economy

How To Position Yourself Long In A Slowing Global Economy

Last year was great for rapid evolvement in online businesses and automation. Now more than ever, consumers are connected with their favorite brands with a new series of internet and social media trends forming. However, economists are now coming to a consensus that in 2017, the global economy will show signs of slowing down for the first time since the crash 2008. Therefore, to stay ahead of the game, you’ve got to position yourself long to avoid becoming embroiled in a boom and bust cycle. Certain business ideas have become the hot topic of 2017 and for good but different reasons. There are plenty of ideas out there, but some are already showing clear signs that they will be sticking around for quite some time.

global economy

Source – SpaceX

SpaceX is futureproof

SpaceX is a private commercial space-transportation startup company born from the brilliant mind of Elon Musk. Founded in 2002 by Musk and operating out of Hawthorne, California, USA, he has personally invested $100 million of his own money into the company to get it launched and sustained throughout the early years. The company is developing partially reusable launch vehicles which are essentially rockets. These rockets are part of a family group called Falcon, and so far the latest version is called the Falcon 9. These rockets have been resupplying the International Space Station with essentials such as food, new equipment, and experimental apparatus. The company has experienced its Series E round of funding with the latest coming in at $1 Bn from Google itself. For any investor looking to go long in 2017, watch out for SpaceX stock might soon go live this year; first come, first serve.

Residential real estate is exploding

When you arrive at the single most rewarding aspect of investing, the balance of risk and reward will never be in your favor as much as investing in real estate. The human population is growing, and due to the wonderful marvel of science, we’re all living longer than ever before. This means that traditional family housing is not being built as fast as previous years, but high-rise contemporary apartments for bachelors and families are. This is the trend that’s emerging now, with more families opting for less expensive homes in state of the art, new apartment communities. With all the benefits of living in the city, new open floor, family home apartments are becoming prime residential property locations as all the features of a luxury home come as part of the package. You can find everything and more in the design of the modern apartments, with regards to spacing, decor, materials, and style that, all the family will enjoy and feel right at home living in.

ecommerce investment

Credit – Mediamodifier

The unstoppable rise of ecommerce

It doesn’t matter if you’re an artist specializing graphic design, or a small business with a bespoke, modern cloud generated marketing company; the only world of ecommerce investment doesn’t look like it will slow anytime soon. Due to how much easier it is for businesses to target and gains vital information about their core audience, the increased demand for ecommerce tools and diversified knowledge is well sort after. More and more shoppers are doing the bulk of their consuming online, filling up their virtual shopping carts at their own leisure from the comfort of their own home. As technology continues to evolve and shape the way we live, 2017 is set to be another year in which online businesses rule the stock market. It’s literally a case of taking your pick; look for the best stock and family group of businesses with the financial backing of the tech giants such as Facebook, and invest in companies that have fleshed out their prospects.


Has Trump been successful in generating hopes of financial growth in the US?

President Trump’s election was followed by the promise of a significant fiscal stimulus and hopes (not promises) of income-tax cuts. The financial outlook throughout the month of December has remained consistently positive till now.

An overall positive financial outlook prevails

Marketers are actually busy seeing a very rosy picture – as far as every sub-sector is concerned-interest rates, stocks and credit derivatives. For them things are much better than what they were in November.

Talk about the market for the interest-rate futures and let us tell you that traders were lately busy speculating the economies that will register a fast growth. They were increasingly betting on a 1.6% rise in US dollar deposit rate by December 2017.

Are they being hopelessly optimistc?

Lately, Americans have demonstrated a significant degree of confidence in the financial health of corporate America. It’s quite strange to note that such kind of confidence persisted even when the five-year default insurance cost on $10 million in debt fell to $68,000 from $76,000 in early November.

It would be wrong to claim that investors are irrationally hopeful about tax-cuts and deregulation under Trump’s regime. Trump’s promises of fiscal stimulus have even encouraged the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to estimate a 0.4 percentage point to the country as far as economic growth in 2017 is concerned. Add to it the corporate tax cuts proposed by the President. Corporate profits are tipped to go up thereby justifying lower costs of default insurance and higher stock years.

