Investing

How to Maintain a Successful Business: Top Tips and Advice

business angelIf you’re one of the business owners fortunate enough to be in a successful position, while you deserve a pat on the back, you’ll also appreciate you’ve still got your work cut out to make sure this stays the case. There’s a number of aspects you need to then consider and to find out a few examples of what these are, be sure to read this useful blog post.

Review your Expenses

You’ll already have a pretty sound financial knowledge if you’ve managed to get your company in the black, but now’s also the time to review your expenses. It might be you’re over spending on certain supplies, or that you find you can get a cheaper rate on deliveries, stock and travel costs. Whatever these may be, take a look through your existing costs and shop around for something cheaper.

Keep up Appearances

A successful company also needs to look successful and as such you should think about smartening yourself up. This might be simple things like getting your fleet of vehicles cleaned, or even getting in a landscaping company like UK Landscapes to sort out the grounds of your offices and warehouses. The bottom line with this is, they need to look their best.

Consider Outsourcing

When you review your expenses, another area to look at is what staff you could reallocate to help improve other areas. Roles like admin, telecommunications and mailroom management could potentially be outsourced and managed off-site, freeing up your trained staff to focus support the parts of your company that need an extra boost.

Look to Go Greener

Lastly, now you have the finances available to be more flexible, you might want to spend time looking at making your company more eco-friendly. Not only will this help you cut down on facilities expenses, it could potentially impress your current and future clients with your pro-green attitude.

Here’s a few ways you can try:

  • Changing the lightbulbs and electrical fixtures to energy-efficient versions
  • Having low-flow toilets and water supplies
  • Buying new equipment that is more efficient and productive
  • Cutting back on emissions with a new fleet of vehicles

So, make sure you take on board some of the above and look to maintain the successful working process and appearance you’ve worked so hard to create. Then, you’ll potentially be looking at even bigger and better success that sees your company continuing to go from strength to strength.


Top 5 trading pitfalls that hinder success as a trader

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Image Credit: flickr

Getting success in future trading needs avoiding several pitfalls as much or more than it does seeking out and performing thriving trades. Even professional traders don’t have any particular trading methodology that ensures success as a trader though there are certain rules to which you can strictly adhere to keep yourself ‘in the game’ long enough to get success. Be it forex or future market, with the widespread of Internet, today’s traders use future or forex automated trading tools depending on their requirement. But whatever you use, you must avoid getting into any pitfall that would restrict your chance to succeed as a trader.

Here are 5 of the most prevalent mistakes traders generally make in future trading.

  1. Failure to have a plan – Failure to have a winning trading strategy in place prior to a trade is being executed. If you don’t have your own plan of action in place upon getting entry into future trade, you won’t know when and where you need to exit the trade or about how much money you can make or lose.
  2. Insufficient trading asset or improper money management – It obviously doesn’t take a fortune to trade in future market with success. If you have less than $5000 in your trading account you can and do your trade successfully. But if you have more in your account, you can and do even huge loss in just a heartbeat. Part of your success boils down to proper money management and not running after highly risky ‘home-run’ type trades which involve too much money at one time.
  3. High expectations, too soon – Being a new future trader if you expect to quit your ‘day job’ and make a good living trading future in your first few years of trading, you may get disappointed. You must avoid expecting to become successful in the first couple of years of trading. It needs a lot of smart and hard work, calculations and of course firmness to get success in any field and endeavor, and trading in future market is no different. Trading in the future is not that easy and so ‘get-rich-quick’ scheme hardly works out.
  4. Failure to use protective stop – Using protective buying stop or sell stop upon entering into a trade provide you with an effective idea of about how much money you is risking on that specific trade, should it turn out to be a loser. A protective stop is an excellent money-management tool though not perfect. There is plenty of money – management tools in future trading that you can use to achieve success.
  5. Lack of discipline and patience – Though over-worked and often mentioned when determining what a successful trader lacks, even the most veteran traders won’t argue with the merits of these virtues. It is always recommended that you don’t trade for the sake of trading only. Let an opportunity of ‘set-ups’ come to you and then you act upon accordingly in prudent and proper way. The market will go in its pace and you can’t control it.

