Economy - Page 4

Should you invest in ICO

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An Initial Coin Offering or ICO is a new way of funding that uses cryptocurrencies. This cryptocurrency is sold in a form of tokens in exchange for other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. Basically, ICO is a modern way to raise capital for all sorts of projects. In this text, we are going to break down ICO step by step for you, and also talk about the benefits of investing in ICO.

How does ICO exactly work? ICO is, in a way, an equivalent to IPO (Initial Public Offering) i.e. companies sell stocks on the market to raise funds. ICO is the same thing only in the virtual world, but the difference is that the ICO uses cryptocurrencies.

First of all, a company or a developer comes up with the idea for a new blockchain related project and presents it to the community. If that project gets support from the community, the developer draws up so-called white paper. A white paper is a document of about 2500 words which provides all information about the project. In a way it is a marketing tool because its main goal is to attract investors, but the document is formally written and it states all the features of the project, future plans, information about the developers and also how much money is needed to launch the certain project and also how long the ICO campaign is going to last.

Img source: cryptocoinspy.com

Secondly, the developer creates their own tokens which they are going to exchange for Bitcoin or ETH. Creating a new token is easy and the company has to establish the price of each token, which is usually low at the beginning, as well as the limit to the number of tokens i.e. the amount of money the developer wants to collect.

The last thing the developer has to do is to promote its ICO on one of many platforms such as Waves or Token Market. If the ICO campaign is unsuccessful i.e. if the developer doesn’t collect the required amount of money, the tokens are returned to the investors. On the other hand, if the required amount of money is collected during a specific timeframe, the campaign is declared successful and the money is used for the development of a certain project.

If you are considering investing in ICO, check out this ICO list to find the best projects. Here are some benefits of investing in the ICO.

Clearly, the main benefit of investing money is ICO is the profit. When you invest in ICO, in reality, you are investing in the early stages of a certain project. For starters, you should invest the amount of money you can afford to lose. There is no guarantee that the ICO will be successful, so you shouldn’t invest a large amount of money. Once you invest money in a certain token, you can be sure that its value will increase once it hits the cryptocurrency market.

Img source: cryptocoinspy.com

Secondly, the company in which ICO you’re investing will grant you certain discounts when it comes to their project or services. This is the main strategy of every company to attract new customers or in this case, investors who will provide them with the necessary funds to launch their project. In addition, by purchasing a certain token, you’re investing your money in the future. How? Well, you will buy a token for a low price, and the value of that token will increase in the future thus you’ll be able to sell it for a much larger amount of money.

We have presented with some basic feature and benefits of ICO. If you opt for this type of investment, make sure to investigate the ICO you want to invest in since this a fairly new way of rising funds and it is not yet regulated by law.

8 Biggest Fintech Incubators in the USA

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Nowadays the rapid growth and development of the Fintech startups are widely observed. Over a couple of years, this digitized financial services industry replenished the system of incubators and accelerators.

In this article we will:

  • explain the meaning, difference, and role of fintech incubators and accelerators;
  • compare the worldwide fintech programs;
  • list the tips on how to apply for accelerators.

Let’s get started.

What is a Fintech Incubator?

Summarizing numerous explanations, the incubator can be defined as:

  • an organization that supplies a customer with certain opportunities and contributes to their autonomy;
  • location where all newly founded firms are. It equips them with the necessary outfit and aims to make such business
  • prosperous and profitable;
  • administrative and technical services;
  • business planning and consulting of future companies and start-up entrepreneurs;
  • the dynamic process of the entrepreneurship development.
source: pymnts.com

Incubator vs. Accelerator

Fintech Accelerators speed up the development of the company, while incubators produce crucial ideas to build the business.

As we can see accelerators deal with the big enterprises while incubators work with innovations.

Even though both programmes saw the world in Silicon Valley, now they are well-spread around the globe.

How Does an Accelerator Work?

The first difference is the structure of the program. The accelerator has a certain established period during which a group of people works to build a strong business and avoid possible risks.

Both programs are very choosy. Accelerators support the tendency to start with the process of applying. The most popular accelerators pick only 10 companies from the 1000 possible candidates.

As a rule, beginners get small investment and access to the mentorship programs in turn for the little fund. The mentorship consists of the founders of the leading companies, advisers, and experts.

So, accelerators aim to shorten the period of development from two years to a couple of months.

Top Fintech Incubators and Accelerators

We’ve prepared the list of the top Fintech incubators and accelerators in the USA.

