Feb 212018

Global Crackdown on Cryptocurrencies

By |February 21st, 2018|Economics / Politics|0 Comments

When the bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, debuted in 2009, financial analysts expressed their doubts about the long-term sustainability of the digital currency. Over the years the value of the currency has fluctuated widely, underscoring concerns that the currency is unstable at best and dangerous to world markets at worse.

Now some countries are taking steps to limit their citizens’ ability to use cryptocurrencies, including bitcoins and other digital currencies, for payments and investments.

About Bitcoins

Bitcoin is a form of digital currency. It was developed by an anonymous Japanese inventor who based its value on mathematical proof. Bitcoins are not issued as legal tender by governments – new bitcoins are “mined” and the currency is “cyber” with no 3-dimensional coins or bills. The electronic payment system is archived in cyberspace so bitcoin users can only access bitcoins, invest them (and in them) and use them virtually.

The bitcoin developer proposed the new payment system as a method of online financial transactions that could be independent of any central authority. According to the developer’s vision, users would transfer bitcoins easily among themselves. There would not be any high transaction fees.

“Miners” mine new bitcoins via complicated software programs that crunch numbers and solve complex algorithms within the bitcoin distribution network. Transactions can also be made through this network, using the bitcoin currency.

Each bitcoin can be divided into smaller parts. The smallest divisible amount of one bitcoin is a “Satoshi” — one hundred millionth of a bitcoin.

Bitcoin protocols state that there is a finite number of bitcoins. After 21 million bitcoins have been mined (estimated to be sometime in the 2030s), no new bitcoins will be available.

Bitcoin transactions are secured through military-grade cryptography. Transactions are recorded in a public record called a “blockchain.”

What’s Happening Today?

Numerous countries are acting on concerns about the spreading use of bitcoins as legal tender. Many vendors now accept bitcoins as a method of payment including Internet providers, travel agencies, Vegas online casinos, rental companies, food stores, pizza parlors and bookstores.

Until recently most governments ignored bitcoins but that’s changing. Governments are worried about the loss of tax revenues by people who don’t report their untraceable bitcoin income. They also worry that a bitcoin crash could negatively affect world markets including the major stock exchanges.

Some of the countries that are now focusing on bitcoin regulation include:

United States

The Securities and Exchange Commission has begun to crack down on cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins by suspending trading in shares of some digital currencies. Harvey Pitt, former chariman of the SEC, explained that “We’re in line for some serious regulatory responses to all of this and that will be forthcoming after the first of the year……everyone else is investing in it, and the price seems to be going up. That’s a real problem because there’s a lack of education and knowledge on the part of many of the people who are actually doing the investing.”

The SEC has legal authority to regulate “offerings of securities” and is specifically focused on insider trading. Pitt said that “There absolutely can be insider trading. When people have advanced knowledge of the offerings of these interests and take advantage of the offering long before it occurs.”


Israeli authorities are cracking down on cryptocurrencies by barring companies that trade in bitcoins from operating on the Tel Aviv Exchange. The Israel Securities Agency took action after the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Wall Street’s self-regulator) warned against companies that “tout the potential of high returns associated with cryptocurrency-related activities”.

Director Shmuel Hauser, who has termed the skyrocketing bitcoin value as “a bubble,” appointed a committee to investigate options for regulating the digital currency. The committee is expected to submit its report soon. Hausner said that “Nobody knows what stands behind this” so regulation is needed “because the public is unprotected.” This comes as, in a matter of weeks, the value of a bitcoin fluctuated from a high of $20,000 to a low of under $11,000.

Hauser decided to bring the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority into the picture after several Israeli companies announced their intention of delving into the bitcoin trade. The companies’ shares soared on the Israeli market but the speculation worries the authority. Hauser said “I think it looks like a bubble, smells like a bubble, acts like a bubble and feels like a bubble.”

Hauser’s plan would prevent companies whose “principal services” are in digital currencies from trading on the Tel Aviv market, Companies that are already listed on the exchange, who shift “the majority of its operations “ to bitcoin, would be removed from the Tel Aviv exchange. Despite this Israel’s finance ministry and central bank are rumored to be considering the creation of a state cryptocurrency — a digital shekel — which would be available for use in cellular transactions within Israel. The rationalization for such a currency would be to allow individuals and businesses to bypass banks in transferring cash.

