Budgeting

6Richest Self-Made Millionaires Under 20

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When we hear about the richest children in the world, we instantly think of kids who are born into rich families. The first people that come to mind are the royal babies of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Jolie-Pitt children, or Bill Gates’ kids. But did you know that there are also self-made millionaires who are under the age of 20?
That’s right. There are kids and teenagers who are already earning their own millions. As of April 2018, these are six of the richest self-made millionaires, based on their net worth, who are under 20 years old.

Ryan ToysReview, 7
Estimated Net Worth: $11 million

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Some of the richest YouTubers arePewDiePie, Smosh, and Jake and Logan Paul. But the youngest and one of the most profitable YouTubers is a seven-year-old! With 13 million subscribers at the time of writing, Ryan ToysReview is a family-run YouTube channel that features a kid named Ryan who unboxes and reviews various kids’ toys. As his YouTube bio claims, “Toys Review for kids by a kid!” And that’s probably why he became internationally famous – honest toy reviews by an actual kid.

Jaden Smith, 19
Estimated Net Worth: $8 million

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If your parents are superstars, you don’t have to work at all and still be rich. But like Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, their son Jaden is a passionate artist who won’t let his talents go to waste. His movies, including The Pursuit of Happyness and The Karate Kid, have largely contributed to his worth, but Jaden is also a rapper, singer, and songwriter. He also owns a clothing brand and is a partner in a spring water company.

Rico Rodriguez, 19
Estimated Net Worth: $7 million

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Best known for his role as Manny in the family sitcom Modern Family, Rico earns $20,000 per episode of the show. He and his Modern Family castmates won the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series award at the Screen Actors Guild Awards for four years in a row (2010-2013). Aside from being an actor, he also wrote a book, Reel Life Lessons… So Far published in 2012.

Willow Smith, 17
Estimated Net Worth: $4 million

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Also on this list is Jaden’s sister, Willow. Remember the hit song Whip My Hair and the little girl in the video? Yup, that’s her and she’s 17 now. Her debut single sold about 1.31 million copies, earning $1.7 million in October 2010. Although best known as an R&B singer, Willow started as an actress and has starred in I Am Legend’and in Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa. She remains active in the music industry and is an ambassador for a project that supports kids in Africa who were orphaned by AIDS.

Ben Pasternak, 18
Estimated Net Worth: $4 million

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At 14, he created his first app, Impossible Rush. Who knew that an app born out of boredom in his high school class would change his life? And due to the success of Impossible Rush in the iOS App Store, he created a follow-up, Impossible Dial, which also became a success. Then at 15, Ben was the youngest person to receive venture capital in technology for his third app, Flogg. In 2016, Ben co-founded another app, Monkey, which was sold to HOLLA Ltd. in 2017.

Jackie Evancho, 17
Estimated Net Worth: $2.5 million

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Since 2009 (at age nine!), Jackie has released an EP that reached platinum status and seven albums. Before she finished 2nd place in America’s Got Talent fifth season in 2010, she has alreadygained attention from all over the world via her independent releases and viral videos of her performance as a classical crossover singer. Her platinum-selling O Holy Night EP made her the best-selling debut artist of 2010.

If these kids did it, you can do it, too! All it takes is patience and determination. As cliché as it sounds, but being patient and determined can get you anywhere you dream to be, that’s for sure. Maybe you’re not an entertainer or a tech prodigy, but there are many other ways to become financially successful. Let these kids serve as an inspiration for you to become more resourceful and smarter with your choices in life.



Even if you’re past 20, it’s not too late! There is no required age for becoming successful. The first step to wealth is arming yourself with smart money management skills. Get started with the help of insightful blogs and success stories. Even entertainment materials, including movies, graphic novels, and comicstackle real-life scenarios thatcan help you get a better grasp of how to get your finances in order.

AUTHOR BIO:
Sid Liquigan
MobiusComic.com


The dire necessity of having an emergency fund – Few reasons to watch out for

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Are you someone who is always struggling with every single obstacle on road for every unanticipated expense? If yes, it’s high time that you reap benefits from an emergency fund as without this, it is tough to spend a debt-free life. Spending a life without an emergency fund is similar to operating sans savings account. Unless you keep aside few dollars for unpredicted expenses, you may fall in trouble during emergencies.

