10 Ways the USD Affects World Markets

The United States is the world’s strongest and largest economy. US currency remains dominant over other global currencies in the international markets. The behavior of the US Dollar impacts global markets significantly, culminating to both positive and adverse consequences in these markets.

Here are 10 ways that the USD affects world markets:

A stronger USD slows down trade in the international markets. A stronger USD weakens the other currencies in global markets, making it more expensive to purchase dollar-denominated commodities.
However, these markets also get excited if they are exporting to the United States. The stronger dollar causes depreciation of the local currencies in these markets, creating inflation of the domestic currencies.
When the USD rallies against other currencies, demand shifts from the United States market to the global markets, hence increasing economic and financial activity in the global markets.
A stronger USD also attracts capital inflows in foreign direct investment (FDI) and other investment from USD investors to these markets. This is mostly experienced in developing countries where the markets are emerging markets with high economic growth rates.
Capital inflows in USD in these foreign markets spur economic activities such as lending, employment, and consumption, hence stimulating growth in these markets.
Commodities such as precious metals and oil in the international market are quoted in USD. Therefore, the performance of the USD determines the cost of living in world markets. The consequences of a weaker USD to these markets include lower gas prices while a stronger USD makes the gas more expensive to purchase for the consumer.
Global financial markets monitor the USD closely to ascertain the spot price for fast moving commodities. Any fluctuations in the USD trigger a series of sales and purchases of these commodities in speculation of either outcome based on the behavior of the dollar.
A hike in the Federal Reserve rate causes the dollar to become more expensive for investors. This can trigger capital flight from these markets; slowing growth and reducing demand for USD-denominated products.
Also, high-interest rates can reduce USD liquidity and subsequently reduce investment, resulting in job losses and a global recession as recently experienced in the 2007 global recession.
As a reserve currency and standard international currency in most countries, the interest rate of the USD determines the cost of financing foreign debts for the global markets. The foreign exchange rate of the USD determines interest paid and the accessibility of credit in the world financial market while still having an impact on the balance of payment based on the USD reserves held by an entity.

Chris Bouchard is a strategic consultant who works with non-profit leaders and social entrepreneurs to apply concepts and techniques to identify complex strategic issues, find practical solutions, and devise strategies to create and win a unique strategic position. He also offers project development, proposal writing, and project evaluation services.

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The Investment Mistake Otha Anders Made

In 2015, an elderly Louisiana gentleman cashed in at a nearby bank, a truckload of 55-gallon plastic water jugs of pennies that he had collected over the previous 45 years. After the last penny had been counted, Otha Anders received over $5,130 as the total amount for his pennies. That’s over 510,000 pennies. To the general public, this news probably sounded wonderful, but to every American numismatist who collects and buys coins for fun and profit, Anders lost a lot of money.

According to the News-Star of Monroe, La., Anders referred to each of his pennies was a “God-given incentive reminding me to always be thankful.” In Anders case, however, a “penny saved” may be more than “a penny earned.” Many of those that he cashed in to get instant money, would have been worth more money.

Since Anders began his penny hoarding in 1970, he would have picked up many “wheat” pennies that the Mint struck between 1909 to 1958. Even today, there are still many “wheat” cents in penny rolls and circulating change. When he started saving in 1970, he would have found many wheat cents in great condition. Over the last 45 years, most of each of those pennies would become more valuable than one cent.

According to the “Guide Book of United States Coins 2015″ by R.S. Yeoman, wheat cent values ranged from $.10 in “good” condition to several hundred dollars in “almost” uncirculated condition. Also, the guide records a few extremely rare pennies that were worth up to $5,000 in uncirculated conditions. However, it would be impossible to estimate how much the numismatic value of the entire collection might be; each coin would have to have been examined by reputable coin dealers who could have helped him sell his collection, but it’s easy to imagine Anders would have made over $20,000 if he had had the patience to get them evaluated.

