Finance is for Everyone

Money makes the world go round, as they say, and while the whole world is full of those crisp or wilted paper bills it seems that they like to slip right through our hands so quickly.

People who know how to make a dollar or two with ease enter the world of finance, which is the business of managing your money and your other assets. If you’ve got a bank account, finance is involved.

If you’re considering an investment to support your future, you’re thinking in terms of finance. Maybe it’s on our minds 24/7. After all, we need money to survive, and most of our lives is spent on making it. Not just stockbrokers or bankers or investors, the so-called money-jugglers of society.

The thing is, finance is really for everyone. If you’ve got money, then you have to involve your brain in the act of finance or money-managing to get the most bang for your buck. Otherwise, you will splurge and you will wonder where in the world the money went.

The best time to start learning about finance is the time you start to receive money. Think about it. When you received a check in the mail from your grandma as your birthday present, weren’t you already thinking of what you were going to spend it all on?

That is the essence of finance, although that very act may have been insensible and financially disagreeable; hey, you were just a kid, after all.

Maybe you were a smart kid, one who knew how money goes. Maybe you’ve stashed it in your secret hiding place. Maybe you started to go into business by selling lemonade (although maybe you drank more than half of it too). Maybe you gave some away to your favorite charity. Yup, that was finance too. We all know better now, don’t we?

It hasn’t changed much; we go out to make money, we spend some, we save some, until we have enough to make a couple of major purchases such as homes or vacations. Only we know a bit more. And we’ve understood more of the finance jargon that sometimes rolls on the tongue.

Investments. Assets. Loans. Benefits. Mortgage. Insurance. Knowlege is power, as they say, and knowledge on how to finance will lead you to finance greater amounts of money in the future. So study up. Take finance management classes. Follow the stock market. Listen in on discussions.

Finance also includes self-discipline. Sometimes you have to keep yourself from small pleasures in order to attain the bigger more important things. Finance means that you need to set your priorities straight. Sacrifice may seem like a lot at the moment but the end will justify the means.

Finance is planning ahead. For your future. For your future’s future. For your financial safety and stability. Because it is a very difficult thing to get by in this world without the proper resources. It is preparation for the unknown. Managing your finances mean decreasing the number of worry lines on your face.

So if you’ve got money, if you’re planning to make money, or if you’re thinking about money, well then, you’re thinking about finance. Just keep in mind not just to think about finance, but to think about it wisely, too.

Financing – A Must For Growth

Financing means getting financial support from financial institutions. A start up company or a company, which has been in existence, requires on going finance. Some companies to run the day-to-day operations require financial support. Some companies also require financing to expand their services and create more branches and develop.

The rate of interest for financing is pretty high and financing institutions like banks provide loans to the business owners. The borrowed money and interest amount are repaid in installments. While financing you should be very careful as the amount borrowed and the amount you will repay will not be the same, as you need to pay along with the interest rate, which could be 15% -20%. Suppose, you go for a loan for 100,000 dollars, then the amount repayable would be 125,000, but the best part is you can repay in installments over a period of time.

While financing you need to check the interest rates, monthly repayable amount, finance terms and the repayment term. You should first evaluate the amount of money required for financing and also look at returns that would be generated from the investment. You should also calculate and find in how many years the investment would generate profits for the company. The loan amount should be adequate and it should help in growth.

The banks or financial institutions, which provide financing facilities, get the financed amount back in installments including the interest rates. The banks or financial institutions make profits and they normally finance with some fixed assets as collateral. A collateral is a guarantee that the person would repay the borrowed amount and in case if the person does not repay the borrowed amount on time, then the lenders have the right to sell the collateral.

For small business owners, the government provides financing schemes, which helps in promoting, small and medium sized businesses. The small and medium sized businesses also get loans from U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the financing schemes are easy and flexible. In fact it is easier to get a loan from U.S. Small Business Administration schemes than getting a loan from banks and other financial institutions. If you apply for Small Business Loan program then the SBA would stand as security for the borrower.