As it is seen that there are many people who fail to save for their future and you might also be one who is not setting aside funds for your emergency account. This article will tell you about the few good reasons to definitely have an emergency fund.

Reason #1: You’re trying your best to pull yourself out of debt

With each bump that you face on the road, having an emergency fund will help you stop adding to your already existing debt burden. When you have an emergency fund, you can use the proceeds to cover the things which you don’t consider like medical bills and car repairs. It is then that you can utilize this fund to handle such stressful events and feel easier to fall out of debt. When you have a cushion for unpredicted expenses, it’s easier to pay more money towards your debt accounts.

Reason #2: You have begun your budgeting efforts

When you’ve first started off with remodeling costs, you might be leaving off few of the expenses which you require planning for. Your emergency fund will be able to cover few of the expenses during the initial year and later on you could add all of these into your budget while they come up. Such annual expenses could be items like fees, gifts and donations towards organizations.

Reason #3: You just have a single source of income

In case you’re someone who has got only one source of income, it is vital for you to certainly have an emergency fund. Through this, you can get through unanticipated job loss which keeps you from working. In case you’re single or you’re the only income provider in your family, you should work hard on maintaining expenses worth a year. If you recently started off with your family, you should invest more on emergency fund. Work hard towards building a fund as early as possible.

Reason #4: You started owning your home

Whenever you own your home, you’ll require paying for the maintenance and repairing of your house. Though you may have to set a fund to cover remodeling costs, you might have unexpected expenses like repairing of air conditioner or plumbing repair costs. During such a situation, you can get help from an emergency fund to handle costs and making owning your home less intimidating.



Reason #5: You have ongoing medical issues

If you have a serious medical condition, this can cause you to increase your deductible every year. You might have to take routine tests which cost you a huge amount and this is when you will need an emergency fund to wade through such challenging times.

Henceforth, whenever you think of taking resort to loans like the Lendgreen online installment loans, you should first ask yourself whether or not you have an emergency account to fall back on. If you don’t, start having one.


Plan A Dream Wedding On A Budget

Dream Wedding Budget

A wedding is the most important day in many people’s lives, and because of this people will often save up for years and years in order to make the day as perfect as they can.

Weddings however are incredibly expensive when you consider the event planning, food, venue, photographer, clothes and everything else that goes into this one day. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend and still want to enjoy that perfect wedding day, there are ways you can save yourself some money and still have the best day ever.

Choose flowers in season

One great way to reduce the cost of your wedding decorations and the bouquet is to choose flowers which are in season at the time or your wedding. For example in the spring you could make use of soft colour with peonies, and in the summer you can make the most of roses.when flowers are in season they are cheaper because they don’t take as much time and effort to grow- this means you don’t have to pay through the nose for these sweet decorations. It can also add a lovely touch to the wedding because you will be getting flowers that fit your theme.

Place name favours

Wedding favours are usually a small token which you will offer to your guests as a thank you for them attending your wedding. They will often include things like a small goody bag full of things or even a gift like a photo frame or vase. If you want to save yourself a little bit of money and time for the wedding you can make favours which are also used as place names on the wedding breakfast table. For example a mug with your guest’s name on, it even a wine glass with their name engraved on the side which they can use throughout the evening. It only has to be a small favour and will make a cheap addition to your table decoration.

A potluck dessert table

If you want to save yourself a lot of money on fancy cakes and other desserts for the wedding party, you can ask some of your baking family members and friends to make something to add to the table. So many people are getting more involved in baking these days so it will be a good opportunity to take advantage of their skills. It can also be a nice way for your guests to feel involved in the wedding proceedings.

Simple table decorations

A great way to decorate your wedding table without spending too much money is to simply buy some small plastic crystals and in the centre you simply need a vase with a set of battery operated fairy lights. It is a very simple design which is effective and will look magical as the evening draws in and the lights are dimmed in the venue.

Photograph table centres

If you want to add a more personal touch to your wedding tables and you don’t want to spend too much money on them: you can print off some photographs of places you have loved over the years and use these as your table names and centerpieces. They are cheap, colourful and personal.

Use family jewellery

Rather than going out to buy a ton of new items for you wedding day, why not see if you can borrow some jewellery from your Mum or grandma. It will save you having to find your something old, and it have much more sentimental meaning to you and your family than a brand new set.

