# Month: May 2022

## How to Prepare Your Children for Financial Success

When children go to school, they learn about a myriad of different subjects, including science, history, and math. Unfortunately, most of the education available to students doesn’t include complete financial literacy beyond, perhaps, how to write or endorse a check. As a result, many have to learn by trial and error when they grow up, unless their parents happen to have knowledge of the subject, and learning about finances that way can lead to a lot of money troubles. Luckily, there are easy ways to teach your kids all about finances and how to handle them, and you don’t need to be an expert.

#### Budget Tracking

The first thing you want to do is teach your kids about income and expenses. Help them create a budget to track money coming into their bank accounts and each obligation they need to pay. In most instances with kids or even teens, there will be few numbers on the sheet, so use your expenses and income or make up a mock scenario. Show them it’s important to never let expenses exceed income and to include emergency savings and retirement savings in those numbers. By tracking every dollar and treating savings as an obligation, they can begin to understand how much control they can have over their flow of money.

If you have trouble wrapping your head around budgeting, there’s no shame in asking for guidance from someone more familiar with the subject. Anyone can shout for help if they need to, whether that be a medical professional consulting a pediatric board review question bank for assistance in passing exams or a mom trying to educate her children about money concepts.

#### Compound Interest

Speaking of saving, make sure your kids understand the power of compound interest. Monopoly money may be a good way to show them how the concept works. Visually show them how money saved grows exponentially using interest. For interest, if they saved \$1,000 at 8% interest, they would have \$1,080 at the end of year one, but in year two, that savings would use the extra \$80 plus the original thousand to calculate their new savings number — \$1,166.40. If left alone, that compounding would continue indefinitely, growing their wealth.

Be sure they understand the tax obligations associated with the interest they earn, as well.

#### Investing

The above 8% scenario will not happen in a bank. In order to see that kind of interest, parents need to teach their kids about investing and the risks associated with it. In the United States, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures deposits in qualified banks up to a certain dollar amount. Meaning, that if people deposit money in an FDIC guaranteed bank, they are guaranteed to get their money back if something happens to the bank. The same is not true with investing.

However, in order to grow true wealth, investing is not an option. Fortunately, there is a variety of options available in the investing realm, such as the stock market, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, and real estate — to name a few. The main concept they should probably understand is the power of diversification.

The key to successful investing is to thoroughly research investments before committing your money and not put all your eggs in one basket because that’s a good way to lose everything. Instead, children need to understand that putting bits of money in a variety of different investment vehicles and sectors gives them a better chance at growth and a lower chance of loss. Doing so can insulate part of your money when times are tough for one portion of the market but excelling in another.

Understanding money concepts and teaching them how to grow their wealth is giving them the tools they need over their lifetime for a better chance at financial security.

## Things To Consider When Starting A HVAC Business

When starting a business, there are several things to consider. Of course, you have the general considerations such as location, size of your staff, and initial investment requirements. But when starting an HVAC business is essential to take the following into account:

#### Get financing

Financing is a significant factor if you plan to start an HVAC business. You will need to get financing to buy the equipment you need and pay for all of the other expenses that come with starting a business. Finance companies for HVAC contractors can be found online.

There are several different types of financing available, including:

Personal loans: These are unsecured loans that you can use to pay for business expenses. They typically have a lower interest rate than business loans but higher interest rates than business credit cards.

Business credit cards: These have lower interest rates than personal credit cards, making them more attractive for businesses. If you use them wisely, however, they can help you keep track of your spending by keeping track of each purchase on the card’s statement and allowing you to set limits for yourself if necessary. They also give instant approval if you’ve been turned down by other types of lenders before.

Business-specific loans: Some lenders specialize in providing financing for small businesses like yours and may offer better rates than what’s available from banks or credit unions. You’ll want to shop around for these lenders before settling on one, as some charge higher interest rates than others.

#### You’ll Need A Commercial License

If you want to start your own business, one of the first things that you’ll need to do is get your company licensed. While there are many different types of licenses required for different types of businesses, if you own an HVAC company, there are two main licenses that you’ll have to acquire: a contractor’s license and a commercial license.

All contractors who provide services to the general public require a contractor’s license. To obtain a contractor’s license, you must pass an exam and be able to prove that you are capable of providing quality service. This can be done by showing proof of liability insurance, having previous experience in the field, and having certification from trade organizations such as NATE or CEIA. Once you have obtained your contractor’s license, you can legally perform electrical work in most states. It will also allow you to bid on larger projects with more complicated electrical systems than those found in residential homes or small businesses.

A commercial license is a credential that allows you to work on larger projects, such as hospitals and office buildings. It also gives you more credibility with clients. If someone asks what kind of license you have, it shows them that you are qualified for the job they need to do.

When starting an HVAC business, you need to ensure that you have all of the necessary insurance coverage in place. This is especially true when working with expensive equipment and dealing with customers’ homes.

Business insurance can help protect your business from financial loss by covering the cost of property damage, bodily injury, and other losses related to your business operations. You may also be able to get coverage for workers’ compensation, which pays for medical care for injured employees on the job.

Suppose you own a small HVAC company or work as an independent contractor at another company’s facility. In that case, there are several types of insurance you may want to consider as part of your overall business plan.

If you want to grow your business, you need to be able to advertise it. But how do you go about doing that?

Here’s how:

1. Make sure your website is professional but friendly. You want people who visit your site to feel comfortable and welcome. If they can’t get past a cluttered or confusing website, they will not come back.

2. Make sure your logo, color scheme, and branding are consistent across your marketing material — from business cards to website ads. This will help people recognize you when they see or hear about it again later on.

3. Invest in social media marketing. It’s important for any business these days because many people use social media as their primary way of finding out about new products or services they might be interested in using themselves or recommending to friends and family members who might need them down the road too!

4. Create an email list to reach out directly to potential customers when you have something new coming up that might interest them, such as a sale on specific equipment or other items related to heating & cooling services.

#### Conclusion

Although every small business is different and will require its own unique set of skills and abilities, a handful of suggestions will serve as a helpful starting point for any HVAC business. One thing to note is that your business won’t be profitable until you have raised enough clientele to break even or turn a substantial profit.

## Things to Know When Investing In Property Abroad

With sterling struggling on occasions against the US dollar and other currencies affected by often fast-moving fluctuations in exchange rates, having someone in your corner with the expertise to guide you through an investment property abroad is essential. Foreign investment, particularly in property, can still be a wise move, yet we know property development investment abroad involves more than finding the right mortgage.

But when you’re looking to find assistance, there are a wealth of options open to you. So how do you know who to choose and what you need to consider? Here, Enness Global offers our advice on things you should know when investing in property abroad and safeguarding your investments.

#### Foreign exchange (FX)

It is highly likely that you will be buying a property in a currency other than your home currency for any property purchase abroad and will need to borrow in that foreign currency. Finding the best conversions rates can be a minefield and getting it wrong can cost you dearly. It’s essential to be FX savvy before investing and take on expert help that can help you identify the best lenders and conversion rates before harm is done.

#### Know local laws

To ensure you’re not stung, it’s essential to know local laws and enlist the right legal advice. Making a decision without taking quality legal advice before making any big decisions will undoubtedly lead to complications, potentially lengthy and costly delays, and significant legal bills you haven’t budgeted for.

Further to this, you might want to consider the wider EU laws, for example. Since Brexit, there have been many ex-pats who have had to give up their house in the sun because they weren’t aware that residency rules had changed, following the UK’s exit from the EU. Consider too, whether you want to purchase a buy to let or want to use the property for yourself, as the laws applicable to you might be different in each case.

#### The right broker

It’s worth looking for brokers that offer a transparent service that keeps you informed at every step, especially important when foreign investment is involved. When they let you down, don’t have the skills or aren’t putting in the time in your situation needs, this can complicate matters and lead to frustration. Read reviews and have a chat with prospective brokers to get an idea as to whether they’re likely to live up to their claims.

If they dodge questions, don’t have many successful references or reviews and seem reluctant to provide any solid evidence they can do what they say, it might be best to walk away and find someone else.

#### Local knowledge

Going alone to navigate the foreign property market is tough, and you certainly, without experienced help, leave yourself open to being taken advantage of by local developers. However, much can be learned by visiting the area you’re considering buying in, and learning on the ground what benefits there are to the property you’re considering.

## How to Prepare For a Mortgage Application

When you decide you’re ready to take out a mortgage, the last thing you want is to get denied for submitting an application that’s not airtight. So, before applying for your first mortgage loan, try to know all there is to know about building a good credit profile and how to stay credit-worthy.

According to All Reverse Mortgage Inc (https://reverse.mortgage/calculator), an American reverse lending company, “the principal limit or loan amount you can receive as a loan is dependent on several factors including borrowers’ ages, interest rates, property values or HUD lending limit.” All mortgage lenders want to lend to people who are not likely to default on their loans. This means your chances of getting a mortgage loan approved are much higher if you have a good financial history.

Here are a few things to check off your list to ensure you’re on track to making a successful mortgage loan application.

#### 1. Take a Critical Look at Your Credit Report

Bad credit loans do not come with the most favourable conditions. Most lenders will take a thorough look at your credit report before they consider lending you money at decent rates, so to make things easier for yourself; you should analyse your credit report before they do. Get your credit report from the major credit bureaus and analyse it carefully to ensure you\’re credit-worthy. The more creditworthiness you\’re judged to possess, the better rates you\’ll be able to get from lenders.

If you have ever been a victim of identity theft, this information could appear on your report and ruin your credit. A sign of identity theft includes mysterious account opening statements listed in your credit account. If you find this out on time, there are ways to remove fraudulent information from your credit report before your potential lenders review the information. This may require filing a police report.

