The Top 5 best content marketing firms which can help your content efforts

Content marketing is one of the marketing tools that any business owner can invest in to help reach out to and attract customers. Content marketing companies typically provide relevant content, which attracts new users by supplying authentic information. You will ultimately need a tool to monitor, schedule, and measure how your company is doing, and that tool is a content marketing tool.


Content marketing is developing a strategic marketing strategy focused on producing meaningful and appropriate content to assist with customer retention and new customer acquisition. Content, blogs, images, infographics, eBooks, and newsletters, to name a few, are used to distribute information at all marketing phases. Content marketing, on the other hand, necessitates a well-developed approach to be considered a success. Here’s a rundown of the top five best marketing companies you might look into to improve your business’s investment return.


If you want a marketing company that incorporates machine learning into their content distribution platform, InPowered is the business for you. InPowered, with the aid of artificial intelligence, enables companies to capture and use data to improve customer engagement and generate a better ROI for the company. Since 2014, InPowered has helped businesses change their brand image, traffic leads, and enhancing consumer interaction. When consumers are known individually, supplying data to the customer’s company allows them to communicate with the client better.


HubSpot is a marketing tool that most businesses rely on to attract customers, convert leads, and close deals. It is an inbound marketing and sales tool that everybody in the b2b industry will happily use. With the aid of various functionalities, businesses can handle all marketing and sales activities in one location. In consequence, companies are better placed to manage their sales and marketing tasks. HubSpot has been able to stand out for many years because it provides many details and goes so far as to offer free services to its customers. HubSpot is an all-in-one marketing platform that allows a company to put marketing departments together, maximizing traffic to the website, resulting in a high conversion rate and a higher return on investment capital.


Many users are tired of apps that use the cookie feature, and if you want to gain more clients, using nativo could be the way to go. It is a cookie-free marketing tool that aids in improving the web experience and creates a meaningful link with customers. The tool is also beneficial to your company because you only pay after a successful engagement. Since it operates on a cost-per-click basis, you only pay when a customer expresses interest in a product or service. Nativo, using cutting-edge technology, assists you in creating a distinct and memorable brand. With remarketing options, innovative optimization, and a wide range of native features, your company will be highly optimized, resulting in increased traffic to your website.


Knotch is another marketing tool that was developed to demonstrate the effectiveness of content marketing. On the other hand, monitoring the business’s marketing and sales results may be a little hectic, but with a bit of direction, things can run a little more smoothly. Across paying-owned industries, Knotch helps develop, measure, and optimize content marketing, resulting in a higher ROI. Consumers can communicate with brands through their feedback unit. Knotch believes in moving businesses, generating revenue, and developing strong consumer relationships.


For both new and existing companies, this is a method that everybody can aspire to use in their businesses. It provides more CMO-level marketing options, making it more affordable for any small or startup company. Attempt to assist in delivering a higher return on investment by customizing their offerings to suit the customer’s needs. Hawke media is a big player in the marketing business, having collaborated with various brands in the past. To meet your marketing goals the Hawke media provides with a number of services to help you out no matter the business you are having.

Finally, Companies invest a significant portion of their sales and promotions revenue, whether in-house or through a marketing firm. The significant investment you make in sales and marketing should be proportional to the output you receive as a result. To achieve optimal performance, you will need to choose the right company for your marketing services.

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6 of the most influential new entrepreneurs in 2020

Becoming an entrepreneur is an increasingly effective way to make a profit in the digital era. If you have a great idea, you can do great things. Here are some of the top upcoming popular entrepreneurs.

The first entrepreneur I want to highlight is Jelani Jones. Her love of bath products inspired her to create a bath product store online. Starting her online business at only nine years old, she is proof that young people can do great things, regardless of their age. Her company makes unique bath bombs, soaps and more.