End of season wedding dress

Arguably one of the most important purchases you could make for your wedding day is the dress you will walk down the aisle wearing. It is an item of clothing which women dream of their entire lives, but it can cost a huge amount if you buy it in new. To avoid having to do so, you can wait until the end of the season and but your dress at a reduced price. The dress will still be great quality, but you won’t need to fork out the same money for it.

Create your own photo booth

Wedding photo booths can cost a huge sum for the night and it is often not worth the cost. However, if you still want the feel of a photo booth you can get a family member to lend your their camera: set it up on a tripod in the corner of the room and then make your own unique booth. Using a white sheet, some metal poles and some random costume props; you can create your own background and let people take hoots throughout the night!

Do your own makeup and hair

Although the idea of having your hair and makeup done on your wedding day is nice: it is expensive and often doesn’t turn out exactly how you want. If you are fussy with your hair and your makeup it would be better for you to do it yourself. You’ll have full control over the way you look and you won’t have to deal with too much contour or an aching head all day. Even if you don’t currently know how to do your makeup- you can spend time watching YouTube tutorials and practice.

Take your own car

A wedding car can cost a lot of money on the day of your wedding and it is something which you don’t necessarily even need. To save yourself some money it would be much easier to take your own car and ask a family member to drive you.

Use disposable cameras

If you cannot afford to hire a professional photographer for the whole day of your wedding, you can save yourself some money by using disposable camera during the evening reception. Place a few cameras on every table and allow your guests to take fun, active and candid shots throughout the night. It will be much more personal and give you some amazing memories to hold on to after the day is over.


If Time is Money How Would You Like More of Both?

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Most people have been taught as a child the limiting belief that you ‘need money to make money’ and it’s only the rich that invest in things such as the stock market or properties – yet today, someone with hardly any money can achieve financial freedom due to the information economy we are living in.

Today, with the power of content marketing for example, most people can build a substantial income from creating online courses, e-books, or blogs that companies pay to advertise on or recommend their product, at very little start-up cost!

See, the rich build assets. They don’t trade their time for money in the same way the majority of employees do; indeed, they have a completely different mentality. The employee’s mindset is focused on short term gain for long term pain whereas the investor is more focused on enduring short term pain for long term gain.

The investor’s mentality when starting out is that they are happy to endure financial hardship and exhaustion in order to build assets and systems that will provide for them time and time again in perpetuity. The employee’s mentality on the other hand is that they want a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work; meaning, they want to see instant reward for their labour.

The investor’s mentality considers that they might work for no payment at all, for a few hundred if not thousand hours whilst investing their time and resources into building an asset such as a house, a book, or a high interest savings account – not seeing any benefit at first, but then, once they have that asset in place it provides time and time again, without them having to work.

The simplest way to describe this is to consider an author that sets out to write a bestselling book; they put a substantial amount of initial effort into the book’s creation without any payment, but if successful they will make a royalty from each sale, let’s say a $1 per book. If that book sells 100,000 copies then they make $100,000. If it sells two million copies then they make $2 million dollars! Yet, in both instances their initial effort remains the same.

This means that they are free from the financial treadmill of trading time for money as they are leveraging an asset time and time again. This is the formula for creating a more abundant supply of time and cash.

Now, presuming you don’t fancy writing a book, there are a number of simple ways you can start making money work for you rather than you having to work for it. Property investing, for instance, is a very popular choice but it presupposes you have good credit to begin with and a fair amount of capital or tangible security behind you in order to get started.

Content marketing is a great option, but not everyone wants the creative headache that comes from creating a blog or developing online courses.

Then there’s all sorts of investment opportunities with regard to the stock market, that it can be difficult to know where to begin. Indeed, many people are now looking to social trading platforms that basically allow someone to copy the trades of other people that (hopefully) have a better idea of what they are doing.

The challenge, however, when it comes to investing in the stock market is that whilst you could make money you could just as easily lose money, and unless you know what you’re doing it’s about as a reliable as putting your bet on the roulette wheel in a casino. That said, a great way to test out your strategy is to use one of the many stock market simulators available that let you ‘play’ at investing before risking your own money.



The most secure option, of course, is to invest your money in a high interest savings account and live off the interest, but the challenge with that, is you need to have a substantial amount to begin with, which most of us don’t.

