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Clyde K. Valle

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Clyde is a business graduate interested in writing about latest news in politics and business. He enjoys writing and is about to publish his first book. He’s a pet lover and likes to spend time with family. When the time allows he likes to go fishing waiting for the muse to come.

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Shell has reported record annual profits after energy prices surged last year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Profits hit $39.9 billion in 2022, double last year’s total and the highest in its 115-year history.

Energy firms have seen record earnings since oil and gas prices jumped following the invasion of Ukraine.

It has heaped pressure on firms to pay more tax as households struggle with rising bills.

Opposition parties said Shell’s profits were “outrageous” and the government was letting energy firms “off the hook”. They also called for the planned increase in the energy price cap due in April to be scrapped.

Shell Cuts 10,000 Jobs on Falling Profits

Energy prices had begun to climb after the end of Covid lockdowns but rose sharply in March 2022 after the events in Ukraine led to worries over supplies.

The price of Brent crude oil reached nearly $128 a barrel following the invasion, but has since fallen back to about $83. Gas prices also spiked but have come down from their highs.

It has led to bumper profits for energy companies, but also fuelled a rise in energy bills for households and businesses.

In 2022, the UK government introduced a windfall tax on the “extraordinary” earnings of firms to help fund its scheme to lower gas and electricity bills.

Despite the move, Shell had said it did not expect to pay any UK tax this year as it is allowed to offset decommissioning costs and investments in UK projects against any UK profits.

However, Shell said was due to pay $134 million in UK windfall tax for 2022, and expected to pay more than $500 million in 2023.

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With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging across the globe, many employers are allowing their employees to work from home. Whether you’re a teacher or a medical professional at The Bunion Cure, there are plenty of benefits to working from home, including greater flexibility and fewer distractions. Here are three more reasons why you should consider working from home, even after the pandemic ends.

Image source: PxHere

You Can Save Money on Office Space and Equipment

Working from home has been gaining popularity in recent years due to technological advances and a growing number of digital startups. For businesses and entrepreneurs just starting out, this could be an excellent way to save costs on office space and equipment. By investing in a laptop or desktop computer, a reliable internet connection, and other important hardware, you can create your own office environment wherever you are. This not only saves on costs associated with renting property but it also eliminates pesky overhead fees for electricity, lighting, and water consumption which could quickly add up over time. Working remotely also enables businesses to access talent from all over the world, further expanding their reach while still remaining cost-effective.

More Control Over Your Environment

Creating an environment that you find both functional and pleasing to the eye is an important part of anyone’s lifestyle. Whether it’s arranging your desk space in a way that makes working in your home office more efficient, or simply rearranging certain pieces of furniture to make a room brighter and easier to move around in, you can use some simple adjustments to greatly impact the atmosphere around you. Taking control of the arrangement of our environments not only improves how we function within them but also has tremendous psychological benefits, as studies show that organization encourages productivity and reduced stress levels. So don’t limit yourself – take charge of your environment and enjoy the rewards!

Eliminate Commuting Time and Costs

Commuting is a time-consuming and costly part of almost everyone’s life. Between the long drives, traffic, parking fees, and the ever-rising cost of gasoline, it seems almost impossible to avoid the additional costs associated with getting to work every day. But there are ways to cut commuting costs and save valuable time – telecommuting is one of these solutions. With technologies such as video conferencing and messaging available, it’s simple to stay connected while eliminating commuting costs. Not only can you take advantage of reduced transportation outlays but you may also enjoy increased productivity without the distractions associated with daily commutes. So why not ditch the congestion and high gas prices? Make the switch to telecommuting today!

Working from home has become increasingly popular over the past decade for a number of reasons. As noted above, you can save money on office space and equipment, have more control over your environment, and eliminate commuting time and costs. If you are considering making the switch to working from home, weigh the pros and cons carefully to see if it is the right decision for you.

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Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

With the world becoming increasingly digital and interconnected, it’s more important than ever to understand how to save and invest your money. Unfortunately, many people don’t have a basic understanding of financial literacy and thus may think they know what they are doing but in reality, their actions could be detrimental to their future wealth.

This blog post seeks to address this problem by providing an overview of saving and investing basics for today’s modern era. We’ll start by discussing why having good financial habits is so important, then delve into the different types of investments available and provide guidance on how you can make informed decisions about where to put your hard-earned cash. Finally, we will discuss some strategies for managing risk when it comes to investing as well as some tips for building long-term wealth that you can use over time. So if you are ready to learn more about how to save and invest your money, read on!

Pick The Right Saving Account

When it comes to your finances, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Different people have different needs, so it’s important to find a savings account that works for you and meets your requirements. Picking the right savings account can be a daunting task, but with the right information and guidance, you can make an informed decision about which type of account will best suit your needs. Here are some factors to consider when choosing your savings account:

• Interest Rate –  Depending on the bank, different types of savings accounts will offer different interest rates. It’s important to compare the rates offered by different banks and pick an account that offers a competitive rate of return. As seen at https://joywallet.com/article/best-high-yield-savings-accounts, high-yield savings accounts generally offer the best interest rates and can help you build your wealth more quickly. Just make sure to read the fine print and understand any additional fees or requirements associated with these types of accounts.

• Accessibility And Convenience – It’s important to consider how easy it is to access your money when selecting a savings account. Some banks offer online banking, while others may require you to visit a branch in person before making a withdrawal. Additionally, many banks now offer mobile banking, allowing you to access your accounts from anywhere with a smartphone or tablet.

• Safety – It’s important to choose a savings account that is protected by FDIC insurance or the equivalent to ensure that your money is safe and secure. Make sure to confirm that the bank you are considering is FDIC insured before opening an account. Also, if you intend to keep a large sum of money in your savings account, you may want to consider opening a separate account with online-only banks that offer higher interest rates, as they are generally more secure than traditional banks.

• Fees –  Many banks charge fees for a variety of services, such as minimum balance requirements or overdraft protection. It’s important to read the fine print and understand all of the fees associated with any account you are considering before making a decision.

Understand Different Investment Strategies

Investing can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t have the right information. Knowing different investment strategies is key to making informed decisions when it comes to your finances. To help you make an informed decision, here’s a quick overview of some of the most popular investment strategies you should know about:

Stock Market Investing

The stock market is one of the most popular and widely used investment strategies. It involves buying and selling stocks, which are shares of ownership in a company. When you purchase stocks, you’re essentially hoping that their value will increase over time so you can sell them at a profit.

Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are a type of professionally managed investment option where your money is pooled with other investors and invested in a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, and other securities. This allows you to benefit from the expertise of professional managers who manage the mutual fund’s investments. Depending on the mutual fund you choose, you may be able to invest in a variety of different asset classes like stocks, bonds, real estate, and commodities.

ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds)

ETFs are similar to mutual funds in that they are professionally managed investments and can contain a variety of different asset classes. The main difference between ETFs and mutual funds is that  ETFs are traded on exchanges like stocks, so they can be bought and sold throughout the day. This means that you can buy and sell ETFs quickly and easily, allowing you to take advantage of market fluctuations.

Real Estate Investing

Real estate investing involves buying, selling, leasing, and managing real estate properties such as houses and apartment buildings. This type of investing can be profitable if done correctly but is also more complex than other types of investments due to the wide variety of factors that can affect the value of a property.

Consider Tax Implications

When it comes to investing and saving, taxes are always a consideration. Depending on where you live and the type of investments you make, the taxes you owe can be very different. Investing in stocks, for example, may result in capital gains tax if you sell your stock at a profit. Additionally, different types of accounts like traditional IRAs or Roth IRAs may have restrictions on how much money you can contribute each year and what types of investments are allowed to qualify for tax benefits. It’s important to understand all of the potential tax implications before making any decisions about investing or saving your money.

Diversify Your Investments

Diversification is an important part of any investment strategy. This means investing in a variety of different asset classes to reduce risk and increase your chances of earning returns. When you diversify, you should consider stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, real estate investments, and other alternatives. This allows you to spread out your investments so that if one fails or performs poorly, it won’t have as big an impact on your overall portfolio.

Monitor Your Progress

Once you’ve made the initial decisions about what types of investments to make and how much money to invest or save, it’s important to monitor your progress over time. You should track the performance of each investment and review your overall portfolio regularly to make sure you’re still on track to reach your financial goals. Luckily you can use a variety of tools, such as budgeting software or a financial adviser, to help you stay on top of your investments.

Photo by Joshua Mayo on Unsplash

As you can see, when it comes to investing and saving, there are many different options and considerations. Doing your research and understanding the basics of each type of investment can help you make the best decisions for your situation. With a little bit of planning and discipline, you can ensure that you’re on the path to financial success.

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Soccer legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.

The Brazilian player is credited with scoring a world record 1,281 goals in 1,363 appearances during a 21-year career, including 77 goals in 92 matches for his country.

