4 Unwise Financial Decisions to Avoid this Quarter

4 Unwise Financial Decisions to Avoid this Quarter

No small business owner deliberately mismanages their money. Indeed, even the worst financial decisions are made with the best of intentions. The unfortunate truth is though, plenty of entrepreneurs simply make mistakes when it comes to investing their working capital. However, there are ways you can mitigate against fiscal catastrophe –– and ensure your business stays on the right track. Here are four investment plays you should avoid like the plague:

Rapid Expansion

If your business has experienced substantial gains over the past couple of months, you may be tempted to expand your operation quickly. Opening up a new location, hiring new staff, or adding onto your current setup might sound great now during a period of high profits. But before you begin your expansion in earnest you need to be certain of your company’s sustainability. Jumping into new markets and spreading yourself too thin is one of the fastest ways a successful business can go bust.

Fads and Flavors-of-the-Month

The stock market –– like nearly everything else in our society –– is subject to fads and unpredictable trends that fluctuate wildly. One of the latest and most prevalent was the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency boom of the past few months. So though you may be intrigued by such an investment, understand that often your chances of striking it rich this way are slim at best.

Utilizing Personal Savings

You shouldn’t treat your savings account like a checkbook. If your business experiences a cash-flow problem, resist the urge to dip into your personal accounts before considering all other options first. Note that there are a wide variety of secured business loans that can benefit your company, and provide you with the funding you need. Plus, this way you can avoid gambling with your own personal funding.

Uniform Investment

No smart entrepreneur would put all their eggs in one basket. That’s why it’s essential to diversify your investment portfolio. Otherwise your entire financial standing could collapse with one bad turn. Make sure to spread your chips around to ensure you’ll never go bankrupt because of one bad decision. No matter how certain you are of success, always be cautious about an investment that could sink you. Because one day –– it might.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of your financial standing, you can always make wise decisions to improve your own situation –– and your business’s –– even while on a budget. Just remember to stay objective, calm, and avoid making any of the above mistakes. Do that, and you’ll be well on your way to fiduciary stability in no time!

Turn your hobbies into side hustles

Turn your hobbies into side hustles

It can be challenging paying all of your bills, your debt, or anything else related to your home or car. Especially if you’re young, you might find that navigating through all of these expenses and actually budgeting on your own can be very baffling. That’s why you should consider getting a side hustle almost as soon as you get your first job.

Side hustles can help you put some money into your emergency fund so that you can use it whenever you’re left without a job, for instance. In theory, you should have enough money raised to keep you for as many as six months, because you never know how hard it might be for you to find another job.

But how do you go about finding the right side hustles?

Do what you love

This note is particularly important because there are millions of people out there who have jobs and they hate them. If spending nine hours in front of the computer at a desk in some corporate building in some town doesn’t seem appealing, you might feel more attracted to things that are a tad more creative.

For example, if you like working with your hands and you have your own garden, you can start selling spices, herbs, and even vegetables to some of your friends. If you’ve always liked to make your own jewelry, you can start doing just that and then use sites the likes of etsy.com to sell it. For finding the right microscope for jewelry making, reading a buying guide might come in handy.

The point that we are trying to make is that you should choose an activity that really gives you pleasure. If you don’t see yourself doing this and that twenty years from now, choose something else because it might not be the right thing for you.

Use any resource you can find

Sometimes, it can be a little confusing telling just what you want to do. If you’re having trouble making up your mind, we can recommend a website that’s packed with creative courses ranging from social media marketing to the jewelry making we were mentioning before. It’s called CreativeLive and it is one of the most extensive collections of online courses.

Basically, this site can help you learn anything unless coding — although who knows when it might also offer that, too?

Invest in yourself

Most hobbies don’t call for big investments unless you like fishing or hunting, in which case you are going to spend a lot of your bucks on getting the right equipment. Do a little research and find out what financial moves you need to make to improve your skills and get more clients.

Use platforms like Upwork to sell your services, especially if you specialize in areas like online marketing or copywriting. Spending money on a course or a certification is not a waste. In fact, it’s one of the few things that can let others you are good enough at what you’re doing and that you’re worthy of being hired by them on a part-time basis.

How A Weak Dollar Policy Makes Money For Silver Investors

How A Weak Dollar Policy Makes Money For Silver Investors

The U.S. has shifted gears and is now following a weak dollar policy. At least, that’s what economists believe following Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s comments in January 2018 welcoming a weak dollar, saying that it’s great for American businesses and will help reduce the U.S.’s trade deficits. With trade deficits a top priority for the Trump administration, it looks like the U.S. government is out to weaken its dollar against other currencies to help improve manufacturing competitiveness and boost exports.