Also crosscheck your personal information, especially your name, social security number, and address to ensure they\’re correct. Confirm that any loans in your report have been reported correctly with the right details. Any errors made by the bureau on your report can disputed if you contact them via their website. These errors would be investigated and possibly fixed to have your credit in good shape for your application.

Sometimes you may find some unfavourable items on your report that are not due to fraud or errors but your fault. Examples are liens, bankruptcy, accounts in collection, and delinquent loan repayments. The good news is that there are ways to clean up your credit before your mortgage application.

#### 2. Build or Improve Your Credit Scores

According to recent statistics, one in every 5 young Americans does not know their credit scores. Sometimes while trying to analyse their credit reports, people realize they do not have sufficient information on their credit report to be assigned a credit score.

Some others may find they do not even have credit report at all, while others have reports filled with items that are damaging to their overall credit scores. In such situations, you\’ll have no option but to start building and improving your credit score as fast as possible.

There are a few things one can do to improve their credit score. Firstly, if you have no credit score at all, open new credit accounts with major lenders and start to create a good track record of paying off your loans on time. This would subsequently go into your credit report. If you already have a credit report but a bad credit score then you could change this by making all your credit repayments on time. If you’re having a hard time doing this, you could reach out to the lender and set up a new repayment plan that is easier to pay off. You should also start to avoid late bill payments and try to maintain a low balance on your credit cards and lines of credit.

#### 3. Gather Up The Required Documents

Most lenders would want to see some documents before lending you any substantial amount of money, so you need to gather these documents on time in reparation for your application.

Common documents requested include credit and bank statements, payslips or other documents to show your earnings if self-employed, documents that show your list of liabilities and reoccurring expenses, a means of identification and proof of current address, explanations for bulk deposits in your statement and any additional paperwork your lender of choice may require.

## 10 Advantages of Investing in Pre-construction Properties

Pre-construction investing has picked up in popularity in recent years as people are looking to get ahead of the curve. Here are 10 reasons why you should consider investing in pre-construction properties.

Choose your unit’s location and view

You have the opportunity to choose your unit’s exact location and view. In a new development, you will often be able to pick the best situation for your unit in the building. For example, you may be able to choose a corner unit with extra windows and natural light, or a unit with a better view.

Lower prices

You may be able to purchase a property at a lower price than if you waited until after construction was completed. This is because developers are often motivated to sell pre-construction units in order to generate capital for other projects they are working on. As such, they may be willing to offer discounts of 5-10% or more off of the expected future value of the property.

More customization

You may be able to customize your unit to some extent. Developers sometimes offer buyers the opportunity to upgrade finishes or make other changes for an additional cost. This can be a great way to get exactly the home you want, without having to do any renovations after move-in. You can also optimize your unit for resale value by choosing finishes and upgrades that will be popular with future buyers.

More time to save for a downpayment

You have time to save up for your down payment. Since you are not buying a property that is already built, you usually have several years between the time you sign a contract and when construction is completed. This can give you time to save up for a larger down payment, which can help you get a lower mortgage rate and save money in the long run. It might also give the market time to change in your favour, especially if you sign a variable rate mortgage, and you are able to make smaller monthly mortgage payments.

Government incentives

You may be able to take advantage of government incentives. In order to encourage development in certain areas, governments will sometimes offer tax breaks or other incentives to developers. These savings can be passed on to buyers in the form of lower prices, making pre-construction units more affordable.

The developer may offer to pay closing costs

The developer may pay your closing costs. In order to encourage sales, some developers will offer to pay a buyer’s closing costs. This can save you thousands of dollars and is especially helpful if you are a first-time buyer.

Don’t worry about maintenance and repairs

One of the benefits of buying a brand new home is that you don’t have to worry about maintenance or repairs for many years. Everything in the unit will be new and under warranty, so any problems that arise will be the responsibility of the developer to fix. This can give you peace of mind and save you money over time.

Higher resale value

The resale value of pre-construction units is often higher than that of existing homes. Because buyers are often willing to pay a premium for a brand new home, pre-construction units often appreciate in value more quickly than existing homes. This can make them a great investment, whether you plan to sell before or after construction is completed.

No previous owners to manage

You don’t have to deal with previous owners. When you buy an existing home, you often have to deal with the messes and problems left behind by the previous owner. With a pre-construction unit, you can be the first person to live in the space, so you don’t have to worry about dealing with someone else’s messes.

Tour the development

You can tour the development before making a decision. When you buy an existing home, you usually have to rely on photos and descriptions to get an idea of what the property is like. With a new development, you can often tour the site and see the units in person before making a decision. This can give you a better sense of whether the development is right for you, and whether the unit you are considering is good value.

Conclusion

If you are thinking about buying a property, consider the advantages of investing in pre-construction units. From better prices to greater customization options, there are many benefits to be aware of. Keep these ten advantages in mind as you begin your search for the perfect property.

As a business owner, you are used to putting in the hard work. You have molded the company into what it is today by getting involved in handling all areas of the business, fulfilling every role along the way. This is fantastic for business, but for your personal life and finances, not so much.

When you are running your business, you are focused on the business. You want the processes to flow smoothly. You want your business to grow. You want to make sure things like customer satisfaction and brand awareness are headed in the right direction. That leaves little time for anything else. And, the truth is, your personal financial situation can suffer.

#### Planning For the Future

While you are busy focusing on your business, life is still going on. You are still getting older and your family is probably growing and changing, too. Your business is hopefully going to be a part of your future, but there is always the risk of the unknown. Just consider all that has happened due to COVID-19 and how it impacted so many business owners in ways they never could have imagined. In an instant, pandemics, natural disasters, recessions and more can take it all away. Then what?

Below are a few ways in which a financial advisor can help.

#### Managing Risk

Whether you started your business from nothing or took over a business, you likely know all about taking risks. In fact, you probably don’t even see them as a big deal. But it is when it comes to your financial health.

When you combine the thrill of risk-taking and the optimistic outlook for business success, owners don’t usually do well with managing finances. Planning is important – and winging it is not an option.

#### Selling the Business to Fund Retirement

Many business owners spend their lives building up a business assuming that one day when they are ready, they will sell it and live off the proceeds in addition to any Social Security they have earned. However, this is not a dependable plan at all.

There is no concrete proof that your business will successfully sell to another buyer. And even if it does, who knows how much your business will be worth at that time – it may not be enough to help you get by.

These unknowns should be enough to convince you that you need to start planning for a secure future today with a financial advisor. As you keep busy with the day-to-day demands of your business, your trusted investment advisor can be working to help you achieve your financial goals for retirement.

#### Professional Experience

Your retirement planning is not something that should be taken lightly. There are some things you can learn from the internet. Then, there are those things you should not risk believing because you read it on the internet – and financial planning advice is one of them.

Don’t leave your future to chance because you read an article on a website. There is no replacement for the education and experience that financial advisors have. Markets and laws are always changing and you need someone who can help you navigate through them, protecting you and managing your risk every step along the way.

Are you willing to undergo a medical procedure done by someone who reads how to do it online? No – you want a trained doctor. Financial advisors have been trained with the skills and the knowledge to provide prudent investment guidance to help you prepare for retirement.

#### Mistakes Can Be Expensive

The traits most business owners possess – risk-taking, confidence, and optimism – may cause you to make riskier investments than necessary. Unfortunately, financial mistakes you make due to impulsive moves can be costly.

A financial advisor will bring an objective, well-thought-out strategy that should include benefits such as:

• Working with your tax professional to manage tax liabilities now and in the future.
• Collaborating with your attorney to create an estate plan.
• Developing a retirement plan.
• Providing investment guidance and coaching to keep you on track.

## Wealth & Finance Magazine Announces the Winners of the 2022 Ethical Finance Awards

United Kingdom, 2022- Wealth & Finance magazine have announced the winners of the 2022 Ethical Finance Awards.

Wealth & Finance announced the Ethical Finance Awards this year to acknowledge and reward the pioneers of ethical financing who introduced and promoted ethical and sustainable finance. The Awards programme is designed to recognise those who have encouraged and delivered positive and sustainable results to their customers and clients. Although, sustainable results are put at the forefront, the programme also celebrates businesses who have focused specifically on their customer service and have demonstrated their expertise in the newly thriving industry.

Our Awards Coordinator, Katherine Benton, has commented on the success of the awards programme and has stated: “I am very proud of all the businesses who have been awarded this year and have shown promising success in the industry. I wish them all the best for the rest of the year and all of their future endeavours.”

To learn more about our deserving award winners and to gain insight into the working practices of the “best of the best”, please visit the Wealth & Finance website (https://www.wealthandfinance-news.com/awards/ethical-finance-awards/) where you can access the winners supplement.

ENDS

Note to editors.

Wealth & Finance International (https://www.wealthandfinance-news.com/) is a quarterly publication dedicated to delivering high quality informative and up-to-the-minute global business content. It is published by AI Global Media Ltd, a publishing house that has reinvigorated corporate finance news and reporting.

Developed by a highly skilled team of writers, editors, business insiders and regional industry experts, Wealth & Finance International reports from every corner of the globe to give readers the inside track on the need-to-know news and issues affecting banking, finance, regulation, risk and wealth management in their region.

Since 2010 AI Global Media (https://www.aiglobalmedialtd.com/) has been committed to creating engaging B2B content that informs our readers and allows them to market their business to a global audience. We create content for and about firms across a range of industries.

