Stand up for Ethical Trade

What is Ethical Trade?

Ethical trade means that businesses don’t simply sell goods for the best price but also considers the effect of their business practices on for example, the working conditions of the people they employ or the impact on the environment.

It’s a common practice for businesses to cut cost to stay competitive but this may also make them turn a blind eye to the conditions of workers making goods for them. In recent years consumers in developed countries have become aware that many of the goods that they purchase cheaply in stores eg clothing and electronic goods are produced by less developed countries in factories where safety is neglected and on slave labor.

The fair trade movement began in the 1990s to prevent coffee and banana growers in poor countries from losing out because of the low market prices. Fair trade organisations have guaranteed suppliers a fair price, as a result the suppliers ensured that the workers are properly paid. In return, Consumers supported this by buying Fair-Trade certified goods.

Its my opinion that consumers should pressure businesses to behave well through whey they choose to buy. Businesses will then respond by creating products that are “sustainably sourced” or “free range”, to balance the effects of the business on the environment and on the workers involved with the need to generate a profit.

Are Investors Influenced by Most Popular Finance Blogs?

Most Popular Financial blogs have become important sources of investment news, information, and insight. They all have common structural features that qualify them as a form of social media.

So whats makes blogs social?

There are two features that distinguish blogs from articles written by traditional print journalists. These features are what makes these blogs “social”.

The first distinguishing feature is that blog posts are appended with reader comments.

The second distinguishing feature is the inclusion of a social sharing and voting mechanism. At the end of most blog post, you will find familiar icons of leading social media websites. These icons, which are referred to as widgets, enable users to share blog post with or recommend them to, other with a mouse click. Some examples of social sharing and voting widgets include Facebook’s “Like” icon, LinkedIn “share” widget, Twitter’s “Tweet” button, and google’s “+1” icon. These sharing and voting functions are essential to the social nature of blogs.

The impact of financial blogs on investors

Recent investor survey findings suggest that most popular financial blogs are likely to play an increasingly important role in the decisions made by stock market participants. The Brunswick Group, a business communications and corporate relations firm, conducted a survey of the use of social media by professional investors in the United States, Europe, and Asia. According to the survey, 25-28 percent of responding investors in those jurisdictions had made an investment decision based on content they first encountered in a blog post. Seventy percent of the survey’s respondents indicated that they expect digital media to play a large role in their future investment decisions.

In my opinion, investors should be mindful to the fact that finance blogs do range from traditional business journalists to gossipy conspiracy theorists and any decision made by investors should be well analyzed and informed.

Some pros and cons of investing in cyrptocurrency

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency are digital currencies that does not physically exist and are used as a medium of exchange to verify the transfer of funds. They operate independent of banks and uses strong cryptography to secure financial transactions.

Cryptocurrencies in the recent past has gain lot of recognition and popularity among investors as a way to make some money. However investing in crytocurrency does not come without any risk. Here are some pros and cons of investing in cryptocurrency.

Pros:
Though trading using cytocurrency is relatively new, it is growing in popularity. Some major institutions and banks have recognized crytocurrencies especially bitcoin as a legal tender.
This will only mean the value of major cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin, have the potential to grow with further in coming years.

Cryptocurrency provides a more faster way of transfering of funds independent of banks and other third party payment systems. As a result of this, you find a more and more online retailers accepting cryptocurrency as a trading currency.

Altcoins or the so called other digital coins other than bitcoins have mostly shown a positive trends in recent past. Investors who buy them wisely and early might end up selling them with big profits later on.

Cons:
Cryptocurrency prices are extremely volatile. The average Bitcoin price at the start was around $0.01 dollars in 2009 went up to high of $20,000 in early 2018 and dropped back to $9,000 currently. The price of Bitcoin fluctuates regularly. As an investor you should know when to buy and when to sell. There is always this risk, as many investors have lost lot of money with bad decisions on their timing.

Even though the trading using cytocurrency offers security, the main responsilbility of securing your cryptocurrency are totally dependent on you. Every sender of cyptocurrency have a private key. You are totaly responsible for keeping that private key safe. If online hacker find the key, they have total access to your cryptocurrency. Plenty of cryptocurrency hacks have happened recently due to bad individual security flaws.

Though many financial regulators are beginning to embrace this technology, there are some who, have not yet. For example the recent South Korean treat of banning cryptocurrency trading as left many south korean investors to sell cyptocurrencies in to huge volume. As result of this, the value of bitcoin and other altcoins plunged drastically.

