Top-ranked tech stocks leading the race to the trillion-dollar market cap

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The biggest tech companies in the world have all started small, growing from their humble beginnings to finally bloom into the multi-billion brands that we now know today – and the investors who believed in their stocks’ potential are finally reaping the fruits of their labor. For investment firms like LOM Financial, these companies can play a massive role in anyone’s portfolio.

These are the leading tech companies that you should have invested in decades ago that are now leading the trillion-dollar market cap race today.

Apple Inc.

People who have invested in Apple Inc. stocks years ago would have probably raked in over seven times the value of their initial investment – and it’s still leading the rally among the world’s largest tech stocks this year. The company has become the first US company to breach the $1 trillion mark in market capitalization. This follows a sudden surge in its stock after reporting strong Q3 earnings that saw the tech giant surpass both its own projections and analysts’ estimates.

Amazon

Currently holding a total of $866 billion in market capitalization, Amazon (AMZN) is a constant in the top tech stocks ranking. For starters, the company is already a leader in innovations of cloud-computing infrastructure, dominating global market shares for years.

The company is not only a leader in the tech industry but it also plans to infiltrate other markets and industries, disrupting by undercutting competitor prices.

Microsoft and Google

Currently valued with a market capitalization of $815 billion, Microsoft (MSFT) is included in the world’s list of the most valuable tech companies in the world, while its all-time rival, Google’s (GOOGL) parent company, Alphabet is presently valued with a market cap of over $840 billion.

The two tech giants’ shifting positions over the years have been carefully observed by experts and investors, with Microsoft making headlines when it surpassed Google’s market value in May of 2018.

IMF Economic overview: What is in store for the Asia Pacific region in 2018?

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As the global economy looks forward to a stronger growth, the Asia Pacific Region (APR) is expected to reflect the same optimism. This is according to the recent report released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), emphasizing that the APR remains the most economically dynamic region among its global peers. Moreover, the region is of immense interest among investment institutions, including offshore portfolio management companies like LOM Financial.

The same report reveals that the overall growth in Asia through 2018 and 2019 is forecast at 5.6%. Inflation in the region, on the other hand, is predicted to be subdued. Unsurprisingly, the changes in the U.S. policies will support the region’s investments and exports efforts. Moreover, accommodative financial conditions are projected to support domestic demand.

Since last year’s economic overview of APR, the region has seen an improvement in their near-term prospects while at the same time, neutralizing the risks predicted from the last regional update. However, when it comes to the medium-term prospects, downside risks such as the tightening of the world’s financial conditions, the focus on perfectionist policies, and the global political tensions are still dominating.

The effects of these risks are directly affecting many Asian economies, and thus empowering calls for structural reforms. These reforms can be the most effective countermeasures that will readily address both medium and long-term risks that include population aging and decreased productivity and growth.

Asia is already known as a leader in the digital revolution for many other industries and the said reforms have the power to also boost the economy of the Asia Pacific region especially with the growing potential of digitization and other emerging technologies that are slowly transforming the global economy.

Emerging trends that are driving the future of the global job markets

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Digital technology has created a whole new way of life for everyone, transforming not just how people engage and socialize, but also changing how we work and make a living. And these transformations are evident in the recent trends that are dominating today’s global job markets.

Here are some of the most recent trends that are dramatically changing the direction of the international labor markets.

  1. The rise of the digital nomads

Freelancing and online working platforms are abundant in today’s gig economy where temporary, flexible and easily accessible jobs are available to anyone in the globe – as long as they have the tools, the skills, and other resources to get connected. Here, independent contractors and freelancers make up a huge percentage of the workers’ population, and this trend is not showing any sign of slowing down.

  1. Impacts of AI and automation

The roles of technological advancements more specifically artificial intelligence and automation will continue to have direct effects on employment opportunities in the future and beyond. The Fast Food and Retail Industries that house the biggest employers in the jobs market, for instance, have been slowly transitioning to automated ordering systems, warehouse order pickers, and even chatbots in place of human customer support.

  1. Job growth in non-tech industries

Technology is not only the main champion of job creation in 2018 and the rapid expansion of non-tech jobs such as healthcare and other traditionally non-tech sectors are still holding a place on the podium. This also includes job opportunities from industries that cannot easily be controlled by automation such as trucking, hospitality, healthcare, to name a few.