Today, we have 12 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 108,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

Alongside this, we have a luxury-lifestyle magazine, LUXlife, which appeals to a range of high-net-worth individuals, offering them insight into the latest products, experiences and innovations to ensure they can live the high-life to its fullest.

Awards

Showcasing the companies who have worked hard in striving to give their clients the best service and products is important to us. We know and understand how tough making a successful business can be, and so everyone at AI Global Media takes great pride in our awards programmes.

Our awards programmes run across each brand and are completely free to enter, take part in and win. All our winners are offered complementary marketing packages, meaning all businesses despite their size and marketing budget can be rewarded. Additionally, we offer a wider range of marketing materials which winners can purchase for extra coverage on our platform including: cover features, magazine articles and newsletter inclusions.

## Benefits of Life Insurance for College Students

Most people don’t want to think about the end of life needs until they are nearing the end of their lives, but the truth is that life insurance is the kind of policy you hope you don’t need for a very long time, but one you are thankful for when the time comes. College students are often thinking more about having fun and finishing their classes than they are thinking about things like life insurance. When you’re in college, you think you have decades ahead of you. But getting life insurance when you’re in college can provide many benefits, here are just a few of them.

#### Pays off Student Loans

When you take out student loans, someone needs to pay for them. This is especially true if there are any private student loans in the mix or you have a lot of them. Often family members, parents included will cosign for student loans. This means that if the student dies before they are paid off that the cosigner would assume responsibility for them.

If you’re the parent, it might be beneficial to take out a life insurance policy on your college-aged child that would cover at least the cost of the loans. For the college student, it’s a responsible thing to do to ensure you have enough life insurance policy coverage that would easily pay off your remaining student loan debt so that none of your parents, children, or spouse would bear the responsibility for them. Finances for college students may look different than working adults, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t need insurance as well.

#### Provides a Nest Egg for Children

Life insurance helps parents, even college student parents leave something behind for their children. While no one likes to consider death to be a possibility, accidents and illness happen and there is no way to know what the future holds. Having life insurance can not only pay off your debt, but it can set your children up for success in the future. It can also cover funeral costs, any remaining medical bills, and other expenses that may occur as a result of the death of the college student. This can protect a spouse, assets like a home, and even give your family financial stability in the midst of a crisis.

#### Gives Family Members Peace of Mind

Having life insurance is something that grown-ups do. They have it to provide their family with peace of mind in the event of a catastrophic event. Knowing that in a time of sadness, there would be little stress over money and financial issues can give people peace in hard situations. Life insurance policies that cover big expenses like student loans, car loans, and other debts that your family may be liable for upon your death.

Whether the college student or the parent takes out the policy doesn’t matter as long as it’s active upon the death of the policy holder. It’s also important to have the right people listed as beneficiaries and to have a will in place to ensure all resources go to the place you desire.

#### Can Be Used to Start Investing

Some life insurance policies can act as an investment. Before you’re able to get a 401K or other investment in a work environment, a life insurance policy is often the first investment you’ll have as a college student. People who choose permanent life insurance may be able to receive a cash benefit. Some policies set aside a portion of the premium into a separate account that can then be used for a variety of purposes down the line and while the policyholder is still alive. There is also the option to cash out the policy while you’re still alive if you’d prefer to get a different kind of policy or if your work is offering a life insurance benefit after you’re done with college. This cash can help you reach financial goals more quickly if you use the investment strategically.

College students don’t always have a lot of money yet, but they often have debts and other financial obligations. Parents who go back to college will help their children greatly in the event of their death by having a good life insurance policy in place. These policies can give the parents of college students peace of mind as well as give the spouse of the college student some ease.

## 8 Things the Best FinTech Companies Do (That Drive Massive Growth)

### 8 Things the Best FinTech Companies Do

Image Source: Unsplash

What does it take to be a successful FinTech company? This is a question that many business owners are asking themselves as the industry grows at an unprecedented rate. To answer this question, we looked at the top performers in the space and discovered seven things they all have in common.

This post will discuss these eight things and show you how you can apply them to your own business.

#### Managers Prioritize Clear and Transparent Communication

In a fast-paced and ever-changing industry, managers must keep their team updated on the latest developments. By being clear and concise in their communications, they can ensure that everyone is on the same page and can make informed decisions.

Transparent communication builds trust between managers and their team members, which is essential for fostering a positive work environment. Ultimately, when communication is given the attention it deserves, it can be a powerful tool for driving growth in any company. If you are an employee and have any growth ideas for your manager, communicate them clearly and concisely.

#### Understanding the Customer Journey

FinTech companies know every customer is different, and each customer has their own specific needs. They tailor their products and services to meet those needs. They also provide a seamless customer experience, making it easy for customers to find what they\\\’re looking for and get the help they need.

The companies use data to constantly improve their offerings, ensuring that they always provide the best possible value to their customers. By understanding the customer journey and catering to their needs, the best FinTech companies can drive massive growth.

#### Investing in the Right Technology

The best FinTech companies understand the need to invest in the right technology. They use the latest and greatest technology to develop innovative products and services that meet the needs of their customers.

FinTechs are always looking for ways to improve their existing offerings. This might mean investing in new software or hardware or partnering with other companies to develop new features.

#### Creating a Culture of Innovation

Successful FinTech companies foster a culture of innovation. They encourage their team members to think outside the box and develop new ideas that can drive growth. They provide employees with the resources and support to turn their ideas into reality.

This might include funding for new projects, access to mentors and experts, or simply a culture that values and rewards creativity.

#### Building a Strong Brand

The best FinTech companies understand the importance of branding. They work hard to build a strong brand that is recognizable and respected. Fintechs use their brand to differentiate themselves from their competitors. They also make sure that their brand is visible in their marketing and communications.

#### Focusing on Growth

FinTech companies are laser-focused on growth. They are always looking for new ways to grow their business. This might involve expanding into new markets, launching new products or services, or simply finding new ways to reach their target audience.

The companies are constantly measuring their progress and tweaking their strategies to ensure that they are on track to reach their goals.

#### Hiring the Right People

The best FinTech companies understand their success depends on the people they hire. They take the time to find employees who are a good fit for their company culture and have the skills and experience they need to succeed.

They provide their employees with the training and development they need to succeed in their roles.

#### Making Data-Driven Decisions

FinTech companies understand the power of data. They use data to inform all of their decisions, from product development to marketing to customer service. They use data to constantly improve their offerings, ensuring that they always provide the best possible value to their customers.

The best FinTech companies drive massive growth by doing things that other companies don\’t. By taking a cue from these companies, you can set your business up for success.

## The History of Life Insurance

Who created the concept of life insurance, or even life insurance with living benefits? Why do we need it? Can you get living benefits with life insurance?

These are complicated questions, but if you’re thinking about getting life insurance, you need to know the answers before handing over your money. We’ll answer these questions and more as we trace the history of life insurance.

#### Tracing Life Insurance Back to Greece and Rome

While life insurance may seem like a modern phenomenon, it can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome as far back as 600–100 BCE. Some residents of these early advanced civilizations had access to life and health insurance — although insurance wasn’t how we know it today.

Roman military leader Gaius Marius is credited with inventing the notion of “burial clubs” among his fellow soldiers. They would join together to pay for the funeral costs if a soldier was slain during a military expedition.

Initially, the notion was exclusively used by soldiers, but it expanded across ancient Rome and ultimately embraced the general population.

#### Colonial America and Life Insurance

Churches in the American colonies controlled most of the life insurance policies in the colonies during the time when great founders like Ben Franklin were alive.

1759 saw the Presbyterian Synod of Philadelphia create a life insurance corporation for its ministers. It was called the Presbyterian Ministers Fund.

The spouses and children of individuals who died as members of the corporation would receive the yearly dividends set at a preset amount. On the other hand, many priests argued that life insurance is a sort of gambling, which was discouraged by the church.

#### The Beginning of Life Insurance in England

An English coffeehouse is where this story took place in the 17th century when life insurance was just beginning to take hold in England.

Edward Lloyd’s institution was a popular gathering place for merchants and sailors who discussed insurance dealings as a subject of leisure chatting. The Society of Lloyds — later renamed Lloyd’s of London — was born out of these informal discussions, which rapidly evolved into a more official insurance organization.

Despite the liability of the famously risky marine and trading industries, underwriters, who were often wealthy members of society, accepted the risk. This informal commerce was formalized in 1774 when the society merged its operations with the royal exchange.

The Life Assurance Act was passed in Great Britain in the same year to restrict insurance brokers from bribing their customers. Today, Lloyd’s of London is one of the most well-known life insurance companies globally.

#### 20th-Century Life Insurance

AXA Equitable established Pantasote Leather Company’s first group life insurance policy in 1911.

By 1930, life insurance premiums totaled over \$117 billion in the U.S. alone, demonstrating how widely adopted this concept had become. Fraud and deceit had skyrocketed due to the insurance industry’s recent expansion and the formation of many businesses.

Clients were charged high fees and couldn’t get a claim payment in the most typical circumstances. Some insurers took advantage of a lack of regulation in the business at this point.

In 1935, the Social Security Act was passed, providing a financial safety net for both the retired and the jobless for the first time.

Since the government got more engaged, the life insurance business has lost part of its market share. A U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1944 said the sector should be governed federally.

A few years later, Congress approved the McCarran-Ferguson Act, which said that the states should be in charge of their own borders. In the current day, the state is still in charge of everything.

#### What Life Insurance Looks Like Today

Legally, life insurance is a contract between the policyholder (the insured) and the insurance company (the insurer).

On death or after a certain length of time, the insurer agrees to pay a predetermined quantity of money (also known as “Sum Assured” or “Cover Amount”) to the insured person’s beneficiary.

