Buying Gold

I’ve written about gold prices plenty of times here on Stocksicity. At one point, the price of gold was sky-high and it seemed like that the price would only get higher because of the amount of gold that everyone was purchasing. Everyone wanted to get in the gold bubble before it maxed out and popped. Over the past few years, gold prices have steadily increased and then slowly decreased. Right now is an almost perfect time to buy gold and other precious metals. The economy has been slowly bouncing back to what it was years before the collapse due to the banking industry going down the toilet. That resulted in gold prices to sky-rocket because like most other precious metals, gold increases in price in times of crisis. And for thousands of years, gold has been a favorite investment for almost everyone, from the Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs to my co-worker who purchases gold bullion and gold bars with her tax refunds almost every year. I think that it is a great investment because gold prices have been increasing for thousands of years and they have a very bright future.

Many places allow you to buy gold easily. Places like Bullion Vault allow easy access to online resources which allow you to trade gold as if it was a stock. If you have gold lying around and need money, selling gold would be very lucrative because of its worth. And if you have money lying around and need a fairly steady investment, look into buying gold because no other investment can be as steady as gold. Gold is a natural element and will retain its value over time, unlike stocks which can plummet to the ground tomorrow. Gold will always be valuable. Even if it loses some value tomorrow, it will go back up the day after.

The gold bubble that started to expand a few years ago seems to have diminished. However, I believe that in the future, sooner than later, the gold bubble will expand again. Every time the bubble expands, it sets a new floor for the price of gold. Right now, gold prices are just under $1,400 at the time of this post, , years ago, it was half that and because of the way gold prices go up, it isn’t likely to hit $700, the floor will only go up. And with current technology, selling and buying gold has never been easier. If you don’t take advantage then you may end up losing a lot more profit than you think.

How to Research a Company Before Investing

When you’re considering putting your money into the stock market, it’s important to fully research your potential investment. If you’re serious about playing the stock market, you no doubt have an investment strategy in place, so now it’s a case of finding a company or companies that fit your requirements.

The search can often be the most interesting part of the investment process. Finding that hidden gem among the many businesses that are out there can really get your adrenaline pumping. However, there are literally thousands of companies listed for trade on the stock market, so we have a few pointers on how to make the most of your research before you bite the bullet and invest your money.

Having watched the stock market, you may notice a company’s assets rising very rapidly and feel like you too ought to dive in on the up so you can ride out the wave. But don’t be too hasty. Make sure you understand why this company is gaining and whether or not it is likely to last. The most important principle to hold in mind is that what goes up must, in almost all cases, come down. Look closely at what the company sells; who their CEO is; how their industry is performing in the general market and most importantly, what their competition is doing.

To get your hands on all of this information, there are plenty of resources online to perform a company check, including Duedil, which has a very user-friendly interface and allows you to see all the details about a company that are held at Companies House, for free. For a small charge, you can download certain documents so that you can dig that little bit deeper.

Most companies, whether they’re established or not, tend to have their own website these days so don’t ignore that. If you’re interested in them, it’s definitely worth visiting their site to check out their business model. Are they easily accessible in a web format? Do you understand what they’re trying to achieve? If they don’t have a website, why? These are all questions you ought to be asking. It may also be worth calling or emailing the company directly. If you never receive a human response, are they really what they appear to be?

You should avoid empty pitches, or business outlooks that appear too good to be true – they probably are. Check out their financial statements for the year preceding your investment, as well as new release forecasts, that way you can be sure that growth is solid and sustainable.

5 Tips to Help You Save Money on Energy

Looking for ways to save energy can be intimidating. Far too often you’ll come across suggestions that sound great and promise significant energy savings, but they’re based on buying something that carries a hefty price tag. Energy is often one of the most expensive commodities we have to factor into our budgets, especially if you aren’t lucky enough to be able to shop for a provider on energyproviderstexas.com. For some, being on a tight budget is the entire reason they’re aggressively going after energy savings. As opposed to those posts that suggest spending hundreds of dollars on new technologies, this is a list of 5 energy saving tips that won’t cost you a penny!

1. Stop unwanted energy waste

Did you know that many electronic devices use power even when they’re “turned off?” From televisions to cellphone chargers, many devices are constantly in stand-by mode, even after you press the power button. In order to keep your devices from using power after you’ve turned them off, in most instances you have to physically break the connection to your home’s circuit. Whether breaking the connection means unplugging your devices or just using a power strip, ensuring that your devices don’t use unneeded power will help you save money each month.

2. Program your thermostat

Do you have a programmable thermostat? If you do, it’s highly likely that you’ve never taken the time to actually program it to optimize your heating and cooling efficiency. Depending on the model, programming can be a daunting task, but it’s definitely one worth taking on. When you program your thermostat you can prevent the system from running when no one is home. In just a few minutes, programming your thermostat can save you lots of money on energy costs, simply by limiting when the biggest energy consumer in your home is turned on.

3. Only run the dishwasher when it’s full

If you have the bad habit of running the dishwasher at the end of every day, regardless of how many dirty dishes there are, making one simple change to your behavior makes it possible for you to save more energy than you’d expect. Running the dishwasher uses the same amount of energy regardless of how many dishes are being cleaned. The same thing goes for your washing machine. If you’re not washing full loads, you’re wasting money on energy. Next time you need to reuse a particular utensil that’s dirty, consciously think to wash it individually before starting the dishwasher when it only has one meal’s dishes in it.

4. Replace incandescent bulbs with more efficient models

I know, I know. I told you this post was all about ways to save energy without spending money, and while energy efficient bulbs can be expensive, there are also ways you might be able to get replacements for free! Many utility companies have recently instituted programs that distribute energy efficient bulbs to their customers free of charge. These sorts of efficiency projects are incentivized by the government, and if you’ve got lots of incandescent bulbs in your house, you should contact your utility company to see if they offer one of these programs to their customers.

