Personal Finance

Fintech trends to look out for in 2018

The expansion into cryptocurrencies

Given the introduction of blockchain, the rise of bitcoin and also the myriad cryptocurrencies that followed suit, this has given both the business user and the personal spender more than one option, finally, to how they can manage their wealth. With new ways of looking at costs, fintech bank accounts such as Cambr Financial Services are steering fee-free banking away from the traditional banks then cryptocurrency could well see a huge shift in how we buy, sell and save.

Blockchain

The technology that cryptocurrency runs on is going to have much wider implications and uses moving forward into the coming year. Anywhere that stores large sets of records could be looking at the benefits of a distributed ledger system, for example; healthcare records, estate agency and the housing market, education records, how we vote, leasing agencies, ride sharing, insurance companies – the list goes on and on – banking and finance are just the tip of the iceberg.

Artificial intelligence

AI is unstoppable. It’s infiltrated the way we behave on so many levels today and as time advances it will only become further implemented into our everyday systems. In the finance sector it’s already depicting patterns in financial transactions depicting customer behaviour and what are the relevant products to sell them, how to increase their ROI, suggest investment opportunities, to detect fraud, laundering and risk management, but it’s also featuring heavily now in how we communicate; voice recognition based services, smart messaging and back office tasks are all being moved forward by the implementation of this robot response automation.

Regulation

In an industry that seems to be growing at an unstoppable pace there has to be somebody somewhere making sure everything involved in its operation is fair and lawful. The regulation of the fintech market needs to be governed fairly and effectively, as our wealth is such an important personal area of our livelihood. Those who will lay out the rules in this application need a great understanding of both technology and finance markets, and need to foresee all the opportunities of abuse in the system and where it can fail to the detriment of the investor.

Larger organisations

So far the fintech entry into the financial market has been primarily smaller start-up businesses with the ability to specialise in a unique corner of the industry and innovate quickly to develop products to go straight to market. Although there is absolutely no reason why smaller start-ups shouldn’t continue to flourish, the global giants, banks and major finance players are now having to sit up and follow suit; either that or get left behind. These larger organisations and businesses already have a pool of resources on tap and the capital to invest in developing new technologies to keep them current and competitive in today’s market. This could also mean large organisations and the smaller start-ups combining to utilise those existing pools of resources and skillsets to move the tech forward even faster.

Data partnerships

The idea that data driven research and analysis is leading to a heightened awareness of how better a business can operate, it makes sense that the more data they have access to the more efficiently they can function. One consumer may be involved with various financial institutions – by sharing the information each partner has something to gain. These partnerships are only going to grow as time progresses.

Regional variations in how we pay

The way we can spend our money has changed dramatically over the past ten years. Cash and cheque have been replaced by credit and debit cards, contactless payments, wire transfers, online services, mobile pay, QR code transactions, payments via email address and phone number, bitcoin wallets, and a host of additional methods that are introduced almost daily using new technologies. The way we pay is already showing differences in certain areas of the world. QR codes are very popular in China and currently flowing through into the rest of the world and in Europe the European Payments Council are looking for advanced ways for countries to trade with greater ease through its Single Euro Payments Area by harmonising their payment products.

Mobile experience growth

Our phones are becoming the most popular way we interact with our financial services. Making payments and transfers, applying for loans, overdrafts or mortgages are all simplified by the use of an app or website. Innovations in this area are going to keep growing and growing. They are going to become even more beneficial to users living or working in areas of the world with no or few physical banking facilities where the mobile connection is the only option to access these services.

Data protection; privacy and security

The new regulations introduced by GDPR are going to dictate how our data is handled and what the companies holding it can and can’t use it for, and who they can and can’t share it with. With data being so valuable to so many now cybersecurity is ever important and protecting your information is premium for any business if they stand any chance in holding your trust in them.

Further finance tech products

Fintech businesses operating in big data analytics will no doubt already have a base of key customers, or a predetermined outline of who their key customer will be, which would suggest they’re likely to tailor their products to them for ease of sale and profit – this opens up even more big data to be added to the pool, which is furthering the scope of advanced analytics even further.