Like any investment, there is always the risk of failure. Before investing in cryptocurrency make sure to properly analize your cyptocurrency and where you expect the value of the cryptocurrency to be in future.

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Make Money through Fiverr Services – Online Marketing

make money through fiverr services
Fiverr is an online marketplace for freelancers and it is one of the best ways to make money on the internet. If you are new to online marketing, you will find that providing Fiverr services is one of the easiest ways to earn a very good online income.

Fiverr competes directly with other freelance marketplaces such as Upwork, Freelancer.com and PeoplePerHour. Each of these platforms have their advantages and disadvantages. Fiverr’s biggest plus point is that almost anyone can get started on the platform, and start making money right away by providing useful online marketing services.

Fiverr is free to join and does not charge any fees to those who want to use its platform. The way it works is, you pay a commission of 20% for every $1USD you make on the site.

There are no restrictions of any sort on Fiverr, and there are no tests that freelancers need to pass to be allowed to participate on the platform. The only real expectation is that freelancers should provide quality services, that are original and authentic, and adds value to those who pay for them.

On Fiverr, you make money by selling “gigs”. In the past, a gig could be priced at $5 only, but now with a new feature called packages you can set a Gig at any price from $5 to $500. There is no limit to this.

In this article, I want to focus on the various Fiverr services you can provide to make money quickly, rather than on the details of selling on the site. But I strongly suggest that you spend some time at the Fiverr Academy, and learn how Fiverr works.

Here are 5 ways to make money through popular Fiverr Services – Online Marketing…

#1: Provide SEO services
There are a number of SEO specialists that offer their services on Fiverr. There is a lot of potential for quick and easy money to be made here by using software to diagnose the health of a website from the SEO point of you. You can offer to do custom diagnosis of websites on Fiverr. This shouldn’t take too much of your time. This is just an example of the simple SEO services that you can provide for $5 or $10, or perhaps more.

#2: Do keyword research
You can offer to provide keyword research services to bloggers and online marketers. You will need to invest in a professional keyword research tool such as SEMRush for this. Even Google Keyword Planner, which is free, will do for most purposes. Depending on how good you are at this, there is potential for a lot of money to be made.

#3: Impress with your social media marketing skills
Social media marketing services on Fiverr are very popular with small business owners and internet marketers. You can provide Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus promotions to your clients. You can help drive traffic to their websites with your social media marketing skills.

#4: Provide video testimonials to small businesses
There is a great demand for spokespersons on Fiverr, who are likeable, authentic and presentable. You can earn a good living by providing video testimonials to small businesses. Just make sure that you don’t provide this service to two businesses in the same niche, as it could turn into a major embarrassment for you!

#5: Offer content marketing services
Great content writers and copywriters are in big demand from online marketers, and if you have the ability to do your research and deliver a good copy, you can certainly earn a decent income from Fiverr.

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Renewable Energy Countries That Lead the Way – Top 7

There’s a lot of talk about renewable energy these days. In this article, we have elaborated on the economic benefits of investing in renewable energy. Here, we want to highlight the top 7 renewable energy countries that are doing a really great job at creating an infrastructure for sustainable and alternative sources of energy for their people.

And why not – the US Energy Information Adminstration (EIA) projects that by 2035, 14% of the total energy consumption in the world will be based on renewables. So this is as good a time as any to take the plunge.

Here’s a look at the Top 7 Renewable Energy Countries that Lead the Way towards a Sustainable Future.

#1: The United States
The USA is responsible for almost 24.7% of the total global investment in renewable energy. Barack Obama’s 8-year term as the President of the United States will be remembered for the massive steps taken by his government to promote renewable energy in the country. Under Obama, the United States has created a number of federal, state and local tax incentives for renewable energy companies. The USA has also been at the forefront of the efforts to fight climate change at the global level. We are impressed!

#2: China
China is one of the biggest investors in renewable energy. Chinese companies have been major innovators at renewable energy products. There are today tens of thousands of Chinese companies that create products for the “green economy”. The Chinese government has taken on a number of initiatives to promote alternative energy, such as fitting solar panels on the rooftops of schools in Beijing, and has worked very hard to create awareness about the need to protect the environment among children.

#3: Germany
Germany is one of the biggest investors in renewable energy in the world, responsible for 11.7% of the global investment in alternative energy sources. The country has also pledged to phase out nuclear power in favor of other safer and more sustainable sources. Germany is determined to be a leader in clean energies and is a major competitor to China in this.

#4: Spain
Spain is another country that has done pretty well in the alternative energy space. Already, most of the power plants in Spain are powered by wind energy. There are many Spanish companies that are building turbines and installing them on large wind farms across the country.