The primary goal of life insurance is to give financial assistance to loved ones in the event of an insured person’s early death. Losing a loved one is never easy, but life insurance takes away some financial sting.

When the insured passes away, the insurance pays a designated sum known as a “death benefit” to the designated beneficiary. The death benefit can be life sustaining for families that live on a strict budget.

And since someone can own multiple life insurance policies, a family can be assisted financially from an insured’s individual life insurance policy as well as from an employer-sponsored life insurance policy that’s part of the insured’s employee benefits.

Traditional insurance companies are now joined by others that operate online, and the application procedure is considerably more efficient. You can even find life insurance for incarcerated persons.

When it comes to insurance, the fundamental concept remains the same: It serves as a financial safety net in case the unimaginable happens.

—–

Karen Condor writes and researches for the life insurance comparison site, QuickQuote.com. She stays up to date with new life insurance trends and helps others make wise decisions when planning for the future.

## Should You Buy a Home With Cash Or a Mortgage?

### Should You Buy a Home With Cash Or a Mortgage?

One of the main decisions every property buyer has to make is whether to buy the home with cash or get a mortgage. A mortgage represents a significant debt that can be part of your life for decades. However, as home prices increase much faster than incomes, buying a house with cash is increasingly challenging.

Each choice has its pros and cons, which you will have to weigh. There is a lot to consider when you are considering whether to buy a home outrightly or finance it, including:

#### Can You Afford It?

The first consideration you will have to make is whether you can afford to buy the property in cash. You should probably buy the home outright if you have enough money that you have expressly set aside to purchase real estate.

However, if you have to sell something or take cash from elsewhere to afford the house, a mortgage may be more affordable. According to Home & Money, you should not break the bank to buy a house. A mortgage makes buying a home more affordable for those without the cash to buy it though you will pay more in the long run.

The payment will depend on your ability to earn an income and pay back the loan, but you can buy a home you otherwise could not afford with a mortgage.

#### Attraction To Sellers

When buying a house, you have to be as attractive to the sellers as possible. The fact is that buyers who are ready to buy a home with cash are more appealing to sellers than those who want to finance the purchase. Financing a house can be a long and complicated process that can fall through at the last minute, which home sellers do not want.

Cash-ready buyers present an opportunity to buy the house quickly and without any hassles. Therefore, if you have the option to do both, know that sellers will be more likely to sell to you if you have cash.

#### Closing Process

You should also consider the closing process when buying a home using cash or a mortgage. The closing process will be much easier if you pay cash instead of a mortgage. The average closing process when buying a property via mortgage is about a month, whereas if you pay cash, the process will take about a week or two at the most.

You need to send your mortgage lender many documents, elongating the process. These documents will be absent if you buy the house with cash. You also have to wait for the lender to underwrite, process, and approve your loan, which can take time.

If you buy property as a self-employed individual, freelancer, or earning an income unconventionally, it can take even longer.

The closing process will be cheaper if you buy the house with cash as there are no costs and fees that come with a mortgage.

#### Owning The House

The most significant benefit of buying a house outright is that you completely own the property as soon as the transaction is complete. As long as you make all the other payments associated with homeownership, such as property taxes, the house will be yours.

On the other hand, if you buy a home with a mortgage, the place only becomes yours after you finish making the payments which can take decades. If you fail to pay the lender, they can foreclose on and own your property.

You have to seriously consider your options when purchasing a property, including whether to pay cash or use a mortgage. When all factors are considered, buying a house with cash is better. Your money will be tied up in the property, and you may lose some tax advantages, but it is the better choice in the long run.

## Building a Financially Solvent Way of Life

Are you tired of being behind on monthly bills, receiving late notices in the mail, and generally always feeling like you’re one paycheck away from monetary disaster? Since the widespread lockdowns of the last two years ended, many working adults are still in a financial bind and need help getting back on their feet. For some, it’s just a matter of catching up on a few missed payments, but for others, the sting is much worse. If you’re struggling to regain financial solvency or establish it for the first time in your adult life, note that there are dozens of techniques that can bring relief without having to turn your life upside down. While all the following suggestions might not apply to you, it’s best to review each one and consider whether one or more can make a difference for your general solvency.

From using the ABW principle to finding scholarship money for college, there’s likely a hack or tactic that can set your money situation straight. Consider checking all three of your bureau credit scores, making or revising your monthly budget, amassing an emergency fund, being smart about car buying, and aiming for homeownership if you are currently a renter. Here’s how to get started on the road to financial solvency.

#### Use the ABW Principle

You’ve probably heard of the ABW principle in one of its many versions. The letters stand for always be working and are a simple but powerful bit of advice. If you are aiming for fiscal solvency, ABW will keep you above water even when you get laid off from your main job. People who follow the ABW method strive to fill in the gaps in employment by taking on minimum wage work when necessary. Because they never stop working, they’re always receiving paychecks that can usually cover basic bills and living expenses.

#### Be Smart About Paying for College

If you’re planning to earn a college degree, make a financially sound decision and explore all scholarship possibilities before plunking your own money down on tuition, room, board, books, etc. It makes good sense to search for scholarships for college online based on your eligibility and apply for all the ones you have a decent shot at receiving. The great thing about this approach is that no matter how much money you’re awarded, you never have to pay it back. Scholarships are a win-win situation and one method of education financing you can’t afford to ignore. The application process is quick, and you can find out how much money is available in just a few clicks.

You want to build credit the right way and you should check your scores with the three major bureaus at least once per year. Read all the fine print in each report and look for errors. Mistakes are more common than you might think. Additionally, see where you can improve and focus on trouble spots like carrying too much debt on credit cards or making occasional late payments on cars or mortgages.

#### Budgets and Cars

Work hard to stick to a reasonable monthly budget. Consider hiring a credit counselor to help you make one that suits your income and spending needs. Avoid buying new cars. It’s much less costly to buy vehicles that are two or three years old, based on depreciation and general operating condition.

#### Houses and Emergency Funds

If you are a renter, make a detailed plan for buying a home one day. Ownership is the single best thing you can do for your long-term fiscal solvency. Plus, create an emergency fund equal to about three months of income. An e-fund can keep you afloat after a layoff or other financial setback.

## Learn How To Trade Crypto – Top Tips All Investors Should Know

The financial sector has gone through an interesting disruption with the advent of cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin. New and exciting fintech technologies are regularly springing up, enabling traders to buy, sell, and swap with significant increases in trading efficiency.

So, whether you are just hearing the buzz around Bitcoin (BTC) or are already struggling through its ups and downs, you have come to the right place if you are looking for some pro tips to invest and trade.

An Overview of Crypto

Crypto is a virtual currency used to encrypt any transaction produced, so it is very difficult to counterfeit this kind of currency because of its security feature. Bitcoin is just a type of cryptocurrency and is the first type to run online.

Investors can invest in cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin because hundreds of cryptocurrencies have entered the market ever since bitcoin was launched. Several alternative cryptocurrencies or altcoins were released following Bitcoin’s popularity, and they have risen to 700 in amount. Some are of a lower price than Bitcoin, while others appear more available than Bitcoin.

Mining in Crypto

To illustrate this in a very clear way, try to picture gold or other metals and how they are mined. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are digitally mined and require specialized computers to find solutions to complicated math problems so that a new block can be added to the blockchain. Anyone with the right equipment and access to the internet will participate in the mining and win bitcoin rewards. Mining is not that easy, but it is all a game of effort invested in your network.

If you want to trade crypto, there are a few simple steps you need to follow. Firstly, you have to pick a trustworthy exchange and build an account. So, compare a few to find out the best crypto exchange and start with that. Secondly, you need to purchase or pass the cryptocurrency into your account or fiat three deposits.
Next, you have to manually buy and sell or use crypto trading automation. Many major exchanges allow you to buy fiat currency cryptocurrency, or you can buy it through a peer-to-peer exchange.
After this, you can choose who to invest in or sell to once you have acquired Bitcoin or altcoins. Most exchanges can sell multiple trading pairs, of which you can do a swap later. You will have to frequently monitor the markets that you are about to be joining and search for encouraging indicators such as liquidity. Unless your preferred trading pairs do not have liquidity, you will not be able to easily join and exit the positions.

Tips All Investors Should Know

The price of cryptocurrencies is extremely unpredictable. Investors may gain or lose a significant sum of money in a short time simply because the currency values shift rapidly. Moreover, there are other risks involved for crypto investors including market instability. However, you can easily avoid many of these risks with a bit of common sense. The following tips will help you secure your cryptocurrency investment.

If you invest in stocks, gold, or Ethereum, you should always follow diversification. Make sure that investments in cryptocurrency are not the only place where you stash your cash. Digital currencies can be a viable part of a financial plan with a diversified portfolio of various assets.

Keep Your Machine And Data Secure

Many cryptocurrency investors know that their investments can be vulnerable to hackers. Keep your antivirus program up-to-date and ensure that if you are saving or investing in cryptocurrencies, you do not reveal your data online. Otherwise, your precious investment runs a high risk of digital theft.

Whenever you want to invest in any crypto, make sure that you thoroughly research the market trends as well as the supply chain and demand chain. Initial Coin Offerings have been a common way to collect funds from the public for cryptocurrencies. They have also become a convenient way of investing. Still, the financial regulator warns that there is little protection for customers and a high potential for fraud and high volatility. So, review these factors before investing.

Crypto attracts investors because of its high market profit. It is not uncommon for the price of a cryptocurrency to change by more than 15% in one day. This is wonderful if you want to make a lot of money, but cryptocurrencies may not be for you if you are not a risk-taking investor.

