Category Archives: Employment

Why Crowdfunding Start-Ups are a Worthwhile Investment

Crowdfunding has been around for a good few years now and many of you are likely pretty familiar with it. However, like many investment options, it’s something that may have peaked your interest a couple of years ago, before fading into the background.

Even if you’re aware of, and even more than a little interested in crowdfunding, you might not know it’s an industry that was worth $34 billion in 2015 and is expected to be worth almost three times that by 2020.

With that kind of growth anticipated by experts, maybe it’s an investment option you need to rediscover and become more familiar with?

Research and Familiarity

If you are considering making an investment into a crowdfunding start-up, there are a few rules you should follow and two of the most important ones are:

  • Do lots of research.
  • It’s best to only invest in something you understand and are familiar with.

When it comes to research, most crowdfunding sites should already have a plethora of detail and information about the start-up or young company going into its next growth stage. Be sure to read all of it – not just the finance section. However, even if you feel you’ve got a good grasp of what the start-up is and whether or not it’s something you think could do well, you should always do some additional research of your own.

That should include:

  • Searching social media for the company directors/founders and business profile/mentions.
  • Finding out about the broader industry or sector the company is in – including competitors.
  • Looking at the general investment, industry and economic backdrop for investing in a start-up.

The reason for sticking with a familiar industry when it comes to your first few crowdfunding ventures in particular, is to help reduce the risk a little. Financial industry professionals, Global Resources LLC agree that if you’re comfortable with an industry and already know it well, your research will just be adding to the knowledge you already have. This puts you in a better position to make a sensible decision on the potential investment.

Crowdfunding Could be the Perfect Investment…

…but don’t jump into anything feet first. Take your time and thoroughly research the different crowdfunding platforms and the range of investment opportunities. If you’re unsure of the level of risk you’re willing to take, then pledge only a small amount that you’re comfortable with. That’s one of the many benefits of crowdfunding, you don’t have to invest a lot to get involved.

Remember, even though crowdfunding has delivered some huge successes in terms of business, products and investments, that’s not the same for every start-up. Make your investment choices wisely, just like you would in the more traditional world of stocks, shares and bonds.

Make Money Playing with Dogs

Here’s your chance to make money doing something fun!  If you’re a dog lover, discover the business of dog walking or being a dog sitter.  Rover.com has created a platform for pet owners to schedule and pay dog walkers and sitters to care for their dogs.  This is an easy business opportunity to step into whether you’re ready for a new career path or simply need extra income.  To make this a reality, consider these questions:

What type of doggie playtime are you looking for?

There’s a lot of flexibility in how you design this business to be your own.  If your schedule is open, take on a variety of doggie clients with different needs.  Choose the kind of dog care you will offer including: dog walking, drop in visits, doggie day care, house sitting for pet owners in their home, or boarding dogs in your own home.  The more opportunities you provide, the quicker you can build your business.  If you’re simply looking for extra cash on the weekends, choose the best dog care options that fit your life.

What time can you commit?

You know your schedule and what you can manage — you can create this business around your life.  Once you setup your online profile with Rover.com, you will post your availability.  Whether you’re only available evenings and weekend or you’re creating this business as your new day job, you get to decide.  Pet owners will know exactly when they can book appointments with you. Scheduling is effortless.

How much income do you need to earn?

Consider the mount of money you need to make monthly to have this business work for you.  This will help you decide how to set your rates for your services.  Each dog care offering you provide will have a different rate, given you’re providing different levels of care and attention.  Check out the rates of dog walkers or sitters in your area to see what the competitive rates are in your city.  This will give you an idea of the kind of money you can make in a week or a month once your business is ready to go.

When can you open for business?

As soon as you signup and create a profile as a dog walker or sitter, you will complete a background check.  You then receive reviews for every profile, so pet owners know you’re ready for the job.  When you’re approved, you can begin booking clients right away.

Do you know a better option than mutual funds?

You may already know about mutual funds but it’s time to learn about the other better option and what is it? Actually, this better option allows the trader to build a proper portfolio along with transparency and low cost. Every trader should learn about this better option because it will benefit them immensely and it will give them better market exposure. With lower costs, traders will be able to create a better portfolio so most of the traders prefer this better option than the mutual funds. How well are you aware of the better options we are mentioning? Do you know the benefits? Do you know how it works? Before you check out the better option you should learn about the mutual funds.  Let us learn both the mutual funds and the better option.

