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Gold and Bitcoin are still two of the investments that most people consider worldwide. And with the significant growth of the cryptocurrency market, there is more room and possible volatility.

Bitcoin Or Gold

Given the recent slump in the Stock Market, there has been a lot of talk about alternative investments. The US-China Trade War has resulted in much fear about a potential recession. As of now, two assets are extremely popular. However, should you invest in gold or bitcoin? By now you might think this is an obvious option. Gold has been here for a long time, while Bitcoin has just come up. But, it doesn’t mean that you should overlook Bitcoin now that it is new. In this guide, you will learn the significance of investing using a self-directed retirement account.

Gold

Since 1849 (the Gold Rush), most people have aspired to get their hands on this precious metal. Most people rush to gold, or other metals when it comes to economic downturns. It has always been regarded as a safe investment. Besides a few setbacks, gold has appreciated in value since the turn of this century.

Bitcoin

Do you know what Bitcoin is? Well, here is a brief summary. You must have instantly thought of a physical coin once you heard the term“ Bitcoin”? Well, that’s not the case at all. It is actually a form of digital currency, often known as cryptocurrency. It’s created by “miners” who break cryptographic codes using computers to unlock the coin. It isn’t regulated or backed by any government. A blockchain is rather used as a ledger that keeps track of all transactions. That way, users can establish the authenticity of every “coin” use.

Use a Self-Directed Retirement Account to Invest in Gold or Bitcoin

That’s right! You can invest in Bitcoin and gold with your retirement funds. Once you self-direct your 401(k) plan or IRA, you can invest in almost anything you want. Don’t forget that it should be IRS-approved. Furthermore, most cryptocurrencies and precious metals are allowable investments.

In case you’re self-employed, then a solo 401(k) is your ideal choice for alternative investing. All other people can use a self-directed IRA. Generally speaking, both of these plans function like their regular counterparts. Nevertheless, you’re no longer restricted in the forms of investments that conventional financial institutions provide, such as mutual funds, stocks, and bonds.

The good thing about investing in Bitcoin or gold with retirement money is that the entire profit is tax-free. Conventional accounts provide tax deferral. On the other hand, Roth options enable tax-free distributions.

Should You Invest in Gold or Bitcoin?

Well, the answer relies on financial goals and personal preference. As of now, we can all agree that gold and other precious metals will forever retain their value. Although they can bring profits, particularly during economic volatility, they undoubtedly won’t quadruple in value. Gold is regarded as a safer investment. On the other hand, Bitcoin has the potential for significant returns but comes with a high risk.

The advancement in technology has helped many businesses take revolutionary steps in their business dealings, which has ultimately led to an increase in profits. It has decreased the workload of the workers and increased efficiency significantly. The inventory management software is one such invention that has assisted all businesses. The function of an inventory management software is to track goods throughout the entire process of production to end sale.

The management of the goods till the end process requires accuracy in tracking and management. Any minor error related to tracking or data entry can lead to grave problems. These errors mostly occur when people try to track the process manually, therefore the invention of inventory management software is a great asset for businesses. It takes care of the entire process and is not susceptible to errors. Inventory management software is a great blessing to all types of businesses, whether they be small or big. It enhances their business dealings and increases the professional standards of the business operations.

Here is a list of five key factors that businesses should look for in an inventory management software:

Research The Price

The cost of the software relies on the different requirements of the business. It is crucial to research deeply on the market value of an inventory management software and then invest in one. The requirements that businesses usually need in an inventory management software, is that it should be able to track the storage facility and products in the warehouse. If there is proper research done, purchasing from a vendor becomes easy as the person will be aware if he is getting the software at a profitable price or not. Knowing the market value of the software is very important for every human being planning to purchase for their business.

Focus On Customization

It is important to put more focus on the customization of the inventory management software as different businesses have different needs. Before investing, ask the vendor questions on whether the software will be able to meet all demands of your business. If there is an existing inventory management software and there is a need for another one for additional features, purchase a software that can comply with the existing one. Customized software that can fulfill the business requirements is crucial for gaining profit.

