The Market’s Future Under Trump’s Presidency

The Market's Future Under Trump's Presidency

“America First,” said then Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump last year, as he promised his voters a prosperous new era of hundreds of thousands of new jobs and a flourishing economy, should they chose him to be the 45th President of the United States of America. And indeed, since his surprise victory in November, the job increase has exceeded forecasters’ expectations with 227,000 added jobs versus the predicted 180,000—stocks have also been on an incredible and seemingly unstoppable upswing, with the S&P 500 rallying nearly 10%. But looking more long-term, what is the market’s future under Trump’s presidency?

The S&P 500, Dow Jones industrial average, and the Nasdaq all hit all-time highs for five straight days, making for the longest such streak in 25 years. The Dow and Nasdaq are up 13 percent since Trump’s win, and the S&P is up 10 percent. Stocks have not witnessed a 1% decrease since October 11, which is the longest streak since 2006. Consumer confidence is the highest since over a decade as retail sales picked up a 0.4% gain in January, which in turn exceeded the expected 0.1% gain.

What Does the Future Hold?

The S&P trades at about 27 times earnings, well above its long-term average of around 16, and at its highest level since June 2004. The S&P is 9 percent higher than its 200-day average, however, this is often a signal that a correction is ahead. The view on Wall Street is that Trump will deliver tax cuts and unshackle corporate America from regulation, but running a country is different from running a private business and changes may not take effect that quickly. Investors may already now treat stock prices like a cut in the corporate tax rate to 20 percent or lower within the year, together with a growth to 3 percent or better by next year, while it’s not guaranteed to happen that quickly.

In fact, global investors are are questioning if the rally is exhausting itself, as they already see markets as overpriced. Some are cautious since the president is know to be unpredictable, which in turn may favor investments in bonds or stocks from other countries over the U.S. stock market. Concerns have grown enough to cause the committee steering T. Rowe Price’s target-date retirement funds and other balanced funds to view stocks as less attractive investments than bonds.

This shift is significant because it’s the first time this has happened since 2000, when the dot-com bubble popped. In all fairness, the trend has been moving in that direction for years, since stock prices have risen faster than corporate earnings, which in turn makes them look more expensive. Still, it was only very recently that the committee decided to favor bonds instead of stocks. Then today, February 24th, today, U.S. indexes were falling modestly, ending Dow Jones industrial average’s 10-day winning streak.

Strategy Shifts Looming

Some strategists are also worried about the result of Trump’s constrictions in international trade. He not only killed the President Obama-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership, but also had tough words with Mexico, Japan, China, and Germany about their exports. If U.S. loses its place in international trade, someone else will fill it. China, for example, may end up replacing the U.S. as a big trading partner for other nations. This will hurt the U.S. economy immensely in the long run.

A 20 percent tax on imports will likely hurt trade in the long run, even ff it doesn’t apply to exports. If the dollar adjusts by rising sharply, it will head off any inflation from a new tax on goods. But if the dollar doesn’t adjust, the new costs will end up hitting consumers.

Conservative media outlets, however, have pointed out how Trump managed to reduce the US national debt by a staggering 12 billion dollars during his first month in office. On February 21st, just a month after Trump taking office, the US debt load stood at $19,935 billion instead of of $19,947 billion. It’s the first time in decades the debt clock is turned backwards.

Time will tell how the market will turn out during the next four, possible eight years, of a Trump presidency. Right now the stock market is seeing an incredible upswing, and new jobs are being created just as promised. However, we might be in a stock market bubble right now, which will burst soon. There are also concerns of how taxes on international trade will affect the economy long term. Stay tuned!

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5 Tips to Help You Start Your Own Business with only $250

5 Tips to Help You Start Your Own Business with only $250

“Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.” —Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO

Are you perhaps considering the option of launching your own start-up? Does the thought of working in a 9-5 job make you want to stay in bed and not get up in the morning? You might be in a position where you cannot find a full-time position, or you might be a stay-at-home parent with a couple of hours per day free each day.

It doesn’t matter what your reasons for opening your own business, what is important is that you would like to start your own business. Apropos to this, the rise of the world wide web as well as the ease in which the global denizen is now able to access the internet, has and continues to make a case for pursuing an online career.

5 Tips to Help You Start Your Own Business with only $250

Launching your startup

Once you have decided to open your own business, the next important step is to decide how you are going to earn an income, and where you are going to operate your business from. Because the assumption is that you only have limited startup funding,  I believe it makes sound financial sense to start an online business of sorts from your home office. Furthermore, in my opinion, the best business to start is a company that invests in one or more of the global financial markets.

