Image source: FIFA

All eyes were on the World Cup final over the weekend—from tiny offshore investment center Bermuda to football powerhouse Brazil. Eventually, France waved their flag of victory among the 32 teams that competed for that elusive championship. However, beyond the medals and the golden trophies, one of the most highly anticipated and talked-about legacies of this international sporting event is its economic impact – especially on the host nations.

Even just at the early stages that led to the 2018 World Cup, analysts have shared their predictions on how the sporting competition can make or unmake Russia’s economy.  While there was a rising optimism from Russian officials of how it can boost the country’s financial standing after the game, the final calculations of a whopping cost of over $12 billion may find recouping a challenging feat.

The fears of an impending failure to recover from the financial responsibilities of hosting the World Cup were expressed by financial and economic experts, citing the similar outcomes from host nations in the past. According to economists, the month-long event would deliver very little and limited benefits to the Russian economy.

Additionally, Moody’s Investor Service emphasized that Russia should at least expect short-lived economic benefit from and hosting the renowned FIFA World Cup Tournament. In fact, these are already visible through growth in infrastructure spending, boost in tourism and related sectors like hotels and restaurants, and the increased sales for retailers and small-scale business.

While the economic benefits of the World Cup for Russia remains debatable, FIFA, on the other hand, has been reported to have brought home $6 billion in revenue. The amount is actually 25 per cent more than what the international organization earned in 2014 Brazil.

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In order to measure the size of a country’s economy accurately, one of the factors to look at is its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In definition, it represents the overall value of everything that a nation produces in which citizens, local companies, and even foreign-owned companies are the main contributors.

In calculating GDP, you have to look at the four major components that directly determine the country’s annual economic output: personal consumption, government spending, net exports, and business investment.

Personal consumption expenditure, as the name suggests, measures consumer spending of an entire country’s population. Basically, this component tells you how people spend money on the available goods and services in the country.

Government spending, on the other hand, represents the country’s government expenditures, investment, transfer of payments and consumption.

Business Investments are the purchases that companies within the boundaries of a country make in order to generate and produce new consumer goods.

Lastly, the net exports of goods and services measure how a country’s performance on imports and exports make or unmake their GDP. Exports directly add to a nation’s GDP while imports subtract.  The United States, for instance, holds the world’s largest GDP in terms of nominal GDP. However, U.S. is also known for importing more products than it exports, resulting in a trade deficit.

In 2017 alone, the United States suffered from the results of how their imports subtracted $2.81 trillion from their annual calculations while only adding a total of $2.19 trillion from their total exports that year. Such deficit then led to the international trade subtracting a massive amount of $620 billion from the United States’ GDP.

The world’s emerging countries have recorded the most impressive GDP growth rates in the past couple of decades. As a result, the likes of China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Egypt, among others, have received considerable attention from international companies, investors, and even offshore investment firms.

For more about the global economy, investing, the stock market, and finance as a whole, follow LOM Financial on Facebook.

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Globalization in terms of business operations has reached a new peak in the past decade. Certifiably so, many large firms from various industries have extended their businesses and built several facilities outside their borders for a wider market reach and higher-volume production. The four transnational corporations below are some of the world’s largest and dominant businesses that have presence in almost every corner of the world, today:

 

  1. Apple

A creation of Steve Jobs, Ronal Wayne and Steve Wozniak, Apple is widely recognized as the world’s largest and the most profitable company in terms of market capitalization. The tech giant’s reported market value was US$752 billion in 2017, with profits reaching US$229.2 billion and a net income of US$48.35 billion. With such huge figures, no wonder Apple has become an important and ubiquitous component in many investment portfolios by leading investment firms and offshore discretionary management companies such as LOM Financial, among others. Most of Apple’s revenues came from its product lines and services such as iPhones, iPads, Macs, iTunes, and software.

 

  1. Marriott International

A well-known and probably the biggest chain of hotels in the world, Marriott International is considered as one of the biggest brands in the hospitality industry. It was founded by John Willard Marriott in 1927 and is currently headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland. This multinational, fully diversified hotel brand now has more than 1.2 million hotel rooms globally with a total net profit of US$1.372 billion, as of 2017.