Consider The Flexibility

The inventory management software that you are planning to invest in should be flexible. The focus should be on features like, whether the software is appropriate for mobiles, the number of users who can implement it, if it is web-based or not. Putting the main attention on flexibility should be of prime importance to every buyer.

Proper Support

The inventory management software should be able to provide appropriate support along with carrying out all the tasks efficiently. It should be able to accomplish its purpose and help the business be efficient in its dealings. In case of an issue, the software provider must be available for help anytime.

Talk About The Requirements Of The Business

It is important to figure out the requirements you want in your inventory management software, before investing in one. Talking to the vendor about the requirements is crucial if you want your business to flourish. The basic requirements that businesses should usually look for in the inventory management software are, an easily manageable interface that does not require any training or documentation, the administrators should be able to add software modules seamlessly and the software should contain automatic features that are able to reduce manual labour.

MyBillBook can help to know more about this software. The inventory management software is beneficial for all businesses and helps people keep exact track of the data. Taking care of the data and the dealings manually is laboursome and requires a serious amount of effort. Since manual tracking is also prone to mistakes, this software is a suitable alternative.

Are you looking for the hottest markets in WA? If yes, you have reached the right at the place. In this blog we are going to tell you where and how top to spot hot markets for real estate investment in WA. So, let’s get started.

Top places for the real estate investment in Washington.

Tacoma:

The median home price in tacoma is $318,900, with value risen 8.1% over the past years and expected to increase by 4.7% over the next years.

SeattleSeattle:

The median home price in Seattle Seattleis $741,8437420 with values having risen 2.32.3% over the past years and expected to increase by 4.3% over the next years. You must hire a professional Seattle mortgage company to get the best mortgage deals. . You must take the help of professional Seattle mortgage company to get the best deals around.

Lakewood:

The median home price in Federal is $394,000 with values having risen 7.2% over the past years and expected to increase by 4.1% over the next years

Kent:

The median home price in Federal is $394,000 with values having risen 2.8% over the past years and expected to increase by 2.9% over the next years.

Redmond:

The median home price in Federal is $715,300 with values having risen 0.3% over the past years and expected to increase by 0.1% over the next years

Kirkland:

The median home price in Federal is $715,300 with values having risen 2.5% over the past years and expected to increase by 0.3% over the next years

Bothell:

The median home price in Federal is $599,200 with values having risen 2.4% over the past years and expected to increase by 1.6% over the next years.

Bellevue:

The median home price in Federal is $903,500 with values decreased by 2.4% over the past years and expected to increase by 2.2% over the next years.

If you are interested to buy property in Washington you can contact a professional mortgage lender for availing the request for the loan. You can also get in touch with to know in what mortgage rates you will get the loan.

Reasons for buying Washington real estate investment:

Solid investment opportunities in Washington require some research because this is a very competitive market. It is one of the hottest housing markets in the nation due to strong economy, steady job growth, availability of affordable housing compared housing compared to other technology hubs in the U.S and a host of amenities that appeals to the younger generation. The state economy is expected to increase if the employment rates will get increased and if economy get increase the value of the property automatically get raised. So, if you are a real estate investor and looking for the state in the US then you should definitely opt for the Washington DC. Because it is one of the most profitable marketplaces for the real estate investors. We hope this comprehensive guide on the real estate investment will help you a lot.

Choosing the right type of mutual fund is important for the achievement of your investment goals. Other factors that may determine your choice are your ability to tolerate risk, the availability of funds with you, and the period for which you wish to invest. The first step in investing is to decide your investment goals and then compare the various types of mutual funds to choose the one that matches your requirements. Here we talk about types of mutual funds– The ELSS or the Equity Linked Saving Scheme and the SIP or the Systematic Investment Plan.  Let us find out more about these mutual fund categories and their features.

ELSS: Highly Suitable for Long-Term Financial Planning

As the name suggests, this mutual fund invests predominantly in equities. But there is a lock-in period of three years from the date of the purchase.  Highly popular because of its tax saving feature, this fund offers tax exemption under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. An investor can get a tax exemption of up to 30% (depending on his tax bracket).

