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Latest Post

How to Evaluate a Startup Investment

So, you want to start the next Facebook, eh? Let’s hope fortune favors you a lot, then. To create a good startup, you’ll need to be in the right place at the right time, have a great idea and also have some money to spare. Here are some ways to evaluate whether your startup investment idea is a good one or if it will end up not doing much besides costing you a lot of time, effort and nerves.

Questions to Consider

Let’s start with a basic question a lot of entrepreneurs overlook: do you actually enjoy whatever it is you’re starting up? If you hate physical work, should you start a roof maintenance and installation business just because there are no other similar businesses in the area? The short answer is no. While a startup idea might look good on paper due to a lack of competition and high demand, remember that you’ll have to put long hours into your startup for it to become successful no matter what – forget 40 hour weekdays and welcome 90 hour ones. Starting a business you don’t like is setting yourself up for failure, plain and simple.

Okay, so you found a type of business you could enjoy dedicating yourself to. But is there enough demand for it in the area you’ll cover? Imagine you got a great piece of business real estate in a low income area, and luxury watches are your passion – should you open a store that sells expensive watches there? Probably not. Following your passion is great, but recognizing the area you’ll cater to is just as important.

How do your finances hold up against the needed venture capital? Another important point that can’t be overlooked. Too many entrepreneurs will get a loan thinking they struck gold with an idea only to end up out of business and with a massive amount of debt. You might think you found the perfect startup that will make tons of money, but there’s no guarantee this will be the case – prepare a safety net for yourself no matter what.

Do you see yourself doing this in ten years? Sort of a follow-up on the first point, but also a point of its own: many successful entrepreneurs are ‘stuck’ to their brand until retirement, for better or for worse. If you recoil at the thought of being in the same line of business come next decade and feel that the line of work is more of a temporary interest, keep looking.

Do you see the business going strong in ten years? The times are a-changin’, faster than any of us can remember. Lots of businesses that were doing well around the turn of the century are now faced with an urgent need to change their business model or are flat-out forced to close shop. If you’re investing in a startup, make sure that it’s one that ‘scales’ well with the years, and one that you can adjust as technology continues to evolve – you can be sure that it will.

How to Finance Your Business

There’s no shame in asking for a little help when you’re starting up – you’ll have a hard time finding a successful entrepreneur who financed his venture solely from savings. Getting business financing is a mixture of having a good plan, making the right pitch and simply being in the right place at the right time. Here are some suggestions on how you can get the financing you need.

Working with a bank or similar company

These days, most people in need of cash will first try their luck with a bank. It’s certainly convenient – a bank will pay the whole sum up front, usually soon after you’ve made the request, and will make the terms of the arrangement clear.

Still, getting a bank to give you a business loan isn’t easy – these loans are almost always five-figure ones and can sometimes reach six figures. You’ll need to present your case convincingly, making it clear that you know what you’re doing and will be able to use the company’s profits to pay the loan back in a timely fashion. Get ready to create an in-depth plan of how you’ll make your business succeed and ask for multiple opinions before presenting it to bank officials.

Credit cards are another way – those unable to work with a bank will try to use cards to get the quick cash they need. Sure, it can work, but should it? If a bank won’t issue you a loan, there’s a good chance your credit history leaves a lot to be desired – learning from past mistakes is part of what makes a great businessman, and you should start even before opening the doors of your company.

Alternate ways to Finance Your Business

If you don’t like the idea of working with a bank or credit card company (or are unable to), you can try finding an investor who will finance your venture. There are good and bad sides to this and you should evaluate both carefully before asking for help.

One of the big benefits of working with an ‘angel’ investor is that the loan is often under the table – there is no contractual obligation nor monthly rate on your part, only a promise to pay it back. It sounds great, but finding one such investor can be just as difficult as getting a bank loan with bad credit. For best results, try looking to the community – if you’re planning on opening a carpet cleaning business, find an affluent member of the community who cares about its betterment and point out how there’s a lack of top-notch carpet cleaners in the area.

The best sides of having an investor can also be its downsides: he or she can decide to change the terms of the agreement at any time, usually by asking for more money back than initially agreed upon. Therefore, make sure that whomever you choose is a supremely-honest person who won’t pull any shenanigans.

Lastly, you can also turn to your friends and family. Nobody likes asking friends for money, and familial relations of present day are rarely all they could be. Regardless, if you’re passionate about your request and really believe in your success, the people close to you might choose to put their savings to good use – heck, you can even offer them a job at your company or a place on its board.

Types of Financing

There are many different types of financing. Below listen are the important and common ones.