One other financing option is equity financing from family, employees etc who will be provided with shares of the company in exchange for money. A company can also consider financing in the form of venture capital. The venture capitalist invests in the company and takes a risk if they feel the company would grow and provide adequate returns. Financing through venture capitalists is a difficult task and there are many strict guidelines to be followed by the management and proper accounting procedures have to be followed. Venture capitalists would also be part of the management and while taking decisions their role has to be kept in mind.

Getting a venture capitalist for financing your projects would be a very difficult task as they only finance where they can see tremendous growth opportunities and returns. There are many financing options through which you can develop your company. It is left up to the businessperson to choose the right finance option.

Finance Software – That Makes Financial Arithmetic Easy

The software designed to examine monetary data inside finance and the financial markets. Finance software can be used for different purposes. The finance software manages the account balance properly. It reconciles different errors from your account. Financial software will also maintain your tax figures. It lessens data entry as all the transactions are to be downloaded directly. You will also pay your bills online with the help of such software. It is also used for budgeting. There are different types of finance software like:

Intuit is the best maker of personal finance software. Its handy program keeps proper record of your personal finances and if you are owner of a small business the best choice is its deluxe version. You can also install its basic version for home purposes.

Microsoft Excel is used for statistical research and other business functions. It handles your finances but you have to manage your account yourself.

TimeValue is also finance software used by millions of experts. It is used in bookkeeping as well as in taxation. There are different TimeValue finance software available in the market like: TaxInterest, Tax941, TValue etc.

Microsoft Money is a personal finance software. Its latest version is Microsoft Money 2006, which is available in four different versions such as Small Business, Standard, Deluxe and Premium.

Another finance software is Microsoft Works. If you are not able to afford Office, Excel or Word, you will select this option. There is a lot of improvement in this.

Moving a Business and Making It Successful

Moving a business can be an exciting process and, in some ways, not much different than moving from one home to a new home. The main difference, of course, is that you still have profit and employees that can be affected by the move. Moving a business, then, should involve much more planning. It may also be even more important to utilize the help of paid professionals. This means extra expenses for movers and, possibly, even the expertise of a moving planner. In the long run though, the extra finances can be well worth it. Using paid experts to make moving a business

Plan of Action for Moving a Business

The most important part of making the move may be planning and organizing. The earlier you begin the planning, the better. Proper planning and organizing will not only make the move a success, it will ensure that your business can continue to run without much interruption in flow and finances. It comes down to even having a detailed schedule the time of the move, if possible. While things will come up that deviate from the plan, it means you are less likely to be caught completely off guard and thrown for a loop.

Having a good plan of action also means you may be able to set it up so that your business at one location overlaps the other. Remember even if the business is running but at half speed that is a loss. In other words, instead of having to completely halt the business activity for a day or more, you can have the business running at both places until the move is complete. This can cause you to operate without your customers ever having to know the move happened. But, if you do intend to make customers aware that a move will be taking place, assure them this will have little or no effect on them.

Investing in a Successful Move

When moving a business, you may want to seriously consider investing some funding into making the move go as smoothly as possible. Just as you would hire employees to help run the business or an accountant to help with the numbers, you will want to bring in those who can offer their expertise and services. Depending on the size – and budget – of your company, you may want to hire an outside moving consultant.

Business Loans – Finance Your Dreams

We all have dreams. If you have dreamed of owning a group of companies or taking your business to new heights thus becoming a successful businessperson but it is the money that’s hindering your way. You need not worry because now you have business loans that can help you finance your dreams.

Business loans are provided to those who are looking forward to start up a new business or expand the existing one. These loans provide the entrepreneurs with enough financial assistance.

There are several types of business loans available in the market. Start up business loans help to start a new business. These are given to those who have a strong desire of starting up a business but are unable to do so because of some financial crisis. If you want to start with a small business and require relatively less amount, then a small business loan is the best option for you. With large business loans you can make large capital investments, start a new business and even expand the existing one.

One can avail a business loans in either of the two forms -secured or unsecured. Secured business loans can be availed only if you have something like a property or home to place as collateral. They are given at a low interest rate provided you have a good credit score and the collateral holds a higher value.