These are some of several mistakes that traders, especially the newbies make while in the market. Avoiding such mistakes would give you the prospect to become a successful trader.


What Really Affects The Price Of Gold?

Gold is an all-time favorite investment, popular with many people from all walks of life. Part of the reason for this is that it is seen as a buffer. In times of recession or even deflation, gold remains relatively safe. While investing in something like real estate is always a bit of a gamble, gold is much safer. This makes it a common go-to choice for investors sensing financial danger. It is, in many respects, the ideal form of insured wealth. However, that doesn’t mean that it is not subject to the whims of the financial world. Like anything else, gold is affected – and affects in turn – by outside factors. If you are considering investing in gold, then it pays to know what gold is most affected by. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the major factors which affect gold prices the world over.

Interest Rates

There is a common belief, held for many years, that gold is negatively affected by rising interest rates. While at one point, this might have appeared to be the case, it is no longer always so. When the Federal Bank raises interest rates, in fact one of two things may happen. One possibility, the old idea, is that people sell their gold when the interest rates are raised. The theory is that this is in order to free up funds for other investments. However, the opposite is also often the case – and it is this second possibility which has happened this year. When the Federal Bank raised interest rates this year, gold prices actually decreased. The important thing to remember here is that gold prices are not a function of interest rates. There is a causal relationship between the two, but it is two-sided and complex.

 

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The Dollar

The US Dollar is still very much the global benchmark currency. What it is important to bear in mind for our purposes is that the dollar is the dominant reserve currency. This means that, for many countries around the world, it is the go-to currency for trades on an international basis. How this affects the price of gold is interesting. It is, often, a strong inverse relationship that we see between the two. When the dollar is going strong, gold tends to be weaker. Of course, the opposite also applies equally.

Quantitative Easing

During times of recession, one tactic which is often employed by central banks is quantitative easing. This is a process by which the central bank of a country releases more money to the banks. This, they hope, increases the banks’ likelihood of lending out money. The goal, of course, is to get the money flowing more freely again. What happens here is that a greater supply of money makes for lower interest rates over time. Sometimes, this encourages investors to buy gold. When enough people do this all at once, it can trigger inflation. This in turn has the possible consequence of gold prices rising again.

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The relationship between gold and the rest of the financial world is complex, and ever-changing. These are just three of the major factors which affect the price of gold. If you are thinking about investing in gold, it is a good idea to bear these in mind.


New Investors: Read This Before You Start Trading!

Different people see investment and trading in different ways. For some people, it’s not much better than playing roulette. For others, it’s a fine science, and has absolutely nothing to do with luck. If there’s one attitude you don’t want to have, it’s that trading is an easy way to make money! so many rookies get chewed up by the markets by making ill-informed mistakes. Here are a few you should be aware of.

One of the most damaging mistakes you can make is thinking you have a sixth sense for trading. Okay, maybe you do have a certain amount of intuition when it comes to business and economic changes. However, you won’t have much success in trading if you go with your gut instinct on all big decisions. Some traders can come off as cocky, I know. Don’t let this attitude make you think that they’re all winging it though! For the best start in trading, you should be relying on logic, solid information, and proven strategies. Sure, you might come across a small up-and-comer once in a while who’s worth investing in. Just make sure you’re making decisions based on evidence, and not emotion.

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Source: Wikimedia

Another big mistake is starting to invest before you know enough about it. Let’s say worked as a higher-up at a business for some time, and watched certain markets explode and crash. In this position, it can be easy to think that you’ll pick trading up as you go along. Believe me, you’d have to be extremely lucky to jump right into trading, and still get good returns. One of the most important things in trading is having a good understanding of how it works. If you want to go into Forex trading, then start learning how to study charts and make predictions. If you’re going to be trading in dividends, then start reading specialised blogs such as dividendmantra.com . The more you know about your market, the easier it will be to profit from it.

