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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.

Image source: AP

President Joe Biden has called for trillions in spending aimed at re-igniting America’s economic growth by upgrading its crumbling infrastructure and tackling climate change.

The $2.3 trillion proposal would direct billions to initiatives such as charging stations for electric vehicles and eliminating lead water pipes.

The spending would be partially offset by raising taxes on businesses.

Those plans have already roused fierce opposition.

Republicans have called the rises “a recipe for stagnation and decline”, while powerful business lobby groups including the Business Roundtable and Chamber of Commerce said they supported investments but would oppose tax increases.

The pushback is a sign of the tough fight ahead for the plan, which needs approval from Congress.

The White House has promoted its proposal as the most ambitious public spending in decades, saying the investments are necessary to keep the US economy growing and competitive with other countries, especially China.

In a speech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 31, President Biden said: “This is not a plan that tinkers around the edges.

“It’s a once in a generation investment in America.”

The plan calls for investing more than $600 billion in infrastructure, including modernizing roads, replacing rail cars and buses and repairing crumbling bridges.

American Rescue Plan: Senate Passes President Biden’s $1.9TN Covid Relief Bill

American Rescue Plan: President Biden’s $1.9Tn Covid Relief Bill Passes House Vote

Billions more would be devoted to initiatives like improving veterans hospitals, upgrading affordable housing, expanding high-speed broadband, and providing incentives for manufacturing and technology research.

It calls for money to be directed to rural communities and communities of color, including establishing a national climate-focused laboratory affiliated with an historically black university.

The spending, which would have to be approved by Congress, would roll out over eight years.

The White House said tax increases would offset the cost over 15 years.

President Biden called for raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, a move that would partially undo cuts the US passed in 2017. He also proposed raising the minimum rate charged for overseas profits.

In his speech, in an acknowledgment such plans are likely to face, the president said he was also “open to other ideas” when it came to paying for the spending.

“Failing to make these investments adds to our debt and effectively puts our children at a disadvantage relative to our competitors,” he said.

“The divisions of the moment shouldn’t stop us from doing the right thing for the future.”

President Biden’s proposal – which closely resembles promises he made during last year’s election campaign – comes just weeks after Democrats muscled through $1.9 trillion more in aid to address the economic upheaval caused by the pandemic, approving that package without Republican support.

It’s not clear yet how much of President Biden’s latest plan will make it through Congress – or how much of another spending package focused on areas such as childcare and education that he plans to unveil in coming weeks.

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Landscapers need a varied skill set. As well as understanding the environment they work in and the plants which thrive there, they must also be able to communicate well with clients and garden designers to achieve the required results. It’s also a very manual role that calls for the laying of new paving, pruning trees and carefully maintaining finished areas. The work is challenging, but with the right planning, a landscaping business can encompass both private and commercial clients to become very lucrative. Here are some ideas for growing your company and increasing your turnover.

Produce a new business plan

The decision to expand is often made as a result of a business doing well. To maximize on your success, it’s important to create a plan that takes into account your new goals. Think strategically to establish a set of clear targets. These could include the number of new customers you hope to take on, the additional hours you plan to work and the percentage increase you would like to see in your revenue. As some aspects of your plan, such as marketing, are likely to be costly, a budget is also required. Next, add a timeline to manage your overall plan. A set of weekly or monthly deadlines will provide information on your progress, so you can adjust your initiatives as and when required.

Show off your insurance certification

Primarily, the right insurance policy will safeguard your business from accidents and claims, but it can also prove your reliability to new and existing clients. Even if you are currently working as a smaller company and it’s just you at the helm, arranging cover from trusted insurance provider Next Insurance, gives you protection from unexpected losses. They work to deliver policies that are aimed at individual businesses, providing cover that’s right for you at an affordable price.

Remember that first impressions count

How you present yourself to potential clients is of key importance. Of course, you will need to be a friendly, polite and approachable person with plenty of innovative gardening ideas, but you should also be responsive to their queries. Provide a phone number and an email address, as well as a website where they can read reviews from past customers and see examples of your work. Your appearance can also have an impact on how your service is perceived. If you don’t have a van logo, then consider getting one made up to give your vehicle a professional look. This lets the neighborhood know you are running an established business and provides you with free advertising. Similarly, you could wear a uniform or even a t-shirt featuring your company logo. As you take on new staff, be sure to get them the same type of shirt, so customers know they are on your team.

Understand who your customers are

One of the most important factors in business success and expansion is knowing your target audience. You can’t create a service that people require if you aren’t entirely sure of who they are and what they want. Under the landscaping umbrella, there are services aimed at the owners of residential properties and services which are more suited to commercial spaces. You may be keen to offer premium outdoor projects or prefer working on general lawn maintenance, either way you’ll need to identify your customers in order to create worthwhile promotions and marketing.

Improve your digital marketing

Digital marketing is a sophisticated and popular tool that can help your business reach its full potential quickly. Building and maintaining a website is important, but it’s no longer enough. Your customers spend lots of time browsing for new products or services online and this means their tastes are more refined than ever. A modern website with uniform branding and design features will impress them, as will responsiveness and mobile compatibility. Having a portfolio of your previous work is a bonus and can certainly be used to your advantage, but the images will need to be high-quality. Pick out a varied selection which demonstrates your strongest skills. Then add explanations and curate them together in several labelled albums. An ordered approach allows visitors to quickly find pictures and content that relates to a project they have in mind.

Ultimately, some strategies will be more effective than others and you’ll soon learn which to concentrate on as your landscape business grows. You’ll need to be patient, but with hard work and a consistent approach, your goals will soon be within reach.

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Image by kmarius from Pixabay

Despite expectations that, as a result of the Covid pandemic, Portuguese house prices would fall during 2020, there has been an average 1.1% increase across the country. In January 2020, the average house price in Portugal stood at 344,417 euros by December that price had risen to 348,223 euros. There has, however, been considerable regional variation in the sale price of property: Portalegre and Guada saw falls of 16.9% and 14% respectively, whilst Evora and Beja saw property prices rise by 16.9% and 7.7%.

Across Europe there has been a trend pandemic trend for increased sales outside of urban areas and in particular a move away from property purchases in capital cities. This trend does not seem to have made an impact on property prices in Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, where average prices increased from 551,607 euros in December 2019 to 557,595 euros in December 2020. Lisbon has experienced a property boom in recent years but 2019 saw a slowdown in the number properties being bought by foreigners. Estate agents report that purchasers have been choosing cheaper properties but also that there has been an increase in enquiries and clients from America.

One of the key factors driving Portugal’s property boom in recent years has been the ‘Golden Visa’ scheme, by which foreign purchasers of property valued in excess of 350,000 euros are entitled to residency rights and unhindered travel within the Schengen territories. The scheduled ending of this scheme in Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve may well create a last-minute surge of foreign purchases before the deadline.

The Portuguese government was widely commended for its handling of the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic and the comparative low impact of the virus during most of 2020 may well have helped sustain the country’s buoyant property market. Unfortunately, the second and third waves of the virus which hit the country at the end of 2020 and the start of 2021 have proved much more serious and currently, Portugal is in a state of emergency until at least March 11th.

The Portuguese economy, so dependent on tourism, has been devastated by the pandemic. During the first nine months of 2020, the overall turnover in terms of taxable income, declined by 14.8%. Over 37,000 businesses in the hospitality sector face bankruptcy. The extent to which this catastrophic economic situation will impact on property prices which largely depend on whether Portugal is able to quash the virus in time for the resumption of a tourist summer season in 2021.

