operations Officer Matthew Mills.

 

Med-X Inc. became the first cannabis company to launch a Regulation A+ equity crowdfunding campaign provided in the 2012 JOBS Act. It is also the first company involved with cannabis that StartEngine allowed to raise capital through its platform.”They let us jump on their platform, as we agreed not pursue handling the plant until it’s legal to do so,” said Mills. Mills said FundAmerica is handling the campaign that has raised under $1 million so far.The management team has been diligently working on its business model and continues positioning the company in accordance with its initial plan of operations.”The primary focus will be on the Nature-Cide product line for natural pest control in cannabis cultivation, along with the continued development of the popular online cannabis industry publication, The Marijuana Times,” according to Mills.

 

Nature-Cide

With cities in California and other states legalizing marijuana cultivation and manufacturing, the number of legal indoor pot farms and manufacturing sites for edible products is expected to increase driving demand for improving the quality and safety of local marijuana.Med-X has begun supplying Nature-Cide Pest Management and All-Purpose formulations to the cannabis agricultural and provisioning industries. It is also preparing for distribution its newly developed Nature-Cide insecticidal soil product for all types cultivators. The formulations are a proprietary all-natural essential oil insecticide/miticide/nematicide that repels and kill a wide variety of pests commonly known to damage cannabis crops. Nature-Cide products are listed on the “Approved for use in the Cultivation of Marijuana” by the Colorado, Washington and Oregon state Agriculture Departments. The listing is supported by Med-X’s 18-Month Nature-Cide Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Cannabis Cultivation Report released in March. “The 18-month report began in 2015 shortly after realizing that the Nature-Cide pesticide products were being recognized by multiple state agricultural departments as a product that is approved for use in medical and recreational marijuana cultivation,” said Mills.

 

Growth advantage

 The legal cannabis industry grew 30 percent in 2016 in North America alone to reach to $6.7 billion because of high growth prospects in the U.S. and Canada, data from Arcview Market Research showed. Arcview is projecting a 25 percent annual growth rate with sales in North American reaching $20.2 billion by 2021. Med-X is in great position to take advantage of the opportunities in the legal cannabis space.While primarily in the business of research and development of commercial medicinal applications of cannabis, Med-X Inc. plans to address other needs required to support the fast-paced emerging cannabis industry, including compound identification and extraction from cannabis oils, along with pharmacy automation beginning with cannabis products and eventually for various pharmaceuticals.According to its SEC filings, Med-X Inc. plans to cultivate and sell high-quality cannabis for the consumer and commercial markets in areas where it is legal and when they are fully licensed to do so. “Due to our management’s hands-on background in the fields of medicine, large-scale cultivation, commercial pest management as well as operations in internet-based wholesale and retail outlets, we feel we have a tremendous advantage, and can use that skill set to climb into a growth position more rapidly than most,” said Mills.

 

About Med-X, Inc.

 Med-X, Inc. is a Nevada corporation formed in February 2014 to support the fast-paced emerging cannabis industry through such activities as compound identification and extraction of the identified cannabidiol (CBD) compound for the present medical industry demand. The company’s digital magazine, The Marijuana Times, publishes quality media content for the medical cannabis community to generate revenue from advertisers as well as sell industry related merchandise to consumers. The company is ready to bring various products to market in the cannabis, agricultural and ancillary services industries through manufacturing partnerships. For more information regarding Med-X, Inc., please visit www.medx-rx.com, email info@medx-rx.comor call 818-349-2870.

 

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Med-X Inc. Resumes Equity Crowdfunding

 

Medical cannabis-focused Med-X, Inc. has resumed its equity crowdfunding campaign through StartEngine.com in a bid to raise $14.1 million through a minimum $420 per 700 shares.

The manufacturer of non-toxic insecticide and pesticide for marijuana cultivators and publisher of The Marijuana Times relaunched the campaign on Sept. 28, 2017 following the lifting of its Securities and Exchange Commission temporary suspension arising from a late filing last year.

“We have been qualified by the SEC and believe we are in full compliance to resume our Regulation A+ crowdfunding efforts once again,” said Chief Operations Officer Matthew Mills.

 

Med-X Inc. became the first cannabis company to launch a Regulation A+ equity crowdfunding campaign provided in the 2012 JOBS Act. It is also the first company involved with cannabis that StartEngine allowed to raise capital through its platform.

