Author Archives: Jeanna Smialek

A few months ago, I got out of a taxi upon arriving at my hotel in Beijing. As mainstream credit cards are uncommon and rarely accepted here, I handed the driver cash. I couldn’t speak Chinese and he couldn’t speak English. He shook his head fiercely refusing the payment and pointed to his phone. He wanted me to pay through QR code — a popular method for payments in China. After much back and forth and me telling him I didn’t have WeChat Pay or AliPay, I handed the cash to the hotel door staff. The staff member didn’t have any cash on him to provide change (we decided to let it go), and he then used his personal phone to pay the driver through QR code. This inconvenient scenario is common for foreigners like myself visiting China — it’s not just with transportation. Even at American staples like Starbucks…

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When a start-up raises money, it shouldn’t necessarily be seen at as a good thing, according to the co-founder of tech unicorn Branch. Mada Seghete, Branch’s head of strategy and market development, said that though getting funding is a “necessary” step for new companies, it comes at the expense of a team’s ownership in their business. “We will never ever celebrate a fundraise,” Seghete said at a CNBC-moderated panel at the Web Summit tech conference. “When you raise money, it’s definitely important that you raise money to fuel your company.” “But you do give out a percentage of your equity, you dilute yourself and your employees, and it’s not necessarily something to celebrate,” she added. Based in Redwood City, California, Branch sells a technology known as deep-linking, which helps clients create links that direct users to a certain point on their website or app. The company has raised $113 million…

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When you are just starting out in the business world, it can seem daunting at times. In order to be an entrepreneur and run your own business successfully; you need to have drive, determination, and vision. These will help you stay above water through the hard times. But you also need a great concept and suitable infrastructure and capital to implement it, which are sometimes harder to come by. In their quest for success, many young entrepreneurs turn to the luring world of franchising. But is that the most appropriate course of action for you? Reviewing the pros and cons of becoming involved in a franchise can help you decide if this is the way to go. For the Young and the Restless If you are suited for the entrepreneur lifestyle, you already know it deep inside. It can be stressful and risky; and there are people who are risk-averse…

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It’s hard to see the forest with all those trees in the way. We’re currently going through a revolution that’s larger, arguably, than the industrial revolution. The internet and the rise of technology have transformed the way we live — how we talk, how we work, how we go about our daily business, and, yes, how we manage our finances on a global and individual level. It’s possible that in fifty years, once humans have some perspective on the shift that’s happening, we’ll see these days as the beginning of a great change. But how exactly is technology changing the world of finance? Decentralised Banking Historically, banks and other financial institutions have been in charge of the money, and whoever is in charge of money, generally controls the world. That’s beginning to change now. There’s been a lot of hype about blockchain — more hype than action — but the…

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Most healthy businesses need business financing at some point. Startups have to deal with starting costs and ongoing businesses have to finance growth and working capital. Deciding to take on some kind of debt is quite common. In this article, we’ll take a quick look at the big picture, and then talk through options for funding. Financing options depend on what kind of business you have. Its age, position, performance, market opportunities, team, and so forth are very important. So you should tailor your funding search and your approach. Don’t waste your time looking for the wrong kind of financing. Understand the general realities of getting funded Let’s start with a quick reality check. Like so many things in business, a lot about business financing depends on your specific details. Realities go case by case, depending on the growth stage, resources, and other factors.   Are you a startup or…

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The rising popularity of cryptocurrencies over the past years have sped up their creation and growth. New traders and investors may easily be confused by the sheer number of currencies available. This guide aims to help you invest in some of the best digital currencies available. 1. Bitcoin You’ve probably heard of Bitcoin before hearing the terms cryptocurrency or blockchain. Bitcoin is the largest and most popular cryptocurrency, both by market capitalization and by transaction volume. Most industry analysts agree that if you are only going to invest in one cryptocurrency, then Bitcoin should be the one you choose. As with any digital currencies, Bitcoin has been a successful investment for some and a loss to others. It is always important to learn how to invest in Bitcoin before you start using real money. 2. Ethereum Advocates for Ethereum describe the coin as being the brains behind the entire blockchain…

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Below is a list of six countries, some of which are known as tax havens, where investors can consider opening an offshore company: 1. Belize a country that offers stability along with a very attractive tax regime or, better said, no taxes for companies. The Belize International Business Company (IBC) is a flexible and advantageous type of company. 2. British Virgin Islands a respectable financial center and also a tax haven because of the lack of taxes, the same flexible business structure, the IBC, is available for incorporation here. 3. Cayman Islands have a reputation as one of the premier offshore centers in the world and, like Belize and the British Virgin Islands, the Islands are perceived as a tax haven. 4. Cyprus the location to look for if you are planning to base an offshore company in the European Union; investors who start an offshore company in Cyprus enjoy…

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If you are already familiar with the ubiquitous project brief and would like to try something new, here’s an idea. Why not try writing a funding proposal. A funding proposal is used to request funds by providing a compelling case for the proposed project. The main difference is the focus on the goals and objectives of the project, feeding into a set of measures for evaluation of project success. The proposal features a full breakdown of project resources and costs in more detail than usually found in a project brief. The focus on objectives and measures adds some rigour, making the project manager think carefully about specific activities to be done. These must be measurable so project success can be gauged by whether these objectives have been achieved. In the required resources section, the document covers personnel, facilities, equipment, suppliers and budget. Funding covers much more than just people, and…

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Americans — especially women — are feeling less secure about their finances today than just a few months ago. Overall, cardholders are paying their balances in full less often and feeling less confident about doing so in the future than at any time in the past year, according to a monthly credit card confidence survey by CompareCards.com. Women are struggling the most, the card comparison site found. “There is certainly a significant gender gap when it comes to paying your bills,” said Matt Schulz, CompareCards’ chief industry analyst. For the first time, women were more likely to say they never paid their card statements in full once in the previous six months than to say they did so every month, CompareCards found. Men were much more likely to say they always paid their bill in full. Various studies show that women in general are more stressed about money than are…

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About this time every summer, I get a deep longing to be on the beach. Catching up on vitamin D, fresh ocean air and maybe pursuing some small surf are top priorities. If I can get a few days in like this over the summer, I’m a happy guy. And since I can’t get my mind away from the beach, I’m going to bring the beach to this article. There are several similarities between becoming a decent surfer and becoming a decent investor. At first glance, this might seem like a bit of a stretch of the imagination, but I find it’s more relevant than you might think. Here are three main strategies that can work for both groups: 1. Diving in: When you get to the beach with your board in tow, the first thing you should do is survey the environment. There are several questions that you might ask yourself:…

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