Entries Tagged as 'Business'

Useless Advice

Useless Advice

Useless Advice

To see how misleading the Fed’s interest rate hike projections have been in recent years, have a look at the chart below.
As you can see, projected interest rate hikes compared to actual rate hikes differ drastically.

I don’t know what’s worse… the Fed’s forward guidance track record or the people who actually trade on that guidance.

Yet there I was on Wednesday night watching a Harvard-educated “analyst” on Fox News telling “Special Report” anchor Brett Baier that the most important thing investors needed to be concerned with was the Fed’s plan to raise rates three times in 2017.

That’s utterly worthless advice.

Hold on. I am being kind.

That’s moronic advice.

The data clearly shows that the Fed doesn’t do what is says it’s going to do.

Look, does anyone not sniffing bath salts believe the Fed is going to continue raising rates on schedule if the U.S. stock market craters… or if Europe implodes… or if China’s credit bubble bursts?

Please.

There are countless Fed “variables” it will use to justify altering its plan… as it has in years past.

The bottom line is the only thing of value we learned from the Fed this week is they raised rates on Wednesday.

That’s it.

What it does in 2017 has no relation to its stated projections, just as was the case in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Worrying about the implications of the Fed’s rate hike timetable is a time-sucking charade designed to bleed you dry. The Fed and the media are never on your side.

Focus on the only truth you know, and that is the price action of all markets.

Let the price action dictate your actions, your buys and sells. That’s what winners do.

Please send me your comments to coveluncensored@agorafinancial.com. Let me know what you think of today’s issue.

Regards,

Michael Covel
Editor, Covel Uncensored

The Fed’s “Debt Monster” Is Calling the Shots

The Fed’s “Debt Monster”

Bill Bonner calls our attention to the danger:

You know our prediction: The Fed will never willingly lead interest rates to a neutral position.

It can’t. The FED  has created a debt monster. It must feed this Frankenstein with easy credit.

This time last year, the Fed began its “rate-tightening cycle.” That is, it began raising short-term interest rates.

It pledged to continue to do so in 2016. But then it diddled and dawdled, fiddled and fawdled… claiming to be on top of the situation… watching its “data” come in like a fisherman’s wife waiting for the return of the fleet… and not wanting to admit she was already a widow.

What it was really waiting for was a place to hide.

The Fed can raise short-term rates. But it will have to follow, not lead. It will have to hide in the shadow of rising consumer prices, staying “behind the curve” of inflation expectations.

That way, the expected real interest rate – the rate of return on your money above the rate of consumer price inflation – never really returns to neutral.

Already, the price of a barrel of crude oil – a key input into prices across the economy – is twice what it was 10 months ago. Leading business-cycle research firm the Economic Cycle Research Institute says the inflation cycle has turned positive.

And already, foreign nations are talking about retaliating against Team Trump by canceling orders and imposing new tariffs in their own versions of “better trade deals.”

This, too, is bound to raise prices.

Forget speculating on stocks, options, or other risky, low-probability moneymaking schemes. This wealth-building formula is the most reliable way to make seven figures in seven years or less in today’s uncertain economy…

Funny Money Antics

But if consumer price inflation were really a concern, the bond market would race ahead of the Fed, imposing its own regimen of rising yields.

The Fed’s increases would be too little and too late to have any real effect on the outcome.

Bondholders don’t care much about nominal rates. If consumer price inflation were to rise to the Fed’s 2% target, for example, bondholders might clamor for a 4% yield to give them a positive 2%.

That is a big increase over the 52-week low of 1.32% the yield on the 10-year Treasury note hit on July 4.

But you don’t get that kind of seismic shift without cracking some flower pots.

Much of the world’s $225 trillion in debt is calibrated to borrowers who will have a hard time surviving a 3% interest rate world, let alone a 4% one.

This is an economy that can stand a lot of grotesque and absurd “funny money” antics. It can survive a bizarre financial world; it can’t survive a normal one.

As inflation expectations increase, investors do not sit still and watch their retirements, their savings, and their fortunes get broken by inflation.

They don’t wait for the Fed’s policy-setting committee to meet. They don’t reflect calmly as the Fed’s wonks collect their “data” and create their “dot plots.”

Instead, they act out. The monster gets mad and starts throwing things.

First through the window are the bonds. They get chucked out before inflation manifests itself fully… and long before the Fed increases its key short-term rate.

Then, the “boom” turns quickly into stagflation… as higher borrowing costs pinch off growth even as consumer prices continue to rise.

But more likely, inflation is not really surging… Not yet.

And most likely, it will be the painfully apparent when the U.S. economy goes into recession next year.