Here are some things you should know about ELSS funds in India:

  • The lock-in period allows the fund manager to invest in the equities for the long term in absence of any redemption pressure in the short term.
  • ELSS funds can invest only in equities and cannot be a hybrid or even a balanced fund.
  • ELSS is a tax-saving fund and thus highly suitable for investors who wish to create wealth while saving taxes. People who are willing to take risks may find ELSS highly suitable.

SIP: In Sync with Your Financial Goals

A Systematic Investment Plan or SIP allows investors to invest in a phased and disciplined manner.  The amount deposited by an investor in a SIP can then be used to invest in equity and debt schemes. The investor has to deposit a fixed amount regularly for a pre-decided period that can vary from a month to a quarter, half-year or annually. The advantage of investing in this category of mutual funds is that it combines the benefits of price averaging and compounding.

Some important things about a SIP:

  • Discipline Plus Benefit of Compounding – This investment option inculcates discipline amongst investors as they have to contribute a specific amount after a certain period. The amount can be decided by the investor after considering their expenses. Investors also have the option of raising their contribution when they have surplus funds. The scheme offers investors the benefit of compounding which means that they earn not only on their principal deposit but also on the earnings on them.
  • Averaging – SIP investments at different times ensure that the fund managers purchase stocks at different prices with the total cost of buying a stock gets averaged over time.

The decision to choose between ELSS funds in India and SIP mutual funds will depend on the funds available to you and the timing of the investment. However, if you wish to invest small amounts every month or quarter, SIP is a better option. SIP allows investors to maximize returns by investing small sums rather than waiting to accumulate a big amount and invest in ELSS or any other form of lump-sum investment.

The expansion of the online market has brought revolutionary changes in the international industry. Customers do not have to stay in the confinement of their geographical limits to shop for products and services overseas. Businesses have also gotten the opportunity to connect directly with foreign buyers. Today, any e-business owner can choose a money transfer API provider to carry out international transactions swiftly. Yes, earlier, most of the international payments concerned remittances (money sent by NRIs to their families).

With the security and feasibility of online payments, some portals allow international purchases. But every person involved in such transactions wonders how it works? Well, the process is fast but not as simple as it seems to use when we make the payments. There is a long chain of bank-to-bank connections and a couple of mediating networks that help the cause. Let us understand the different ways in which this international money transfer system works.

Three Pillars of International Transactions

International transactions take place through different sources depending upon the purpose of the payers. People always lookout for the most secure and safe portals online to carry out the transactions whether it is a simple monetary transaction or an online purchase. Whatever be the cause, there is always a money transfer API provider to make things work out.

Precisely, there are three ways in which international money transfers work. The ones abreast with all these three options and their working process can make an informed decision.

Money Transferred Through Bank Accounts

Banks perform international transactions for a long time. NRIs have always relied on the interconnected chain of commercial banks supported by international sources to transfer money overseas.

  • There are two international financial messaging and connecting systems named SWIFT (Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) and SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area).
  • The former covers the major parts of the world and the latter covers the entire Europe. These messaging networks help thousands of banks to connect in the event of a transfer.
  • These networks just pass the information of a debit command from one bank and pass it to the other concerned party.
  • With these two major systems working in the international markets, banks can cooperate easily and carry out the transactions. However, these processes are usually time-taking and take a couple of days to complete.

Transactions Made Using Online Payment Gateways

The online payment gateways or what we know as a money transfer API provider have made online shopping and other international transactions a secure and robust task. Businesses concerning overseas markets utilise the facilities of these service providers to create a codependent chain of online payments.

  • Payment gateway operators work on behalf of the merchants to contact the banks of both the concerned parties for completing a transaction.
  • These portals are secure, fast and use a well-integrated mechanism to perform the operations.
  • With the help of a reliable money transfer API provider, any business can reach out to masses in foreign lands to sell or buy goods.

Cash Transfer Portals

Just like the online payment gateways, there are online platforms that enable direct cash transfers. Instead of buying or selling something to reach a secure portal, one can directly access these sites to transfer cash. These portals perform the currency conversion for their users and credit the money in the mentioned accounts. The process is simple and saves time.

The purpose of a money transfer API provider is to connect the gaps between merchants and customers settled in two different parts of the world. Every business owner looking for options to expand his brand overseas should choose a reliable and secure payment gateway service provider to carry out the tasks. Most importantly, ensure rapport and goodwill in the international market.