“They let us jump on their platform, as we agreed not pursue handling the plant until it’s legal to do so,” said Mills.

Mills said FundAmerica is handling the campaign that has raised under $1 million so far.The management team has been diligently working on its business model and continues positioning the company in accordance with its initial plan of operations.

“The primary focus will be on the Nature-Cide product line for natural pest control in cannabis cultivation, along with the continued development of the popular online cannabis industry publication, The Marijuana Times,” according to Mills.

 

Nature-Cide

With cities in California and other states legalizing marijuana cultivation and manufacturing, the number of legal indoor pot farms and manufacturing sites for edible products is expected to increase driving demand for improving the quality and safety of local marijuana.

Med-X has begun supplying Nature-Cide Pest Management and All-Purpose formulations to the cannabis agricultural and provisioning industries. It is also preparing for distribution its newly developed Nature-Cide insecticidal soil product for all types cultivators. The formulations are a proprietary all-natural essential oil insecticide/miticide/nematicide that repels and kill a wide variety of pests commonly known to damage cannabis crops.

Nature-Cide products are listed on the “Approved for use in the Cultivation of Marijuana” by the Colorado, Washington and Oregon state Agriculture Departments. The listing is supported by Med-X’s 18-Month Nature-Cide Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Cannabis Cultivation Report released in March.

“The 18-month report began in 2015 shortly after realizing that the Nature-Cide pesticide products were being recognized by multiple state agricultural departments as a product that is approved for use in medical and recreational marijuana cultivation,” said Mills.

 

Growth advantage

 The legal cannabis industry grew 30 percent in 2016 in North America alone to reach to $6.7 billion because of high growth prospects in the U.S. and Canada, data from Arcview Market Research showed. Arcview is projecting a 25 percent annual growth rate with sales in North American reaching $20.2 billion by 2021.

Med-X is in great position to take advantage of the opportunities in the legal cannabis space.

While primarily in the business of research and development of commercial medicinal applications of cannabis, Med-X Inc. plans to address other needs required to support the fast-paced emerging cannabis industry, including compound identification and extraction from cannabis oils, along with pharmacy automation beginning with cannabis products and eventually for various pharmaceuticals.

According to its SEC filings, Med-X Inc. plans to cultivate and sell high-quality cannabis for the consumer and commercial markets in areas where it is legal and when they are fully licensed to do so.

“Due to our management’s hands-on background in the fields of medicine, large-scale cultivation, commercial pest management as well as operations in internet-based wholesale and retail outlets, we feel we have a tremendous advantage, and can use that skill set to climb into a growth position more rapidly than most,” said Mills.

 

About Med-X, Inc.

 Med-X, Inc. is a Nevada corporation formed in February 2014 to support the fast-paced emerging cannabis industry through such activities as compound identification and extraction of the identified cannabidiol (CBD) compound for the present medical industry demand. The company’s digital magazine, The Marijuana Times, publishes quality media content for the medical cannabis community to generate revenue from advertisers as well as sell industry related merchandise to consumers. The company is ready to bring various products to market in the cannabis, agricultural and ancillary services industries through manufacturing partnerships. For more information regarding Med-X, Inc., please visit www.medx-rx.com, email info@medx-rx.comor call 818-349-2870.

 

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Why The Bitcoin Market Is Hitting All-Time Highs

The Bitcoin market has never been stronger and despite pressures from a number of countries like Russia and the US to strictly regulate and refuse to recognize the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin’s value has soared. In fact, the Bitcoin price soared to a record high of $1,800 earlier this month, although some reports are suggesting that it is beginning to slip slightly. People are beginning to worry about the blockchain disrupting trade finance, but with the rise in value we could see Bitcoin becoming a more stable digital currency. With Bitcoin prices having increased by around 81% since the start of 2017 the market is showing some serious strength. Here, we’re taking a look at why the Bitcoin market is reaching such an extensive high.

Comments From The Minneapolis Federal Reserve President

One of the main factors behind the sudden surge in price on Tuesday 9th May was the comments made from the President of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, Neel Kashkari, about the blockchain technology as a whole. He stated that the technology is more interesting and has more potential than Bitcoin itself. His comments are beginning to be a pinnacle in the industry and is marking yet another influential policy maker who is warming up to the technology. After his comments, the Bitcoin actually rose by 6%.

