Archive for January 2020

Potential Threats to Global Business Financing

The resolution of the United Kingdom to exit the European Union was just one of the major political decisions that will have global effects. The trade wars between the United States and China have also created unrest, but there are environmental, economic, and political concerns in countries across the globe that are impacting global economics. The global market is an open network of import and export for countries all over the world, but these exchanges will only be as strong as the international finance and banking industry that sustains them. There are challenges within every industry, but here are some of the more pressing issues that will face international businesses within the realm of finance.

Company Structuring

Global operations usually require a team of individuals that understand the international market, as well as the trends, practices, and regulations of the country in which you hope to grow. Your business structure should be able to become multinational, perhaps with a division that is specifically in charge of global exchanges.  If you are going to put an office on the ground in a foreign, you need a financial partner that works with both local and international clients. For those who are taking advantage of the oil discoveries and investment potential in Guyana, the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry Limited has both local and international experience with currency exchange, investment funds, and traditional savings accounts. Your business structure should be supported by the local market where you plan to do business but also the investments you are going to make in overseas transactions.

Regulatory Concerns

Your company may be in compliance with United States tax regulations and licensing fees, but overseas markets have a new set of laws and regulations to contend with. The tariffs and legal fees associated with approval to conduct business can be steep, and one misstep (even out of ignorance) could cost your company some serious cash. Not only do you have to worry about the fines for any breaches, but you may also be left with products in warehouses or goods that are refused entry due to regulatory non-compliance. Though the global economy is moving toward more secure and efficient digital transactions, the regulatory landscape between countries can be a headache for those who don?t have the right people in place. On the other hand, some countries are governed or influenced by those who have questionable ethics, and you need to be aware of the bribery and questionable financial requests that might follow your request to do business.

Pricing Strategies

The way you establish your pricing in the United States is similar to how the process works overseas, but there could be more variables included in the decision. Your direct competitors on the local market are a good starting point, but you need a long-term pricing strategy that accounts for the additional distribution challenges, increased overhead, multinational marketing plans, and any taxes or fees you have to pay. What you may consider a low price could still be outrageous compared to the local currency exchange and average wages, but you also have to account for how the exchange affects your suppliers or local operating costs.

Tax Compliance

If you thought U.S. tax structures were confusing to navigate, consider the different rates, systems, and compliance requirements that accompany doing business in foreign countries. Where you choose to locate your business will affect your tax liabilities, and doing your homework can help you avoid overpaying on taxes. Know where tax treaties between countries exist to eliminate paying twice the taxes on a single transaction. International accounting practices often make tax efficiency a priority, with some companies relocating their headquarters to countries or locations that are known to offer ?business-friendly? corporate tax policies.

Acceptable Payment Methods

With the internet giving e-commerce unlimited potential, it has become easier for businesses of all types to sell their products overseas. The challenge for these businesses is establishing acceptable payment methods that offer secure processing. The protection of personal and financial information is a priority for digital transactions, and there are several globally-recognized payment options that provide this security. Many sites and sellers are moving toward cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, for the increased purchase security and the lack of fees associated with transfers or transactions. Your ability to pay vendors overseas may also be challenging, especially if your traditional payment methods aren?t accepted. The currency exchange rate could also be damaging to your bottom line, as your profit and expenses could rise and fall with economic and currency fluctuations. Best practices include paying suppliers and managing production costs through the same currency that you are selling in.

Preparing to enter a global sales market requires navigating the competition, the paperwork, and the cultural trends or practices that may impact consumer habits. Your company, no matter how strong it is on U.S. soil, can be severely impacted by a lack of awareness and understanding with global finance and banking practices.

How to Save More Money in 2020

Save Money

Did you save more than 20 percent of your total yearly income in 2019??

If the answer to the above question is yes, then congratulations, you are on the right path. If not, then there is work to do in 2020. Whether you can successfully save the recommended percentage of income each month or not, it never hurts to learn new and inventive ways to save your hard-earned money.

Here Are the New Ways to Save More Money in 2020

1) Adhere to a Budget

If you were not able to stick to a budget in 2019, this year, you have a great opportunity to save some more money from your monthly wage. Creating a budget is not easy. Also, it is difficult to lay a one-size-fits-all budget that can be used by every single person. Creating a budget is a personal thing and the best way to start is by transferring a set amount from your salary account to a savings account.?

2) Keep the Expenses to Minimal in the First Three Months

Like myself and everyone else, you too must have splashed more cash during the holidays that you initially planned. A festive season is known to make you spend more. Sometimes even to an irrational and absurd level. I am hoping you will be able to recuperate the extra spending by keeping the expenses to the minimum in the first three months of the year 2020.

3) Let go of Unhealthy Habits

In the coming year, you can save more money by letting go of unhealthy habits. Did you know that smoking a pack of cigarettes a week can cost you around $624 a year? According to a trusted source, a pack of cigarettes in a place like New York City costs $13. I have already done the math for you. In addition, you can also save a ton on medical expenses by enrolling in a $10 per month gym. Stay healthy, stay disease-free in 2020!