What are mutual funds

Many investors consider investing in stock market and they prefer to sit at home and work on the stock investment. They can work on dealing the stocks but will they have enough time to spend on 50-100 stocks? So, to overcome this difficulty they pool in everyone’s money and a professional will work on investing on behalf of them. ‘Shares’ received by investors will represent their investment and each and every investor has the right to know what’s happening to their money. If you think about how mutual funds work it will be tallied up and divided by a number of shares. Mutual funds are popular since long and they provide the exposure to bonds, stocks, and some other markets as well.

What is the better option than the mutual funds

You already know that mutual funds are great but you have another better option so as investors you should consider the better option. When you are in the financial market you should go for the better thing. The exchange traded funds are the better option when compared to the mutual funds. It’s an investment method which can be used to invest in bonds, currencies, commodities, stocks, and other assets as well. Actually, the better option we have mentioned above is as same as the mutual funds but there’s one difference and the difference is denoted by the name itself.

How does it work

How does it work? It works in a simple manner i.e. you buy the shares using the better option and through a brokerage account. The whole procedure is as same as purchasing the stocks you just have to enter to a purchasing order and there’s no time duration so you can do it at any time. When we say there’s no time duration you should understand that the mutual funds can be purchased or sold only once during a day but the other better option can be purchased or sold at any time when the market is open. You can buy the shares at 11 a.m. and sell it at 12 p.m. or you can buy it again at lunch so there’s no restriction for purchasing and selling. Selling short, limit orders, and purchasing on margin were impossible with the mutual funds but not with the other better option. You can enjoy more benefits if you consider the other better option rather than mutual funds.

Summary- Many investors accept that the other better option i.e. ETF is better than mutual funds in many ways although many investors fail to understand the importance of it. It gives benefits to the users and in fact, it’s easier to understand than the mutual funds. Lower costs, tax efficient, and many other advantages make it worthy and many tend to prefer it over the traditional mutual funds. It’s not practical or realistic if we say that there are no drawbacks so understand that there are drawbacks as well. It’s your duty to learn the whole picture.

Augmented reality – how can it change the way we bank?

While games like Pokémon GO! have millions of people all over the world gripped, and in some instances risking life and limb to catch rare critters in remote locations in the real world; it appears it isn’t just the gaming world that is sold on augmented reality. A number of other industries are now seeking new and innovative ways of interacting and engaging with consumers to not only improve the user experience, but also bring them closer to their customer’s real world.

Interestingly, one of these sectors is the banking industry, which is using the latest financial software and app technology to bring virtual banking services into the physical world. There are numerous ways in which financial companies are looking to do this; aiming to enhance the consumers experience and add value.

The latest innovations

For instance, the latest trial launch from Visa Europe and their innovations hub, Visa Europe Collab, back in June 2016 has seen them collaborate with app developers Blippar to create an augmented reality payment system. The e-commerce app uses digital banking technology and app development software to recognise items of interest in different scenarios by simply holding the phone up to the item and tapping the screen. The app will then identify where the item is from, whether users are admiring a friend’s outfit or a stranger on a train, giving them the option to complete a transaction there and then to be delivered to their door using a pre-registered, pre-paid debit or credit card. This augmented reality payment system could revolutionise how consumers interact with retailers and their banking services in so many ways.

Another example of banks incorporating augmented reality is the National Bank of Oman’s latest app launch, which uses certain digital banking technology to help shoppers entering a shopping mall or retail outlet to locate the nearest NBO branch or ATM in Oman, as well as view and purchase the bank’s latest offers and deals.

A whole new world

It’s these kinds of innovations that are transforming the way people bank, as well as how banks operate. In the United States alone, it’s reported that a number of banks including Wells Fargo are following in the footsteps of the likes of Google, Facebook and Sony incorporating virtual-reality systems into their portfolio.

Having said that the banking industry’s experiments with augmented reality technology are still very much in the early stages. It’s reported that one possibility that could be explored is creating virtual-reality branches. This would allow users to visit a “branch” and carry out everyday banking, purchase services and more without even having to leave their homes, via an augmented reality system such as Google Glass.