Online trading apps are brilliant things. However, we do need to know a little about them before we start using them.

An online trading app seems straightforward and simple. For the most part, they are. There are, however, a few risks that you definitely must know about before you start using them. Here they are!

Discover the best online trading platforms in Singapore.

#1 – You Must Trade Entirely on Your Own

There is no one to help guide you with an online trading app. You will not have access to an experienced trader to ask questions from or anything. This can be daunting for new traders. There are reading materials and demo accounts that you can use to enhance your abilities. However, you still must be prepared to do the work completely by yourself.

#2 – It is Just as Easy to Lose Money as It is to Gain It

Most online trades are subject to luck. You can anticipate where the market will go through research and careful observation, but it is impossible to land a sure trade. Any and all trades, no matter how well thought out, can lead to loses. You must be prepared to make the occasional bad trade and end up losing money.

If you do your research and learn well, you have a good chance at making more good trades than bad. So long as you are earning more than you are losing, you’ll be alright.

#3 – Scams

Not all online trading apps are as they seem. Some of these apps are designed purely to take money away from you. The majority of good online trading apps won’t ask you for money at any time, other than for your deposits. If an app asks for service fees every so often, you are likely being scammed.

Are You Ready for Online Trading?

Don’t be discouraged by the risks involved. Online trading apps can be your best friend so long as you remain alert and keep learning. Good luck and happy trading!

Look at robo advisors compared.

Do you dream of a sound and secure financial future? If yes, then you need financial planning. So what is financial planning? It is creating definitive, step-by step strategies to secure your future, reach your financial goals and aid in wealth creation. It is an important aspect of life; simply earning money and living paycheck to paycheck is not enough. One needs to create and preserve wealth so that one doesn’t have to struggle too much and achieves their financial goals easily. If you are planning to secure your finances, there are some factors you need to take into consideration. Let us talk about these in depth.

So here are some of the important do’s you must think through while making a financial plan –

Do think about inflation

Inflation is a reality that one needs to clearly see when planning finances. Think about the compounding effect of inflation on your net savings and then strategise the best way to plan ahead and secure the future from that perspective. It is not enough to just save money; start investing it. Mutual fund investments are a good place to start to make your money grow and secure your future against inflation.

Do save up emergency funds

Set aside a portion of your finances that can cover emergency situations such as hospitalization, job loss, unforeseen events, etc. Deploy these emergency funds in liquid assets rather than long-term investments so that you can avail them whenever you truly need them.

Do your tax planning

Since taxes impact your finances directly, tax planning is an important tenet of financial planning. Plan your taxes optimally so that your cash flow is only minimally affected. Maximise tax deductions and go for various tax saving options available after studying them.

Don’ts of making a financial plan

Following are some of the no-no when it comes to creating a financial plan:

Do not create a lack in insurance

Never under insure yourself. Insurance is a crucial aspect of one’s financial well-being, and essential for you as an individual and for your family as well. There are various types of insurance that you require for different areas of your life – health insurance, life insurance, medical insurance, motor insurance, etc. Figure out which insurance policies you require for your home. And make sure that you get an appropriate value of insurance as per the human life value (HLV). Along with the premium, also take a look at settlement ratio, benefits and additional features, etc.

Do not neglect succession planning

Preparing a will is important and one needs to think about succession planning as well. Good financial planning takes into consideration not only the individual but also the spouse and family after his/her death to enable smooth transfer of financial assets to the nominees/dependants without unnecessary hassle.

Do not invest in equity for your short-term goals  

You need to know your investment option and have an investment plan in place. Study the risks; for instance, since equity is volatile and not easy to predict in periods less than 3 years, it is a risk to invest in it for short-term financial goals. It puts the investor at a risk of having to sell it before the intended duration.

So these are the do’s and don’ts of financial planning. Understanding the different types of investment available to you and knowing where to invest money will help you to create wealth in the long-term. This will ensure that your future years are not too burdened and you live a secure and happy life. Happy investing!