Finally, don’t take too long to close the trade. Countless rookies invest some money, watch it grow, and then stick with it without keeping up-to-date on the asset. Sometimes it’s down to belief in their own intuition, on thinking that the stock will continue to rise in value indefinitely. Whatever the reason, this usually ends up with the newbie learning a hard lesson, and losing all their invested capital. Starting finding out about how assets plateau, and how you should act according to shifts in the market. If you hang onto an asset that goes into a nose-dive without you noticing, then you’ll be in for a nasty shock! After a big loss, some newbies panic and immediately re-invest in a poor stock, which takes us back to my first point. It feels great to win, I know. However, it’s extremely important to know when to close a trade.

 


How To Make Smart Investments Without Being A Professional Trader

If you want to start investing in the financial markets, but are concerned that you aren’t knowledge enough about the markets and you think it might be better to pay a professional to handle your investments. Then let me assure you that you can make smart investments without needing to be a professional trader. You can do so by building a diversified investment portfolio using low-cost index tracker ETFs.p

What are ETFs?

ETF stands for exchange-traded fund. ETFs are similar to mutual funds in that investor’s money is pooled together to purchase a set of securities on behalf of investors, so that they own a diversified portfolio of securities when purchasing the ETF. Having said that, ETFs generally carry lower costs than mutual funds, as they are passively managed funds that usually track an index, such as the S&P500 or the MSCI Global Total Bond Index. Furthermore, ETFs are traded on exchanges and can be bought and sold as easily as stocks. This makes ETFs a liquid financial security, which means that you can easily liquidate your holdings should you want to invest in a different financial product or asset class.

Types of ETFs You Can Invest In

The ETF market has grown substantially over the last 10 years and you are currently able to invest in pretty much any asset class or underlying security imaginable using ETFs.

Popular ETFs are stock market index tracker ETFs that have a national stock index as an underlying, such as a FTSE100 ETF, if you want to invest in the UK stock market or a DAX30 ETF, if you want exposure to German equities, for example. While Bond ETFs such as High Yield Corporate Bond ETFs, European Emerging Markets Sovereign Bond ETFs, and Short-Term US Treasuries ETFs are examples of investment vehicles in the increasingly popular fixed income ETF space.

Alternatively, you could also invest in gold ETFs, if you want exposure to gold. If you have a look at the recent gold price changes, you will see that gold has rallied over 14% since the start of the year and has once again become a popular asset class, especially during difficult market conditions, as gold is seen as a safe haven asset. There are also ETFs that allow investors to gain exposure to all sorts of other commodities, real estate and loan portfolios.

cWhy ETFs are better than Mutual Funds

ETFs are the better investment tool than mutual funds for two main reasons. Firstly, ETFs generally carry substantially lower fees than actively managed mutual funds, as they are based on buy and hold strategies and, hence, incur less fund management costs. And secondly, research has shown that the majority of actively managed mutual funds don’t outperform their benchmark index. Therefore, you are better off investing in an index tracker ETF instead, as you will generate better returns and incur lower fees.

How To Build Your ETF Portfolio

Now that you know what asset classes you can gain exposure to using ETFs, it’s time for you to decide how risky you want your portfolio to be, how much you want to invest and what you want to invest in. If you are starting out with a relatively small amount of money like USD 3,000-USD 5,000 it is best to only invest in 3 or 4 ETFs to minimize trading costs (which eat into your profits).

A good example of a well-diversified ETF-based portfolio, with a medium risk level, would be to invest 50% in a US Stock ETF, 30% in a Global Corporate Bond ETF, 10% in a US Treasuries ETF and another 10% in a gold ETF. On the other hand, if you would prefer a very risky portfolio, you could put 50% in a US Stock ETF, 20% in an Emerging Markets Bond ETF, 20% in a High Yield Corporate Bond ETF and 10% in a US Treasuries ETF.

In terms of asset classes you can invest in using ETFs the riskiness level, in order of riskiest to safest is as follows: High Yield Corporate Bond ETFs, Emerging Markets ETFs, Developed Markets Stock ETFs, Commodity ETFs, High Grade Corporate Bond ETFs and Government Bond ETFs. The more portfolio weighting you put towards riskier ETFs, the more return you will generate, but, also, the more volatility you will see in the value of your investment portfolio.