4) Switch from CFL to LED lights

This one trick can save you $75 each year. Also, it is criminal to still have traditional incandescents running in your home. According to a US government website, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescents.?

In addition, they can last about 25 times longer than any other form of an artificial light source. The report also concluded with a mind-boggling fact. A traditional incandescent bulb’s life is about 1000 hours, whereas, a 12 watt LED can last for about 25,000 hours. See the difference for yourself!


Before you begin your money-saving journey in this new year, I would like to remind you something that you already know. There are some principles of personal finance that are not going to change regardless of the year.?

Surely, in 2020, due to technological advancements, you can make some shifts here and there. But make sure you do not divert from the core principles of saving money. 

Five Tips for Financing Investment Property

real estate

In today?s financial climate, many investors are exploring the real estate market and considering it a welcome addition to their portfolios. Investment properties can provide a steady, reliable source of income as well as lucrative returns. Most people, however, don?t have enough cash on hand to purchase these rental properties outright. In this article, we will explore five tips to keep in mind when financing your investment properties.

real estate
  • Plan on Making a Significant Down Payment ? Mortgage insurance does not cover investment or rental properties, so you will usually need to put down at least 20 percent if you plan on getting traditional financing from a lender. If you are apt to consider an even heftier down payment, it could help you qualify for the best interest rates.??
  • Look for Creative Options ? You?ve found the perfect investment property, but perhaps traditional financing options may not yet be available to you in your current situation. If this is the case, there are creative options out there you can use to finance your investment property (or to get the funds you need for your down payment). Credit cards, home equity lines of credit, and even life insurance policies can all help you get the cash you need to appear more attractive to lenders.????
  • Consider Owner Financing ? Since stellar credit scores are not as easy to come by as they used to be, and lending terms are increasingly strict, owner financing is becoming an acceptable alternative to traditional funding for investment properties. In this type of financing, the seller accepts your down payment; then, they extend credit to you for the rest of the purchase price. If you decide to explore this route, make sure to have a good game plan in place before approaching the seller ? they need to be sold on accepting both owner financing and you.?
  • Check Your Credit Score and Put Some Extra Money Away ? Having a good credit score is helpful in all types of financing situations, and investment properties are no exception. Therefore, you will want to check your credit score before trying to secure the financing of an investment property. If your credit score is under 740, you will be required to pay additional fees (or points) to get the interest rate you want.?

Additionally, make sure you have some extra money put aside in the bank. When making a loan decision, lenders will look to see if you have at least six months of reserves to pay not only for investment properties but for your personal expenses as well. Showing that you have a good debt-to-income ratio helps ensure to the lender that you will be okay should you encounter any rental vacancies. Hiring a rental property management company can help you fill these vacancies should they occur.? ? ? ? ? ? ?

  • Try Different Banks ? If you have extenuating circumstances, or if you have a small down payment for your rental property, try going to a local bank instead of a large financial institution. Typically, these smaller ?neighborhood? banks have more flexibility, understand the surrounding area well, and they also are more prone to invest locally.

Now, first things first, it?s time to find that perfect investment property. Get started today and use these tips to help guide you through the process. 

Finding the Best Home Warranty Company: A Guide for Homeowners Seeking Peace of Mind

home buyer

Your home is your castle. It?s also filled with appliances and systems that help make modern life more comfortable and enjoyable. We?re talking about your air conditioning, heater, oven, dishwasher, and the like. Those are big-ticket items and most Americans can?t afford to just replace one if it fails without going into a great deal of debt. 

home buyer

Home warranty companies offer the ability to protect those assets, but given the number of companies out there and the bad reputation some of them have, it?s vital that you make an informed choice. In this guide, we?ll help you understand what goes into making the best home warranties, rating metrics, and more.

What Do Home Warranty Companies Offer?

First, let?s explore what it is that home warranty companies offer in the first place. Really, they?re selling peace of mind. A home warranty is similar to an insurance plan, but it covers things that your homeowner?s insurance won?t. For instance, let?s say you spent $5,000 on a brand new stove. It works great for a couple of years, but then it fails. You?re outside the manufacturer?s warranty, and your homeowner?s policy offers you no recourse.

In most situations, your only option would be to foot the bill for repairs or replacement on your own, but if you have a home warranty with stove coverage (which most offer), you just need to pay your deductible and the warranty company will send a technician out to repair or replace the stove, saving you potentially thousands of dollars.

However, not all home warranty companies offer the same level of coverage or the same optional covered items. You?ll need to compare each plan and each provider to make sure that you?re getting the protection that you need and deserve.

Which Are the Biggest Home Warranty Companies in the Industry?

While there are hundreds of different home warranty companies operating in the US, there are a few that stand out from the crowd due to their size, coverage options, reliability, and ratings. The biggest companies include the following:

Home Warranty Company
Home Warranty of America
Select Home Warranty
Choice Home Warranty
First American Home Warranty
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty
American Home Guard

Why Do Some Home Warranty Companies Have Bad Reputations?

