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Dec 132018

$30 Trillion Will Pass From Baby Boomers to Generation Z Via Inheritance Money

By |December 13th, 2018|General Personal Finance, Personal Finance Tips|0 Comments

inheritance money

Many people believe to truly appreciate its value and purchasing power, money should always be earned. When money is earned, it is easier to understand the value in saving and/or investing it. However, the ability of one generation to sustain and pass on a family fortune to another is a quality that defines said generations. Accordingly, the young Generation Z stands to inherit $30 trillion in inheritance money from the Baby Boomer generation in the coming decades.

Inheritance Money and Generation Z

Generation Z is the global demographic of people between the ages of 18 and 22. Teenagers and young people. The Baby Boomer generation is the generation of people born between 1946 and 1964. Or, middle-aged and retirement age individuals. Generation Z, the precursor generation to Millennials, are not known for their financial acumen or saving for the future.

On the other hand, many consider Baby Boomers to have hard-working attitudes and mindsets for saving for the future. They might be the wealthiest generation demographic ever. Within the next few decades, over $30 trillion in inheritance wealth will transition from the Baby Boomers to their Generation Z beneficiaries. How they will use this wealth after the transfer remains to be seen.

Age of Entitlement

Many financial analysts are concerned that a sense of entitlement among those in Generation Z will not help them appreciate the wealth they will inherit. In a recent poll, over 63% of wealthy Generation Z members believe that the only way to secure their future retirement is through inheritance. Many members of Generation Z view inheritance as the only way to secure a stable financial lifestyle.

The survey also had some other startling findings. While about 63% of Generation Z members believe their parents have bequeathed them an inheritance, another 17% believe that their grandparents have done the same. Over 17% of Generation Z members believe that someone who isn’t even a blood relative will leave them an inheritance.

Diminished Expectations

Some experts believe that members of Generation Z may be in for a rude awakening if they are expecting massive fortunes in the future. There will be a transfer of wealth in the decades to come. That is certain. It happens all the time. The thing is that it does not always occur in a manner that is solely beneficial to the beneficiaries.

Many Baby Boomers might spend some of their hard-saved money on themselves. There is also the cost of living expenses inherent in post-retirement living. Estate tax obligations and legal fees will also strip a lot of money away from the that $30 trillion-dollar estimate. The point is that a lot of this money will not be just waiting for its young inheritors to collect and do with as they wish.

Temper Expectations

Baby Boomers and those leaving money to young relatives should prepare them to inherit wealth. Frankly explain how much they stand to receive to temper expectations. Advise them on the responsibility of saving and investing wisely. It is also not a bad idea to donate to charity, to illustrate the benefit of giving. Money should be earned. But a lot of people get their wealth from inheritance money. Even then, we can all impart lessons in financial responsibility.

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Dec 132018

Investing In Marijuana Could Be a Real Buzzkill

By |December 13th, 2018|Personal Finance Tips, Stocks|0 Comments

investing in marijuana

Although still illegal on the federal level, marijuana has become decriminalized on the city and municipal level in many areas. The advent of the entrepreneurial marijuana industry is a testament to this fact. About 31 American states and counting have legalized marijuana for recreational and/or medicinal use. The legal marijuana industry is set to make about $14 billion in profits in 2019.

Investing in Marijuana? Here’s What You Should Know

Once a taboo topic, marijuana use and investing opportunities have become a mainstream cultural phenomenon. New marijuana dispensaries open every day. Amazingly, there is a sub-industry of marijuana edibles, marijuana-infused pastries, and candies, available for consumers who don’t like to smoke. Slowly, but surely, marijuana is becoming a business. The country of Canada also recently legalized marijuana in preparation of impending international investment opportunities.

In the United States as well, investing in marijuana has become a sexy and adventurous form of investing. You can invest in the stocks of medicinal and recreational marijuana industry producers or small businesses. However, where there is a foggy and pungent haze of smoke, there may be fire.

Investing in marijuana can be a risky proposition for the uninitiated. For one thing, black market marijuana hasn’t gone anywhere and is more accessible to people. Black market marijuana is also more affordable. Legal marijuana is subject to regulation, taxes, surplus fees and the rules of supply and demand. The highs of marijuana investing can become a short-lived and very harsh buzzkill.

Black Market Marijuana

Depending on the state, a gram of marijuana can cost as much as $30 or as low as $6 a gram. The better the quality, the higher it will cost. While this is great for bureaucratic taxation revenue projections, most consumers may just continue to buy black market marijuana. That will affect your bottom line if you invest.

Supply and Demand

In some states, demand projections are not meeting the reality of supply sales. In May 2018, the state of Oregon made national headlines for having a one million pound oversupply of industrial marijuana that went unsold. The price for a gram of marijuana fell from $15 a once to under $7 an ounce in the state at the time.