South Korea

Financial superpower South Korea intends to place more controls on the digital currency market in the country. The government is concerned that the cryptocurrency “craze” is driving up local digital currency prices up to 45% above the global norm. South Korea, which is one of the world’s largest markets for digital coins, would like to completely ban cryptocurrency trading. Justice Minister Park Sang-Ki said that the government is preparing legislation that would shut all digital currency exchanges in the country.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson confirmed the intention. “Regulations for the closure of cryptocurrency exchanges have been in preparation and we plan to cooperate with related departments to approach the issue.” The move, however, is opposed by the main opposition party, the conservative Liberty Korea Party.


China is one of the largest countries that has decided to crack down on digital currencies. China’s government announced plans to shut down Bitcoin miners. The stated reason was to save energy — bitcoin mining uses an inordinate amount of electrical current.

But in actuality, the Chinese government shares the concerns of other world financial bodies that allowing  bitcoin transactions creates instability for the financial structure of the country the at best and,  at worst, is a tremendous risk.

Risks of allowing cryptocurrencies to proliferate in the economy include malicious acts like fraud and money laundering as well easily criminal activities. Some cryptocurrencies have already been linked with Ponzi schemes that operated in order to raise illicit funds.

In one of its first moves, Chinese financial authorities have shut down cryptocurrency exchanges. They also blocked  cryptocurrency platforms that permit centralized trading.

In a growing number of countries, after almost a decade of almost completely unregulated cryptocurrency activity, the digital method of transactions and investments seems to be headed for a showdown.


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Feb 192018

New Business Ideas That Can Turn You Into A Millionaire

By |February 19th, 2018|Personal Finance Tips|0 Comments

Each and every day, several new businesses are started. There is a good chance that you would also like to start your own business. Before jumping in too deeply, you should sit back and think about your options. What are you good at? What type of business would actually be successful? Within this comprehensive guide, you will find business ideas that could potentially turn you into a millionaire at some point in the future.

Marriage Counseling

Marriage is one of the most rewarding things in the entire world. It is also one of the most challenging. It doesn’t matter how great the couple works together. There is a good chance that they’re going to run into rough patches from time to time. All couples will have problems. With this in mind, you should think about starting a marriage counseling business. As a counselor, you could very well help save a couple from splitting up. You can help the couple work out their problems and get through those tumultuous times. This career can be rewarding and profitable.

Social Media Management

You should also consider getting involved in the world of social media. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are all very valuable companies. Many companies use these platforms as a way to market and advertise to their potential customers. If you’ve mastered social media, you may very well be able to put your skills to work for you. You can manage the social media activities for some of the most valuable companies in the world. In return, you’ll be paid significantly. Social media is going to be around for a long, long time, so you can guarantee that your job will always be there.

Food Delivery

Fast food is incredibly popular, because it is so convenient. People love not having to cook. The only problem is that they have to drive a great distance to get their food. You can help solve this problem by starting a food delivery business. The local food delivery companies have managed to make a substantial amount of money in the industry. You should consider following in their footsteps. Start a food delivery business and deliver to the people in your area. The job will be easy, fun and profitable.

Drug Counseling And Lawyers

The drug problem has undoubtedly become an epidemic. Tons of people have gotten themselves into drug troubles. Wouldn’t you like to be able to help these individuals, while also making money? By becoming a drug counselor, you’ll be able to do just that. As a drug counselor, you’ll be able to help those that need it the most. You’ll improve society along the way. And of course, you’ll make good money as well. Also, experienced woodland hills personal injury attorneys can make a good amount of money. Lawyers will always be in high demand. With that being said, becoming a good drug lawyer is definitely a good way to become wealth and prominent in your local area.


If you’re an artistic individual, you should definitely think about putting your natural skills to work for you. As an artist, you’ll be able to make an impact on the world. Of course, you’ll need to distinguish yourself from the other artists out there. If you’re able to do that, you’ll be able to make a lot of money in the future.


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Feb 192018

Everything You Need To Know About Construction Financing

By |February 19th, 2018|Personal Finance Tips|0 Comments

There are two ways to finance construction projects. One of these methods involves utilizing two loans, a loan that covers the development phase of the project and a permanent loan. In most cases, the borrowers will utilize two different lenders for the construction and permanent loan. The second method involves utilizing a single “combination loan,” which means the loan will start out as a construction loan and become permanent when the development phase is complete.