In addition to numismatic value, there is a precious metal value for the price of all of the coin’s weight in copper. All American copper coins struck until 1981 contained 95% copper. According to the “InvestmentMine” website, in 2015 the average value of copper was $2.86 per pound. All of Anders’ pennies together weighed over 2,800 pounds. So, if he picked out all of the coins, we’d multiply 2,800 pounds and 2.86 the sum in copper would have been a total of roughly $8,000. However, a conservative estimate of the number of pennies made of copper was 75%, we’d get about $6,000, which is about $900 more than he received.

Although Anders received over $5,100 for his enormous collection, he could have gotten much more if he took the time to get all of them evaluated by a trained numismatist. However, the good news is that if you live in or near Louisiana, you could buy many rolls of pennies from local banks and probably find some of those higher valued wheat cents.

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Uncomfortable, But Important Conversations

The sudden death of pop music icon Prince came as a shock to his fans. The revelation that he apparently died without a will shines a spotlight on the importance of confronting uncomfortable financial planning topics, especially because life sometimes ends unexpectedly.

As a financial planner, I help clients plan for the futures they anticipate, but I also stress the importance of being prepared for the unexpected. Drafting and signing a will, obtaining insurance coverage to cover catastrophic losses like disability and premature death, and saving money for a rainy day are just some of the measures I regularly discuss with my clients under the heading “just in case.”

Unfortunately, Prince may have failed to address at least one of these just-in-case scenarios. As a result, Minnesota state law will probably decide, in a very public process, how his estate is divided and administered. It is virtually certain that the state’s decisions will be different than what Prince would have decided for himself. Prince left a sister, five living half-siblings and the children of two deceased half-siblings, all of whom are potential heirs because Minnesota law treats half-siblings the same as full siblings. The court-supervised process could easily lead to an extended intrafamily battle.

Prince’s profession muddies the waters even further. Musical collaborators who wrote or recorded with Prince probably will have some claim to his recordings and intellectual property. Unreleased music will be subject to claims by both the singer’s estate and Warner Music Group. The complications of valuing not only his music, but his image and other nontangible assets, will doubtless make the estate’s tax liability another point of contention.

Acing “Financial Planning 101″ will ensure that you are better prepared for the unexpected than Prince was, but taking these preliminary steps is not enough. It is also essential to communicate your intentions and plans to your family during your lifetime. Even though they might not ultimately agree with how you decide to distribute your assets, at least they will understand your reasoning.

Prince was not a delegator. As The New York Times reported, he “fought hard to retain as much control as possible” in his lifetime business dealings. (1) Many do-it-yourselfers are the same way. Unfortunately, the more controlling or secretive you are with your finances, the more difficult it will be for those who take over when you are no longer able to handle them yourself. In addition to creating more work for your successors, failing to communicate also puts them at risk of missing critical payments, failing to claim insurance benefits or overlooking certain assets.

Professionals often emphasize the importance of business succession plans, but personal succession plans are also important. First steps include sharing information about your current financial position and your wishes with your spouse and adult children. You might also want to engage a financial planner to begin to take over some responsibilities. Not only will delegation relieve you of certain tasks, but it will ensure someone else knows how to sort through your affairs if something happens to you unexpectedly.

Open communication about your financial decisions is important at other stages as well. Adult children should understand what their parents’ financial position is, how they manage their finances, who they delegate certain responsibilities to, and where they keep important financial and legal documents. Their parents’ example can help adult children manage their own financial lives, and it also prepares them to step in if the parents become incapable of managing their own affairs due to accident or cognitive decline.

In an ideal world, parents would initiate these financial conversations. In reality, many people find discussing personal finances a daunting prospect. Since parents do not always start the discussion, adult children should broach the topic if they think their parents won’t. Whichever side of the conversation you are on, remember that open communication is not an all or nothing proposition. Beginning to delve into financial topics, even at a superficial level, can break the ice and lead to more substantive conversations over time.

As Prince’s untimely death reminds us, tragedy does not always offer forewarning. Planning ahead, and discussing your plans with your loved ones, can make a tragic situation a little more bearable for those left behind.

