Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chinese Playing Cards Factory - Image of a Supersonic Economy



Good evening, this is a slightly unrelated post, but interesting nonetheless.  This video shows workers in China working at lightning speed, packing decks of cards.  As you may know, China has a huge labour force which makes every product you can imagine.  Many countries such as America, Canada, European countries, and many more, outsource their labour to China in order to cut costs.

In North America, a lot of our workers are spoiled, with unions, sick pay, vacation days, and more, when compared to that of China's workers, it's crazy how hard they work.  Unfortunately, since there is such an abundance of these workers, they are often mistreated and are willing to work dangerous jobs just for a few hundred dollars a month, not even a quarter or what most people in other countries would make.

China's GDP growth rate is incredible, and is creating a huge impact on global markets with millionaires being created every day.


The Chinese middle class is also growing at a rate never seen before.  Basically, there is a lot of growth and spending going on in China which is creating a lot of change in all parts of the world.  Even though there are many more billionaires being produced, most of the country lives off $3600 dollars a year or less.

What does this mean?  China has become the second largest economy in the world, surpassing Japan, and produce everything from batteries to cars, clothes to furniture, and everything in between.

Now you might be thinking, whats the point?  Basically, there are many investors that are eyeballing China as a potential gold mine.  Imagine how many houses need to be built to support the rising middle class.  As the population grows even larger, mouths have to be fed, children have to be clothed and educated, and more.

How do you invest in China's shifting economy?  There are many potential answers to that question, but somethings to think about if you are interested are investing in its industrialization, energy, and consumable commodities such as oil, copper, etc.

Do some research, a well balanced portfolio can also include assets from foreign enterprises, and there may just be a lot of potential in the future.




Monday, September 27, 2010

Interesting Stock Market Facts and Statistics

Hey everyone, sorry for not having been able to update this blog in a few days, posts usually take much longer than my other blogs to create, and I have had a lot of schoolwork to deal with.

Anyways, I will create new awesome original content in the near future, however for now, please enjoy some of these interesting stock market facts and statistics!



29 Very Interesting Stock Market Facts and Statistics!

I added some pictures as well to dist- I mean keep you interested, please check out my new blog, if you haven't already!






Author: Matthew Merriman



October 2008 has raised interest in the stock market due to widespread news coverage on the banks closing and therefore stocks falling. So to supplement your interest here are 28 very interesting stock market statistics for you!

$36.6 trillion - the estimated size of the world stock market at the beginning of October 2008.

22.6% - the biggest fall of the Dow Jones in 1 day! (1987)

15.34% - the biggest gain of the Dow Jones in 1 day! (1933)

30% drop in the market - Would mean the NYSE would close trading there and then for the day.

80% - the amount of capitalisation represented by the FTSE 100 on the whole London Stock Exchange.

400-1 - The leverage given to you by some FOREX companies!

$2000 - the initial deposit you must legally have in the US to open a margin account.

£0 - the amount of tax you have to pay on a spread betting account in the UK as its classed as gambling.

86.3% - the amount of FOREX traders that trade the USD

500% - The amount the stock market grew between 1982 and 1993 in terms of capitalisation.

1602 - the year the first shares were issued on the Amsterdam stock exchange

$11 million - the amount a company must have earned over the last 3 years to gain a listing on the NASDAQ stock exchange

83% - The percentage of wealth given away by famous investor Warren Buffet to the Bill % Melinda Gates charitable foundation

$26 trillion - The current value of mutual funds

1790 - The date of the oldest stock exchange in the US opened (Philadelphia)

143,646,198 - The volume of the most traded ETF on the US markets, SPY.

0.5% - The agreed worldwide interest rate drop in October 2008 to counteract the huge drops in shares.

GRRR - The symbol of Lion Country Safari (ok not technically a stat but worth knowing!)

24.39% - The amount lost on the Dow Jones index due the effects of World War I.