#5: Brazil
Brazil has been one of the earliest to recognize the value of clean energy. It is the biggest producer of biofuel such as ethanol. Brazil has also led in the development of technologies for solar water heating. The country has invested heavily in wind energy. The Brazilian government is very serious about ensuring a sustainable future for its citizens.

#6: India
India has a massive onshore wind infrastructure. The Indian government has pushed the private sector in the country to create clean energy products. There are plans to create 143 hydropower projects in the country with a power generation capacity of 20 GW in the near future.

#7: Mexico
Mexico is serious about alternative energy. The Mexican government has distributed as many as 23 million energy-saving LED light bulbs to its people for free. As many as 5.5 million households in Mexico use energy-saving bulbs, which helps them save an average of up to 18% on their power bills. The country has also made a serious effort to minimize its carbon footprint.

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Pros and Cons of Property Investment

Property Investment
Investing in property is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make as an adult, as property investments can be quite substantial. There are several advantages to investing in property and there are many risks too. The important thing is to maximize the benefits, while being aware of the benefits.

In this article we discuss both, the pros and cons of property investment and leave it for you to decide if this is something you should consider.

Pros and Cons of Property Investments

Pros
#1: Property investments are less volatile compared to an investment in the stock market – You won’t find the same sort of volatility in property investments that you find in other investments such as the stock market. The reason for this is that properties take a much longer time to dispose of – so people cannot get rid of a house at a moment’s notice, as many usually do with a stock that they fall out of love with.

#2: You can use the power of leverage to maximize your profits from property investments – You can buy stocks on leverage – in which case it is referred to “buying on the margin”. But you will only have access to a limited leverage when buying stocks, which has to be paid off within days or a few weeks. It is different with property investment. Here, you only have to make a small downpayment of around 10 to 15 percent and make up for the rest of the price of the property by taking a home loan from a bank, which can be paid over several years. Leverage allows you to maximize your profit from the investment and gives you the power to go for high value deals.

#3: You can earn an excellent passive income by renting out the property – You will start making money from your property investment almost immediately. When you buy a house, you can rent it out if that is not your primary residence. The rent pays for the mortgage and the expenses. You will also have enough money left over to ensure a positive cash flow. Renting out your property is an excellent source of passive income and can fund your lifestyle for years to come.

#4: Property investment is done with the long term perspective – The value of your property appreciates over time. With the population growth in countries such as Australia, United States and the UK being as high as they are, there’s a huge demand for residential properties, which are always in short supply. So property prices appreciate gradually over a period of time, without the sort of volatility as seen in the stock market. In addition to that, it generates a very good rental income for you through the years. This makes real estate an excellent long term investment.

Cons
#1: It is an illiquid investment – As said earlier, you cannot get rid of the property easily. It takes months to sell a property. So if you are in an urgent need of money for an emergency, you won’t get that from selling real estate.

#2: Real estate investments are expensive – Investing in properties requires a high entry cost. You can buy shares for as little as $10, but to invest in a property, you will need to put up at least $100,000 to $200,000, unless you buy it on leverage. Also, it is not always easy to get a home loan or a mortgage to buy a property. So there’s a big barrier to entry to overcome, at least when you are starting out.

#3: You are affected by external factors such as changes in the interest rates or slowdown in the economy – The value of your property will take a hit in the event of a nationwide recession and depends on local factors as well. Also, if interest rates are raised suddenly, paying the mortgage would become so much more expensive for you.

#4: There could be issues that you are not aware of – There are always some hidden problems related to a property. For example, there could be a problem with pests that wasn’t clear to you while making the purchase. Or there could be a problem with the water supply.

#5: Bad tenants – Renting out the property is a great way to earn a passive income, but only as long as you get good tenants. A property owner’s worst nightmare is to rent out the property to problematic tenants, who fail to pay on time, do substantial damage to the property and worse.

We have discussed the pros and cons on property investment. The pros largely outweigh the cons, but you should be aware of the risks at all times. After all, there is no other asset class that is as lucrative as real estate – it only takes one highly successful property investment to set you up for life.

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Renewable Energy is the Future

Renewable Energy
Is renewable energy the future? Let’s think about it – how much longer do you expect the human civilization to exist? 500 years? 1000 years? 2000 years? Well, if humans are going to be around for so long, we better find an alternative to fossil fuels, because none of the fuels made from non-renewable sources of energy are going to last for too long. They will eventually be exhausted, and people will sooner or later have to depend entirely on alternative sources of energy.

