The job hunting process: 21st century challenges and how to overcome them

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What most job seekers rant about job hunting today are commonly the complexities they often encounter during the process of searching for a new job. Nowadays, you can see various popular job boards on the Internet that showcase the most promising opportunities. However, not everyone can meet the pre-determined qualifications. Below are today’s most common challenges the modern worker may have to face:

 

  1. Age discrimination

Ageism is very common—although not widely talked about—in the corporate world. There is common notion amongst employers that middle-aged or older applicants may not be able to adequately respond to the demands of today’s increasingly digital work landscape. To prove them wrong and to successfully acclimate yourself with such environment, it is best for you to make your abilities relevant in the current job market while streamlining your qualifications by upgrading your skills and knowledge. Many skills development trainings are available for free online or at an affordable cost at brick-and-mortar training centers.

 

  1. Not having a college degree

Educational discrimination is one of the many hurdles every undergraduate applicant repeatedly experience, with the vast majority of employers looking for candidates who hold at least a college degree—and perhaps, from a reputable university. However, there have been numerous instances when people thrived in their respective fields even without the help of that diploma. Just to name a few, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg never finished their degrees but have become well-known across the globe. The field of marketing, fashion and digital services are some of the most competitive job arenas that don’t require a degree. Bottom-line: you can make it big in the business for as long as you have the necessary skills set and the right attitude to go with it.

 

  1. Lack of relevant experience

Finding the best job for you, based on your profession or expertise, can be an arduous journey, especially when your dream job requires extensive work experience. Sometimes, being a degree holder alone does not guarantee job security. There are some companies with higher standards in comparison to others. Hence, you can opt for creating your own business or consider working in a niche industry with fewer competition so you could broaden your skills, building your resume along the process.

 

The risks and potentials when investing in emerging market currencies

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In their process of economic advancement, emerging economies are slowly playing a more essential role in the international financial markets. For starters, emerging currencies from these developing nations have started to make up a relatively influential percentage in everyday currency trading.

For experts and investors alike, emerging currencies carry unique characteristics compared to their counterparts from economically powerful countries. These very same characteristics reflect their potential for growth – or failure.

Examples of countries with emerging currencies include the Brazilian Real (BRL), the Mexican Peso, and the Indian Rupee (INR). Since emerging currencies are from those countries which are still developing in terms of both political and economic structure, risks will always be around the corner. Dramatic changes in the state of these countries’ political climate can easily topple down a slowly growing currency.

Another quality that differentiates an emerging currency from currencies of larger economies is in terms of how these currencies can be dependent on foreign currencies. “Pegging” is a term used to describe such dependence and the most popular one is how the foreign U.S. dollar serves as a sturdy anchor for domestic currencies.

Nonetheless, seasoned investors know better than to shun emerging market currencies and completely disregard their benefits. Since they come from developing economies that are showing potential for growth especially in the industrial production sector, they attract a huge wealth of foreign capital investments.

Furthermore, emerging currencies’ volatility and fluctuations, when it comes to exchange rates against leading currencies, also open opportunities for traders and market participants because of the benefits and potential profit from these changes in prices.

Unique beginnings of the world’s top companies

With all the millions in revenue every year, who would have thought that the world’s most successful companies today actually came from the most unique beginnings?

Here are the top global brands with the most interesting stories from their early years.

 

Berkshire Hathaway

Did you know that Berkshire Hathaway, today’s leading conglomerate holding company, actually started out as a textile manufacturing company? In fact, textile was their primary product for over 100 years until the company was purchased in 1964 by Warren Buffett.

Berkshire Hathaway now boasts over $250 dollars in revenue (according to 2017 data) and owns subsidiary companies such as Heinz, Dairy Queen, Home Services of America, to name a few.

 

Paypal

According to the brains behind one of the most successful online payment systems today, Paypal started earning money by paying users $10 to create a free account – and an additional incentive if they can invite their friends to be members, too.

Luckily, the online money transfer platform giant was able to make it big in the industry with over a million users in its first year. Today, Paypal now has over 8 million active users and the company has topped a revenue of almost 14 million in the latest quarter of 2018.

 

Amazon

Originally named “Cadabra,” Amazon started a revolution that transformed how people buy and purchase their books. It was a unique idea ahead of its time when the company founders decided that creating a virtual, online bookstore should be a million-dollar business model.

While most readers typically want the experience of going to physical bookstores, it turned out that millions of them actually prefer their books being delivered to their homes, acquiring one book title, one click at a time.

Today, the company is no longer just an online bookstore but a leader in e-commerce, boasting a latest revenue of $177.9 billion.

Safe haven assets that can protect you from stormy markets

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Finding the best place for your money should be one of your concerns, especially when faced with the unpredictability of stormy markets. This is a sound and practical advice for both beginner and seasoned investors, but choosing the right “safe haven” assets is sometimes easier said than done.