How do you go about launching a stock market investment company? As with all startups, it is important to plan your business in intimate detail; consequently, here are several tips to help you launch your financial market investment startup:

Don’t overthink thing; just start

It’s important not to spend a long time pondering about whether you should start your own business. In my opinion, you should find a starting point and just start. You can think your ideas to death and nothing will ever happen; therefore, the idea is to begin working on your startup as soon as possible.

Business plans and business models

As part of the start-up process, it’s vital to draw up a sound business plan as well as a working business model. These documents cannot be static in nature; however, they need to provide a strong foundation for your business. In other words, they are designed to guide you in the face of changing economic and market conditions.

There are many reasons why every business plan and model needs to keep on changing as time goes by; however, one of the most important grounds for a financial market investment startup business model to change is every-changing, volatile geopolitical and socio-economic conditions under which we currently reside.

Education and Research

In order to invest successfully in the global financial markets, it’s vital to find the right online trading broker to partner with. As with all niches, the rise of the information age and the ease with which people can now access the internet, have allowed for many fly-by-night brokers to open their doors for business. Thus, it is critical that you conduct a comprehensive review of all of the current online trading brokerage firms before you decide which online trading broker you are going to sign up with.

Once you have decided on a trading partner, the next step is to open an account, pay the minimum deposit, and then to work through the broker’s education center to ensure that you understand fully how to go about placing successful trades. Your broker should have a demo trading platform that will allow you to practice investing in your chosen financial markets before you progress to the live trading platform.

Trading strategies

Much is being made of the current financial market volatility; as a result, one of the most important ways of overcoming the instability in the market is to stick to your trading strategy no matter what happens to the global financial markets. Don’t change your mind halfway through a trade; otherwise, you risk losing your entire investment.

Final words

Starting an online options trading business has never been easier. You don’t even need large sums of money to start trading on the global financial markets. Conversely, you need the following: a solid understanding of how to invest in options successfully, a trading strategy which suits the current, volatile market conditions, and finally, an investment partner (broker) who you can trust to give you sound trading and financial advice.

The Right Way to Start a Business

The Right Way to Start a Business

Yes, there is a right way and a wrong way to start a business. This can be easily determined by looking at the ventures that have succeeded and ones that have failed. Due to the way that industries are now structured, it is easier than ever for individuals to launch their own company. This is why small businesses and startups are quite so prolific. At the same time, a majority of these schemes fail within a relatively short period of time. It is a startlingly low number that actually manages to stay afloat let along go on to be successful. To be a part of this exclusive group, there are a few secrets that you need to know first:

The Right Way to Start a Business

Don’t Believe the Hype

Magazines are littered with success stories of entrepreneurs who suddenly quit their job and ventured out on their own. Fast forward to several years later and you are looking at a content, prosperous millionaire. The reason that such accounts are newsworthy is because they happen so rarely. If you really want to start your own business, the last thing that you should do is quit your job. Instead, while you are earning a stable paycheck, make a point to save every last penny that you make. The longer that you can do this for, the better of you will be. This will help you to avoid the inevitable pitfall that most small businesses face – running out of money.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

In the same vein, you will actually find it a lot better to work on your own business while still maintaining your regular job. Most people prefer not to do this as it means an incredible amount of hard work. You will spend most of your days working around the clock. The advantage of this method, however, is that you are giving yourself a safety net. Business ideas, plans, and investors do not materialize overnight. All of this takes time so you can’t really afford to give up your career while you are waiting for things to fall into place.

Make Sure Your “Good Idea” Has a Place

A common misconception is that a good idea equals profit and success. The unfortunate truth is people have good ideas every day. The real test is to determine whether they hold water in the real world. This means determining whether or not your product or service is actually something that people want. The more widespread a need is, the more likely that your idea will be profitable. Therefore, the first thing that you will need to do is to identify this need. Now, avoid only consulting with friends, families, and colleagues on this point. This information is too biased and the sample size is too small. Try to find a way to survey large and diverse groups of people. This will give you a better idea of whether you have a genuine shot at success.

Learn as Much as You Can Before You Start

If you don’t have a formal education in business or if this is your first venture, there is a lot of danger in simply figuring it out as you go along. This puts you at greater risk for falling into common pitfalls. While it may seem tedious, try to attend classes or seminars to discover how you should go about starting your business. This will be quite useful, especially when it comes to the legalities that you will need to abide by. If this is still not an option for you, try to find a mentor or a business partner that has done this all before. They will be able to set you on the right path. Make a point to learn as much as you possibly can from them.