Then, it will be stocks’ turn to get tossed out, while bonds sneak back in through the side door.

It will also be apparent that the Fed has taken another false step… that the recovery was a sham… and that it’s the debt monster calling the shots, not Janet Yellen.

Regards,

Bill Bonner

5 Tips to Easily Relocate Your Business

5 Tips to Easily Relocate Your Business

5 Tips to Easily Relocate Your Business

It could be that your lease is up. Or that your company is growing in size. Whatever the reason behind your business move, you’re thanking your lucky stars you’ve finally found a new premises. Yet even the mere thought of having to go through the actual move is enough to produce one hell of a headache. Don’t rush for the aspirin just yet, though. Read up on these 5 tips to easily relocate your business, instead. And ensure your move goes as well as it possibly can.

1. Create a timeline

As at least part of your business will be non-operational as the relocation occurs, you want to ensure your move is as quick and efficient as possible. Don’t rest on your laurels once you’ve finally found your new premises. Get to work and start creating a timeline of what needs to be done prior to the big move. Remember, employees need to be told 4-6 months before moving day and will require regular updating. You’ll also need to create a packing schedule, pencil in dates for updating the phone service and Internet and make sure to leave time for new permits, licences or insurance policies to be dealt with.

2. Take stock

Evaluate all your company’s furniture, technical equipment and random bric brac. Decide how you want your new office or work space to be laid out. Identify what, if anything, is necessary to purchase to help get you up and running in the new place, quicker. This planning stage will take longer the larger your new office space.

3. Allocate resources

Sit down, with key staff members if necessary, and plan how you can best aim to achieve the smoothest relocation possible, one that’s completed efficiently, with speed, within your designated budget. Allocate resources to all the services you’ll need, including movers and equipment transportation.

4. Choose carefully

Make sure you organise moving and cleaning services at least a month before the big day. If possible, aim for three months before. When selecting a mover or cleaning company, make sure to research potential companies well. Ensure they can, and do, provide good testimonials and/or recommendations.

5. Update everything

In those final weeks prior to your office relocation, remember to let your current customers or clients know about the change via updates on your business website. You can tie the updating of your address in with news of related specials or discounts you may decide to offer. (Remember, too, a move can be a good excuse to tweak any aspect of your business that needs it, such as branding, merchandise, product range or strategy.) Organise to have your new business cards delivered. Let the post office know about the change of address. And arrange for all staff to change the address in their email signatures.

Tips provided by Walkmove.com.au, leaders in office relocation

What does the new frontier of negative interest rates in the global arena mean for investors?

What does the new frontier of negative interest rates in the global arena mean for investors?

What does the new frontier of negative interest rates in the global arena mean for investors?

 

Cindy Yeap / The Edge Malaysia discusses “What does the new frontier of negative interest rates in the global arena mean for investors?”

“For RHB Research Institute executive chairman and chief economist Lim Chee Sing, NIRP “can only be seen as a temporary expedient to hold up financial markets”, albeit one that has little room to push for more economic growth in this relatively mature stage of the growth cycle.

“That means rising investment premiums and heightened market volatility will likely be the order of the day in the days ahead. Portfolio investors may have no choice but to build some degree of defensiveness into their portfolios to balance out the risks. This implies rising appetite for high-yield stocks,” Lim says.

“Even dividend stocks have caveats in the days ahead, largely due to their rich valuations vis-à-vis tougher conditions to grow at the same rate as before. For example, sin stocks might have to contend with higher taxes; the fees for telecommunications spectrum refarming have yet to be revealed; and consumer stocks have to contend with the possibility of a further tightening of consumer spending. Then, there is the higher labour cost.

“The focus should be on stocks with an improved business model, reasonable earnings visibility, strong cash flow, a dividend policy and, thus, sustainable dividend payments. Of course, one cannot ignore valuations but rich valuation stocks are still susceptible to a selldown should the global economy take a turn for the worse,” Lim adds.

“Gerald Ambrose, CEO of Aberdeen Islamic Asset Management Sdn Bhd, too, noted expensive valuations after a good run in recent years.

“We are keeping a close eye on notable high-yield companies, like the cellular phone companies, the brewers, tobacco companies and the REITs (real estate investment trusts). We’re currently about halfway though the 4Q2015 results season and to be honest, a lot of the better-managed companies have been able to find efficiencies to enable dividend payout to remain high. However, after outperforming for over a year, a lot of the high dividend yield companies are hardly cheap,” he says.”

BOTTOM LINE: Focus your strategy on yield and gold. Gold is an alternative when interest rates are negative adjusted for taxes and inflation.