Another inspiring upcoming popular entrepreneur is William Zhou, co-founder, and CEO of Chalk, is said to be like Microsoft Office for teachers. It helps with lesson planning, assessments and more! Zhou is a Canadian Internet Entrepreneur, who was a speaker at Bloomberg Next Big Thing Conference and was even named in the Forbes 30 under 30. Used in tens of thousands of schools worldwide, His entrepreneurial background started when he was just 16. At 16, he created Design Vetica, a web consultancy service. All in all, and William Zhou are a testament to success. His net worth is in the millions by now.

At just 16 years old, this girl created Nannies by Noa, which is a major childcare agency in New York City and the Hamptons. Nannies by Noa was created by, yes, Noa Mintz. It is a full-service childcare agency with full certifications and very high industry standards.

Next is Brennan Byrne, CEO of Clef. Clef is an easier way to log into websites without the use of a password. Clef can do its fast logins for more than 40,000 sites and counting. Not only is Clef fast, but it is also safe. Clef recognizes your phone and doesn’t require anything else for you to sign in to the sites. What an innovative idea! Unfortunately, the app has since shut down. But, his idea was still great and he made a name for himself (not to mention that he made some money too!).

Hart Main is a young entrepreneur who came up with the idea of manly scented candles. He is only 14 years old. With a $300 investment, 9,000 candles have been sold across over 60 different stores. Main come up with the idea when he was teasing his sister about her girly scented candles she was selling for a fundraiser. The candles are called “Man Cans”.

The final entrepreneur I want to discuss is Daniel Fine, the CEO of Dosed. His younger brother and co-founder of Dosed, Jake, was diagnosed with diabetes at 7 years old. When they were just 11, they had the idea to co-found the company which has made over 2 million dollars and has been donated to diabetes research. Dosed is a way to manage and track diseases for everyone. Daniel Fine also founded Glass-U, which is a sunglass company.

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Microtransactions in Video Games and Unethical Business Practices

In recent years, adding microtransactions into games has become increasingly popular. Allowing in-game purchases to be made, usually for extra features, has allowed video game companies to widely expand their profit margins. These extra purchases are usually advertised towards players as a “bonus item” that will help them win the game, or achieve their goals.

Controversy behind Microtransactions

Microtransactions are usually incorporated into low-cost games, as a broader range of players are able to purchase them. Having a larger player base makes the game more fun to play, hence heightening the motivation for using the low cost aspect of the game.

Instead of aiming to make profits by offering the game at a high price, these video companies intend to make the majority of their money by the purchases offered in game. They often make it hard to proceed or get far into the game unless players whip out their wallets. This has lead to controversy as it can be misleading when video games market themselves as “free to play”, but it’s nearly impossible to play the game in-depth without spending a decent amount of cash.

What Players Think

Not long ago, a data-led discussion company called Qutee, released a report on modern gaming which included gamers’ opinions on microtransactions in games. Many reported that they would have preferred to play a larger fee upfront to make the game more “equal”, than having in-game purchases that allow players who spend more money to be more successful. A small percentage of the players reported liking the microtransaction system, but the majority believe it’s okay as long as the transactions are only for cosmetic reasons in-game, rather than actually benefiting their game play.

Big Companies and Unethical Business Practices

Today’s economy is dominated by those who aim to be the best, all-consuming, and selfish ruler of the market. Unfortunately, making it to the top of the market seems to be the most important value to a large number of big companies, rather than going about the business ethically.

Misleading Information Regarding Products

A very common trick many popular companies use is putting out misleading, false product information. For example, the maker of Nutella, Ferrero USA, Inc. was forced to pay $3.05 million dollars after they claimed the hazelnut spread was a healthy breakfast for children.

Unethical Treatment Towards Employees

Another unfortunate pattern that exists in big companies is their failure to treat their employees ethically. These employees are often forced to work long hours, and are extremely underpaid. It’s also not uncommon for them to undergo sexual harassment while in the workplace. In order to get cheap labor, many companies from developed nations have hired sweatshops in third-world countries in order to get their manufactured goods at a fraction of the cost they would have paid to get it ethically.