Debt Financing -Debt financing does not give the lender ownership control, but rather the principal must be repaid with interest. Length of the loan, interest rates, security and different terms depend upon for what the loan is being used.

There are distinctive types, for example, short term, time loans, lines of credit, medium to long term, working capital loan, loans for equipment, real estate financing and asset-based lending.

The distinction between a bank and an asset-based lender can be significant. Asset-based lenders are not regulated and this makes conventional financial ratios secondary in the credit analysis. While banks are virtually confined nowadays to strict reliance on balance sheet figures, an asset-based lender can look behind the figures at the business strategy, management, market potential, products, and so forth. Don’t imagine it any other way, these lenders are as interested in getting repaid as banks and government programs, yet they will tend to check whether they believe the funds can be put to profitable utilize.

In its most basic form, equity financing results in the repayment of principal and additionally return just if the venture produces sufficient funds/revenues for that purpose; henceforth the term risk capital. Due to the risk(s), the possible capital sources could be anybody, anyplace, anytime depending on the amount, purpose, and stage of business at issue.

Equity financing will dependably require consideration of ownership, profit, advantage sharing, operational control, valuation, and leave methodologies as critical issues to be painstakingly evaluated.

Friends and family-For most start-up situations or early stage enterprises, capital is typically generated by persuading accessible friends or relatives to bankroll the venture. Despite the fact that requiring less in the method for written business materials and maybe more accessible, there are substantial risks beyond economic considerations which ought to be seriously evaluated, not the slightest of which might be disrupted connections should the business not perform not surprisingly.

Angels represent an informal market of individual investors and business people/business visionaries who could conceivably visit the small business investment area. Access can be through any business contact, however is generally the aftereffect of professional sourcing through a financing consultant, attorney, accountant, and additionally other sort of business counsel. A strong business design with professional support is typically required to accomplish an investor safe place which likewise generally incorporates due determination audit. Risk evaluation and pricing are typically the major issue, rather than ownership sharing.

Private equity placements– This form of financing is liable to a few regulatory and legitimate requirements.         Accordingly, coordinate support and proceeding with help from a professional group of financial, lawful, and bookkeeping consultants is required to collect the vital written materials and build up a successful financial marketing design. A total business design is important and due industriousness ought not out of the ordinary. Ownership sharing and valuation can be significant issues.

Strategic partners– This evolving area of equity financing in its most basic form, represents some different business enterprise(s), related or unrelated to your venture contributing to accomplish some advantage, economic or non-economic, by giving goods, services, support, or potentially appealing credit plans to you as an end-result of goods, services, as well as a potential equity position. For instance, a major product or material supplier may grant exceptionally favorable installment terms to permit extended time for receivables recovery and improving and additionally stabilizing cash stream as a by-product of exclusive dealing, the prospect of larger orders by tracking a firm’s success, handsome interest charges, as well as even potential equity involvement.

Top 2 Tips for Financial Management

The millennial generation is redefining most of the norms that a lot of people have held true for the longest of times. The fact of the matter is that when it comes to financial security, the millennial generation can greatly benefit from taking a leaf out of the older generation’s playbook. Here in this article, we have explored some essential tips to financial security that would be beneficial to all ages, but especially beneficial to the younger generation.

  1. Saving Money

Whoever said that money can be saved after the thirties was clearly born with a silver spoon. It is of paramount importance to inculcate the habit of saving money. Start by giving yourself a small goal that you wish to achieve at the end of each month. Build on this goal to reach the “Lay off goal”. The layoff goal is the amount of money that is put away every month to build enough for the normal functioning of the individual for a period of 3 to 6 months, if he or she was suddenly laid off as a result of termination, downsizing or due to any other reason. You can’t turn around one day and be like you know what I am going to save money from this day; you have to start young and stay true to saving every month. Think of it like this, saving today can greatly increase your financial stability in the future and better yet you will have enough money to say invest in a venture that you are excited about without having to take a loan.

  1. Spending

Spending needs to be curbed a lot. People end up using their credit cards a lot for almost everything and soon enough the bank statements come in and you are wondering why you spent so much. There is no point living like a king for the first two weeks after your salary kicks in and then live like a peasant for the rest of the month because you can’t afford basic amenities. First of all, we suggest that you take the time to either draw up a budget or turn to a budgeting app that helps manage your finances. Extravagant dinners, sudden vacations and things that fall under that category need to be checked. We are not saying don’t spend, but always make sure to fall within a boundary that you set for yourself.