Pele was the only player to win the World Cup three times, lifting the trophy in 1958, 1962 and 1970. He was named FIFA’s Player of the Century in 2000.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has declared three days of national mourning.

Pele had been suffering with kidney and prostate problems in recent years. He had surgery to remove a tumour from his colon in September 2021 at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, after the tumour was detected in routine tests. He was readmitted to hospital in late November 2022.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento was born on 23 October 1940 in Tres Coracoes, a city in south-eastern Brazil.

His birth certificate states he was born on 21 October, but Pele insisted that was incorrect: “In Brazil we’re not so fussy about accuracy.”

He was named after the inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, because, according to Pele, electricity arrived at his home just before he did.

Later his parents dropped the “i” from his name.

He grew up in relative poverty in the city of Bauru, and contributed to the family income by getting part-time jobs in local cafes.

His father taught him to play soccer, but the family could not afford a ball – so the young Pele often kicked a rolled-up sock around the street.

He made his international debut against Argentina at the Maracana, where Brazil lost 2-1.

Their goal was scored by a 16-year-old Pele, making him the youngest player to score in an international.

His hopes of playing for Brazil in the 1958 World Cup seemed to have been dashed when he suffered a knee injury.

But his team-mates pressured the management to select him and he made his World Cup debut against the USSR.

Inevitably, he became the youngest player to score a World Cup goal, putting one past Wales in the quarter-finals.

In the semi-final, Brazil were leading 2-1 against France when Pele scored a second-half hat-trick to put the match beyond doubt.

It seemed he could do no wrong as he stroked two goals past Sweden in the final, as Brazil won 5-2.

Pele’s name is a brand,it is instantly recognised by those who have no interest in or knowledge of football.

He once even joked that there were only three truly international brands: Jesus, Coca Cola and Pele.

He was one of those rare figures who transcended his sport to become known across the world.

In later life, he struggled to overcome the effects of a hip operation: appearing in a wheelchair and often unable to walk.

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When selling online, the product pages are perhaps some of the most important pages on your website. While you can wow with your homepage, about us page, and other pages on your site such as an informative business blog, the truth is that the product page is going to have one of the biggest impacts on your customers when it comes to them making the decision whether or not they want to buy from you. Because of this, improving your product pages is one of the most important things to do on a regular basis. Revisiting your product pages to ensure that they provide all the information that customers expect and are easy to use is crucial. Keep reading for some tips on how to improve your product pages.

Keep the Navigation Easy

Many eCommerce website owners focus heavily on making sure that it’s easy to navigate their site, but how easy are your product pages themselves to navigate? When designing a product page, it’s crucial to ensure that users are easily able to find their way around that page, especially if you are selling products that have a lot of specs and use different sections of the product page or a table with different tabs in order to provide users with all the information that they need on the product.

Add Reviews

While users can probably find reviews of your overall business and website online at Google and many other third-party review sites, it’s a good idea to add reviews to each product page, something that’s demonstrated well here by an online retailer focusing on bulk pricing. Adding the option for customers to leave a review on individual product pages is a great way to provide more information about the product itself, including what others think of it. Ultimately, being able to read the opinions of other customers on the specific product could be what encourages some users to add the product to their cart and buy it.

Use Product Videos

While online shopping is one of the most popular ways to buy things and it’s certainly here to stay for a long time, one of the drawbacks of shopping online is that customers do not have the chance to see the product in action, as they might if they were shopping at a retail store. While there is no way for eCommerce stores to offer the same kind of experience that they would be able to in-person, one of the best ways to get around this is to offer product videos. Videos are a great way for any product to be showcased in action, giving the customer a better idea of what to expect compared to if they were only viewing static images.

Keep Content Short and to the Point

When writing product descriptions for your product pages, it’s important to consider how much text you are using. If you are passionate about your products, it’s only natural that you might want to make sure that customers have as much information on them as possible. However, you should try to condense your product descriptions as much as possible and keep them short and to the point. Any further information, such as specifications, can be added further down the product page in a bullet point list or in a table for customers who are interested in learning more about them.

Good product pages are essential to getting more sales from your eCommerce store and turning visitors into paying customers. Regularly revisiting and improving your product pages is essential for any good eCommerce store. Keep these tips in mind if your product pages are in need of a revamp.

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Understanding how to manage your money can set you up for financial success, especially if you start building healthy habits as a young adult. Learning about some basic financial rules will help you make the most of your money.

Image source Max Pixel

Look for Ways to Reduce Your Monthly Spending

The lower your cost of living, the more likely you are to be able to save for other goals, like homeownership or retirement, even if you are working an entry-level position. Creating a budget can help with this. One of the most common monthly expenses for young adults is student loans. Making multiple payments each month can be a drain on your finances, and it can be hard to keep up with them, and if you miss one, it could impact your credit score. But refinancing your loans into one loan can simplify finances and reduce how much you have to pay each month.

Educate Yourself to Avoid Bad Advice

If you don’t know how to manage your money, you could fall victim to bad advice. Some may have bad advice, such as financial planners looking to benefit themselves. Others may have good intentions but not fully understand your circumstances. Some relatives may pressure you to buy a home, even if they don’t know you are in debt. Instead of taking this type of advice, educate yourself so you can be in charge of your finances yourself. Read up on personal finance and don’t let anyone throw you off track, whether it’s friends who want you to go out with them or a significant other who wants you to support them.

Create a Budget

One of the most common pieces of financial advice is to create a budget, which can prevent your finances from exceeding income. A budget is a personal spending plan that helps you see how much you have coming in and how much you have going out. As you track your spending, you may realize how much those little habits can add up. You might be too tired to cook at the end of a long day and find yourself ordering out.

However, unlike a raise at work, it is up to you what changes you choose to implement at home. Implementing changes, like cooking for yourself, can have a large impact on your finances. Keeping other monthly expenses low can help save even more. Even if you enjoy living in a place with many amenities, finding someplace simpler lets you put aside cash that might allow you to own a home much sooner than you expected.

Create an Emergency Fund

Saving money for your future can help you stay out of financial trouble, and it might give you greater peace of mind at night. Even if you have a tight budget, you can still make sure you are putting at least something toward your emergency fund. If you are already in the habit of putting aside money each month, you are less likely to treat your saving as optional.

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It’s no secret that to achieve business goals, a successful marketing strategy is essential. But what many businesses don’t realize is just how important it is to have a well-thought-out and executed marketing plan. Without one, your business will undoubtedly struggle to reach its full potential.

This article will discuss the importance of having a successful marketing strategy in achieving business goals. It’ll also provide tips on how to create an effective marketing plan and outline some of the most common mistakes businesses make when it comes to marketing. So if you’re looking for ways to take your business to the next level, keep reading!

Photo by Mailchimp on Unsplash

Better Brand Awareness

One of the most important benefits of having a successful marketing strategy is that it can help you to achieve better brand awareness. In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s more important than ever to make sure your target audience is aware of your brand and what you have to offer. A well-executed marketing plan will help you to reach a larger audience and create a positive association with your brand. SEO is the number one tool that will improve your brand visibility and awareness. By hiring a reliable SEO company, you can ensure that your website is ranking high for relevant keywords, making it more likely to be seen by potential customers. In addition to SEO, there are several other marketing channels you can use to reach your target audience and improve brand awareness. Social media marketing, email marketing, and content marketing are all great options for reaching a wider audience and creating a positive association with your brand.

Generate More Leads

Another key benefit of having a successful marketing strategy is that it can help you generate more leads. To grow your business, you need to continuously bring in new leads. A well-executed marketing plan will help you attract more leads and convert them into customers. There are several different ways you can generate leads, but one of the most effective is through content marketing.

By creating high-quality blog posts, infographics, eBooks, and other types of content, you can attract new leads and encourage them to take action. In addition to content marketing, lead generation can also be achieved through SEO, social media marketing, and email marketing.

Improve Customer Retention

In addition to generating new leads, a successful marketing strategy can also help you improve customer retention. It’s not enough to just bring in new customers – you need to keep them coming back for more. A well-executed marketing plan will help you create long-lasting relationships with your customers. There are several different ways to improve customer retention, but one of the most effective is through email marketing.

By sending out regular newsletters, you can stay top of mind and keep your customers updated on what’s new with your business. You can also use email marketing to promote loyalty programs, special offers, and other initiatives that will encourage customers to keep coming back.

Increase Sales

S successful marketing strategy can also help you increase sales. This is the ultimate goal of any business, and a well-executed marketing plan is essential for achieving it. There are several different ways to increase sales, but one of the most effective is through content marketing. By creating high-quality blog posts, infographics, eBooks, and other types of content, you can attract new leads and encourage them to make a purchase. In addition to content marketing, lead generation can also be achieved through other digital marketing channels.

When And Where To Incorporate Traditional Marketing Strategies

Traditional marketing refers to any type of marketing that is not done online. This includes things like print ads, television commercials, radio ads, and more. While traditional marketing can be effective, it’s important to incorporate it into your overall marketing strategy. Traditional marketing should be used in addition to digital marketing, not as a replacement for it. There are several different ways to incorporate traditional marketing into your plan.