Oregon didn’t limit the number of legal, licensed marijuana growers who would be able to grow marijuana and sell it to the state. At the time, this action was executed in a bid to undercut the black market and ensure the viability of legal marijuana. The opposite happened. The production of too much weed drove down demand and prices.

Regulation

Federal, city and municipal regulation may also hamper the success of legalized marijuana. Some states place a limit on license issuances for marijuana growers and businesses. Other states allow the sale of marijuana edibles while others do not. While many consumers can buy marijuana openly, many hotels and establishments do not allow them to smoke on business premises.

Legal marijuana is here to stay. Yet, it may be a while before regulations, rules, and ordinances against the drug unify and streamline nationally in a way that does not hinder profiting.

Invest With Caution

Do your research. Just because you are investing in weed does not mean you will get rich quick. There are many regulatory, legal and bureaucratic obstacles that can depress your ROI expectations. Marijuana is finally becoming legal. That doesn’t guarantee you will ride an investment high.

What do you think about investing in marijuana? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Dec 122018

Appealing to Your Customers

By |December 12th, 2018|Personal Finance Tips|0 Comments

When you’re selling something, whether it’s a stock of physical products, the materials, tools and expertise to install a new kitchen, a bank balance or a West End Show, you need to make sure you know how to appeal to your customers.

If you don’t know how to make what you have look as attractive as possible to the people who can be persuaded to buy it, then your business is going to falter. It’s not about lying, or misleading people, it’s about presenting what you’re offering in the most attractive possible light, making sure the people you think will be interested in it find out about the most interesting thing about it.

It has to start with understanding just who your customers are: if you don’t know who you’re selling to, then you’re blind, unable to see who’s right in front of you. You’ll likely want to work with a market research agency here. They can do the hard work of surveying customers and interpreting the results, while you focus on running your business.

A Deep Understanding

It’s worth putting the time into understanding the results of your surveys. If you only take a glance at the surface level of results, you’re going to undermine your ability to make good decisions in the future.

For example, it’s worth learning about audience segmentation and developing an understanding of the different groups that make up your market. If you don’t look more deeply into this you’ll only understand the biggest group of customers you have, cutting off your understanding of smaller but still significant groups.

Segmenting your audience into different groups lets you understand their specific needs and prioritise different strategies for appealing to them.

Putting Data into Practice

Once you’ve understood who your audience are, you’ll need to build a strategy to appeal to the biggest groups in that market. You’ll have learned what they value, and so emphasising that in ads is the key to capturing their affection for your brand.

If you can make it clear that your brand embodies something they value highly then shopping with you becomes, for them, not merely a choice about value for money or functionality but an expression of their identity.

As an example of this principle in action, look to Apple or Waitrose, two very different brands that have learned how to identify their audience and make buying their products a vital part of their personality.

Dec 122018

How to Bring Your Business to the Next Level

By |December 12th, 2018|Personal Finance Tips|0 Comments

A majority of successful businesses that have seen breakthroughs in their growth and expansion have something in common – they see the big picture and conceptualize how their success will appear like in days to come. In today’s turbulent economy, most businesses are looking for ways to grow whether by finding new, productive ways to have their products sell in the market or broadening their customer base.

There are many avenues you can follow to achieve growth but every business need to evaluate what model or system works for them then determine their own path. If you are looking to grow your business and take it to the next level, here are things you want to do:

Look for New Ways to Sell Products and Services

Rather than ticking to your old ways of selling products, why not find new channels for the products or services. This way, you can diversity your brand while at the same time attracting more customers. Remember that sales channel-vendor relationships can work well if you do them right.

Think of a company like Sprayology in Tinton Falls, N.J., a company that brings you homeopathic and vitamin spray products like ImmunoBooster and AllergEase.

It was founded in 2004 and had positioned itself as a trusted maker of wellness products where it sold its products through day’s spas and hotels that wanted to give their clients a unique way of treating common ailments like hangovers and insomnia.

However, in 2008, like many other businesses, it was hit hard by the economic recession. Ellie Whalen, the co-founder and CEO says things were dreadful, and sales went down more than 30 percent in 2009.

Sprayolody pursued new sales channels while maintaining its image and lifestyle or beauty products. The company had time special in fashion deals like Gilt.com and HauteLook.com something that helps create more awareness about their products.

The CEO even reached out to retail buyers of beauty products who wanted to expand. In 2010, it was testing its sprays in ULTA stores. Recently, it started selling its products through LOOK Boutiques that offers high-end beauty products.

Whalen says that they want to build their retail sales by finding new sales channels for their products.

