By financen | September 30, 2019 - 6:06 pm - Posted in Gold, Investing

Gold has always been a valuable metal and a means for measuring wealth. In the past, gold found its way in the necks of Egyptian queens and the exchanging hands of merchants. It has always been a sign of wealth, and a valuable asset to own.

Nowadays, the price of gold is dependent on its weight, and it has recently seen an upwards increase in value after a period of stagnation. Popular investment news outlets have predicted that the price of gold will continue to rise with the inflating economy.

Defining Gold as a Metal

Gold is one of the metals in the periodic table whose founder is unknown. It is a chemical element that is mostly inert, which means that it doesn’t decay or tarnish. It alloys well with other metals, so it’s easy to transform into sheets or wires.

It’s a rare element that can only be found in mines and cannot be produced artificially. South Africa used to be the world’s largest gold supplier, but now China and Australia have taken on that role.

Gold has always been a precious metal to civilization, and it remains essential in various industries today. Gold’s relevance to the modern world contributes to its steady demand, and it’s unlikely that the price of gold will severely drop soon.

The Use of Gold Today

One of the most important industries that rely on gold’s inert property is the technology category. As gold doesn’t tarnish or corrode, it finds use as a capable conductor for solid-state electronic devices. This means that gold plays a role in speeding up the transfer of information within devices. As a result, you can find small amounts of gold in almost all electronics, including phones, laptops, and GPS units.

Perhaps the most popular use of gold is in the creation of jewelry. About 78% of the world’s gold finds its way to jewelry shops and metals myths around the globe. Gold has always been a staple for jewelry-making because it doesn’t tarnish and can withstand generations of use. Therefore, it can be passed on to generations as a precious heirloom.

It’s especially prevalent in countries like India, where superstitions connected to gold motivate the purchase of jewelry. The price of gold in India also tends to be lower, as there is a massive demand for the metal even in less affluent communities.

Apart from these, gold is also widely used in the dental and aerospace fields. A trend among all these industries is that they seek gold for its physical properties. The inertness of a robust and easily alloyed metal is a unique quality of gold, making it incredibly valuable.

Should You Invest in Gold

Nowadays, a large percentage of wealth portfolios comprise of stocks and bonds. The popularity of cryptocurrency has also contributed to a shift in online investments. However, some don’t trust the lack of security in intangible investments. Therefore, these individuals have turned to gold for a sense of asset security.

As gold doesn’t involve being in a shared bond and is virtually zero interest, it maintains popularity, especially among traditional investors. Although the price of gold fluctuates, there’s current potential in investing in gold as the economy seems favorable to its inflation.

Consequently, if you’ve been thinking about it, now’s a great time to invest in gold.

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By financen | September 28, 2019 - 11:23 am - Posted in Business, Business consultation

In the ever-competitive world of business, only businesses that can maximize their resources both material and otherwise stay profitable. This is the simple reason why some companies manage to stay in business no matter how though or unfavorable the market might seem. Of course, many of them also employ the services of an NYC business consulting firm to help offer solutions to some of the biggest problems they face in organizing and managing their business. 

Business consultants are professionals that help businesses tackle their difficult situations and challenges. However, that’s not to say they are only useful during hard times. In fact, a good business consultant will help keep your company from falling upon hard times entirely by providing creative, forward-thinking ideas to help achieve your goals and objectives as a business. They bring new ideas to the table, thus invigorating your business and place you on the path to achieving business success. 

Business consultants come in various forms and offer a wide range of services. You may already be familiar with big names like KPMG or PricewaterhouseCoopers. If you do, then you probably have an idea of what business consulting firms do already. Below are some of the services you can expect from a business consultant whether you are hiring an individual or a firm. 

1. Business advisory: business consulting firms may offer advisory services to support the strengths and minimize weaknesses in identified areas within an organization. They do this by going over your firm’s business plan, financial statement and analyzing the overall structure of your business. Based on these pieces information, experience and specialized knowledge of your industry and market, they will be able to formulate new strategies and review old ones to boost the performance of your company on so many fronts.

 Read here https://www.themuse.com/advice/good-to-know-why-companies-really-hire-consultants for some of the top reasons why companies hire business consultants.

2. Outsourced accounting: this is another area where a business consultant can provide valuable assistance to your company. By outsourcing the accounting duties in your organization, you simply transfer this service to an external service provider which in this case is your business consultant. Outsourcing may be necessary if your firm lacks a well-structured or competent accounting department or if you are looking to expand your portfolio and your current accounting team will not be able to handle day to day financial transactions conveniently like in the case of a new branch opening, a new business model, etc. Outsourcing accounting to a business consultant means they will handle the responsibilities of your accounting department for the period of the contract. In some cases, however, you only need the consultant to oversee, manage or even train your team.

accounting

3. Digital asset advisory: your digital assets includes electronic accounts, website, company databases, and even emails and several other information and data stored in digital formats. A digital asset advisor for business will assist in the process of coordinating or offering advisory services in how your digital assets are documented and stored. They also ensure that your firm complies with necessary rules and risk management practices as far as digital assets are concerned. 