Even without the incentive of a ‘Golden Visa’ Portugal remains a very attractive location for foreign property purchasers. Year-round sunshine, some of the best beaches in Europe, outstanding cuisine, a rich cultural and architectural heritage, one of the lowest costs of living in Europe and an impressively low crime rate are all powerful incentives for foreign investors. The coming year is undoubtedly going to be one of extreme challenge, but it seems likely that demand for Portuguese real estate will continue to increase.

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Image by Peter H from Pixabay

If you own a truck, you know that it has different maintenance needs than a regular car. Not only are trucks designed differently than, say, a minivan, but they’re driven differently, too. You might drive a minivan around your neighborhood or city, but you could easily drive a truck through the countryside or take it on an off-roading adventure! As a result, you may need certain upgrades and features on your truck that can help you get the most out of your vehicle. So, let’s take a closer look at 4 upgrades every truck owner should know about!

Interior and Exterior Light Kits

Even if you don’t travel at night very often, you should always be prepared. Oftentimes, the standard lights that come with vehicles can be subpar. To rectify this problem, you can easily purchase an interior or exterior light kit. This will allow you to see everything inside and outside of your vehicle — regardless of the time of day or night.

There are dozens of high-quality light kits on the market. For better or worse, most people focus on exterior lights and largely forget about the inside of their truck. Fortunately, LED lights for Ford F150 interior setups are a great solution.

Suspension

Your truck’s suspension helps your vehicle absorb the impact of bumps in the road and generally ensures a smooth ride. This is why you can almost always tell when there’s an issue with your suspension system. If your truck’s suspension is not working properly, each and every bump will feel amplified, making it uncomfortable and even dangerous to drive.

Unless you’ve got superior mechanic skills, you’ll probably need an expert to install a new suspension system. This means that you’ll need to factor the cost of labor and the price of the new system into your budget. Thankfully, you can easily find aftermarket suspension systems through various online retailers.

Lift Kit

It’s important to note that lift kits are not the best choice for every truck owner. Some drivers don’t want the hassle of climbing in and out of their truck every time they need to go somewhere. However, if you frequently drive on rough terrain, a lift kit will help you avoid obstacles that would otherwise cause damage to your truck’s undercarriage.

A lift kit does exactly what the name implies; it lifts the frame of your truck higher off the ground. Some people make this upgrade purely for aesthetics, while others do it for more practical reasons (namely avoiding short barriers). In any case, it’s a necessity for truck owners who frequently drive off-road.

Bull Guard

The bull guard is another upgrade that is geared toward off-roaders. That said, it can offer enhanced front-end protection for regular drivers as well. For example, if you accidentally hit a deer while driving, a bull guard could end up protecting the front of your truck from costly damage.

One great thing about bull guards is their low price point. Bull guards are relatively inexpensive and can even be installed without professional help. However, the price and complexity of your bull guard will depend on both the design and materials.

YouTube may lift Donald Trump’s suspension, if the threat of “real-world violence” decreases, Susan Wojcicki, the platform’s CEO, has said.

She said the company will look at government warnings and violent rhetoric to determine when it’s safe to lift the suspension.

Following the Capitol Hill riot on January 6 that left five dead, Donald Trump’s account was suspended.

YouTube said the former president had violated their incitement of violence policy.

President Trump Permanently Suspended from Twitter

Pro-Trump Protesters Storm Capitol Building

Susan Wojcicki said during an interview with the Atlantic Council on March 4: “It’s pretty clear that right now where we stand, that there still is that elevated risk of violence.”

She clarified that Donald Trump’s conduct had not led to a full ban on the platform.

YouTube operates under a three strike system and an account must receive all three strikes within 90 days to be permanently removed.

The suspension in January was Donald Trump’s first strike.

Rudy Giuliani, the former personal attorney to Donald Tump, received his second strike earlier this week for claiming the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

Typically, a first strike results in a seven day suspension of an account, but Donald Trump’s has been prolonged due to a continued risk of violence.

After a large group of pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building on January 6, the former president was banned across many social media outlets.

Donald Trump was banned from Twitter and suspended from Facebook.

Facebook’s Oversight Committee is currently looking at whether that suspension should be made permanent – however it’s not yet clear when they will rule.

Criminal charges have been filed for a reported 221 people involved in the Capitol riot.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief plan to help Americans during the Covid-19 pandemic has been approved in the House of Representatives.

The vote was along partisan lines. Two Democrats joined Republicans – who see it as too expensive – in opposing it.

The relief bill must now go to the evenly-divided Senate, which has already blocked a key element – doubling the US minimum wage to $15/hour.

The Covid-19 relief package seeks to boost vaccinations and testing, and stabilize the economy.

The cash would be extended as emergency financial aid to households, small businesses and state governments. Unemployment is close to 10%, with some 10 million jobs lost in the pandemic.

The vote comes in the same week the United States passed 500,000 coronavirus-related deaths – the largest figure of any nation in the world.

In brief remarks at the White House on February 26, President Biden hailed the House’s approval of the plan, saying he hoped it would receive “quick action” at the Senate.

He said: “We have no time to waste.

“If we act now, decisively, quickly and boldly we can finally get ahead of this virus, we can finally get our economy moving again. And the people in this country have suffered far too much for too long. We need to relieve that suffering.”

Joe Biden had appealed for bipartisan unity when he took office last month.

He has championed what he calls the American Rescue Plan as a way to help struggling Americans through Covid-19.

However, Republicans say the plan is unnecessarily large and stuffed with Democratic priorities unrelated to the pandemic.

The divisions were reflected by the representatives.

The bill is the third major spending package of the pandemic, and actually not quite as big as President Donald Trump’s $2trillion last March.

President Trump Fails to Sign Covid-19 Relief Bill into Law

President Trump Threatens to Block Covid-19 Relief Bill

The key elements include:

  • A $1,400 cheque per person, although payments phase out for higher incomes
  • Extending jobless benefits until the end of August to help the more than 11 million long-term unemployed
  • Parents of children under the age of 18 to get a year of monthly benefits
  • $70 billion to boost Covid-19 testing and vaccinations
  • Financial support for schools and universities to help them reopen
  • Grants for small businesses and other targeted industries
  • Funds for local government

One of the other major elements is the increase of the minimum wage from $7.25/hour – where it has been since 2009 – to $15.

On February 25, Elizabeth MacDonough, the non-partisan Senate parliamentarian – who interprets its rules – said that raising the minimum wage would violate the budgetary limits allowed in this kind of measure.

The bill that passed in the House does still include the increase and it remains unclear how the issue can be resolved.

The minimum wage rise remains a key Democrat goal, particularly for the party’s progressive wing, and some top Democrats are considering a measure to penalize employers who pay less than $15/hour.

Republicans argue the minimum wage increase would be too heavy a toll on firms struggling to rebuild following the Covid-19 outbreak.

The package goes to the Senate – spilt evenly between Democrats and Republicans 50-50 – probably next week. The rules of the Senate do allow a reconciliation bill like this to be passed on a simple majority, rather than 60-40.

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Tiger Woods has been hospitalized after suffering “multiple leg injuries” in a car crash in Los Angeles, California.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department said that it “responded to a single-vehicle rollover” accident in which the “vehicle sustained major damage”.

Tiger Woods, 45, had to be “extricated from the wreck” by firefighters and paramedics.

Tiger Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg said: “He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support.”

Mark Steinberg confirmed the detail about the American having sustained “multiple leg injuries”.