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A Guide for a 50 Year Old Planning for the Future

Whether your “Only Hillary” or “Only Trump” – or for that matter “Never Hillary” or “Never Trump” – one thing is undeniable. There is no person on earth that will correct the host of issues that are facing this country in a four-year or even eight-year term. It is simply impossible to course correct that quickly. There is a convergence of issues facing our economy – some have been caused by man and some are just the by-products of issues that no one ever considered such as people living as long as they are today.

Think of four or five major highways all coming to a point where they meet. This is a good way of visualizing what we are facing. The challenge is that no one knows if they will all meet at the same time and when that will be. These “highways” could be named “entitlements”, “money supply”, “world unrest”, “debt”, “jobs”, just to name a few biggies.

On the “entitlement” front our government (with possibly the best intentions) have created an atmosphere over the last 50 years where many citizens take the approach that the government is responsible (to what degree is debatable) for their well-being when in fact government was never intended to take this role. These social programs have caused a major drain on our productivity and correcting them (or eliminating them) is political suicide. On the “money supply” front the decision of President Nixon to remove us from the Gold Standard (where each dollar in circulation was backed by gold held in reserves) is turning out to be a tragic decision. The ability to print endless amounts of dollars is leading to the world reconsidering our dollar as the “gold standard” in trade. This is leading to a host of issues facing this country. This is not a republican or democratic caused problem. Think of it like this – if you had a printer in your basement that pushed out an endless supply of $100 dollar bills – how often would you use it?

On the “world unrest” front – the financial stage is so integrated internationally that splashes abroad can cause waves of concern here on our shores. China’s actions are of major concerns to the US and they are positioning their currency to someday be the “gold standard” around the globe. The amount of gold reserves that they are stockpiling – from what can be gathered – is staggering. They are of the opinion that the US is vulnerable.

On the “debt” front – with our National Debt now approaching $20 trillion – the interest payments facing our country are growing to a point where they may stifle (or strangle) our productivity. Interest payments on debt will soon be the fourth largest budget item for our country. Keeping interest rates artificially low (in actuality in real negative territory) helps keep the interest payments lower – but hampers our citizens from earning a reasonable return on their hard earned savings.

On the “jobs” front – statistically American’s are earning less now than they did in the 1970′s – even taking into account that most households are two-income. This data is compiled taking into account inflation – what it costs today versus what it costed back in the 1970′s. At the heart of this issue is the value of the dollar (see paragraph above) and entitlements which have caused governments (from DC to Main Street) to continually raise taxes to support programs. This in turn has eroded “discretionary income” for most American’s. Work harder – make less.

My clients today predominately comes in two forms. First – are those that are 12 – 30 years my senior. Most are retired (or soon to be) and have amassed what they could and are now implementing income and protection strategies to see them through their retirement. The second are my institutional clients – associations, religious, credit unions, corporate, etc. that are utilizing the products that I offer as a way to protect and create sustainable interest to enhance their income. Many of these institutions once flocked to traditional banking products but the low interest rates have caused them to seek other safe money strategies for their funds. I am 50 years old this year and will soon be a 30-year veteran of the financial services industry. I am more convinced today than at any point prior that the way that my contemporaries should plan for retirement come down to three simple courses of action (I use the word “simple” for levity purposes). And they are:

- No Debt – no mortgage debt, no car loans, no Parent-Plus loans, no credit card, no debt!!

- Guaranteed Income Sources – Social Security, Pensions (if one is so lucky to have), Annuity Payments, Cash Value Life Insurance, Income Producing Real Estate Holdings,

- Dividend Paying Quality Stocks

- Crisis Plan – cash on hand equal to at least 60 days of household expenses, some gold/silver in hand, food reserves for at least 30 days, some protection and ammunition on hand.

On the first goal – “no debt” – that may mean to own only one house instead of two like many of my contemporaries do. It may mean to downsize earlier than normal to provide time to pay off mortgage debt while still working. It may mean to drive cars that are good – not great. It may mean to place more of the burden of college tuition on the shoulders of our children then to take it onto our own balance sheets. It certainly means to practice “delayed gratification” which is a major issue for our generation.