## 6 Tips For Setting up a Company That Operates Worldwide

6 Tips For Setting up a Company That Operates Worldwide

When you`re starting a business, there are a lot of things to think about. One of the most important decisions you`ll make is whether or not to take your company global. There are a lot of factors to consider when making this decision, but if done correctly, expanding internationally can be a great way to grow your business. In this blog post, we`ll discuss six tips for setting up a company that operates worldwide. So, if you were considering expanding your business, read on for some helpful tips.

Decide on the Location

Once you`ve decided that expanding internationally is the right move for your business, the next step is to decide on a location. There`s where successful market research comes in handy. When you`re looking at potential locations, you`ll want to consider things like the cost of doing business, the infrastructure, the taxes, and the availability of resources.

You`ll also want to think about whether or not the location is politically stable and has a good business climate. Start by looking at a few different locations and go through this step-by-step guide that will explain everything you need to consider when choosing the right location for your business. Take all of these factors into consideration and make sure you choose a location that is best for your business.

Build a Website

In today`s digital age, it`s important to have an online presence no matter where your business is located. But if you`re expanding internationally, it`s even more important to build a website that can be accessed by people in other countries. When building your website, there are a few things to keep in mind. One of the most important things to think about is that it`s available in multiple languages. This will make it easier for people in other countries to access and understand your website. Besides English, you`ll want to consider translating your website into the most commonly spoken languages in the countries you`re expanding to.

Invest in Marketing

Select Local Partners

If you plan to expand your business to multiple countries, it`s a good idea to select local partners. These partners can help you with things like shipping, taxes, and compliance. They can also provide valuable insights into the local market. When selecting local partners, it`s important to choose ones that you can trust and that have a good reputation. You want to make sure they`re reliable and that they have your best interests at heart.

One of the things you`ll need to think about when expanding internationally is shipping. If you`re selling products, you’ll need to figure out how to get them from your warehouse to your customers. This can be a challenge if you`re shipping to multiple countries. There are a few things to keep in mind when shipping internationally. First, you`ll need to make sure your products can be legally shipped to the countries you`re expanding to.

You`ll also need to find a reliable shipping partner that can get your products to your customers on time. In addition, you`ll need to consider the cost of shipping and whether or not you need to ensure your products. All of these factors will play a role in how successful your international expansion is.

By following these tips, you can set up a company that operates worldwide successfully.

## Ways To Get Passive Income In The Crypto Industry

#### Introduction

The internet is full of stories about HODLers who got into crypto early and stuck with it.

For little contributions, many early investors made hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars. Cryptography, on the other hand, was a bit of a mystery at first, and only a few people understood it. The majority of investors either missed the boat or only put a little amount of money into this chance.

Even if you missed out on the early days of cryptocurrency, it’s not too late to profit. Today, we’ll look at cryptocurrency investments and ways that even newbies to the technology can use to create passive income in 2022.

#### Mining Crypto

Mining cryptocurrency was the first method of generating passive income with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Mining is the process of using computer processing power to solve difficult mathematical problems and verify transactions, with the cryptography expert sharing “proof of work” that demonstrates the solution.

In exchange for their “work,” the fastest “miner” to solve the puzzle is rewarded with cryptocurrency or tokens.

Using Bitcoin Core mining software and purpose-built computer processors known as ASICs, people could earn bitcoin quickly in its early days (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits). Mining became more profitable as bitcoin became more popular and the value of the coin increased.

Majority of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, have a finite money supply or a certain amount of coins that will be released at any one time. The incentives have dropped, and the requirements to earn tokens have increased as a result of the growing number of miners mining.

Mining is becoming more and more costly and resource-intensive. Individuals are no longer able to make a lot of money from their own mining operations. Instead, the majority of the mining is done by large mining farms with hundreds of ASICs and vast amounts of power.

These mining farms are located in regions like Quebec, where the temperatures are cold enough to keep the machinery cool and keep electricity bills low. Mining continues to power proof-of-work networks like Bitcoin from these massive facilities in frigid climates, and there are always opportunities to invest in mining rigs as prices rise.

#### Lending Cryptocurrency

Lending cryptocurrency works on the same basic principles as regular cash loans: the borrower pays the lender interest. In that situation, the loan is secured by crypto assets worth usually greater than the amount borrowed. You can deposit bitcoin and borrow fiat currency, then return this fiat and get the same amount of Bitcoins back. Your crypto keeps the trading potential.

Some platforms, such as BlockFi, function as marketplaces, giving crypto depositors a fixed interest rate comparable to a high-yield savings account and then lending those assets to borrowers who may make even higher returns.
The borrower secures the loan with bitcoin, ensuring that the investment is protected in the event of a crisis. In exchange, they are given money.

#### Staking Tokens

As a means of authenticating transactions and creating crypto, proof of stake has risen in popularity. Another approach to creating passive money with cryptocurrencies is by staking.

For people who possess cryptocurrencies that use the proof-of-stake algorithm, staking is an option for passive income. Stakers basically give their coins to the network in order for transactions to be approved. In exchange for lending your coins and assisting with validation, the network rewards you with more coins, effectively allowing you to earn interest.

Getting started with crypto staking often requires a minimum investment. For example, Ethereum (ETH) requires 32 ETH (~\$40,000 of value in today’s prices) to establish a staking pool, though as a smaller holder, you can participate in a group pool as well.

You must hold and stake a particular quantity of tokens to join a network. Maximizing your stake and maintaining a consistent connection to a crypto wallet is the most efficient approach to make passive revenue with staking. If you consider supply increases to be a type of inflation, you can consider staking as a strategy to avoid inflation and keep your value current.

#### Conclusion

In the blockchain business, the number of ways to earn money passively is increasing. Blockchain firms that provide generalist mining services have adopted some of these strategies.

Cryptocurrencies may become a potential option for a stable source of income as they become more trustworthy and safe. If you are further interested in earn crypto you can visit CEX.IO and buy some.

## Tips for Choosing the Right Brokerage Firm

A brokerage firm links buyers and sellers for purchases. It can also start trading securities for its clients. Brokerage firms provide services in return for a premium or commission. An individual can also act as a broker, enabling effective transactional records.

#### Types of Brokerages

Brokerage firms are divided into various types, each providing various services at varying charges and expenses.

#### Full-service Brokerages

It provides an array of goods and services like financial management, estate planning, legal advice, and financial consulting to its clients in real-time. They also provide real-time stock quotes, economic research, and trend analysis. They target big investors and set minimum account balances to gain their services. Some of the firms also provide discount brokerage services or Robo-advisor platforms. The dividing line is in the broad scope of services and charges.

#### Discount Brokerage

Discount brokerage costs are low compared to traditional brokerage. However, they do not provide the close connection that a full-service advisor does. They enable investors and businessmen to make decisions via the “do-it-yourself” platform. Since the introduction of internet transactions in the 1990s, commissions for discount brokers have dropped considerably. An investor’s account frequently determines the depth and quality of advice discount brokers provide.

Robo advisors are a form of digital investment management platform that automatically uses algorithms to enforce trading strategies for clients. The desire for Robo-advisors is not just the digitization but also the reduced fees and bank balances required to begin.

#### Various Brokerage Specialties

The main areas of specialization of intermediaries and their distinctive features

1. A stock brokerage is a skilled intermediary on the stock who resells and purchases securities in the client’s best interest.

2. Credit brokers are experts who have the information needed and connections with financial institutions.

3. A leasing broker is a specialist who, like a credit broker, specializes in the area of leasing equipment.

4. Forex brokers act as a middleman, providing the forex exchange rate access.

6. Real estate brokers look for investment property opportunities, like depots, office spaces, residential developments, and retail stores.

7. Insurance brokers create insurance plans at a reduced cost and save the time needed to complete an insurance claim.

#### What to Consider While Choosing a Real Estate Brokerage Firm

Selecting a real estate brokerage is as important as deciding on a profession. Your broker will ascertain whether or not you have a great boost in real estate. So, what should you consider when choosing a brokerage?

#### Weigh Their Marketing

Most brokerage firms don’t wait for clients to find them. They reach out first, mostly through various forms of clever and enticing advertising. While OOH formats like digital billboards and mass transit displays are their bread and butter in big cities, brokerage firms use other types of advertising to reach potential clients living in less densely populated parts of the country. It’s a great way to court their next big account, but you must take steps to weigh their marketing for what it’s worth. Further research will be required before going forward.

#### The Training Programs Offered

New investors must have access to effective training, tutoring, and mentorship. A successful real estate business is built on solid practice and training. Considering how easily the real estate industry is modifying new technologies and advanced client requirements and expectations, a training program should be a top priority for any advisor. It is crucial to discover a brokerage that offers consistent training, possibly even a mentorship program.

#### The Use of Technology

Mobile technology’s fast growth has significantly changed how users connect. It offers an opportunity for real estate brokerages to nurture prospects smoothly and economically. Real estate brokerage advertising has changed largely due to digital engagement initiatives. Since half of today’s property buyers find their properties online, real estate brokers need to invest in online marketing to expand their customer base. Digital marketing consists of any internet platform for connecting with prospects, like content marketing, social media marketing, or pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements.

#### The Emergence of New Business Ventures

What a brokerage offers and securing a growing venture may be an important aspect. Knowledgeable agents typically generate their leads from previous clients and testimonials. Newer agents often require leads to work. Some brokerages disburse leads internally, have resettlement departments, or assist agents with growing their businesses. Others leave it entirely up to the individual. Therefore Make certain you grasp and account for the expense of leads offered by the brokerage.