  • One way is to use it to supplement your digital marketing efforts. For example, if you’re running a social media campaign, you can also include print ads in local publications. This will help you reach a wider audience and maximize your results.
  • Another way to incorporate traditional marketing into your strategy is to use it to target a specific demographic. For example, if you’re trying to reach senior citizens, you might use traditional marketing channels like direct mail or print ads.

Why Content Is Crucial

Quality content, whether it be video, text, photo, or audio content, needs to be a key component of your marketing strategy. Not only does quality content give your brand an edge over competitors, but it also helps to build trust with potential and current customers. Some of the most prominent benefits of creating quality content include:

  • Improved SEO Rankings – This is because search engines like Google place high importance on relevant and keyword-rich content. When you create content that is optimized for search engines, you are more likely to rank higher in search results, which can lead to more website visitors.
  • Greater Engagement With Customers – By providing informative and interesting content, you encourage customers to interact with your brand. This interaction can lead to greater customer loyalty and conversions.
  • Increased Social Shares – Quality content is more likely to be shared on social media, which can help to increase your brand’s reach and expand your customer base.
  • Generates More Leads – Content that is relevant to your products or services, as well as your overall marketing strategy, can help generate leads for your business. By providing valuable information, you can encourage potential customers to contact you about your products or services.
Photo by Windows on Unsplash

A successful marketing strategy should include a mix of both traditional and digital marketing techniques. While digital marketing is essential for reaching a wide audience, traditional marketing can be used to supplement your efforts. Quality content should also be a key component of your strategy, as it can help improve your SEO rankings, engage customers, and generate leads. Whichever strategy you choose, make sure to monitor your results so you can adjust your plan as needed.

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With today’s financial market, it makes sense for people to be considering other options for their retirement.

Traditionally, people would work hard and save a percentage of their salary into an IRA to keep them comfortable during their retirement years. However, with the unstable climate, we are dealing with, more people are looking for other investments to make.

Fiat currencies no longer hold the same value as they once did, which can mean that when the time comes to cash in your IRA, you will struggle to live.

This has resulted in a large percentage of the population investing in precious metals like gold, as these maintain their value and can support you during retirement when done right.

Gold
Photo by Pixabay

Can I Retire Using Gold?

For many years, people have been using IRA accounts to save a percentage of their salary and see them through retirement.

With the rise in living costs and many other financial issues, it is difficult to find the money to save in the first place, let alone ensure this will last until your retirement. With this in mind, many people have been investing in gold and other precious metals because these maintain a high value.

Gold has been used as wealth protection for centuries and, in today’s market, is offering a good solution to those who want to preserve their investments for years to come.

If you want to use gold as part of your retirement fund to ensure you have something to live off even during times of financial turmoil, then you need to find an account to support this. There are gold IRA accounts out there that can preserve your investments and provide an ongoing retirement fund, much like a traditional IRA.

If you have already been saving into an IRA and want to use some of these funds for a lasting investment, like gold, then you can also consider gold IRA rollover companies.

These will use your savings to invest in gold which can offer long-term financial protection and ensure you have something to live on, no matter the financial market when you retire.

How To Invest In Gold For Retirement

As gold investments are becoming a popular option once more, many companies are appearing in the market that claims to support this.

You will find in your search for gold IRA companies that there are more options now than ever before, which can make it tricky to find the right place to go. After all, you want to find an account that will support your needs and preserve your investments to see you through to retirement.

For long-term wealth protection, consider reliable and established IRA companies where you can keep your gold safe and live comfortably in all financial climates.

Gold IRA companies will help you rollover your savings and use gold to ensure you have protected wealth in the future. With the future being uncertain, relying on gold is a great option for all.

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If you’re in the market for a new car, you’re probably wondering whether to buy a new or used model. Both have their benefits, but it ultimately comes down to what makes the most financial sense for you. To help you make the best decision, we’ve put together a guide to financing new vs. used cars.

Do your research

Before you decide to finance any vehicle, it’s important to do your research and compare offers from multiple lenders before making your decision. Financing can help you get the car you want without having to empty your savings account. It can also increase your credit score as long as you can consistently make all of your monthly payments. Be sure to utilize a used car loan calculator to get a better idea of what your costs will be.

The benefits of financing a used car

When it comes to financing a car, many people assume that it is always better to finance a new car as opposed to an old car. However, there are several benefits to financing an old car instead of a new one.

  • Old cars are much cheaper than new cars, so you will save money on your monthly payments.
  • Some older vehicles have better engines than their newer counterparts. For instance, Ford has stopped making 7.3 diesel engines for their vehicles. However, if you can find an old 7.3, it will probably outlast any of Ford’s newer engines. In this case, financing a used Ford would be better than financing a newer model.
  • Old cars are less likely to depreciate in value as quickly as new cars, so you will owe less money if you decide to sell the car before the end of the loan term.

The benefits of financing a new car

When it comes to financing a new car, there are a few key benefits that you should be aware of.

  • A new car is likely to have a lower interest rate than an older car. This means that you will save money in the long run by financing a new car as opposed to an older one.
  • A new car is likely to have a longer warranty than an older car. This means that you will be covered for any repairs that may be needed during the life of the car.
  • A new car is likely to have better resale value than an older car. This means that you will be able to get more money back when you go to sell the car down the road.

How to decide which option is best for you

There is no easy answer when it comes to deciding whether to finance a new or used car. Ultimately, it depends on your personal circumstances and what makes the most financial sense for you.

If you are looking for the lowest monthly payments, financing a used car is probably your best bet. However, if you are looking for the best long-term value, financing a new car is probably your best option.

If you are still undecided, we recommend talking to a financial advisor who can help you make the best decision for your unique situation.

4. What to do if you can’t afford a new or used car

If you can’t afford a new or used car, there are a few things you can do to try to make it more affordable.

  • You can try to get a loan from a bank or credit union. You may be able to get a lower interest rate if you have good credit.
  • You can try to get a loan from the dealership. Many dealerships offer financing, but the interest rates can be high.
  • You can try to find a cheaper car. There are a number of ways to do this, including buying a used car, looking for discounts, or negotiating with the dealer.

If you still can’t afford a car after doing all of these things, you may need to reconsider whether or not you can afford a car at all. In some cases, it may be better to wait until you have saved up enough money to buy a car outright.

When it comes to financing a car, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution – it all depends on your personal circumstances. If you have good credit and can get a low-interest loan, then buying a new car may make the most financial sense. However, if you have bad credit or limited funds for a down payment, then financing a used car might be your best bet.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to buy new or used comes down to what makes the most sense for you financially.

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When it comes to the construction industry, the safety of your workplace is an absolutely critical element of not only employee conditions, but of your projects and your practice as a whole.

Leaders in the construction industry, such as Semion Kronenfeld, understand that for the success of your company and the health of workplace morale, there is nothing more important to keep track of than workplace safety standards.

Photo by Pixabay

Why Workplace Safety is Important

Workplace safety is perhaps the most critical aspect of any construction project, or even aspect of the industry as a whole. Workplace safety measures not only protect both your employees and the public from any accidents or property damage, but also reduced the number of work-related accidents by ensuring that as many measures as possible are taken to minimize risk. Beyond the risk to the safety of people on-site, workplace safety measures also go a long way in lowering any unnecessary costs to your company that would otherwise be spent on accident compensation and legal fees, as well as lowering any unnecessary slows or stops to projects that may need to be taken in order to resolve any such accidents.

Veterans of the construction industry, such as Simion Kronenfeld, recognize the essential nature of proper workplace safety measures, and the severity of consequences that may affect your projects and your company if these measures are not treated with attention and respect.

Biggest Risks to Construction Workplace Safety  

There are a number of factors that can pose significant risks to construction workplace safety standards, as well as to employees and project sites. Some of the biggest of these risks are those associated with fall hazards, fall protection, and scaffolding safety. This area of construction, along with the risks posed by excavation projects, can cause serious injury or even loss of life to your employees. Other risks that can pose a similar danger to your staff include electrical damage and wiring hazards and lack of proper head protection.

Lastly, lack of proper communication between your employees, as well as a lack of proper channels through which to communicate potential hazards or safety risks, can be a factor that has a major influence on the safety of your workplace.

How to Protect Your Employees

When it comes to the construction industry, nothing is more important than taking the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of your employees. Fortunately, there are a number of different steps you can take and strategies you can implement to protect your crew.

Safety training for every employee is critical, especially when it comes to making sure that every single member of your staff understands the risks and hazards they face, along with their specific role in the project, who else is involved, and the scope of their responsibilities on site. It is equally important for your crew to understand the controls of the equipment and machinery they come in contact with, even if they will not be operating that particular machine.