So much depends on Trump’s implementation of plans Though Trump’s financial plans have encouraged an overall positive financial outlook, it remains to be seen how he chooses to implement these plans- because everything will depend on that. His plans are still considered vague and brook chances of going horribly wrong as well. However, there is overall low probability regarding such outcome.

Image source:

https://pixabay.com/get/e032b00c2ae90021d85a5840981318c3fe76e6dd1ab4124593f3c4/coins-97132_1280.jpg


US Elections and Global Economy

The United States is gearing up for one of the biggest democratic showdowns in the month of November 2016. The nation is all set to elect its next President, as Barack Obama’s second term is nearing its end. The system is one of the indirect voting types, where voters cast their votes to choose electors. The presidential electors then through the Electoral College elect the new President and Vice President. Being counted as one of the largest national economy and accounting for 22% of the global nominal GDP and 17% of global GDP, the US elections are bound to have an impact on the nation’s as well as on global economy.

The Currency

Majority of the international transactions is done through the US Dollar and it is also counted as one of the top reserve currencies. The US follows mixed economy and the major developed economies as Canada, China, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea and others are its largest trading partners. All these factors indicate the importance of the US economy and as a result the Presidential candidates signify the impact of the US Presidential elections may have on the global economy. For the democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton remains the topmost choice followed by Senator Bernie Sanders. While the leading possibilities among the Republicans is the billionaire Donald Trump, closely followed by Ted Cruz, Senator of Texas, Marco Rubio, Senator from Florida, John Kasich, and Ben Carson.

Economy

images (4)It would be interesting to see how the nominated candidates approach several issues cornering the American voters- including unemployment, immigration, national security and last but not the least economic growth which would in turn have a huge impact on the global economy. Clinton and Trump’s approach on several economic policies differs a lot which maybe a sign of worry for the American voters. Donald Trump doesn’t endorse much trade liberalization and there are possibilities that huge tariff may be imposed on foreign imports from Mexico and China- while Clinton has more or less varying approach on the issue which lead to the possibilities of trade war. Regarding financial system, the Republicans and Democrats both oppose bail outs but the Republicans differ on offering too much loose monetary policy. The Republicans are also are not in much favor of excessive discretion for the US Federal Reserve. All these factors may count while appointing a new Fed chief and as a result the new President may have an indirect impact on the policy making, exchange rates, interest rates and global financial markets.

Income Tax

Another factor approached differently by the Republicans and the Democrats is the income tax and the spending plans. $18 trillion of investment is being proposed by the Democrats which include free of cost tuition in public colleges, a new health care system covered by a single payer, infrastructure investment and others. While the Republicans are in favor of reducing personal income tax rates with focus on cutting America’s corporate tax rates there are many who are proposing imposing a flat tax on consumption while replacing personal and corporate income taxes.

Overall the Democrats and the Republicans differ starkly on various economic issues, which makes it tougher for the common American voter to exercise his voting rights.


UK GDP Annual Growth Highest Since 2007, Investors Positive

2007 signalled the housing crash in the U.S. which arguably plunged the world into recession, but now the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is suggesting that the UK economy is growing.  Q4 of 2013, for example, saw growth of 0.7 percent, and gross domestic GDP growth of 1.9 percent – the highest it has been since 2007.

Services Up, Production Down

images2As has been the trend in recent months, Q4 saw a raise in the services sector – a sector which accounts for more than 3 quarters of the UK’s economic output – of around 0.8 percent.

Unfortunately, however, the less impressive industrial sector fell from 0.8 percent growth quarter on quarter to 0.7 percent as a result of North Sea oil and gas failures.  In construction, an industry which suffered massively from the economic downturn and currently only accounts for 8 percent UK GDP, there was a fall of 0.3 percent.

Thankfully, however, these industries are only a small part of what kept the UK economy ticking over, so with the services industry up, the entire UK economy is seeing growth.

Growth and Decline Explained

Although the Government recently launched their “Help to Buy” scheme with the aim to facilitate younger couples purchasing their own homes, the general trend in the construction industry has been negative.  In essence, this is likely because many people do not yet have the disposable income to be able to afford a mortgage deposit – regardless of the help they’re afforded from the government.