Now, there is no foolproof way for starting a business and you will always be faced with obstacles and challenges at every turn. Nonetheless, having the right foundation will make all the difference and turn the tide in your favor.

Questions and Answers on Workers’ Compensation and What to Do If Injured

Questions and Answers on Workers’ Compensation and What to Do If Injured

It might surprise many to find that workers’ compensation has a long history. As far back as 2050 B.C., in the city-state of Ur, the law at the time was to provide compensation for injury received while working. Typically, this would be for the loss of a body part. Ancient Chinese, Arab, and Greek law all had versions of this system, with compensation schemes to accompany each body part lost.

Fast-forward thousands of years later, and workers’ comp is alive and well.Here are some frequently asked questions about workers’ compensation in the US and what you should know if you get injured.

Questions and Answers on Workers’ Compensation and What to Do If Injured

Q: Do all employers provide workers’ compensation?

A: Most states have laws that require every employer to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Some states, such as Alabama and Wisconsin, allow for voluntary coverage. To find out whether it is mandatory in your state for employers to have workers’ comp insurance, go to this page on the US Department of Labor’s website. Most employers will have workers’ comp insurance as a protection against prosecution and threat of being sued. So there’s a good chance your employer has it.

In the US, employers that take part in the system are often protected from liability for injuries covered under workers’ comp. Although an employee can sue a third party that may be liable for their injury. Or they can sue an employer directly if the employee feels that the employer’s deliberate negligence caused the injury.

Q: What kind of injuries are eligible for workers’ comp?

A: The general answer to this question is that workers’ comp was designed to provide compensation for injuries sustained while on the job. Common workers’ comp injuries include the following:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Hearing loss
  • Slips or falls
  • Overexertion
  • Being struck by a falling object
  • Traffic accident injury
  • Machinery accident injury
  • Repetitive motion injury

There are exceptions, however. For example, injuries sustained while on your lunch break are not covered. Neither is travel to and from your work site. However, if your work dictates that you travel, such as a sales call, and you sustain an injury during that trip, then such an injury would be covered.

Q: What is covered by workers’ comp insurance? What kind of payout can I expect?

A: Workers’ compensation includes coverage of hospital and medical bills to treat your work injury. While the particulars may vary from state to state, the fundamentals covered are medical bills and related expenses. This may include counseling, acupuncture for pain management, wheelchairs. And/or other equipment to help you deal with your injury.
Depending on the type of injury received, you may be eligible for disability benefits. Disability benefits are meant to cover wages lost while you are unable to work due to your injury. There are four categories of disability.

  • Temporary total disability. This applies when your disability prohibits you from working at all during a temporary amount of time. For example, if your leg is broken, or a surgery is required where full functionality is expected once recovery is complete.
  • Temporary partial disability. This applies when your injury limits your work capacity but does not entirely prevent it and full recovery is expected.
  • Permanent total disability. To get permanent disability from worker’s compensation one must be entirely unable to return to your previous work. For example, if you were a train conductor, the loss of your eyesight while on the job would incapacitate you from returning to your duties.
  • Permanent partial disability. This applies when your injury partially hinders your ability to return to your former work.

Q: Should I hire a lawyer for my workers’ comp case?

A: You may be able to handle the case yourself, particularly if the injury is small, and the facts of your case are straightforward. However, not all situations are uncomplicated. And even in uncomplicated situations, tensions can arise that may make it easier for you to have your case handled by a lawyer.

5 Ways to Protect Your Startup in it’s First Year

Protect Your Startup in it's First Year

Startups and small businesses might discount their exposure to cyber liability issues because they do not have the depth and volume of information that is maintained by larger and more established companies. Verizon’s 2013 Data Breach Investigation report, however, contradicts this perception. A key finding in that report indicates that almost two-thirds of all data breach attacks are aimed at small businesses.

For a variety of reasons, almost 90% of all startup businesses fail within their first year. A startup can control many of the causes of failure, including procuring cyber risks insurance to protect against financial losses associated with a data breach attack. Startups can enact other policies and procedures to ward off a business failure, including:

5 Ways to Protect Your Startup in it’s First Year

  1. Establish guidelines for data sharing between personal and business devices that employees use to access the startup’s network.