The Difference Between a Good Analyst and a Great Analyst

I came across this piece from Quandl and it got me thinking about about politics and experts and analysts. Quandl is a data site that offers information on thousands of stocks, with historical data going back decades and futures data to help you forecast trends. They created this graphic to help novice analysts get ahead in the industry.
the Difference Between a Good and a Great Analyst

I love to talk politics. My dad and I conversed and analysed and argued about the Vietnam War and every other thing that was worth discussing. Sometimes they were heated. College was a disappointment. I thought there were would be more conversations in depth much like the ones between dad and me. Sadly, that only occurred in the classroom … infrequently. In my adult life, once in a while there is a conversation I look back on with fondness. Those conversations  with new friends or in depth conversations over a fine dinner. Today, it is hard to have conversations when each participant is holding on to biases and attaching their ego to those opinions.

I want to have conversations with great analysts.

When I was a broker, I made the most money for my clients when I could analyse the facts, and draw conclusions from those facts that were outside the norm. If you saw The Big Short you saw great analysts reach conclusions that were farseeing. The consequences of their conclusions were far reaching.made them huge piles of money.

It is one thing to develop a story about the future of Germany or Cuba if you are a citizen, another thing altogether to draw the conclusion that being Jewish in Germany is existential; it is another thing to be Cuban and realize that the door to Spain is the only escape and it will close soon.

To stand in a place and observe that a country that spends more than it takes in and builds up debt to the point that they can barely pay the interest is a good analyst. To be a great analyst it takes courage to conclude that this cannot stand and it’s time to leave.

Great analysts tell stories that are believable and motivate others to take action. Strive to become a great analyst.

Folks, It’s Happening All Over America!


Get Mobile: 5 Moblie Marketing Tips to Boost Revenue Fast

Get Mobile: 5 Moblie Marketing Tips

Get Mobile: 5 Moblie Marketing Tips

Have you been struggling to increase your revenue from Internet marketing? If so, it might be because your notion of what going online means is no longer really valid. Mobile marketing stats reports that just about two out of every three Americans have a smart phone. Even more interesting for mobile marketers is the fact that an increasing number of these people use their phone as their primary or even their only access to the Internet. Even when consumers do have access to desktops and laptops, Google’s research indicates that mobile use is more strongly associated with an immediate intent to purchase then traditional Internet use. This means that businesses who want to rapidly increase revenue from Internet marketing cannot afford to ignore mobile solutions.

Five Mobile Marketing Action Tips

It’s well established that businesses need to pursue mobile marketing to keep growing online. To understand how to use mobile to grow your own revenues rapidly, consider these five tips that might work for your business.

  1. Make Your Website Friendly to Mobile Visitors

This might seem obvious, but many company websites still don’t look right or function well on small and handheld devices.The first thing your business needs is a responsive website or a mobile app that visitors can access when they’re on the phone or other mobile device. Mobile web surfers are even more notoriously impatient than folks who use desktops and laptops. Make sure your Internet platform can accommodate smaller screens and function well on phones.

  1. Make Mobile Signups Easy

Marketers can use new technologies like short codes to make it easy for prospects to sign up for newsletters or special offers. With short codes, consumers can sign up to a list simply by replying to a text with a special code. This reply signals the consumer’s interest and gives the business permission to keep communicating. Many businesses offer incentives, like discount coupons, to attract more signups.

  1. Automate Marketing Campaigns

With the right software, businesses can deploy highly targeted marketing campaigns to different targeted market segments. For example, marketing automation can base promotions upon recent purchases, website activity, or demographics. If a customer left your website without paying for their shopping cart, texting them a 10 percent off or free shipping coupon might get them to go back and complete their purchase. If another customer just purchased a jogging stroller, perhaps she would also appreciate a discount on jogging shoes.

  1. Enhance Social Media

It’s always helpful to make mobile content as socially friendly as possible. To move beyond normal icons for likes and shares, some businesses have used in-store QR codes to allow customers to like and share products easily with their smart phones. As an incentive, the business can offer to text back an automatic promotional discount on that item. This gives consumers both an extra incentive to buy and an incentive to share socially.

  1. Allow Customers to Book Online

When consumers are actually out on the streets, they are more likely to patronize your brick and mortar business. Hairdressers, dentists, and restaurants are just some examples of businesses that can benefit from allowing last-minute, real-time bookings. For example, a business could either allow a consumer to request a time or have a way to display available openings that consumers can choose from. Knowing that you can fit them in, gives customers, clients, or patients an extra incentive to do business with you.