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Most businesses don’t start planning to have a temporary shutdown, but as the global pandemic has revealed, things can happen outside our control. Knowing what to do when unforeseen events occur is critical. It’s a good idea to plan for all contingencies and remain flexible.

Image source: Pixabay

Protect Your Business from Unforeseen Events

Business interruption insurance can help if your business has to be shut down. This can mean the difference between temporarily shutting your doors and going out of business.

Finding a policy that protects your business at an affordable price is easy. You can bundle policies to save even more and avoid paying for coverage you don’t need. You are maximizing your protection without paying high prices by getting a custom-tailored policy for your business.

A policy that covers a business interruption can make it so that your employees still receive a paycheck and your lights stay on. Without the revenue coming in from your business, you could experience severe cash flow issues if you aren’t protected by business interruption insurance.

Get your policy today. It’s important to stay flexible and plan for unanticipated catastrophes and life events.

10 Things that Can Temporarily Shut Down Your Business

1. Pandemic

These don’t really happen, do they? But, all joking aside, the Covid19 pandemic caught many businesses completely unprepared, and it could certainly happen again. In fact, many scientists say that we should expect it.

Over 40% of businesses in the U.S. had to close temporarily due to Covid19. About 600,000 small businesses fail each year, but because they weren’t prepared, 200,000 more businesses failed due to the pandemic.

2. Theft

Businesses are subject to property destruction and theft, and these have caused many businesses to close at some point temporarily.

Sometimes, the theft is cash. This can keep you from operating until it is replaced. Other times, it is inventory. In both cases, you have to be able to replace your cash flow and inventory to resume business. So again, a commercial crime insurance policy could be right for you.

3. Natural Disasters

Natural disasters can destroy businesses almost faster than anything on this list. Whether localized to your building or your region, fires can put you out of business for months. Likewise, flooding, tornadoes, and even large amounts of snow can cause temporary business shutdowns.

These disasters are outside of your control and can negatively affect your business, but they are the easiest to protect yourself against. Sometimes, a natural disaster will cause an extended power or water outage, keeping you from reopening. Contact your insurance provider to make sure you are covered against these types of disasters.

4. Military Deployment

Life as you know it stops when you or a spouse is deployed to the military. This can mean a complete rearrangement of priorities, especially if you have children. How you close your business and whether or not you will be able to reopen when your deployment ends depends largely on how well you plan.

5. Remodeling

Remodels vary in size and scope, but you might have to close your entire business if you do a large remodel. Make sure you have a plan to communicate fully to customers, employees, and everyone else to get back to business when the remodel is over.

Remodels can sometimes take longer than expected, so be prepared to extend your temporary closure if necessary and have a plan to communicate that as well.

6. Moving to a new location

This is similar to the remodeling situation, but moving can create another set of challenges. When you reopen, people will still be looking for you at your old location. Try to ensure that you have updated your social media and internet links with your new location data.

7. Business License Failures

Failure to obtain or renew your business license isn’t uncommon for temporary business shutdowns, but it is easily preventable.

8. Cash flow problems

This is one of the most common reasons that businesses fail. If cash flow problems are the reason, you are considering a temporary closure, closing your business for good might be a better option. It is going to be hard to bring your business back to its previous levels. You can look at reopening when you have a better opportunity to do so.

9. Slow business periods

Some businesses close temporarily every year during certain times of the year, like seasonal businesses in resort towns. If this is part of your business plan, you are probably prepared for it, but make sure that you have systems in place so that you remain successful.

10. Illness

No one plans on getting sick, but you can still plan for it. Severe health issues of an owner or one of their family members can mean a temporary shutdown for a business, so it is a good idea to have a plan of what to do if this happens to you.

Planning is Key

If you have to close your business for any of these reasons, seek help and guidance. Don’t try to do this alone. There is just too much to handle, and resources are available to you. There is a lot that goes into planning a temporary closure correctly. You want to reopen your business at some point, so a temporary closure has to be done right.

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No matter what your investment goals are, there are many different ways to achieve them. It’s essential to remember that there is no one “right” way to invest and that different approaches can work well for different people. In this article, we’ll cover a few different ways to achieve your investment goals. Keep reading to learn more about achieving your financial goals.

Consider using Forbes’ investment calculator

The best way to achieve your investment goals is to use Forbes’ investment calculator. The Forbes investment calculator is an online tool that can help you determine if you’re on track to hit your goals. It can also help you figure out how much your current investment plan will produce in a set number of years.

To use the calculator, you first need to enter your investment goal. Next, you’ll fill out some details about your investment plan, such as the initial investment amount, years to accumulate, and periodic contribution amounts. You also need to enter your contribution frequency, your expected rate of return, and compound interest.

The calculator will then tell you whether or not you’re on track to achieve your goals. It will also tell you how much money your plan will produce after you’ve hit your target years to accumulate.

If you’re not sure how to achieve your financial goals, or if you’re unsure of whether you’re on track to hit your goals, the Forbes investment calculator can be a helpful tool.

Invest in stocks or mutual funds if your goals are for the long term

Investing in stocks or mutual funds is a good way to grow your wealth over the long term. With stocks, you own a piece of a company and can earn a share of its profits. Mutual funds are a collection of stocks, and they offer a way to invest in a variety of companies at once.

There are a few things to keep in mind when investing in stocks or mutual funds. First, it’s important to choose a fund or stock that matches your risk tolerance. If you’re not comfortable with the idea of losing money, you may want to choose a fund that is less risky.

Second, it’s important to stay diversified. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. If you invest all your money in one stock or one mutual fund, you could lose a lot of money if the stock or fund performs poorly.

So, if your savings goals are to grow your wealth over the long term, stocks or mutual funds are a good option.

Invest in bonds or dividend-paying stocks if your goals are to generate income

When it comes to investing, there are a variety of different options available to you in order to achieve your investment goals. One way to generate regular income is to invest in bonds or dividend-paying stocks.

Bonds are a type of investment that typically pays out a fixed interest rate over a set period of time. This can be a good option if you’re looking for a regular income stream, as you’ll know exactly how much money you’ll be receiving each month or year. Bonds can be purchased from a variety of different sources, including the government and corporations.

Dividend-paying stocks are a type of stock that pays out a regular dividend to shareholders. This can be a great way to generate income. Dividend-paying stocks can be found in a variety of industries, so you can find a company that matches your goals and interests.

Both bonds and dividend-paying stocks can be a great way to generate income and achieve your savings goals. If you’re looking for a regular income stream, consider investing in bonds or dividend-paying stocks.

 Achieve your financial goals

There are a few ways to achieve our investment goals, including using Forbes’ investment calculator, investing in stocks or mutual funds, or investing in bonds or dividend stocks. No matter your goals, remember that every investment comes with risks, so do your research and invest wisely.

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One of the most positive things about the modern business world is that there are a lot more job opportunities available than in the past. The advent of new technologies means that there are completely new job roles that have never been seen before suddenly becoming available. This has ensured that modern workers have more choice in terms of how they spend their working life than ever before. One of the newest roles that has started to rise in prominence is the business analyst. They’re becoming much more important in the modern world, leading to job opportunities for this role also starting to become more common as well as the level of pay increasing. This makes it a positive part of the market to move into with great potential for advancement.

What do you need to become a business analyst?

There are a lot of different skills that are needed in order to become an effective business analyst. One of the most important skills that’s required is being able to handle data effectively. A helping hand for this would be to earn a qualification in dealing with statistics. Of course, a Master’s in Applied Statistics would be the best way to improve your skills to be one of the top business analysts on the job market. However, any statistics qualification will help to give you an edge when it comes to competing for jobs.

It’s not just the data aspect of the job that’s important though. Being aware of the business world is also highly important. So, knowing how foreign currency is behaving is a great example of keeping your finger on the pulse of the business world. This also transfers into another area of being a high-quality business analyst.

Having knowledge of how the business world works is something else that a quality business analyst needs. This is because a business analyst will often have to understand what is needed for a business to be successful. So, if they want to make positive suggestions for the business then understanding how the business operates is a vital skill to have.

The final vital skill is communication. Being able to communicate complex ideas in a simple manner is massively important in order to be a successful business analyst. If you can’t get what you want to say across, then it is easy for the wrong decision to be made. This will not only cost the business opportunities and money but will also impede your reputation as a good business analyst.

Of course, there are other skills that are required in order to be successful, but these are the most important ones.

What does a business analyst do?

To put it simply, a business analyst looks to improve the efficiency of a business. When carrying out their job, they will look at a number of different areas to determine how the business can be improved.

This will most often involve increasing synergy between different departments. By making sure that all the departments within the business are working towards the same goal, it will help reduce miscommunication and mistakes. This is vital for a company that wants to be efficient. It will also help to reduce costs as there will be fewer errors leading to additional work needing to be carried out.

Of course, the analyst part of the role is also highly important. As mentioned earlier, being comfortable with data and statistics is a vital skill. It’s this that will take up most of the job. Business analysts will examine the various data that’s associated with the company to determine where improvements can be made.