On the other hand, the services industry is improving and growing on what appears to be a monthly basis. One of the most significant side effects of thisis there has been a recorded mass migration of young people to England’s capital, with London now home to around over 1 in 3 young people who chose to relocate from their home towns.

The implication of this is significant – that the capital is draining the rest of the UK of its talent, and this means that in the long run, the UK may suffer.  Despite these implications, many people in Government – particularly the Tory front benches – agree that for the foreseeable future, the UK’s economy will grow.

Investors Positive

With the increasingly positive view regarding the state of the UK economy, many have turned their heads and altered their financial productions for the coming 2 years.  For example, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) predictions for 2014 have changed from 1.9 percent growth forecast to 2.4 percent – a vast improvement, and one which relies, essentially, on the continued and successful growth of the services industry.

The IMF’s new higher predictions have sparked the interest of investors, although it is important to remember that the output level is currently still 1.3 percent below the 2008 first quarter level, so there is still almost certainly room for caution.  Therefore, any potential investors might better their investment chances by reinforcing their bullish optimism with up to the minute news.

Ultimately, the optimism of traders is not misplaced, with the UK’s economy better than it has been for over half a decade. However, some caution should be used.  Perhaps the words of Vince Cable should be heeded.

 


The Best Methods of Investment for 2014

As the global financial markets prepared for another period of turbulence, it seems clear that the long-term sustainability of the economic recovery cannot be guaranteed. This is creating a set of far from ideal circumstances for investors and traders, who must surmount rising odds if they are to operate profitably and get the best possible value from their hard-earned capital.

images1With this in mind, it stands to reason that the average investor should be constantly looking to adapt and evolve their portfolio. Without this type of proactive philosophy, it is almost impossible to maximise profit and obtain the best possible returns on your individual investments. In an age where the global economy seems to fluctuate between boom and bust with alarming regularity, the ability to be flexible with regards to your investments will stand you in good stead.

3 Investment Options for 2014

With this in mind, let’s take a look at three of the most appealing investment options for 2014 and the reasons behind their rising popularity. Consider the following: –

Prepare for a Weaker Dollar in the Long-term

As anyone who has ever traded currencies can testify, investing in the forex market can hardly be described as a reliable vehicle for your capital. That said, it does deliver significant returns to knowledgeable traders, while advancements in technology have also made it far easier to identify and capitalise on real-time trends. Take the current market, for example, which is being characterised by significant fluctuation in major currencies such as the US Dollar (USD) and the Euro (EUR). Despite its recent gains, however, the US Dollar is likely to weaken as the year unfolds, meaning that alternative currencies will provide more reliable returns for investors.

Invest in your Retirement Fund as Early as Possible in 2014

With the failure to save placing a significant strain on public funding, governments’ in the Western world are moving towards the initiation of compulsory contributions for citizens. This should be necessary, however, as every working individual should look to invest in their pension plan as soon as possible in 2014. By starting now you can capitalise on tax-advantaged growth, before the deadline for this financial year passes on April 15th. This not only guarantees a viable return, but it also provides significant peace of mind for hard-working households.

Embrace the Trend for Global Investments in the Year Ahead

Increasingly, there has been a significant shift and distribution of economic influence from developed nations to those that are continuing to develop. This trend was reaffirmed recently, as the recovery of the Chinese economy encouraged experts to suggest that it will supersede the U.S. as the world’s most dominant financial power by the year 2030. This means that investors should actively look to invest in emerging markets, with low-valuation stocks and equities offering an excellent opportunity to maximise your returns. Such diversification will serve you well, and strengthen your portfolio to suit an evolving socio-economic climate.


Can Financial Literacy Be Translated Into Fiscal Well-being?

Two factors in the status quo have increased the level of complexity pertaining to financial decision making: the diverse nature of products and instability within the global economy.

Large trading volume as well as policy-change fiscal diversity has affected the financial decision making of not only investors, but also those of general masses.

So in order to consolidate the factors of fiscal wellbeing, socio-economic and demographic variables, the ideal solution lies in financial literacy.

Financial literacy serves as a totalitarian solution for financial wellbeing on numerous accounts. Even for those who are veterans in the market, new models and trends keep on emerging, highlighting the need for adequate literacy.