Get More Action Tips to Use Mobile Marketing to Boost Your Business

These five tips are actionable and affordable for most businesses. However, they barely scrape the surface of the ways that a company like Trumpia can help you grow your business with mobile marketing online.

Author Biography

Sophorn Chhay

Sophorn is an inbound marketer specializing in attracting targeted visitors and generating sales qualified leads. Through Trumpia’s SMS marketing automation solution he helps businesses and organizations communicate effectively with their customers or members. Trumpia is offering a free Mobile Marketing Success Kit so don’t forget to grab your free copy.

Is Your Brand Easy to Remember

Is Your Brand Easy to Remember

And Things You’re Probably Doing that Damages Your Brand

Is Your Brand Easy to Remember? Branding has become a norm in the current business culture of today. Every business tries to develop a brand for itself so that more and more people are attracted towards it. The level of competition among businesses is at an all-time high and you need to keep up with them to stay in the market. Simply speaking, branding can prove to be the difference between success and failure of your business. Even a small, local business has to engage in some form of branding to attract customers.

How to Make Sure Your Customers Remember Your Brand

Branding is a process by which you create an image or face for your business. The tick mark representing ‘Nike’ is one of the million branding symbols used by businesses around the globe. Effective branding can be the vehicle for your business’s success.

  •  Consistency

Consistency is important for sustained success. There are many businesses which have been using the same logo for over half a century and are among the most recognizable brands in the world.

Generally, people identify with the brands which they have been seeing for a long time. This has been possible because they have remained consistent in their branding. Over the years, people have become familiar to their brands, even though generations have passed since their inception. Keep your brand consistent and you will be able to carve a niche for yourself.

  •  Creativity

Being creative with your branding is just as important as being consistent. If you decide to play it safe and keep a simple design, there is a chance it may be considered by your customers.

Thinking out of the box is the way to go nowadays and taking a little risk with your branding may prove to be the best option. Thinking out of the box doesn’t mean that you come up with an idea that alienates your consumer base. The idea for your brand has to be creative, original, interesting and appealing while keeping your customers in mind.

  •  Relevance

Your business’ branding should be relevant to your target audience. Customers are the lifeblood of every business and you have to make sure that your brand relates to them. There are several criteria you can use when it comes to relevance. Figure out the age group you are targeting.

The branding ideas which appeal to twenty year olds are different than those for senior citizens. Similarly, your brand has to reflect whether it is for males, females or both. If your customers are able to relate with your brand, you will be able to develop long-term relationships.

Consistency, creativity and relevance are the three ingredients for a brand which will make sure that your customers remember it. You have to consider these three factors before you start off with the branding process.

Incorporating them from the start will serve you well and ensure that your customers are familiar with your brand rather than the business name from the start. All in all, these three factors determine whether your brand remains etched in consumers’ minds or not.

5 Things That Could Damage Your Brand

A brand name is a unique design, symbol or a logo that represents a particular company or organization providing the public with its products and services. Branding your products and services has many benefits for your business, including differentiation in a crowded marketplace. You can charge your customers for the credibility you offer and thus alleviate your product costs. This it can provide you with many permanent loyal customers.

Having a good reputation for your brand is not easy. You will have to provide your customers with credible, meaningful, original, durable and superior products and services than your competitors. Building a reputed brand is difficult but maintaining it is harder. It is because even a slight mistake, wrong decision or unethical activity will have a drastic affect on your brand name.

Your brand name is fragile and vulnerable and you always need to protect it for the betterment and prosperity of your business. Below are some mistakes that are not usually considered, but may ruin a brand name easily.

  1.  Business Owner’s Personality –  Being a businessman is not easy, as your activities directly affect the image of your business. A businessman should always use P.A.K (Pleasant, attractive and knowledgeable) to maintain and build his/her brand’s image. P.A.K says that a businessman should always maintain a pleasant, attractive and knowledgeable personality while interacting with the people. An uncharismatic personality will not leave a good impression of your business.
  2.  Unethical Sales Practices – Many small business owners use unethical practices to increase their sales, although such practices result in nothing but ruining your credibility. Unethical practices include making false promises and commitments to your customers and badmouthing your competitors. False promises leave a very bad impression on your prospects and will get them irate easily while bad mouthing your competitors will make them feel as if you are not confident about your products and services.
  3.  Employee’s Behavior – The behavior of your employees is one of the biggest factors affecting your brand name, because it is they who interact with your customers directly. If they don’t behave in a polite and clear manner with your customers, they will never return. Therefore, it is essential to train your employees with the necessary communication skills.
  4.  Cheap Website – Nowadays, websites are mostly the medium of first interaction with your prospects. The first impression leaves its mark. A cheap website, where it is hard to explore your products and services without any clear information will simply exasperate your customers.
  5.  Bad or Delayed Response – When a customer needs your services, be it for the first time or for a complaint, if you fail to respond immediately you will make them feel that you don’t care about them. People don’t like to be where they are not valued and their problems are not dealt with easily. This could be bad phone line connections, long lines or simply no one responding to questions on the phone or through e-mails.