What does the weak dollar policy have to do with silver prices? Over 50 percent of silver demand comes from industry. Silver may be the most widely used precious metal in industrial applications. If a weak American dollar means more exports, it also means more industrial activity. Only about a quarter of silver is used in coins and medals, including silver collectibles, collectible silver coins, and silver bullion coins.

The largest industrial uses for silver are in computers and electronics, medical uses, silver brazing and soldering, chemical manufacturing, engine manufacturing, solar panels, and glass and mirrors.

Electronics accounted for 5.9 percent of U.S. manufacturing shipments in 2012 while chemical production was more than $767 billion in 2016. Pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing is another major U.S. manufacturing sector. As all of these sectors use silver as a key component in many consumables and devices, silver demand will see gain thanks to stronger exports.

Keep an eye on the latest price of silver in the coming months and years to see how industrial demand becomes great news for silver investors. Would-be silver investors should start buying silver sooner than later if they want to take advantage of increased industrial demand spurred on by a stronger U.S. manufacturing sector.

The silver market is not easy to predict, but there are more factors than just industrial demand playing into silver price predictions. An uneasy stock market and rising interest rates are also factors that could contribute to rising silver prices in the near future. Supply is another concern as there could be silver shortages down the pipeline due to present under-investment from mining companies.

You can start investing in silver online from sources like Silver Gold Bull, precious metal distributors who connect consumers with silver bullion from around the world. Silver coins, silver rounds, and silver bars are some of the most common silver bullion products you can invest in. Silver coins like the Silver Maple Leaf and American Silver Eagle are not available for purchase directly from national mints. You will have to buy the from silver dealers like Silver Gold Bull, which are also convenient sources for silver products like privately refined silver bars. Privately refined silver bullion often comes at much lower premiums than silver coins, but there are restrictions on which silver products can be purchased as part of an RRSP portfolio. Do your research into which silver products qualify for tax advantages and whether or not it makes more sense to buy at a lower premium. Silver investors are about to see major gains in their portfolios. Don’t miss out on the opportunity.

Side hustles that could be big in 2018

Side hustles that could be big in 2018

If you’re looking to supplement your primary form of income, you may be interested in taking on a series of small side jobs, which will dramatically increase your bank balance. If you’re in need of a little inspiration,, simply continue reading to discover 3 amazing side hustles that ShiftPixy suggests could be big in 2018.

Side hustles that could be big in 2018:

  1. Part-time web designer

If you have the necessary skills to build professional looking websites, it’s well worth considering freelancing as a part-time web designer as there are no shortage of clients looking for a professional web designer who can create a stunning, functional website for a competitive fee. After all, in today’s technology-obsessed society every single business requires a professional website.

You may also want to consider diversifying your services in order to sell personalized websites or blogs to professional bloggers, whose earn their bread and butter from their websites and blogs.

If you’re interested it’s well worth creating a few example websites, which you can show off to your potential clients, in order to close a deal.

  1. Part-time fitness and well-being coach

If you’re passionate about leading a healthy, lifestyle and are confident that you can help others achieve their health and fitness goals, you may want to consider becoming a part-time fitness and lifestyle coach.

In order to find clients, you may want to start off your part-time business by creating a website and a blog, which you can use to post regular articles, which will help potential clients get into the best possible shape of their lives. Another way to create a name for yourself as a lifestyle coach is to post photos from some of your workouts on social media accounts, which you set up for your new business!

  1. Part-time virtual assistant

As small to medium-sized online businesses are becoming increasingly more common, the demand for part-time virtual assistants has skyrocketed. So if you’re looking to bring in extra money, from the comfort of your own home, it may be worth applying for a potentially lucrative position as a part-time virtual assistant. As there is no shortage of online businesses, which don’t have a physical premise but are keen to hire a remote virtual assistant, in order to help answer emails and phone calls on behalf of the business’s owner.

Better yet, you should be able to negotiate your own hours. As an example, if you plan on hanging on to your day job, you may prefer to work as a virtual assistant in the evenings or during the weekends.

One of the bonuses of this particular opportunity is that you don’t require a particular skill set, in order to apply for a position as a part-time virtual assistant. If you’re able to complete basic administration tasks such as sending and receiving emails, you’ll have a high chance of finding a suitable position.