The 15-time golf major champion was at the Riviera Country Club in LA at the weekend as host of the Genesis Invitational tournament.

A statement from the LA County Sheriff’s Department said it responded to the crash “on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes” on Tuesday morning local time.

The statement added: “Mr. Woods was extricated from the wreck with the ‘jaws of life’ by Los Angeles County firefighters and paramedics, then transported to a local hospital by ambulance for his injuries.”

“Units dispatched at 07:22 and found a single-vehicle rollover. One adult male was assisted out of the vehicle and transported to a local area hospital in serious condition.”

Tiger Woods Loses Sleep After Breakup with Lindsey Vonn

Tiger Woods loses front tooth in video camera crash while watching Lindsey Vonn compete in Italy

A statement from PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said: “We are awaiting further information when he comes out of surgery.

“On behalf of the PGA Tour and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support as he recovers.”

Tiger Woods was involved in a car crash in November 2009 which eventually led to admissions of infidelity and the breakdown of his marriage. He then took a break from golf but returned shortly afterwards.

Following five wins in 2013, Tiger Woods started just 24 events in the next four years because of chronic back pain and multiple surgeries.

In 2017, Tiger Woods was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence when he was found asleep at the wheel of his car. He later pleaded guilty to reckless driving.

He had five prescription drugs in his system as he recovered from the spinal fusion surgery that ultimately gave him a second golfing career.

Tiger Woods ended an 11-year wait for a major title when he won the Masters at Augusta in 2019.

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Image source: robinhood.com

The family of Alex Kearns, who killed himself last year, have filed a lawsuit against trading app Robinhood over his death.

The lawsuit, first reported by CBS News, said the 20-year-old mistakenly believed he owed $730,000 when he took his own life.

Alex’s parents, Dan and Dorothy Kearns, say their son was unable to get help or support from customer services before he died.

Robinhood, which allows anyone to buy and trade stocks, says on its website that it is “on a mission to democratize finance” and is currently running an advertising campaign under the slogan of “We are all investors”.

The app recently made headlines for limiting sales of some shares to users after US retailer GameStop saw its stock surge.

GameStop Stocks Fall 60 Percent After Restrictions

GameStop: Elon Musk Questions Robinhood Founder Vladimir Tenev on Clubhouse

Speaking to CBS, the parents of Alex Kearns say he began using Robinhood just before he graduated high school.

Dan and Dorothy Kearns say they did not know the app had also approved him to buy and sell options – a risky financial instrument – despite a lack of financial experience.

They say their son realized on June 11, 2020, that his account had been restricted by Robinhood amid what appeared to be a negative balance of more than $700,000 on his account.

CBS reports Alex Kearns received an automated email at 03:26 early the next morning asking him to take “immediate action” to pay more than $170,000 within days.

The family say the student emailed customer service several times asking for support and help understanding the figures on his trading account, but only received stock response messages saying they would get back to him.

“They provide no mechanism through a telephone call, through live email service, to get live answers to questions,” a lawyer for the family told CBS.

Alex’s parents were told by police later that day, on June 12, that their son had died.

“He thought he blew up his life. He thought he screwed up beyond repair,” Dan Kearns said in the interview, in which he said his son had “just needed a little help”.

Dan and Dorothy Kearns say an email from Robinhood, received the day after his death, clarified that trading restrictions had been lifted and the trade resolved.

The lawsuit, filed in California state court, said the loss had been covered by other options in Alex’s account and accuses Robinhood’s “misleading communications” of leading to “panic and confusion”.

According to media reports, the wrongful death lawsuit accuses Robinhood of unfair business practices and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

If you’re in an emergency, please call 911. You can contact the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

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Dogecoin has jumped in value by 50% after inventor Elon Musk dubbed it “the people’s crypto”.

Cryptocurrencies such as Dogecoin and Bitcoin are generated by computers. Their supposed value comes from the finite number that can be computed.

Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency which started off as a joke, uses a Shiba Inu dog as its mascot and is based on a meme featuring the animal.

The currency has risen more than 800% in the year so far.

After reaching a high of $0.058, each dogecoin is currently changing hands for about $0.046, suggesting a total value for all 128 billion coins of about $5.89 billion.

According to an interview with Vice, dogecoin was created in 2013 by a pair of software workers after one of them made a joke about the next big cryptocurrency.

However, with no intrinsic value like gold or land, and no ability to generate an income like a company or bond, cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and can crash as fast as they rise.

This makes them hard to value and makes their prices susceptible to tips from backers or sudden panics.

Critics point out that while any given cryptocurrency may have a finite supply of units, the number of cryptocurrencies is ever-growing and potentially limitless.

People have lost large amounts of money in steep drops in the value of cryptocurrencies and in hacks and corrupted or lost hard drives.

Petro: Venezuela Launches Ethereum-Based Cryptocurrency

Bitwalking Dollar: New Crypto-Currency Generated by Human Movement

Bitcoin’s value dropped by $5,000 on January4 to about $29,000 before recovering the lost ground. On January 11, it dropped $9,000 to $32,000.

Because the cryptocurrencies can pass international borders quickly and are not regulated like cash or regular investments, investigating thefts is hard.

Last month, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a stark warning to investors in so-called cryptoassets.

The financial watchdog said investors should be “prepared to lose all their money” should their investment’s value collapse.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Jeff Bezos is to step down as chief executive of Amazon, the e-commerce giant that he founded in his garage nearly 30 years ago.

The Amazon founder will become executive chairman, a move he said would give him “time and energy” to focus on his other ventures.

Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, will be replaced by Andy Jassy, who currently leads Amazon’s cloud computing business.

The change will take place in the second half of 2021, the company said.

In a letter to Amazon staff on February 2, Jeff Bezos said: “Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it’s consuming. When you have a responsibility like that, it’s hard to put attention on anything else.”

“As Exec Chair I will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions.”

“I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring. I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have,” he added.

Jeff Bezos, 57, has led Amazon since its start as an online bookshop in 1994. The firm now employs 1.3 million people globally, and saw its already explosive growth skyrocket last year, as the pandemic prompted a surge in online shopping.

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Amazon reported $386 billion in sales in 2020, up 38% from 2019. Profits almost doubled, rising to $21.3 billion.

In announcing the plans, Jeff Bezos said he would continue to focus on new products and early initiatives.

“When you look at our financial results, what you’re actually seeing are the long-run cumulative results of invention,” he said.

“Right now I see Amazon at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition.”

The move comes as Jeff Bezos has taken on an increasingly public profile.

He has endured a public divorce, become a target for labor and inequality activists, and got involved in other businesses, such as space exploration firm Blue Origin and the Washington Post newspaper.

Amazon also faces increasing scrutiny from regulators, who have questioned its monopoly power. And its dominance in cloud computing is being increasingly challenged by other tech firms, such as Microsoft and Alphabet, parent company of Google and YouTube.

Jeff Bezos’s decision to hand over the day-to-day operation of the company came as a surprise. But investors appeared unfazed, with little change in the company’s share price in after-hours trade.

Andy Jassy, a Harvard graduate, has been with Amazon since 1997 and helped develop Amazon Web Services, which has long been seen as the profit engine of the company.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Elon Musk has grilled trading app Robinhood’s co-founder, Vladimir Tenev, about why it limited users to only being able to buy a small number of shares in some companies.

The move came after GameStop’s stock surged amid a campaign to cause hedge funds large losses.

Vladimir Tenev denied “conspiracies” that he was trying to help the hedge funds.

Instead he blamed a demand that Robinhood provide a $3 billion security deposit at short notice.