Savings_accountsThe need for financial literacy

Consider technology mediated changes in the finance arena such as cloud accountancy and crowdfunding. Then there are legislative updates such as the ‘liberal productivist model’ arising since the recession that demand updated knowledge.

In a research done on areas such as the finance market and personal finance, it has been reported that this fiscal knowledge leads to reduction of financial problems as well as improvement in the person’s resource management for the enterprise he/she is working for.

Scaling financial literacy

The application zone is not merely limited to making investment, but also to specific financial products such as insurance. In light of the recent implementation of Affordable Care Act in America, a prior study was done correlating financial literacy with the consumer choice of health insurance.

An important inference made by the study was that the illiteracy about financial products led to either poor decision making about coverage or led to consumers choosing cost expensive plans.

Financial literacy works well when both the state and the individual/enterprise are working in cohort. Resource generation and utilization are two important parameters in this regard.

Jonathan Fritz of simplifiedissuelifeinsurance.com provides a good account of initiative taken at enterprise level. Insurance related products have diversified in part due to the recession but also because there is more concern over fiscal security. The financial literacy guide provides the user with a good account of all the products as well as their market relevance, thereby allowing for better decision making.

On a macro level, financial literacy serves as a quantitative tool for determining financial wellbeing. In the status quo, wellbeing is normally associated with factors such as consumption of good, net worth, savings, socio-economic status, land ownership, etc- all of which are linked to financial literacy.

Since the recession, the microfinance model is gaining traction within the U.S. As per Dr. Muhammad Yunus, the Noble Prize winner, microfinance leads to self-employment which inherently generates fiscal security within the society. A successful microfinance model is dependent on the level of financial knowledge among the people. So in lieu of modern market indicators, the functionality of literacy is paramount.

Also, in a report published by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a large amount of money is being spent by enterprises on financial marketing as compared to that on financial literacy. So the consumer is more privy to biased financial information leading to biased fiscal decisions. This can be curtailed if the consumer takes the initiative of acquainting themselves with necessary knowledge.

Based on the narrative given above, the case of financial literacy is fairly documented and should be used by consumers for their benefit.


The Truth about Counterfeiting

Counterfeiting

When most people think about the economy and commerce, whether on a local or international scale, the main issues that come to mind are things like personal and national debt, healthcare, employment, and social security; but one huge growing issue other than those common ones that the International Chamber of Commerce faces every single year is the issue of counterfeiting. Simply put, the act of producing fake items and passing them off as genuine items for economic gain. One of the obvious items to conterfeit is money and today, hundreds of millions of dollars in counterfeit money is being seized every year, rising substantially ever since digital printing was introduced as a standard medium of publication. But the problem isn’t just money – items such as drugs, driver’s licenses, electronics, CDs & DVDs and even clothing and shoes, are being counterfeiting at alarming rates, putting countless innocent people out of their hard earned money. Read more about the latest statistics on counterfeiting in this infographic below.

This infographic was made by Camcode, the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of durable pre-printed bar code labels. Find identification tags from Camcode.com.


How Payroll Outsourcing Helps Small and Large Business Houses

How Payroll Outsourcing Helps Small and Large Business Houses

Payroll is perhaps the most important department of any organization. Even the most productive and the happiest employee would be more than shocked when he/she gets a paycheck with an incorrect amount.

There was a time when most of business houses including big and small prepare payroll and performed payroll functions in-house or within the company. In many cases, the employees faced disputes with their paychecks. And thus nowadays, many companies outsource payroll related tasks to a professional payroll services to avoid any sort of discrepancies in the paychecks and ensure that the employees get paid properly. Outsourcing payroll has come a long way in the recent past. In fact, outsourcing payroll services is now in vogue in the corporate world.

Simply put, an in-house operation opens you up for a plethora of errors. Sometimes just one seemingly simple error can cost you one or more employees. Unfortunately, this is the least of your worries. Failing to properly classify your employees can land you in deep trouble with the IRS. All it takes is a couple mistakes on your payroll, such as a setup error, or failing to make tax deposits on time, or doing payroll late, to land you in serious trouble. Thankfully these problems can be completely overlooked by outsourcing payroll to an external organization.