So if you’re interested in picking up a lucrative side hustle, in order to get you one step closer to obtaining financial freedom, it’s well worth considering becoming a part-time lifestyle coach, a part-time virtual assistant or a part-time web designer. All of which have the potential to explode in 2018.

3 Strategies for Organizing Your Finances

3 Strategies for Organizing Your Finances

If you struggle with saving money and paying your monthly bills on time, you are not alone. In 2017, the employment site CareerBuilder reported that eight out of ten Americans live from paycheck to paycheck and have little to no money set aside. However, you may be able to change your financial circumstances with a bit of effort and insight. Organization can be key when it comes to managing money, and there are several strategies you can use to build your confidence as well as your savings account.

1. Start With Your Net Worth

Discovering your net worth can be an important step in organizing your finances because once you know what this figure is, it may help you build a more effective budget. Your net worth is the number of assets you have, minus the debt you owe currently. For example, if you own your home, you have more net worth than someone who is paying a monthly mortgage. Seeing your net worth on paper can provide you with a springboard for creating a more viable budget.

2. Be Detailed When You Track Spending

Today’s mobile banking apps come with a variety of pros and cons, and while they may offer some tracking features, they might not give you the big picture when it comes to your spending. Detailed tracking can bolster your budget and help you see where you might be wasting money. Track your spending manually and divide your expenses into different areas, such as what you spend on gas, groceries, lunches out, and monthly bills. You may be able to see where you can cut costs when you look at these expenses individually.

3. Have a Bill Tracking System

Even if you pay your bills online, it may help you to stay organized if you develop a quick and simple bill tracking system. Whether you write them down on a calendar and keep them on your desk or keep an online day planner you can access at any time, tracking your bills can be helpful for avoiding late fees or missed payments.

For example, if you pay your car insurance online or through an app, you can still track your payments in several ways. Note the amount, when you paid it, when the payment was posted, and whether you use auto debit or pay it manually. The more you know about your monthly bills and how they relate to your budget, the more efficiently you can handle them.

Managing your money and building a savings account, whether you want money set aside for emergencies or a major purchase later, can be challenging. However, if you work to organize your finances, it can help you discover paths to savings you might never have considered.

Make a difference with your corporate donations

Make a difference with your corporate donations

These days it’s increasingly important for businesses to be seen as socially and environmentally responsible, by donating time or money (or both) to meaningful campaigns and institutions. Not only can these financial gifts be advantageous in the business to which you’re donating, but they can also be beneficial to your own business by raising your profile or the perceptions of the work you do. Next time you go to make a corporate donation, consider if there’s a charity or worthwhile cause whose values, ethos or ambitions match your own.

If you work in education: donate to a school

Education is fundamental to success, and if you work within the field of education few people will respect that more than you. That’s why, when looking for a beneficiary for your corporate donation, finding a school who could make use of your money would be a great place to start.

Reach out to schools in your local area; it maybe you can donate to a collection of schools across the country or indeed the world. For example, Cognita Schools has a portfolio of educational establishments in three continents including Clifton Lodge School based in London and encourages students to strive academically.

If you work in manufacturing: invest in a product of the future

As a company at the forefront of modern solutions, using your CSR budget to invest in small, trailblazing innovations could be a savvy move on your behalf; it will reflect well on you and help push the industry forward. Of course, you should ensure that the product you’re funding isn’t a competitor, or threat, to your own manufacturing first!

If you work in the medical world: sponsor a fitness event

Corporate sponsorship can be big business, offering a magnitude of publicity opportunities. There are many organized fitness events, such as marathons or triathlons, often looking for sponsors. Generally speaking, you’ll need to put some money in for finishers’ packs and some other branded merchandise, but the pack in terms of visibility can be enormous. Additionally, you’ll be promoting a healthy lifestyle, which is likely important for your brand. 

If you work in hospitality and events: fund care for the homeless

Modern cities are often an image of polarization, such as makeshift tents lining the world-famous Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. As such, organizers of high-end events would do well to donate money towards homeless shelters and other charities looking to help those on the streets. Beyond financial aid, there’s often a large amount of food remaining at the end of an event, which doesn’t need to be thrown in the garbage if there’s somewhere that will make better use of it.

Meaningful donations: a ‘win-win’ for your business

It’s time to be smarter about where you spend your corporate donations. If planned properly, corporate sponsorship or funding can be a strong strategic tool for your business; look for beneficiaries with whom you share a common goal, or team up with a company in a parallel field. It may be the start of a long-lasting, mutually advantageous arrangement.