The interview was conducted on the audio-only social network Clubhouse.

GameStop Stocks Fall 60 Percent After Restrictions

Tesla boss’ 90-minute appearance was a major coup for Clubhouse, which is currently in a “beta” testing phase and requires users to be invited to access its platform.

It allows people to join private rooms for conversations, but participants are capped at 5,000.

However, fans streamed the interview on YouTube and overflow rooms on the platform, as Elon Musk’s appearance attracted unprecedented attention.

Elon Musk also spoke about travel to Mars, Bitcoin and brain implants during his session.

Robinhood curbed buying of GameStop and some other shares last week.

Unlike most trading platforms, it does not charge a commission for letting users buy and sell shares. Instead it makes money by selling data on those deals to others before they go through.

Some hedge funds have lost out on the rise in GameStop’s shares because they had shorted the stock. This is where an investor tries to make money by betting a company’s share price will fall.

Elon Musk questioned to what degree Robinhood was “beholden to” Citadel Securities, which is its biggest client. Citadel has suffered losses as a result of an investment in a hedge fund that had taken a large short position on GameStop.

He has previously been critical of short selling, claiming it to be a “legal” scam.

Vladimir Tenev acknowledged that there had been “a rumor that Citadel or other market makers kind of pressured us into” putting restriction on trades, but added the claim was “just false”.

“Robinhood stands for, you know, democratizing access to stocks,” he said on Clubhouse.

“We want to give people the access… but we had no choice in this case, we had to conform to our regulatory capital requirements.”

Elon Musk asked in response: “Did you sell your clients down the river, or [did] you have no choice?”

Vladimir Tenev repeated that Robinhood had to comply with financial requirements.

He said this involved an order from the National Securities Clearing Corporation – a clearing house used by the company – to provide “around $3bn” to back up its trades. He added the demand was later reduced to $700 million.

Vladimir Tenev conceded, however, that Robinhood needed to be more transparent.

“We were able to open and serve our customers,” he said, adding that Robinhood had raised more than $1bn within 24 hours.

“When we do open [on Monday]… we’ll be able to kind of relax the stringent position limits that we put on these securities on Friday.”

Elon Musk also came out in support of Bitcoin, saying he thought it was on “the verge of getting a broad acceptance” by conventional finance.

Bitcoin has surged in value in recent months, but some experts say it is volatile and will crash soon.

Elon Musk also said human travel to Mars will be possible within five-and-a-half years – and outlined his vision to relocate some humans there from Earth.

He also said he believed he could get the journey time to the Red Planet down from six months to one month.

Another of Elon Musk’s projects, Neuralink, received attention in the interview.

The start-up explores ways to connect the human brain to a computer interface.

Elon Musk said he hoped the technology could be used, in early applications, for humans with serious brain injuries.

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Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Amateur investors are responding with outrage after trading platforms restricted buying of shares in GameStop and other companies.

The moves by Robinhood and Interactive Brokers follow days of frenzied trading that led to massive gains for some stocks.

Shares in GameStop dived by as much as 60% after the restrictions.

It is the latest twist in a battle that has pitted amateur investors against Wall Street giants.

Major hedge funds had bet billions of dollars that GameStop’s shares would fall.

They have faced major losses after amateurs, swapping tips on social media sites such as Reddit, drove up the share price by more than 700% in a week.

Other firms, such as AMC Entertainment, Koss Corp and BlackBerry, also saw sharp gains. They were embraced by day traders after hedge funds bet against them.

The activity has drawn questions from regulators, who are monitoring trading amid fears of illegal actions.

But the amateur investors say they are just playing Wall Street at its own game.

In online forums they discussed legal action and accused Robinhood and other brokerages enacting their own form of market manipulation by restricting purchases of certain shares.

Why have GameStop shares surged?

Key to what’s going on is “short selling” or “shorting”, where a big investment company such as a hedge fund tries to make money by betting that a company’s share price will fall.

The hedge fund borrows shares in a company from other investors (for a fee) and sells the shares on the markets at, for example, $10 each, waits until they fall to $5, and buys them back. The borrowed shares are returned to the original owner, and the hedge fund pockets a profit.

GameStop – which saw heavy losses last year and was described as “failing” by one big investor – is the most shorted stock on Wall Street. Some 30% of its shares are thought to be in the hands of hedge fund borrowers.

However, in the last week, amateur investors who follow the Wall Street Bets forum on Reddit have poured money into buying the company’s stock with the aim of pushing up the price.

If the price rises dramatically, short sellers face big losses and they need to buy back the shares they have borrowed quickly to prevent bigger losses – a process known as covering.

However, buying back the shares only adds to demand for the stock and pushes its price higher still.

Amateurs aren’t the only ones getting in on the action.

This week, for example, private equity firm Silver Lake Group, which had loaned money to AMC Entertainment, converted its bonds to shares after the surge in the firm’s prices, a swap worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

In the US, anger over the trading restrictions united politicians whose stances typically sharply diverge.

Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat who is taking over as chair of the banking committee, said he would hold a hearing about the “state of the stock market”.

He said: “People on Wall Street only care about the rules when they’re the ones getting hurt.”

What is GameStop?

GameStop is an American high street shop that sells games, consoles and other electronics.

With fewer people out shopping due to the Covid-19 pandemic and most games being sold online, things weren’t looking great for GameStop.

People who buy and sell stocks often bet on which companies won’t do well in the future.

They borrow shares in the company and sell them, with a promise to buy them back at a later date.

If you’re sure the company will lose value, you’d make a profit when you buy them back and the price has fallen.

This is a massively simplified explanation of something called shorting, or short selling – words you might’ve seen cropping up in your feeds in the last few days.

GameStop was one of the companies that loads of hedge funds (companies who do these bets) had bet on to lose a lot of value.

More than four million people are on Reddit, usually discussing stocks and shares and where they’re going to invest money.

But huge numbers of people in the wallstreetbets Reddit forum swapped tips and bought shares in GameStop.

The demand raised its share price massively, which nobody saw coming, and everyone who had banked on it dropping in value had to buy their shares back.

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Image source Wikimedia

Goldman Sachs CEO David M. Solomon will get a $10 million pay cut for the bank’s involvement in the 1MDB corruption scandal.

1MDB was an investment fund set up by the Malaysian government that lost billions due to fraudulent activity.

The global fraud and corruption scheme led to a 12-year jail term for Malaysia’s ex-PM Najib Razak which he is appealing.

Goldman Sachs called its involvement in the scandal an “institutional failure”.

It helped raise $6.5 billion for 1MDB by selling bonds to investors, the proceeds of which were largely stolen.

Prosecutors alleged that senior Goldman Sachs executives ignored warning signs of fraud in their dealings with 1MDB and Jho Low, an adviser to the fund. Two Goldman bankers have been criminally charged in the scandal.

David Solomon’s pay would have been $10 million higher but for the actions its board of directors took in response to the 1MDB saga, Goldman Sachs said on January 26.

While disclosing Solomon’s salary had dropped to $17.5 million for 2020, the bank stressed that its CEO was unaware of the corruption.

Goldman Sachs Bankers Charged in Malaysia 1MDB Scandal

1MDB Scandal: $4 Billion Stolen from Malaysian State-Owned Fund

Malaysia: Former PM Najib Razak Barred from Leaving the Country

David Solomon was not “involved in or aware of the firm’s participation in any illicit activity at the time… the board views the 1MDB matter as an institutional failure, inconsistent with the high expectations it has for the firm”.