“One great way to expand your business reach is by actively widening your consumer base,” recommends CEO of AvaCare Medical, Steven Zeldes. “We were able to do this recently by introducing the option of purchase orders for government entities and healthcare facilities. By creating this purchasing option, we added a significant group of purchasers to our demographic.”

Add New Products That Increase Value

You may find that what you have isn’t enough or doesn’t add value, so consider adding new products that increase the value of your brand. This can help generate new sales and at the same time improve the satisfaction of customers.

The Daily Java for example, only supplied espresso machines at the beginning among other coffee-making supplies and mixes to restaurants and coffee houses. However, in 2008, Mike Bacile, the founder decided to come up with some powder-based blends of iced-coffee to clients.

The Dallas-based teahouse and coffee supplier found a food co-packer that supplied drink flavors. In 2010, The Daily Java introduced blended-ice drinks known as Tazza Di Risa.

Mike sent packs of the new products to the existing customers and surprisingly 30 percent of them opted for the new products.

Better Serve Your Customers

Eric Keiles, an entrepreneur together with his business partner discover an avenue for success by reorganizing their company’s sales. Their company Square 2 Marketing was founded in 2002 as a marketing consulting firm. However, it had heavily relied on cold call clients and lead generation done by the sales persons.

They realized that the traditional marketing techniques weren’t working. Between 2004 and 2007, they had the annual revenues remaining flat around $1 million.

One thing that that Keiles discovered is that the markets they were targeting didn’t really need salespersons to do cold calling. Keiles started researching for other sales methods in 2007, and the co-founder Mike Lieberman decided to lay off the salespersons and have the marketing consultants do sales closing without much pressure.

The marketing firm started speaking at conferences, using the Internet, and writing articles or even doing video marketing. Today, Square 2 Marketing has grown its annual sales two fold to reach $2 million.

The Bottom Line

When you put focus on your customer service, you introduce new products or services to add value to your brand, and you rethink the old way of doing things, you can surely grow your business to the next level. The customer behavior is ever changing and technology is influencing how consumers behave.

Unless you move where the customers are and find out what they want, your business will remains stalled.  Invest in continuous learning and do away with sales channels that aren’t yielding results.

Sometimes, you don’t need to cold calling to get customers, you don’t need to lower your prices to attract new customers, and you just need to find out what has changed in their buying behavior.

Do they still see you product as of great value to them or should you introduce something new to supplement and back up your old brand.

It’s a matter of realizing what doesn’t work and what works and at the right time. You could spend millions of dollars for a sales marketing technique that doesn’t give results, but only spend a few thousand dollars to bring in a new product and you have your customer base increasing. You also want to set goals and push boundaries so that if you don’t get to where you want to be in 5 years, you can change tactics.

For example, you can have a small team that is paid on profit sharing basis rather than having the traditional commission based payment on specific sales.

When you have this kind of model, you make the marketing team feel part of the brand and not just sales persons.  Sometimes, you don’t want to be sellers of something, you want to be manufacturers or makers of something and this makes a big difference in building clientele base and increasing customer satisfaction.

Dec 112018

The Best Places to Work in 2018

By |December 11th, 2018|Personal Finance Tips|0 Comments

Americans spend a majority of their lives at work, with the average American putting in 8.8 hours a day and 44 hours a week. That equates to more than a third of a seven-day week, which equates to more than half or a person’s lifetime. Job satisfaction is tantamount to a person’s overall happiness, which is why, every year, career sites across the web release lists that name the best places to work in the coming year. Those lists are then shared on major news sites such as Forbes.com and Business Insider. If you want to be happy in the coming year and in your career, consider applying for a job at any one of the companies listed below.

Bain & Company

Bain & Company is a consulting firm that strives to help forward-thinking businesses anticipate the unexpected and adapt to changes in such a way as to outcompete the competition. The company works with businesses that embrace the future and strive to define it, not to hide from it. These businesses are run by individuals with high aspirations who are determined to overcome and adapt. It looks to employ individuals who are immensely talented and who possess an undergraduate, MBA, or other advanced degree.

In N’ Out

In N’ Out may be a “fast food” joint, but it’s been rated by Glassdoor as one of the top three best places to work in 2018 and received 4.5 stars out of more than 1.4 thousand reviews on Indeed. According to the review, you have a great opportunity to advance both in store and at corporate level, and the training and support structure are unparalleled. In addition to a great hourly pay, In N’ Out offers medical, dental, vision, life insurance, and a 401(k) plan. The work-life environment isn’t so bad either.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn, according to reviews, offers an exceptional work-life balance, a challenging work environment, great leadership, and an awesome culture. Surprisingly, most workers claim that “food” is one of the number one perks of working with the online networking company. The company shuts down for two weeks out of the year for “rest and relaxation,” offers 401(k) match, has an in-building gym, and provides medical and dental benefits…on top of the free food it proffers.