4. Technological advisory: while business consulting firms might seem like they handle the business aspect of running your organization, some consultant can also look into the IT components of your business, too. Business consultants can help you integrate new IT system or improve on old ones. They will help come up with new IT strategies that will help boost your business capabilities and improve the overall effectiveness of processes. 

5. Human resources: this is one area where the services of business consultants become valuable. Business consulting firms can handle your human resources need and help you boost the job satisfaction level of your employees. They will also help in the process of recruiting new talents while identifying and retaining top performers in your organization. Consulting firms can also advise you on the best compensation strategies or training plans that will boost the performance of your team across all levels of your organization. 

Conclusion 

There are numerous consulting firms to choose from all offering various services in different aspects of a business. Who you hire depends largely on your business needs and how much you are willing to spend on hiring a consultant. Most NYC business consultant offers the services above and a lot more. If you ever feel the need to hire one, you can read this guide on choosing the right business consultant for your company. 

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By financen | September 24, 2019 - 6:21 pm - Posted in Insurance, Key Person Insurance

In 2017, the USA had nearly 6,000 insurance companies throughout the states, which makes it one of the largest markets alongside China and Japan. Albeit being one of the biggest insurance providers in the world, the discussion on life insurance policies in the USA is still met with a great divide. Some Americans think it is essential and there are still so many who think otherwise.

However, insurance policies not only cover a person’s health, but even businesses use insurance policies to protect the interest of the company and its employees. Such is the function of what is known as Key Person Life Insurance Policy.

What Is Key Person Insurance, and how does the Policy Work?

This insurance policy mainly focuses on the company’s interest by protecting vital employees. Most of the time, business owners are covered under this insurance policy. These key employees are given insurance for the time when they are unable to work for the company. This includes cases of death alongside other factors, and the necessary funds are shelled out by the policy to avoid loss.

The crucial step in this policy is the determination and selection of who should be the “key person.” Companies usually elect the owners, but there are also instances where high-level employees are selected. 

The company then pays the insurance of what is commonly known as “premium.” This premium serves as coverage for liabilities that may be incurred by the company in case of the key person’s death.

Unlike standard insurance policies, with a Key Person Life Insurance Policy, the company is the beneficiary which will receive the necessary funds. 

How a Key Person Insurance Helps Businesses

There is a reason why many companies opt to employ this type of insurance policy. While a business does good when the team functions well, employees who play a huge factor in keeping the company afloat are usually regarded as highly-valued.

As such, by protecting these employees, the company has a safety net to fall on, in case there are losses and liabilities incurred from an untimely death. 

For example, a high-level employee is a top-performing salesman who can close huge accounts. When he is covered under this policy, upon his death, the company’s loss in profit can be compensated through the plan. This will cushion the company’s loss caused by the early demise of a top salesman. 

Selecting the Key Person to Put under This Insurance Coverage

There are many factors to consider in selecting a key person. The following criteria should be considered.

  • If the work that they do is directly equivalent to the profit earned by the company.
  • If finding a replacement would be difficult or nearly impossible.
  • If the work provided by the employee is highly in-demand.

It is in every business’ interest to reduce loss and earn revenue as much as possible. That is why individual employees should be covered under this policy to protect the company’s benefit. Insurance policies are certainly one of the best ways to make business management less taxing and complicated. 

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By financen | September 19, 2019 - 3:38 pm - Posted in Investing, Investment

Many great investors over the years have touted the superiority of investing in real estate. Why is that? Real estate investing,  when well executed, can be an outstanding way to grow wealth. Ask any real estate success story like Steven Taylor Landlord and they tend to offer advice with similar themes. Here are three reasons apartment buildings make a good investment. 

Cash Flow

The ability to create positive cash flow is likely the primary reason most multi-family unit investors choose to purchase apartment buildings. Cash flow is essentially what is left over after rents have been collected and expenses have been paid.

When an apartment building is purchased, there are many ways to increase cash flow. The simplest way to accomplish this increase is to raise rents.

Another way to increase cash flow is by reducing expenses. A close examination of a property can often uncover places where money can be saved. There may be utilities being paid by the property owner that could be relegated to tenants. A reduction of expenses can also be accomplished by taking a look at service providers and what they charge. Oftentimes, there may be bettor vendors available charging lower rates for services like maintenance and landscaping.