#### Conclusion

Real estate brokerages are more than just the listed. Therefore Interrogating the broker, the receptionists, and a few representatives will assist you in making the right decision. However, do your investigations, evaluate your specific priorities and goals, and choose the best brokerage for you.

## Did You Know That You Can Leverage Debt To Build Wealth

Wealth creation and debt don’t seem like they go together. On the one hand, you want to earn more money and gain more assets. On the other side is the debt that’s tying up your money. Wealthy people have learned how to use debt to their advantage. While the goal is never to be in debt forever, strategically using it to build wealth does benefit them in the long run. Most hotels and rental properties are purchased using bank loans and investors. Some business start-ups use small business loans. It’s entirely possible to use debt to build wealth.

You do need to be careful in the process not to go overboard. Focusing on one thing at a time can help you keep yourself out of hot financial waters. If you try to do too much too soon, you might end up needing to file for bankruptcy which won’t help you out in the long run. Here are some ways you can leverage debt to build wealth.

Many consumers have multiple credit cards that have very high-interest rates. These debts are considered risky to a bank because they have no collateral backing them. Their only recourse is to get debt collectors after you or to report missed payments if you’ve gotten behind. Spending all your money on interest will not help you build wealth. By consolidating these risky debts into one loan, you will find yourself freeing up the money you already have. Debt consolidation loans often have lower interest rates than the cards which means that getting a new loan can help you with your wealth-building strategies.

They use home equity loans for down payments and to get everything they need in the new home to get started. Another option is to leverage a HELOC and an additional credit card to pay off your mortgage sooner. You can invest the money you save into other wealth-building opportunities.

#### Use Debt for Investing

Sometimes the return on investment (ROI) is much higher than the interest you pay on a credit card. Some people use credit to start investing because it helps them to build wealth much more quickly. They turn that debt into something more, cash out some of the earnings, use those to pay off the debt, and keep cycling that way. Eventually, the debt is paid off and you end up with more in your investments than you started with.

#### Use Debt To Build a Business

While the idea of using debt to build wealth sounds foreign, it’s actually been going on for a long time. Businesses use debt all the time to get started. Building some businesses is nearly impossible without some sort of small business loan or investors. You need to get permits, buildings, hire staff, and so much more. When you’re first getting started, you probably won’t have a lot of money of your own to do all this. So small business loans are the perfect solution. Use debt to build a business and you’ll be able to create a wealth-building machine. As your business grows, there will be more opportunities to earn more and invest more.

## Getting on the Right Track: 5 Ways to Save for What You Want

Many people view saving money as a challenge. If you’re one of them, you’re not alone.

According to data reported by CNBC, the average American has \$8,863 saved up in a bank or credit union, though that number can drop as low as \$2,729 among young adults.

This can make it harder to make major purchases, such as buying a new car, putting a down payment on a house, or planning a wedding. It may take some time and dedication, but building your savings isn’t impossible.

Here are five tips to help you save for what you want:

Start by setting a specific goal. What are you trying to buy? How much will you need? For large purchases, you might even want to set smaller milestones along the way to keep yourself focused as you progress toward any larger goals. Apps can be particularly useful in this department, as they help you define your goal and visualize your progress along the way.

#### 2. Pay Yourself First

When payday hits, make your savings your first priority. For example, you can set up an automatic transfer that moves money from your checking account to your savings account every payday. This way, you’ll ensure you’re adding to your savings with every paycheck, not just saving whatever money is left over after covering your other bills. Using the right app is also helpful. Monorail app users, for example, can use the automatic transfer feature to split funds into multiple areas, allowing them to set aside money for emergencies or a specific purchase. The best part? Everything is automatic, so you can set it up and save money without even thinking about it.

#### 3. Adopt the 50/20/30 Rule

Many people live by the 50/20/30 rule, which means they split their income as follows:

• 50% goes to necessities (food, rent, etc.)
• 20% goes to savings and debt payments
• 30% goes to lifestyle choices (gym memberships, entertainment, etc.)

For example, if your take-home pay is \$4,000, then you should be saving \$800 per month. Even if you can’t quite meet the 20% goal, you’ll be surprised how quickly this can add up.

#### 4. Ditch the Budget

Not everyone can stick to a budget. According to data from the Pew Research Center, more than 1 in 3 families experienced volatility in their monthly income in 2015, making it harder to create and implement a budget. If this sounds familiar, try tracking your expenses for the month. How much are you spending on housing, clothes, food, and other purchases? Again, this is where tracking apps come in handy. They provide a visual representation of your spending habits, so you can see exactly where your money is going and make adjustments accordingly.

#### 5. Think Before You Splurge

It can be painful to deny yourself those small luxuries, like gourmet coffee or takeout. But these “small” expenses can quickly snowball and sabotage your spending goals. If you have trouble cutting back on these little indulgences, limit yourself to only one coffee or meal out per week and, instead, prepare your own food and drinks at home. You may be surprised at how much you can save over time.

#### Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Saving money takes discipline and self-control, but the rewards are well worth it. So, define your financial goals, adopt the 50/20/30 rule, and otherwise be mindful of your spending. Bottom line: Make things easy. To that end, you can simplify your financial plan by using apps that make it easier to track your expenses, build your emergency fund, and help you achieve your financial dreams.

## 8 Tips to Safeguard Crypto Investments

It’s said that the cryptocurrency market has gained popularity as an investment option for many in the past decade. The success stories of overnight crypto millionaires are very tempting, but experts recommend a cautious approach to it.

The decentralized nature of the digital assets market is perhaps the riskiest part of investing in cryptocurrency. It’s crucial to understand that cybercrime is rampant in the crypto market, and your portfolio can disappear into thin air without a trace.

However, such cases shouldn’t stop you from investing in crypto. You can follow these simple tips published here to safeguard your investment. Alternatively, this feature can give you insights into navigating the digital assets ecosystem.

#### 1. Wallets are Key to Security

Once you buy your preferred crypto, move it to your digital wallet immediately. Leaving your investment on the platform is risky because hackers can access the exchange floor and wipe it clean.

Primarily, the digital assets landscape has hot (online) and cold (offline) wallets that work as crypto storage. Both wallet options have pros and cons, but experts advise using a cold wallet to safeguard your crypto investment.

#### 2. Exchanges Matter

Investing in the cryptocurrency market requires the same business acumen you’d use in the traditional financial market. You must research the intermediaries offering access to the crypto trading floor.

Exchanges will only protect their interest and can’t guarantee safety for your investment. Additionally, not all exchanges are trustworthy and you could be risking your money buying from any exchange or crypto marketplace. Reach out to the crypto community to learn more about established crypto exchange platforms.

Using a strong password is perhaps classic advice in the information age. Encoding your wallets and intelligent devices to transact cryptos will save you the heartbreak of losing your investment. Select a password you can remember since your wallets can lock you out for not having the correct combination.

Aside from solid passwords, using a public network is also risky if you’re using hot wallets or connected to your cold wallet. Hackers will have an easy time collecting cryptos through the shared network. So, be cautious when using untrusted networks.

#### 4. Sharing Keys Is Careless

It’s best to keep your private keys to yourself. Sharing your private keys jeopardizes your investment’s safety since it validates crypto transactions. You can disregard the request to communicate your private keys in the cryptocurrency landscape.

Typically, experts recommend printing the seed phrase on a private printer and keeping it safe. It’s perhaps an ideal option since most attackers target unsuspecting online users. Further, access your cryptocurrency only when transacting and avoid browsing the exchange platforms while your portfolio account is online.

#### 5. Avoid Dubious Crypto Schemes

In cryptocurrency, you must understand the underlying information before investing. The most basic research will look at the digital asset’s market capitalization and the traded volume.

Cryptocurrency schemes have come up owing to the unregulated nature of the market, and millions disappeared through crypto schemes such as Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in the crypto arena. If you get an invitation to join groups that promise unrealistic returns, reject them and block them altogether.

#### 6. Keep Off Untrusted Links

Alternatively, use a separate email address when accessing the internet to conceal your identity. You’ll protect your portfolio from any breach or phishing attempt to access your account.

#### 7. Diversify

Keeping your eggs in one basket is dangerous, especially in the digital asset market. For obvious reasons, the market is unregulated and things change very fast. Your safest bet is diversifying your portfolio.

So, spread your investment across the cryptocurrency landscape and leverage opportunities presented by the influx of new crypto making a debut. Though, you must upskill your knowledge of the underlying digital assets.

#### 8. Crypto Hype Is Risky

If you follow the hype in the cryptocurrency market, you might invest in the wrong digital asset and get the timing wrong. The market price changes very fast, and it will not spare your investment.

Consult the cryptocurrency community because investors, crypto enthusiasts, and developers discuss current issues in forums like Quora. It’ll enlighten you to safeguard your crypto investment.

#### Final Thoughts

Investing in cryptocurrency requires researching the underlying assets to avoid making wrong moves in the market. Plus, your exposure to risk doesn’t stop hackers from trying to steal from you. You must beware of the market volatility that can empty your investment account in seconds. So, deploying the above tactics can safeguard your investment to enjoy digital assets.

Whether you already own a manufacturing business or you’re looking to start one, you probably already know by now that it takes funds to start and maintain. There are a number of reasons to consider taking a manufacturing business loan or reaching out to potential investors to secure funding. Here are a few reasons to finance your manufacturing business and how to go about doing it.

If you have a small or midsize manufacturing company, it might be time to take things to the next level. In this case, you’ll likely need to invest in a larger space, such as a new warehouse. You’ll also want to hire a solid crew of employees who have been through industrial skills training.