Importance of loans in modern world

Importance of loans in modern world

With a good use of credit, a large number of situations in the personal, family and business economy of these times can be solved. A bad use of credit can lead us to have an economic problem. The loan is therefore useful and the problems are caused by us, when we make an inappropriate use such as: contracting a debt greater than our ability to pay.

The loans can be for individuals or for companies or even legal persons. To borrow properly it is important to take the credit indicated for our case, for example, to know exactly the amounts of capital and interest payments. A promissory note is a one-year loan, which requires quarterly payments of 25% of the capital, it is very likely that this type of instrument is not suitable for a natural person and it would be better to look for a loan by installments, for example to three years.

The credits for natural persons are generally those of consumption (purchase of vehicles or credit cards). You can also borrow to set up a business or purchase an asset. The credits can be short, medium and long term, look for the option that suits you and remember, that you should not get into debt if you have doubts or do not understand exactly the obligations assumed.

Obviously, the recommendation that we are going to give you is that you should get into debt with the bank of your preference, but always go to formal markets, to go to lenders you will pay usury rates, hence the importance of being banked. You can also consider getting cashfloat as long as it is provided by a legal company.

Do not place money in institutions, companies or with people who are not banks or regulated and supervised institutions. Another aspect of interest when it comes to borrowing is that the rates are attractive, even the highest credit cards are at 29%, since all rates are below inflation, is therefore a good opportunity to borrow and buy an asset or make an investment. If you also qualify for an activity that has regulated rates such as agriculture, tourism, manufacturing or housing, the recommendation to borrow becomes more important. It is a good business to get into debt, as long as you have the ability to pay.

In the case of companies, I am going to refer to the main modalities: They represent the money received from a financial institution and the net creditor balance of the current accounts that are in the books of the banks. Bank loans are requested for different reasons, among which the following can be cited: (1) financing of working capital; (2) purchase of inventories; (3) acquisition of fixed assets; (4) cancellation of debts.

A loan is received for financing working capital, when a company requires cash to pay off short-term debts or to acquire a property that is quickly realizable. When this type of financing is requested, there must be reasonable assurance in obtaining sources of income for the cancellation of the debt.

The second option for which a loan may be required from a financial institution is for the purchase of inventories, which are goods that are made in the short term. The third reason is the acquisition of fixed assets, which aims to take a debt that will be invested in the acquisition of a long-term asset that must be used to generate operating income.

Great Job Ideas for Those With Numerical Skills

Great Job Ideas for Those With Numerical Skills

I was always  pretty good with numbers throughout my education and in all honesty I loved nothing more than number crunching, it was for that reason that when the time came to choose a career, I decide on a career in finance.

I have always felt the two requirements for choosing a career should be a combination of something you love and something you are good at. Unfortunately for many of my friends, they cashed the money or picked up a career based on something that they were good at but not something that they loved. Fast forward ten years and many of them are unhappy in their work and looking to switch careers. In order to avoid this then you should do as I did and elect a career based on your passion and your skill and if you are a fellow math enthusiast then here are some career ideas for you.

Financial Advisor

This is the role which I currently do and I love it, a financial adviser works with businesses and individuals and offers counsel on how best to spend, save and invest their money. You must be a great salesmen to sell your ideas, you must have great analytical skills to process huge amounts of financial data and condense it into advice and you must have the confidence in your ideas. This profession can pay very well depending on how many clients you have or who your clients are.

Investment Manager

My friend Marc Leder is one of the finest investment managers I know, so successful in fact that he started his own investment company and is now CEO of Sun Capital Partners, a company which helps hundreds of businesses . What my buddy and his colleagues do is to work with businesses and individual investors and help them to manage their portfolios. They offer a personal service to investors and regularly offer them advice or investment opportunities so that they can make the most out of their money. This position requires comprehensive knowledge of finance and housing markets and if you are good at it then you can make a great deal of money from salaries and from commission.

Tax Accountant

As much as I love figures and finance, one thing that I was never very good at was understanding taxation and it takes a special kind of person to be a tax accountant. Businesses rely on tax accountants to amiantus their legality and to ensure that they are never paying too much or too little by way of taxes. To be a tax accountant you will have to study hard and take 3 different tests in order to be allowed to practice. Once you have passed your exams however you will be able to have the pick of your jobs as tax accountants are always in demand such are the complexities of the taxation laws. You must also be prepared to constantly keep yourself up to date with the ever changing tax laws and also be a confident individual as you will likely be dealing with some high profile men and women.