£9,600 - The amount you can earn (UK) before paying capital gains tax of 18% on stocks, better than the £5,600 income tax allowance!

0 - The amount of capital gains tax paid in Mexico, Malaysia and Barbados to name a few.

50% - A rough estimate of the rise in the share price of Apple in the aftermath of the iPhone.

1984 - The year the FTSE 100 index was introduced with a staring value of 1000.00 (6950.60, the highest value reached to date, 1999)

1 - The position of Royal Dutch Shell as the most capitalised share in the UK (Oil company, 31 Dec 2007)

1993 - The year the first ETF was introduced tracking the S&P 500

89% - The amount wiped off stocks between 1929-1932, during the great depression.

2 - The position of the Tokyo stock exchange in terms of most capitalised stock exchanges.

2008 - The year oil reached $100 a barrel

14.68% - The drop in the Dow Jones in the first half of 2008.

I hope these stock market statistics have quenched your stock market interest for now, good luck with the trading guys! Don't forget to check out my website for more information on the stock market!

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/finance-articles/29-very-interesting-stock-market-facts-and-statistics-643206.html

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Making More Money From Blogging






Good afternoon everyone, writing this post a bit late because I had a really late night and ended up waking up around 2:50pm.  I'm writing this post as my own "definitive" guide at creating a generous income from blogging.  Although again, I don't claim to be a huge expert yet on the topic, I believe I can give some very useful tips that have helped me along the way, and I hope you can apply them to your blog.  I noticed I did not really get as much interest from my last blog post since there was not many direct benefits that you, the reader could apply.

I highly recommend downloading the free e-book, BBBFinalCourse (Bonafide Blogging Bucks) it has a tonne of useful information that any blogger will find highly useful.  This guide is intended for people who have already been blogging for a few weeks and are frustrated that they are not making as much income as they should for their hard work, hope this helps and you improve your blog.  If you have any additional tips, please share them with everyone too!


Step 1: Blog About Something People Care About, Make it Stand Out, and don't "overwork"

This should seem fairly obvious, but I am noticing that there are a lot of blogs that are basically mirror images or each other even though the content may be a little bit different.  Try to write in a unique style that sets you apart from other similar blog, or else you become easily forgettable and thus lose you money.

Many people can blog, but not many people can blog properly, and efficiently.  Blog writing should be intuitive to the reader, they don't want to spend that much time reading your posts if there is no direct benefit to them.

Overworking on a blog is another huge mistake for bloggers. (in my opinion)  Some bloggers spend a lot of time thinking of what they are going to write about, and then another few hours writing a long and boring blog post.  Make sure to PLAN ahead of time what you are going to write about and save them as drafts on your blog so you can go back and check on them.  Use the internet or the library to gather information, make sure you are getting your information from credible sources or your readers may start to question the legitimacy of your posts.

Tip: Try to get your readers engaged in the topic, get feedback on your posts, and always reply to every single question or comment


Step 2: Becoming Web-Savvy & Improving Your Layout

This is my main goal right now and the one I believe to be the most crucial to improving your chances at blogging success.  What do I mean by Web-Savvy?

What do I mean by web savvy?  You don’t need to be a programmer, but you need a decent functional understanding of a variety of web technologies.  What technologies are “key” will depend on the nature of your blog and your means of monetization.  But generally speaking I’d list these elements as significant:
  • blog publishing software
  • HTML/CSS
  • blog comments (and comment spam)
  • RSS/syndication
  • feed aggregators
  • pings
  • trackbacks
  • full vs. partial feeds
  • blog carnivals (for kick-starting your blog’s traffic)
  • search engines
  • search engine optimization (SEO)
  • page rank
  • social bookmarking
  • tagging
  • contextual advertising
  • affiliate programs
  • traffic statistics
  • email
Optional:  podcasting, instant messaging, PHP or other web scripting languages. "


There are some other things that are missing from the list but understanding these basic terms will allow you to take your blog to the next level.  This is the type of knowledge that separates the winners from the losers, and believe me, after roughly two weeks of blogging, I can already tell that at least 85% of bloggers will quit within their first month, it does some hard work and learning, but the benefits also be quite staggering.