Negotiating Startup Capital Financing

business_capitalIf you have ever required capital for your start-up company, you may have an idea of the value of your company when going to the deal table. It is highly likely that there is a deviation between what your valuation is and what the investor’s valuation is at the onset. In order to close this gap, you should be familiar with how to negotiate a lower cost of capital and higher valuation for your company. In many cases, companies are fearful that appearing greedy will push investors away and they will be without any money whatsoever. However, this is rarely the case and the valuation is negotiable like many other things that are for sale.

Therefore, this article provides insight on how to effectively negotiate startup capital financing in a way that is effective and will not draw back investors from the deal table. In some cases, you can potentially risk the overall investment if you fail to follow a structured procedure and remain calculated in your responses and proposal. Therefore, we encourage you to analyze and adopt the following techniques:

Build a Logical Argument

You may be astonished to learn how frequently capital discussions turn emotion or are based on illogical arguments that have nothing to do with value. For instance, arguing how much money you have invested or time spent building the technology really means very little. Instead, focusing on the brand recognition in your early stage or competitive advantage strength can boost the value. In fact, getting emotional or personal about the effort can draw investors away from the investment opportunity. Being emotional may come across as being attached and lacking the ability to think in an unbiased manner about the company’s exit strategy, which is a purely financial decision for investors.

Show the Value Quantitatively

The most effective method of building a strong investment case is to demonstrate the value of the company through the financial model. If the revenue projections are reasonable and conservative, they are more likely to be taken seriously by investors. This means using accurate market research as the basis of the assumptions and being able to adequately explain all of the drivers that went into forming them. For instance, your pricing strategy having been demonstrated in the market through tangible sales or validated in a focus group.

Receive More than One Offer

Nobody likes to feel like they are the only one interested in something. The simple law of supply and demand will always work in your favor if you can get more than one investor interested in your company. This will not only increase your negotiation power, but also build a stronger safety net that grants you more power at the deal table by increasing your leverage. As you receive more offers, investors may also be interested in a co-investment relationship. Under such an arrangement, multiple investors will enter a deal together and reduce one another’s risk. This not only means a potentially higher valuation, but doubles the resources that you have access to from investment acquisition.

Understand the Screening Process

Understanding how investors analyze your company can be advantageous when you are soliciting for these offers. Investors will analyze both the quantitative factors and qualitative factors that will influence your company’s risk and impact your bottom-line. One of the most important points for any investor is what your competitive advantage is and what market problem that you are addressing.

Even if your company does manage to solve a problem in the market, the question then becomes how you are able to sustain your competitive edge in the market. It is extremely likely that investors will compete against you for market share and you must be able to effectively outperform them in a manner that they cannot easily replicate.

We hope that this article has provided you with quality information about how investors analyze your business and the method of leveraging that knowledge to arrive at a higher valuation. We have seen many companies agree to a lower valuation due to the inability of companies to negotiate their valuation.


What Are Seven Finance Companies to Invest in 2016?

There is no magic ball that tells you which stocks are going to blow off in this year. Even, Google itself won’t be able provide to you exact details on finance investment. The search engines can only provide you some useful, solid and squishy opinions through which you can estimate which stock investment will give you benefit in the future.

On web search result, you will get stock market figures of various companies and these figures are very informative tools that rarely lie. Here, in this blog, we are going to mention ten finance companies to invest in this New Year 2016. All of the mentioned companies have the chance to give you best financial benefits in 2016.

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Let’s have a look at them.

  1. Precision castparts Corporations:

Precision castparts Corporation is a Portland, Ore based company that makes machine components for power industrial markets and aerospace. The company has its vaunted status in the airline industry. It is a critical supplier to Boeing, engine markets and Airbus.

The stock price of this company is $229.40

  1. Eagle Pharmaceutical

Eagle Pharmaceutical is a small company with 11 to 50 employees. However, though  small, it is a huge profit making machine on the NASDAQ. In February 2015, it entered into an exclusive license agreement with Teva Pharmaceuticals after which the revenue of this company increased to $36.3 million dollar in the first quarter of 2015. This is a massive increase in comparison to 2014.

