29
Apr

Are You Confident About Your Financial Future

ff12We all use it, it is the common way we acquire services and goods on a daily basis. We trade our time for it. We rely on it to provide for our future, stash it away in belief that it will still have value in the future. It is our currency be it Dollars, Euros, whatever, but it is not as trustworthy as you may think. Look I am by no means a qualified financial adviser or guru in any form, but I am going to explain to the best of my ability; that you should start looking at other forms of investment to secure your financial future.

Fiat currency

All national currencies are called fiat currencies. What does this mean? Well Investopedia’s definition of a fiat currency is:

“Currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, but is not backed by a physical commodity. The value of fiat money is derived from the relationship between supply and demand rather than the value of the material that the money is made of. Historically, most currencies were based on physical commodities such as gold or silver, but fiat money is based solely on faith. Fiat is the Latin word for “it shall be”.” – investopedia.com

So basically, that piece of paper you carry in your pocket is exactly that, a piece of paper that is based on your faith that it will still have the same purchasing power tomorrow as it has today. So what is wrong with that?

Fiat currency, unfortunately, has had a long history of failure. Since the Roman Empire in the first century began with the practice of debasing their currency (adding impurities to their money thereby reducing the value but increasing the amount of currency in circulation) it has led to devaluation and eventual collapse.

Maybe you are thinking that it could not be happening today, I am sorry to say that it is. Our history has had several failed attempts at using paper currency and fiat currencies have never been successful except for political systems trying to prevent the debasement of their currency by letting the printing presses run amok.

It is not all doom and gloom though. I am also not saying this will save everyone, but if you look at countries like China who are stockpiling in gold, maybe we should follow in their footsteps? We all know that gold is valuable and there is only so much of it on our planet, this allows it more stability than fiat currency. Gold has also shown a consistent growth in its life time.

Like I said I am by no means a qualified financial adviser, I am just stating my thoughts and how I feel. And I feel that there is a definite shift in the way the world economy is moving right now. I can’t say if it is going to happen tomorrow or in the next 10 years, but I am sure it will happen. So maybe it will be a good idea to create a secure foundation for your financial future. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

22
Apr

How To Send Money Abroad In An Efficient Manner

ff7Every day, countless people make international money transfers. Is it easy to send money to someone in another country? Well, it depends. If you don’t take enough care, it may cost you much more money, as most people are oblivious to the hidden fees. Let’s find out more about how to make the process safe and cost effective.

For sending money overseas, you will have to bear two types of costs: the currency conversion cost and the cost to transfer the money to your desired country. The service provider can be an FX broker, a bank or a money transfer company. The thing is that they don’t convert one currency to the other on the basis of the inter-bank rate. Instead, they make the exchange at a lower rate making a good deal of profit. Give below are a few tips that may help you go through the process efficiently.

Foreign Exchange Brokers

Acting as intermediaries, foreign exchange brokers deal with a lot of banks and provide the best exchange rates. While their primary role is to convert currencies, they can also help you send money abroad for a reasonable fee.

While this option is cost effective, especially if you want to transfer over $5000, the process can take longer to complete. Choose this option if you don’t have to send your funds abroad urgently.

Commercial Banks

Banks are the most common means of international money transfers all over the world. However, the fact of the matter is that banks are known for charging hidden fees for money transfers, and the fees will continue to go up as the amount of money that needs to be transferred goes up. But the advantage of using a bank to do this job is that banks are considered the safest way of transferring money abroad. So, if you are planning to do the transfer through a bank, make sure you choose a bank that charges a minimum amount for transfers.

Money Transfer Providers

If you want to send less than $5000 to someone in another country, money transfer providers is probably your best option. They are best in terms of cost of transfer. Typically, they offer bank-to-bank transfers. You can also find some providers who allow you to receive cash at cash pick-up branches.

Online Money Transfer

These service providers allow you to send money abroad charging a minimal fee. Usually, they charge just $1 extra for the transfer. Some providers don’t even charge this fee.

These providers are regulated by the financial authorities of the same country they operate in. They use the state-of-the-art financial technology for sending and receiving funds. So, you can count on them with your eyes closed.

With online money transfer, you don’t need to visit a financial office. All you need to make the transfer is a computer and a fast internet connection.

12
Apr

Fee Only Financial Advisor Understanding What Makes Them Different

ff10Planning and managing finances requires a professional touch. When looking for a certified fiscal counselor, you have a couple of choices. You can choose to work with someone who is strictly commission based, someone who works off both commission and fees, or someone who is a fee-only financial advisor. Despite the merits behind hiring a trained planner, many consumers do not understand the benefits of working with the latter option.