Basically, your blog is a business, improving your layout by understand the rules will only help make your blog even better, do not neglect it and if anything, find a friend that can help you out and give you some suggestions.  There are also a tonne of useful guides out there that can help you if you are confused.



Step 3: Traffic, Traffic, Traffic, Traffic, Traffic, Traffic, Traffic.... and Traffic

Yes, traffic.  It is the single most important thing for any blogger who is serious about making some money from their hard work.  Your income is directly linked to how much traffic you receive on your website, and if you currently have around 10,000 views a month, and are making roughly 500$, imagine if you had 100,000 or even a million views.  Intrigued yet?  Also, if your blogging without adsense, make to to get it for your content and if you have a domain, for that too.

For times sake, I will leave a link here that will give you a very good idea on how to accomplish this feat.  I highly reccomend it for anyone serious about making more money from blogging.







Step 4: Have Fun!  Show Character in Your Post, and Good Things Will Follow

Without this step, you might as well give up now.  Blogging should be a fun, a hobby that could be your job, but a hobby nonetheless.  If you are waking up thinking "God, this is awful, I need to write a blog post, it's already been two days..." Then you probably shouldn't be blogging in the first place.

I enjoy blogging, and even though I am fairly new and newbish at times, I put a lot of effort into writing these posts and still have fun at the same time.  It is important to have pride as a blogger, and not to take things too seriously.  

If anything, write a blog that genuinely benefit your reader, and they will always give you positive feedback and perhaps advice that could improve your blog.  We are still all human beings and being on the internet does not change that fact.  Remember that you are writing for your peers, and not a mindless robot spewing out information from your backside.

Final Words:

Thanks to everyone who has been supporting my three blogs during the last two weeks, your comments mean a lot to me and I am in the process of learning on how to take it to the next level.  Any tips and advice would be welcome, and feel free to post your own "steps" as a comment for other readers to view.

If you haven't already, check out my other two blogs:



The Random Awesome blog was my first blog I started on my birthday, and has already made me a decent sum of money.

The important thing to remember is that traffic is more important than income and you should ALWAYS work on improving that first, or else your income will remain stagnant.

Hope you guys found this post enlightening,

Happy blogging!

P.S. If you like what you see here, please share with your friends who are interested, and recommend my blog to others, I would appreciate it immensely, thank you.



Thursday, September 23, 2010

McDonald's & Money

Hey everyone, before I begin, I would like to thank everyone for their great comments and support, it really motivates me to step up my game and write articles that will truly benefit you.  I also started a new blog that will explore the "Principles of  Power," a more serious topic but one that is very interesting nonetheless.  If your interested, please check it out!

http://PrinciplesofPower.blogspot.com.  

Alright, now this leads me to my main article of the day, McDonald's and money.  I'm not going in depth about the boring stuff, but will talk about the techniques they have used over and over again to become and stay one of the most powerful corporations in the world.

We all eat McDonald's, and our children will be eating it in the future as well, but even amidst all the concerns for "Healthy" eating and opting for organic food choices, McDonald's is still reaping in huge profits every year, and spreading their influence to basically every corner of the world.

I have worked at McDonald's, written a long 10,000 word report on them for college, and it was the first stock I ever bought in mid 2006 at just over 35$ per share.  Just for your information, McDonald's is currently trading at 76$...|



First of all I will begin with the most crucial aspect of McDonald's success, its brand.  Since the age of two, most children can recognize McDonald's by either it's main logo, the "M" signifying the golden arches, or by their mascot, Ronald McDonald (notice the cheesy rhyme?)