If you’re trying to take your business to the next level, you’ll want to purchase more supplies. After all, the end goal for most manufacturers is generally to sell more products. When you finance your business, you’ll be able to purchase bulk supplies that you might not normally be able to afford.

#### 3. Conduct Market Research

Market research is essential for a successful business. It’s important to know everything there is to know about your products, competitors, and market. It also helps you assess any possible risks.

This one is a double-edged sword when it comes to financing your company. Most potential investors will want to see that you’ve done market research before offering you funding. That being said, market research can be pricey, running \$20,000 to \$50,000 on the higher end of the scale. It’s something you’ll want to consider investing in as your company expands.

New equipment is one of the best investments you can make for your manufacturing company. Whether you’re looking to lease or purchase new machinery, staying up on the latest manufacturing machines and technology is important. Not only can it help all of your company’s processes run more smoothly and efficiently, but it will also ensure that all of your equipment is up to code.

How to Get Financing for Your Manufacturing Company

Now that we’ve gone over some of the reasons you might consider financing your business, let’s take a closer look at how. There are a couple of routes you can take, each of which poses its own set of challenges.

The first option is to go directly to traditional banks or credit unions. The downside is that you’ll generally be required to put down collateral in exchange for your loan. If you choose to purchase new machinery or equipment with your loan, this may be used as collateral.

Banks and credit unions also typically require a number of documents from you. These generally include tax documents, profit and loss statements, and bank statements. They will also generally want to take a look at your business plan. This can be a stressful process, so it’s important to make sure you have all your ducks in a row before applying for a manufacturing business loan.

Another option is to seek out investors. You might choose to use an online fundraising platform, look within your local network, or use social media to find potential investors. Even though this isn’t always the easiest route to go, it can still be a good way to secure the funding you need to take your business to the next level.

## The Role of Due Diligence in Reducing Financial Risk

Making financial decisions can be difficult, especially when there are many risks involved. One way to help mitigate financial risk is to perform due diligence. Due diligence is gathering information about a potential investment or purchase to make an informed decision. Doing your homework can reduce the chances of making a poor decision that could cost you financially. In this blog post, we will discuss the role of due diligence in reducing financial risk.

#### What is due diligence?

Due diligence is investigating a potential investment or purchase to make an informed decision. Individuals or organizations can perform this research, and it often includes financial analysis, legal research, and interviews with experts. Due diligence aims to reduce the risk of making a bad investment or purchase.

The role of due diligence in reducing financial risk

#### 2. Due diligence reveals profit potential

Startups are high-risk investments, so you must do your research before investing. You should look into the company’s business model, management team, financial situation, and industry. For instance, does an up-and-coming online retailer use FedEx and UPS audit software to monitor shipping costs? Doing so is a prudent financial move, whereas companies that pay a premium for shipping are wasting money. In addition, you should talk to other investors and get their opinion on the startup. By doing your due diligence, you can make a more informed decision about whether or not to invest in a startup.

Many red flags may indicate financial risk. Some red flags include:

-The company is not profitable.

-The company has a lot of debt.

-The company has a history of lawsuits.

-The company’s management team is inexperienced.

If you see any of these red flags, it is vital to do more research to determine if the investment is worth the risk. By doing your due diligence, you can identify red flags that may indicate financial risk. Hence, due diligence can help you avoid making a bad investment.

If you consider investing in a company or purchasing a product, you can use due diligence to your advantage. By doing your research, you will be better positioned to negotiate better terms. For instance, you may get a more favorable price on an investment opportunity if you can show that the company is not as profitable as it claims to be. Or, you may be able to get a better warranty on a product if you can show that the product has a history of problems. You can negotiate better terms on an investment or purchase by doing your due diligence.

Fraud is a serious problem, and it can happen to anyone. By doing your due diligence, you can help avoid becoming a victim of financial fraud. For instance, if you consider investing in a company, you should check to see if the company is registered with the SEC. You should also be wary of companies that promise guaranteed returns or require you to wire money. By doing your due diligence, you can avoid fraud.

Performing due diligence does not guarantee that you will never make a bad investment, but it can help reduce the chances of making a mistake. Due diligence is an integral part of any financial decision, especially when there are a lot of risks involved. If you are considering an investment or purchase, do your homework and research the risks before deciding.

## 5 Countries Where You Can Obtain a Citizenship by Investment

An increasing number of people find the concept of alternative citizenship attractive, primarily because of the economic crisis. Among the most prevalent options for obtaining passports is the option of obtaining a passport for investment – also known as citizenship by investment (CBI)

Aside from obtaining citizenship by birth, naturalization, or legitimation, some countries can also offer you passports when you contribute to their economy, culture, or society. Programs for obtaining citizenship by investment attract many affluent individuals from developing nations to consider obtaining another passport for travel freedom and mobility.

Law Insider defines CBI programs (also known as Residence by Investment – RBI) as programs that offer individuals from foreign states to become citizens of a country or offer them temporary or permanent rights of residence when they contribute to the development of their society through investments.

#### Why Do People Consider CBI Programs?

Passport obtained by investment comes with less rigorous processes. Averagely, in three months, a high-net-worth investor can get a passport. This approach to citizenship is also accompanied by many stay benefits such as friendly tax programs, visa-free travel, and having your own residence.

#### Who Is Eligible For a CBI Program?

People generally believe that only wealthy individuals can apply for citizenship by investment. But this is not true.

Anyone who can meet the requirements can apply. So, you may not readily have a billion dollars stuck up in the bank. You may be a digital entrepreneur, a physical business owner, an investor, or someone who has a global mindset.

#### 1. ST KITTS & NEVIS

St Kitts and Nevis is the founding country behind the CBI program. It first launched in 1984 and has since seen over 20,000 applicants worldwide obtain passports. Aside from becoming a citizen of the country, there are several other attractive benefits the St Kitts citizenship by investment program offers.

An applicant must have attained at least 18 years of age and must be able to invest a non-refundable \$150,000 amount as an individual. The registration process generally takes between 2 and 6months to be finalized.

Benefits include:

• Dual citizenship
• Unlimited stay permit.
• Visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to over 150 destinations globally. Including the US, UK, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
• Future generations will enjoy citizenship by descent.

You can also include your spouse, kids below the age of 31 who do not already have kids, parents, and grandparents.

#### 2. Dominica

The Dominican CBI program was Instituted in 1993 with the opportunity for an investor to either become a full member of a country as a single party or acquire for their families too. Processing time is just three months.

Benefits include:

• Visa-free travel to more than 150 countries worldwide, including Singapore, Hong Kong, the Schengen area of Europe, the UK, and Russia.
• Short processing period.

Grenada established its Citizen by investment program in 2013. And it accepts \$220,000 in real estate investments approved by the government with at least five years of maintenance. Another option is to donate \$150,000 for societal development.

Benefits include:

• Visa-free travel to more than 150 destinations globally, including Singapore, China, Russia, the UK, and Europe’s Schengen Area.
• Grenada citizenship will also allow beneficiaries to access the USA E2 treaty investor visa.

#### 4. St Lucia

French-speaking Saint Lucia offers three options to obtain a passport by investment which is processed between three to four months. One, a \$100,000 non-refundable donation is required for a single applicant. But the amount increases based on the number of dependents you’ll be going with.

Two, a \$300,000 investment in a government-approved real estate project may produce good profits. Three, a \$3.5million Investment in a recognized enterprise project.

Benefits include:

• Opportunities to leverage its tourism.
• Quality of life is good with visa-free travel to 146 countries, including the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Europe’s Schengen Area.
• St. Lucia allows dual citizenship.

#### 5. Turkey

Turkey Citizenship by investment program offers permanent citizenship to applicants and an opportunity to access both Asian and European markets.

As an investor, you’ll be required to pay \$250,000 in the government-approved real estate market. This amount used to be \$1,000,000 at inception and was reduced in 2018 to the current amount. The processing period often takes between 6 – and nine months from the submission date.

Benefits include:

• Visa-free or visa-on-arrival privileges to about 115 countries worldwide, including Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
• Candidates who qualify will be eligible for a USA E-2 Investor Visa for five years, which is renewable.

#### Conclusion

If you are self-employed, retired, or independently wealthy, you can consider CBI. The best way to get the most out of your plan is to define your goal clearly. To obtain passports by investment, different countries have different guidelines without necessarily speaking their language. Make financial contributions to the society in the required forms, and you’ll be offered citizenship. You could acquire real estate or securities, create jobs, or start a business.

## Rising Importance of Retail Investors

By Gediminas Rickevičius, VP of Global Partnerships at Oxylabs.io

Retail investors play an interesting role in the markets at large. For one, most academic researchers and hedge fund managers significantly downplay the importance of their everyday counterparts due to underperformance.

On the other hand, there has been a surge in the amount of retail investors since 2020. Investing has been made much more accessible and available to everyday folk. Combined with the global pandemic, these factors led to retail investors’ share of total equities trading volume now being close to 25%. Finally, there seems to be a push towards opening up private markets to more participants, as evidenced by EY research.

If such a trend continues, a massive influx of retail investors might increase the influence of their actions on the market. It might seem like a headache to seasoned veterans, but in many cases it might be a boon.

#### Retail investors provide cushion

As is often the case with many things in life, retail investors are seen through somewhat of a mythical lens. If one were to ask what event would define them, that answer would probably be the GameStop debacle.

It was certainly a visible and emotionally charged event that seemed to have everything you’d expect from a retail investor. Most people sought huge speculative gains through short-term trading without having access to tools that would enable such high frequency endeavors.