If you do not want to put a property as collateral for the fear of getting it repossessed by the lender, you can opt for unsecured business loans. These are generally given at a higher rate of interest. It takes into consideration your present business volume and credit score.

Sanction of a business loan depends on factors such as the business plan, loan purpose, credit score and the collateral placed. The loan amount can be drawn according to one’s requirements and financial condition. Normally, with a business loan you can extract money ranging from £5,000 to £100,000. The repayment period is between 3-25 years. Keeping all these things in mind the lender decides the loan amount, interest rate and monthly installments of the borrower.

Benefits of business loans are:
Fastest way of raising money for business.

Flexible repayment options.

Ownership of your company is retained.

Tax-free interest rate.

An effective tool for debt consolidation.

Can be used for expanding or renovating premises.

The loan procedure involves lot of paper work, which is quite chaotic. An alternative to this is the provision of various online loan-providing organizations existing on different websites that keep you away from all hassles. Just a little effort is required to fill in the loan application form. You need to give all the relevant details required and the lender will serve you service with the best possible deal.

Hence, now put all your worries under the pillow and make a fresh opening of your business plans. If you make a judicious use of the loan, you can go a long way expanding your business thus making your dreams come true.

International Banking – Essential for Globalization of Businesses

International banking refers to the banking services that cover a wide array of topics. It provides you personal bank accounts along with the business bank accounts also. An important feature of international banking is foreign currency services. This is a very useful feature for the people who need to deal in different currencies. You can make transactions in dollars, euro or Swiss franc.

Getting Expert Advice

Another useful service that you get from international banking organizations is traveler’s checks. All of us know the importance of traveler’s check during the traveling period. Not only can you open a foreign currency account but you can also seek help from experts regarding the international trade such as import and export of goods.

International banking institutes have investment consultants that can guide you on how to improve international trade. You can manage your bank accounts in foreign countries without any trouble. It has many other benefits also associated with it. For example, you can save a great amount of money because of lower or no taxes at all. It definitely gives you an edge over your competitors.

Globalization is the mantra today. Every business owner whether he is running a small business or big business wishes to expand his or her business beyond the boundaries of nations. International banking is a necessary tool to globalize your business. You cannot underestimate this feature because you cannot grow fast without crossing the geographical boundaries.

When you expand your business in several countries you need an effective system to manage your finances. International banking organizations offer you just the right kind of services that you need as a multinational business owner. International banks have branches in many different countries. This gives you the liberty of making payments in any of these countries. Moreover, you can get the payment in local currency saving a big amount on transactional fees.

The relations between the countries and international scenario make a huge impact on international trade. International banking services too cannot remain unaffected by the political developments at the international level. That is why international banks have to observe keenly not only the economic changes but political changes as well.

Perform a Thorough Research

So, it is well-established fact now that you need international banking services to globalize business. However, you should not select any international bank in a hurry. Perform a thorough research on the bank before you decide to open an account with them. You should ascertain that the bank offers reliable and stable services to its customers.

Business and Industry in Edinburgh

As the historic capital of Scotland, it should come as little surprise that Edinburgh is also the centre of financial business in that country. The strength and rate of growth of finances in Edinburgh means that it has the second strongest economy in the whole of the UK, outside of London. With the devolved Scottish government sitting in the city there are also plenty of legal firms and other public sector bodies with their main offices located here. eg. NHS Scotland and BBC Scotland. That said, Edinburgh also has major industrial businesses which contribute to the wealth of both the city and Scotland as a country.