Don’t trust policymakers, technocrats, or large corporations who act as though fossil fuels are going to last forever. They are not, and don’t get fooled by the current fall in oil prices. There may be an oil glut today, which has driven oil prices down, but how long will this last? We will soon be back to the days of oil costing $100 or even $200/ barrel.

And what about the implications of releasing CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere? Global warming is a real and present danger and it cannot be wished away. Unless the emission of CO2 and other greenhouse gases are brought down significantly over the next decade, there is nothing to stop a 2°C rise in the global mean temperature.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report recently where it showed how any rise in the global mean temperature that is over 2°C can have catastrophic consequences for the human civilization.

The question is not “if” we should be switching to renewable sources of energy but “when”. Well, the way things have been developing recently, we cannot really wait any longer.

If governments and large corporations fail to take active measures to save the planet and make the move to adopting renewable sources of energy – we the citizens should express our displeasure through the ballot boxes.

Vote out any politician or government that fails to comprehend the seriousness of the challenges faced by us, the citizens of the world. After all, it is our future and that of our children and grandchildren at stake.

Switching to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy can save lives. It can save the planet. What’s more – because of rapid advances in technology, there have been dramatic decreases in wind and solar prices over the last 5 years.

Apart from solar or wind energy, renewable energy sources include biomass, geothermal energy, hydrothermal (water) energy and more. No, renewable energy still cannot replace fossil fuels and the technology is not there for wind or solar energy to become primary sources of energy. But a gradual switch has to be made.

Scientists, technologists and entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk must be encouraged and supported in every way possible to come with new technologies and innovations that would lead to the mass adoption of renewable energy sources.

For example, efforts must be made so that electric cars such as those made by Musk’s Tesla Motors replace gasoline-powered cars on the road. As of now, this is not possible as there simply isn’t the infrastructure to support electric cars, such as the one for gasoline cars.

As more investment is made in companies that develop solutions based on renewable energy, we expect more jobs to be created, which would give a substantial boost to the economy. There are millions of people around the world who work in the renewable energy industry already. China has recognized the potential of “green technology” and has become the leading producer of green products and solutions.

Also, many of the oil producers are unstable countries run by autocratic leaderships that have been fuelling radicalism and religious extremism around the world. By switching to renewable energy sources, we could dramatically reduce our dependence on Saudi Arabian, Iranian or Russian oil, which would do wonders for our energy security and energy independence.

Sure, there are many naysayers who insist that renewable energy can never replace fossil fuels. Surely they would have known that countries such as Brazil, Norway and New Zealand already have a close to 100 percent renewable electricity? Denmark and Sweden are expected to achieve the same in just a few years.

There is no question that renewable energy is the future, and we are certainly moving in that direction. The change will be gradual rather than radical, but it is already happening.

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Investing in SEO to Grow Your Online Business

Investing in SEO to Grow Your Online Business

Are you having some hard time in managing your business, as it seems to have a poor generation of income? Then making it on search engine optimization or SEO companies can make a big difference. In this article, you will understand why you should invest in SEO to grow your online business.

SEO remains to be the most accurate way of creating an organic traffic on your business site. Through incorporating the ethical SEO strategies, your website can generate a larger amount of competent traffic. Benefits of search engine strategies were experienced by many companies whose businesses were selling online products. With the effective SEO promotion, your company can attract more potential traffic. This can also offers you the chance to get closer to your target audiences hiding in some places that your traditional strategy cannot access.

Investing in SEO can also provide you other realistic rewards. As a business owner, you have to be aware regarding the larger audience available online. This includes having your business website capable of producing new opportunities. If you invest in SEO, you can expect for

• Increased Visitors
Your business should obtain a good spot in the search engine rankings of every result pages. Once you are on the top pages, you have the chance to increase your visitors. This is because of the perception that, those result appearing on the top are deemed relevant and trustable. This in return can make your reputation high together with your brand recognition.

• Leads
The quickest that you make your business noticeable online, means easier for you to produce income. If your target customers locate you by means of search engine, their usual action is to find certain product or brand. This offers you access toward more leads that likely to produce purchases.

• Cost Effective Method
Majority of the digital marketers define SEO as the most inexpensive marketing tool, which produces attractive results. In connection of being affordable, SEO offers cost-effective substitute that can be tailored to reach your certain goals and needs. Finding the right SEO expert can assist you in identifying some effective SEO techniques that suits best on your business requirements

• Good Impression
Having proper optimization depending on primary keywords together with the keyword phrases, you are able to preserve the top position on search results for extended time. This means that you can produce a good impression on users and leads to relevant traffic on a daily basis.
SEO enables your business for your audiences allowing you to excel from your competition.