On the second goal – “guaranteed income sources” – my thought is that with no debt folks can tailor their standard of living to the income that they have coming in each month – as long as that income is secure. As I have said to some of my buddies – that may mean drinking “Coors Light” instead of “Craft Beers” all the time. I may need to fish in the Pocono’s more than take trips north.

On the third goal – “crisis plan” – this is just common sense. If things in this country really went to hell – I would hope that order would be established in a short amount of time by our government. But in the meantime – while we are waiting for the “cavalry” to arrive – I want to be able to eat, drink, protect my loved ones, and if needed trade for supplies.

In closing – as the saying goes “no one has a crystal ball” and all we can do is look at the picture before us – not turn a blind eye or put our heads in the sand – and plan accordingly. This is the plan that I have begun to implement for my own family. My hopes are that in the next 10 years I will achieve these goals – God willing. I have told my wife Janis many times that my plans will never make us rich but should almost guarantee that we will never be poor.

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Benefits of Credit Card Machines for Business

Other than credit card machines, technology has produced many notable effects, including the credit card machine. In the 21st century, people open themselves up to technology from the very center of their being. It has the added benefit of leading to an increase in the use of credit and debit cards. Additionally, the coronavirus’ arrival has also contributed to the increased use of contactless transactions. EMV cards are replacing magistrate premium cards. EMV chip cards give you the ability to make contactless payments. The merchants must have advanced payment terminals to accept such payments.

Credit and debit cards are used almost exclusively in today’s business world. To take your business to the next level, you must associate it with a credit card machine. The processing and payment services you need for online sales include a merchant processor that provides you with an online payment gateway. There will always be online modes that people will prefer to use, regardless of the volume of transactions. As a result, you have to use an advanced piece of equipment, such as a credit card machine, in tandem with your business.

Advantages:

Just because we’re living in the 21st century, it’s impossible to conceive of life without modern technology. A large number of businessmen prefer to stick to established business models. However, sometimes you have to alter your plans according to the current situation. This means that you need to be one step ahead of everyone else in the business. You will lose customers otherwise. An establishment that gets access to a credit card machine will enjoy countless benefits. Listed the benefits; so, don’t miss the following:

Obtain Legal Recognition for Your Company:

Accepting card payments using digital payment terminals is a legitimate business practice, so it should help your company a lot. The card brand name will be printed on the POS, and thus the customers will have no problem noticing it. This logo will be featured on the same online marketplace as well. The greater the number of customers from outside the country, the more money you’ll make.

Increase Your Profitability:

To accept various forms of payment, like credit cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and more, use a credit card machine at your business. Creating a positive impression on your customers is quite simple, but it also keeps your customers loyal. A credit card machine, thus granting flexibility in the ecosystem of online payment, provides customers with many payment options, thus allowing them to pay bills in various ways.

How to stay ahead of the competition:

Many businessmen have not yet fully embraced digital equipment, making small-business models in the early stages of transition. To accept online payments, your business equipment must be upgraded. If customers are no longer carrying cash, you can outpace your competitors. Research has shown that when customers use their cards to make a purchase, they spend more. Additionally, because you will make a substantial profit from accepting card payments, it’s highly recommended that you do so.

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Super Visa Insurance Monthly Pay North York

Note: SV is Super Visa

What is a Canadian Super Visa?

It is a Visa for parents or grandparents. It is a temporary resident permit that allows parents and grandparents to stay for up to 2 years in Canada per visit. Issued for parents and grandparents of citizens or permanent residents in Canada. It has validity for up to 10 years. A regular multiple-entry visa is also valid for up to 10 years, but only allows stays of up to 6 months per visit.

What is the processing time of a Super Visa?

The approximate processing time of a SV is short and takes almost 8 weeks. There are also specific requirements that one must meet before applying for a SV.

What Are The Mandatory Requirements To Apply for This Visa?

The govt of Canada has laid down some mandatory rules for parents and grandparents to apply for a SV. Those rules are,
1) Proof of their relationship with the child or grandchild who must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident.
2) A copy of the child’s or grandchild’s birth certificate.
3) A proof of medical examination document.
4) An official document naming the applicant as the parent.
5) A satisfactory evidence of a private medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company valid for one year from the date of entry.