Top Budgeting Apps

There are two ways to go about managing your budget. One is to sit down and look at the numbers you are generating each month and draw up a conclusive way of managing all your financial needs and ensuring that a portion of the income is saved for future use. You can even one up the whole process by using some of your income to invest in stocks and trading. Well if you think all that is a lot of work and you want the easy way out then here is the list of apps that will make your life a whole lot easier. Also, these apps work on Android phones because buying an iPhone is just bad business.

  1. Good Budget

We are going to start off with an easy one. A good budget is an app that has a cross-platform interface, and its UI is one of the best in the market. The best part about the app is about how effective the design and aesthetic appeal is. You don’t want to be having an app that just has random numbers on the screen, now do you? So trust us and take that leap. Also, Good budget is a great way to kick things off for people who are just starting out with making a budget.

Verdict: For beginners

  1. My Budget Book

‘Let’s move on to some big players, shall we. If you are serious about budgeting and are looking for an app to aid in the development of your financial plan, then the application will be perfect for you. For starters, the application acts as a financial manager in all aspects, and there are no in-app microtransactions to avail services; there is the added benefit of having offline support at any time that makes this app a serious contender for all thing budgeting. The whole thing can be customized to ensure maximum user interaction and interface effectiveness. Since there are no microtransactions of any kind, it is to be noted that this is paid app and we believe that paying for this app isn’t really a bad deal. Think about it, you can pay $3 up front and enjoy limitless access of the one app that is surely going to make your whole financial management a walk in the park, or you can go for a free alternative that is no better than a spreadsheet.

Verdict: Simply the best

Top 3 Worst Stocks to buy in 2018

Let’s look at some of the poorest performing stocks and why it would be insane to invest in these sinking ships of 2018. Before we get to the article, we’d like to thank you for all the support and love that you have shown.

  1. Blue Apron Holdings

Blue Apron Holdings is similar to Wallmart in the kind of service that it provides, but the similarities end right there. The company is losing a lot of funny and with the debt cycle hitting on August 2019, buying these stocks are equivalent to renting a plot in the graveyard. Don’t get us wrong, Blue Apron had all the making of being a global juggernaut and was on course to provide Wallmart with some stiff competition. But the mismanagement of assets coupled with the markets becoming a lot more difficult to navigate resulted in an eighty percentage drop in stock prices. Right now you can buy stocks for $2 for a 400 million company, which says a lot.

Verdict: Avoid

  1. Chipotle

Chipotle is a franchise food chain, and at one point it was giving tough competition to McDonalds and Dominos, but that ship has sailed. Right now, the food sector as such is facing a rather steep decline in stock prices due to growing concerns about food safety regulations by massive corporate chains over the last year. Chipotle does have a new CEO, and there are plans to completely revamp the whole redundant structure and bring in better mechanics coupled with more unit openings across the United States. The biggest issue is that your investment won’t bear fruit until say Q3, so right now we believe that we need to tread lightly when it comes to Chipotle and wait and see whether things can be turned around.

Verdict: Wait and Watch

  1. General Mills

General Mills reminds us General Electric Company, and that isn’t really a good thing. For years people invested in GE by placing faith in the established organization that had a rich history for success and innovation, but soon the building blocks started to tumble, and soon the stock prices crashed. We believe that General Mills is on a similar course; the stocks are priced at $45 and don’t look too bad on the surface, but if one were to look closely and analyse, then he would know that a hornet’s nest awaits. General Mills will probably perform decently in the next two quarters which will be hyped out of proportion thus leading many to believe that the stocks are a great investment, but we believe that the crash is just around the corner and that the company has to get worse before it can get better.

Top 3 Financial Myths

There are a lot of confused people out there when it comes to tax laws and financial management. We have jumped into the muck of misconception and come out with a list of things that are quite baffling because a lot of people think it is true.

  1. Higher Pay Higher Tax

People think that if they start earning more, they will end up taking home less than before because they are being taxed more. But the truth of the matter is that not all your pay is charged at the increased tax rate; only the amount that is over the margin. So in essence your take home salary will increase from your previous income plan and that extra bit that crosses the margin alone will be taxed at a higher rate.

  1. Buying instead of renting

People think that renting a property is a bad financial move because it doesn’t come with any form assurance or financial stability. The fact of the matter is that when you buy a home, you will have to pay a lot in the beginning in the form of property tax and mortgage payments. So whatever money you spend there is more of a waste than having a rented place where all you have to do is pay the monthly rent on time. On the long run, owning a house makes sense, but in this volatile market, the safer bet is to rent an apartment instead of building a house.