Introduction

The financial industry is evolving constantly. With the advancement of technology, new systems are being introduced and incorporated, which have changed the traditional ways of banking and business in general. This article looks at the role of banking APIs in helping businesses improve their operations and create better user experiences.

What is API?

Essentially, Application Programming Interface (API) refers to a set of functions and interactions between two or more applications that provide information to the users. Businesses use API technology to provide their users with a seamless transaction experience. The technology enables companies to connect to a bank’s services, and extend those services, especially payment processing, to the customers.

How does an API work?

APIs allow for better ways to share data between two different entities, which in turn improves business performance in a number of ways. When businesses can share and obtain more precise information about their customers and their actions, they can offer a better all round experience and inevitably grow their profits.

In the world of finance, banks can grant protected access to their services to the other businesses, which enables regulated third parties to build new applications which can interact with the back end of their technology.

Open Banking and APIs

Open Banking refers to new regulation which requires banks to open their APIs and enable regulated businesses to access the financial information of their customers and develop new products and services. Due to Open Banking initiatives becoming increasingly popular, consumers are benefiting from the increased competition between banks and fintechs with a focus on creating better user experiences.

Since Open Banking is becoming so popular, the businesses that do not take advantage of these new opportunities are likely to be left behind. The businesses that do adopt Open Banking strategies will have a significant competitive advantage against other players in the market.

What are the benefits of APIs in banking?

There are several benefits of APIs in banking.

  1. First of all, it provides the third parties with secure access to their banking services, which helps them build specialised products and services. By sharing customer data more easily, companies become more equipped and informed about customer preferences and can provide products and services accordingly. This can reduce their waste costs and increase profit margins.
  2. With Open Banking APIs, banks and fintechs are forced to compete against each other in terms of customer experience – creating a more even playing field. As well as competing, they can collaborate with the most best in class third parties, which can benefit the banks, the third parties, and the customers.
  3. By integrating more traditional services such as card processing, businesses are able to provide their customers with the convenience that they have come to expect. This way, companies are better equipped to maintain customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Conclusion

Due to the technological advancements happening at such a fast rate it can become difficult for small businesses to keep up with the trends and giant companies. Open bank APIs provide small businesses with the opportunity to improve their performance by improving customer experience.

With COVID-19 still looming over us, our financial security still hangs in the balance as jobs and businesses still haven’t fully recovered yet. And while we’re already seeing people getting the vaccine, we’re still unsure about its effectiveness.

While traditional businesses like window companies or groceries seem to be doing okay, for the time being, a lot of them went through retrenchments and furloughs that sent plenty of workers packing and heading for home with no job security.

For this reason, a lot of folks are still apprehensive about going back to their workplaces and would still prefer remote work arrangements. Either that or get a home-based business going to help sustain them and their families in 2021.

If you’re one of those people who are considering doing something worth your while and get to stay home, here are a few business ideas that could make you some good money in 2021.

  1. Translation

Understanding and speaking several languages is quite an edge, especially in today’s time where the world has gotten smaller, and people from different regions interact more. If you’re bilingual, consider monetizing that skill by providing translation services to different clients and companies.

  1. Dropshipping

If you want to earn from home by selling stuff online but don’t have enough capital or storage space for inventory, then dropshipping is the way to go. It allows you to set up an online store without managing any physical products.

  1. Home-based Catering Services

If you know your way around the kitchen and have a knack for cooking up great tasting dishes, you can make a decent amount of money by providing home-based catering services.

  1. Website Flipping

You’ve heard of house flipping. Now we introduce website flipping. This has been around for quite some time now. And it is exactly what it sounds like. You can buy an existing website, make the necessary improvements on content and design, and resell for a profit. The only thing required is a bit of technical know-how, but once you’ve learned it, it’s pretty easy.

  1. Personal Shopper

If you’re into fashion and trends and love to shop, then this is probably the dream job for you. Who doesn’t want to get paid to do something as easy as lifestyle shopping? You can offer your shopping expertise to clients who don’t have the time, the sense of style, nor the patience to shop.

  1. Online Tutoring and Teaching

Online learning is the way to go now, especially in light of the pandemic we’re all in. The demand for online teachers and tutors has spiked over the past few months, making it a lucrative option for people.