Can The Parents Or Grandparents Work With A Super Visa?

No, the parents or grandparents are not permitted to work as their visa has the same restrictions as a visit visa holder.

What is a SV Insurance?

With the above information provided, now we know to whom a SV is issued and who apply for a SV. Not only the parents and grandparents require a SV, but also a medical insurance before entering Canada. The medical insurance should be no less than CAD $100,000 in coverage for health care, hospitalization and repatriation. This step is mandatory for the SV applicants.

SV applicants have to submit a proof of purchasing a medical insurance from a private insurance company.

There are a lot of medical insurance companies in Canada and North York has also got the best ones. People can go for SV insurance monthly pay North York. This facility of monthly pay gives a convenience of paying insurance charges monthly. This facility of monthly pay gives a convenience of paying insurance charges monthly.

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Setrega – A Global Analytical Regulatory Platform

Setrega is the Global Regulatory Analytical Platform which provides a comprehensive solution to the financial institutions for complying with one or more Regulatory Authorities. Through highly customizable and end-to-end automation, Setrega helps clients to configure Reporting Data, Reporting API, Connecting/Integrating Settings, Report Generation Requirements, Report Validation Requirements, Report Submission Mode and Feedback Management. As a Global Regulatory Analytical Platform, Setrega is designed to integrate with any financial services firms to receive regulatory data and process them to regulatory reports in specific formats with minimum customization effort.

Currently, all financial institutions are facing problems with dynamic changes in regulatory requirements, implementation risks associated with regulatory reporting and managing regulatory report error handling. All financial institutions are forced to adapt to these challenges and continuously seek for solutions which are cost-effective and accurate, with real-time feedback management. Sensiple’s Setrega fits into this emerging environment by supporting multiple Regulatory Authorities with an end-to-end automated solution.

Regulation Complied Preconfigured – ESMA – MIFIR/MiFID II, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia (SFC) etc.,
Significant benefits of the Global Regulatory Analytical Platform are,

Automation Capability

Financial Institutions gets the advantage of preparing and submitting regulatory reports without manual effort.

Comply with new Regulations without risk

Setrega provides flexible data source configuration, API mapping and reporting format changes with minimum customization in product level which ensures relief from regulatory and compliance risks for the financial institutions working in various regions.

Scalability

Depending on the Institutions type like Buy Side/ Sell Side/venues, Setrega is scalable in terms of increasing number of connections, the humongous volume of data, more number of reports and formats, increased number of submission modes and regulatory authorities.

Transparency

Handling a large volume of data gives challenges in managing data to auditing; Setrega makes it more accessible by allowing the clients to have full control over data by powerful data transparency method.

Dashboard

Setrega act as a one-stop shop for all regulatory reporting for financial institutions. A vastly informative dashboard in Setrega provides all historical, current and scheduled regulatory reports and its internal & external statuses in graphical and tabular representations.

Regional Coverage

Financial firms who run their business across the globe get benefited from Setrega as one solution solves all the regulatory and compliance needs. It is successfully verified with major regulatory frameworks like MiFID II and NFA (National Futures Association) and regulatory authorities like SEC and SFC.

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Handle Your Finances With Care

It takes years to gather a handsome amount of money, and if it is not handled properly, your most prized possession would soon escape from your hands like sand. This is the reason why people go for financial planning. It gives you a great sense of satisfaction when you know that your money is in safe hands and is being handled with utmost care.

However, not many people are aware of the process involved in financial planning. Based on your financial position, it is very important to go ahead with personal planning because if you don’t start planning well in advance, then you might face several challenges in the future.

Financial advisors suggest all individuals follow these six basic key principles for financial planning.

• Analyse your current financial status: To be able to plan for future you should first be very confident about your current financial position. Make a checklist of all the assets and liabilities and your income and expenditure. Having this information at hand, you would be in a clear position to understand how you can achieve your financial goals. Your total financial worth would help you to determine the ways to accomplish your set goals, which include paying for your children’s education, buying a new property or being ready for any financial emergency like the loss of a job.