His package consists of $2 million in cash base pay, a $4.65 million cash bonus, and $10.85 million in stock-based compensation.

In October, Goldman Sachs agreed to pay approximately $3 billion to government officials in four countries to end an investigation into work it performed for 1MDB. The bank collected $600 million for arranging the bond sales in 2012 and 2013.

It has spent years being investigated by regulators across the globe including those in the US, UK, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. In total, Goldman’s dealings with 1MDB cost the bank more than $5 billion.

Despite the costs and fines from the fallout from the 1MDB scandal, 2020 was a bumper year for Goldman’s businesses with annual revenue of $44.6 billion, its highest since 2009.

Goldman Sachs got a huge boost from the recovery in global stock markets from the depths of the coronavirus recession.

Image source Flickr

China is reacting against a flurry of US sanctions with new rules that protect its companies from “unjustified” foreign laws.

Changes announced over the weekend allow Chinese courts to punish companies that comply with such restrictions.

President Donald Trump has continued to target Chinese companies he believes are a threat to US national security.

Measures include punishing companies that supply parts to blacklisted companies.

On January 11, three large Chinese telecoms firms listed on the NYSE are expected to see their shares delisted based on alleged ties with its military.

The NYSE is removing China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom Hong Kong, based on an executive order signed by President Trump in November.

The de-listings follow a raft of actions against Chinese firms in recent months including TikTok, Huawei and microchip maker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC).

White House to Announce Sanctions against China over Theft and Transfer of Intellectual Property

US Launches Investigation into China’s Intellectual Property Policies

Last week, President Trump signed an executive order banning transactions with eight Chinese apps including popular payments platform Alipay, as well as WeChat Pay.

President Trump claims such tech companies share data with the Chinese government – allegations they have denied.

In a statement on January 9, China’s Ministry of Commerce introduced the new rules on “counteracting unjustified extra-territorial application” of foreign laws.

Bert Hofman, director of the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore, explained: “Legal persons that are hurt by the application of foreign legislation can issue legal proceedings in court and claim compensation for the damage done.

“The government can also take other countermeasures.”

The measures, which came into effect immediately, do not mention the US directly, although China has long complained about US sanctions and restrictions on trade.

However, legal experts say it is unclear how the new law will be implemented.

Angela Zhang, a Chinese law professor at the University of Hong Kong, said: “Consider a scenario that a European bank freezes the assets of a Chinese official that was sanctioned by the United States, the Chinese statute will allow the official to sue the European bank to recover his loss.”

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Image source: Twitter

Press release

Evan Holyfield says his dad is ready to take on former-rival Mike Tyson for the third time, who famously bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear in 1997.  Evan wants the next match to be a family affair with him fighting the preliminary match.

In Texas Evan Holyfield has another impressive knockout in his boxing career. Not in the ring, but in the courts and as a result he has his freedom back.

Evan Holyfield has successfully voided what his lawyers called a “fraudulent, dishonest, and unconscionable” management contract scheme contrived by Maurice “Termite” Watkins. Holyfield filed a lawsuit against Watkins in the 334th Harris County District Court in June 2020 after the pair entered a management contract that Watkins failed to uphold.

After signing the contract, Holyfield soon came to believe Watkins’ representations were lies.

The lawsuit alleges Watkins sought to take advantage of Holyfield’s talent and internationally recognized name as his manager. The contract was written by Watkins, who allegedly used his 52 years of boxing experience to take advantage of Holyfield. Watkins coerced the young Holyfield into the deal with a relentless pressure campaign.

Holyfield was represented by Houston attorney Andrew Cobos of The Cobos Law Firm. Cobos stated, “My client recognized that the Defendants in this case jeopardized his career and sought to take advantage of his name and talent. Then he took action. I am glad that the court recognized the situation for what it was and entered an order stating that this oppressive contract is void.”

The contract Holyfield entered promised extensive one-on-one training time with Watkins and a strength coach to prepare the boxer for upcoming matches: “thirty to forty-five hours per week refining the raw talent that Holyfield possessed.”

Holyfield received just a fraction of the time with Watkins and only three or four hours over internet or text message with the strength coach.

Attorneys for Holyfield state “it is unheard of in the boxing world for a promising young fighter—one with aspirations of becoming a world champion—to be virtually trained.

When Holyfield confronted Watkins about the training, Watkins made racially insensitive threats stating he would “sell Holyfield to the highest bidder”. The lawsuit also states Watkins stole earnings he had no entitlement to.

The most shocking part of the lawsuit—Watkins did not even have the legal capacity to act as a manager. Watkins is not licensed or registered with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation as required by law in professional combative sports such as boxing.

“This case should send a message to boxing managers everywhere, and that is, do what is right, do what is honorable, and do what is fair,” said Cobos.

Evan Holyfield will fight his 5th professional match this weekend on December 12 against Donnis Reed at Champion Boxing Gym in Jonesboro, Georgia.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Diego Maradona’s doctor is being investigated by Argentine prosecutors for possible manslaughter following the soccer legend’s death four days ago.

Police in Buenos Aires have searched the house and private clinic of Leopoldo Luque as they try to establish if there was negligence in Diego Maradona’s treatment following surgery.

Maradona died of a heart attack at his home where he was recuperating. He was 60.

Dr. Luque, 39, denies wrongdoing and says he is co-operating with the inquiry.

Diego Maradona had a successful operation on a brain blood clot earlier in November and had been due to be treated for alcohol dependency.

Some 30 police officers raided Dr. Luque’s house on November 29 – with another 30 going into his clinic in the capital Buenos Aires.

The raids were ordered by prosecutors trying to build a picture of Diego Maradona’s last days at home.

Diego Maradona Dies Aged 60

There are suspicions that Maradona’s convalescence at home might not have met the conditions of his discharge from the clinic, such as a 24-hour team of nurses “specialized in substance abuse”, the on-call presence of doctors and a stand-by ambulance equipped with a defibrillator.

Officials want to know how often Dr. Luque went to see Maradona at his house.

In an emotional press conference on November 29, Dr. Luque – who has been described as Maradona’s personal physician – cried, saying he had done all he could to save the life of a friend. He said Maradona had been very sad lately.

At one point, the doctor shot back at reporters: “You want to know what I am responsible for? For having loved him, for having taken care of him, for having extended his life, for having improved it to the end.”

Dr. Luque said he had done “everything he could, up to the impossible”.

Then addressing some of the concerns authorities are looking into, Dr. Luque cast doubt on what his role actually was. ”If you ask me, I’m a neurosurgeon and my job ended. I was done with him,” he said referring to November’s surgery – and insisting Maradona’s convalescence at home was not his responsibility.

“He [Maradona] should have gone to a rehabilitation center. He didn’t want to,” Dr. Luque said, calling the late star “unmanageable”.

Dr. Luque also said he did not know why there was no defibrillator or who was responsible for the fact that there was no ambulance outside Maradona’s house.

He added: Diego “was very sad, he wanted to be alone, and it’s not because he didn’t love his daughters, his family, or those around him”.

Diego Maradona was captain when Argentina won the 1986 World Cup, scoring the famous “Hand of God” goal against England in the quarter-finals.

He played for Barcelona and Napoli during his club career, winning two Serie A titles with the Italian side. He started his career with Argentinos Juniors, also playing for Sevilla, and Boca Juniors and Newell’s Old Boys in his homeland.

Diego Maradona scored 34 goals in 91 appearances for Argentina, representing them in four World Cups.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Soccer legend Diego Maradona, one of the greatest players of all time, has died at the age of 60.