Where To Get A Construction Loan?

It may be difficult to find a lender who is willing to offer only a construction loan. While it is possible to find a willing participant – a financial institution – you may need to shop around for a while, before landing a construction loan. Some financial institutions, especially commercial banks, are more adamant about making combination loans. Whatever the case may be, it will be in your best interest to do some research, before rushing out and applying for a construction or combination loan.

Which Loan Works Best?

There is genuinely no such thing as a “bad” loan when it comes to financing a construction project. In fact, some contractors will find the construction loan and permanent loan from different lenders satisfactory for their needs. Others will be totally satisfied with a combination loan.

When considering your options, you must take the time to do research. One thing is for sure separate loans will incur two closing costs and require twice the work. If you need assistance in making your decision, you can always turn to commercial litigation attorneys. These professionals will not only offer free consultations, but also have your back through the entire litigation process.

When it boils down to it, the choice is yours to make. So, make it carefully, as to avoid any potential risks or mistakes. It also a good idea to speak with several lenders to see which ones are willing to work with you to finance your construction project.

How Long Is A Construction Loan?

It is hard to determine how long a construction project will last. Before you even thinking of starting a construction project, you will need to figure out how long it will take you to complete your project. When it comes to construction projects, most lenders are only willing to offer a six-month or one-year loan. It is important to note that a construction loan carries an “adjustable interest rate,” which will reset either monthly or quarterly. Also, lenders will tack on a construction fee to cover the expenses in administering the loan.

Combination Loans

In most cases, a combination loan will be much easier to obtain than a construction loan and separate permanent loan. And, if you are lucky the lender will credit of the fees for the construction loan toward the permanent loan. Continue to shop around until you find a lender who is willing to offer this credit.

One set of closing costs and this credit is enough to encourage contractors and others to apply for a combination loan. Plus, you will only need to deal with one lender, which ensures the process will go smoothly.


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Feb 192018

Live an Extravagant Life, Ditch Mediocrity

By |February 19th, 2018|Personal Finance Tips|0 Comments

Have you ever dreamt about having an extravagant lifestyle? Everyone does but only a few know how to go about it. The only difference between people who have a luxurious lifestyle and people who live a very mediocre life, is the thought. Think like a King, and live a King! Oliver’s Travels has created an infographic which gives us a very clear understanding on how we should spend our hard-earned money.

Wearing a different Rolex watch every day would definitely make you look rich and stylish but what if I told you that for the price of 23 Rolex watches, you can spend one night with your soulmate in the Lover’s Deep and give true meaning to your relationship? Instead of spending thousands of dollars on Chanel dresses, you can actually book a place in the Virgin Galactic to visit Space? Wouldn’t that be a once in a lifetime experience? What if you were told that instead of planning on living in a motor home, you should save your money and hire Necker Island for a week and enjoy the best of nature?

You would be amazed by the fact that if you just plan and spend your money intelligently, you can do things that you’ve only dreamed about. For more information, checkout the infographic below.

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Feb 152018

Essential Budgeting Tips For First-Time Homeowners

By |February 15th, 2018|Personal Finance Tips|0 Comments

In the U.S., owning a home is still very much a rite of passage. It’s part of the American Dream, after all. And in 2017, 63% of non-homeowners felt it was a good year to purchase a home. But if you’re planning to buy your first house, there are certain financial pitfalls you’ll need to avoid. Otherwise, your home may become more of a nightmarish burden than the ultimate fantasy. First-time homeowners, take note: here are some budgeting tips to keep in mind before you make an offer.

Never look above your price range

It’s so easy to fall in love with a house that you can’t afford. And like any situation wherein the fit isn’t quite right, it’ll break your heart. Avoid the situation altogether by setting a strict budget before you even start looking. You’ll also need to keep your expectations in check. Although you feel a particular neighborhood might be ideal, a desirable location will always come with an increase in price. Of course, you shouldn’t have to compromise on the quality of local schools or your safety to find a home you can afford — but you should be prepared to make compromises. Above all else, don’t tempt yourself by even entertaining the idea of going above your budget. It’ll only end in tears (one way or another).