E-mandates

E-mandates will replace the physical Electronic Clearing System and will completely change the current system of direct debit payments. Becoming totally digital will improve the payment speed by up to 80% and the impact will be vast on our Internet powered economy. The flexibility and management of these actions will be far superior and give the user greater control of the service.

Peer-2-Peer lending

Any operatives using a P2P lending system will now be regulated as a non-banking financial company. They will be recognised by the banking regulators and given access to valid credit reports to allow better decision making when considering loans. This system with its high efficiency led ROI allows much lower lending rates, which can only be a good thing for the borrower.

And finally…

As much as this list gives insight into a few ways technology is changing the face of how we control our finances there are many more coming into play every day. The world in which we buy and sell is evolving, as too are the ways we can do it. It’s an exciting time in the financial sector with so much movement and opportunity so it should also be a very exciting time for the consumer.

Personal Finance

7 Characteristics of a Forex Trading Guru

Despite all the statistical formulae, mathematical algorithms and detailed charts that are incorporated in Forex trading, reliable instinct and intuition are a successful trader’s secret superpower. When a general or an army fights a war, he cannot dictate the action of his enemies. The only instrument that he can control is his own mind and his own choices.  Similarly, in the world of Forex trading- the market cannot be compelled to follow investors’ preferred trends.

To transform into a Forex trading expert, you must have the strength to control your mind and to discipline your behavioural choices. Anyone can conquer the ability to read charts and perform market analysis. Yet to truly be a trading master, you must be able to hone your intuitive skills to be able to assess the market conditions. This is what will set you apart in the real world.

Know Yourself and Know Your Goals

If you have developed the ability to manage your mind, then you must have gone through a rigorous soul searching process where you outlined your goals. Before commencing any new venture, it is imperative you know what your objective is. Once you have defined clear, succinct and quantifiable targets, then you must devise a plan that will help you fulfil them. Examine what trading methodologies suit your style. Different trading strategies have to be tackled in unique ways and come with varying degrees of risk.

To be a prosperous Forex trader, you must understand your nature and your mode of operation. For instance, will you be able to sleep with an open position on the Forex market? If not, then perhaps day trading is meant to be your path. Is patience a virtue you possess (along with the required funds to invest)? Then, you may contemplate going for a long-term trade transaction that you anticipate will accumulate in value over a specified time length. That would make you an ideal position trader. The bottom line is that self-awareness is key to success in this field- as is the selection of a trading plan that caters to your lifestyle. 

Choose a Reliable Broker

A brilliant Forex player doesn’t trade without his most important sidekick: his broker and his trading software. Choosing a broker is a laborious process that requires extensive research. Comb the industry and analyse your software requirements. Of course, collaboration with a renowned broker is highly recommended. Educate yourself thoroughly about potential brokers that you consider and what their polices entail. Conducting trade in the spot market differs from trading on exchange-oriented platforms. Knowing your trading plan will facilitate your decision in being a well-informed one.

Stick to Your Trading Route

Whenever an army goes to war, it doesn’t go in blindly but goes in fully equipped with its battleplan and know-how. Similarly, as a Forex trader, you must be armed with all the information required to make your decisions whether to indulge in a certain transaction or not. There are multiple techniques to deploy when evaluating whether to enter or exit a trade.

Some speculators refer to the performance of the company in question or take into account the economy’s status. Then, they will use a chart to ascertain the optimal time frame to engage in the transaction. Other players choose to put their faith in variant forms of technical analysis and will apply a chart only to select a time period.

The Elliott Wave Theory and principle is an effective form of technical analysis that you can use to understand the cyclical movements of the financial market. Keep in mind that external factors such as economic events and financial patterns will act as indicators in the long term, yet charts will benefit you for the short haul. Hence, it is essential to know what your goal is and to stick to your chosen trading methodology like glue. Of course, keep a little room to amend your trading tactics as per need basis.

Time Your Trade Carefully

Ensure that your daily and weekly chart are in sync. If you are obtaining a sell signal from your weekly chart, then the same should be reflected on the daily one. It will help in reducing the margin for prospective errors.

