Archive for November, 2012

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.

As the saying in the World Wide Web goes no juice they are all tablets. Your head buzz from all the beatings it got from those oozing press releases about the latest in iPad, the wonder Kindle Fire and the lukewarm Blackberry Playbook. They may be all tablets but each is a tablet on its own.

Let’s take the apple iPad this is the great old ancestor of these trendy tablets; trust apple to always come first in anything techy. This is the one most desired by many technology savvy personas including yours truly. There are so many things you can do with this apple iPad away from your desk tops and laptops that you’ll feel bereft without it after owning one. The only con for the apple iPad is it doesn’t support Flash. All the others; uses Flash on their tablet. One other thing is it has no front facing camera and cannot support video chat. This also has no support for sending messages because it can only connect to Wi-Fi and not to 3G.  You can never multi task with an iPad.

Then let us do the kindle fire turn in the pit. Grilling the kindle fire will reveal flaws or heighten its spitting image more. The kindle fire by Amazon the newest addition to the family is still in infancy or shall I make it a little mature “a kid”. Amazon’s first tablet the kindle fire has been recently launched in the market without much ado, unlike the buzzing electrifying wait for the release of the iPad. This latest genetic generation of the tablet has a promising future or like the rest of Amazon’s wonder child will die a slow death. This is powered by Amazon’s promise that battery life is akin to immortal’s life or somewhat a little lesser. This is also supporting the Flash which apple has banned for their iPads. This also sports the Amazon’s latest browser that makes downloads a breeze.

We’ll do the blackberry playbook last but not as the least. This tablet shows a lot of multi-tasking features. Its speed makes email sending and updates like an expressway cruise. Managing accounts and communication is a love dance. This blackberry playbook belies its name but validates every online workers dream. This packs all the jack of all trades productivity dream. This features the most ultimate in reliability operating system. Just connect your blackberry smartphone with your blackberry playbook and use the smartphone as keyboard and mouse. With your blackberry playbook you can send messages and video chat. And you have to go visit someone in the great rural wilderness who is out on vacation you wouldn’t get lost with it GPS navigation system. This is great for business and work.

You have one or the three; nothing else you’ve missed. One is slightly higher priced than the other and one offers lesser features. Just choose what work best for you and go buy the hottest addition, the slightly hot or the ultimate hot. Which is which it’s up to you.

 

 

 

 

With the current happenings in the world of IT and the impending release of Windows 8, Microsoft may be able to jump up and eventually keep at pace with its competitors. As it is, the publicly listed company is lagging behind giants like Apple, Samsung, and Google. However, since Microsoft is not seen to take a slice of the Android platform, developers are inclined to take the company as a possible alternative, especially since the Bill Gates firm is not in any way connected with the ugly fight for the Android market.

Microsoft had already taken a slice of the tablet pie by offering its own Surface tablet. Although its competitors are waiting for it to fail, stock market investors are waiting for the effect of Windows 8 release. As always, the pessimists believe that Windows 8 is a massive failure although it hasn’t even been released yet. But, investors will have to decide even before Windows 8 is released. If they don’t see any value in the new Windows 8 operating system, stock market prices will surely fall. Currently, the price has risen by as much as 19% this year but it failed in comparison to Apple’s 60% increase in the same period.

Experts are predicting that Samsung and Google will suffer losses in terms of market share and there’s a possibility that the new Windows 8 will rake in a conservative $8 to the company’s stock market price, which represents a 26% increase in share price. But with the impossibility of foretelling the future, no one really knows how Windows 8 will fare. However, there are signs that it will be the company’s best OS since Windows 95. Microsoft is also to set to conquer smartphones and tablets. Windows 8 is said to be the OS of choice for Microsoft’s Surface tablet and will compete against Apple’s iPad and similar devices from Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

Aside from the effect of Windows 8 on the company’s share price, it is also interesting to note that Microsoft has huge $29 billion free cash on its coffers. It is expected that the 2.6% dividend yield will also increase by fall. With this, the value of Microsoft’s share price and value will also increase. The free cash is really not unexpected because Microsoft does have large gross margins.