  1. Not enough

People think that to invest in something they need to be super rich. Unless you want to be an angel investor from the get-go, you can easily enter the world of investment and stock trade. It is easy to buy stocks and trade and wait for the stock that you bought to reap benefits. A lot of times the smallest of stocks have left investors with over 1000% in mark up because they were willing to wait and had made the right calls by investing in the right project at the right time. Investment is like a long game that you have to play by understanding how the market works and by doing a lot of research.

There are a lot of financial myths floating around, and we can’t cover all those topics in a single article. If you like this article and want to see more of the same, do let us know in the comment section. We will definitely release another list soon with the right kind of support.

Things you need to know about Insurance

Insurance can be a very complex term. To understand how insurance as a concept works you must know a few things about insurance. Here are a few things you must knowabout insurance that will help you understand it better: –

1) Most individuals should be worried about insuring four areas: their possessions, their life, their health and their finances. Thus, insurance is mostly required in these areas.

2) Probably, since a house is probably going to be the single biggest investment the majority of us make. The general rule of thumb with homeowner’s insurance isn’t to hold back. On the off chance that you can, pay a little more to get guaranteed replacement coverage, which mandates that the insurer will replace your home if it’s destroyed no matter how much it amounts to or costs. On the off chance that you just indicate a certain measure of coverage, you could wind up paying the difference in the event that it doesn’t meet all your replacement expenses.

3) If you are wondering that once you have guaranteed replacement coverage for your home you are good to go. You may be right or maybe wrong. It’s imperative to comprehend what your homeowner’s insurance covers and what it doesn’t. For instance, especially expensive things, for example, big-screen televisions and additional fancy stereo equipment are often prohibited from policies or, in any event, inadequately covered. The same goes for antiques, collectibles, expensive jewellery and furs. To ensure these and different things that your policy doesn’t cover, get riders that particularly covers those things.

4) Additionally, homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood damage. In this case, go to your local town or municipal office and check whether your house is in a floodplain. Provided that this is true, contact the federal government’s National Flood Insurance system to get flood policies offered by private insurers. In this way, search for earthquake insurance on the off chance that you live in an area that may be hit by a quake.

5) If you have a home office, remember that you can opt for special insurance. A lot of home office equipment, for example, computers, fax machines, copy machines and so forth, are generally avoided from most conventional homeowner’s policies. For that reason, you need to get separate insurance to cover them. Insurance turns out to be especially vital on the off chance that you see clients in your home office. That implies you likely need liability insurance also, so check with your insurance operator to make certain every one of your bases are covered.

6) If you think that homeowner’s insurance covers you if an accident happens to someone who has come to your house. Not totally. Homeowner’s insurance policies (and tenant’s insurance) have liability limits, so it’s a smart thought to find an umbrella policy. This includes additional liability coverage, upwards of $1 million and significantly more at a generally shabby cost (in spite of the fact that the costs differ impressively from state to state). Not exclusively does it include additional liability coverage for where you live, yet you likewise get additional liability coverage for your car.

7) Car insurance is an absolute must. Each state requires that drivers have a type of automobile insurance set up. If they don’t have one, it would be sheer frantic to drive even one inch without some form of protection. Slam into another person and wreck another car or slaughter somebody, and your financial life could possibly be demolished without the protection of auto insurance.

8)Now the next question you must me asking yourself is why is auto insurance so expensive? The biggest nibble of auto insurance originates from liability protection, which is effectively divided into bodily injury protection and property protection. This is one element of auto insurance you shouldn’t short-change. Search for minimum coverage of $100,000 per person, another $100,000 for property and $300,000 per accident. Additionally, on the off chance that you can swing it, add on uninsured motorist coverage, which ensures you in the occasion you have an accident with a driver who has no insurance.

Systematic Investment Plans

A SIP or a Systematic Investment Plan enables an investor to invest a fixed amount consistently in a mutual fund scheme, commonly an equity mutual fund scheme. It imparts financial discipline to your life. It encourages you to invest frequently without grappling with market mood, index level, and so on. For instance, in the event that you should put a fixed amount each month in a mutual fund scheme, you have to discover time to do it.

When you have sufficient energy, you may be stressed over market conditions and consider postponing your investments. Or then again you may consider investing increasingly if the market mood is optimistic. SIP puts a conclusion to every one of these predicaments. The money is automatically invested frequently in a scheme with no effort on your part.

SIP assists you with averaging your purchase cost and maximize returns. When you invest routinely and finish a period independent of the market conditions, you would get more units when the market is low and less units when the market is high. This averages out the purchase cost of your mutual fund units.