 

  1. FedEx Express

Founded in 1971 by Frederick W. Smith, FedEx Express is now the top and the most trusted multinational courier company that provides efficient and world-class consignment service, across 220 countries in all major continents. In addition, FedEx operates the largest cargo air fleets which have more than 691 aircraft. It is the largest freight operator of Airbus A300, ATR 42, Cessna 208, McDonnell Douglas DC-10/MD, and MD-11. With a “superhub” in Memphis, Tennessee, the company flies to more than 375 destinations worldwide.

 

  1. Toyota

Arguably the biggest and best-selling automobile manufacturer, Toyota is known for its premium and luxury brands of cars not just in its home country Japan but in all other countries as well. This eight-decade-old car manufacturer can produce more than 10 million vehicles per year since 2012. The average cost of each Toyota car ranges from $16,000 up to more than $80,000 for a Land Cruiser model.

Image source: pixabay.com

Is bigger always better? When you look at how the economies smaller countries have surprisingly outperformed their peers in terms of economic output, productivity and investment favorability, you’ll realize that it’s the complete opposite.

Gone are the days when powerful nations with huge territories top the economic ranks because of their great advantage in numbers through tangible infrastructure. Nowadays, the intangible in the form of skilled workers, industry knowledge, and advanced technologies make it possible for smaller countries to come forward and compete in the global arena.

There is a long list of physically small countries that produce a high GDP, and according to experts, they share two traits in common: the presence of high-net-worth individuals and rich investors, as well as their ability to provide a safe environment for offshore portfolio management, private banking, and other financial services.

Another factor that enables small countries to compete in terms of economy and productivity is their independence from the global stock market. Unlike bigger countries that rely on the performance and patterns of the stock market, smaller ones are shielded from risks as a result of sudden global changes and market shocks.

A study displays the potential of smaller countries with a much-developed economy. According to an analysis conducted on financial assets returns involving large (France, Germany, Italy, Japan) and small countries (Norway, Sweden, Ireland), results show bigger returns for the latter for both short and long-term periods.

Perhaps the most revealing reason is rooted in the larger countries’ stagnation and the inability of advanced economies to improve their productivity and competitiveness. Smaller countries, on the other hand, are more motivated to compete, innovate and adapt to the ever-changing demands of the global market because of their more flexible resources.

Countries like the Bahamas, Singapore, and Bermuda (where leading financial services company LOM Financial is headquartered) are popular jurisdictions for offshore investments. They are among the world’s smallest jurisdictions, but also among the most affluent.

Image source: LOM Financial

Making informed and educated decisions about your investments can be the most important when it comes to managing one’s portfolio. While it can be challenging to achieve your goals that match your objectives, as a not-so-experienced investor, learning the right steps early on can make a huge difference. Here are three of the most important portfolio management approaches that you should know about.

Asset Allocation

As its name suggests, this approach is all about dividing and distributing your portfolio among a variety of asset categories. Several options are available and some examples are bonds, stocks, and cash. The more important concern that you should think about when relying on this first approach is, how should you choose and mix these assets in your portfolio? The answer will depend on your personal objectives.

Diversification

Diversifying your portfolio shields you from unpredictable risks because spreading out your investments between and within asset categories gives you an assurance that you can still thrive in any given market condition. Investing in a diversified and wide range of options from different industries is your best bet especially when navigating through a tough financial market. You may also opt for offshore portfolio management (such as those in Bermuda, Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands) for an even wider range of assets to invest in.

Rebalancing

Your investment goals should be one of the foundations of your strategy as an investor, and rebalancing allows you stay at a comfortable level of risk.  There are instances where some investments become more dominant than the others, and rebalancing is a way of achieving the initial harmony within your portfolio while still staying true to your objectives. For instance, once an asset outgrows its expectations, you have options to sell the excess percentage of it and use the extra resources you gained to buy and nurture an underweight asset.