In the business world, it’s not unheard of to use bribery as ways to influence large business decisions. Between vendors and marketers, it’s very common to offer something valuable or money in return of a favorable dealing.

In conclusion, the increasing pressure to outsell the competition unfortunately gets to many large companies’ heads, and they focus on making the most money, rather than acting morally correct.

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Why Has the Valuation of Sports Franchises In the Past Decade Plus Gon

Sports is less a commercial activity at present rather than a physical activity. In the past, people visualized sports as a physical activity and its purpose was primarily to cultivate joy and enthusiasm in the minds of spectators.

Nowadays, it has changed its aims and purposes drastically because of the intrusion of commercialization. Entrepreneurs all over the world have identified the potential of sports activities in the brand building and sales promotions. As a result of that, a lot of entrepreneurs started to invest in the sports industry and the outcome was the drastic increase in the valuation of sports franchises. Compared to 2016 statistics, the valuation of the world’s most valuable sports franchises increased by 18% in 2017.

Moreover, there are 36 sports franchises worth at least$1 billion and still unable to find a place in the top fifty sports franchise list. All these statistics clearly reveal that the valuation of the sports franchises is skyrocketing in every year. The Dallas Cowboys topped the list of world’s topmost sports franchisers list for the second consecutive year in 2017 at $4.2 billion.

Before it becomes the number one in the world in 2016, the Spanish football club Real Madrid was the number one for three consecutive years. Now Real Madrid with $3.58 billion is placed fifth in the list after New York Yankees ($3.7 billion), Manchester United ($3.69 billion), and Barcelona ($3.64 billion) 2%. It should be noted that all these sports franchises except the Real Madrid have experienced phenomenal growth in 2017 compared to their growth rate in previous years. In short, the competition for becoming the world’s most valuable sports franchise is getting intensified every year.

The core of the sports franchise business model is a diverse revenue stream which includes but not limited to the revenue from Advertising, Sponsorship revenue, Royalties, Ticket Sales, and Endorsements. Sports is one activity which is loved by people of all ages, genders, cast, and races. Therefore, any investment made for the sponsoring of sports events would bring dividends to the companies.

For example, the balls used for the FIFA world cup was sponsored by Adidas. Millions of the people all over the world have seen the Adidas logo and name while football heroes like Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Cristiano Ronaldo play with those balls. Hero worshipping is an inherited trait among many people.

Because of the passion and love towards their heroes, many sports lovers like to imitate their heroes. Adidas received enormous publicity and their products moved rapidly in the market during and after the FIFA event. Apart from product selling, sports events help companies in the brand building also. The Adidas brand became a familiar name all over the world after the FIFA cup. Companies all over the world spend millions of dollars on the brand building process. Sports events have the potential to build the brands silently.

Traditional advertising and brand building channels are less effective compared to modern methods of advertising and brand building activities. Entrepreneurs in the past have concentrated more on print ads whereas the modern entrepreneurs make use of digital ads for the promotion of their products and services.

Television and social media advertising seem to be the most effective advertising channels for modern entrepreneurs. The word of mouth or mouth publicity is more convincing to modern customers compared to print publicity. All these factors prompted business people to seek the services of sports franchises as a mean to reach millions of people all over the world.

It should be noted that the constraints of language or culture are not applicable to sports events. It is possible for an American to enjoy basketball just like an Indian or a Pakistani. The language of sports events is one and the same all over the world and therefore, it is not necessary for the investors in sports franchise to develop different advertising materials to advertise their products in different countries.

To conclude, sports is an activity which does not have the constraints of a language or a culture to communicate a message. The arrival of digital media helped the businesspeople communicate their message effectively to millions of people all over the world.


Why are Professional Sports Franchises Increasing in Value So Fast?