Top Fintech Incubators and Accelerators in the USA.

source: insights.dice.com

500 Startups

One of the most popular accelerators in the Bay Area. During 4 months you get free access to mentorship, sessions, and meetups where you will cooperate with experts and founders from different countries. 500 Startups invests $150K in turn for the 6% in equity.

TechStars

Annually this accelerator accepts 300 companies to give them three-month mentorship. Its investments count to $120. TechStars gives access to its network for life.

Y Combinator

This is the winning variant of accelerator who wants to run the company of the web apps. It offers a three-month camp in Silicon Valley where all participants present their projects, listen to mentors and advisers.

Ynext incubator

All participants who dare to develop their fintech products get access to Yodlee Interactive APIs, mentorship, consulting, and another type of support.

MergeLane

This is an accelerator for women-led startups. It supports them with online coaching and programs for women in business. As a participant, you have to be in Colorado for 12 weeks and take part in meetings. Then the program can be completed online.

Make in LA

This is an accelerator program that supports hardware startups. It invites to the four-month session that teaches how to build the winning startup and attract investors. Moreover, Make in LA allows online cooperation with the leaders and mentors around the clock.

source: fee.org

Masschallenge

It has headquarters in Boston, Israel, Mexico, Switzerland, Texas, and the UK. Masschallenge improves the innovative global system of startups in different branches for zero equity.

Capital Factory

Its competitive advantage is the possibility to work with mentors and investors all life. They become famous thanks to their up to date coworkers, hosting, and free access to materials.

The Bottom Line

So, be brave and try your luck. All that you need is to pick appropriate accelerator, get ready to present your business, work hard, and bring your idea to life. Today you have a wide choice of the programs that are ready to invest in you.

Top Tips For Making Cash Fast!

It can sometimes seem like a long wait between paydays, and life has a habit of throwing nightmares at us at the least convenient of times. No matter how well you budget, how many takeouts you cut back on, or how many letters you ignore, there comes a time when you sometimes need some cash— fast.

Short of starting a career as an international bank robber (not a recommended route), this can sometimes feel like an impossible situation. There are, however, steps you can take to help you raise some cash quickly and legitimately.

source: klassenfinancial.com

Have A Clearout

You may be surprised as to the potential treasure troves you are storing out of sight. A good clear out of attics, storage units, and forgotten corners can turn up some real gems, which may be eligible for sale in antique or other stores.

Your regular objects can be worth money too; sort out a pile of unwanted clothing to sell on eBay, Craigslist or Depop— you haven’t worn that skirt for ten years, but it could bring you a few bucks when you need to most!

As well as clothes, you can sell books, ornaments, nicknacks, and even your car—services such as Tony’s Auto Removal Portland will give you cold hard cash in exchange for an unwanted vehicle. Electronics are also a good bet; you may be able to trade in that old mobile phone or tablet for a decent price. Time to start Googling to see what you could earn!

source: pinterest.eu

A Second Job

This is not always practical, but a second job can sometimes be exactly what you need to help you get out of financial bother. Jobs in the service industry, such as cleaning, waiting tables, or bartending, can often be picked up fairly quickly, and you have the potential to earn more in tips. These are usually fairly flexible roles, allowing you to work around family commitments or a primary job. Consider opportunities near you; it could be just what you need when times are hard.

Use Your Skills

An alternative to a second traditional job is to consider the skills you already have. Perhaps you are great at building and designing websites or a talented writer who could sell ice to Eskimos. With the rise of the Internet, there has never been such an excellent opportunity to earn money online from the comfort of your own home, and there is always someone who will need your skills. Think creatively, and you could soon have the cash you need.

sourc: ebdaily.co.uk

Be Cautious With Credit

It can seem tempting when times are tough, but credit should only really be considered as a very last resort. While it may provide a solution to the problem in the short term, it can exacerbate your financial woes over a more extended period as you struggle to pay the bills and charges which can come with it. Try and exhaust all other possibilities first— with a little creativity, you may surprise yourself.

Tips for Trading Breakouts

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Breakout trading can be extremely profitable and can appear to be quite easy. But is it? Or is it more complicated than it first appears? Yes and yes. It does appear to be easy, but in fact, it is not. The first skill that it requires is the ability to judge if a specific support / resistant will stand or fall. That in itself requires some trading experience. The whole reasoning behind breakout trading is to understand what might cause support and resistance to fail. Here are some of our favorite tips for using trading breakouts.