In summary, if you want to have more time and money – focus on building long term assets rather than blinkering your vision to short term gains.


3 Ways College Students Can Live Like Kings on a Fixed Income

If you’re like most college students, you’re living on a fixed income from student loans – a very small fixed income.

The good news is that this doesn’t have to mean you spend these years just barely getting by. In fact, you can actually live quite comfortably if you know what you’re doing.

3 Ways to Make the Most of a Fixed Income in College

Even though your student loans do cover living expenses, the following will show you how to spend your college years living like in a king.

1. Live with Your Best Friends and Split the Costs of Your Essentials

After college, you’ll find it becomes harder and harder to see your close friends on a regular basis. So, spend as much time as you can with them during right now.

One way of doing this is by rooming together. The more of your close friends you can get under one roof, the less it’s going to cost you.If you get four or more people together, you can even rent your own home instead of just an apartment.

Your savings don’t have to stop there, though.

Split the price for a Costco or Sam’s Club membership and then buy the things you all need in bulk for even more savings. Get everyone to agree on staying in three or four nights a week and making dinner together and you’ll enjoy a great meal fit for a king without breaking your budget.

2. Never Buy Your Books at the Bookstore

It’s no secret that college textbooks cost a fortune.However, you don’t actually have to buy them at your school’s bookstore, where they are sold at full price.

Instead, once you find out what classes you’re going to take next semester, offer to buy a current student’s textbook for more than the tiny amount they’ll get for selling it back to the bookstore. Then you can put the money you save toward living expenses.

Of course, there are a number ofsites that sell college textbooks, too. If you can’t find a fellow student who’s willing to offer you a bargain, someone online probably will.

 

3. Consider a Side-Income

You may not have enough time in your schedule to add more hours at your job or to even take on a part-time job to begin with.

Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you have to spend your college years living like a pauper. These days, there are countless ways to make money on the side when it fits your schedule best.

Some popular examples include:

  • Drive for Uber
  • Take Up Freelance Work
  • Tutor Other Students

The best part about those last two options is that they will most likely look great on your resume after graduation.

You Don’t Have to “Live Like a College Student”

There are plenty of reasons people miss their college years, but the miniscule budgets definitely isn’t one of them. Fortunately, you now know that just getting by isn’t some mandatory credit you have to complete.


What to Do When Your Business Needs Money Fast

It’s not just in your personal life when you might suddenly need some money. If you’re running low on funds and you need cash fast, it can be tough to think of ethical ways your business can get what you need. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for you if you need to give your cash flow a boost. Whether you need to try and get the money you need within a couple of days or you have a few weeks or months to gather the funds, you can find a method of raising the money that will work for you.

Get a Cash Advance

A cash advance could be one possibility that’s available from some merchant account companies and payment solution providers. If you use a company to handle your credit card sales, you might be able to borrow some money that would then be paid back by future credit card sales. It was once a rather expensive method to use, but your options today could be much more flexible and easier to repay. It might sometimes be called a line of credit or known as another term, but you can often find this option and apply for the money you need in no time. Just remember to compare the fee to other possibilities to decide if it’s worth it or if there’s a better way to raise your money.

Get a Cash Advance

From Pixabay

Borrow Your Own Money

If you personally have money, but your business doesn’t, one option you might consider is lending your money to your business. Your business can then pay you back as the funds become available. There are several ways you might put your own money into your business, from using your savings to taking out a personal loan. However, if you’re considering using personal assets to bolster your business, remember that it doesn’t come without risks. If your business doesn’t make that money back, you’re now personally worse off, and your business isn’t doing any better either. Loaning the money to your business might work if you’re sure you can pay it back soon, but it’s important to be cautious.

Sell Your Equipment

Sometimes, your business might be asset rich but cash poor. If you need to change that, selling some of your equipment could be a good place to start. Maybe you’re looking for money for new equipment anyway, or perhaps you’re scaling back your business and don’t really need what you currently own. If you want to sell your equipment, there are a few ways you might do it. A lot of business owners will browse auctions if they want to save money on their equipment, so it can be a good place to start if you want a quick sale. You could also seek a second-hand equipment dealer to see if they want to buy from you.