Beyond this there are many other plausible uses for augmented reality in banking, which are likely to be part of the future evolution of how we all bank every day.

Does augmented reality mean more real risk?

But while this all sounds very impressive and advanced; one element that may concern users is how secure these types of augmented reality banking apps and services really are. With the capability to instantly buy purchases just by holding up your phone or do virtual reality banking from your living room or anywhere for that matter, are we potentially putting ourselves at higher risk of a security breach?

Well naturally as new technology advances are made, the cyber criminals in the world will find new ways to manipulate and corrupt systems. But to counteract this it’s likely that all digital banking technology will be designed to be robust to ensure very high standards of security are maintained at all times. Naturally, just like any other form of virtual banking, these types of virtual reality applications will require a level of personal verification that is only known by the user. The personal data will also be heavily encrypted to protect it from cyber criminals and ensure that personal banking information isn’t compromised.

Providing secure and safe digital banking technology is implemented to create a virtual world of banking, there is a great potential to create even more innovative possibilities for a wide range of augmented reality banking services worldwide.

How Negotiating Your Starting Salary Can Help You Pay Off Student Loans

Once you graduate from school, you will be responsible for paying back your student loans and it’s not always fun. If you are on the road to start paying back your student loans, there are some things you need to know that may help you out in the long run.
Did you know that negotiating your starting salary in your new position can help you better and easily pay down your student loans? That’s right. When you move into your career, you may be offered a position that pays one amount and you thought it would pay more. If you prepare, you can start a negotiation on the salary and earn more money.

The Basics
Before you begin negotiations about your position, you must research and do your homework. It is not wise to walk into an interview expecting to receive a higher pay just by demanding it. You must know what is going on and have a good grasp of the task ahead of you.
One of the best ways to research is to begin by finding out how much others in the role you desire make. You can use a wide variety of sites, such as Glassdoor.com, to get an idea. When you arrive on these kinds of sites, simply search the title of the job you desire and then view the salary rates. You should take an average of these rates and do not walk near the low side or the high side.
The reason you need to know the average salary is because you do not want to go into the interview with an outrageously high or low number.
Next, you should research the different types of responsibilities the job title you are applying for has. It is not uncommon for people to use names interchangeably and it is also not uncommon for companies to have varying ideas of what a position does.

Your Skills and Experience
One of the biggest thigs you need to do before your interview is write down what your skills, experience, and accomplishments are. If you think that your skills are better than another person’s, then you need to determine why and have the data to back it up.
The more skills and experience you have, the more valuable you become to a company, but you must keep in mind that you do not want to over exaggerate your skills as you may be expected to perform right away.
Sometimes, you may need to brush up on your skills before jumping right into the position by taking an internship or entry-level position.
Once you have your list of experience, skills, and accomplishments, you will have a leg to stand on when it comes to negotiating your salary and you can prove that your skills are what they say they are.

Is This Your Career Position?
If you are entering into a position that you do not plan to stay at or you know for sure it is just a stepping stone, then working for a lower salary is not always a bad thing. You can gain experience and eventually move on to where you want to be.
If you plan to stay at the company for a long time or make your position a career, then you should negotiate until you have reached a reasonable and agreeable number.

Practice Makes Perfect
Always practice and rehearse what you are going to say before you go in for your interview. You want to be confident and do not want to seem inexperienced or nervous.
If you are planning on working right after college, you may be lucky enough to land a position in the career you want, but you must negotiate a reasonable salary for yourself. Remember, you do have to pay off your student loans and when you ask for a higher salary, you are closing the gap that causes you to struggle when it comes to what’s left from your paycheck and your monthly student loan bill. Not only can a higher salary make your student loan payments for affordable, it also increases the chance that you will be approved to refinance your student loans. This can also save you tons of money in the long run so it is really a win-win situation.
Don’t just rush into a job so you can start repaying your student loans as fast as possible. Waiting a few weeks or months in order to secure a higher paying job will end up being worth it in the long run. Don’t be afraid to explain your situation and why you cannot accept a lower salary. Many employers will be open to negotiate on your salary and may see you as more confident for not being afraid to ask.