Lack of Affordable Housing

The lack of affordable housing is a common occurrence across the United States. Apartments are the most affordable option for many who can’t or choose not to purchase a home.

Resistance to Fluctuations in the Economy

Apartment building investments tend to have a resistance to fluctuations in the economy. People always need the ability to put a roof over their head. 

In good times, affordability becomes an issue for many prospective home buyers as home values increase. In bad times, apartment rentals may be the only available option for people trying to keep household expenses down.

The key to successful apartment ownership is to identify a great high-demand location.

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By financen | September 9, 2019 - 7:32 pm - Posted in Business, Business Loans

Are you a business person from rural America and worried about fund crunch arising out of the working capital gap to run your business smoothly? You are at the right place that can help you deal with the matter. Here you will know how the Department of Agriculture of the US Government ensures commercial loans to individuals, profit and non-profit organizations, and companies whose registered office is located in the rural areas.

Purposes for Which USDA Caters Loans

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) guarantees the lender a part of the loan disbursed to encourage the rural youth and alongside provides a sustainable backup to the lenders to promote rural employment. The goal is to promote job creation amongst the rural unemployed communities. Here are the purposes for which the loans are processed and disbursed:

  • Purchasing, developing and improving commercial real estate
  • Integrated agricultural processing facilities
  • Business development, modernization, gross repair of machinery or equipment
  • ?       Purchase of new machinery or equipment
  • Purchase of inventories
  • Working capital requirement
  • Debt refinancing to improve cash flow which capacitates creation or saving jobs
  • Acquisition of business if fresh borrowing promotes fresh job opportunities or saves existing jobs

The eligible candidates can avail a wide range of commercial loans with interest rate competitive to the market and flexibility in endues of the fund.

Eligibility Criteria for Getting USDA Business Loan

USDA B&I (Business and Industry) loan is applicable to both fresh and existing business persons. USDA has set a minimum requirement for eligibility criteria though the lending bank or firm may impose additional criteria for their own. However, USDA designed minimum requirements are stated below:

  • Business registered office should be located in a rural area that has a population of less than 50,000.
  • Applicant must be a permanent US citizen, and the permanent citizen must have at least a 51% share of the business.
  • The applicant of loan must be an eligible person by the guidelines prescribed by the USDA. It means that the borrower should be a profit or non-profit organization, company, public body, listed tribe, and an individual within the scope and definition of USDA guidelines for eligibility criteria.

Loan Amount, Interest Rates, and Terms

You can negotiate about the loan amount and other terms and conditions of loan with the lending authority. However, USDA has set the following specification on loan amount and other terms and conditions:

Loan Amount

There is no minimum bar for the loan, but USDA B&I loan has set a maximum general limit not exceeding $10 million with an exception to go up to $25 million or more in some special cases. However, most of the business loans disbursed in general remain between $200,000 and $5 million. Loan amount to be disbursed is assessed based on loan-to-value ratio, and the down payment that needs to be paid. The loan-to-value ratio and down payment are different for different category of loan as prescribed in USDA norm.

Other Terms and Conditions

The maximum permissible loan repayment term for real estate may extend up to 30 years. The maximum period of repayment for purchase of machinery and equipment may be allowed up to the life of the machinery and equipment, or 15 years, whichever is less. The maximum period allowed for a working capital loan may be up to 7 years. The loan amount is amortized over the entire period allowed. It means monthly loan payment is fixed throughout the whole period of repayment, and no lump sum payment is allowed in between. The lender fixes interest rates for commercial loans and generally stays between 6% and 9%.

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Stock trading might be one of the scariest and riskiest industries out there. Aside from investing tons of money for success, it also means a lot of wins and losses in the beginning. Hence, it’s not a business that is for the faint of heart. Traders should develop a steadfast spirit to reach the top.

First-time investors might find everything confusing. Most go home with numbers swarming around their heads, and it’s because the market involves a lot of data analysis. It uses automated systems that deliver fast and accurate data, which determines the perfect price range of buying and selling stocks. Not only that, but it also provides a guide to the ideal timing of stock exchange.

However, each trader must act fast as data changes quickly. This poses the question, “how is it possible to keep up, especially with tons of data to analyze?” The answer lies in the advancement of technology, which allows the collaboration of machinery and various subject matters. Modern technology makes everything more accessible and convenient, even in trading.

One technique for the market exchange is through a method called quantitative trading. Through different computer programs and mathematical formulas, it gives precise data analysis in a quick click of a finger.

The Process of Quantitative Trading

Quantitative trading techniques combine statistics with computer software that keeps tabs on the current status and trends of the trading market. Usually, the stocks go in an endless cycle of ups and downs, which can be quite confusing if analyzed manually. Hence, quantitative trading software scrutinizes the patterns and develops more programs for more opportunities.