This can include anything from how the company operates within its profit margins to how IT can be used to improve productivity. Anything that can give the company an edge in the world of business will be examined. From there, the analyst will make recommendations that can hopefully improve the success of the company.

Of course, this will be in line with knowledge of the business world as well. An example of this would be a company that relies on just in time production to carry out its business. An analyst might recommend that it moves to ordering stock in bulk to cut down on costs. However, this might not be feasible for the company, as it would end up costing a lot more money in the long run. The analyst will have to be aware of how the business works so that recommendations that aren’t possible or will have a negative result aren’t suggested.

On top of this, being knowledgeable about business will make it much easier to achieve synergy between departments. If you don’t understand how the business works, then it’s not going to be possible to make sure that every aspect of the business is working towards the same goal.

The business analyst will also spend a lot of time trying to achieve marginal gains. This may sound counterproductive, but marginal gains are where the real improvements lie. It’s much easier to make lots of marginal gains than to make one big gain. So, if each department can achieve three or four marginal gains over the course of a year, this will equate to a significant gain by the end of the year. Business analysts must look into the underlying data of the company in order to understand where these gains can be made and how to go about achieving them.

Is it a worthwhile career?

The role of the business analyst is becoming more and more important as years go by. There are now more business analyst jobs appearing from month to month around the world. The role also has a starting salary that’s well above the median. This means that this is definitely a career to consider. It provides relative stability and a good level of pay. All of this put together will allow workers to move forwards towards a higher wage in the future.

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Year after year, the necessity for embracing eco-friendly practices becomes more vital. After all, we only have one planet, and it’s essential that we all ensure it stays as healthy as possible.

Why? Because a thriving business needs a flourishing planet to work from. And making a few small steps toward environmentally-friendly business practices today can pay off in more ways than one in the future. So, how can you make those changes as soon as possible and get your business future-focused and eco-conscious?

Here are some of the most effective methods of embracing sustainability for your business.

Take a renewable energy course

No one is expecting businesses to have all the answers when it comes to making the world a greener place. However, you are going to have to learn a few of the best possible ways to utilise sustainability in your everyday business dealings.

There are top renewable energy courses available online for you to get more familiar with the new world of sustainability. They cover a wide range of ideas, tips, and processes to get you up to speed.

The importance of recycling

Some businesses think that being environmentally friendly means creating no waste. But what it means is correctly disposing of all the waste you create. A strict and simple-to-follow recycling scheme can make a huge difference to your carbon footprint. If you really want to go further, many companies are now using packaging that’s made from recycled products too!

Go fully paperless

With legally binding contracts and other important documents now being done online, full-paperless practices are becoming more common. When you break it all down, paper was previously used for marketing campaigns, letters, leaflets, and more. Emails, online marketing campaigns, and digital documents mean there’s rarely a need to print off all of that wasteful paper.

Renewable energy

Your combined energy usage is probably your biggest source of hazardous environmental output. That’s why so many businesses are now searching for ways to reduce how their energy impacts the planet. With more eco-friendly ways of powering your business, it can be extremely beneficial to take a course on using solar energy, wind, or other renewable energy methods.

Better brand reputation

Sustainable business practices provide your company with more than just cost-saving methods – they’re also fast becoming one of the biggest deciding factors a customer turns to when picking a business.

People are happy to give their money to a brand with a strong reputation for sustainability, as they feel that they’re helping the environment as they spend. This bolsters your brand reputation and establishes you as a forward-thinking and innovative business.

Public pledges

How do you let people know about how kind to the planet your business is? Through announcing these wonderful things on social media and other marketing channels. Let people know about your sustainable energy, your dedication to recycling, and your goals to reduce your carbon footprint. It’s a valuable marketing tool that’s also making a true difference in the world.

President Joe Biden has called for a three-month suspension of the federal gasoline tax in response to the country’s soaring energy prices.

The average cost of a gallon of gas, or petrol, is hovering near $5, up from roughly $3 a year ago.

With national elections for Congress coming in November, President Biden is under pressure to respond.

Analysts say that removing the levy would have limited impact on household petrol and diesel costs.

Political support for the gas tax holiday, which would require an act of Congress, is also uncertain.

President Biden said policymakers should do what is in their power to try to ease the strain on families, calling on companies to pass on “every penny” in savings to the public.

“I fully understand that a gas tax holiday alone is not going to fix the problem,” he said.

“But it will provide families some immediate relief, just a little bit of breathing room as we continue working to bring down prices for the long haul”.

Photo AP

Currently, the US imposes a tax of roughly 18 cents per gallon on gasoline and 24 cents on diesel, using the money collected to help pay for highway infrastructure.

Eliminating the levy through September, as President Biden has proposed, would cost the government an estimated $10 billion.

The move is the latest effort from countries around the world to address the soaring energy costs.

Oil prices have surged since last year, as demand outstrips supplies constrained by cuts that many firms made after the pandemic hit in 2020 and prompted demand to crater.

As the war in Ukraine pushes Western countries to shun oil from Russia – a major energy producer – that has also contributed to the crunch.

The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers industry group said a gas tax holiday would provide “near-term relief but it won’t solve the root of the issue – the imbalance in supply and demand for petroleum products”.

President Biden has already taken steps like releasing unprecedented amounts of oil from national stockpiles and lifting taxes on imports of solar panels.

As well as suspending the national gasoline tax, President Biden is urging similar steps by state governments, which typically impose their own taxes, often higher than the federal government’s.

Some states, including New York, have already suspended those charges.

The president, who has intensified his criticism of oil and gas companies in recent weeks, also called on the industry to increase output and refining capacity, while directing some of his pleas to gas station owners across the country.

“These are not normal times,” he said, pointing to the war in Ukraine and noting that oil prices have retreated from earlier highs.

“Bring down the cost at the pump to reflect the price you are paying for the product. Do it now, do it today”.

The price of gasoline in the US is already lower than in many other countries.

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Those who have been around the foreign exchange trading block for a while will no doubt be aware that the Japanese yen has long since had a reputation for being a rock-solid currency. In recent years, it has developed a reputation for being one of the world’s “safe havens,” a currency that investors turned to whenever the going got tough.

However, there has been a range of upsets in recent months as the currency has reached new lows. This blog post will explore why this has happened and examine what the broader context looks like for the currency.

Image source: 123rf.com 

What’s happened?

As any forex trader should know, staying on top of the latest forex news using a reputable site like LeapRate is an excellent idea – not least because it can give you the background to interesting developments like this one, the largely unexpected weakening of the formerly “safe haven” Japanese yen.

The yen has suffered from huge dips recently. Charts show that the yen reached its worst position in 24 years this month. This comes against a complicated backdrop of other problems for the Japanese economy, including the Nikkei stock exchange – which was down by 3% at one stage during the day. The index usually performs better when the yen is struggling due to Japan’s large number of exports. The Japanese government is now being called upon to tighten its monetary policy.

The reasons why

The reasons for this are complex, although one is that competition from other currencies has been high. The US dollar has been surging recently, and some investors have been moving away from the yen to get a slice of greenback action. Interest rates have been hiked up in the US due to various problems, including the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic – with policymakers looking to encourage investors and spenders to behave in certain ways. The knock-on effect for the dollar has been to rise in value.

Another reason for the yen’s problems is that the aforementioned monetary policy in Japan has been loosened to a great degree in recent times. Unlike many other central banks, the Bank of Japan decided in April this year to keep low-interest rates in place. Short-term interest rates in the country still sit at -0.1%, which is almost unheard of elsewhere in the world. That arguably has positive effects in other ways, but it’s not great news for the currency. It even appears that the Bank of Japan may stick to this plan no matter what happens to inflation – news which could fill yen investors with horror.

In sum, the Japanese yen has clearly suffered in recent times. The currency has plummeted to its worst performance in 20 years and has lost out mainly to the US dollar – despite its previous status as a “safe haven.” As this article has shown, there has been a whole host of reasons for this – and investors need to make sure they know the reasons why.

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When was the last time you looked at your bank balance? We’ve all been struggling during the pandemic, but it’s finally coming to an end. If you want to safeguard your future, you’ll need to start growing an emergency fund.

Most people will find it very hard to save money, especially if they don’t earn much. You should use helpful apps if you fall into that category. Let’s look at some of the best ones you should download as soon as possible.

Image source: PublicDomainPictures.net

1. Qoins

“If you look after the pennies, the pounds look after themselves.” It’s a popular phrase that tells you to start saving loose change, which isn’t easy with physical money. You spend everything that’s sitting in your pocket.

Ooins is different because it’s an app that links to your bank account. When you buy something, it rounds it up to the nearest dollar, so $3.75 becomes $4. The extra 0.25 cents goes into account along with all your other change.

2. Mint

Mint is probably the biggest personal finance app on the market. If you take out bad credit loans from Magical Credit, you should add them to the app. You need to link your debit and credit cards to your account too.