• Chalk out your financial goals: In order to accumulate wealth, a lot of planning has to be done in order to achieve the desired goals. Setting goals would give you an urge to go ahead to achieve it. Your list of financial goals should be very specific, which would show that they are crystal clear in your mind.

• Plan for alternatives: You cannot expect your planning to go as per your wish, so you should always have a plan B at hand. After listing down your goals you plan for alternatives as well.

• Analyse the alternative options: You should ponder upon the feasibility of the alternative ways taking into account your social, personal and economic condition at present. The liquidity of your assets also matters in this regard.

• Creation and execution of your financial plan of action: Once you have planned about your alternative options and have analysed its feasibility, it is time for you to put these plans into action.

• Review your plan: Since financial planning is very dynamic process it is subject to change at any moment. So, it is always advisable to keep reviewing your plans every now and then.

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The Security Intelligence in The Financial Services

Security intelligence is the data related to safeguarding an organization from any outside and inside threats along with the processes, and policies developed to accumulate and evaluate the information.

It can also be referred to as the actual collection, standardization, and analysis of the data created by users, applications, and structures that influence the IT security and risk position of a business.

On a daily basis, information flows in organizations for the senior management to make smart decisions. The various stakeholders (employees, customers, contractors) are interfaced through various technologies.

However, the technological infrastructure can also result in serious security issues. The probable areas of intrusion are unlimited. Security experts and business leaders are trying to find an answer to the question – Is it feasible to have a robust security in an increasingly interfaced environment?

Though the answer is yes, it needs a radical transformation in processes and practices encompassing the financial services sector. The focus is not only on IT. Robust security facilitates a positive customer experience.

Cybercrime and Profitability

Financial institutions are at great risk since they are perceived to be an easy target for cybercriminals. According to a survey by IBM, “Financial markets, insurance, computer and professional services together account for over 40% of all security incidents worldwide.”

The losses, pertaining to cybercrime in other sectors could be due to industrial intelligence and fraud related to intellectual property, but in banking, online fraud is a possibility.

Any fraud related to the intellectual property and industrial intelligence could lead to reduced shareholder value, shut down of the business and net financial losses. These are the issues impacting the global financial sector, not only because the main reasons are not identified or the disruption to the customer is immediate, but also because they can result in a significant loss of money.

As per Andrew Haldane, Financial Stability Director at the Bank of England, “Cyber-risk has become a more pressing concern than economic depression and the Eurozone crisis, as it is a rapidly rising area of risk with potentially systemic implications”.

Comprehending the seriousness of the security risk is only a beginning. Financial institutions must establish an in-depth security intelligence strategy that would enable the financial institutions to have an insight into the perceived threats.

Financial institutions leverage top-notch analytics to get an understanding of:

The types of attacks that are occurring.
The probable source of the attacks.
The technology used by the cyber criminals.
Weak spots that could be exploited in the future.

Michael Davison, Banking and Financial Markets, IBM, stated,” There’s not another single issue that unites the interests of so many people at senior levels of banks. It unites technology, the CFO, security and compliance functions. But cybersecurity is also mission critical for people running lines of business and who are running P&Ls. So quite rightly it sits on the Board agenda. But there’s still work to do to educate Boards about the urgency of an effective response to the rapidly changing environment.”

Financial institutions must implement the following practices to get the balance between the required innovation and the related risk:

Establish a risk-conscious culture

An organizational transformation with an emphasis on zero tolerance towards a security failure must be established.
An initiative encompassing the organizational hierarchy to execute smart analytics and automated response competencies is needed to identify and resolve issues.

Safeguard the Working Environment

The functions in distinct devices must be examined by a centralized authority and the wide array of information in an institution must be categorized, tagged with its risk profile and circulated to the concerned personnel.

Security Design

The greatest problem with the IT systems and the unnecessary costs is from executing services initially and looking at security afterwards. Security has to be a part of the application from the first phase of design.

Ensure A Safe Environment

If the system is secure, security personnel can monitor every program that’s functioning; ensure it is ongoing and operating at optimal level.