A startup should carefully monitor and control its data security and encryption practices when it allows employees to use their own personal devices to connect to the company’s network. Those devices can pose a significant cyber attack risk, even to larger companies that have established robust data security procedures.

  1. Enforce effective data and privacy practices.

Data and privacy practices are an extension of personal device guidelines. Startups need to regularly monitor and analyze unusual data events, control applications and email, watch for inconsistencies in cloud data storage and web applications, and protect against malware incursions. Cash-starved startups might place a low priority on these tasks, but data or privacy losses can cost far in the long run and can be the primary contributor to a startup’s failure.

  1. Perform penetration tests.

Startups that do not have the resources to devote toward elaborate cyber security measures can perform regular penetration tests to simulate potential cyber attacks and to identify weaknesses in their networks. Penetration test components might include launching a series of phishing emails to determine how much information would be divulged by careless employees, or infecting networks with malware replicants to determine whether the networks would free up confidential data or other information in response to malicious code. A number of third parties offer relatively low-cost network penetration testing services.

  1. Create a data breach response plan.

A common axiom for all startups is to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. That preparation should include a data breach response plan that the startup can implement immediately upon detecting an unauthorized incursion into its network. A good plan will revolve around three priorities: understanding the startup’s data breach risk factors; assessing the type of information that the startup collects, uses, stores, and transmits; and developing the best incident response plan that incorporates those first two priorities. With respect to the first priority, a startup’s risk factors will typically involve its people, processes, and technology. Its information can run the gamut from superficial employee, customer, or vendor data, to detailed personal or medical files. Lastly, a good incident response plan will establish procedures to determine the data breach source, to assess the scope of the damage, to formulate response and protection plans going forward, and to resolve problems that arise with victims of the breach.

  1. Invest in Cyber Risk Insurance

No amount of controls can provide absolute protection against data losses and breaches of a startup’s networks. A startup that is the victim of a successful cyber attack will likely lose its clients, expose itself to ruinous lawsuits, and be faced with the embarrassing reality of having to communicate the situation with hard-won vendors and customers who placed their trust and faith in the startup. Insurance will not rebuild these relationships, but it will give the startup a financial safety net that it can use to begin the process of re-establishing itself as a trustworthy business partner.

Tips & Techniques to Help with Organisation of Paperwork

How much of your working day is spent dealing with paperwork? If you happen to put it off for an extra day or so, how much longer do you spend trying to get caught up?

Implementing and persevering with organisational systems when dealing with paperwork is crucial in the modern workplace. While it makes it easier to locate files if they ever need to be recalled, the deployment of effective filing systems serves to minimise the time spent processing the paperwork in the first place. Not only does management of paperwork allow employees to make better use of their time, but it contributes to a general sense of well-being throughout the office.

While the axiom “time is money” is a truism of business life, offices around the globe waste hours and hours due to inefficiently managing their paperwork. By implementing a few organisational tips – and spending very little capital – we can prevent paperwork becoming unmanageable in the workplace.

Digital technologies

Although office printers are, to an extent, a contributory factor to the endless reams of paper which clutter our offices, embracing electronic technologies in the workplace and making use of their full potential can drastically help with the organisation of paperwork. For instance, while most industrial printers have a built-in scanner, there are numerous mobile apps which allow you to scan documents using a smartphone or other device. Visit the App store to purchase these.

Making electronic copies of documents means that you only have to store bulky physical files when it is absolutely necessary. Backing up electronic files on multiple hard drives also counters against misplacement of the original files, and passwords can be used to protect sensitive information.

Filing

Regardless of whatever methods are employed to cut down on paper copies of files, the reality is that there is still a necessity for physical files in the workplace: it would often be impractical to shred material immediately, and businesses are often required by law to keep records for several years. Adopting a systematic and easy-to-follow filing system is crucial in the workplace, and one of the best ways to keep everything organised is by using cheap box files.

Box files are incredibly spacious and durable, and, often coming with a clip to keep papers in place, are ideal for storing A4 papers. Their dimensions make them portable, so it is practical to carry them to meetings, and they can also be locked to protect any sensitive information that is contained inside. Much more economical and less obtrusive than bulky filing cabinets, box files are an essential purchase for any business.

Shredding

Backdated paperwork takes up a lot of space. Once files have been digitalised or are no longer required they should be shredded in order to reduce clutter. Small businesses can purchase personal sized shredders, while dedicated companies offer professional shredding services for larger companies – saving employees even more time. The shredded documents can then be recycled, helping your company conform with environmental and ethical standards.