Randy Benderson Looks at Why Sarasota Is Such a Good Commercial Real Estate Market

Randy Benderson Looks at Why Sarasota Is Such a Good Commercial Real Estate Market

Source

Sarasota is found on Florida’s Gulf Coast. It is a beautiful part of the country and many people from places as close as Tampa Bay or as far as Phoenix have wanted to move here. However, Randy Benderson has recently picked up a significant news scoop that there has been a shift in the real estate market in Sarasota. Today, it seems investors are becoming more interested in commercial and retail properties.

Randy Benderson on Changes in the Sarasota Real Estate Market

The commercial real estate (CRE) market in Sarasota is very interesting. There are resorts and hotels, investment properties, retail units, industrial warehouses, office blocks, and more. It seems that, in the past five years or so, this market has boomed in the area. Sarasota is still like a little piece of heaven on earth as well, which means it is also very attractive for residential people.

Realtors are becoming increasingly interested in the CRE market, however. There are now also a lot of real estate developers, who are creating different strategies to make sure the area provides the functionality that is expected of a major 21st century city, while at the same time retaining its old town charm. To do this, Randy Benderson completed a study that demonstrated that what people look for in Sarasota is both a strong economy, and a fantastic view.

The market is becoming increasingly interesting, and there have been some significant offers available, whereby investors could purchase commercial properties here for as little as 80% of what their actual value is. And, since this raised interest so much, a lot of business shares also started to grow, bringing even more money into the economy as a whole. Within just a few years, some people were able to earn a significant amount of money, and they pumped this straight back into the Sarasota economy.

Benderson also noticed that there was a change in the labor market. A lot of CRE professionals, real estate professionals, financial experts, project managers, and accountants suddenly started to come to the area. The result of this is that the economic future of Sarasota started to increase as well. Unemployment rates have dropped significantly, and this has changed the face of the town. In the past, it was very much a retirement community, but it is now attracting young talent as well.

Although the economy is never 100% stable, it seems that making investments in the Sarasota market is a pretty safe thing to do. Additionally, starting a business in that area is also a very good idea. While, again, there are never any real guarantees, the economy is strong, the labor market is thriving, money is growing, investments are being made, and experts all over the country are keeping their eye on Sarasota. Whether you are thinking of starting a business, moving to somewhere nice for your retirement, or simply investing in property, it seems this once little Gulf town is the way forward.

3 Smart and Strategic Ways to Make Your Business Stand Out on a Budget

3 Smart and Strategic Ways to Make Your Business Stand Out on a Budget

As you know, at nonsociety.com the vision is to help people like you march to the beat of your own drum, and avoid living, working and being stuck in other people’s boxes. After all, life is short, and you won’t find many people — or probably any people — in their final moments regretting that they “spent too much time conforming to the wishes of others”. On the contrary, you’ll typically hear them lament about doing far too much for people they don’t even like, and not enough for themselves and those they truly care about.

Now, what does this have to do with your business? It’s this: just as you want your life to stand out from the ordinary, you also want — and frankly need — your business to stand out from your competitors. Otherwise, you’ll end up being the best kept secret in your marketplace, which is the worst thing that can happen; because it means you’ll be out of business sooner or later.

To avoid that fate — and to help you make a lasting positive impact on current and future customers — here are three smart and strategic ways to make your business stand out, but without exceeding your budget or forcing you deep into debt:

1. Hold a Contest

Contests are exciting and memorable ways to make a splash, generate publicity, and increase brand visibility that translates into more sales and profits. Just remember to think outside of the box and do something that truly grabs attention. For example, instead of giving away a gift certificate (yawn…), you can offer the lucky winner a cruise on a luxurious party bus. You can even take photos and post them on your social media pages, which adds to the fun.

2. Cross-Promote

Instead of doing all of the promotional heavy lifting on your own, why not find a strategic partner and create a win-win alliance? For example, if you build custom business signs, then sending and receiving referrals with a business lawyer who specializes in working with clients starting a new business (and therefore need signs for their store, trade show booth, etc.) could be a positive relationship for all involved, including your mutual customers/clients.

3. Create an app

Who says you need to be a Fortune 500 enterprise to have an app? That may have been the case a couple of decades ago, but these days many small businesses — including home-based businesses on a tight budget — are staying connected with current and future customers through a mobile app. You can build something impressive and functional for less than you think, and the ROI can be enormous.

The Bottom Line

Standing out in a competitive, crowded marketplace isn’t just a good idea: it’s necessary for your business to survive. The above suggestions can help you make a lasting impact with your target market, and surge ahead of your competitors.