8 Money Mistakes Every Millennial Makes

Times are changing, and the internet has made finding sound financial advice both easier and more difficult than ever before. While there is an abundance of information online, it can be difficult finding the truth in a sea of misinformation. When it comes to finances, millennials are in the unique position of having everything at their fingertips, while also having too much to make use of it all. With this guide, millennials will learn about the most common mistakes their generation makes and what they can do about it!

1. Waiting Too Long to Invest

At the highest level, investing is a skill that comes with some risk. For the average person, investing is a smart way to plan for the future and ensure that money grows against inflation. Too many millennials are waiting to invest for a variety of reasons. Some wish to learn more about it in hopes of beating the system, and others are cautious about making any money at all. However, the key to successful investing is simply having time in the market. The more time money has to grow and ride the ups and downs, the more money will be made in the long term. Millennials should try and begin investing as early as possible, no matter what the current market trends are, if they want to see their money grow in the future.

2. Not Saving

Investments are worthwhile long-term savings, but everyone should have a short-term emergency fund as well. Millennials would be wise to save roughly six months’ worth of expenses no matter how long it takes to do so. This will come in handy if the job market takes a dive, a car breaks, or other necessary expenses arise. By having a savings account, one can avoid going into debt.

3. Too Much Debt

Many millennials are burdened with student loan debts, but some are also choosing to go into debt by overspending their credit cards and living beyond their means. While credit is an important part of life, a high debt to income ratio will harm credit and decrease purchasing power. Avoiding interest and the dreaded penalty fees will free up more money for savings, and it will help to grow credit for future mortgages and other accounts as well.

4. Not Asking for Advice

Young adults have always been wary of advice. They want to make their own path and with the incredible amount of information online these days, it’s no wonder that millennials are stubborn about asking for help. However, most millennials would be better off by asking for advice from trusted professionals. Many investment firms, such as the UK company Fisher Investments, have a very strong social presence, meaning millennials can seek information on a platform that they’re comfortable with, rather than having to search through Google to find the answers.

5. Being Wary of the System

Counter-cultures have always existed, and there have always been groups going against the grain. However, after the 2008 financial fiasco and with the widespread use of the internet, millennials are growing up to be much warier of the financial system in place. While everyone should have some reservations and skepticism, many millennials are being fed false information from untrustworthy sources. However, this can easily be combated by taking the time to learn and understand the true nature of finances.

6. Not Budgeting

With a more vast and open marketplace than ever before, millennials must slow down and create a budget to avoid living beyond their means. Simple purchases like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other online items can add up, and it can quickly lead to living paycheck to paycheck. Without a strong budget, it can be all too easy to fall into debt, or worse. Every millennial should take the time to plan their monthly expenses, tighten their purse strings, and they will likely have a little left over for savings.

7. Being too Picky

Millennials want it all, and that is admirable in a sense. They graduate from university with big dreams and grand ambitions, but then are shocked when they have to start in an entry-level position. However, millennials must understand that their dream job likely won’t be their first job, and it’s ok to work your way up the ladder over time.

8. Becoming Complacent

With new technology arriving at lightning speeds, globalisation, plus murky political waters, it’s always worthwhile to have money saved in case a career becomes obsolete or the market drastically changes. Millennials aren’t the only ones at risk of becoming complacent at their jobs or with their spending habits, but careers are changing much faster due to the internet and global market.

By practicing good financial habits, talking with professionals, and utilising all of these tips, millennials should be able to have a strong financial portfolio no matter what the future brings.

Binary options: a guide for absolute beginners

The world of trading can be a difficult one to understand, especially for those who are just starting to dip their toes in the water. Binary options, however, are generally understood to be one of the least complex ways to trade and so are good for absolute beginners.

What are binary options?

The reason this form of trading is called binary is because of the yes/no outcomes that are predicted. Essentially, when you trade with binary options you are predicting which way the asset’s value will move, this being either up or down. When you predict the asset’s value will rise, you are taking a ‘call’ option; when you predict the asset’s value will fall, you are taking a ‘put’ option. This 50/50 way of trading means it is one of the simplest methods in the market, but it does mean an all or nothing payoff. Although simple, it is wise to gain a thorough understanding of how binary options work, what the terminology means and how prices are determined because it is notoriously easy to fail to make a profit with binary options through simple ignorance of their nature. That being said, with binary options you only stand to lose the cost of the trade, as their prices are capped.