Again, simplicity is key here, consumers do not really want to think about what they want to buy, they want to be told what they want, and whenever we see a McDonald's sign, our subconscious is reminding us of our cravings for their food.

The McDonald's brand is carried out by hundreds of thousands of employees who are given great training and opportunities for advancement.  Even though many regard McDonald's as a poor job, and in some cases it really is, one cannot deny the rigorous training all members receive upon being hired.  This is crucial for monetary success because with so many restaurants around the world, if your employees are lacking, your business will begin to rot and fester from the inside and eat its way straight to the core.

Secondly, McDonald's advertisements are everywhere and they always partner themselves with the most popular celebrities, athletes, Olympic Gold Medalists, you name it.  Honestly, I would not be surprised at all if Justin Bieber became the next brand ambassador for McDonalds, since Justin Timberlake has been out of the spotlight for a while.  In order to balance this commitment of paying millions of dollars for these celebrities to endorse their brand, McDonald's has their own charity which helps children all around the world.
Ronald McDonald's charities raise millions of dollars every year to help less privileged children around the world, and this is extremely important for McDonalds to uphold their image and not seem like they are doing everything just for the money.  Even though millions of people may become fatter because of eating a lot of McDonald's, donating a few hundred million does make you look a lot better, and associating yourself with the leanest and meanest athletes of the time, and being an official sponsor for the Olympics, Fifa, and every major sporting event doesn't hurt either.

So what can you learn from McDonald's?  I'll give you some tips that you can apply in your everyday life.  First of all, don't be afraid to make mistakes, they will teach you how to succeed if you reflect upon them carefully and learn from them.  For example, McDonald's Pizza was a huge failure, as well as the Lobster burger, and many others.
Secondly, if you are considering buying a stock like McDonald's, make sure you understand the company very well before you buy it.  Although penny stocks may give you the opportunity to achieve a huge amount of growth in a short amount of time, there is a much bigger risk that you could lose a tremendous amount of money.  Blue-Chip stocks like McDonald's have a far lesser chance of disappearing off the face of the earth, unlike many penny stocks which disintegrate within months of speculation.
Thirdly, associate yourselves with powerful allies to further your cause, never let your image become ruined by joining forces with those who are foolish, impatient, and greedy.  Make sure you achieve balance by helping out the poor and the needy as well, to retain that "human" essence that attracts us to those who can bring benefits to our lives.

Lastly, and similarly to what I said about Apple, there is no such thing as bad advertising.  If you are not being seen, you might as well have never existed.  McDonald's is successful because everywhere we go we can see with our own two eyes the legacy they have created.  Although we might not like it, feel jealous towards it, or simply do not care about it, it still exists and is growing each and everyday, fuelled by the consumers that have embraced their food and the comfortable lodgings they create.  You must be fluid, and accept change as an opportunity for growth, not something that will bring about your downfall.  That is why McDonald's has survived for so long, being able to change with the times like a chameleon, yet always remaining on top!









Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Philosophy of Warren Buffet


I'm confident that many of you have heard of Warren Buffet, the most successful American investor of the century which earned him the nickname: "Sage of Omaha"

I'm not going to bore you with his life story, but instead focus on some of his key philosophies that made him into such a successful man.  He is still well known for his frugality despite of his incredible wealth, and even though many of us will choose to walk paths where we end up splurging from time to time, it is still important to try and be in control of money instead of it taking control of us.

 

Warren Buffet is the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway which has stock holdings worth around 125,000$ per share currently.  This may seem like an insurmountable amount of money for a single share of a stock, but the point i'm trying to show here is that disciplined investors over time can actually grow their portfolio to a point where they can consider purchasing monstrously expensive (or potentially inexpensive) stocks.