Additionally, some invested obscene amounts of capital, “leveraging” what they could. Often those were personal or spending loans. Some liquidated other investments to gain additional funds for the speculative play.

In the end, the event had all the hallmarks of everyone’s preconceived notions of retail investors. They were highly speculative, emotional, and chased significant gains. So, it would seem that would transfer over to other areas of investing.

Yet, some research would state otherwise, making retail investors highly useful to the market. As mentioned previously, they have begun to play a more significant role due to the increasing availability of investing.

A recent study has indicated that retail investors might be providing stability in times of market swings and crashes. COVID’s exogenous shock to the markets caused prices to tumble, but it was offset, by some margin, through the funds of retail investors.

Additionally, stabilization happens through providing additional liquidity to certain stocks. Finally, while they may seem contrarian as they pick stocks of which institutional investors think less, even if the contrarianism were true, it would still provide liquidity to stocks, which have less of it. In the end, retail investors play an important role in markets, especially during times of turmoil.

#### Retail investors talk (a lot)

Convincing someone to give up their investment strategy with all the data and potential software might be a little difficult. It’s a business that entirely revolves around knowledge intended to beat everyone else. Data and strategy sit at the core of investing.

As a result, outside of pure academical theory, any investment strategy is a closely guarded secret for institutional investors. Retail investors, on the other hand, are not quite the same. Many of them participate in various internet forums as a way of talking about strategy.

You can often find anything, ranging from simple investment advice (usually, ironically preceded by the saying “not financial advice”) to long posts discussing why some companies might be undervalued or overvalued.

Additionally, they are often posted in public forums where, while anonymous, posts are rated according to popularity. It would hold to reason then that such posts would have more sway over other retail investors. As a result, tracking large masses of small investments becomes an easier task.

Collecting such data, however, can be quite challenging. For one, there are places where retail investors congregate, but even then, there are a ton of posts going through them every day, making manual collection inefficient.

Couple that with the fact that sentiments expressed and overall influence can differ, and collecting such data for investment purposes nears to zero ROI or below. Fortunately, automated data collection methods have been developed.

Web scraping can be utilized whenever public data from the internet needs to be gathered at a large enough scale. There are plenty of solution providers online that can build complete out-of-the-box solutions that would make the collection of such semantic data easy.

#### Calculating talk

An important caveat is that even with automated public data collection, everything gathered would be semantic. There would be sentences and paragraphs expressing some sort of sentiment, which might not be immediately obvious, and have an effect that is also shrouded in mystery.

One way to calculate influence is to look for raw ticker mention volume. Quiver Quantitative has done exactly that for a certain piece of Reddit. There’s value to be found, however, pure volume likely only weakly correlates with investments.

It is entirely possible that a majority of such mentions are hidden deep in posts and comments no one ever sees. Only the crawler bot captures them, because it goes through absolutely everything. As a result, it can produce signals that miss the mark.

As scraping can collect any aspect of the data stored within the page, extracting popularity indicators and adding them to the ticker calculations would produce more accurate estimations of how impactful the mention would be.

Finally, sentiment is an important piece of the puzzle. Luckily, we don’t have to build customized machine learning models to extract sentiment. Google’s Natural Language AI and many other tools have already been developed that can serve our purposes just fine.

Combining these three factors with the general talkativeness of the retail investor can give us fairly accurate insight into the inner movements of capital from them. Whether these can serve as a separate investment strategy or enhance current ones, it is something for those who track such data to decide.

## 8 Reasons to Use a Virtual Debit Card

Using debit cards for payment and purchases across the globe has gained popularity since their launch in the 1980s. Today, people appreciate the benefits of paying online transactions with ease.

Like other businesses, technology has allowed the finance industry to advance the use of debit cards, hence, the emergence of virtual debit cards. They differ from the traditional plastic rectangular cards because they only exist in digital form on online portals or mobile phones.

The following highlights some of the benefits of virtual payment cards:

#### 1. Safe and Secure Payments

Virtual debit cards are typically hard to copy or steal. Unlike the traditional ones that criminals can clone or steal, virtual debit cards are impossible to tamper with. Account theft is among the top e-commerce frauds criminals use to steal debit cards and then use them in making purchases without the account owner’s knowledge. However, it’s impossible to steal information from virtual debit cards as they don’t have physical copies, ensuring the security and safety of your payments.

#### 2. Fast and Easy Acquisition

The traditional debit cards can take days to arrive at your residence. Apart from the card creation process, the issuing company might need more days to verify your identity. Placing an order for the physical debit card from abroad or before a long weekend can also prolong the waiting period before you can start spending.

Meanwhile, virtual cards arrive immediately after completing the application process as it doesn’t require on-site production. You only have to check and confirm the card details, allowing you to start using it without waiting for days on end. They’re also accepted by almost all vendors and utilities, ensuring their reliability as a payment option.

#### 3. Convenience

Virtual cards are also convenient as they eliminate the hassle of using a company card. It allows you to make quick purchases through your mobile phone without looking for a card you might have misplaced somewhere in your house or under your purse. This mobile element makes for a seamless shopping process while protecting your information.

#### 4. Ease of Cancellation

You might want to make only one or two purchases from a card. This includes purchasing something from websites you don’t fully trust or performing one-off purchases that you don’t want to reflect on your bank statement. This is where virtual debit cards come in handy because they let you create an account and perform your purchase, then immediately cancel the card with no strings attached.

#### 5. Controlled Spending

Virtual debit cards are an excellent choice for specific spending activities because they can allow you to control how much you spend on your card. They are ideal for businesses that offer their staff personal spending limits or parents who limit the online purchases of their children.

#### 6. Staff Empowerment

Virtual debit cards are also ideal for businesses with employees who make purchases on behalf of the establishment. However, tracking the spending habits of each employee using one physical card can be a tiring task. In addition, there would be too much paperwork if you need to issue a card to every employee.

With virtual cards, you can issue multiple cards to your employees in one go. Thus, you can easily track the spending of each team member. With this, your business can progress as the virtual company card eliminates the need to wait for a physical debit card before you can start making purchases. Implementing limitations like spending limits also guarantees that employees would only buy necessities.

#### 7. Cash Flow Tracking

Some businesses often deal with a messy cash flow when making payments to suppliers and vendors before a specific period. Virtual cards allow you to track the flow of payments made and know the available funds through the data in the system, thereby improving the efficiency and transparency of your payment processes. Indeed, virtual debit cards are gradually taking over payments for many businesses.

#### 8. Eco-friendly

The use of virtual debit cards can reduce your carbon footprint because it eliminates the manufacture of a physical card. It might not seem much, but this makes sense when considering the number of expired physical cards thrown away daily. Therefore, you promote a positive impact on the environment by using them because they only exist digitally on phones or online.

#### Conclusion

The introduction of virtual cards, an improvement of the traditional physical cards, is due to the continuous advancements in technology. Most shoppers and businesses welcome their use in making purchases due to their many benefits. Thus, virtual debit cards can guarantee a fast, safe, secure, and seamless shopping experience.

It’s a generally accepted notion that the more something costs, the higher the quality of the goods. The underlying question is, are those goods in fact better quality or are they believed to be because of the price tag?

#### Rationale

Generally speaking, people aren’t rational beings; at least not all the time. They tend to make rash decisions based on emotion and/or perception. Everyone has a different motivation for making luxury brand purchases. It can be a reward for an accomplishment, trying to gain social acceptance from peers or because it improves their self-esteem.

#### Marketing

In order to have a successful endeavour with any business, marketing is essential. You need to establish a brand that consumers trust. Lesser-known companies and products are being introduced to the public through subscription boxes. These boxes are especially beneficial to eCommerce businesses. Through kitting, various products are sent to consumers, items they may not have known about previously, helping the business to keep their inventory with lower overhead costs.

#### Price Pleasure

Buying luxury items is driven by emotion. Studies have shown there is an emotional attachment between the cost of items and the perceived quality. Even when exact replicas are available at a fraction of the cost, consumers will still purchase the higher-priced item.

Blind price experiments have been executed, with the exact same bottle of wine, but different labels. On one bottle of wine, the original label is covered with a more expensive price. On the other bottle, of the exact same wine, the label is covered with a less expensive price. The end result, despite being the exact same wine, subjects consistently chose the more expensive wine as being better quality.

To add to the validity of the study, they did another experiment with the same bottle of wine. However, the second time, they switched the labels identifying which wine was more costly. Consistently, the wine with the more expensive price label was identified as being the better-tasting wine.

This conundrum is referred to as a marketing placebo effect. It’s when consumers associate more pleasure or quality from items that cost more. It’s essentially tricking your brain to associate less risk and higher quality with a more expensive price. This doesn’t just apply to things consumers buy for themselves, but also gifts for others. Aligning higher costs with the perception of higher quality goods makes for an expensive holiday shopping season.

#### Status

For as far back as you can go in history, you’ll find having things that are commonplace among elitists creates a source of envy and motivation for the average person. Essentially, people strive to achieve luxury items as a badge of honor for others. It’s a way to display a level of success in life marked by having items not everyone can afford. That’s not to say that everyone has the same motivation to buy these big-ticket items. For some people, especially where artwork is concerned, owning a piece can be born from true appreciation of the work as opposed to buying it because they can.

It all boils down to perceived happiness. Often, people who make purchasing luxury items a priority, despite their own economic standing, may be compensating for some aspect of their life that’s lacking.

At the turn of the 20th century, owning and displaying certain luxury brands evokes a sense of accomplishment. Moreover, these expensive items add to one’s perceived worth and success the more they are envied by those who can’t afford them.

Money can’t buy happiness, but it can help fill the void for something else you may be missing in life.