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Despite recent criticisms against the world’s leading Offshore Financial Centers (OFCs), experts are still positive on the essential roles of such institutions to promote growth not only in the international industries of trade and finance but on the global economy as a whole.

What are the known roles of OFCs in the modern economy that make them inevitable factors to a healthy global economy?

First of all, offshore financial centers such as the Bermuda, Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas are ideal headquarters for international finance and trade because of their efficient tax policies catered mostly to foreign investors, private and sovereign. More importantly, they provide a safe and secure environment for risk management and financial planning for high net-worth individuals and mega-corporations – the biggest participants in the global trade.

Global transactions are widely complex and current international tax treaties are incapable of managing such complexities without imposing a bigger financial toll on big investors and other participating economies. For this reason alone, investment structures offered by OFCs are the most practical options.

OFCs give companies and other investment funds to manage, process, and operate transactions on a global scale without the worries of abiding by several and often paralyzing rules. Because of this, both established and emerging markets have reaped the most rewards, thanks to the leading offshore financial centers that have continued to support the global economy by providing a simpler and more comprehensive approach to global transactions.

Lastly, OFCs have policies that enable an effective management of pooled funds, providing a more open access to a long list of international investments, and thus, a more diversified portfolio for small and big investors.

Image source: businessworld.in

Information technology has fully transformed the business industry since it was introduced to the world decades ago, but there’s no technology that has come farther than what artificial intelligence has been offering so far.

In fact, experts are optimistic that in the near future, the business sector will be unrecognizable: from innovations in business processes, increase productivity and efficient lead generation, take a closer look at how artificial intelligence is slowly changing how people do business.

  1. Autonomous Machines and Processes

The latest development in artificial intelligence technology is centered on creating a system that can mimic a human-like cognitive ability. This development could soon reduce the need for human supervision and intervention in the most common tasks in the workplace.

However, AI is also expected to create new kinds of work, collaborating with human workers to achieve common goals.

  1. Productivity and Output Boost

Several companies have discovered the productive benefits of relying on artificial intelligence in their day-to-day tasks. AI has also introduced dependable digital assistants that ensure faster and more accurate customer services.

However, the same companies admit that AI’s role in productivity in the workplace will only be effective if the technology will be programmed based on their employee’s preferences. This point debunks the idea that artificial intelligence could soon replace human workers.

  1. Automated Customer Acquisition

Generating leads and attracting customers is a vital factor in the success of a business. However, many business owners are aware of the financial costs of trying to win and retain a growing client base – and this is where the important and irreplaceable role of AI comes in.

Artificial intelligence, through automation, AI-powered databases, and machine learning, can boost the relevance of your lead-generation efforts while reducing operational costs to a minimum.

The developing world has its own list of rookies when it comes to their performance in the economic arena. However, unlike their counterparts from many developed nations, the cities of these emerging countries have come from humble beginnings and are expected to defy expectations in the coming future.

Here’s a list of three of the world’s developing cities and what they have to offer in the next couple of years.

 

  1. Thimphu, Bhutan

Image source: cntraveller.in

Although the geographic features of this mountainous country make it difficult to build modern infrastructure like pipelines and roads, Bhutan’s economic prowess relies on their focus on clean energy, hydropower. Other sources of the national income come from their progressive industries in forestry and agriculture. According to a 2017 report conducted by the Asian Development Bank, the country’s economy is set to grow by 9.9% this year.

 

  1. Accra, Ghana

Image source: tourist-destinations.com

Thanks to its country’s currently stable political and independent legal systems, Ghana’s economic expansion is no longer just a prospect but an inevitable reality. In fact, even after its democratization, its economic performance has dramatically improved and was evident in its 2017 economic reports. Additionally, the country’s cocoa, gold and oil reserves, discovered in 2010, are starting to contribute to an economically competitive future.

 

  1. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Image source: afktravel.com

While Ethiopia is still considered the one of the world’s least developed nations, the country’s services industry, as well as its active construction sector, is expected to change all that. In fact, one of its greatest achievements in 2011 was reducing its poverty level to 31%. Based on World Bank’s economic forecast, it will transform into a middle-income country come 2025.