Love Your Wins, Love Your Losses Even More

Yes, we all do love it when we have an auspicious trade. However, love your losses even more. Embrace it as a learning opportunity and review the conditions in which you made the trade. Most importantly, consider your trading investment as “holiday funds”. Once you go on a trip, your money gets utilized. Apply this thinking principle to your trading economic matters so you don’t get disheartened. Having said that, don’t leverage your trades more than a total of 2%. If you have EUR 1000 in your account, then you should not lose more than EUR 20 in your trade. Lower the short times or reduce the leverage of risk if it is more.

No Weekend Breaks

You may be thinking what can you possibly do, considering that the markets are closed on the weekends? Actually, there is a lot you can achieve within those two days. Break out the weekly charts and scrutinize it closely. Know it as well as you would know the back of your own hand. Look for news items or any trends that would leave an impact on your particular transactions. A trend could be creating a double top-yet leading industry authorities could be expecting a downfall. Such a situation is known as reflexivity: where a dual feedback circle affects traders’ opinions, which then influence the environment. It is crucial that you understand what the real situation is at hand.

Keep a Journal

Maintaining a trade journal is a great way to preserve a snapshot of all your trading transactions.. You can go an extra mile by adding notes whilst allocating funds to a particular trade. This will not only help you ameliorate your future deals but will allow you to track the thought process involved. Your chances of prosperity will rise considerably as you will be able to review your journal if any errors are made

Personal Finance

8 Things You Absolutely Need to Know About Life Insurance

Are you contemplating getting life insurance but aren’t sure which cover is best for you? Or perhaps you already have life insurance but think there may be more appropriate cover out there. You’ve read through a set of life insurance guidelines and think you’re ready to begin contacting insurance providers. But wait! There’s are things you need to know about life insurance before you commit to giving a company your hard-earned cash.

After all, life insurance can be complex, and cover needs to be completely tailored to your needs. With the right information, you can navigate the minefield of life insurance cover and find yourself the perfect policy for you and your family. Here are the eight things you absolutely need to know about life insurance:

The younger you buy life insurance, the better.

If you’re considering purchasing life insurance, then you should do it sooner rather than later. That’s because life insurance premiums can change depending on your age and how healthy you are. A lot of health conditions can be worsened with age, so it’s worthwhile trying to get your life insurance sorted before your health starts declining. To get your insurance premiums as cheap as you can, get your policy sorted while you’re young and healthy.

Life insurance companies will investigate your claims, so there’s no point lying.

There are certain questions that you will need to answer in order to get your life insurance policy. They are asked by every company. The questions will cover everything from your financial stability to your personal health. Depending on the answers you provide, you may be entitled to a different form of life insurance, and to different premiums. If you’ve had a history of bad health or have recently been made redundant, it’s important to be honest about these details. That’s because any life insurance company worth its salt will research the answers you provide to these questions. Therefore, you’re only wasting time by providing incorrect information.

You need cover if you have ANY financial obligations. Even if you aren’t earning.

While some people think they don’t need life insurance because they don’t have any dependents, it may still be a wise idea to take out a policy if you have large financial obligations, like a loan. If you’re older, it’s also an excellent way to make sure your loved ones can pay for your funeral arrangements. Most mortgage advisors will insist that you have life insurance before they’re willing to sign-off on your mortgage. That’s because they want to be assured that they will get their money back, should anything happen to you.

You don’t need to purchase cover through an advisor.

It’s a good idea to speak to a financial advisor if you’re unsure where to begin when you’re considering life insurance. However, you may actually be speaking to someone who is on commission with a certain company. Also, there may be certain discounts or limited time offers that are applicable to your personal circumstances, which the advisor may not be aware of. Therefore, it’s a great idea to have a browse online before committing to a policy.

Premiums can be fixed.

Some people purchase the cheapest life insurance policy, without giving much thought to whether the policy will still be the most affordable option in a couple of years. In fact, it’s pretty common for life insurance premiums to increase after the first couple of years, after the insurer has assessed your situation. A life insurance company hopes to make money, so it’s in their best interest to increase your premiums if they’re able to. Therefore, when you’re choosing which life insurance policy is best for your circumstances, make sure to consider whether a fixed premium policy would be more appropriate.