In 2016, the company is going to announce significant launches that may yield pretty good earnings.

The stock price of Eagle Pharmaceutical is $82.36

  1. North Star realty Finance

The portfolio of NorthStar consists of a number of sectors including hotels, health care, housing communities, multifamily properties and many more. All these sectors are based in Europe. This is a giant profit making company and investing in it will surely prove to be a wise decision in the future.

Very recently, Northstar is going to spin off its European real estate business.

The stock price of Northstar Realty Finance is $13.93

  1. SPX Corporation

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The corporation is based in the Charlotte, N.C area specialized in industry, energy and food, beverage sectors. The company has also received fame in flow technology that involves products which are used to process and transport fluids. By October 2016, SPX is going to complete a spin off hydraulic technologies into a new entity by October.

The stock price of SPX Corporation is $56.11

  1. The Ensign group

Ensign group is consisting of more than 100 nursing homes, home health care businesses, hospice companies and care clinics. In 2015, the company has acquired more than 18 operations and hence its revenue has increased up to 28 percent.

In 2016, the group is going to launch some new ventures and therefore, making financial investment in this organization will prove to be a fruitful decision in the future.

The stock price of Ensign Group is $47.70

  1. Gilead Science

Gilead Science is another pharmaceutical company which has successfully grabbed public notice towards its core business. Basically, this organization is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that develops, discovers and commercializes innovative medicines. Over the years, Gilead Science has observed tremendous growth. In fact, in the last five years, the stock has multiplied by five times which has ultimately increased its revenue from $17 to $100.

Presently the stock price of Gilead Science is $105.10

  1. Zebra Technologies

Zebra technology is basically a barcode company, specialized in making vertical bars that help companies to track items in supply chain. However, presently, Zebra is the king of the jungle by acquiring next-largest competitor from Motorola subsidiary. Presently, this company is gaining benefits through efficiency gains and additional market share.

The stock price of Zebra Technologies is $81.54

Therefore, if you wish to make financial investment in 2016, these above mentioned seven companies offer you the best option to gain profit in this New Year.


Investments: Selecting funds for 2016

As per a report published on etfdailynews.com 2015 has officially turned out the worst year of stocks since 2008. In fact, it turned out to be a horrible year for investments as a whole. Oil, junk bonds and industrial commodities performed worse than the stocks did. While the stocks still grappled with abysmal lows, they didn’t crash completely as the other commodities did. Can 2015 be marked as a year of a major financial meltdown like 2008? Perhaps not. However, over the past twelve months we have witnessed serious financial fluctuations – something of the scale of the fiscal irregularities in 2008. Some of the major names like Russell 2000, Dow Jones and S&P 500 registered their worst performance since 2008.

The financial scenario of 2015: What it possibly holds for 2016

According to author Jonathan Cahn, it was only in the month of August when the global market started going berserk and went out to lose 11 trillion dollars as a result. Financial gurus opine that 2015 marked the beginning of a financial crisis which is going to take a notable shape in 2016.

The fiscal fluctuation that we have talked about in the previous section only paved the way for what is going to be marked as a major crisis in 2016. So, don’t be surprised if 2016 turns to be another 2008. You know that the ripples were created in 2015 only. As per CNN, around 70% of all the investors had lost money in the year and from the way things are shaping up till now, it can well be said that 2016 is bracing itself for a bigger fiscal chaos.

The financial scenario has actually hastened the need for revising ways in which funds should be selected by investors. Even if you are mulling such investments for the first time in your life, this remains a great opportunity to find out the correct ways in which you should select funds for investment. Do take a look at this video to be guided properly in this respect:

Find out what Dhirendra Kumar, the CEO of Value Research has to say about the most lucrative funds for 2016. This New Year trade with more confidence. Do check this video out for further information.

Hopefully, this particular video will turn out to be a valuable resource for budding traders and also the ones looking to revise their investment strategies.