It takes only a little digging on the Internet to unearth news stories concerning disreputable home warranty companies, consumer unease, and serious problems. Why do some companies have bad reputations? Actually, there are several factors at play here, some of the most important of which include the following:

  • Additional Fees: With some home warranty companies, you?re on the hook not just for your deductible, but also additional fees. That drives up the cost of the repair or replacement.
  • Service Technicians: Many companies do not have their own service technicians. Instead, they work with local providers to handle repairs and replacements. In some cases, a lack of due diligence means that these service providers are subpar, and the experience reflects on the warranty company.
  • Re-upping Costs: A home warranty is an annual service contract and in most cases you?ll need to renew it every year. Some companies do not make this clear to customers, who are surprised when they need to re-up at the end of the year.
  • Exclusions: Some homeowners think they have coverage for specific appliances or systems, only to find out that those are excluded from their policy.
  • Coverage Clauses: All home warranty companies include coverage clauses in the contract to limit their liability, but some try to use those clauses to prevent having to pay out in the event of a failure that should actually be covered.

How to Find a Good Home Warranty Company

There?s no denying the fact that a home warranty can be of very real benefit. It can help protect you from the costs of replacing an expensive home appliance, save you time, and more. However, it?s just as true that not all home warranty companies are on the up and up. So, how do you ensure that you are able to find a trustworthy company?

  • Reliability: Check into the company?s reliability rating from their current customers. Do they cover what they say they will? Are their techs professional? Do they arrive on time? If the company is not reliable, you should avoid them. Even low-cost service contracts don?t provide enough return to make this a worthwhile decision.
  • Complaints: Consumer feedback is a great yardstick by which to judge a home warranty company. In general, the fewer complaints from customers, the better the company will be. However, remember that all companies will have a few complaints, as there is simply no way to satisfy everyone all the time. So, it?s important to look at the number of complaints, rather than judging based on the presence of complaints at all.
  • Terms and Conditions: Read the terms and conditions of the contract. Are they beneficial to you? Or do they favor the company?
  • Cancellation/Termination Fees: Is there an early termination fee for cancelling the contract? Can you cancel without a fee for a certain period of time?
  • Contract Language: Is the contract written so that you can easily understand it, or is it in legalese? A reputable home warranty company will provide you with a clear, easy-to-understand contract, and will also answer any questions you have before you sign.
  • Pushiness: How pushy are the sales people? Are they happy to explain your coverage options to you, or do they try to make an add-on sale and act aggressively? A good company will employ sales professionals who are happy to provide you with information, but will never push to close a sale.

In Conclusion

In the end, a home warranty can provide you with financial protection and peace of mind. However, not all warranty companies are worth your time and money. It?s essential that you make an informed comparison and choose a company that stands behind its word.

Cheap Lodging Options While on a US Road Trip

road trip

Whether you are aiming to cover the “Route 66” or “The Road To Nowhere”, it is never a great idea to spend huge sums on expensive hotels or lodges. Accommodation, being is the second biggest expense on a US road trip, should not be taken lightly. If you are planning a US road trip, make sure you plan ahead and be prepared to keep the accommodation expenses as low as possible.?

road trip

Road trip routes like “The Pacific Coast” and “Appalachian Trail” are considered historically significant. There is a lot of pride in putting yourself out there without worrying about food or having a roof over your head at night. Moreover, if you are reading this post, it is likely that you are looking for ways to save money on your road trip as a cross-country road trip could take anywhere between 4-6 weeks.

Here Are a Few Cheap Lodging Options While on a US Road Trip

1) Look for a Motel 6

Motel 6 is a hospitality company with affordable motels all over the United States and Canada. I like how comfortable their rooms are. To locates a Motel 6, either use the Google Maps app on your phone or simply look for a red neon sign while on the road. Usually, they display a discounted price on the red neon sign board. You don’t even have to make a halt to enquire for room rates.

2) Use Coupon Books For Accommodation

A coupon book can come handy when you cross over from one state to another. As you cross over, follow directions to the nearest travel information center. This is where you can ask for a free coupon book for accommodation. A coupon book is state-sponsored; it is not like a regular hotel discount coupon. With a coupon book, you can expect a room for $35-$60 per night.

3) Use Hotel Coupons

Even if you don’t get the opportunity to grab a coupon book for accommodation, there is a lot you can do to get a discounted hotel/motel room for a night. The next best option is to look for a hotel coupon. And, yes, you don’t have to stop at a gas station or a truck station to find one. Simply download a coupon from HotelCoupons or any other website that offers one.

4) Look for an RV Park or Caravan Park

If you are road tripping in a van or a camper vehicle, simply look for an RV park or a caravan park nearby. Most RV Parks are equipped with a facility to hook up water pipeline with your camper vehicle, so you can bathe or perform other chores in the comfort of your vehicle itself. You will even find new and advanced RV parks with a facility to indulge in recreational activities. Generally, these caravan parks charge anywhere from $25 and $80 per night.


The primary purpose of a road trip is to explore the places that you might never have seen before. It is not unusual for people to neglect the beauty there is to see in their homeland. People usually talk about expensive places like Spain and Switzerland but you will be surprised by how sumptuous a road trip in the US can turn out to be.