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Is It Worth It For A Business To Spend On A KOL?

Social media is the most significant platform when it comes to marketing your products online. Facebook alone has 2.2 billion users who use the site on a monthly basis. Other notable websites include Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram among others. Taking advantage of the marketing opportunities that these websites offer is a challenging task.

For example, will you create a strategy for every social media platform? What kind of workforce would you need to do that? How much will you use for each approach? These are difficult questions for online marketers. Fortunately, the solution lies in Key Opinion Leaders, abbreviated as KOL. You can focus on a single strategy concentrating on them as opposed to creating several ones that you have to implement personally on every site.

Spending on KOL is an excellent idea because of the following reasons.

– They already have a base that listens to them.
Opinion leaders on social media have followers who respect them. Some followers will even try something they have reservations about because their opinion leader asked them to try it. This loyal fan base is what businesses require especially startups. They will jump-start your project. Other buyers will follow suit as soon as they see that the product is moving at a fast rate. This momentum will help you secure additional funding for your business because investors will see that the uptake of your product is quick and consistent.

– They have an integrated social media strategy.
Key opinion leaders employ various strategies to stay at the top of their game. For example, they have a consistent presence on the dominant social media platforms with a considerable following in each one of them. That means you can reach people on the most important social media platforms if you invest in KOL. That saves you the trouble of having several experts working on each social media platform. It also helps you to focus your effort on creating the perfect brand message in addition to concentrating on product innovation.

How to Decipher Between Real and Fake Followers
Unfortunately, many people have fake followers online. That means you will invest in someone believing that the person is a key opinion leader only to find out that the individual is a fraudster. You have to spend your money wisely as an entrepreneur. Focus on KOL who have real followers so that your money does not go down the drain.

You can tell that a person has fake followers if you follow these tips.
– Sample a couple of followers. If most of them have few pictures and no activity, then it is likely that the individual has fake followers on his account.
– Are the followers engaging the person in question? Imagine individuals with two thousand followers on Instagram, and no one likes their pictures. The chances are high that their accounts are full of fake followers.
– Check the comments on their posts, photos, or videos. If these comments are full of promotional items, then it is likely that their followers are bots.
– You can also use specialized software that detects fake followers on social media.

These tips will help you when it comes to investing in the right person. Remember, spending your money on KOL is a brilliant strategy for your internet marketing campaign as long as you invest in the right people.

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Why are investors skeptical about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies

In the recent years, and especially in 2017, there has been a crypto-surge of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoins, Ethereum, Ripple, Altcoins among others. Cryptocurrencies are digital assets that are secured by cryptography. Cryptocurrencies have gained popularity due to their high prices and the increased demand. However many investors are skeptical about using cryptocurrencies.

Some of the reasons why many investors were skeptical about bitcoins and cryptocurrencies include;


Investing in cryptocurrencies is a high risk mainly because the prices have become quite volatile lately. The prices for Bitcoins was $1300 in January 2017 and was $1700 in September 2017. The investors such as PwC, are skeptical about this investment because the ecosystem surrounding Bitcoins is not enough for studies of their suitability for investment by fundamental analysts. Also due to the ever-rising prices due to no regulation, more people are lured to invest which will eventually lead to the formation of some bubble that will lead to losses when it bursts.

No clear origins

Many investors like it when they know the roots of a product. Bitcoin promoters are reluctant to label it a commodity and claim that Bitcoin is mined through some complicated mathematical formula. They also claim that it is not controlled or owned by any government, therefore, making it democratic but not a currency. According to S.P Sharma, the Chief Economist of Ph.D. Chamber of Commerce, cryptocurrencies are risky for people as well as businesses as it is just a formula with no tangible assets and is only supported by demand.