Consider Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding can sometimes be a useful method for raising funds for your business. However, it’s not always best suited to anyone who wants to raise money quickly. You also have to be very smart about promoting your campaign to get it the attention it needs. It is possible to crowdfund and reach a goal in a short amount of time, but you already need to have the audience on various channels, such as social media and your mailing list. You also need to have an incentive to encourage people to invest their money. What do they get in return? It needs to be more than a good feeling for supporting your business.

Crowdfunding

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Look at Microloans

A microloan is a loan under a certain amount, such as $50,000, which is often easier to apply for than larger loans. Find a lender that specializes in smaller loans, and you could find that your business has an easier time getting the money you need. Some of them have loans that are intended for specific types of business, particularly those that might struggle to find funding from elsewhere. Try someone like Accion or take a look at the approved microloan lenders that work with the Small Business Administration. You might be able to secure a loan through your local SBA office if you have one.

Try Factoring Invoices

Factoring invoices is the practice of getting an advance on unpaid invoices. This can be useful if you’re waiting for payments, and you don’t want to hurry your customers along. You’ll get the amount on the invoice, minus the fee that factor will charge you, and when your client pays it will clear off your debt. Fees can sometimes be fairly high, so not all businesses will want to use this method of raising cash. Be cautious about using it because it might not be the best choice for you.

Provide Incentives to Pay Invoices

If you don’t mind giving your customers a bit of a push to pay their invoices early, that can be an easy way to make some money too. Instead of having to wait another month or two, you can encourage them to pay sooner so you can get the cash you need. Provide an incentive or two for early payment, such as offering a discount, cashback, credit, free delivery or anything else you can think of that they might want.

Encourage Some Quick Sales

Another way to quickly raise some cash for your business might be to encourage some quick sales from customers. If you can put on a special offer or create a discount for a short period, you might be able to drive some higher sales for a while. It might be enough to give your cash flow a boost and get you the funds you need. You could create a special discount code, give away a free gift or have a flash sale to get people interested in spending some money. Even offering free delivery can be enough to get people to make a purchase.


What Is Your Financial Plan Missing For This Year?

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When it comes to your money, you always need to be organized. It can be really tempting to just kind of wing it and hope for the best, but if you really want to improve your finances or try and grow them, organization is key. This means that you’re going to need to have a bit of a financial plan. And no, we’re not necessarily talking about forecasting your financial life for the next five years. While that might be a nice idea to try and do, it’s not always realistic. Because things change. So what we mean is to have a bit of a loose plan to help you control your finances for the rest of the year.

So what should this involve? Well, you’re going to want to work in a few key components and utilize a couple of key tricks and tactics to make sure that your financial life is in check for the rest of the year. But don’t worry, this is going to be a simple plan to both put together and implement. And the best part is, by putting a little bit of work in now, you should find that your finances kind of play there way out throughout the year, which is exactly what you want. So let’s get down to what you need to include.

Setting Some Goals

To make sure that your plan is going to be effective, you really do have to get it into the right shape. You could come up with some good ideas, but unless they have a sense of direction behind them, they’re just not going to work. So this is why setting yourself some financial goals is the best thing to do from the beginning. So work out exactly what you want to get out of your financial plan or for the rest of the year. Then, you can start to work on making it happen.

Managing Your Spending

How are you doing with spending? Even if you’re not necessarily and over-spender, you may find that you don’t really manage things as well as you potentially could. So, the next step in the plan is going to be away to help you keep control of your spending. In an actionable sense, this could be in the form of budgeting or starting to track your spending, so that you can manage it.

Reducing Down Debt

If you do have any debts that you’re owing, you’re then going to want to think about how you can reduce this. Even if the idea of being in a bit amount of debt frightens you, so you prefer to ignore it, don’t. We’re trying to get your financial life in order for the year, and this means tackling your debts. And don’t worry, as soon as you start taking steps to reduce it, you will feel so much better.

Starting To Save

Every good financial plan will include some kind of savings. Even if you have other priorities for the year, it’s good to have some money behind you as a bit of a safety net. You may even want to get into the habit of saving so that you can put money aside for things that you want, like a vacation or treating yourself. But to do this, you have to be able to put the previous three points in place.

Increasing Your Income

Maybe you want to increase your income? Then this can definitely be a key part of your financial plan. When you take steps to increase your income using those ideas, you’ll often then be able to work on some of the other parts of your financial plan much quicker too.