It seems like Apple is pushing down-market quite strongly, making its products more accessible through lower pricing. Will this strategy eventually win the tech giant a sizable number of new users? This article from the Business Insider has some interesting ideas on the matter.

 

A very luxury-focused Apple photo

 

For years, Apple customers would complain about the “Apple Tax” — the premium over similar products from other companies that you would have to pay for Apple’s design and software.

It was an earned reputation. Apple stuff is premium, and increasingly, it’s sold as a luxury product as well — think of the $20,000 gold Apple Watch.

But Apple’s announcement on Tuesday, in which it revealed a new low-cost iPad and upgraded the least-expensive iPhone, shows that Apple has started to compete on price as well. The tech industry should take note.

If Apple starts using its massive cash pile to undercut its competitors and deflate entire product categories, that’s a big deal.

On Tuesday, Apple dropped the price of a fine, fast, and big iPad to $330 — a price below similar devices from Samsung, Lenovo, and Microsoft. Apple already dominated the high-end tablet market, and just undercut many of its Android competitors.

Apple’s iPhone SE got an upgrade, bumping its default storage up from 16GB to 32GB. It’s not a full refresh, but it shows that Apple is still giving love and attention to even its cheapest iPhone.

The low prices for these two updated device follow a trend that independent Apple analyst Neil Cybart noted last week: Apple “is making its products more accessible through lower pricing.”

His examples include AirPods at $159, which are priced lower than nearly any other wireless earbud. He also argues that Apple Watch is underpriced — at $269, it’s cheaper than Android options from Samsung and Fossil.

In his excellent analysis, he offers several theories about this change in Apple’s strategy. Accessories like AirPods or the Apple Watch could be loss leaders to get more people to buy iPhones, for example. Or Apple could just be getting better at making millions of units of any given product.

But my favorite theory for why Apple is pushing downmarket so hard is because CEO Tim Cook wants to push upmarket too. From Cybart:

 

Continue reading HERE.

One of the latest craze in the industry of investing, finance and business these days is the world of foreign exchange aka FOREX trading. You can earn money doing this through exchanging currencies. Most people start doing it as just a hobby, but later on get hooked on it because it becomes a lucrative income. I’m telling you, there are people who could actually get rich doing it. The amount of money that the market makes in a day goes up to a whopping $22.4 billion and trading in FOREX goes up to $5 trillion daily.

Some would say that it would take for one to be a psychic though because this involves predicting the money flow. But for those who have been doing this for quite a while, it actually doesn’t take some paranormal skills to make a lot of money from it. All you need to do is be keen. It is actually less risky because you don’t have to even invest a lot of your money in here and you can get good results. Here’s another benefit from doing this and that’s the fact that you can do FOREX trading online in various ways.

I know, this is already starting to sound exciting and I can’t blame the adrenaline rush that you are feeling right now. This is why I have some basic information about FOREX trading that I think you should know first before shelling out your money in it. I have here tips on how you could also pull this business off.

forex trading

First, you must have a reliable and trustworthy online FOREX broker. The downside of doing this is probably being scammed. But that is unlikely to happen if you research well about the agency and making sure that they are legit.

You also need to open up an online Forex Brokerage Account to get this thing started. You can either have a personal one or an account that allows someone to have access to it to manage it for you. If you’re a first timer, it is okay to entrust it to someone who is a savant in this field. But again, make sure that you completely trust that person because he or she will be pretty much handling your money.

Fill out everything that the online account that is requiring you to fill out and keep an eye on the charges, specifically the money transfer from your bank account to your brokerage. Once you finished that, you can then activate your account. If you have a broker do it for you, he or she will then send you an email of a link for the activation.

After that, congratulations! You can now officially trade online! Before you start trading, I would like you to know that you MUST have at least some basic knowledge in market analysis. There are divided into 3 namely: technical, fundamental, and sentiment analysis. I will give you more information on that if you stick around. Welcome to the world of investment through FOREX trading!

Check out LOM for some further info on offshore investing.