Availability Of Information

The internet is a huge source of information on a number of topics, but very slowly a number of major news sources and social media channels are beginning to focus on the Bitcoin currency. This has led to a growing interest in the digital currency, as people are able to understand more about how the Bitcoin can benefit them. This is not only through general information, but also with informative sites like Bitcoin Casino Pro who provide in-depth reviews on Bitcoin casinos – which are one of the main things that people spend their Bitcoins on due to their anonymity and fast transaction speeds. The more people understand the value of the Bitcoin and what they are used for, the more people will turn to invest in the digital currency, further boosting its market value.

China’s Currency Devaluation In 2015

Back in November 2015, there was a surge in the value of the Bitcoin which was influenced largely due to China’s currency devaluation. The devaluation took place in order to help mitigate any inevitable capital outflows and stabilize the economy. While China generally ban the Bitcoin currency, all it would take was a number of Chinese citizens to invest in the Bitcoin, even by just a small fraction for the crypto currency to bubble into another all-time high. Speculation of this was quickly confirmed when reports suggested that Bitcoin price was influenced mainly by Chinese exchanges back in 2015 and this could have had an impact in the rise in the Bitcoin value that we have seen throughout 2017 too.

However, China has also begun to clamp down on the Bitcoin, and looking to ban or at the very least strictly regulate the currency – both for trading and the exchanges themselves. In fact, China’s Central Bank has even warned investors against looking to the currency. While at first glance this may seem like a negative suggestion, the scrutiny that China is putting on the crypto currency (which is similar to Russia’s current stance) could lead to stricter regulations, further helping to steady the market. A more stable Bitcoin market means a potential gateway for investments which will ultimately boost the value of the Bitcoin.

Legalisation Of Bitcoin In Japan

A major influential factor was the recent decision by the Japanese government to legalize the cryptocurrency, and recognize it as a payment method. This led to more Bitcoins being purchased with yen which has led to a major support network for the cryptocurrency. Alongside the legalization of the Bitcoin in the country, a number of regulations are set to be implemented in order to provide users with a lot more security when it comes to using the technology. This is generally due to the concerns about illegal activities using the pseudo-anonymous crypto currency such as money laundering.

However, amendments to the Banking Act and the addition of section 3, which is tentatively being referred to as the ‘Virtual Currency Act, it is highly likely to see a number of regulations. For example, Bitcoin is classified as an asset, and so any profits from Bitcoin trading will be subject to capital gains tax in the country, but will no longer be subject to consumption tax, which lies at 8 per cent in Japan. Digital exchanges in the country will also have a number of required regulations, including the minimum capital that they need to hold being 10 million yen.

According to the new law, the exchanges will also need to possess an IT system management program which is sufficient enough to protect against issues such as leakage, or loss and damage to any personal funds which the exchanges may hold. In order to protect the users of the exchanges even more, exchanges must also disclose trading name and address, registration number, transaction content, and all fees and costs to their users, showing just how much more secure the Bitcoin and digital currency exchanges are set to be for their users.

This legalisation alone has led to a surge in interest in the crypto currency, with more people seeing Bitcoin as a reliable and regulated digital currency, causing asset managers to jump into the market.

Internal Developments

With the rise in value of the Bitcoin and the increased investor attention, there have been a number of internal developments that are in the process of being carried out in order to help ensure that the Bitcoin maintains its promises of flawless security and usage. One of the initial developments that could potentially be carried out include a way to scale up the system in order to allow it to handle many more transactions. The implementation of the Segregated Witness (SegWit) on the Bitcoin clone currency LiteCoin is an initial step towards this development, meaning we could see much more improvement in the future. If this can be successfully deployed, we are likely to see a huge increase in the value of the Bitcoin in the near future. While there are a number of pros and cons of the Bitcoin, these internal developments could prove a vital step towards market stabilisation.

Winklevoss Proposal

Back in March, The US Securities and Exchange Commission rejected a proposal from the Winklevoss twins, who were looking at a Bitcoin exchange traded fund. Nevertheless, the SEC are considering reviewing this rejection, which could see a further interest from investors in the near future as more developments begin to come to light with the crypto currency. With figures like the Winklevoss twins looking to push Bitcoin into the mainstream, we may see that the rise in value of the Bitcoin isn’t just a temporary thing, and we may begin to see the generally rocky market begin to stabilize with more regulation.