Facebook

Facebook has routinely been ranked as the number one place to work, but after the recent scandal, it dipped to number seven, which still is not bad. Individuals who work at Facebook claim that they work with others who are talented and empathetic of others, that they conduct “important work” with a huge scope, and that they are allowed “enormous self-direction.” Many Facebook employees have worked with Google and claim that while Google was a good starting point, Facebook is the best large company for which they have ever worked.

Google

The best part about working for Google is that it’s a company with a vision, which means that you can always be looking forward to something. The greatest pitfall of working for the company, however, is that it seems to promise more than it can deliver. While many employees appreciate the independence of their roles, many more do not appreciate that they must compete with all external and internal candidates to move up in the ranks.

Today’s companies are becoming increasingly more appealing to work for thanks to better benefits, better work environments, and better cultures. However, some companies are better to work for than others. If you’re looking for a fulfilling career with a promising company, look into positions with the above five companies.

Dec 102018

7 Things to Keep in Mind while Hiring a UX Designer Agency

By |December 10th, 2018|Personal Finance Tips|0 Comments

In this digital age, not offering an enthralling user experience is equivalent to digging one’s own grave. It’s undisputedly the most important pillar of business success these days. Online stores are spending huge bucks to give the right user experience to their customers. In fact, they are now putting themselves in customer’s shoes to know what clicks their mind.

A coherently made UX is a mixture of design and marketing concepts. As a business owner, you might know the importance of user experience to generate sales. With the changing landscape of the web industry, it becomes obvious to hire a UX designer agency which can give your business a complete facelift.

With that said, let’s see the important checkpoints you must consider while hiring a UX design agency.

1. Portfolio

Check the work of the agency. Ask them to narrate stories of the projects they enjoyed the most. Also, ask them to explain how they approach a given assignment. This will help you understand how these UX agencies solve business problems beyond those pretty looking screens.

Every agency that caresses the nitty-gritty of user experience has the required versatility. Analyze whether they are doing the same kind of designs or bringing something new? Will your customers reach the intended goal within 30 seconds of landing to the website? Are they using the best practices of SEO? If yes, bang on! You can give the project to them.

2. Budget

Creating an awesome user experience is much like building a house; it always costs more than you contemplate.

Don’t get scared; Just be prepared! Research and find out the ongoing rate of the required work before reaching out to potential agencies. You could either search on platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr or you could ask the local business owners in the area whom they hired to create their website, and the total cost involved.

It is important for both the parties to have a complete understanding of each other.  If they understand your budget constraints and agree to provide you with the best, a lot of your precious time could be saved.

3. Understanding your business goals

As a business owner, it is your primary responsibility to provide the best user experience to your customers but sometimes this becomes a cobblestone to the predetermined business goals.  A great UX design agency is agile enough to align the experience part with the predetermined business goals.

Look for an agency which sees your business as theirs and bridges all the different stakeholders to create the best product possible.

4. Professional approach

Reputed agencies usually have a high level of professionalism and demonstrate utmost commitment to their clients. They tend to have a proven track record of successful delivery of projects. They give utmost priority to their clients and often go above and beyond to ensure the client’s satisfaction.Look out for their attitude and keenness towards your project? Are they ready to commit for the required time and efforts? If yes, you know what to do.

5. Proposed methodology

Every design agency will speak about their agile and dexterous methodology but it goes without saying that you need to evaluate how they bring those ideas to the table. What strategies they are employing? What amount of research they are putting in?

Furthermore, it is crucial to check the employed user research methodology of the agency. User research must cover the buyer persona, creative thoughts, SEO frameworks, and customer journeys.

6. Analyse the project performance

If you have an online business, you know the importance of evaluating a project’s performance. Inspect whether sufficient development support is contributed by the partner agency. UX design is an everlasting process, and hence UX design agency ought to have a significant role in the product life-cycle.Sometimes, agencies propose something which is not directly linked to the projects. In such a scenario, it becomes imperative to ensure whether they are on the same page with you.

7. References

A wise man once said if you don’t know someone’s work, ask your surroundings. Asking for referrals is crucial but an overlooked step. Testimonials and online reviews are great for determining the depth of practice an agency has. A testimonial from the past client also makes the ethical practice of the agency crystal clear.

Bottom Line

Choosing the right UX design agency can make or break your business. It is utmost important to check whether the agency culturally and logically fits your organization. Follow these points to hire an agency which creates the most effective user experience and takes your business to new heights.

Author Bio

This is Sharon Winget, Staff Writer with GoodFirms, a review and rating platform of top IT companies & software. The company also publishes in-depth research reports; the latest research report released was on PPC Campaign Management.

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