What Are the Market Breaks to Watch For?

If you witness a resistance level failing, then your goal is to put in a buy order while the market breaks out at a higher point. If the support level fails, the point is to put in your sell order while the market is breaking out below it. Basically, you are predicting which way the momentum is going. What you are looking for is a market that is stuck in between support and resistance points. With great patience and an eagle eye, watch for the market to go beyond its support or resistance. You can expect a period of volatility after such a break – that is where you want to enter. Yes, this requires great patience, but the rewards can be worthwhile.

Img source: dailyfx.com

How Do Breakouts Differ From Other Trades?

Most forex trading consists of reacting to the existing market. You watch the charts, check your own rules and make the decision to enter or not. With trading breakouts, it’s different because you are waiting for momentum to step in. That’s why it is also called momentum trading. Experienced traders are able to profit through the increase in the market’s volatility. However, it can be a bit confusing when in this type of trade, you buy high but sell low. Really, it takes guts but can be extremely rewarding.

Tips for Recognizing Breakout Trades

When you’re ready to step into trading breakouts, you have a few options. First is waiting until the volume has gone up to confirm the breakout. This typically means a surge in volume, which follows a time of trading low volumes. You can also use volatility cycles to your advantage. This involves discerning trading ranges while in a low volatility period and then going into a breakout trade while the volatility is high. Of course, you can also trade breakouts going in the trend’s direction. In this case, it’s best to enter breakouts that are following the current trend. To find the direction, take two swing points. Use them to draw your support or resistance line that is going against the trend.

Img source: admiralmarkets.com

Exit Plans

Keep in mind that following a breakout, there is a period of increased market volatility. Whichever breakout you choose (and there are several options) be sure to have a well-defined plan for an exit that you can quickly take advantage of if needed. So enter the breakout trade at the point you choose, but always be ready for a quick escape!

How To Get Hard Money Loans

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Hard money loans are a type of loan that uses real estate as collateral. Hard money loans are different than bank loans because they are funded by private investors or a group of investors. The money loaned is usually fixated to a 12-month repayment term; however, those terms can usually be extended to five years. The loan is repaid every month by paying the interest or interest plus principals. Most often, hard money loans end with a balloon payment at the end of the term.

Since hard money loans use real estate as collateral, the amount of money that can be loaned usually depends on the value of the collateral. Banks and other establishments might refuse your loan, but money lenders will not. Since it uses real estate as collateral, the lenders are perfectly safe knowing that if the client cannot repay, they will use the property to pay off the loan. That way hard money lenders are always making safe loans.

What types of property do hard money lenders accept?

In most cases, hard money lenders will accept any form of property whether that’s a single residence home, a multi-residence home, land, commercial land, industrial land, the list goes on.

However, not every hard money lender has experience with all types of property, so some of them might specialize only with residential property rather than land.

Img source: mashvisor.com

Interest rates of hard money loans

The interest rates of hard money loans are different in each state and with every lender. Some like, hard money loans Texas, offer much lower rates since there are more lenders in the state of Texas. In some states with fewer lenders, the rates are higher because the competition is smaller. The math is simple, the more competition means that the interest rates are smaller and prices are lower.

Since hard money lenders take a bigger risk than banks, their interests are much higher. Interest rates for hard money loans usually range between 10% and 15% and they depend solely on the lender. Furthermore, points can range between 2% and 4%, and they also depend on the loan to value ratio.

How to determine the loan amount to value?

As we mentioned earlier, the amount of money you can loan depends on the value of the property, which is calculated by a ratio of the amount divided by the value of the property. Most often, hard money lenders will offer a loan of up to 75% of the value of the property. If you’re loaning money to improve the property, then lenders will offer you an amount equal to the same percentage of the value of the property after the borrower has improved it. This type of loan is not as safe for lenders because they put in more money and the burrower’s capital decreases. If a risk occurs during this loan, the lender might charge higher fees for the repayment process and interest rates.

Img source: primeplusmortgages.com

In some cases, hard money lenders have offered a higher percentage of the ARV value (after repair value). They can even finance the renovation costs but expect to see higher interest rates somewhere between 15% and 18%.  Furthermore, the points ratio will also be increased between 5% and 6%.

Reasons why cryptocurrencies are here to stay

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Years from now, who would think about us using 4G or 5G that we will need to rely on in order to perform money transfers and transactions in our daily lives? Starting from paying for our commute to work to ordering clothes online. The Blockchain is one such technology, that will soon transform the way industries work. Before we look at the reasons cryptocurrencies are the future, let’s first take a look at what are cryptocurrencies and what is the Blockchain technology.