The former Argentina attacking midfielder and manager suffered a heart attack at his Buenos Aires home.

Diego Maradona had successful surgery on a brain blood clot earlier in November and was to be treated for alcohol dependency.

He was captain when Argentina won the 1986 World Cup, scoring the famous ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in the quarter-finals.

In a statement on social media, the Argentine Football Association expressed “its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend”, adding: “You will always be in our hearts.”

Declaring three days of national mourning, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez said: “You took us to the top of the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of them all.

“Thank you for having existed, Diego. We’re going to miss you all our lives.”

Diego Maradona Accuses Claudia Villafane of Stealing $9 Million

Diego Maradona defends Luis Suarez as Giorgio Chiellini brands his ban excessive

Diego Maradona played for Barcelona and Napoli during his club career, winning two Serie A titles with the Italian side.

He scored 34 goals in 91 appearances for Argentina, representing them in four World Cups.

Diego Maradona led Argentina to the 1990 final in Italy, where they were beaten by West Germany, before captaining them again in the US in 1994, but was sent home after failing a drugs test for ephedrine.

During the second half of his career, Diego Maradona struggled with cocaine addiction and was banned for 15 months after testing positive for the drug in 1991.

He retired from professional soccer in 1997, on his 37th birthday, during his second stint at Argentine giants Boca Juniors.

Having briefly managed two sides in Argentina during his playing career, Diego Maradona was appointed head coach of the national team in 2008 and left after the 2010 World Cup, where his side were beaten by Germany in the quarter-finals.

Diego Maradona subsequently managed teams in the United Arab Emirates and Mexico and was in charge of Gimnasia y Esgrima in Argentina’s top flight at the time of his death.

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Image source: Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

The Sunshine State is Florida’s nickname. A lot of people want to move there. The reasons why this state is so attractive isn’t only the amazing coastline, incredible flora, and fauna, a beautiful climate, but also a great economic situation.

The largest cities in Florida are Orlando, Miami, Tampa, Tallahassee, and Jacksonville. This state is a combination of impressive nature and a wealthy economy. Unfortunately, the process of buying a property here may be confused for some people. Fortunately, this 5-step guide below will help you to purchase a home in Florida.

1. Examine Your Finances

Firstly, you need to check your finances and do thorough accounting. You need to examine your savings to discover what amount of money you can spend. If you decide to take a mortgage, you also need to take care of your income and credit score.

In case you’re not good with numbers and always used academic help at college, do not hesitate to hire an accountant.

If there are some negative records in your debt history, it will be hard to lend money for purchasing a property. Also, you should be sure that you’ll have a stable way of income to cover your monthly mortgage payments for the next 15 or more years.

Therefore, if you’re a student, don’t be shy to order assignments online, just tell, “I need help writing a paper?” appears. It will help you increase your college score and get a well-paying job after graduation.

2. Find a Property

Once you’re sure that you want to purchase a property in Florida, start your search. For sure, the most reliable way is to hire a regional representative who knows all ins and outs of this market. Also, you can begin exploring real estate listings and make posts on the Internet. If you want someone to create an engaging post for you, order it online from a writing service but make sure it is a reliable one. So, don’t hesitate to ask: “is speedypaper legit?”

To make the process of finding the best property easier and more straightforward, you should determine what you need at the very beginning. Consider the location, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, design, and other crucial components that the home of your dream should have to narrow your search.

3. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Unless you’re not going to use cash to buy a house, you have to get a pre-approval letter. It will confirm your willingness and ability to buy a property to a seller. Note that it is a final step before buying a place.

Since pre-approval requests negatively affect your credit score, you should get it when you are 100% sure that you want to buy a property.

4. Make an Offer

At this step, you can contact a seller and discover if there are any bids. If other people want to purchase a home, you should make a higher offer. Vice versa, if there are no bids yet, you are free to go lower. After this, a seller can confirm your request or send a counteroffer.

It may repeat until you both get satisfied with numbers. Therefore, if you’re getting higher education, don’t hesitate to ask your friends, “Don’t you know someone who can help me write an essay?” to free your schedule and find a compromise with a seller.

Also, don’t forget to inspect a property. If an inspector finds something that requires servicing, you should contact a seller to lower the price to cover extra expenses.

5. Close a Deal

Unfortunately, it’s not enough to pay for your home to move in. A large number of different fees, taxes, and charges may become a surprise for you. Therefore, you need to be ready to spend roughly 3% of a property’s price to cover all the additional expenses.

Helpful Recommendation

The process of getting a property in Florida may seem simple and straightforward. However, if you have zero experience buying property, hire a skilled and experienced real estate agent.

As well as services like papercoach.net that provide academic help to students, a real estate attorney will help you avoid a lot of problems and guide you through all the circumstances.

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Image source: Pexels

As human beings riddled with regret from life choices we’ve made in the past, there are lots of things we’ve said or done in the past that we wish we could go back and change, knowing what we know today. Unfortunately, there’s no way to turn back the hands of time but we can move forward making better and smarter choices, especially in terms of our finances and investing opportunities.

To be fair, investing isn’t something you’re taught in grade school, and you have to have a specific interest in it in college to even know if any courses on investing are even offered… But a lot of people who are what you would call “heavy hitters” in the investment industry, didn’t start until later in life simply because they weren’t informed or educated about it enough while they were younger.

Many didn’t know how lucrative investing in real estate was until becoming aware of how borrowing from a direct lender can help investors grow their portfolio of single-family rental properties. If only we knew then what we know now…

But there’s no sense in dwelling on the past. If you’re wanting to seriously get into the world of investing, there are a few “basics” you need to know about early on before investing a cent. From the “hows” and “whys” of investing to maintaining the ability to see the bigger picture amid uncertainty and turmoil, here are some aspects of investing you need to get acquainted with now.

“Need to Knows” of Investing

The Earlier You Invest, the Better the Return

One of the most important things to understand about investing is that it’s a long-term game, and the longer time you give yourself to play the game, the greater the rewards you’ll reap.

Let’s look at compound interest. Compound interest is the interest you’ve earned from your own personal contributions, plus, the interest you’ve earned already… So let’s say you start investing at 18 years old and don’t withdraw any money from the market until you’re 66… That means you’ve had 48 years for interest to grow on however many accounts you had since you were 18.

The older you will thank the younger you tremendously, especially when you get to retirement age. Reports have stated that the millennial generation and younger, shouldn’t expect to receive full social security benefits upon reaching retirement age. Not only has the pandemic wiped out future funding but the amount of social security money available prior to the pandemic had already been dwindling down to nearly nothing already. To secure your future when you’re older, you need to start making investment moves now because there’s a good chance that there won’t be any readily available money for you when you need it most… well, not from the government.

Have a Clear Understanding of Why You Want to Invest

As you know, investing is a long-term game, and because of that, you need to keep your why at the forefront of your mind to keep you motivated.

There will be times where you stop and ask yourself why you’re putting your money there and not spending it? Why not splurge now?

Your future is what you have to keep in mind. What will your life look like at 55? Will you be living paycheck to paycheck still or will you be able to live comfortably by then? You have to keep the big picture in mind constantly.

Adjust Your Investments With the Market

The market changes all the time, and while you may have conducted thorough research on various companies, products, and services, past performance doesn’t necessarily dictate future performance. But that’s not to say that you can’t mitigate the risks involved with a changeable market…

Pinterest is a stock to look out for in 2021 based on its current performance and how people are doing more crafts since being stuck at home due to coronavirus but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will keep its speed either.