Manage the Network

Organizations that route approved data through controlled entry points will be in a better position to identify and separate the malware.

Cloud Based Security

To prosper in a cloud scenario, organizations should possess the technology to operate in a secluded environment and track probable issues.

Involve Vendors

An organization’s security strategy must also involve its vendors and efforts must be made to establish the best practices among the vendors.

Financial firms have been a major target for malware attacks. Several aspects are impacting the financial sector. The direct connection between the breach of several personally identifiable information (PII) to the profitability has not been lost on the global financial stakeholders. This has led to the implementation of several global security projects.

A hazardous type of malware for online financial transactions is “Man-in-the-Browser” intrusions. It happens when a malicious program affects an internet browser. The program adjusts activities conducted by the user and in some instances, can initiate actions independently. It could lead to online stealing.

Financial institutions that can transform radically at a fundamental level, the way they function would be safeguarded.

The aim of enterprise security could initially emphasis on IT structures, it must be extended from the technology personnel & their systems to each individual within the organization, and all the stakeholders conducting business with it.

Financial firms must comprehend the data that they have, which must be made available to the system, where they can compare and develop a real understanding of the actual threats and contingencies that may compromise the business.

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Tips On How To Spend Your Windfall Income

As individuals, especially workers we sometimes get windfall incomes in forms of bonuses, profit shares, etc. However, a lot of the time the temptation is to spend the money on acquiring a new car, new clothes, shoes, new phones, among other things. While acquiring these things in themselves is not a bad idea, it is wiser to use windfall incomes for things that will have long term positive impart on our lives especially because we do not have a full grabs of what tomorrow will bring.

For workers just starting off or in mid level careers, it is really important not to squander windfall incomes on non-essentials.

Many years ago during the mid 2000s, when the banking and telecommunication really became big industries, many banks and telecommunication companies paid bonuses and profit shares to their staff on a yearly basis. Most new staff and mid level staff squandered their money on buying cars, renting new apartments in high brow areas and changing their wardrobes almost every 3 months. Nite clubs were packed every Friday night with each person almost trying to out do the other in terms money spent.

Today, the story is different. The global economy is almost comatose. Banks are no longer giving huge bonuses, neither are telecommunication companies doing any better. The oil industry is in shambles. Every industry is operating lean.

Windfall incomes will not come all the time as the economic realities have now shown us. So if you are fortunate to get a bonus or profit share that amounts to something reasonable, here are a few tips on how to spend wisely:

1) Invest in real estate: As much as this sounds like really over flogged, it is a wise counsel. A businessman once said, “the only Estate that is Real is Real Estate”. Real estate is big business. There is a huge demand for rental apartments especially mini flats and 2 bedroom flats. There are several real estate companies offering instalments payment options for those interested in buying land. You can invest your windfall income in buying a half plot or full plot of land. I will advice you buy from a real estate company rather than directly from the community especially if you do not have funds for immediate development.

The simple reason is that the real estate company usually would have sorted out community settlement issues with the land owners and so you can be rest assured that you land is at least secure from land grabbers. Also, by buying from a real estate company, you will benefit from quick capital appreciation of your investment and rapid development of the locations since there will be several people also buying and developing their property in that location. Another advantage of investing in real estate is that after developing the property, you can put it up for rent if you do not wish to reside in that location and use the rental income to pay for your rent in your desired location.

2) Invest in a part-time business: If you already have a business that you can run part- time alongside your full-time job, you should invest your windfall income in that business. You can buy the needed equipments or register for a training programme that will increase your expertise in that business area. If you do not already have business idea, you may want to consider doing some research to see what part-time business to invest in.

3) Invest in education: You can invest your windfall income in further education that will boost your profile and give you a better chance at a higher paying role in your industry or another industry entirely. You an also invest in the education of your loved ones like your spouse, children or siblings (if you have this responsibility thrust on you)

4) Invest in Marriage: Yes! you read me right.

This is for those who believe in marriage. If you have a partner and your really desire to spend the rest of your life with the person, then invest your windfall income towards settling down. You can start making down payments for some critical items on your list. Marriage is an investment in your lifetime happiness.

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