It can then tell investors about various opportunities on how to capitalize on the current trends. These techniques provide data on how to break market openings with below the average price securities or through over-priced assets.

The strategy also allows combining both human and artificial intelligence. Quantitative trading is still an investment method that is based on financial specialists and their insight and analysis of the current leanings.

However, there is a floating possibility of missing opportunities or “human error” as others say. Hence, it’s then the AI’s job to turn it over by providing fast and accurate data on marketing or stock trends.

Tools of the Trade

With quantitative trading raises the question, “what are the essentials of market trading?” Aside from passion and interest, here are other valuables in stock exchange:

  • Mathematics, statistics, and numbers. People who have difficulties or hate dealing with numbers may find it difficult to trade, even with artificial intelligence. Statistics is the most basic, yet most crucial foundation for quantitative trading. As they say, trading means breathing and thinking in numbers.

With computer programs, on the other hand, it’s most likely to incorporate a lot of mathematical formulas to aid in its accuracy. Numbers are all you need when it comes to making breakthrough decisions in the market.

  • Computer Software. Computer software now has built-in features that send out accurate, fast data on the current trend of market trading. There are a lot of programs available, but the most important ones would be on-balance volume and Python.

People with minimal or no knowledge of statistical programs need not fret over it. The internet is home to a lot of various online lessons that can teach the foundations of the codes needed for programming in only a few courses.

Interested people can even learn the basics of quantitative trading via the internet. TriForce is one of the learning provides of the strategy.

  • Machine Learning. Machine Learning or ML is the new rage in the marketing industry. Well, not only in marketing but also in online businesses as well. Take, for example, Facebook’s photo-tagging feature as it automatically asks tag people in photos with its facial recognition of artificial intelligence. Another example would be Google Assistant, where the program recognizes the owner’s voice and follows its command.

To put it simply, ML is the computer’s ability to learn new things on its own. With stock marketing, it provides investors with accurate information on current marketing trades by analyzing data, patterns, and interpretations of the market.

Humans cannot survive market trading without the aid of artificial intelligence. It might be challenging to accept, but it’s now an integral part of stock trading. On the bright side, it gives fast and precise data that allows better decision-making for better opportunities.

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In 2018, the national average price for homes reached an average of $218,000. Luckily, homeowners can take out a mortgage to ease their burden. However, the loan is no longer the best choice for their financial condition.

Refinancing a mortgage is an option most home-buyers choose. But mortgage refinancing can go both ways. It can either help a person save money or cost them more. 

It’s important to understand what mortgage refinancing is in order to figure out the right time to do it.

What is Mortgage Refinancing?

In an unstable economy with possible high-interest rates, it can be quite difficult for homeowners to pay off their debt. People who find themselves in this situation may consider refinancing their mortgage.

Basically, homeowners who refinance mortgage are replacing their original loan with a new one. The new loan is ideally a better one. This will allow them to have better interest terms and rates.

The new mortgage isn’t made to throw out the old one. Homeowners who refinance their mortgage can use the new loan to pay off the original mortgage.

But this isn’t the only reason why people choose to refinance. People do this to lower their interest rates, reduce monthly payments, or change mortgage companies.

Other borrowers refinance mortgage when they have equity in their home. Equity is the difference in the value of the house and the amount owed to the mortgage company. 

When Should You Refinance Mortgages?

Refinancing mortgages can be a slippery slope if one is ignorant about the topic. With the proper knowledge, refinancing can bring a lot of benefits to the homeowner.

But when should one refinance?

  1. Refinance mortgages when interest rates are low

This is one of the top reasons for homeowners to refinance. A difference of 2% in savings is enough reason to refinance.

Reducing the interest rate of the mortgage does not only help with saving money. It lowers the monthly payment and increases the rate of building equity for the house.

  • Refinance mortgages to shorten the duration of the loan

Homeowners can refinance their mortgage to shorten the loan’s term. This will significantly lessen the interest that they have to pay.

  • Refinance mortgages to switch to a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage

Usually, adjustable-rate mortgages start with a lower interest rate compared to fixed-rate mortgages. When periodic adjustments begin for adjustable-rate mortgages, interest rates start increasing.   

Once this occurs, homeowners can switch to a fixed-rate mortgage. Converting into a fixed-rate mortgage would eliminate concerns regarding future interest hikes.

Converting from a fixed-rate to an adjustable-rate mortgage is also advantageous when interest rates fall. This is great for homeowners who don’t plan on keeping the house for a long time. When interest rates fall, they can save money without worrying about the future.

The Bottom Line

Refinancing can be the perfect financial move for every homeowner. It can lower monthly payments, shorten loans, and even increase equity. When done carefully, it can help bring debt under control. It’s a valuable tool for financial responsibility.

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