Getting started

You will first need to register with a binary options broker and then make a deposit into the brokerage’s account. This does not pay the broker but rather serves as a fund to buy assets when you are ready to begin trading. Once your account is open, you need to choose the assets you want to trade in. Stocks, financial indices, commodities and forex currency pairs are the most common kind of assets for binary options. These sorts of assets include stocks in companies such as Apple and Google, metals such as gold and silver, indices such as the DOW Jones, and forex pairs such as USD/GBP.

The trade begins

A binary options trader is not trying to put a price on a particular asset, just determining whether its value is going to rise or fall at a specific time, known as the expiration date. This is where you need to do your research on your chosen assets to judge their movement and place in the market. If you are correct by saying a certain asset will rise by the expiration date, your binary options will ‘expire in the money’ and you will receive a payout according to the settlement value as made in your original contract with the broker. If you are wrong, predicting that the asset will rise when it actually falls, you will receive no payout.

All the figures involved can be confusing, so it can be helpful to watch a demo that simulates an actual binary trading scenario to see how the trading unfolds and what kind of payout structure can be achieved. While binary option trading is a great entry into trading for both individuals and companies, it can be easy to make mistakes. Invest your time wisely by carefully studying how binary options work and the profits that can be made out of them.

Revamp Your Home Without Breaking The Bank

The urge to make a few changes in your home is very much normal. It’s a simple way to give your home a new look and simplifies a fresh start. The trouble comes when the amount of money you have can’t seem to be able to cover the cost of revamping the house. but this isn’t something that should stop you from giving your home the makeover it deserves. There are various ways of revamping your home without breaking the bank and this good news especially for those working on a tight budget. Outlined below are simple tricks that will allow you achieve your goal with the set budget without going overboard.

Paint the place
While it may take a while to complete, painting is one of the easiest of giving any given room a complete transformation. It tops the list mainly because it doesn’t require much skill and a gallon of paint is really cheap. Grab a few paint chips from the local home improvement store then paint them on the walls to determine which one you like best whether you decide to paint alone or make this a party where you call your friends and family to help is up to you.

Rearrange the furniture
Rearranging the furniture a bit is also another effective way of giving your home a makeover without breaking the bank. It’s easy to get bored of your living room and wish you could buy a new one but since that’s just a fantasy, why not rearrange the furniture? You get to give it a new layout that’s unique with little effort.

Hire a handyman
Many people view this as a way to incur extra costs that are unnecessary. What most don’t know is that working with an experienced professional can go a long way in helping you save money on a home makeover. Think of it this way; the cost of handyman services will be reflected in his experience. An experienced handyman knows what he’s doing and so chances of making mistakes that would cost you in future are minimal. And in any, they allow you more time to accomplish other tasks that may require your immediate attention.

As you can see from the above tips, revamping your home without breaking the bank requires little effort. It also requires you to be very systematic and resourceful. And whether or not you like it, you have to remind yourself that these tips will help you refresh the look of your home on a small budget. It’s a win-win for you.

Six Financial Moves That Your Older Self Will Kick Your Younger Self For

Ever wish that you had a time machine to go back to your younger self and tell them to do something? Most of us would tell the younger version of us to stay out of the sun, stop smoking or to date someone else, but what about the financial mistakes that you make to affect your future? Many of the financial moves that we make when we are in our twenties, or fail to make, can come back to bite us. There are six specific things that if you don’t do early, you will be upset with yourself later. To avoid regret, do these eight things early on.

1 Budget well

There was a time when we wrote checks for everything. Although killing trees, the ledger that was attached was a great way to stay on top of a budget. Nowadays, all we do is swipe a card. If you aren’t sticking to a budget and spending away, it will come back to haunt you. Those impulse buys may seem minuscule, but when you start to add them all up, they can become significant. If you make a budget and stick to it, then you can start saving for your future. If you don’t start to budget early on it begins to catch up with you, having a line of credit can help! Once things start to get complicated with children and mortgages, if you never learned to stay within your means, it will be difficult to reign it all in. To make matters worse, you won’t have a cushion to get you through, if something should happen.