No regulating body
Bitcoin is neither regulated by governments nor by banks, which makes it a very insecure space to invest. Once you get ripped off or cheated in a bitcoin transaction there is no way of recovering your money. It is not possible to reverse a deal. Not even in cases where you send your money to a scammer or when a hacker steals it from your account. According to economist Nobel-peace prize winner, Joseph Stiglitz, Bitcoin is morally dubious as well as bad for the global governance as well as for the macroeconomy.

Not accepted worldwide

Cryptocurrencies are so new thus many investors are reluctant to adopt them. Many countries have not legalized transactions using Bitcoins, therefore, a disadvantage to any investor planning to use them. One has to make sure that cryptocurrencies are accepted and authorized in the place where you are planning to use it. However, investors should not lose hope entirely because legalization of cryptocurrencies is being done all over the world in time.

Is it a Ponzi Scheme?

Many people have been victims of pyramid schemes. Many investors do not trust cryptocurrencies because they are new. The risk of fraud is very high. There is a lot of misinformation on cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoins, which lead to the rise of fraudsters who promise the unknowing investor high returns. Also, use of virtual currencies has been increasing in the global marketplace makes it easier for fraudsters to cheat investors into Ponzi schemes. The uncertainty on who to trust is one of the reasons why many investors are choosing to stay out of cryptocurrencies.

There are many other reasons why many investors are still skeptical about the cryptocurrencies. However, it all depends on whether one is willing to take the risk. Who knows? It might be a good thing to try. If an investor is a risk taker, they can make the jump.

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What are 6 good things to invest in today?

Suppose you have some extra cash and want to invest it, what are some of the best investment ventures you can invest your money in today? Deciding on how to spend your money in the first place is the right decision. However with so many investment options available today investment can be a challenge. It can be a challenge determining the right course of action when it comes to disposing of your hard earned cash into projects, and in this article, I am going to discuss six best things to invest in today that can guarantee great profits in the future.

It should be noted however that most investments fail because the investors do not understand the meaning of investment people get into an investment without understanding what it is all about. To its definition investment is an income generating valuable venture and for a reasonable success, investment comes with rules that must be adhered to. Any violation of this rule automatically guarantees total failures in your venture. As a rule goes every valuable belonging in addition to being important and useful, it should first have the capacity to generate profits or rather income to the owner before it can qualify as an investment. So what are these six investment options in which you can invest your money in?

Invest in Certificate of Deposits:

Investing in certificate deposits banks, usually offer varied terms for their deposit accounts, these terms include deposits ranging from 3 months to five years. Depending on your time preference and how long you want your investment out of your hand, cash deposits gives option depending on your timeline preferences, however, the longer the time of investment the higher the profits will be.

Invest in Online Checking Accounts:

Online checking accounts work like the normal online savings accounts. With this accounts, you get more benefits with more liquidity on the account that withdrawals are limited.

With online checking accounts you stand out to get a guarantee never to lose principal on your investment, it is relatively hustling free, high liquidity and lastly, you get a limited risk-free return on your investments. Online Checking Accounts are the most efficient way to short-term investment though you don’t get much regarding interest rates.

Invest in ETFs and Short-Term Bond Funds:

Unlike money markets that are relatively stable Short-term bond funds though not that stable offers investors the potential to earn higher profits. Managed by financial professional these bonds are products of the market and will yield according to the current economic situation out there. They mature after 2 years making them effective for short time investors.

Invest in Lending Clubs:

Investment lending clubs work by broadening their investors’ portfolios and spreading out their investment thus reducing the risks involved. Investors here can start with smaller amount of money and increase the amount of investment with time.

Invest in online Savings Accounts:

Online Savings Accounts are the perfect investment means where investors are guaranteed an investment with minimal chances of losing their money while on the hand generating a little bit of return. Just like in Online Checking Accounts with online Savings Accounts you can enjoy high liquidity and a small or risk-free return on your investment.

Invest in a home:

Research has it that average homeowners are wealthier compared to renters. Spending your money buying a home can be a good investment in that it can save you a lot of money paid regarding rent.