At their Crewe Toll factory, BAe Systems employs over 1000 people in the manufacture of defence systems such as: radar, optical imaging, surveillance and tracking systems; for land sea and air services. This ‘hi-tech’ work includes the laser guidance system for the Lockheed-Martin F-35 Joint-Strike-Fighter and the CAPTOR radar system for the Eurofighter, in which BAe already has a stake. The presence of a major electronics company like BAe has, of course, encouraged smaller electronics companies to locate and expand in the area. ST Electronics is an example of such a company. Employing 100 people at its Pinkhill Research and Development centre, they work in the design of image sensing and processing equipment. Working in Edinburgh on mechanical and electrical contracts is Balfour Kilpatrick, at their Fairways Business Park base. Mostly concerned with high and low voltage power supply systems in Scotland; the company also works in heating and ventilation systems as well as other buildings services such as security and fire management. Pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca have a research and development centre in the city at the Beaverbank Office Park. Whilst fewer than 100 people are employed here it is a typical example of the new ‘hi-tech’ ICT, bio-Technology and Media companies that are establishing offices and bases in the city. Edinburgh is also has the head offices for Scottish Gas, Water and Power (Electricity). Between them the three utilities companies employ in excess of three thousand people in the city.

The leading finance company in Edinburgh has to be the Halifax Bank of Scotland with its head office on The Mound in the city centre. Originally established as the Bank of Scotland in 1695 it is the oldest clearing bank in the country. HBOS employs over 25,000 people world-wide and almost 1000 of those at its Edinburgh head office. Despite the merger of the Bank of Scotland with the Halifax in 2001, they both operate as subsidiary companies. Founded by a royal charter in 1727 is the Royal Bank of Scotland, which is also headquartered in the city. As well as having ‘Direct line’ as one of its subsidiary companies the RBS is also now the owner of Coutts & Co.; one of the most prestigious and historic private banks in the UK. With such major financial institutions to be located in the city – numerous other finance and finance related companies are also to be found. One such company is ‘Gerrard Investment Management’, which is now part of the Barclay Banking Group. Although it is only a small company, employing about 50 people, it has worked in Edinburgh for over 200 years providing investment management and advice to both individuals and companies.

Whilst Edinburgh is undoubtedly moving forwards you can still see traditional crafts being pursued and practised in the city. At the Old Town Weaving Company, on Castlehill off the Royal Mile, you can see traditional tartan cloth being woven. As a visitor to Scotland you’ll quickly see that there are plenty of retail outlets for tartans and Scottish kilts in particular. Another traditional craft that has been exercised in the city for over 400 years is glass-making. The Venetians brought their trade secrets to the city in the 1600s and ever since then the city has developed a reputation for its fine glass-ware. Probably best known at present is Edinburgh Crystal, which was established in 1867 and now also owns the Caithness Glass and Selkirk Glass brands.

As the capital city of Scotland Edinburgh is a popular tourist destination. As such, in 2005, 23% of all tourism expenditure in Scotland was spent in Edinburgh – a significant contribution to the economy of the city. A significant factor in this is, of course, the annual Edinburgh International Festival. Begun in 1947 to inspire and promote the ‘human spirit’, it is an exposition of all that is good and great in the arts. So successful was it at fostering the human spirit that it rapidly spawned what was to become known as the ‘Edinburgh Fringe’ – where people organise their own and alternative events. Determining the total number of visitors to the city is not impossible, nor is it even possible to establish how many of those visitors were their solely for the International Festival. However, the Military Tattoo, just one of the many events that make up the festival, attracts nearly 220,000 spectators annually. Tourism in Edinburgh is indeed big business!

International Finance for Trade and Commerce

International trade involves international financial transactions because different countries have different units of money. When your nation wish to buy goods from other nations, they usually must pay for the goods in the currency of the exporting country. In other words, Japan will probably demand yen, France will demand francs, West Germany will want deutsche marks, Great Britain will insist on pounds, and Mexico will demand pesos in payment for the goods they sell. Foreign currencies are called foreign exchange, and they are bought and sold in foreign exchange markets, which are markets that deal in the buying and selling of foreign currencies. Some banks specialize in financing international trade, and they are the major participants in foreign exchange markets. If an American importer wishes to buy automobiles from a Japanese manufacturer, the importer will go to a bank that specializes in financing international trade, and will exchange dollars for yen.

Exchange Rates: The foreign exchange rate is the price of one currency in terms of another. For example, the British pound might be worth 76 times more in Indian money. Historically, there have been two major types of foreign exchange rates: fixed exchange rates and flexible exchange rates.

