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.

 

 

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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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Six Amazing Financing Options for Start-up Businesses

Options for a Start up Business

Business depends upon the idea and vision of an individual or a group of people, and one cannot start it until and unless is confident about the idea. The biggest advantage of having your own business is that you have your own choices and you get to make your own independent decisions. But certain requirements of the business must be fulfilled. You should make sure that you have the abilities to start up a new business and along with that you are ready to give your time and strength to it as the establishment of a new business requires them all.

After this, the primary thing that comes in the way to start your own business is the lack of capital. One of the most basic things that every businessperson needs at some point either to continue, to establish or to start a new business is the loan. When any business entity has less capital, then it not only affect the progress rate of the entity but also decreases the employment rate which ultimately affects the lives of many people. There are many ways by which you can get loan and the biggest mean is the bank. It is also very important that you prepare a solid business plan. You should gather all the information regarding your business niches such as the information of the ownership and the management, the objective of the business, marketing plans and financial projections. You should also present your idea to the lenders. It will help them to develop confidence in your vision.

Along with that, a written business plan is always preferable as it contains all the information that the lender would need to check whether the firm is in a position to return the loan taken or not. It contains all the profit and loss statements, bank statements, business credit reports, personal credit reports, tax return documentation and copies of all the relevant legal documents. Do you want to start a business of your own? Are you passionate about business and related stuff?! Well, the two basic things that you need in order to start a new business are capital and your devotion, of course. So here I have six amazing financing options for startup businesses. Have a look at them:

If you want maximum profit out of your business, then you will have to finance it personally. How do you expect any banks or lenders to take a risk in you when you are not willing to take a risk in yourself? There are numerous ways to finance your business personally. You can save up from your personal income, or you can also liquidate some assets to get the startup money. You can gain the finances for your business is through your property.

It can create a big role for the investment towards your business. You can pledge your property to gain enough amount of money for starting your business as personal assets play an important role in helping the lender decide to lend you the amount. They act as a guarantee to the lender that in case you fail to pay back the amount on given time then the amount can be recovered from the assets. But do all the necessary calculations and make a solid and effective business plan so that you don’t end up wasting your hard earned money. And your business can be more profitable if self-financed due to the ever-increasing interest rates of banks and private lenders.

If you don’t have enough resources to finance your business personally then acquiring a loan is another option you can avail. Keep in mind that loans don’t get approved so easily. You will have to ensure the lenders that you are worth taking the risk. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind while applying for a loan.

  • Start the application process before you need the money
  • Create a detailed business plan
  • Show how the business will be profitable
  • Try to improve your personal and business credit score
  • Consult professionals to look over the loan agreement before you sign it
  • Partnerships

Partnerships are a great way to finance a startup personally without any involvement of banks. Gather some friends and family members that you can trust and form a partnership to finance the business. But involving business with relationships can sometimes cause problems and can lead to damaging the relationships with your loved ones. So to avoid this problem, you should form a legally binding contract that specifies the roles of all the people involved in the business.

  • Incubators and accelerators

Incubators and accelerators are companies that finance your business in return for some equity. They also provide you access to experienced professionals and business contacts to improve your odds of success. But like a loan you need to show these companies that you are worth the investment and your business plan will be profitable.

Crowdfunding is the process of raising money to fund what is typically a project or business venture through many donors using an online platform, such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Crowdfunder. Crowdfunding is typically done through an online platform that allows the fundraiser to set up a public campaign for accepting donations. The campaign will advertise details such as the nature of the project or venture, the amount of money the company is hoping to raise and the campaign’s fundraising deadline.

People can donate a specified amount through the fundraising campaign’s website and often receive some sort of acknowledgement or reward in return for their donation. These websites are a centralized way for startups to reach out to a large community. Many YouTube channels got their startup funding from crowdfunding websites.

If any of the previous options are not available, you always have family and friends to look back to. You can ask your friends and family members to loan you the startup, or you can ask them to invest in your business. It is the most common way through which you can take the loan for a start-up business. You can always convince them to lend you the loan. Where you will need to return the loan you take, you won’t have to pay any interest on them and you won’t be under any extreme pressure by your friends and family. Just make sure that you don’t let the money ruin your relationships.

 

Author Bio:

Emily Stark is a financial analyst and accounting expert. She has in-depth knowledge about setting up small businesses as well as creating profitable investments. She regularly contributes articles related to business and loans at https://www.ebroker.com.au/.

 

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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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Trading vs. Gambling – Wall Street

Usually when you mention trading and gambling in the same sentence to traders, they will scrunch up their nose and tell you outright that the two have nothing in common. How could they? However, that doesn’t mean that you should take their word for granted. While it may be a bit difficult to admit that there are, in fact, certain similarities between currency trading and gambling, rest assured they exist nonetheless. Let’s explore what makes them similar, shall we?

The Gambling Odds and Trading

One word can connect the two immediately – odds. When you’re in any type of trading business, you have to deal with odds. As for gambling, well, you pretty much look at your odds no matter which casino games you partake in, that much is obvious.

Now onto the connection. Let’s take for example the emerging markets from a few years back which allowed you to buy stronger currencies, like the British Pound or Euro. Now, the odds weren’t guaranteed and, while the circumstances seemed favourable, you still had to do a bit of – what? – gambling. Well, what do you know?