Some stocks and investment options, for instance, may not always fall on the list of the safest choices for investing. For one, constantly changing market conditions can make once common safe haven assets vulnerable. The good news is, there are still others that are strong enough to withstand the very same challenges. Here are the strongest and most stable safe haven assets that you should include in your investment portfolio.

Gold

Gold is considered the ultimate safe haven asset. In fact, its resiliency and non-dependence on changes in interest-rate policies of any government in the world make it a reliable physical asset. Even in the face of U.S. dollar decline, the resulting inflation lures investors to gold because that is where the money is. For this reason alone, experts believe that gold will never lose its safe-haven asset status. This is the very reason that major financial institutions, such as LOM Financial, have departments that are specifically intended for dealing in all manner of precious metals and associated derivatives.

Treasury bills

As a form of debt securities, treasury bills (also known as T-bills) rely on the stability of the U.S. government. Backed by the full confidence and credit of one of the most economically powerful nations in the world, it’s not surprising that treasury bills top the list among the highest valuable safe haven assets today.

Diamonds

Diamonds are not overrated, especially when it comes to choosing the best investment option for your portfolio. In fact, experts agree that it’s a great non-gold safe-haven asset that can be a better alternative to against other types of assets. Although diamonds can be less liquid than gold, this type of asset is less volatile.

For infant industries and highly industrialized nations, tariffs matter

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A country’s tariff system may have uneven benefits, but it is undeniably an important source of revenue especially for developing markets as well as advanced industrial nations. Basically, it is a tax imposed on imported goods that enter a domestic market. Additionally, it is also an economic tool that reduces competition against domestic industries. Any change in the tariff system may be an important financial considerion amongst investors and portfolio managers, including the likes of LOM Financial.

The importance of tariffs and why such trade barrier matters can be seen through how they are used by developed as well as infant industries.

The imposition of tariffs on imported goods from foreign competitors is the government’s way of protecting the state of domestic employment. If foreign companies can produce and sell goods cheaper, it presents production abroad a much more suitable option for business owners, thus leading to unemployment and local companies going bankrupt.

Tariffs don’t only allow a country’s chance of empowering its workers. It can also be used to protect its ordinary consumers from possibly harmful foreign goods and products. Higher tariffs can be a tougher barrier for these goods to enter the country.

Most importantly, tariffs may serve as a defensive tool against another country’s unfavorable trading practices. For instance, the on-going trade war between the United States and other countries (China, Mexico, Canada, and EU) describes such scenario where tariffs are used by the two or more parties as a retaliatory tool against one another.

According to latest updates on this present trade war, President Donald Trump imposed a tariff of 25% on steel imports and another 10% on aluminum on its allies, EU, Canada, and Mexico. Another $50 billion worth of tariffs also targeted Chinese goods. As news of retaliation from these countries made it to the headlines, Trump promises more measures and trade barriers that could escalate things further.

Tiny Caribbean countries and their role in global economics

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Just by observing the recent trends in the financial markets and the global economy as a whole, experts find an optimistic future especially for countries located in the Latin American and Caribbean regions. In fact, according to the World Economic Forum’s latest projections for some parts of the Caribbean and Latin America (except for Venezuela), the economic performance of these neighboring countries have greatly determined and contributed to one another’s growth potential in the next two years.

The Caribbean, most especially, is benefiting from the sturdier growth in the United States, resulting in the former’s economic prospects to generally improve. Furthermore, analysts suggest that the region will see these results as early as this year and in 2019.

However, the more important question to ask is what does the growth in the Caribbean region mean to the global economics? In order to reduce their dependency of larger countries and maintain their small economies, it became a home to the top offshore investment and financial centers in the world such as the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas – and this factor made the Caribbean a strong player in world economy.

Tax-efficient jurisdictions, especially the ones found in the Caribbean region, have played an important role for governments, developing economies, corporations and even private individuals by providing access to capital, privacy, and protection of assets, and most importantly, financial guidance on wealth management and protection.

While countries around the Caribbean have a level of vulnerability caused by natural disasters such as the one that brought massively devastating hurricanes in 2017 and 2004, its economic policies and trade openness is a good example of how strong relationships on international and regional trade can create opportunities even for small and diverse economies to prosper.

Latest developments and trends that are shaping international finance

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The state of international finance has continuously achieved monumental and dramatic changes over the years. While there are several aspects that may have contributed to its transformation, there’s no denying that the main drivers of these changes come from three major factors: technology, geopolitical climate, and economic policies by the world’s leading decision-makers.

Here are the latest updates from around the world that are slowly transforming international finance.

  1. China’s global trading conquest.

As the second largest economy in the world, China has the power to stir dramatic changes on a global scale. The economic giant recently reached out and forged partnerships with other countries. Additionally, its famed “One Belt One Road” initiative is set to create a modern Silk Road, providing a massive infrastructure through efficient land and sea access among China, Russia, Europe, and other neighboring countries.