Once you’ve added everything to the app, it will trace every penny you spend. It will give you advice to help eliminate your nasty spending habits. You’ll even get reminders when you need to pay important bills.

3. Digit

I’m sure your spending habits would improve if a financial expert followed you around every day. You’ll experience the same thing once you download the Digit app. It will learn about you by analyzing your bank transactions.

If you have a personal loan, it will work out how to pay it off effectively. It can move money into separate accounts based on the goals you set. You’ll reach your goals much faster when Digit gives you a helping hand.

4. Qapital

Qapital lets you save a little cash every time you trigger a particular rule. For example, it will put a certain percentage of your income into another account. It can move money out of your account every day or week.

You will have complete flexibility to choose how and when it saves money, and it will always be accessible if you’re desperate. If you forget about the app, you’ll get a nice surprise when you finally check your savings.

5. Halfdollar

Some people work more than one job to put food on the table. It’s easy to get a job driving for Uber at night if you need more money. It’s possible to earn a little cash by uploading YouTube videos or posting Instagram photos.

Halfdollar is great at keeping track of income coming in from multiple places, plus it will know when anything leaves your bank accounts. You will save money if the total income is greater than your expenses.

One App Can Work Wonders

You won’t need to download all these finance apps to achieve great results. The right app could help you save money easily, which will change your life forever.

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As an entrepreneur, you know how exciting it can be to start your own successful business venture. After years of working for a company and putting endless hours into work that had no meaning, you felt the calling to be your own boss. You began to imagine a world where you could chart your own course in life, where you could tap into your creativity and birth a brilliant idea that would bring you success in the marketplace.

Then, step by step, you put effort into your new idea and watched it take shape and form. As part of birthing your new venture, you quickly discovered that streamlining your operations is one of the keys to ongoing success. You also discovered that leveraging the following important tools is the best way of ensuring sustainable growth.

QuickBooks Accounting Software

When you are creating a new company it’s easy to get swept away in the numerous responsibilities and demands for your attention. And there are common small business accounting mistakes you can easily make if you are not careful. Unlike the corporate world where every company has a large support staff, as a new owner, every key decision will cross your desk. It’s tempting to skip important building blocks so you can get to exciting things like sales, but you want to make sure you are setting things up for long-term prosperity.

As part of this, it’s important to take the time to set up and install accounting software that will let you manage your operations. QuickBooks provides a comprehensive solution for financial management, inventory, billing, budgeting and expense tracking. It gives you all the tools you need to manage the fiscal health of your company.

Human Resources Software

It’s not unusual for large firms to have HR departments with lots of employees. As an entrepreneur, though, you have to take a more spartan approach. Fortunately, there are many different Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings that provide all the functionality required to manage your HR needs.

The packages are easy to set up, and don’t require an IT department to keep them up and running. These tools will help you streamline operations by putting maintenance of your data into the hands of each employee. With a Human Resources SaaS solution, you’ll be able to manage employee records, handle hiring and onboarding, and accurately track time reporting and paid time off.

Fleet Management Tools

If you operate multiple vehicles and trucks as part of your business, you understand that fleet management is an expensive juggling act. To truly stay on top of things, you need tools that give you a window of visibility into what is really going on. With new vehicle prices rising and gas prices close to an all-time high, operational costs can soar if you don’t get this area under control.

Fleet management tools let you track all of your vehicles using real-time GPS data so you will always know where your mobile assets are. In addition, you can help assure on time delivery of your products when you take advantage of the dispatching and routing functionality that is part of the system. You’ll also be able to use the tools to streamline operations and identify cost-saving opportunities.

Email Marketing Automation Tool

It takes work to fill your sales pipeline with prospects, and to convert potential buyers into customers. Email marketing automation tools can help you manage this process. When someone visits your website, calls in for more information or responds to one of your special offers, you’ll want to begin to nurture them along the sales journey. With email marketing automation, you can set up drip campaigns that give your prospects the information they need to make a purchase decision. Best of all, these campaigns are fully automated so they keep the process going without taking up time and effort from your sales staff.

Project and Task Management Tools

To truly keep on top of everything that is happening in the organization, you’ll want to set up powerful, yet easy to use, project and task management software. These offerings allow you to quickly track an ongoing project, assign tasks to individuals and teams, and monitor where things stand. With the right tools, you’ll be able to leverage the power of more agile teams and stay on top of all the open tasks. These SaaS offerings will help you streamline your business operations and run your projects efficiently.

McDonald’s Russia has found a buyer for its local business, after the war in Ukraine pushed it to quit the country.

Alexander Govor, who currently operates 25 McDonald’s restaurants in Siberia, will take on the company’s restaurants and staff, operating them under a new brand, the fast food giant said.

The firm did not disclose the sale price, but has warned investors it would take a more than $1 billion hit from the exit.

McDonald’s had operated in Russia for more than 30 years.

The opening of its first restaurant in Moscow in 1990 came to symbolise a thaw in Cold War tensions.

In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed and Russia opened up its economy to companies from the West. More than three decades later, however, it is one of a growing number of corporations pulling out as the war in Ukraine and Western sanctions make it difficult to operate.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

McDonald’s, which had nearly 850 restaurants in the country, most of them directly owned, said it expected the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, to close in coming weeks.

Alexander Govor has been a licensee of McDonald’s since 2015. He is also co-founder of Neftekhimservice, a refining company, and a board member of another firm that owns the Park Inn hotel and private clinics in Siberia.

Russia’s Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said the deal was the result of a “long and difficult” negotiation process and the government would provide Alexander Govor with all the necessary assistance to set up operations.

The terms provide for McDonald’s 62,000 staff in Russia to be retained for at least two years, with their existing pay and Alexander Govor will pay the salaries of corporate staff in Russia until the deal is completed.

McDonald’s will retain its trademark in Russia, it said, while the restaurants will be stripped of their menu, logo and other branding.

Russia: McDonald’s Restaurants Ordered to Close for 90 Days

Russia Closes Four McDonald’s Restaurants in Moscow

Announcing plans for the sale earlier this week, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski called the decision “extremely difficult”.

“However, we have a commitment to our global community and must remain steadfast in our values. And our commitment to our values means that we can no longer keep the arches shining there,” he said.

McDonald’s suspended operations at the restaurants it owned in Russia in March, citing the “humanitarian crisis” and “unpredictable operating environment” caused by the Ukraine war.

The move drew outrage among Russian politicians and prompted threats the business would be seized.

A patent application for an “Uncle Vanya” restaurant chain was filed with Russian authorities shortly after. The name, the same as the famous work by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, was one of several brand knock-offs of Western companies to surface.

In 2021, Russia and Ukraine accounted for about 9% of McDonald’s revenue.

The move by McDonald’s came after French carmaker Renault sold its majority stake in carmaker Aftovaz to a state research institute for a symbolic sum, while its Renault Russia business was taken over by the city of Moscow. Manufacturing at the Renault plant is expected to resume under a Soviet-era brand.

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Elon Musk has announced that his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter is on hold after he queried the number of fake or spam accounts on the social media platform.

The world’s richest man tweeted: ”Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users.”

Even before his comments, Twitter’s stock had been selling for less than the $54.20 per share Elon Musk has offered, a sign that the markets were not convinced he would complete the buyout.

He has been vocal about “defeating the spam bots”, identifying it as a key goal following his planned takeover of the company.

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Twitter has long faced accusations of not doing enough to address automated, fake accounts posting content.

In a filing more than two weeks ago, Twitter estimated that fake accounts accounted for fewer than 5% of its daily active users during the first three months of this year. It cautioned that the figures were based on estimates and could be higher.

Those claims were not different from what the firm had shared in previous disclosures.

Weeks of market turmoil in the US have wiped billions off the value of many companies – including once favored tech firms.

Tesla, the electric car company where Elon Musk serves as chief executive, has also seen its shares plunge – a hit to Elon Musk, whose status as the world’s richest person is bound up in his stake in the company and who had planned to rely on his shares to help finance the Twitter purchase.

Last month, he raised $8.5 billion by selling shares. He also planned to use the shares to secure $6.5 billion in loans.

After Elon Musk tweeted that the deal was temporarily on hold, Tesla’s share price gained more than 5%.

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Candlestick patterns are one of the essential ways used to study the market. There are several types of candlestick patterns that traders study to gain valuable insights and make informed decisions. Mat hold candlestick patterns represent the directional trend of stocks or commodities.

A mat hold pattern can either be bullish when the market is declining or bearish when there is a significant upswing. Let’s read on to understand more about mat hold patterns, their different types, and ways you could use the pattern to your benefit.

Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

Understanding Mat Hold Patterns

The pattern starts with a bullish or bearish trend on day one. The next three days will show a trend opposite to the directional trend of the first day. Lastly, the fifth day mimics the trends of the first day, pushing in the same direction. The mat hold pattern is a dependable indicator seen in market analysis but most of the time, seeing the pattern is rare as it does not appear more often.