What is Blockchain?

The blockchain is a technological creation, that forms “chains of blocks”, under the DLT (distributed ledger technology). Each of the blocks contains data from various transactions, which are all secured and verified. They serve as the base of the technology in which cryptocurrencies act as assets. Potential applications include transferring funds, settling trades, voting, and other things.

What are  Cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies are resources that work in the Blockchain technology, known as the medium of exchange for the digitalized era. One of the most popular currency is Bitcoin. All of the transactions are decentralized, and there is no involvement of banks or governments. It is an advanced technology, which is expected to be accepted by people all around the world.

Here are the reasons why cryptocurrencies are the future:

Img source: steemit.com

1. It prevents scams and hacks – one of the best advantages of these currencies is that it will prevent payment scams. When needed, the data will be acceptable to all users, which leads to transparency. Blockchain has a shared ledger which no one can tamper with. Information will be shared in real time, and the ledger will be updated when all the involving parties agree on it. This can reduce the chances of fraud, as well as reduce the time and costs needed for specific transactions.

2. More employment opportunities – the job market in the crypto world is expected to grow. Today, there are several places where people can get training in this technology. However, as the demand becomes higher, the supply also increases. Some of the jobs that might be available are cryptocurrency traders, full-stack bitcoin developers, blockchain solution architects, and so on.

3. Blockchain in financial institutions – now that some financial institutions are aware of the disruptiveness of Blockchain, it is expected that it will reach a critical mass by the year 2020. This technology allow to speed up the whole process by implementing cross-border payments, it can also help with commercial transactions and agreements by using “smart contracts”.

4. It is easy to use and it is secure – it is already easy to use this technology, and it is expected o be even easier. For example, when property transfers are secured by blockchain technology, we will no longer need to rely on a third party to verify them.

Img source: namecoinnews.com

5. Transactions are fast and private – bitcoin can do up to seven transactions each second, thanks to its Lightning network. This means that the application will be able to perform millions of transaction per second. It will most certainly help with the adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

6. Investment is easier – by tracing the bitcoin exchange rates. There are various companies that offer bitcoin exchange rates. Companies like Areatak Global offer people the chance to see updated lists in real time, and it is also free of charge. So, if you are interested in what the exchange rates are, make sure to check the lists.

Conclusion

One of the most important features of cryptocurrencies is that YOU own it. There is no other electronic cash system today in which your account will be entirely yours — for example, PayPal. If the company decides that your account is being misused (for any reason), they have the power to freeze your account. With cryptocurrencies, only you will own the key to your account and only you will be able to access your funds. No one will be able to take your money from you, and that is one of the most beautiful things about cryptocurrencies.

Careers In Finance: Which Path Is For You?

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How do you know what your call in life is? It is a difficult question to answer, and some people fail at finding their dream jobs spend their life doing something they never really wanted. However, you know what your interests are and based on them you can start looking for a job.

If you’re interested in accounts and consider yourself good at money management, a career in finance might be for you. Many people think these jobs are all about crunching numbers and handling money. But there is a diverse range of roles available in the industry. From corporate business to people-facing roles, there is something to suit any personality. Here, we explore several finance careers to help you work out if they would be right for you.

Accounting

source: roberthalf.co

Roles in accounting can be diverse. Generally, they involve managing financial records to check if businesses are making a profit or are at a loss. They then relay this information to those in charge of the business, providing advice on how they can overcome challenges or improve their finances. Accountants perform audits to establish this, as well as advising on tax, undertaking risk assessments, checking for fraudulent activity and managing money (to name a few).

Is it for you?

If you are good at analyzing data, performing audits and are generally well organized, an accountancy role might be for you.

Investment Finance

source: czechinvest.org

Working in investment finance primarily involves managing large amounts of money and valuable assets, such as property, for other people. These roles are client facing, so you need to be comfortable liaising with people to establish their goals. Typically, you would expect wealthy families, education establishments and large companies to be on your client list. Work may include finding potential investors or partners for your clients or organizing financial deals that will benefit them.

Is it for you?

If you are a people person and think you would suit a client-facing role, this could be for you. You must be able to communicate effectively to understand what your clients need and be comfortable pitching potential business opportunities.