You should asses whether you need to amend your policy every time your situation changes.

Every time you celebrate a major life event, you should review the level of insurance you have. For example, if you and your partner have a child, you may want to increase the pay out (otherwise known as the sum insured) of the insurance policy so your family is taken care of if anything happens to you. In contrast, you may pay off your mortgage and decide that you no longer need such a large sum assured, so can reduce the monthly payments into your policy. Other factors that may change the amount of money you’d like to tie into your life insurance policy include marriage, divorce, the age (and therefore financial dependency) of your children, grandchildren, and your retirement.

You can have more than one policy.

If your situation changes, you can either amend your existing life insurance or take out a second policy to supplement your cover. If you have taken out a policy that you can’t amend then a second top-up policy is the only option for you. But a second policy may also be the best option even if you are able to change your life insurance cover. This will be especially true if you took out your original policy a long time ago. Amending or getting brand new cover to account for your change in situation may be more expensive than simply taking out a small second policy to fill in the financial gap.

It can be difficult to cancel a life insurance policy.

There are multiple reasons why you might consider cancelling your life insurance policy. Maybe it’s no longer appropriate for your circumstances. Or maybe you just don’t need it anymore. Whatever the reason, it’s important to read the terms and conditions of your life insurance policy to see if you can salvage any of your payments. It may end up more financially suitable to amend the policy as best you can, rather than cancelling it completely. To decide, you can request a cost basis report from your insurance provider, which will provide you with all the information you need to make a decision. If you do end up cancelling your life insurance policy and are looking to take out replacement cover, make sure to have the second policy in place before cancelling the first.

Passive Income

Strategies on How to Make Passive Income

Appeal for more transparent tax

It would be better to say that you have to earn more money because your situation doesn’t give you enough room to enjoy life. The salary that you receive from the corporate world is at least enough to feed and pay up the bills. There is barely anything left for you to unwind and relax. What you need right now is ideas on making passive income.

What is Passive Income?

Passive income comes from earnings that are derived from various enterprises such as limited partnership and rental properties. This is where the individual is not involved materially. Most of the time, passive income is taxable; however, it is treated quite differently by the IRS. Some analysts consider portfolio income as passive income, wherein the interest and dividends are seen as passive.

It has long been the ultimate key for entrepreneurs. While there are rarely any doubts about the importance regarding passive income, there is a great hurdle that one has to overcome, and most of the time it is quite great that only a handful of individuals are successful in creating passive income. This shows how it is difficult to create passive income. It needs the upfront investment of a great amount of time and most of the time it has almost no returns for long periods of time. It can go for months or even years without money coming in, even a single dollar.

What it means to create passive income is when it doesn’t need much maintenance to keep the money flowing. But this doesn’t mean that you have to completely forget about it. It is important that you keep track of every stream you’ve created the passive income with. You need to look at it regularly, even if it is automated.

Put up a blog.

One of the most significant methods when it comes to generating passive income is by starting up a blog. Blogs can generate amazing amounts of income, but not right away. If it is your first time putting up a blog, keep in mind that it is going to take a while. You need a lot of time and work for your blog to succeed.

It doesn’t matter what your niche is. What matters here is that you’ve got a clear understanding of things such as social media marketing, SEO and the ability to create content of high value. With these three, you will be able to succeed with your blog. When your blog becomes very popular, it will give you the audience and platform to generate several revenue streams by marketing out relevant services and products to your visitors.

Develop an online course.

Do you have some skills that are worth sharing with other people? You will get more passive income from that by creating an online course through Udemy. It is one of the greatest ways of automating your cash flow. However, just like with creating a blog, you need to spend a lot of effort and time to make sure that your online course becomes a success.

There are a lot of videos out there created by YouTube stars, sharing their skills to the world. You can start there to find something that will inspire you to do the same. However, you need to stick with technical skills that you are good at. You can teach people the basics of learning a particular musical instrument, how to learn a new language, how to start up a photography business and so on. Those video bloggers are your great source on how you can get started.…