5. Adjust your home’s temperature by just 1-2 degrees

Whether you’re talking about raising your home’s temperature in the summer or lowering it in the winter, just a degree or two can make a significant difference when it comes to your energy costs at the end of the month. Furthermore, just a degree here or there won’t make that much difference in your overall comfort. After all, you can always run a fan in the summertime or throw on an extra blanket in the winter.

If you take the time to embrace some of these energy saving tips, with any luck you’ll be able to save money on your energy costs, and when you’re on a tight budget, we all know that every dollar counts.

The retail banking and consumer financing business has continuously made headlines in worldwide topics. It is because there are more of them that are responding to their client’s needs. This is through their demonstration of their integrity in doing business, adding value to their commitments, fairness in their deals and unparalleled service to their customers and shareholders. This includes governments, employees and regulators all at the same time. Retail banks understood the demands of their clients in all of the above aspects. Likewise together with consumers finance firms they deliver substantial transformation platforms with more focus on their customer’s needs.

The current work initiated by this business includes an improved multichannel strategies geared towards building and enhancing customer experiences while removing inefficiencies through efforts in containing overall costs.

Furthermore, they help clients’ battle financial crime and at the same time accomplishing ways to ease the growing regulatory burdens of clients. Including in this effort are enhancing risk management and demonstrating better transparency, liquidity and fairness in every deals they make.

Here are some recent client successes to include in areas such as:

Marketing, distribution and strategizing

  • In alignment with the client’s business expansions are the delivery of front-end Customer Relations Management and Finance/HR synergies. This can improve the retention of clients and make the client appreciate the experience. Some of the common CRM efforts are:
  • Query and Reporting Requests:
  1. These are involving instant retrieval and display of all customers that have existing loans or have a credit line but is does not have his own checking account.
  2. Uncovering the list of all clients with a checking account, but has no direct deposit.
  3. Identifying clients that have the tendency to leave the bank. The action of the CRM is to prevent this from happening.
    • For the retail units which are the branches of the business, call centers and even internet; they are building highly performing sales organizations. Likewise they have included the development of strategy for international growth through acquisitions and having subsidiaries
    • They offer improvement in the performances of these specific branch as well as profitability and competitiveness in their area of business
    • Formulated concepts for the new branches
    • For leasing finance; they have reformulated routes while developing business plans
  • Operating Areas
    • Building goal operating models
    • In the domain of the consumers credit company; the restructuring of the sales operations, marketing operations and promoting financial processes
    • Aided in the creation a committed retail bank to benefit the six banks of the public-sector
  • Regulatory and Risks Management
    • Improvement in the banks’ cost-effectiveness with efficiency towards functions in complaints-handling, company which are investing and universal insurance firms
    • Reviewing and redesigning strategies on financial crime-prevention, AML and the processes involved in sanctions

The overall reason in the success of retail banking and customer financing; boils down to the fact that they were able to meet the needs of the clients in all areas. Useful tools were readily available for their CRM and the many strategies and techniques they have diversely implemented to get the loyalty of their customers. This is a business trait that should be looked up by others to succeed in their trade.

 

It used to be easy to know the amount of money circulating in the US economy: look into the US money supply. Today, it’s not that straightforward anymore. It is also difficult to measure the effects of the Federal Reserve monetary policies as well as those of the other central banks as well. In the 1980s, it was easy to understand the explanations of Milton Friedman on how inflation and economic fluctuations are affected by money supply. But it’s different today.

The reason why it’s too difficult to learn about the effects of money supply is that banks altered their way of doing business. It became difficult to monitor the movements of money. In the 1960s, bank deposits like savings, time, and checking make up 95% of the credit market of credit unions, savings and loan associations, and commercial banks. In the 1990s, such deposits only make up 72% of the said credit market. In 2007, the percentage dwindled to 55%. When the financial crisis began in 2008, there was a significant rise in the percentage primarily because people no longer want to risk their hard-earned cash.

It is also interesting to note that there are non-banking institutions which have started lending and borrowing which were once the domains of banks. According to Deloitte, the estimated amount of this shadow-banking system is about $10 trillion while the Financial Stability Board estimated it to be about $24 trillion in 2010. The measurement is only available after 3 months of each quarter. With the latest move by the Federal Reserve to buy bonds plus the financial-stress index which includes bank stock market prices, options prices, and credit spreads, the US economy may be seeing a better tomorrow for the next months.

Along with the moves to control the monetary policy, the stock market has also reached a new high in about 5 years. However, investors are not really jumping into the bandwagon. The primary reason is that they are afraid that they won’t generate profit from the attempt. Some investors would want to wait until next year or when the presidential election is over. Some investors may also be waiting for some bills to be passed by Congress. However, according to Nicole Seghetti of The Motley Fool, there are only 2 reasons why people shouldn’t try investing in the stock market. One, they have no money. Two, they can’t leave the money for a long time in the stock market.

So, how do you know if you have the money for the stock market? Normally, you must have saved many months of living expenses in a savings account. You must also have saved for any short term financial goal or for emergencies. If you’ve saved for both living expenses and emergencies and you still have excess money then it’s time to invest the excess in the stock market. If you have any midterm or long-term financial goals, you must invest in the stock market because no other investment schemes will be able to outpace inflation in a period of time.

With the encouraging development in the monetary policy, investors shouldn’t be afraid investing in the stock market. Outside forces may be able to pull down the stock market temporarily but it will eventually right itself. What matters most is that investors have the money which they can leave in the stock market for a long time.