  1. Financial Technology in Banking

Technology has touched almost every aspect of the modern world, and the Finance Industry is no exception. Innovations such as blockchain technology, data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) as well as cloud computing are slowly transforming modern banking and investing. In offshore investment centers like Bermuda, firms are increasingly capitalizing on digital platforms. LOM Financial’s OPUS system, for example, offers self-directed online trading access on all major global markets and exchanges.

  1. Japan’s rising ETFs.

Last year was a great one for the stock market, and it’s not just participants from the West that enjoyed its benefits of the soaring financial markets. Japan, for instance, experienced a surge in Exchange Traded Funds. Experts suggest that the reelection of Shinzo Abe as the country’s prime minister caught the attention of investors, benefiting two of Japan’s leading ETFs: iShares MSCI Japan ETF and WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund.

How crude oil can fuel growth or ignite economic downfall

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Crude oil is a fossil fuel that can be converted to various forms as highly-efficient and useful products—one of the very reasons oil companies are a staple in most investment portfolios, including offshore mutual funds. Most experts say that the discovery of this non-renewable energy source has literally and figuratively fueled technologies and economies around the world – and the mere fluctuation of this material’s prices can make or break global economics.

Generally, the increase in oil prices can also create a corresponding increase in inflation and at the same time, dramatically reduce global economic growth. An increase in this product’s prices on a global scale can affect everyone: manufacturers, companies in every industry, and even ordinary citizens who rely on hundreds of petroleum products in their day to day operations and activities.

Economists and several other experts know very well of the power of oil and how it can either drive even the most powerful nations into recessions or can easily cause regimes to collapse. It’s important that any subtle change in oil prices must be closely analyzed, and events that can cause a disruption in the oil market may correspond to changes in the economic performance of the affected nations.

One perfect example of how changes in the oil prices can cause a major impact on a global scale is during the Iranian revolution and the following Iraq-Iran war in 1979-1980. The anticipated shortage in oil supply and the resulting price shocks greatly affected the GDP of major economies, more specifically the U.S. This event triggered the American recession – eventually spreading the aftermath on other smaller economies that largely rely on the nation’s stability.

What makes the Bahamas a financial sanctuary?

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The Bahamas is a natural Atlantic paradise that attracts millions of tourists every year but it’s not only tourism that makes it an international favorite—it’s also an important global financial services center for offshore investments, offshore portfolio management, and offshore discretionary management, among others. The island-nation has a stable economy and is considered one of the few tax-neutral jurisdictions that serve as financial sanctuary not just to its residents but also to international investors and businesses.

Non-residents can enjoy the benefits of working and investing in the country because of several tax treaties in the Bahamas. However, it’s important to take note that living full-time in the Bahamas does not excuse foreign residents from fulfilling their tax responsibilities in their home country.

Income tax and national insurance

One attractive benefit of working in the Bahamas is its zero personal income tax policies. Both employed by a company and self-employed individuals, however, are not excluded from paying a national insurance on salary if you are a resident.

The proceeds of these funds keep the country’s benefits system alive. However, the fund will only benefit Bahamian residents. Refunds, depending on how long they’ve been working in the Bahamas, can be claimed by expats after retirement, given that they return to their home country.

Value Added Tax

As of January 2015, a new tax policy—the value added tax—has been introduced to the Bahamas. Because of this, hotel, home rental, and similar services will have to pay 7.5 percent of the VAT, as an alternative to the previous 10 percent guest tax.

Stamp Duty and other taxes

This tax policy covers a different variety of circumstances. Examples are real estate transactions or even large amounts of currency transactions abroad. The fees are shared and divided between the two parties, the buyer, and the seller.

The Bahamas don’t have inheritance taxes and wealth taxes. Moreover, there is no need for a declaration of earnings in the country. This Caribbean gem holds very high regard to its bank privacy law.

What makes a country ‘economically progressive’ in this day and age?

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There are traditional signs that reveal if a country’s economy is flourishing. Some examples can be seen in the results of several domestic economic activities such as in the goods and services that a nation produces annually (GDP), their overall economic output that includes revenues from foreign investments (GNP), their yearly increase in their GDP and GNP, and many more.

While those indicators mentioned above can easily describe the state of a country’s economic prowess, the 21st century presents multi-layered challenges and victories that either contribute or hinder a country’s economic progress as a whole.

In developing countries, for example, there are several factors that can affect economic growth. These factors offer a checklist of goals that they look up to in order to achieve a more developed and progressive economy: improvements in the levels of infrastructure, the rate of labor mobility, and most importantly, the volume of foreign and direct investments.

Additionally, technological advancements should be recognized as a major indicator of economic progress, and this is quite true especially for developing countries. Technology, for one, enables them to be globally competitive and emerge as equally capable players in the world economy.

However, according to experts, it’s important to recognize the huge difference between economic growth and economic development. Economic growth can be measured through the GDP, GNP and other statistics that describe the country’s overall economic performance. However, these numbers do not fully consider other aspects such as a country’s literacy rate, environmental quality, life expectancy, social justice, and freedom – the major indicators that fully describe “economic development”.