Due to its rarity, mat hold patterns are sometimes confused with the rising-three indicator. Still, mat hold patterns are used to predict how long would the market uptrend last. To better understand these patterns, try looking for examples of bullish and bearish trends so you can easily identify these patterns on a chart.

Bearish Mat Hold Patterns

Bearish mat hold candlesticks present as a 5-candle pattern that appears during a rising market. This pattern indicates the bearish market is turning stagnant and will most likely fall down after the pause. As mentioned above, it will be easy to identify a bearish mat hold pattern as the first and last candles will show a downward trend whereas the middle candlesticks will point towards an uptrend.  

Bullish Mat Hold Patterns

Similar to the bearish trend, bullish mat hold patterns are also represented by 5 candlesticks but the first and the last candles show an uptrend while the middle 3 candles show a fall. Bullish patterns come during an uptrend and indicate the market will keep rising.

Inverted Mat Hold Patterns

This pattern is a variation that is represented by 5 candlesticks. The first candle starts with a very bearish trend after which three bullish candles follow. Each of these 3 candlesticks represents a bullish trend that is higher than the previous candle. Lastly, the final candlestick should also point towards a bearish trend.

Identifying The Patterns

The structure of a mat hold is composed of 5 candlesticks each representing a bullish or bearish trend depending on the type of pattern. Studying the mat hold pattern is essential for investors and traders as it provides valuable insights to help you make the right decision. If you are an aspiring trader or investor, doing your homework is crucial as it will assist you in understanding the market trends in a better way.

Bullish Mat Holds

This scenario is generated when there is a market uptrend, influencing more investors to benefit from the rising market. As a result, investors flock in on the rising bullish market. At the same time, investors become concerned about too many investors jumping on the bandwagon, resulting in investors bailing out from their positions. This bailout causes a surge in sell orders all during similar times and influences a bearish trend. However, the last candle starts to take life and moves uptrend, indicating a rise in the market that will move up for quite some time.

Bearish Mat Holds

During bearish mat holds, the market trends are negative, making investors think of hitting lower prices. To save their invested capital, investors turn to sell, resulting in a beamish candle. Due to this selling influx, the market becomes oversold so investors stop selling while waiting and expecting to see a pullback. Now, the bullish trend starts, making three candles show a positive trend. However, in the end, this positive trend fades away, indicating the market to fall down even further.

Advantages of Using Mat Hold Patterns

These patterns are truly beneficial for the trader when used correctly. There is a continuous candlestick pattern that can be identified easily when analyzing market trend charts and providing accurate information. Investors and traders use this pattern as an indicator to join in on the market trends and these mat hold patterns can also be used with other technical analysis tools so you can get the best possible outcomes in terms of making a decision. Following the pattern gives you a success rate of around 70% which is quite promising when trading.

Trading Mat Hold Patterns

As mentioned above, traders who want to join in on an existing trend follow mat hold patterns. They make this decision after extensive evaluation of the market, the influencing factors, and any other aspect that can affect their strategy. Leading traders suggest entering the market and opening a position when there is a 5th candle in place and you have already anticipated the market trend. As you open a position, remember to put a tight stop order in place. Using a stop-loss order ensures you will not be affected by additional losses if the market trends go against the proceedings you anticipated. In forex trading, losing is a part of the game but using trading tools like a stop loss can easily help you to be on the safe side and avoid as much loss as possible.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Trading is all about patience, studying the market, and making the right move at the right time. There is so much that goes into making a successful trader. Most people think of trading as simple as buying at low rates and selling when the market rises for profit. However, it’s not true as an extensive analysis of the market is necessary that cannot be fulfilled by simply buying or selling. To get the most out of your time, consider reviewing the basics and getting familiar with the terminology so you can better understand the terms used, ultimately improving your trading game over time.

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Costa Rica, a North American country, was attacked by Conti ransomware, a large number of systems in multiple ministries were affected and a large number of sensitive data were stolen.

The Ministry of Finance of Colombia was the most severely affected. The theft of taxpayer information caused public panic, and systems such as taxation and customs were paralyzed for several days, resulting in heavy losses in the country’s export business, at least US$200 million.

The Colombian president said the attackers were trying to destabilize the country, alluding to Russia. However, some security experts believe that this is just an ordinary money extortion, simply because the country’s system has too many loopholes.

In the past week, a ransomware attack has paralyzed the computer system of the government of the Republic of Costa Rica (hereinafter referred to as “Costa”) in the North American country (located in Central America). The Colombian government has refused to pay the ransom and is trying to prepare for the potential fallout as malicious hackers begin releasing stolen data.

Conti, a Russian-based ransomware gang, has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Costa Rican government has yet to issue an announcement on the details.

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

The Ministry of Finance was the worst affected, with systems paralyzed and taxpayer information stolen

The Colombian Ministry of Finance first reported the cyber attack on Monday (April 18). From the collection of taxes and fees to customs exports, many systems under the Treasury Department were affected by the attack. Malicious hackers then targeted other targets, including the Social Security Department’s human resources system and the Department of Labor.

The attack shut down for hours the Treasury Department’s payment system, which covers most of the country’s public officials and also handles government pension payments. The Treasury Department had to approve tax deferrals as payment services were not working properly.

The Conti gang did not disclose the exact amount of the ransom. There were rumors on social media that the hacker gang offered $10 million, but there was no corresponding evidence on the Conti gang website.

“Costa Rica will never pay any ransom to cybercriminals,” said Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvardao.

Colombian Finance Minister Elian Villegas said on Wednesday (April 20) that hackers accessed “sensitive” taxpayer history information after breaching the finance ministry’s customs platform, without specifying the amount of data leaked.

Colombian companies fear that classified information submitted to the government could be accessed by hacker gangs and then disclosed or misused. Ordinary citizens worry that their personal financial information could be used to hack into their bank accounts.

Platforms such as tax and customs have been suspended for more than 4 days, resulting in heavy losses in export business

According to a Reuters report on April 22, some platforms, including tax and customs, suspended operations for the fourth consecutive day, causing bottlenecks in imports and exports. The Costa Rican Exporters’ Chamber reported a loss of $200 million on Wednesday.

Christian Rucavado, executive director of the chamber, said cyberattacks against customs agencies had already affected the country’s import and export logistics. The goods stranded in the cold storage are slowly decaying. This is a race against time, and the specific economic loss cannot be determined for the time being. Trading operations continue, but at a much slower pace than usual.

Rucavado explained, “Many processes can only be done manually now, and there are delays in work at many border agencies. We have asked the government to take relevant remedial measures, such as extending working hours to ensure that imports and exports are completed in a timely manner.”

He also mentioned that Costa Rica normally exports goods worth $38 million a day.

Attacker with Russian background carried out double extortion

Allan Liska, an analyst at threat intelligence firm Recorded Future, said the Conti gang is carrying out a double extortion: encrypting government documents to disrupt the normal operations of various departments; if no ransom is received, the team publishes the stolen documents on the dark web for extortion sites.

The first point can be solved if these systems have good backups, Liska said, but if the stolen data is highly sensitive, it could be a big problem.

Liska revealed that the Conti gang often rents out its ransomware infrastructure to any “affiliate gang” willing to pay, so the real person behind the attack could come from anywhere in the world.

A year ago, the Conti ransomware attack forced Irish health authorities to shut down IT systems and cancel a large number of appointments, treatments and surgeries.

At the end of February this year, the Conti gang claimed support for Russia in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. The move angered an underground hacker sympathetic to Ukraine, a security researcher who claimed to have been monitoring the movements of the Conti gang for a long time, and released a large amount of sensitive data such as Conti’s internal chat records and codes.

President says attackers are trying to destabilize country, security experts think it’s just money extortion

As the country with the most stable political situation, abundant wildlife and beautiful tropical beaches in Central America, why is Costa Rica targeted by hacker gangs? Liska believes it may simply be because there are too many holes in the country’s system. “Hacker gangs hunt for specific vulnerabilities. The most likely guess is that there are a lot of holes in the Colombian government system that ransomware hackers found and decided to attack.”

Brett Callow, a ransomware analyst at Emsisoft, said he had seen a document leaked by Costa Rica’s finance ministry, and “the data in it does appear to be authentic.”

On Friday (April 22), the Conti gang claimed on a dark web blog that 50 percent of the stolen data had been released, including a total of 850 GB of data from the databases of Colombia’s Ministry of Finance and other agencies. “These are good phishing fodder, and hopefully fellow hackers in Costa Rica can use it to make a fortune,” the gang said.

In recent years, network security has gradually become a hot topic. There are many businesses and governments that are also attacked by ransomware. Enterprises and governments should be vigilant, do a good job in data protection and disaster recovery, and use virtual machine backup and other methods to do a good job in data backup.