To mitigate your risks in investing, you have the power to adjust your holdings or diversify your accounts… anything to prevent high fees, of course. The market isn’t something you “set and forget”… In fact, the market is something you want to continuously keep an eye on to see how your investment is paying off.

There are several mobile development tools accelerating enterprise deployments in 2020. Since COVID-19 lockdowns, business app usage has surged over 200% compared to 2019 data. As enterprises switch to remote settings, productivity, collaboration, and video conferencing software are in high demand. Similarly, some companies now need custom software to simplify the way you run your small business in the new work environment. With this rapidly growing market, mobile app developers need the latest tools to increase their delivery speed. This way, you can meet increasing customer demands as you grow your enterprise. Read on to learn about the most important mobile development tools accelerating enterprise deployments in 2020.

Native App IDEs

First, native integrated development environments (IDEs) are one of the most important mobile tools to boost efficiency. With native software, you can develop applications for a particular system, platform, or device. Typically, native development software integrates sophisticated code editing tools to increase your programming efficiency. For example, some iOS environments utilize live rendering interfaces to display your user interface code as you write it. This feature instantly reflects changes in your code, allowing you to notice functional errors quicker. Certainly, unified design and coding processes makes native IDEs a great tool to increase your development efficiency.

Application Design Templates

Next, application design templates are another tool that has dominated the app market in recent years. Undoubtedly, designing an application from scratch uses your enterprise’s time, money, and resources. Using a design template, you can develop attractive applications faster. In addition, templates often have a built-in user-friendly UI. Importantly, user-friendly applications tend to rank higher in the app store. In this way, you can actually increase your app’s exposure and usability together. Fortunately, many templates are easily customizable and free to use. Nevertheless, always check the licenses and terms of use before using any design. This is key to using them properly. Surely, application design templates are a perfect time-saving solution to accelerate your mobile enterprise deployments.

Advanced Container Registries

In addition, you can also install an advanced container registry to accelerate your enterprise deployment speeds in 2020. Containerization software provides a single access point to organize your Docker images. For example, JFrog’s Container registries integrate into your build system to support your Kubernetes deployments. With this mobile app tool, you can avoid Docker Hub retention issues and increase your development efficiency. Additionally, advanced container registries are built to scale with your enterprise. As you take on more clients and develop more applications, it is essential to use a container software that supports your growth. In short, advanced container registries offer reliable scalable storage solutions to boost your mobile app development efficiency.

Open-Source Automation Frameworks

Moreover, open-source automation frameworks are also key mobile app development tools to accelerate your delivery speed. These powerful frameworks are powered by artificial intelligence, or AI. Many automation frameworks support code reuse across various native mobile platforms. This is essential to save time as you write your programs. In addition, some automation frameworks allow you to create user interface tests for your mobile app. Typically, these frameworks support multiple programming languages. Then, you can integrate these tests into your continuous integration (CI) server to automate your testing process. For this reason, open-source automation frameworks are great accessible mobile tools to increase your build, test, and deployment speed.

Low-Code Visual Development Platforms

Furthermore, low-code visual development platforms are another tool to increase your deployment efficiency this year. Namely, these platforms are designed to accelerate the development process. This allows your enterprise to evolve with tech industry trends. Typically, these platforms utilize user-friendly drag and drop tools, allowing you to develop apps quickly. Some low-code tools infuse AI and machine learning technology to reduce friction and errors as well. These features can also guide you throughout the development process and can even automate some of your build procedures. Definitely, low-code visual development platforms are another tools to accelerate your 2020 deployment times.

There are several mobile development tools accelerating enterprise deployments in 2020. First, you should utilize react-native IDEs, especially when coding for a specific mobile device. Next, application design templates offer user-friendly UIs, while increase build efficiency. In addition, you can install an advanced container registry to store your Docker images reliably and efficiently. Moreover, open-source automation frameworks are great resources for code reuse and continuous integration server integration. Furthermore, low-code development platforms utilize AI to reduce errors as you build. Implement these mobile development tools to accelerate enterprise deployments in 2020.

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Image source: Image by Peter H from Pixabay

When you own a business that needs to be able to safely transport heavy machinery and materials you owe it to yourself to have some commercial trucks in your arsenal. Having your own trucks means you can guarantee your clients and customers that everything will run as smoothly as possible. Here are a few reasons why renting your commercial trucks is so important to your business.

It Gives You Freedom To Do Business

The more freedom you have to conduct your business the way you need to, the more likely it will be successful. If your budget is limited, purchasing commercial trucks may not be possible. But renting them allows you to keep up with demand without needing to have a large amount of capital. Being able to save money is important, especially in the early days of your company.

Its Less Of A Financial Risk

When you purchase a commercial truck you are taking less of a financial risk than you would be if you purchased one. Owning your truck means any necessary repairs have to be paid for out of the company budget. You also have to pay for regular maintenance and replacement parts when necessary. Lastly, if your truck breaks down on the road, having it towed would be costly. Without a backup truck, you would be hard-pressed to make deliveries on time. But if your company doesn’t own the truck, the rental company always has to pay for the towing and provide you with another truck right away.

You May Not Always Need One

Depending on the nature of your company, you may not need to have a commercial truck at all times. If you don’t then owning one is a waste of money that could be earmarked for other uses. Buying a commercial truck that would be parked more often than not wouldn’t be a good financial decision for any company. Paying insurance and deprecation fees for a truck that doesn’t get much use is not practical.

It Pays To Shop Around

If at any point your company grows so much that you need to own a commercial truck, you may not know what to pick. Rather than purchasing one that doesn’t meet your company’s needs, it may be better to try renting a few different models, one at a time. This allows you to determine what you do and don’t need in your truck. You can then make a more informed decision about which one to purchase.

Commercial Truck Insurance

When you are ready to expand your company you’ll need to look at used dry vans for sale. As explained by the experts at Hale Trailer “Our used dry vans keep your cargo clean and dry, an ideal choice for shipping items that are sensitive to moisture.”

While this is one way to protect your company’s bottom line, it isn’t the only way. You’ll also want to obtain insurance for your commercial truck when you purchase it. There are some compelling reasons why you need to have it insured for your piece of mind.

Commercial truck insurance covers more than just the costs resulting from an accident. It also protects your company if a fire or theft occurs involving the truck. When your truck has to travel to areas that could be dangerous you can’t afford to overlook the importance of insurance.

No company wants to weather a financial loss that could have been avoided. Insurance provides you with liability coverage so that any expenses incurred don’t come out of the company’s budget. The newer your company is, the more important it is to have this kind of coverage.

Business continuity is extremely important in today’s competitive world and is another reason why commercial truck insurance is necessary. In the event your truck is involved in an accident while making a delivery, you’ll have a backup plan in place so that the delivery can be completed promptly.

Protecting your company and the image it projects is a crucial aspect of your success. When you have insurance for your truck you will be able to remedy negative situations before they have a chance to drag down your company’s reputation. As long as you can guarantee on time deliveries you are more trustworthy in the eyes of the public.

So before you purchase a commercial truck and insurance for it, you’ll want to try renting in the meantime. This gives you the flexibility to find what you need before committing to the truck you will use.

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Image by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

Beads of sweat are rolling down your face. It’s a big day. You know you’ve worked for this. But wait, that may not help. You have to convince this person.. or else.. or else?

‘Well, do or die!’

Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. But it’s a significant moment, nevertheless. And you don’t want to mess this up! What do you do?

‘..Panic and run!’

No, that’s not ideal. How about you read some negotiation tips instead?