Eva is a brand management consultant and has helped many businesses to strengthen their brand image through promotions. She works for Custom Gear and is a regular contributor in marketing online publications.

How to Play the Situations In China and Greece

The following is an excerpt from Private Wealth Advisory...

Stocks are rallying today because of:

1)   Hype and hope of a Greek deal.

2)   China has stopped trading of 49% of stocks and threatened to arrest anyone who is short-selling the market (talk about a backstop!).

Regarding Greece, no deal has been made. Greek PM Tsipras has submitted a proposal for a new deal… which is almost EXACTLY the same as the deal that 61% of the Greek population rejected via referendum last week.

Tsipras has completely backed himself into a corner. He used up a lot of goodwill with EU officials when he let Greece default by staging a referendum for Greek voters AFTER the due date on Greece’s debt.

The voters obviously voted “No” on the EU’s deal… so Tsipras has had to come up with a new proposal. The only thing he can suggest that would possibly sit well with Greek voters is “debt forgiveness,” which Germany has stated it is absolutely opposed to.

So now Tsipras must decide… does take a bad deal (the same one voters said “no” to last week), which will force a popular revolt in Greece (and likely his expulsion from office) or is he the man who takes Greece out of the Eurozone?

 

His finance minister has already quit his post… and doesn’t seem too upset about it. Perhaps Tsipras will follow suit, Greece will elect another PM and the whole charade can start all over again?

Finance.jpg

The Greek drama has engaged in “extend and pretend” for five years now. It’s highly likely that it will continue this time around with Greece accepting a bad deal and plunging further into economic collapse until the next debt problem emerges.

As for China…

Anyone who bothered to look at the actual data coming out of China (the un-massaged data, not the fictitious GDP numbers), knew the China economy was in collapse. It was only a matter of time before its stock bubble joined suit.

Sure enough, the bubble burst, and the Chinese stock market has erased over $3 trillion in wealth in the space of three weeks.

The Chinese Government, which we are told is moving towards free market capitalism, has thus far dealt with the crisis by halting 49% of stocks from trading and threatening to arrest (and likely “disappear”) anyone caught short-selling stocks or somehow promoting market “instability.”

The market is bouncing on this… it’s now coming up against the first line of resistance (blue line) established by the uptrend from late 2014. If we break above that we could even bounce to retest the longer-term bubble bull market trendline (green line).

However, after that we’re heading DOWN in a big way. The bubble has burst. Bubbles NEVER reflate after bursting.

7-10-15-1.png

Crises never unfold in straight lines. Investors forget that when the Tech Bubble burst, stocks were a roller coaster with over EiGHT moves of 16% or greater in the span of six months.

7-10-15-2.jpg

China’s bubble was even larger than the Tech Bubble. The price volatility will be even more severe… but the bubble has definitively burst… and the market will be heading lower in the coming weeks.

In short… the two biggest reasons for the markets to be rallying today (Greece and China) are simply temporary issues. They will resolve, very likely for the worse, in the coming weeks. Smart investors should be using this bounce to prepare for the next wave of the Crisis.

If you’re looking for actionable investment strategies to profit from this trend we highly recommend you take out a trial subscription to our paid premium investment newsletter Private Wealth Advisory.

Mover Mike Hit 2,000,000

After an incredible June, Mover Mike hit 2,000,000 page views. I have been blogging since 2004 and it is nice to see that more people are finding this blog. Sometimes, I have considered quitting, thinking why bother, no one reads me. However, conservative fiscally, Libertarian socially, this blog joins many others who don’t like the path the U.S. is on.

No longer can we discuss things rationally and heatedly.  Now it seems the play book says to ignore the message, savage the messenger. We are seeing that currently with Trump and we read that Hillary hasn’t answered the press questions in two weeks. AND…more and more people are considering leaving the country.

Mexico”sends” their unemployed to the U.S.. How long will 93,000,000 unemployed and under employed wait to move south? How long will the drought stricken  in the south west wait to move? What happens when the U.S. becomes like Greece and can’t feed the 43,000,000 on EBT?

Stay tuned, dear reader. I hope to cover it and provide some answers. Thanks for reading Mover Mike

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