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Thought Influencer : Gary Vaynerchuk – The Good & The Bad

Gary Vaynerchuk is a 41-year-old CEO of VaynerMedia and an entrepreneur who has a thorough mastery of the art of social media which he says he is using to get the attention of the followers and nothing else. Besides running VaynerMedia, Gary is a venture capitalist, author of the New York Times Bestseller, runs VaynerSports and he is a host of The #AskGaryVee Show.

Below are some important facts about thought influencer Gary Vaynerchuk to transform you and take your business to another level.

Vaynerchuk was born in Babruysk, Belarus in the former USSR but later immigrated with his parents to New York during their exchange program. He says he has been perfectly shaped by the virtue of being born a purebred capitalist in a communist country and then going to America, which he considers a great luck.

Since his childhood, Vaynerchuk has been admiring New York jets and has been dreaming of having them one day in his life. Presently, he has laid the strategies that will ultimately see him achieve his big dream. Buying New York Jets is one reason he is currently building an empire. He says his next career step will be getting out to buy businesses which he will run through his VaynerMedia Machine. Later on, he will be able to flip and then make hundreds of millions or hopefully billions of dollars and then buy New York jets.

This extraordinary thought influencer is in the Apple’s new reality TV show. Alongside other mentors such as Jessica Alba and Gwyneth Paltrow, he is a great resource in mentoring all app developers on the Apple’s program, ‘Planet of the Apps’.

Gary is a seasoned hustler. He has been hustling through simple business since his childhood. He could actually get out to sell baseball cards while other children were busy watching cartoons. This has substantially contributed to his business mind and perhaps, the reason he thinks he will be able to buy and own the New York jets. His commitment to working extra hours (13 to 14 hours a day) also serves as an advantage to him both in the social media and other business ventures, including making him a successful manager.

Although Gary Vaynerchuk is widely recognized as an achiever, he has some weaknesses as briefly described below:

You would actually expect a thought influencer to be much learned and highly educated so that simple issues of grammar and other stuff that require basic communication skills like proficiency in reading and writing, including mastery of general academic information no problem to them. It is somehow disappointing that Gary, though hardworking in his area of interest, confesses to be poor in most of these skills. Although he has authored books that are bestsellers, he confesses that issues of spellings and grammatical errors are usually auto-corrected and that is what probably helps him. He also says that sometimes he makes mistakes in both speech and text which most readers and listeners simply interpret as shorthanding and common errors in speech. As a renowned thought influencer, this is a very unfortunate weakness to hear about.

Besides his intellectual and academic limitations, Vaynerchuk says he does not make efforts to improve his situation, which means that in a way, he is weaker when it comes to personal development. For instance, in one interview, he pointed out that he doesn’t read widely and that skills that are commodities are something he is not good at. For a role model and specifically for an ideal thought influencer, this is really absurd.

Unlike many other thought influencers who are likely to have been cultivated by emulating greater minds and listening to people’s advice while employing their own unique capabilities to achieve, Gary Vaynerchuk is different. He doesn’t consider advice important in his life. This is a weak point on his side because generally, advise from more experienced and knowledgeable individuals is vital in nearly all areas, regardless of how able and powerful one may be. For Gary, he perceives advice irrelevant and calls it ‘bad’ and that unless it is contextual and digs deep, advice is totally of no significance to him. He reasons that the best advice can only come from people very close to you and those with your best interests in mind, and not their own interests, meaning almost nobody can qualify to advice him. For this reason, Gary doesn’t listen to anybody’s advice, which is somewhat unexpected of his caliber.

Despite his weaknesses, Gary has an advantage of being associated with people who are good in things he is weak at, which is a good remedy for his weaknesses. Generally, as a thought influencer who has made tremendous achievements and still dreams of even bigger accomplishments, Gary Vaynerchuk’s values are worth emulating. For instance, he perceives ordinary realities in an extraordinary way and focuses on his strengths to advance in whatever he does.