Forex Brokers: A few facts explored

The popularity of forex is only increasing with each passing day. However, traders still lack the basic knowledge about the trade before they start trading with real money. If you have just initiated your trading career, then it is essential on your part to acquaint yourself with the basics of forex trading before you start investing real money in the trade. And, when it comes to basics, one cannot help but learn about forex brokers. Today, we will be discussing broker forex trading – what it means and how you should choose a forex broker.

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Forex broker- What it means

The introducing broker serves as the intermediary between the interbank and you. The interbank, on the other hand, refers to a network of banks that trade with each other. The brokers have relations with these interbanks and when you actually sign up with a broker, you will be well advised regarding the best currency pairs to trade with.

The choice of a broker cannot really make or break your trading fortunes, however it might as well affect your winning chances in a fair measure. Let us explain how. A broker with the right trading platform will be able to offer you all the necessary tools to help you make the right trading decision. Here are a few points that should be factored when you are actually in the process of selecting a broker. Read on to find out.

Which trading platform is the broker using?

It is very important to take special note of the platform used by the broker when you are about to hire the same. A trading platform should be ideally easy to use and be backed by all the right tools, like trading charts and calendars, to help you make the right trading decision. If a broker is using a trading platform which does not have the following capabilities, you should ideally stay away from it.

It is important to consider the type of spreads offered by the broker while selecting the same. Is the broker offering you fixed or variable spreads? When it comes to fixed spreads, the fees charged on each of the trades will not really vary with the market conditions. However, if you’re opting for variable spreads, the fees will fluctuate on the basis of market volatility.

You should be sagacious enough to check the performance record of the forex broker thoroughly before you’re actually availing the services of the same. Authentic brokers are usually members of NFA or CFTC. You should check the registration details of the broker before zeroing in on services. You might as well be too eager to rope in a popular broker, with positive reputation in the market. However, the advice would be not to settle for the services without checking the background!

Do keep these tips in view while you’re in the process of selecting a broker. It would be a major mistake if you’re not acquainting with the correct ways of selecting the forex broker. Refrain from committing such mistakes.


Unexpected Costs to Consider for Businesses in the Energy Industry

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The energy industry is incredibly competitive. There is little room for start-ups and fledgling enterprises, and this means that those venturing into the arena with the market giants must be prepared for every eventuality.

Supplying energy to consumers generally involves three key facets: producing energy, transporting gas and electricity, and marketing it to consumers. This is an immensely expensive process for even the most small-scale venture, and hidden costs lay around every corner.

If you’re planning on taking your place amongst the leviathans, then here are a few costs that you need to take into account…

Equipment

Energy producing equipment tends to be extraordinarily costly, and many fledgling entrepreneurs underestimate just how much outlay will be required before any profit can be made. Generators, grids, and so on must all be put in place before you can start looking for customers, meaning that you’ll require a fully functional enterprise before you can begin touting for business. Any issues with these must be ironed out prior to trading commencing, as consumers tend not to be very forgiving of mistakes once winter hits and their homes need warming.

Power Stations

Power stations will constitute a fundamental part of your fledgling operation, and must be carefully designed and constructed according to your individual needs and current government policy. It will take some very skilled workers to build them for you, and their expertise will come at a premium. Be careful to calculate the total of all the costs associated with construction, and then add a further 20 per cent in case of complications.

Employees

Thirdly, consider the costs of hiring staff. No energy company can function in isolation, so you’ll need trained employees to deliver the service you provide, as well as to maintain and manage your power stations and equipment. Many of these will be able to charge a premium for their experience, and due to the constant developments in the industry, and the dangerous nature of working with energy supplies, they will require frequent training and retraining in order to deliver a premier service and create a safe working environment.

Insurance

Finally, don’t forget to factor in the cost of insurance. Energy production is a niche industry, and businesses tend to have a high value attached to them. Ordinary commercial insurance providers will rarely offer the level of cover that you require, so you must consider specialist outfits such as Catlin instead. Responsible for underwriting many of the world’s most expensive and successful ventures, these experts will be able to provide the level of protection that you need, meaning that the business you’ve given your all to is fully protected should disaster strike.

Safeguard the future of your energy enterprise and be prepared for whatever life may throw at you.

 


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