What’s in the Name?

Now, here’s another link you can make – through language itself. Namely, if you open a dictionary to check the definition of the word ‘to gamble’, here’s what you might find:

  • To risk losing money in a game of chance.
  • To bet on an uncertain outcome.
  • To take a risky action in the hope of achieving something.

Even a total layman will notice that there is a recurrent theme among the definitions. “Risk”, “uncertain”, “losing”. Now, all of those boil down to something traders have definitely come across and thought about before – the risk of losing their money at some point. Unfortunately, that’s something you need to be prepared from the moment you venture into the trading business.

So, why are currency traders so quick to deny there’s any type of link between trading and gambling? Well, they don’t want you to feel uncertain, do they? They want to sell you your product and, by convincing you their strategy is 100% foolproof, they might just do that. They don’t want you to worry your head about negative words like ‘losing’ and ‘risk’.

Businesses Are a Risk

Whether we like it or not, every business is a risk to a certain degree – especially at the very beginning. AskGamblers, one of the most popular affiliate websites in the iGaming industry, was seen as one back in the day, too.

Here’s what general manager at AskGamblers had to say about risk taking: “While risks can be frightening, they often need to be taken, especially when you’re starting out with a new business or project. However, if you manage to calculate the risks and stay on the right course, the rewards you’ll end up reaping are unspeakably high and worthwhile. It takes guts, but that isn’t really any different than any other aspect of life, is it?“

May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favour

Ultimately, despite huge risks that need to be taken daily, new traders need to learn to stack their odds in their favour. Perhaps they can take a page from the casino bosses’ book. What experienced casino owners know is that they will at some point lose some of their money to a number of players and, more importantly, they’re prepared to; that’s the price they agreed to pay the second they began running their business.

Another thing veteran casino proprietors know is that those losses aren’t the end. As they have odds stacked in their favour, they know that by the end of the year they’ll still turn a profit.

What else can we say, in the end, but – may the odds be ever in your favour, whether you’re a trader or a gambler. And, you know what they say? They should, if you learn to stack them.

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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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The Top Products Chinese People Want

Chinese People Love Great Products

China is one of the most attractive export markets for products and services from different parts of the world. Its huge population and workforce, fast-growing middle class, accelerating consumption, as well as willingness to import are some of the factors that make China an attractive export destination.

To tap the might of consumers in the populous East Asian country, however, sellers and manufacturers first have to identify what the market wants. In light of this, we have compiled a list of the top products Chinese people desire to lighten your load along the way.

Clothing and Footwear

China’s large population makes it an attractive market for garments. An HKTDC Research article reveals that clothing market demand in China is high and keeps growing year after year. Experts predict that the industry, which was worth around RMB1,457.8 billion in 2017, would reach an estimated RMB1,592 by 2019.

The demand for clothing in China is so vast that shoppers are fast turning to online marketplaces to buy garments directly from overseas retailers and brands. Around 24% of consumers in China are expected to buy across borders this year alone, per figures released by eMarketers.

Similarly, there’s massive demand for footwear in China, with sneakers being one of the most demanded. Footwear sales figures for 2017 in mainland China was put at RMB381.9 billion. Of this, data show that women shoes brought in the most revenue, fetching around RMB184 (48%). Men’s shoes generated the second highest revenue at RMB144.2 billion (38%), while children’s shoes brought an estimated RMB53.2 billion (14%).

It is predicted that the footwear market in mainland China will be worth a whopping RMB487.4 billion by 2021.

Beauty and Personal Care

Driven by rising incomes and awareness, China’s beauty and personal care cosmetics market is one of the most attractive. The industry has been growing fast thanks to an increasing number of affluent consumers who are willing to splurge on quality beauty and personal care products that make them look younger and attractive.

The industry made an estimated RMB251.4 billion in domestic sales in 2017 alone. The world’s most populous nation is projected to become the largest market for personal care and cosmetic products in the next 5-10 years.

Vitamins and Supplements

As lifestyle gets busier, Chinese shoppers are becoming more and more health-conscious. Along with the demand for running shoes, there’s been a surge in the market for vitamins and supplements. For China, being one of the world’s fastest-growing economies came at a cost in the form of an overcrowded transportation system, gridlock traffic, severe air pollution, etc., all of which make the environment less healthy.

This, coupled with higher disposable incomes, caused Chinese consumers to turn to health and wellness products. In fact, consumers in the world’s fourth-largest have become so focused on health and fitness that the demand for vitamin and minerals outpaces GDP growth, according to a New Hope article.

Maternity and Baby Products

China’s relaxed family planning policy has increased demand for baby products such as infant formula. There’s been a boom in demand for maternity and baby products following the implementation of the new legislation which now allows a second child in the family.

A piece reveals that the Chinese baby product has grown more than 250% in five years, accounting for around $75 billion. With the plan now fully in place, the maternity and baby products sector is expected to surpass RMB3 trillion in 2018.

Food

Demand for food products like soybeans is high in China. The country is projected to become the largest food importer by 2018, importing around $79 billion worth of food items each year.

Other top products Chinese people want include jewelry, electronics, gadgets, and wine.

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