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The last thing that any business wants is a lawsuit brought against them. So, this means that you have to educate yourself on what the rules and regulations are. In particular, WCAG compliance is going to be very important. This is going to ensure that your workplace is a fair and equal place to work for everyone. How much do you know about WCAG compliance? Let’s take a look at the things you need to know.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

What is WCAG?

Let’s start by discussing what WCAG stands for. This is short for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. This was created by the World Wide Web Consortium and its purpose is to show websites how they can be accessible to everyone. In other words, you can ensure everyone, whether they have a disability or not, is able to operate your website. This is going to be highly relevant if you have to follow the ADA or Americans With Disabilities Act. This is an important piece of legislation that applies to a lot of businesses and ensures equality in access to public areas and the workplace.

Why Do I Need to Be WCAG Compliant?

So, what are the benefits of being WCAG compliant? Well for one thing, you minimize the risk of potential lawsuits. No one likes being sued as it means the loss of both time and money. As a busy business owner, that is the last thing you want to be dealing with. But, there are also many other benefits you should know about when it comes to WCAG compliance. Let’s take a look at them.

First of all, you are going to have a user-friendly website. This is going to make it easy for everyone to use your site and everything you have to offer. People with disabilities will be able to get the support they need, which allows them to use your site, and everything is more accessible. When you offer this, you are going to notice a difference when it comes to business. Thus, you are reaching out to a new demographic and allowing them access to your products and services. Plus, when you offer this type of support, you can attract loyal customers that are going to come back.

When it comes to your employees, there are benefits too. In particular, you can create a positive and inclusive workplace where employees are able to get the support they need. This can make a difference to morale. What’s more, when employees feel supported and like they are given the attention they need, they are going to be more loyal to their company. This means that you can enjoy good employee retention rates since you cater for their needs and care about your staff.

Therefore, it is in your best interests to know about WCAG compliance. This is going to save you a lot of hassle, as well as offer a variety of benefits. So, it is always worth your while when it comes to your business.

The robotics industry is full of innovation right now with a growing amount of applications as each year passes. Whilst many people think of mobile robotics as being a machine that looks to replicate a human, this is just the tip of the consumer-facing iceberg. On the back of the top 5 trends in robotics outlined by the International Federation of Robotics, here are some more trends to look out for in 2022 in the robotics field.

Plug and Play

Robotics is currently a space that requires a lot of expertise and time for even small amounts of progress. The result of this was always that robots were never overly accessible and still required experts in their field to maintain and even use them – much like the robotics in the medical field. However, this is quickly changing, with a shift towards cleaner user interfaces and pre-programmed tasks. 

In the same way that websites offered the drag-and-drop builders, programming and robotics may be heading the same way. So, even if the robotics are not fully pre-programmed, low code solutions may arise. A focus on easier implementation is lucrative because it’s a large obstacle for companies without dedicated IT departments with robotics expertise – something many businesses aren’t looking to develop. In order to help those businesses, many industrial robotics companies such as Robotnik in Europe or Aresbots in China are developping autonomous mobile robots for every types of industries.

Robotics as a Service

Robotics as a service (RAAS) could become a hit in 2022 if the unit prices of the robots do not fall. There are already RaaS companies out there, though this is yet to be the dominant way of developing a fleet of robotics for a business. In this way the RaaS companies Robotnik offers robot customization in order to adapt to the necesity of every businesses. Basically, this is about meeting short-term needs without long-term investment, something that could reduce manufacturing costs by up to 30%. 

There’s likely going to be more support too from companies who know you do not already have a robotics infrastructure set up. If you’re finding that the latest models of robots keep being introduced, this is a good way to always receive the newer, later options, making the operations more flexible.

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is an important aspect of robotics, as new research and development are incentivized when it the resulting designs can be legally protected. In 2022, we expect to see more companies focus on patenting more aspects of the design, such as the look and feel. So, beyond the usual utility patents, we expect aesthetics to become more competitive as they strive for better user interfaces – particularly robotics that are direct to the consumer such as the cleaning robots. 

Hype From Retail Investors

Tech companies have been performing above the market index over the Covid pandemic as we saw an increase of the applications of robotics in the medical field. Whether they’re currently overpriced or not is a debate for another day, but what hasn’t yet fully caught wind yet is investment in robotics companies. It’s likely that in 2022, as robotics has a growing presence in new industries, particularly in customer-facing roles, then we will see more sentiment and socially-driven investment into robotics.

Some big names on public exchanges to keep an eye on are iRobot and Intuitive Surgical, of which the former is for performing household tasks whilst the latter is robotic solutions for complex surgical procedures. Amazon is also leading the way with using robots to manage inventory and logistics. Amazon is up over 350% in the past five years, whilst iRobot is up over 110%. As each year goes by, we are beginning to see robotics investing being talked about more and more on publishers like fool and FT, but it’s still flying well under the radar.

Cobots

Collaborative robots, otherwise known as cobots, are set to have a big year. The idea of the cobot is attractive to everyday people, because it’s a future in which we work alongside robots instead of being replaced by them. For businesses, this may mean cutting fear labour costs, but often robots are limited to a set amount of tasks in isolation – but when paired with a human, the robot’s potential is increased.

Cobots are a less idealistic approach to automation, a middle ground in which pragmatic productivity can be achieved. Cobots are also easier to install and maintain, with fewer risks if they malfunction. As there is inherently a human around with cobots, which reduces the disruption in the instance of a malfunction. We expect cobots to be a sensible stepping stone for companies looking for full automation solutions for operations.

Final Word

The robotics industry is quickly expanding. Currently, the solutions and applications are popping up in surprising industries, making it difficult to pin down robotics as an industry in and of itself – which it is. Over 2022, we expect robotics to become more widely accepted as a way of working in various industries, from healthcare to education, which will soon inevitably have cobots.

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The US sports betting explosion has broadened the horizons of sports enthusiasts in the US, opening a wide range of wagering possibilities as dozens of sportsbooks have acquired licenses and released their betting apps.

Different bettors may look for different qualities in a top-rated sportsbook including payment options and methods, range of sports covered, bonus quality and security. However, some sports betting apps excel across a number of categories. Here are some of the best available in 2022.

Image source Wikipedia

Caesars sportsbook

With a platform created expressly for simplicity of use, this app may be the greatest option for individuals new to online betting. All the most important betting markets and details are displayed prominently on the homepage, making it easy to stay up to date.

One of the few apps with two-factor authentication, which ensures that your money and bets are always safe and secure, the Caesars platform provides access to promotional offers that are available on both the website and the app, so you’ll never miss out on a terrific bonus.

FanDuel sportsbook

FanDuel is one of the top mobile sports betting apps in the United States, with an easy-to-use, clean and stylish interface that meets all betting requirements. Their in-game parlay option was the first to debut in the United States, and their in-play choices stand out above the competition, providing lots of live action for bettors to pick from. This strong live betting platform is also one of the few apps to offer live streaming to US bettors.

DraftKings

DraftKings is a major player in the mobile sports betting sector. It began as a leader in Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) but has now grown to include a mobile sportsbook. Outside of Nevada, it was the first legal internet sports betting app.

DraftKings has established itself as possibly the most famous sports app for Android and iPhone customers in every state it operates in, including New Jersey, thanks to its simplicity of use and intuitive layout. In fact, the DraftKings app is often praised as being easier to use than the company’s desktop betting site.

DraftKings offers every major sport on the globe, and it was one of the first to use PayPal as a payment mechanism. A sports bettor does not need to make a large investment to test it out since the minimum deposit is just $5. It also has speedy payout options, a wide range of live betting options and excellent geolocation technology along with a high level of security.

BetMGM

BetMGM’s app is of the finest quality and symbolizes their sophisticated brand as one of the most well-known companies in online sports betting. This is one of the best apps for betting on a wide range of sports, with competitive odds and a variety of markets and props. Rapid payments also provide for a smooth and simple betting experience, with excellent customer support alternatives if you need assistance. BetMGM has done a great job of designing an app that gives bettors access to their website at their fingertips, resulting in a fantastic overall experience.

PointsBet

Offering a sleek user experience that encapsulates all the desktop site has to offer, PointsBet has improved its app for the US market after launching in Australia, and it provides a terrific experience.

While navigation might be a bit sluggish at times, the incredible range of sports to wager on is well worth the wait, especially with live-streaming and in-play betting options. PointsBet is a solid choice for most sports betting customers, and it also offers a wonderful loyalty system to participate in.

FOX Bet

FOX Bet is a favorite among many sports bettors since it offers odds on almost any sporting event imaginable, and it has the best design of any mobile betting app. It offers a wide range of live betting choices and is noted for its user-friendly interface. The app provides an impressive range of prop bets with big odds, and has gained popularity in the states of New Jersey, Michigan, Colorado and Pennsylvania, where it is now available.

When it comes to placing a mobile bet, few apps are simpler to use, with a tab option that makes navigating a pleasure. There is also a relatively low $10 minimum deposit, so a bettor can get into the game at a low cost. The handy new player free wager of $500 is one of the best welcome bonuses around.