Under the fixed-exchange-rate system, the price of one currency was fixed in terms of other currencies so that the rate did not change. The advantage of such a system is that importers and exporters know exactly how much foreign currency they can purchase with a given quantity of their own nation’s currency today, next week, or six months from now. Foreign exchange markets operated under a fixed-exchange-rate system from 1944 until the year early 1970. Prior to 1971, the value of the United States dollar was tied to gold at the rate of $1 equals 1/35 of an ounce of gold. In other words, one ounce of gold was equal to $35 in American money. Since the value of other currencies was also fixed in relation to gold, the dollar price of each foreign currency remained constant.

The disadvantage of the fixed-rate system was that it did not make allowances for changing economic conditions in various countries. For example, if the developed country like United States of America was experiencing high inflation at a time when Japan or China was experiencing little or no inflation, American-made goods would become increasingly expensive in relation to goods made in Japan or in China. As a result, Japan or China would purchase fewer American-made goods while Americans would tend to buy more goods made in Japan or in China. This in turn would lead to a serious imbalance in imports and exports between the two countries.

With a flexible-exchange-rate system, the type of system under which world trade operates today, the forces of supply and demand determine the value of a country’s currency in terms of the value of other currencies. Therefore, under this system, the price of a country’s currency can fluctuate up and down daily in response to market conditions.

The supply and demand for foreign exchange usually are largely determined by the supply and demand for goods and services. For example, if United States of America importers wish to import increased quantities of goods from a country, suppose from Japan, there will be a strong demand for the Japanese yen. This could force the price of the yen up substantially unless Japan was at the same time providing a large supply of yen in order to increase their imports from the United States of America. The demand for goods and services is not the only factor that determines the demand for a nation’s currency. Political or economic instability in other countries may cause people in those countries to exchange their currency for a more stable currency, such as the dollar of United States of America. In addition, high interest rates in a particular country may cause foreign investors to convert their currencies into the currency of that nation. This happened in the United States of America during the early 1980s. Interest rates became so high in this country that many foreign investors were prompted to exchange their currency for American dollars for investment purposes. This increased demand for dollars caused the value of the dollar to increase in terms of other currencies. The “strong” dollar made American-made products more expensive in world markets. As a result, Americans bought more foreign-made products, and foreigners bought fewer American-made products.

Balance of Trade: The amount of goods and services that a nation sells to other nations, and the amount it buys from other nations, are not always equal. The difference between the dollar value of exports and the dollar value of imports is called the balance of trade. If the United States exports more goods to foreign nations than it imports from foreign nations, it has a trade surplus. However, if the United States of America imports more than it exports, it has a trade deficit.

In 1971, the United States recorded its first trade deficit of the century. In all the years since then, except in 1975 when there was a modest surplus, the United States has imported more than it has exported, and the trade deficits of recent years have been so large that they have caused major concern among some economists.

However, not all economists agree on how serious a problem the trade deficits are, or even on their causes. Some believe that, in the long run, market adjustments will correct the problem. Others are not so sure. Some economists believe that the high trade deficits are linked to the large deficits in the federal government’s budget in the past two decades. They argue that heavy government borrowing to finance high budget deficits helps to keep interest rates high and encourages foreign investors to exchange their foreign currencies for dollars. However, so many things influence the trade deficits that it is not always clear which factors are playing the biggest role in the deficit at any specific time. The one thing that is clear is that the United States must increase its competitiveness in world markets. Like it or not, the world is moving rapidly toward a global economy. The volume of international trade is bound to grow rapidly in the decades ahead. Competition is still the name of the game, but the number of players has increased.

Balance of Payments: Economic relations between nations involve much more than just imports and exports. There are many different kinds of transactions that involve the exchange of money between nations. For example, American businesses invest funds in foreign nations, and American banks make foreign loans. In addition, the United States government spends money for foreign aid and to support military personnel stationed abroad. Americans spend money for goods and services when they travel abroad, and American citizens often send money to relatives living in other nations. On the other hand, money flows into the United States from other countries when foreign citizens travel in the United States, when foreign businesses make investments in the United States, when Americans receive dividends on foreign investments, and so forth.