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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.

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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.

Image source: LOM Financial

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.

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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

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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.

Most everybody wants to be rich but only so few actually attain that goal. Wealth seems like such an elusive thing for most of us.  In reality, we can actually boil it down to three simple ingredients.  Revenue, expenses and investments.

The salary, business earnings or professional fees you make constitute your revenue. Those things that you spend on make up your expenses.  Expenses consist of either spending for needs like food and shelter or for wants like vacations and movies or a whole cabinet of shoes.  When you take what’s left of your revenues after deducting your expenses, you come up with your savings.  Placing that amount of savings into anything that creates additional revenues – such as interest, dividends or gains on sale- that’s investment.bankrupt

 

Most people work nine to five jobs all their lives but never get to save anything substantial.  Without any savings, they also have nothing to invest.  Even more staggering, some people would earn huge sums of money, people like professional athletes or stock brokers, but they still get to spend everything they earn or even more and end up bankrupt or in debt.   At rare times, however, you run into someone with a simple job, like a janitor or a postman, leaving a huge estate to his children.

From this we can conclude that revenue alone does not determine wealth.  Large revenue can still lead to bankruptcy.  Small revenue can still lead to wealth.  The critical factor that determines the outcome is expense – the amount one spends out of his revenue.

Benjamin Franklin was a famous proponent of frugality and is often quoted as saying “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Actually, if we consider the effect of income tax on revenues, cutting down on a penny of expense is actually a more effective way of increasing savings than earning an extra penny of revenue.

For example, assume that Bob wants to increase his savings by $100 a month.  He has the option of (1) taking on a part time job that would pay him the hundred dollars, or (2) reducing his consumption of five-dollar coffee lattes, by 20 cups per month. If Bob took the first option, taking the part time job which paid a hundred dollars, he would still have to pay the government a 25% tax on the income he received.  Hence, he would actually just be left with $75 in real savings. If he, however, took the second option, he would be left with a hundred dollars in savings.  One hundred dollars net of tax (because the money he didn’t spend isn’t subject to tax).

One area where people tend to spend unnecessarily is with respect to small priced items that they buy daily or periodically, thinking that the small amount is insignificant and will not actually affect their wealth or lack thereof.

For instance, examining your eating habits can reveal areas where costs can be cut and savings generated.  One person may find comfort in dropping by a Starbucks before he heads out to work. It’s not really because of the coffee.  He has a coffee maker at home and there’s free coffee in the office. But, it’s just a habit that he has formed.  He is conditioned to feel better or happier or smarter every time he steps into a Starbucks to buy brewed coffee.

salary

Assuming the coffee costs $3 and he gets stuck with his habit for 20 years, he will have spent a total of $21,888 during the whole time.  On the other hand, assuming that he instead saved the coffee money and invested it at an average interest rate of 7%, he would have also earned interest income of $25,620 over those 20 years.  He would then have a total of $47,508 (the $21,888 he saved plus the $25,620 interest he earned). Just by breaking that one habit, that person can actually save a small fortune over the next 20 years of his life, saving the money that he was supposed to be buying coffee with every day.

It can be coffee or soda or mints.  If a person is really serious about generating additional savings, there are a lot of food items that are not necessary for one’s well-being.  Cutting those food items out are likely to even improve health.

In addition to food, one can also look into transportation costs, rental costs or utilities.  They initially appear to be necessities and yet savings can still be made in these areas. For example, rental rates and transportation costs to and from work should be added up when deciding where to live.  A place might seem to cost more in rent, but the transportation costs saved going to work from there might make up for the higher rent.  On the other hand, a place may seem to have low rental rates but the related transportation costs are higher.  If money saved on coffee can yield a small fortune, how much more any possible savings that can be made on these periodic, big ticket items.

Considering these things, even a person with just a reasonable income can grow wealthy if he is able to purposely identify unnecessary, seemingly insignificant expenses and eliminate them in order to create savings.

 

 

 

real estate investmentThere are so many things that you could do with your money and start an investment. One of the best decisions you would ever make in this life when it comes to investing is putting it into real estate. For the past five decades now, investing in real estate has become wildly in demand due to the many benefits it brings and the returns it could do to an investor. But this is something that shouldn’t be done impulsively even when you are vastly wealthy. It is always best to make smart decisions regarding this so you would get your money’s worth.

Truth be told that this could be a lot harder than investing on bonds and stocks, but don’t worry because I’m here to walk you through on how you could invest your money in real estate.

First, make sure that the property you are about to acquire has a good location. That’s pretty much the number one rule in real estate, location, location, location. Scout around the area where you think is not only gorgeous, but definitely profitable. Get a trustworthy real estate agent who knows what they are talking about in the business. Don’t be afraid to widen your options because you will never know what would be the best property for you if you don’t go out searching for the best.

It doesn’t always have to be luxurious or expensive, it just needs to be appealing and livable. Most of the time, people have this misconception that it has to look like a celebrity mansion to profit from it in the end. It is all about being resourceful and knowing what you want for that piece of property that you bought.

real estate agentNow, let’s talk about investing on it. The first thing that you could do to a house or a piece of real estate that you acquired is to make it available for rental. You could be the landowner and what you will need is a tenant who will rent it out for you. Price it accordingly or at least make it reasonable. It would depend on the location and the amenities that you are going to provide should you base your rental charges. But most landowners charge more in order to gain a lot of profit from their estate, it is just among the strategies to make a lot of money from it.

You can actually already rent it even without you having paid the whole price of the house just yet. You can use the rental profit and money that you are basically getting from it to pay for the mortgage of the house. A lot of people have been doing it, so it’s perfectly legal and once again, it is all about strategy.

Trading your real estate in the market is also another option. This is something more technical and advance, but it is also what an investor do to a purchased piece of property. The advantage of this one is that your house could be up for bidding. This way, you could easily choose who you could sell it to for a price that would work for you.