Exhausting Your Other Options

But it’s not just your current paycheck that you could look to increase. You also have the option of finding other income streams. For this, be sure to check in on any money that might be owed to you by heading to this location or somewhere similar. When you have considered these options, you will be able to top up your income for the year too.



Working Towards A Future Goal

Finally, you may also want to work in a few ideas to help you to work towards a future goal too. Because if you want to be able to buy a house or go on a round the world trip, you may need to start saving for that now in order to be able to do it in the future. When you factor this in and start taking steps, you’ll find that your financial plan can actually transform your financial life.


4 Effective Ways to Invest (That Aren’t the Stock Market)

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Although it’s a pretty sensible move to invest some of your money on the stock market, it’s also a really good idea not to put all of your eggs in one basket. By spreading your money around, you minimize your risks significantly, which means that you should always be on the lookout for other forms of investment.

With that in mind, check out these effective ways to invest that don’t include the stock market:

Peer-to-Peer Lending

Peer-to-Peer lending has gained some real traction in the past five years or so, and it is undoubtedly one of the best ways to invest your money because it benefits not only you but the entrepreneurs you invest in too.

Basically, peer-to-peer lending works by taking out the middlemen that are the banks and allowing individuals to pool together to invest in entrepreneurial people around the world. When you don’t have a bank taking their share, your returns are likely to be higher. Just be careful to choose your investments wisely and to, ideally, spread your cash amongst at least 10 individual loans ( the more, the better in this case), for a diverse portfolio that is more risk-averse.

You

Investing in yourself is rarely a bad idea. In fact, doing just that is likely to be one of the least risky investments you ever make. Why? Because when you invest in yourself, you increase your opportunities, which almost always leads to greater wealth. So, whether you want to get an online bsw, so you can embark on your dream career, you want to set up your own small business to get out of the rat race and give yourself a better income, or you want to enrol on an accountancy course to switch to a more lucrative career, invest in yourself. This is one form of investment you’re unlikely ever to regret.

Precious Metals

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Investing all of your money in precious metals is probably not a good idea, but buying a little gold or silver is quite sensible. Obviously, the prices of precious metals do rise and fall over time, but if you’re looking for a relatively safe place to diversify your portfolio, a small holding of gold, for example, will probably serve you well, not least because it’s a physical asset that you can take complete control of – something which can be very useful in turbulent times.

Debt Elimination

Instead of putting that money into stocks that have no guaranteed return, why not pay down your debts – something which will effectively give you a 100 percent return on your investment? Although you should always save a little for a rainy day, if you have lots of debts, it makes more sense to get rid of them before you start investing because returns are unlikely to outdo the huge amounts of interest you are likely to be paying.

If you plow your money into any one of these four things, it will be an investment well made, and you will have a brighter financial future as a result, that’s for sure.


Everything You Wanted To Know About Bitcoin

invest in Bitcoin

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You’re new to the world of investment and everything seems strange and perplexing. In most areas of life we struggle from too little information and guidance but in the world of investment, there’s way too much! Everywhere you turn there are people arguing vociferously and passionately for certain commodities, stocks and shares. You’ll also see different people arguing equally vociferously and passionately against them. One voice will laud it as the safest and wisest investment you could make while another decries it as not only a waste of your time and money but a global scam that will be rumbled at any moment. It can be difficult to know where to turn for advice and really more difficult to know where to put your money. After all, a bad investment could see you make a serious loss.

Most new investors are risk averse and are unlikely to be bullish or bearish on any given commodity due to sheer inexperience and a lack of understanding of the caprices of the markets. As such, while they’ve likely heard of Bitcoin, and other Cryptocurrencies like Etherium, Ripple and Monero and you’ve heard a lot of vociferous claims for and against them. There are few commodities as divisive as cryptocurrency. People in the financial services industry tend not to be fans while those who’ve been burned by the banks in the 2007-2008 recession and don’t trust the present financial infrastructure simply shrug “Well, of course they would say that!”. If you’ve heard of Bitcoin, you’ve probably already read some wildly contrasting rumors about the highest profile of the cryptocurrencies. As such, it’s likely that you’ll have a lot of questions. Here we’ll try to address any questions that you may have as a nascent investor, using real human words and trying to avoid technical jargon wherever possible (and at least explaining it if we do). Hopefully by the time you’re done reading you’ll have a firmer idea of what Bitcoin is and whether or not you want to invest. We’ll try not to be too partizan in our approach, sticking to the facts where possible without coloring your answers with bias.