I don't have a problem with guilt about money. The way I see it is that my money represents an enormous number of claim checks on society. It's like I have these little pieces of paper that I can turn into consumption. If I wanted to, I could hire 10,000 people to do nothing but paint my picture every day for the rest of my life. And the GDP would go up. But the utility of the product would be zilch, and I would be keeping those 10,000 people from doing AIDS research, or teaching, or nursing. I don't do that though. I don't use very many of those claim checks. There's nothing material I want very much. And I'm going to give virtually all of those claim checks to charity when my wife and I die. (Lowe 1997:165–166)

From a NY Times article: "I don't believe in dynastic wealth", Warren Buffett said, calling those who grow up in wealthy circumstances "members of the lucky sperm club".  Buffett has written several times of his belief that, in a market economy, the rich earn outsized rewards for their talents:
A market economy creates some lopsided payoffs to participants. The right endowment of vocal chords, anatomical structure, physical strength, or mental powers can produce enormous piles of claim checks (stocks, bonds, and other forms of capital) on future national output. Proper selection of ancestors similarly can result in lifetime supplies of such tickets upon birth. If zero real investment returns diverted a bit greater portion of the national output from such stockholders to equally worthy and hardworking citizens lacking jackpot-producing talents, it would seem unlikely to pose such an insult to an equitable world as to risk Divine Intervention.




This was the first book I read related to investing early on in my high school years which introduced me to the underlying theory of investing.

NEVER LOSE MONEY

General rules
  • Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1.
  • It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.
  • You're neither right nor wrong because other people agree with you. You're right because your facts are right and your reasoning is right—and that's the only thing that makes you right. And if your facts and reasoning are right, you don't have to worry about anybody else.
  • Our favourite holding period is forever.

    • Letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, 1988
  • When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is usually the reputation of the business that remains intact.
  • Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing.
  • If you don't know jewelry, know the jeweler.
  • If you don't feel comfortable owning something for 10 years, then don't own it for 10 minutes.
  • There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.
  • One's objective should be to get it right, get it quick, get it out, and get it over... your problem won't improve with age.
  • A public-opinion poll is no substitute for thought.
  • In the insurance business, there is no statute of limitation on stupidity.
  • If a business does well, the stock eventually follows.
  • The most important quality for an investor is temperament, not intellect... You need a temperament that neither derives great pleasure from being with the crowd or against the crowd.
  • The future is never clear, and you pay a very high price in the stock market for a cheery consensus. Uncertainty is the friend of the buyer of long-term values.
  • We will only do with your money what we would do with our own.
  • Occasionally, a man must rise above principles.
  • It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.
  • Of one thing be certain: if a CEO is enthused about a particularly foolish acquisition, both his internal staff and his outside advisors will come up with whatever projections are needed to justify his stance. Only in fairy tales are emperors told that they are naked.
  • When asked how he became so successful in investing, Buffett answered: we read hundreds and hundreds of annual reports every year.
  • "I never buy anything unless I can fill out on a piece of paper my reasons. I may be wrong, but I would know the answer to that. "I'm paying $32 billion today for the Coca Cola Company because..." If you can't answer that question, you shouldn't buy it. If you can answer that question, and you do it a few times, you'll make a lot of money."
  • You ought to be able to explain why you're taking the job you're taking, why you're making the investment you're making, or whatever it may be. And if it can't stand applying pencil to paper, you'd better think it through some more. And if you can't write an intelligent answer to those questions, don't do it.
  • I really like my life. I've arranged my life so that I can do what I want.
  • If you gave me the choice of being CEO of General Electric or IBM or General Motors, you name it, or delivering papers, I would deliver papers. I would. I enjoyed doing that. I can think about what I want to think. I don't have to do anything I don't want to do.


I hope this helped you get an idea of what the nature of my blog will be in the next couple of posts.

Ideally I want to talk about the different tools investors use to achieve success when starting their portfolios, and maintaining them after they have achieved some level of success.

I hate to admit that I myself have not been especially prudent with handling my money, and thus I am writing this blog for myself as well as anyone who is interested to help them keep focused and actively make their money work for them instead of working so hard for it.