Insurance-Finance

source: laoistoday.ie

The insurance industry is massive, so there are a few roles that might interest you. Firstly, insurance companies employ people to study the amount of profit they’re making. This involves analyzing data to understand how much money the company has following pay-outs to customers. This is then invested to further boost the company’s cash.

You can also work in the client facing side of insurance. This involves speaking to customers about the insurance they need and asking relevant questions to calculate their level of risk. You then would work out how much you would charge the customer for their insurance.

Is it for you?

source: bestcompaniestexas.com

If you feel confident offering advice to customers, making financial calculations and investing money, this could be for you.

These are just a few of the jobs types you may find in the finance sector. It is a great industry to pursue a career in, as pretty much every person or business in the world needs people to manage their money. Why not start looking for your dream job today?

Top 5 Mistakes Schools Can Avoid When Selecting an Online Payment Portal

Since the advent of electronic money, numerous organizations and institutions are choosing to set up an online payment system for the products and services they provide. Many universities and schools have already started to accept online payments. It is simply because of the convenience and effectiveness of the online payment system. At any time of the day, parents can pay through the online payment portal of the school thus reducing the effort of going to school on a regular basis. The funds are also available at disposal for the school within minutes of the actual transaction. Online payment systems are comfortable, fast and at the same time completely safe. There are several companies like My Payment Savvy, Payment Depot, SecurionPay, etc. that provide organizations with 24/7/365 online payment solutions. However, choosing an online payment system is not as simple as it might seem at first glance. There are several factors like fraud preventive measures, types of currencies the system accepts, security and reliability, cost of the service, etc. that schools should consider before selecting an online payment gateway. We have listed the top 5 mistakes that schools make, and how can they avoid them when selecting an online payment portal.

source: letsintern.com

1. Cost of the service

The most sensitive part when choosing a third-party payment processor that offers us a payment gateway will probably be the price to pay for the service. Most of the schools get scared by the processing fee that online payment portal charge. Schools are charging tuition fee, lunch fee, or fee for library books, to recover the cost or raise additional funds for students activities. Losing some portion of that fee to set up another payment system can be a good reason to not choose it. There are several ways schools can handle the cost of the service. Schools can charge a small “convenience fee” to the parents for the online payment system. They can also add an incremental fee on ACH payments based on the size of the transaction.

2. Taking Security for Granted

Before selecting an online payment portal, schools should analyze if the payment gateway complies with the security protocols of the major credit card providers such as VISA (Visa Cardholder Information Security Program – CISP), MasterCard with its Site Data Protection (SDP) or Discover Information Security and Compliance (DISC). Although, schools are unlikely to be a target of hackers. However, there are students who like to push the limits of network and security protocols for fun and schools are common targets for such students. As such, schools should choose payment portals which has a good track record with schools and which understands its security concerns.

source: blog.dellemc.com

3. Payment Options

Schools should carefully look into the payment option provided by the payment portal they want to install. While some parents pay their kid’s fee quarterly or bimonthly, rather than monthly, there are parents who like to pay the fee in advance. Schools should confirm if their payment portal partner can provide access to payment options and types of payment according to the need. The types of currency (Dollars, Euro, Pound, etc.) your payment portal accepts also matters. Kids whose parents are living abroad might want to pay in a currency different than the country’s currency the school is operating in. Also, online payment portal option assumes that your clients have an internet bank account, as such providing a variety of payment options ensures convenience and credibility.

4. Losing Access to the Money

Bank accounts that are created within the network of banks to facilitate both debit and credit card transaction are Merchant accounts. If the school fee is processed by both debit and credit cards, it is done through merchant accounts. There are single and collective merchant accounts. In a collective merchant account, fees from several schools are collected in one account and is later distributed to individual school accounts. There is a high probability of delay and losing the track of money through such accounts. Schools should ensure with the online payment portal whether the account provided by them is a single or collective merchant account. It is better to choose a single merchant account since it saves time and the chances of losing track of money in such accounts are minimal.

source: paysimple.com

5. Not understanding the degree of difference

Institutions like schools and universities always need funds. The availability of different payment options increases the accumulation of fund by providing convenient payment options. Even parents appreciate the payment procedure processed in real-time than waiting for paper checks. They also respond quickly to emails with the link to the payment portal. Online payment portals provide deeper support to schools finance handling system.

Most of the people do not carry cash these days. Businesses are also adding online payment system for the convenience of their customers and also for its benefits. However, choosing an online payment portal for your institutions is a huge decision and should not be taken immediately. A right payment portal can increase the accumulation of fund by reducing the amount of late or skipped payments.