Following him on social media, watching him or reading about him will not leave you the same person, but a totally transformed business-minded individual. However, it is advisable to be selective and only identify with his strengths and leave out his weaknesses. If you are thinking of making a difference in any field you are pursuing, explore all avenues to converse with Gary Vaynerchuk either directly or indirectly and for sure, you will make a change.

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Interesting Global News June 2017

Google aims at countering extremist propaganda on Youtube

The mammoth company announced that the fight against extremism and hate propaganda will take a toll on the freedom of the Youtube content creators. The moderators will target any type of supremacist behavior, including discrimination and hate towards religious groups and all the way up to inciting violence and promoting terrorism.

One of the major problems, as specified by Kent Walker, the Google’s general counsel, is that the Islamic State is using online platforms like Youtube to recruit new personnel. The countermeasure would imply diverting the users’ online traffic from extremist propaganda videos to anti-terrorist material, where they will be educated on the matter, in an effort to change their minds.

Facebook has recently announced adopting similar measures, after the platform leaked the names of more than 1,000 moderators to terrorist suspects, because of an unexpected fault in the system.

Amazon goes toe-to-toe with Wal-mart

The multibillion dollar company has decided to step out of the online environment and begin a mission to demolish the real-world competition. After the recent purchase of the Whole Foods Market Inc, for a staggering $14 billion, Amazon’s influence is soon to cast a shadow on the rest of the market. In this current situation, Wal-mart has the highest stakes in the game. The company holds 22% of the US grocery market and has recently spread its influence in the online sector as well, after purchasing last year, for $3 billion.

For Wal-mart, the news are that much more menacing as Amazon is getting ready to move to Bentonville, Arkansas, where Wal-mart takes 56% of its yearly revenues from. In response to that, Wal-mart has already adopted preventive counter-measures, like:

– Significant price cutting

– Diversifying the food offers

– Modernizing the grocery aisles

– Expanding and diversifying its online services

However, Amazon will adopt similar measures in the near future, which means that the war for US’s grocery market is barely in its initial phases.

Historical cuts in oil prices, due to oil war in China

PetroChina and Sinopec, two of the oil giants in the region, have started a war that announces global repercussions. The fight for the $440 billion oil market started in March, when Sinopec announced significant discounts, as a response to the independent petrol station owners’ promotions.

This triggered PetroChina to adopt similar measures and the ripples soon became obvious. The prices quickly plunged by $0.21/liter and soon dropped by $0.40/liter, which benefits the everyday consumer, without actually causing any losses to the oil giants. Both Sinopec and PetroChina are dominating the oil market, thanks to strategically covering the top consuming regions in the south and east and owning more than 60% of the country’s retail oil sales.

Barclays are facing criminal charges for the Qatar bust

Following a 5-year investigation, regarding the illegal cash flow from a Qatar wealth fund during the peak of the financial crisis, the SFO (Serious Fraud Office) is ready to press charges. Two of the culprits are Barclays and Qatar Holding, from which Barclays received a substantial cash injection in 2008, totaling, with the help of other investors, in excess of $14 billion.

One of the key figures in the process seems to be Roger Jenkins, who left Barclays in 2009 and who is believed to have served as the link between the Qatar investors and the bank. The process is on the role and Barclays is currently in the spotlight.

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10 Investments a Young person can afford to make

1. Check your budget

if you haven’t done so for some time, you should review your current living costs. Start by listing your essential monthly outgoings such as your home loan and food then, after including those items you would consider important, add in the monthly items you would consider treats and luxuries. Interestingly, this exercise leaves many scratching their heads asking ‘where does the money go each month!’ Once you have worked out your regular monthly outgoings, hopefully there is some money left which can be classed as your disposable income.