There are many reasons for which businesses outsource payroll services and some of them are discussed here.

  1. Saves time – Although big business houses may have the financial capacity to hire people to take care of the payroll-related jobs, but most small businesses don’t have that capacity. As a result, the task of payroll maintenance often falls on the accountant, bookkeeper or manager or even the owner himself. In most cases, these personnel have others works to manage apart from handling payroll and taking care of whether or not the employees get paid on time. Outsourcing payroll to a professional service significantly removes this burden from the employees and the management, and let them be more focused on other important works. Not only small businesses, large business houses also get the same benefits by outsourcing this tedious and onerous task to a company specialized in handing payroll
  2. Saves money – This is another important aspect of payroll outsourcing. The employees managing the payroll jobs need to spend several hours and sometimes do overtime to prepare paychecks and handle tax document for the staffs. Since time is money, to get the payroll job done within the house, the businesses often need to render extra dollars along with actual salary to the employees handing payroll.  And that often needs the businesses surpass budget. Outsourcing payroll to a professional service can remarkably reduce this expense and thus the businesses can save significant amount that they can use for some other important purposes.
  3. Ensures accuracy – Businesses, both small and large, need to be updated on all tax laws and regulations related to the business operations including payroll functions. Big business houses with separate department somehow manage to keep themselves updated and knowledgeable about the ins and outs of such rules and regulations. But staying up top of such information is really difficult for small businesses with no dedicated payroll department and thus managing the payroll functions within the scope of latest laws is next to impossible. However, with a professional payroll services, a business can expect that the payroll of the company will be surely handled within the scopes of the recent rules and regulations. Most of the professional payroll service providers keep updating software allowing for amendments and adjustments to ensure precision.

These 3 are the most significant benefits that both small and large corporate houses may get from outsourced payroll service. Besides these, the businesses can also expect to get tax advantages through payroll outsourcing.


Qatar’s Incredible Economy!

Qatar is an incredible country by whatever measure you care to use. Its economic growth figures are the envy of much of the world. Yet its rise to dominance not only within the Middle East itself, but also much further afield, has all occurred within living memory. Prior to the Second World War, the country struggled economically, relying in the main on fishing and pearl hunting. When the Japanese cultured pearl flooded world markets, Qatar’s economy crashed. But everything changed dramatically with the discovery of oil in the 1940s. The rest, as they say, is history.

Financial institutions, including the multinational HSBC bank in Qatar, have played their part in the country’s dynamic growth of recent years which now even surpasses its wealthy Gulf neighbors. Qatar in fact is often tagged the richest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita, elbowing Luxembourg into second place in the richest-country list.

According to figures from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Qatar’s economy has nearly tripled in size since 2005, growing by 18.8% in real terms in 2011, and forecast to grow yet further in 2012 by some 6%. So many countries around the world are struggling economically at the moment but Qatar is most certainly not one of them!
Qatar’s more than 1.9 million population is massively boosted by the large number of immigrant workers seeking employment in the country from around the world. The largest numbers come from neighbouring Arab countries, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. When combined together, immigrants make up around nine-tenths of the country’s labour force. Unemployment in the country, estimated in 2011 to be around 0.4%, is the second lowest in the world after Monaco.

The people of Qatar are pretty sophisticated in outlook and have high expectations in terms of healthcare, housing, education, finance and other services. It’s hardly surprising in so wealthy a country that personal banking – not to mention online banking, of course – plays such an important role in day-to-day life. Qatar Central Bank is the regulatory authority for the country’s many financial institutions and companies. As well as having a supervisory role, the Doha bank, which was established in 1993, has a number of other responsibilities including the prevention of money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism.

Opening a Qatar bank account is a relatively straightforward process for expatriates. Obviously when you apply you’ll need to show some official documentation such as your passport, work visa and residency permit. You’ll also need to show a letter from your employer stating what your salary is and that the employer approves of you opening a bank account. On successfully opening an account, you’ll then need to give your employer a letter from the bank, confirming that the bank is willing to receive your salary. And that’s all there is to it!