Spell it out for me, what is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency; this means that even though it is traded in units like any currency, it differs from the currencies of nations (fiat currencies) in several key ways. Firstly, it’s value is not determined by the value of precious metals as other currencies have been previously. It is also insulated from the economic success or misfortune of any given country or state’s economy. This makes it virtually recession proof and that is what makes it so popular with people who were burned in the 2007-2008 recession and have an inherent mistrust of the banks.

So what gives Bitcoin its value?

Many people struggle to wrap their heads around the notion of a cryptocurrency. If it’s not tied to the economy of a nation, and its insulated from inflation and other measures of economic growth, what gives it its value? The simple answer is that its value is determined by the people who trade it, just like any other commodity. Its value is determined by the pillars of economics which are supply, scarcity, demand, the regulations managing its sale and its own internal governance. This is why, despite the proliferate negativity surrounding Bitcoin’s longevity it looks like it’s here to stay since as long as people are trading it, it will continue to have value.

Lots of people say that Bitcoin is a bubble, is this true?

There are many voices within the financial services industry who insist that Bitcoin is a bubble that could burst at any moment. Since its value has increased exponentially since its invention by Satoshi Yakamoto (AKA Australian Entrepreneur, Craig Wright) in 2009, and has recently experienced a drop in value lots of people are practicing their “I told you so” faces. Bitcoin’s proponents, however, argue that the value of a cryptocurrency is just like any other stock, share, currency or tradeable commodity, it’s valued inevitably fluctuates due to a range of external circumstances. Like any investment, it is neither good nor bad and carries with it both risk and the potential for a substantial return. Many new investors are choosing to invest sparingly in Bitcoin just to be on the safe side.

How does one invest in Bitcoin?

There are lots of different ways in which one can acquire Bitcoin. Firstly, you can buy it securely from a site like XCoins. You can also become a Bitcoin miner although this does involve forking out a lot of money on sophisticated hardware (most of which can now be bought on Amazon).  There was a time when one could mine bitcoin with their home PC but the technology has now moved along so far that it now requires sophisticated custom processors specifically built for bitcoin mining. These processors need to be left to run for long stretches of time to solve the puzzles that unlock units of Bitcoin (yes, this is an oversimplification, but this is essentially what they do). It’s difficult to mine Bitcoin profitably on your own, especially if you’re a newcomer, but there are Bitcoin mining contractors who will do the hard work for you for a fee. If you’re interested in learning to mine Bitcoin, check out this guide which will give you everything you need to get started. There are even some websites that serve as Bitcoin faucets, distributing small amounts of Bitcoin to their visitors.  

Do criminals use Bitcoin?

Honestly, yes. Because Bitcoin is traded anonymously using blockchain technology transactions are almost (but not entirely) untraceable. This makes it very attractive to the criminal community, especially those trading in illegal goods and services on the notorious dark web. But criminals also use cash, drink beer, eat cheeseburgers and drive cars and you wouldn’t want to deprive yourself of any of those comforts simply because they’re also used occasionally by a few bad apples.

Am I taxed on Bitcoin?

Yes and no. While Bitcoin is a commodity it is subject to tax, yet it is not taxed at the same rate as other cash assets. This tax advantage is the reason why many people are using Bitcoin to supplement their IRA, allowing them to save for their retirement while making sure that their wealth is protected from the IRS. Many people are also currently reaping the tax benefits of making charitable contributions with Bitcoin. So, while Bitcoin is taxable, its rates are much more favorable than the tax rates on cash.

Can Bitcoin be shut down?

Many new investors are shy of investing in Bitcoin, especially those who aren’t particularly tech savvy because they worry that something will happen to “shut down” the Bitcoin system either robbing them of their investments or rendering them worthless. Fortunately, Bitcoin is designed to make this impossible. The whole point of Bitcoin is that it is an attempt to democratize currency and it is based upon Blockchain technology which means that it is duplicated thousands of times across thousands of different computers. Thus, it cannot be hacked or corrupted as the data is not stored in one central place. Its control is in the hands of those who use it. There is no central authority for Bitcoin, although there is a Bitcoin Foundation that provides oversight. However, even the Bitcoin Foundation has no authority over the cryptocurrency.  