 

What Is MiFID II and what impact will it have on business

Even though the delay of the Markets in Financial Instruments Direction, MiFID II, will have been a relief to a number of investment firms that had waited for the release of the European Securities and Markets Authority’s regulation, it doesn’t hide the fact that it will come into practice. The impact that MiFID II will have on businesses is constantly changing and it is imperative to keep a finger on the pulse.

The launch of MiFID II in January 2018 is set to have a sweeping effect on asset management firms in particular who are responsible for providing transaction reports. Despite a couple of exceptions, these firms will no longer be able to rely on brokers for transaction reporting.

However, new technologies will be implemented to help businesses to meet their MiFID II reporting needs.

What is MiFID and MiFID II?

The first Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) resulted in a major change to cash equity markets. Its best intentions were to remove barriers to make cross-borders trades and exchanges within Europe safer and more transparent. MiFID II regulates firms that provide services to clients, such as collective investment schemes or derivatives, and this also includes trading of location instruments. The legislation has a number of core objectives, including:

  • To improve investor protection
  • Alignment of regulation across certain areas within the EU
  • To increase competition between financial markets
  • To introduce reinforced supervisory powers

So essentially, MiFID II will introduce a set of requirements regarding communication, disclosure and transparency to benefit investors.

                                        What impact will MiFID II have on business?

 

                                 There are three main challenges ahead of MiFID II:

    

To Improve the market

MiFID II improves the competitive environment for financial instrument trading. This is achieved by establishing access in the market for trading platforms to expand. New rules regarding high-frequency trading will also be put into practice. It is likely for this to involve strict requirements for both investment firms and trading venues. Investment firms will also need to be aware of what types of businesses they are and are not in, and those that they are interested in joining.

To Increase Transparency

When MiFID II is introduced, more requirements will need to be filled when reporting commodity derivatives trading to attain transparency. To ensure success, all trading information must be recorded before and after the transaction for a larger number of financial instruments, when compared to MiFID, to provide increased accountability. Certain shares will be required to be travel-use regulated platforms, as opposed to over the counter, making the process more secure and private.

To provide investment protection

MiFID II focuses on improving investor protection to extend the introduction of robust controls, to prevent conflicts of interest. This will aid in encouraging transparency between pre-execution and post-execution, and enables fees payable in respect of investment advice to be banned. The introduction of new requirements and implementing existing ones will strengthen the protection of investors.

How to Really Benefit from Low Interest Rates

 

 

 

 

98% probability of interest rates remaining at their current rate

The current interest rate is 1.00% – 1.25%. The Fed has not indicated any desire to increase the federal funds rate at its next meeting on Wednesday, 1 November 2017. According to the CME Group FedWatch tool, there is a 98% probability of interest rates remaining at their current rate when the FOMC meets within a month. However, the likelihood of a rate hike at the final meeting of the Fed FOMC on Wednesday, 13 December 2017 is currently 76.4%. By contrast, the probability of interest rates remaining at the current level of 1.00% – 1.25% is just 22.1%. The importance of probability estimates vis-à-vis interest rates cannot be understated. Since August 25, 2017 through September 22, 2017, we have seen an increasing probability ranging from 37.8% to 71.4% that the target rate will increase by 25-basis points.

Monetary and Fiscal Policy: Interest Rates

Current forecasts are based on the estimates of leading economists, analysts and stakeholders. If the Fed deems it appropriate to raise the federal funds rate, this will have a dramatic effect on the USD and the US economy. While the impact of a rate hike is typically priced in to the value of the USD well ahead of time, the actual announcement will cause a slight bump in the USD. For example, interest rate hikes are typically indicative of an improving economy. When the inflation rate (CPI figures) begins to rise, this means that the purchasing power of the USD may be declining. To keep the economy in check, the Fed has several tools at its disposal, notably monetary tightening (rate hikes and unwinding the $4.5 trillion balance sheet). Fiscal policy can also be used to tighten economic conditions by raising taxes, and reducing government spending. However, neither of these fiscal measures are likely given the Trump administration’s policy of tax breaks and massive government stimulus. Therefore, it will be up to the Federal Reserve Bank to adjust monetary policy to prevent inflationary pressures and to keep the USD strong.