2 Don’t let your balances revolve

If you don’t pay your credit cards off at the end of the month, a revolving balance can be like a bad girlfriend, following you around and making everything miserable. A revolving balance can not only take forever to pay off; it can tank your credit score. With most credit cards charging interest rates as high as 20%, likely you will only have the money to pay off the interest every month, not even touching the balance. It can take you years to pay off debt on a credit card. If you can’t afford it with cash, or to pay it off at the end of the month, resist the temptation to put it on a credit card. Make sure that you know the difference between a need and want.

3 Investing in the wrong place

Make sure to be involved in your investments, instead of just purchasing products that someone sells to you. Many financial investments are complex and can sound a lot better than they actually are. Know what you are buying and how it is going to benefit you in the long-term. Likewise, don’t let an investment ride without ensuring on a continual basis that you are letting your money work for you. Allowing money sit without being monitored is like throwing cash out the window.

4 Car purchases are a waste

When you get your first job, your first instinct is to reward yourself with a luxury car. The problem with a car is that it is not an investment but a drain on your financial future. The minute you drive it away you have lost value. Don’t overspend on a car, there will be a time in your financial future when it will make sense. Sinking a whole lot of money into one when you are young will only bring about regret when you get older.

5 Thinking you are invincible

Many youngsters opt out of insurance because they feel like they don’t need it. It only takes one emergency to cost you thousands and have you paying for it for years. If you think that you don’t need insurance, think again. It is much smarter to budget the additional hundred dollars a month than to pay for the rest of your life. Your mom is right, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

6 Marry someone who has the same money sense

Before you decide to date seriously or marry, ensure that the person who lights your fire won’t spend your future. Having an honest conversation about spending habits, goals, and wants, is an important part of having a successful marriage and financial future. Before you say I do, make sure that you do have the same idea about how to spend your money wisely.

Doing these things younger in life will make you much happier later on in life. If you stick to a plan, it will make you a much less stressed middle-ager with a lot less regret.

Reading And Analyzing Forex Charts

When there were no computers and data feeds, the use of Forex charts to prepare Forex trading strategies was outside the mainstream of Forex and CFD trading techniques. The main reason for this constraint was the difficulty in creating the charts without the aid of computers. Every Forex chart had to be created by hand and the manual process was time taking and harder. But with the technology advancements and the increased popularity of technical analysis in Forex, the use of Forex charts has seen a great rise recently. Now they have become one of the most important technical tools used by the technical traders today.

Patterns on Forex charts
Patterns give signal to traders that the price of a currency is more likely to move in a direction based on the pattern when completed. The patterns are of two types – reversal and continuation. A reversal pattern gives a signal that the trend will reverse when the pattern is complete. On the other hand a continuation pattern signals that the trend will continue again on the completion of the original pattern. Therefore, it’s quite obvious why it’s important to learn how to read Forex charts.
Identifying the chart patterns in Forex and CFD trading is an art more than science. Though there is a good probability and signals given by every chart pattern, the price movement may not necessarily correspond to the pattern suggested by the chart. But this should not be a discouragement factor for the traders because once the basics of Forex charting are understood; the quality of Forex chart patterns can be enhanced by studying larger volumes and using secondary indicators.
A single chart can display a lot of important information and more precisely they are the illustration of struggle between the different buyers and sellers in the market. The technical analysis in Forex trading assumes that the currency prices moves in trends and the history repeats itself. Assuming all of these assumptions are true, Forex charts can be used to formulate the trading signals and can be the only tool which a Forex trader utilizes.

Understanding trend lines
There are many concepts which need to be understood before you read chart patterns and use them for Forex and CFD trading at xtrade some other reliable service provider. Understanding trend line is important which is a line drawn on Forex charts to signal a support or resistance level for the currency price movement. Support trend lines show the level at which the currency prices have difficulty in falling below. On the other hand, a resistance trend line shows the level at which the currency prices show difficulties in going above. These trend lines can be a constant price level or a rise or fall in the trend direction with time.
Thus Forex charts are very useful for the technical traders who engage in Forex and CFD trading and rely mainly on the historical movement of the currency prices and derive trends on the basis of that.