Another advantage, called the eighth wonder of the world by a few, is the energy of compounding. When you invest over a long period and earn returns on the returns earned by your investment, your money would begin compounding. This encourages you to construct a vast corpus that assists you to achieve your long-term financial goals with normal small investments.

Dollar Cost Averaging Basics is one of the top systematic investment plans. Regular investing can enable you to cope with the human tendency of hesitating to invest in a declining market when stock prices may really be more reasonable.

With an automatic investment plan, known as dollar cost averaging, an investor invests the same amount at regular intervals — for instance, $500 every month — paying little respect to whether stock prices rise or fall. Utilizing this technique, investors can purchase more shares at bring down prices and less shares at higher prices.

A program of regular investing can help remove the feeling from investing when markets turn especially unpredictable in light of the fact that your long-term technique doesn’t change. There is no compelling reason to make a radical change. Truth be told, removing cash from the market or stopping to invest amid decreases may bring about pitching low or missing the opportunity to add to a portfolio when prices are down.

The key is that the average cost of the shares was $13.85 per share, while the average cost on the market was $15 per share. This implies the investor could abstain from paying an average of an extra $1.15 per share essentially by investing regularly and utilizing the energy of dollar cost averaging.

Obviously, to exploit a deliberate plan, investors must will to adhere to the system amid awful markets. Regular investing does not guarantee a benefit or ensure against misfortune, and investors ought to consider their willingness to continue investing when share prices are declining.

How to buy Mutual Funds

Picking to buy the right mutual funds is a great deal like choosing the correct sorts of stocks to purchase. Among the comparative strategic rules of thumb: watch the fees, diversify your holdings to mitigate your risk and don’t pursue performance, think long-term.

We should begin with diversification. On the off chance that your company has a 401(k) plan, you most likely have a good number of funds to look over. You would prefer not to put all your investments tied up on one place, so holding an enhanced portfolio is vital. A smart fund strategy mixes bond funds and stocks funds and also funds that invest in domestic and overseas markets.

A smart strategy likewise incorporates “rebalancing.” Each year, you should take a gander at your mix of funds to ensure despite everything they dovetail with your strategy of diversification. On the off chance that one strategy has done particularly well, it will grow to wind up an outsized piece of your fund portfolio. Every year, rebalancing your funds allows you to evade overexposure to a specific bit of the market. In the tech boom of the late 1990s, the individuals who didn’t rebalance ended up in an awful position when tech stocks had fallen in 2000– 2001. Any individual who rebalanced endured less misfortunes and ended up in a situation to better deal with the downturn.

The rebalancing demonstration is essential to stay away from a well-known pitfall for fund investors: Chasing performance. Every year, newspapers, for example, The Wall Street Journal list the top-performing funds. A great deal of investors at that point plow their money into these top-performing funds. Be that as it may, among investors, there’s a golden rule: Past performance is no guarantee of future performance. In reality, a year ago best-performing fund can rapidly turn into the current year’s laggard. Pursuing performance is a standout amongst the most common fund investing errors. Rebalancing and sticking with your diversification strategy can help keep away from this.

There are a large number of funds out there and many strategies. Here are a few:

Index funds are mutual funds that invest in a portfolio of securities that speaks to a specific market (like the whole stock market), or, a specific bit of a market (say, similar to, international stocks or little companies). These funds are worked to recreate the performance of their significant market – so they should track that market’s indexes. For instance, a S&P 500 index fund intends to give precisely the same as the S&P 500 index. They’re low-cost, low-maintenance funds.

Actively-managed funds are actively-managed by people. The portfolio managers, examine the vast investment universe and afterward pick and purchase things that match their investment strategies. For the most part, they’re attempting to beat certain indexes. For instance, rather than endeavoring to track the S&P 500 index, a dynamic US stock fund supervisor tries to beat it.

Investors pay these managers for their work. At that point, they cross their fingers and expectation that the administrator hits the nail on the head and beats the index. Frequently, be that as it may, the managers don’t. It’s difficult to beat an index over numerous years.

Lifecycle funds/Target date funds invest in a mix of stock and bond funds. Basically, these funds are mutual funds that are comprised of investments in other mutual funds. The fund’s allocation to its underlying investments change after some time as you close retirement.

The ratio of money allocated to stocks versus bonds progressively turns out to be more conservative as the investor grows more established. Along these lines, for instance, a 2040 retirement fund (named for the date that the investor would like to resign) may be 85% stocks and 15% bonds now however half bonds/trade and half stocks out 2040.

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