The Nonlinear Relationship between Interest Rates and Stock Markets

Low interest rates – as they currently are – will last for some time, but there is a trend towards a gradual tightening of interest rates. If the Fed raises rates before the end of 2017, the federal funds rate will rise in the region of 1.25% – 1.50%. Further rate hikes will be forthcoming in 2018. Right now, we are seeing an increase in the number of personal loan applications as individuals take advantage of historically low interest rates in the country. Any increase to the federal funds rate will invariably spill over into other areas of the economy, and make all lines of credit relatively more expensive. This is particularly true of credit cards which are associated with high APRs, business loans, mortgage loans, automobile loans, student loans and the like. Provided it is feasible to finance a line of credit, it is always better to do it when interest rates are low. Typically, the bulk of payments on personal, business and mortgage loans go towards repaying the interest on the loan. In latter years, the principal amount is repaid. The Fed is also cognizant of the rising level of household debt in the US, and how an increase to the federal funds rate might affect that. If the FOMC decides that conditions are rife for a rate hike, this will provide a short-term boost to Wall Street, but ultimately the increased costs of loans will lead to a slight decline in share prices and profitability, but consumers will ultimately bear the burden.

 

 

Traders Now Opting for Social Trading Platforms

 

Pure social trading has been around since the advent of markets. The concept of social trading is vested in the collective mindset of the trading community. With social trading, anyone can mimic the activity of successful traders, since everything operates in a transparent fashion.

Social trading is known by many names, including copy trading, social finance, and social investing. A form of social trading – angel investing – takes place when wealthy investors pool their resources together because they believe in one another’s methodology. Social trading really came to prominence after the global financial crisis, and thanks to social media it is firmly established in modern culture.

Community Oriented Trading

Self-directed traders have been using the social trading avenue as an effective way to manage their financial affairs. By pooling their resources with fellow traders, they can spot lucrative opportunities and act on them. Since all traders are in it to win, there is zero conflict. The community of traders provides the crowd wisdom that individual traders can profit off.

While social media is relatively ‘old’ by tech standards, online social trading is not. These social network platforms are designed primarily for traders and it uses social media functions and features to allow traders to communicate with others.

The purpose of social trading is to learn from the actions of fellow traders. Social trading functionality includes messaging, real-time financial updates, information sharing, copying and profiting accordingly. While the number of credible social trading platforms is rather limited at present, they are of exceptionally high quality.

The rise of social trading has grown in leaps and bounds, thanks to the benefits of this new technique. These include a reduced learning curve, plenty of friends with similar interests, and less need for research. The world’s leading social trading platforms opt for a combination of transparency, simplicity, and interaction. Since social trading is predicated on FinTech, it’s important that innovative technology continues to drive this revolution.

 

A Social Trading Leader: Ayondo

The strengths and weaknesses of individual social trading platforms are apparent after conducting an extensive review. For example, a detailed Ayondo review confirms that easy execution of a wide range of financial products is possible. The company, like many other social trading platforms, is incorporated in the UK. It operates an integrated broker platform, with Yondo GmbH providing the social trading services. Traders can dabble in the financial markets with a retail trading hub for CFD trading on iOS and Android devices. The other option available to traders is the Copy Trading component.

 

While the terms Copy Trading and Social Trading are largely interchangeable, there are differences between them. Traders get to leverage their capital but all funds are automatically divided among traders. Loss prevention methods are possible, but no closer than 10%. There are limitations in terms of the contribution that a trader makes to your financial portfolio, and there is room for improvement in terms of customization.

 

This social trading company currently has 1500 Top Traders for clients to choose from, a small number compared to the market leaders in social trading. Despite its shortcomings, Ayondo has grown significantly in recent months and is a dominant player on the scene.

 

The Future of FinTech

The social trading scene is heavily reliant on big data, and mobile communications. The most successful virtual trading platforms are accessible across multiple channels including web and mobile. Social trading is geared towards tearing down barriers to the financial markets by making it easy for anyone to trade at any time.

Gone are the days when the suited and reputed brokerages were the only institutions available to day traders. The success of social trading platforms is vested in the simplicity of the trading experience. By connecting people on social trading networks, it’s possible to make decision making as easy as possible.

Copy Trading is unique in that it allows traders to literally copy the trades of active traders in a passive way. The World Economic Forum regards social trading as the future of FinTech and a defining element of investment management.