‘That’s a real thing?’

Yes. Get your reading glasses. This might just save the day.

#1 Improve Your Listening Skills

It’s no secret that the number you mention first is a number that may not be the final one. The trick is to be quiet and let the other person do the talking. That doesn’t mean you’re not contributing.

While the other person is going on about how small his/her budget is, you can be racking your brains to let him know how you’re going to make a difference to his company and increase those numbers in the long run! Don’t interrupt them while they’re making their case. Let them speak. Once they have said all they have to, you take the floor and do your routine!

#2 More Information, The Merrier

When you pay attention to the person you’re negotiating with, you will want to know more to uncover the full picture. To discover everything that there is to the story, asking questions works like a dream. Finding out more about the subject will move the conversation forward.

The more details you have on their preferred negotiation strategies, the better you’ll be able to tackle them.

#3 What’s The Hurry? Don’t Rush It!

Haven’t we all been in negotiations where we said the right thing at the wrong time – making your point only to realize that the boss had a better one?

That does sound painful. Being alert to your surroundings and the other person’s mood is crucial to being in a negotiation. You can have any number of strategies or tactics up your sleeve, but if you don’t wait for the right moment – it could all go down the drain.

Make sure that you have the right timing with your words, actions, and offers. Who knows, you might just get what you were looking for!

#4 Sometimes you HAVE To Ask For It!

Here’s an idea – Take your nervousness and anxiety – roll it up into a ball, throw it high up in the air, and hit it out of the park. But here’s a more practical tip – How about you pen down all the reasons why you deserve to have what you are aiming for. Without considering yourself too ambitious or demanding, make a list of everything that can support your claim.

That was the easy part. Now comes the tough part. You have got to ask for it! Sure, it might be nerve-wracking and mind-boggling, sometimes you may not even get what you want, but the important thing is that you put your demand across. And sometimes, that can be rewarding in more ways than one!

#5 Don’t Forget Where You Are Coming From

Sure, the other person will have their problems – Not enough money, no available positions, no good enough opportunity, etc. However, one must have their morals and principles intact. Once you know what your reason for being in the situation is, you’ll rarely back down!

Some values cannot be compromised – and you should know what those are. Whether they are settling for a lower designation of not receiving a good enough offer or not enough perks. Know where your bar is and don’t go lower – because it may become a habit, and not by choice!

Conclusion

Phew! That was one tough negotiation, wasn’t it? But, it was a good experience.

Hopefully, you’ve learned something for the next negotiation!

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Housing Markets

By now, you’ll have heard of the Financial Crisis of 2007 to 2008. Financial crises are rarely caused by one thing. They are usually a culmination of several things. For example, the main reasons for this crisis were the stock market crash and the housing market crash. Why did the housing market crash occur? Here is what you need to know.

The Players

In the beginning, there were three leading players in the housing market. There was the homeowner who wanted to buy a home, the bank which lent the homeowner the money to buy the house, and investors with a lot of money who wanted to invest in an asset or assets that had high returns. The general assumption was that the price of homes was and would always be going up.

Then, what went wrong when the housing market crash happened?

Home Owners Borrowed from a Bank

When the average citizen decided that they wanted to become a homeowner, they saved the amount needed for the down payment and found a home they liked. They then approached a bank that would be willing to lend them money to buy the house. For the bank to have the money to lend to homeowners, they had to take loans from federal reserves. They paid them through the interest rates on the mortgages. Initially, the banks only offered loans to prime borrowers. They had good credit, proof of income and proved that they would pay back the money they borrowed.

Investment Banks Bought Loans from Banks

Investment banks approached the banks about buying the mortgages from them. The banks agreed to this because it transferred most of the risk to the investors. The investment banks took loans and bought many mortgages from the banks. Banks used this money to pay off part of their loans. The investment banks then package the mortgages into structured products called collateralized debt obligation, which they sold to investors. They were sold in slices to investors with different risk appetites.

Banks Started Giving Loans to Subprime Home Buyers

There were no more prime buyers; therefore, the banks started giving loans to subprime home buyers. They had bad credit, no proof of income and sometimes no papers. The idea was that if a person defaulted on their payments, they could sell the house again to someone else. However, more and more people – particularly the subprime buyers – were unable to pay their premiums; therefore, more and more homes become foreclosed.

Houses Foreclosed, House Prices Fell

With more houses foreclosing, the supply for houses began to exceed the demand. This consequently led to the fall in prices of the homes. When prime buyers saw these lower prices, they saw no value in paying premiums for overpriced houses, and they too stopped paying their premiums. Now, investment banks had CDOs they would like to sell off to investors who don’t want to buy. Banks also had mortgages they wanted to sell to investment bankers who didn’t want anymore.

Banks and Investment Banks Went Bankrupt

A crash occurred because banks and investment banks could no longer pay the money they owed and declare bankruptcy. The investors informed the homeowners that they had no money to pay them back as the value of the assets had dropped, and the investment banks could not pay them back. In the end, a lot of people lost their money, people and institutions went bankrupt, and it was a while before the economy recovered.

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Some entrepreneurs aren’t in business to present a new idea; they’re there because they love the thrill of entrepreneurship. These individuals aren’t necessarily looking to revolutionize anything. All they want is a business resistant to the ebb and flow of the economy. For some, the current events in the US are feeding fears of an impending recession. Reasonable or irrational speculation, only time will tell. In this article, Adam Ferrari – CEO of Ferrari Energy – details seven industries considered recession-resistant.

Technology

Innovative technology is at the forefront of the global economy. We love our widgets, and technology holds out the promise of making our lives evermore productive, enjoyable, safe, and healthy. A prolonged recession could be expected to dampen high-end, less essential technology products. Still, household and business staples such as phones, TVs, and computers will continue to sell with additional competitive pressure.

Energy

Our need for reliable energy is constant. This reliance is not dependant on economic conditions. Innovative energy solutions can be expected to experience waning interest. Still, legacy energy sources such as oil, natural gas, coal, wind power, and solar will continue to meet the country’s needs.

Pet products

Maybe not the most obvious candidate for this list, but people are not any more likely to stop caring for their pets under poor economic conditions than they are their family members.

Healthcare and Senior Services

Hopefully, even more than pets, people will not decrease their healthcare expenditures under anything less than the direst economic conditions. People continue to age and become ill and will need medical services. These are the least discretionary services.

Construction

Even in an economic recession, construction will continue. It may look different than it does under bright financial news, but it will continue nonetheless. If new homes sales slump, upgrades and remodel work usually increases.

Security

Poor economic conditions affect scofflaws just as they do law-abiding citizens. Poor economic conditions historically have been accompanied by an increase in crime. The need for security, both physical and cyber, will not decrease in a financial downturn. The more cost-effective a security solution is, the better it will fair in these conditions.

Food and Beverage

People need to eat no matter the stock market. Every other category will suffer before food and beverage. The more basic the food item, the more stable it will prove to be. Exotic items are more susceptible to economic conditions.

To find the common denominator for all of the above industries or to identify others, ask, “what will people need, even if the economy tanks?”

About Adam Ferrari

Adam Ferrari is an accomplished petroleum engineer and is the founder of a private oil and gas company, Ferrari Energy. Throughout various roles in the oil and gas industry, Adam was inspired to learn more about property rights and the inner workings of petroleum exploration and extraction. After gaining expertise in the energy sector, Adam obtained knowledge of the financial industry through his time at an investment banking firm. He then pivoted to bootstrapping his own business from the ground up as he blended his energy and finance knowledge.