ATMs are growing in number throughout the country and are widely available. So there should be little difficulty in accessing your cash. ATMs typically accept debit and all major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard. However, always bear in mind that although the use of credit and debit cards is common, cash is still very popular when it comes to paying for everyday items.

Click here for more information about Qatar.


Facebook’s Challenging Environment

Facebook’s Challenging Environment

Facebook’s meteoric rise from dorm-room-prank to one of the world’s most valuable companies (based on recent valuations) has been well documented. The website is used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide and in February of 2012, Mark Zuckerberg, the famous CEO of Facebook, announced that the Company had filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an Initial Public Offering. Facebook seems poised to capitalize on its success and its soon-to-be inflow of fresh capital, but is it all tailwinds for the company or does it face considerable headwinds as well?

Competitors Want a Piece of the Pie
Competition from other social media companies, including the up and coming Google+, could affect the profitability of Facebook. If users choose to migrate to other social media sites, Facebook’s current staggering usage rates (845 million active users a month) could drop dramatically, and with fewer users come lower income from advertisers.

Contentious Relationships with Advertisers?
Advertisers have an uneasy relationship with Facebook due to Facebook’s culture of putting users first and promising privacy. Regardless of whether in fact privacy is protected, advertisers are not convinced that Facebook is the best venue for their advertising dollars. If advertisers find the grass greener with other social media they may walk away from Facebook, reducing profitability.

Monetizing Mobile
Another challenge in the ongoing battle to retain advertising income is the fact that mobile technology, including smartphones and tablets, are increasingly the access point for users of Facebook. Currently Facebook does not put ads on its mobile applications. These devices, with their smaller screens, make it harder for advertisers to access screen space with effective ads. As users increasingly ditch their PCs and laptops in favor of mobile devices, advertisers may lose interest in trying to develop postage stamp size ads.

Google’s Android
A bigger issue with the mobile device market is the uncomfortable fact for Facebook that they do not control the technology for many of the new and up-and-coming mobile devices, especially the Android platforms. If advertisers choose to link up with other social media providers who have better relationships with the developers of apps and technology for these devices, Facebook could well find itself shut out of this emerging market altogether.

Will Monetization Trump Privacy?
Privacy, always a concern online, will be more difficult to control as ownership and control of Facebook goes public. Internet users, increasingly aware of and wary of the uses advertisers hope to develop from their personal data stored online, are rightfully anxious at the thought of what it means to their privacy when the number of shareholders of Facebook stock run to the millions. Who will control and have access to that data, and how secure will it be? If Facebook loses the trust of its users, they will flock to other media sites they perceive as more secure and respectful of their privacy.

Bye-bye Employees?
Of more immediate concern to Facebook, it is foreseeable that the creators and employees of Facebook who have made it the giant it is today may well leave the company once they become wealthy from the IPO. For those whose compensation packages have included stock options over the years, the temptation to cash in, retire and kiss Facebook goodbye may be very tempting. If many of these essential employees choose to leave Facebook, the site could find itself with a leadership, talent, and expertise vacuum that would be hard to fill, becoming a victim of its own success.

Welcome to the Patent Wars
Litigation from other platforms such as Yahoo could also impact the profitability of Facebook. Yahoo has stated in no uncertain terms that they will not shy away from litigation if Facebook balks at paying licensing fees for use of proprietary technology owned by Yahoo. This means potentially expensive patent battles tying up Facebook for years to come.

Global Challenges
Internationally, Facebook is in the same boat as all internet sites; they are at the mercy of governments who may decide that they don’t want the social media giant available within their borders, and decide to shut down access. For some countries this could be for political reasons, but giants such as India and China may well decide they would rather leverage their huge population numbers into homegrown social media sites that they create and control, and Facebook would be entering risky territory if it tried to interfere.

Clearly the growth of Facebook, phenomenal to date, will likely slow in the future, as users move to other social media and new providers come on the scene, and as owner of competing media and technology flex their muscles in the market. Facebook does not own or control the advertisers, technology developers, and governments who allow for its success. Success breeds enemies, and the success of this IPO in dollars may cost Facebook its continued existence.

David Nance is a freelance writer for EverSpark Interactive, an Atlanta SEO company that utilizes a full suite of marketing practices to maximize the return on their clients’ investment.


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