  1. Instagram Consultation Services

If you’re Instagram-savvy and have great knowledge in making the most engaging IG content, then you might want to consider IG consultation services. Many clients are willing to spend good money on highly-engaging and attractive IG ads that can convert leads into transactions.

  1. Content Writing

Almost every business and establishment with some sort of online presence needs great quality content to keep them relevant to their target market. This is where SEO and content writing comes in. Content writers provide content for clients’ blogs and product pages to engage a company’s existing and potential clients online.

  1. App Development

A lot of companies nowadays use apps for their business. For this reason, app development has become a very profitable small business venture, especially when the cost of starting one has gone down due to the increase in affordable tools and developers.

As 2020 comes to an end and 2021 opens its doors to us, may you find the right business for you that will not only help provide for your family’s needs but also keep you and yours safe and healthy until this pandemic lets up. Stay healthy and enjoy the holidays!

The real estate market in the US is growing. The market was priced at $16 trillion in 2018 and is expected to grow by 7% each year in the 2016 to 2025 forecast period. With numbers like this, it’s no surprise that more people are becoming realtors each year. However, not everyone should expect to earn a lot during their first few years in the business. It’s important to ground yourself and know the ins-and-outs before becoming an agent and what you need to do when starting. Here are some things you should know before becoming a real estate agent in the US.

Kinds of Estates

Before getting into the market, you should know the different estates you can and cannot sell. There are two kinds of estates: freehold estates and nonfreehold estates.

Freehold estates are considered to be the “ownership” category of an estate. There are two kinds of freehold estate, the first is fee simple, and the second is a life estate. Fee simple is the best kind of ownership in a property because it means that you own everything within its location. It also means that your heir can inherit the land when you pass away. Life estate means that you only own the property until the day you pass away, which means the government or the bank (depending on the agreement you’ve signed) claims it when you’re gone.

Non-freehold estates are considered to be estates with leases. These properties are meant for rentals. There are multiple forms of non-freehold estates, all-determining the lease’s length and what owners can do with the property. At its core, those who rent a non-freehold estate can stay within it for a year or only for a certain period. Some non-freehold estates can also determine when you can stay or leave at any time. This is also called ‘estate at will.’

As a real estate agent, you should know the kind of estate you will be selling. By law, you cannot sell a freehold life estate if it’s an heir who tells you to do so. Because by law, the heir does not own the property. Knowing the kinds of estates is essential to real estate planning. This will help you and your company plot properties that can be sold or properties for lease. Not knowing this can lead to disastrous consequences in the future. Such as a bank reclaiming a property you have just sold to a buyer. This can drag you to pay for legal fees and can be fraudulent in some states.

Real Estate Laws

Although real estate law may differ depending on which state you might be practicing, it’s essential to know how ownership of real estate works. If you already know the kind of estate you will be selling or renting, you already know the laws governing it. Additionally, if you already know the constitutional right to own a property, you already know the general principles of owning and selling a property.

However, there are some intricate things you should know when selling or renting a property. One example is the necessary inspections you need to do before selling a property. If you work for a real estate agency, then most likely than not, your agency does this for you. However, if you’re an independent contractor, you’ll have to help the house owner with these inspections. These inspections include radon testing, pest inspection, and septic inspection. These intricate things can make or break your deal with a client so make sure to keep yourself updated with any changes to real estate laws.

Real Estate Market

The last thing you should know before becoming a real estate agent is the market. Right now, the market is seeing a shortage of properties that can be sold. Inventory is down by 22% compared to last year, and there aren’t enough homes for future homeowners to buy. This means that you can either tell your clients to opt for renting a property or buy one at an inflated price.

Knowing the market is already half the battle in real estate. The market determines the interest rates, the prices of properties, and how much all of these things change in a given year. Sure, it can be volatile and unpredictable, but you can keep an eye on it. By knowing the market, you can have a competitive advantage against other real estate agents in the market.

Being a real estate agent is not an easy job. It requires a lot of time and determination. You should also be ready to not earn as much during the first few months you’ve started. But once you’ve mastered the art of real estate, you should be able to get ahead of the competition and begin selling properties left and right.