Again thanks for all the positive comments and to all new followers, please feel free to post your own opinions and things you would like to see me blog about in the future.

Happy blogging

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Brief Insight on Apple's Success Part 1


The first time I was introduced to Apple products, I was probably in the first or second grade and was quite nervous upon leaving the comfortable domain of my classroom to enter the mysterious computer lab.

I remember curiously studying the new Macintosh computers and spotting the simple apple logo and thinking to myself, "Man this is a stupid looking logo," and then proceeded on to play Where in the World is Carmen San Diego.

Little did I know that Apple would soon begin its unprecedented rise throughout the decade and establish itself as one of the most powerful and innovative companies anywhere in the world.


This is an old picture and as of today, Apple has risen almost 8$ per share to a whopping 283.23$ per share. Imagine, just between 2001 to late 2004, Apple shares never really rose past 10-15$ per share, and now it has exploded to become one of the most sought and traded stocks in the market.

The question i'm sure you are asking yourself now is: How can I spot the next Apple or Microsoft and buy when they are still cheap. Unfortunately there are no perfect answers to this question, but there are many indicators that can help you predict with a degree of accuracy whether or not a company has a chance of achieving success int he future.

Being able to read a financial statement is critical to assessing a companies future potential and how well they may continue to do in the future. It is important to learn a few reasonably simple calculations such as ROI, (rate on investment) Debt to equity ratios, and a few more. Heres a link if you want to learn a bit more

http://www.thecorys.com/babs/key_financial_ratios.htm



Also, a company cannot succeed (in most circumstances) without a clear and powerful leader who invokes a high level of charisma, passion, and dedication towards his company. Steve Jobs exemplifies many of the qualities of a truly successful and motivated CEO and has brought Apple back from the dead into a larger than life company. Although there are many criticisms about some of Apples products and policies, it cannot be denied that his ambition has stirred the interest of the world and helped create the empire that Apple has become today.


Personally, I believe that one of the reasons for Apple's huge success in the recent years is based on its simplicity. With the influx in modern technologies and a rapidly developing urban society, it is becoming harder and harder to reach out to everyday potential customers, and Apple has exceeded everyone's expectations by invoking mass media internationalization.

For example, the I-Pad, I-Phone, basic premise of marketing lies in one letter, "I." Although it has transformed and evolved into different shapes and forms in its products, Apple's simplicity and ease of use has caught society by storm and has left nearly no one dry after its wake. This genius marketing concept was coupled with simple advertisements which nearly everyone could relate to.


Finally, there is no such thing as bad publicity, or so they say, and in Apple's case, I would have to agree whole heartedly. For example, nearly every cartoon television show and comedian in the world have made Apple jokes or incorporated them into their shows or skits. From the Simpsons, Futurama, South Park, and many more, whole episodes have been dedicated on a storyline based on Apple (or similar sounding) products. This is the key to achieving "Apple level" success, provoking the media and thus getting free advertising to every part of the world.



Well I think thats enough for today, I will likely add more to this post or create another one in the near future, hope you enjoyed! Happy blogging

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Nature of Investing

When we think of investing, we usually first draw out attention to money, in the form of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, futures, and others. What we forget to see is that investing occurs in every aspect of our lives everyday.

Waking up earlier, keeping fit, and building strong networks of friends are all forms of investment as well. It is important to realize that you must first learnt to invest in yourself before being to actually invest in others.

So when you take that little bit of time out of your day to write a blog, read a book, do some homework, you are essentially investing your most precious commodity, time, and thus gaining some sort of benefit from it in the future.


If you work hard.. Supposedly you will get a great job at some office where they will pay you a lot of money to provide services to the company, and maybe some of the women in your office will end up looking like her.

The upside of investing is that once you can view it in a broader sense beyond money, and focusing more on more 'abstract' forms of investing, you realize that every drop of time can be utilized to bring you success from every part of your life.
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