Recently, the company has received a lot of flak for its decision to write down a Quantive’s value by $6.2 billion. It can be remembered that the online advertising agency was bought by Microsoft for $6.3 billion in 2007. However, its purchase of Skype in 2011 for $8.5 billion may have been a better decision.

With about $70 billion in revenue and $22 billion in operating income for the 2012 fiscal year which ended in June, investors are expecting more than the usual 80 cents dividend per year. Therefore, with solid cash in Microsoft’s coffers, experts are predicting that even if Windows 8 doesn’t perform above par, the money generated by Microsoft due to its high gross margins is enough for investors to be confident about their earnings from the company’s stocks.

Taking a Peek at Hybrid Cars

At this present time where the cost of crude oil is at its highest level, hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) are alternative that are gaining more shares in the market. These are vehicles or cars use two separate power sources namely the traditional engine that uses internal combustion and a motor/generator which is electrically driven. This is taking each type of vehicle’s good points and combining them into one product while aligning certain objectives to improve what is best in every individual car.

The technology used by hybrids includes:

Regenerative Brake System: This takes the kinetic energy which is normally lost during the traditional braking system process and in turn uses this to recharge the battery to power the rest of the electrical needs of the hybrid such as for its electronic devices. This gives free energy to the battery while at the same time reduces the wear and tear of the brake parts. This braking system is a very environmentally friendly technology. If compared to the conventional braking system that involves friction which is extremely inefficient since the overall momentum of the vehicle is being change to heat by the friction in the brakes. The system used by the regenerative braking uses the energy that is present then restores it back towards the system greatly reducing wasted energy. This system when used in a hybrid car permits the engine of the gas powered vehicle to run slower since the electric battery is constantly charged. Likewise this will in effect allow fewer emissions to the environment and reduces oil consumption. Regenerative braking on the other hand is helping in the preservation of our natural resources. If continuously implemented in other cars and public vehicles, it will reduce environmental emissions. Its effectiveness is experienced in Prius and other hybrids as it showed the potential for this particular technology to be fully utilized in more energy saving ventures.

Electrically Driven and Assisted Motor. The electric motor that is found in hybrids; deliver an additional power which helps the gas engine during acceleration, passing or climbing hills. This electric motor is smaller and more efficient than gas in this task. In other car, the motor still provides the needed power for low-speed driving where engines with internal combustion are believed to be least efficient. The reduced engine size and power has made hybrid cars better in performance since it has less engine weight and optimum performance. This smaller engine functions continuously following the ideal power range while the traditional engines operate in a broader range but have a narrow optimum range.

Automatically Starts and Shuts off. The concept here makes use of an automatically shut-off mechanism to the engine when the car stops and when it restarts there is only the pressing of the accelerator. By cutting the power completely during these periods; it already reduces fuel consumed and likewise reduce the emissions during idling. This helps prevent idling wasted energy.

Summary:

Hybrids consider two basic areas in vehicles which is the fuel consumption and reduction of harmful emissions through three distinct mechanisms:

  1. Regenerative braking which is the reusing wasted energy.
  2. Electric motor to compensate Reducing the size and power of the internal combustion engine and using the better torque of.
  3. Reduction in wasted energy during idling and at cruising speed modes through cutting of power on the internal combustion engine which may be partly or in totality.

Conclusion:

The increased weight in hybrids due to the addition of the electric motor and battery pack could adversely affect fuel that is supposed to be saved. Though this weight generally does not affect when driving at cruising speed; it implies that it is ideally good only for urban transport needs. Another disadvantage of this technology is the initial cost. There are even claims that the fuel savings generated through its use cannot even out the cost of purchase. However the technology is still being refined and it is expected to improve in the next five years. Maybe we should wait until Ford, GM, Mazda, Nissan, Honda, Peugeot, Renault and Toyota can give the secret recipe to make hybrids work more effectively.