Aim for a 20% down payment

In most situations, it’s best if you can swing a 20% down payment on a home. If your current budget won’t allow for that, you may need to consider lowering your budget even further. Buyers who don’t put 20% down may have to pay more for private mortgage insurance. Plus, buyers who put more money down from the start tend to buy homes faster and make fewer offers overall, and this method typically reduces your financial risk in case the market changes significantly if you sell that home later on.

Don’t forget moving and “settling in” costs

When creating the budget for your first home, you need to consider a lot more than the price of the home itself. You’ll need to factor in moving costs, new purchases (like decor and furniture), and even cleaning products or food supplies. These costs may seem fairly minimal, but they add up quickly — especially if you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff or you have a lot of big-ticket items that need to be replaced or purchased for the first time. You should outline these items as part of your budget to ensure you aren’t actually spending more than you think.

Factor in taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance

In addition to the aforementioned expenses, you definitely can’t forget about these fees. You’ve probably already added in your mortgage payments, but you need to prioritize property taxes and home insurance payments, too. Since these two things alone can represent a few thousand dollars a year, you literally can’t afford to overlook them. Plus, you’ll need to factor in utility bills (gas and electric, HVAC, water, internet, and cable, for starters) as well as regular maintenance costs that come along with these utilities. You’ll also have to consider the costs of maintaining your law, the roof, and the structure of your home. Plan on scheduling maintenance once a year, even if your home was built more recently, and set aside money in the budget for those tasks.

Plan for the unexpected

While you should always set aside money in the budget for the usual maintenance fees, you should also keep in mind that when you own a house, things will sometimes go awry. For example, your household septic system should be inspected at least every three years or so, but you may wake up to an unwelcome surprise one morning if your system is clogged. Alternatively your home might sustain storm damage or your heater might break down. These repairs can be expensive and often happen at the most inconvenient times. If you have a bit of a financial cushion from the start, these events won’t represent a huge crisis.

Budgeting for your first home isn’t an easy task, but it becomes a lot less daunting when you know exactly what to include and what to watch out for. When you have a clear idea of what you can actually afford, you can be more confident that the home you choose will allow you to make happy memories, rather than becoming a source of stress.

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Feb 152018

Is It Time Your Small Business Hired An HR Administrator?

By |February 15th, 2018|Personal Finance Tips|0 Comments

When you first start up a business, you often work with the smallest team you can to keep costs down – some businesses even operate in their initial start-up period with just the owner wearing many hats. As you grow, however, it is normal to focus on hiring people in the roles that contribute to getting you more profit. Sales and marketing people, people who work on developing, designing or making your products, or people who provide the services you sell.

  • Hiring As Businesses Grow

At that point, you generally are still doing a lot of the admin work yourself or using third parties where you can’t, for instance, accountants and recruitment agencies. This can work well up to a certain time, but there is a point where covering administrative tasks that seem like overheads rather than work aimed at making a profit is actually a poor use of your time.

  • Human Resources

Human resources (HR) is one area where it can be hard to tell if the need is there for somebody to come in as an employee and handle it. HR is important, of course, in keeping staff feeling well supported, dealing with processes around things like staff expenses and benefits, and doing the admin around onboarding new staff, following appraisal programs, and tracking vacation allowance and time. But these can be things a business owner can do when there are not many staff and no real plan to hire more at the current time.

However, it can be best to hire an HR administrator a while before you see a major expansion in terms of workforce size. There are a few reasons for this. Preparedness is one, of course, as is having someone with HR expertise on board to help you plan your hiring strategy. An even more important reason can be that you probably don’t have the best HR processes and practices yet if they have simply been put together organically as you’ve grown. An HR professional will be able to design, implement and operate these in advance of your growth in company size, so things will run smoothly as you grow.

  • What Kind of Administrator Do You Need To Run Your HR?

You may decide that you don’t have a big enough need for a full-time HR person yet and could create a part-time vacancy instead. However, whether hiring full or part-time, there are some specific qualities to look for in an HR person for a small, growing business that are different from what might be needed in an HR person working in a big team in a large corporation. This article from Arizona State University Online explains the kind of things someone who is well versed in HR will be able to do for your business and is geared to their online business management degree students. The key things you have to look for from the wide skillsets in HR are the ability to start new processes and strong skills in terms of recruitment.

As you can see, you may often need an HR person a little before you actually think you do, so if this sounds like where your business is, then it could be time to hire!


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