Pros of Hiring a Fee-only Financial Advisor

Those who are looking for the best advisors should consider one who is compensated in a way other than commission. These planners look at your entire fiscal situation and give you an honest, objective opinion on what you need to do. While they may suggest purchases of certain products, these will be ones that they believe will assist you in your goals. There is no loyalty to a specific company or product because there is no bonus or commission to earn.

You pay a fee-only financial advisor based on how often you meet with them. You could pay an hourly expense or you could pay a retainer in order to have him or her on call. You may even negotiate payment of a percentage of the investment assets your planner is managing. Each professional has his or her own pay structure.

In addition to having flexible payment options, you can choose between services. Some work with you to provide a complete financial review for a fixed project. You can also find someone to review your investment portfolio or develop a financial plan.

Things to Consider Before Hiring a Fee-only Financial Advisor

For most clients, this type of planner is the optimum choice. However, not everyone works well with a charge-based counselor. You may work better with someone who is either commission only or commission and fee compensated.

There is no guarantee that you will not have conflict. You should check references to ensure that your new asset manager is competent. Working for only a set rate does not equal competence. Those who are experienced working with people nearing retirement would not be the best choice for someone in the private sector.

You also need to check with the counselor about their requirements. Some will work with those who have a minimum level of assets. If you have a small portfolio, then you may not qualify. It is one of the many questions you should ask before hiring a consultant.

No matter if you choose to work with a commission-based consultant, you must be diligent in your search. It is not an easy task to find the right counselor. In order to find the right consultant you should understand not to compensate the advisor but also how he or she works with his or her clients.

2
Apr

Electronic Trading Solutions to Improve Business Opportunities

Business woman at work

Business woman at work

Digitization of trade finances is touted to provide significant benefits for trading partners and corporate banks. The other major benefits of digitizing trade finances are the reduced costs and the risks of international trade. The connected networks and connections have improved visibility and transparency that makes the entire process smooth and easy. The ability to make electronic trading solutions digital requires time because of the increased stiff global competition.

Corporate organizations have their own reasons to go digital when it comes to the trading solutions. The reasons to go digital are many and the biggest reason being reduced costs with a steady increase in efficiency. Going digital also improves the payment processes at a quicker pace which in turn enhances transactions. Corporate companies collaborating together for the common cause of work also shows an improvement in monetary transactions. When companies adopt the electronic trading solutions, the increase in visibility while tracking and auditing transactions reduces all sorts of risks associated with fraud and non-compliance. Digital trading solutions are considered to be effective since it increases opportunities for quick and easy access to finances.

If you had thought that corporate was the only industry that benefited from this, you were wrong because banks and financial institutions experience efficiency because of this digital solution. We all know that there is an increase in efficiency and reduction in fraud activities because of electronic trading solutions. However, the exposure and visibility of the financial institutions also increase because the financial supply chain provides value added services for client benefit.

In order to enjoy the benefits that electronic trading solutions provide, both the financial institutions and the corporate organizations need to come together to establish potential changes. These changes are sure to add value and make the flow of work smooth and easy. Thankfully, these changes have gradually begun to outweigh the challenges organizations were experiencing.

Corporate Digitization

The last decade has seen a significant change in the international trade industry because of the competitive pressure from trading partners. It is time for banks and corporate enterprises to respond quickly to the new opportunities. The commercial decisions also need to be quick on the basis of the financial agreements and the payment types. These trends have expanded the market for alternative funding. Fluctuating prices have forced organizers to explore newer ways of optimizing transaction costs in all aspects of their trade cycle.

Operational Efficiency through Auditable Process

There has been an increased focus on maintaining documentation processes to keep a constant check on the regular flow of work. Documentation is an established process which is also an old school approach to work. The growing competition has made the market conditions pretty tough and it is important for banks and financial institutions to become more agile and responsive while handling client requirements. This transition by banks is easily possible with the help of the electronic trading solution. The electronic documentation process minimizes human errors and is extremely accurate.

Transformation in Global Trade

Electronic trading solutions lead to easy handling of trade and finances which further help companies to run an end-to-end process successfully. Digitization helps in keeping the work related processes on the right track because relevant documents are in place. This entire process acts like an instant authorization which further helps in keeping the pace of work fast and effective. It is important to stay ahead in business and that is possible only when you adopt new technological trends that help in easing the global trade transaction processes. These processes play a critical role in developing and improving corporate relationships through efficient work management systems.