These are just some of the abundant reasons why investing in SEO can help you grow your online business. Remember that the good spot of your site transforms you as an authority in your chosen industry, which assist you in developing your business in the fastest time possible. Utilizing SEO for the improvement of your rank on the World Wide Web can provide to additional opportunities under the global setting, which will produce more income.

 

Important things to consider when investing in SEO

Investment for children – An investment advice for parents

Each parent wishes to see the future of his child secure. How can we achieve this? By making sure that his studies are covered, by making a savings fund that the child will be able to access at the right age, and other measures that will give the parent some piece of mind. Everything changes when children appear in our lives, and we would do anything to see them happy and fulfilled. Unfortunately, the insecurity of tomorrow makes more and more parents think about ways of investing in the future of their children as early as they can, before the economy gets destabilized again or they lose their jobs. And when such terrible times come, in case they do, you will be able to sleep at night, knowing that your child has something set aside just for him.

And with such a high desire of parents and grandparents, to invest money in the future of the youngest members of the family, there isn’t a lack in financial products to choose from. In fact, many parents find it hard to settle at one option, not knowing for sure which brings the biggest benefits. Also, the long term of the investment, about 10 to 15 years, until the child is 18 years old, makes the decisional process even harder. Most parents may be tempted to start a children’s trust fund, although the return is much more profitable in the case of shares. Trust funds are more traditional, but financial experts say that if parents are looking to get something out of them, there won’t be too much they will be able to enjoy.

But even if shares are more profitable, you won’t see too many parents jump into them. They are afraid of subjecting their precious savings to the risks of losing them. Still, this exaggerated conservative style can be to the detriment of the funds you are looking to gather for your child. To your knowledge, there are many investment funds especially created for children, so it is worth looking them up. Some of them might be Invesco Perpetual Children’s Fund or Scottish Investment Trust’s Stock plan: A Flying Start. When choosing such an investment plan, do check out the minimum deposit sum. The funds are efficient because they have a minimum amount that is required to be invested each month. But the best part is that nothing is fixed forever. Feel free to stop, change or start your payment whenever you feel like it.

So, there are two main methods of investing money in the future of your child. One would be a designated account, and the other is the investment fund. The control is entirely yours, until the child is 18 years old, a moment in which you can pass the account on the child’s name. Although, most parents will prefer to keep the account in their name, because it is less complicated this way, still having the control over the money and account. Thus, in the end, it is mainly up to you how you do it, but do some research before choosing the best option for you and your child.

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Secure your future with family investments

When you start a family, it is not all about keeping the family members fed, dressed and satisfied throughout the day. It is also about securing their future from a financial point of view. When we are young, we tend to think that nothing can go wrong. We have enough power to work and produce the funds we need, even start over again if we have to. But things change as we advance in age and when children begin to appear in our lives. We need to start thinking about securing our future, for the moments in which we won’t be able to work anymore or have the power to start from ground 0, with the help of family investments.

But, what are family investments? Well, everything in which the family members, who have an income, chose to spend a particular amount of money, to have benefits in the future, is considered an investment. The most common means of investment for a family are saving accounts, health insurances and pensions. It is a way to store money for the future, as your funds cannot be accessed only under certain conditions and after a period. But this is the whole point of the investment, even of a family investment, to raise money and enjoy them when the times are a bit harder than they are today.

So why should people do family investments? Again, you may feel thankful for having some money set aside if you have an emergency or need something you can afford buying with your one-month paycheck. This is why saving accounts can help here. If you can put aside a certain sum of money, which can be settled by you, according to your financial status, in years, you can raise a nice sum. Usually, saving deposits that are made for longer periods, meaning that you won’t be able to access the funds only after the passing of a couple of years, have a better interest rate. Also, it is futile to say that health insurance is one of the family investments everyone should have. According to the type of health insurance you make, you can have covered everything from accidents to illness and invalidity, having your family covered even if you can’t provide for them anymore, due to your medical condition. And investing in a pension is also a great idea because at old age you will need the financial support. You may need medicines or special care, and it would also be nice to afford to see places, now that you have so much free time.

Doing family investments may not be a priority, especially when we are young, but this is not the best way of thinking. If you wish to make an investment, the perfect time is when you have the power to work and produce funds that can be invested in your future. Knowing that you worked for something and you will have some funds to enjoy later in life, almost as a prize for what you did, can be a very comforting idea.

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