This may also be a good chance to highlight the areas where money can be saved, perhaps by shopping around for better deals on your regular bills or on your insurance for example. If it turns out, by working through the check list, that you need to save more for your retirement years or to start thinking for your child’s future, you will have a better idea of how much you can really afford.

2. Review your savings and borrowings

it’s a fact of financial life that it usually costs more to borrow than you can earn by saving. So the message is this: if you have cash to spare, you should probably use it to pay off your debts first.

3. Review your protection

Are you sure you have enough life cover in place? Should the worst happen to you or your partner how would the family cope? Many base their life cover needs simply on the amount of their outstanding debt. However, as any monthly budget chart usually shows, the majority of one’s income tends not to be spent on servicing loans but rather on regular family living costs such as food, car expenses, school fees and electricity and water bills. Clearly, in the event of your death, your family will still incur. Should your children be young it may be difficult for your partner to continue to work, due to the extra care your children may need. Of course, your family could be entitled to state benefits but a cash lump sum gives an extra cushion of security at such a critical time.

It’s worth adding up how much cover you have in place, and working out how much you may actually need. Amazingly, good life cover doesn’t have to be expensive and you will usually find it’s a lot cheaper than you thought. You should also consider ‘staying alive cover’. You know what they say ‘if you do not keep up your home loan payments, your home may be at risk’. If you fall seriously ill not only would it affect your health, but it could also have a devastating effect on your finances as well. It is now possible to protect yourself from the financial implications of a heart attack or cancer for example.

4. Update your retirement planning
many people know that the state pension won’t take them very far. But do you know how much you will actually receive? By contacting the Government department responsible for pensions it is possible to get an idea of what you can expect to receive when you retire. An independent financial adviser can also help you find this information. Retirement should be the longest and happiest holiday of your life, but like with all holidays, it’s good to work out how much you can afford to spend in advance. The good news is that you probably still have time to build up funds to provide for those special things in your retirement years.

5. Keep track of your existing investments

You may already have started to save for the future; but do you know how well your investments are performing? Are they on track to achieve what you had hoped for? By reviewing their performance on a regular basis, you will have time to do something given that they are not growing as expected. These days it is much easier to research funds on web-sites, maybe you should also get a second opinion from an independent financial adviser? You may get a nasty shock if you fail to review your investments and wait until the day you need them!

6. Lay a nest egg

Perhaps you have some major expenses in mind – possibly helping your children with their education or wedding, or maybe going on a world cruise when you retire. A fixed, regular savings plan or a minimum period investment is a good way to get the best returns, and also helps keep your money away from temptations. You don’t even have to take big risks to achieve better returns than the interest rates offered by the Banks.

7. Plan your will

If you haven’t yet made a will, you should do so without delay. Preparing a will is the best way of leaving a record of what you want to happen after you die. If you do not do so, your loved ones would be left to sort out the problems, at a time of great stress. Speak to a suitably qualified professional person about the benefits of having an up to date will.

8. Give your kids a head start

Start the saving habit young. A good idea is to open a savings account on the children’s behalf and let them see it grow. Whether it’s buying their first car, funding a fantastic wedding or helping them through university these things cost money! Planning as early as possible will solve many future financial worries and will make their dreams come true.

9. Invest for Income

You may have built up a sum of money in the bank, from the sale of property or by investing wisely, yet at some point, it will be important for you to see the benefit of your hard work. You may then need to consider changing your investment strategy from ‘growth’ to ‘income.’ To achieve better returns, you may have been happy taking a risk with some of your money. But can you now afford to lose what has been taking you years to build up? Investing for income generally means taking a lower risk and seeing the benefit each month or each year in the form of an income payment. Ultimately, it’s your money, and you should enjoy it!

10. Keep an eye on the parents

A large number of people need to have some form of financial help or may even consider going to a nursing home in their old age. It, therefore, makes sense to talk things with your parents, regarding their wishes should this eventuality arise. Thinking ahead can help, and with the correct planning and preparation, any future financial burden will be greatly eased.

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