Are there an infinite amount of Bitcoin units?

No, and this is why its scarcity is a contributing factor to its value. The way in which the Bitcoin system is designed to distribute units of the cryptocurrency slowly to the tune of 21 million units over the next century. This is why Bitcoin’s proponents call it digital gold. It’s worth noting however, that while the current system enables Bitcoin to stay finite there are at present no guarantees that this will change, nor can we accurately predict what will happen to Bitcoin’s value if an influx of units were to come into circulation. However, this is no different from fiat currencies. Banks and governments create money out of nowhere at all through quantitative easing.  

Is Bitcoin illegal?

That depends on where you live. There are many factors that make Bitcoin unpopular with governments, especially those of non-democratic countries. Countries such as the US and Canada, the UK, Australia and most countries within the European Union are permissive of Bitcoin, however there are some countries in which it is outright illegal. These include China, Russia and even Iceland. Click here for a more comprehensive list.

Is Bitcoin really anonymous

Bitcoin’s anonymity was one of its biggest selling points upon its release. In real terms, however, Bitcoin is more traceable than many were led to believe, especially if it has been used to fund criminal activity like drug dealing, people trafficking or money laundering. It turns out that authorities have ways of tracing Bitcoin transactions and web merchants routinely leak data without purchases. While Bitcoin has a veneer of anonymity, it can be cracked by anyone with the time, resources and a good enough reason. It’s no more anonymous than a bank transfer and certainly less anonymous than cash.


Eurasia Group anticipated yet another US financial crisis – Will recession make a comeback?

Image via https://pixabay.com/en/dollar-currency-money-cobweb-592511/

As per what the US think-tank is about to say, 2018 could possibly be the ultimate year for the biggest ever geopolitical crisis which is going to be equal to the 2008 Great Recession that the Americans faced. The Eurasia Group, in its annual report warned America of the few biggest risks that the world will be facing and they also alerted that the any of these major risks would lead to the biggest issues in 2018. The President of Eurasia Group, Ian Bremmer said that there are many countries which feel that they don’t require repairing the present state of geopolitical recession. They don’t feel it’s a looming problem.

Even the US-Iran tensions, the corrosion of institutions regarding the developed world and the brand new wave of protectionism, there are definitely the biggest risks for 2018. Here are few to take into account.

China is the next global leader as US gives way

In spite of the Chinese domestic issues, their political model is touted to be the strongest than others, especially during a time when the political model of the US is considered weak. With respect to investment and trade, China is always leaning towards the urge to get economic control on the global network of nations. As per the think-tank, they are also leaning towards policy preferences of Beijing and this clearly implies that China is giving way to international standard which shows very less resistance.

Too many chances of accidents which could end up in a war

No, there are no chances of initiating a World War III but the Eurasia Group emphasises on the absence of global security in the US and also among its allies. Due to the boost in non-state and sub-national actors who are able to initiate destabilisation of a region, there are more chances of accidents. They can arise in the form of cyberattacks, the US-Iran-Russian presence in war of Syria, the North Korea tensions and terrorism. A small mistake in any of the aforementioned areas could lead to an impending war.

Global Tech cold war is on the rise

There is lot of competition between China and US regarding technology, particularly with regards to Artificial Intelligence and next-generation technologies. This unhealthy competition could lead to the ultimate winner becoming dominant both geopolitically and equally. Then, among the third-world countries like Brazil and India, there is market dominance where they will decide about the major power which will entrust their security and technology infrastructure. This could lead to strong ties between countries which are offered with the technology. Other tech-rich countries like China and Russia might go through fragmentation.

Iran and Donald Trump

Donald Trump doesn’t want Iran to own nuclear weapons which clearly implies the fact that he will support Saudi Arabia and keep sanctioning Iran missile tests. This way he will offer his support for terrorism and violation for human rights. As Iran will push back, this will create a danger of overreach. In case the nuclear deal falls off, Iran could ramp up the own programme and the Israeli strikes would boost prices of oil.

Hence, as we see that the preoccupied Western countries are cutting off their support and their funding for the military of their region to fight against militant groups and terrorists. An increase in attacks or conflicts will have an impact on overseas investment and the management of refugee flows.


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