For more insights about the job market, the economy, investing, and other financial matters, visit LOM Financial’s news page.

These three countries offer free health care to all their citizens

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A healthy population is key to nation-building. However, private healthcare is understandably costly and prices just go even higher every passing year. Lucky are those who belong to governments that have rolled out customized, advanced, and heavily subsidized health care plans that their citizens can easily access. Below are some of the jurisdictions that provide free health care services to their people:

 

  1. The Bahamas

A recently developed National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme in The Bahamas—a major offshore investment center—aims to improve the sustainability of its health care system for a better and healthier country. All Bahamians, regardless of age and status, are eligible for this new program at no cost, especially those who are financially incapable of paying private health insurance coverage. NHI’s health coverage includes prenatal services, disease prevention, health promotion, treatments of common diseases and the privilege of selecting their own physician.

 

  1. England

The National Health Service (NHS) is a public health program in England intended for all its citizens across the country. It is funded by general taxes and National Insurance contributions. In terms of healthcare quality, England has adequate and high-standard medical services offered to all patients. Health services such as prescriptions, optical, and dental conditions are free of charge.

 

  1. Singapore

Considered as one of the foremost and popular medical destinations among Asian countries, Singapore has been frequented by many foreign visitors and patients from various countries, seeking for outstanding medical services. Its basic healthcare plan called MediShield Life provides lifetime coverage for all Singaporean permanent residents of all ages. It is designed to help every ensured patient to pay for costly treatments and hospital bills without having to deplete their own savings.

Why high net-worth individuals turn to offshore private banking

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One of the most in-demand offshore financial services today, especially for high net-worth individuals, is offshore private banking. While this service shares almost the same basic offerings with traditional banks, there are defining characteristics and personalized options that make it attractive, especially to the uber-wealthy.

In definition, offshore private banking offers not just banking services but also investment services and financial advice to private clients. Client accounts are not just for individuals, but they can also represent even a group. Because these clients own extremely large assets, the need for a banking manager’s expertise as well as the confidentiality that goes with it is of utmost importance.

Basically, a business manager guides and assists clients in making financial decisions for their assets under a personalized financial strategy. Furthermore, these experts manage their client’s wealth in an offshore environment, in full confidentiality.

Most importantly, what makes this type of banking stand out is their focus on financial strategies specially tailored to their client’s specific short term and long term financial goals.

There are several offshore financial centers that offer these services like financial centers around the Caribbean region such as the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Bermuda (where award-winning company LOM Financial is headquartered), and even cities in Asia like Hong Kong. European countries such as Switzerland are also popular choices for offshore private banking services, especially for international clients.

Opening an offshore private banking account is easy as long as the value of your assets qualifies the requirements set by private banking services. Depending on your wealth, you’ll enjoy services such as personalized financial plans, your own account manager, and even the options to negotiate rates, commissions, and more.

The modern world’s most important trade routes

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The most successful civilizations of the ancient times relied on one important aspect that determined whether or not their empire will survive and flourish for a hundred years: active trade routes. China, the Middle East, and other established nations recognize the importance of keeping this economic and trading connection that even in the modern times, they remain an irreplaceable building block to progress—even to small, offshore investment centers like Bermuda and the Bahamas.

Here are some of the most productive trade routes in the modern world:

Strait of Malacca

This maritime route runs between three economically competitive countries: Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. For decades, the Strait of Malacca has been a central connection of the rest of the world to and from the Asian regions. The history of the strait goes way back to the ancient times and today, it’s a key link that connects the Pacific and the Indian Oceans.

Strait of Hormuz

The Persian Gulf is a major exporter of billions of barrels of petroleum products, and the Strait of Hormuz is a critically important route for the global economy.  While crude oil is the number one product that benefits from such global access, there is a variety of merchandise that is also exported and re-exported through this water trade route.

The New Silk Road

China’s One Belt One Road initiative is set to revive and expand the ancient Silk Road in order to connect the biggest markets in the global economy. The New Silk Road, according to experts, will connect countries with the right infrastructure, political stability, and of course, favorable geographic location. The main goal is to trace the path of least resistance, a free-flowing connection, and productive cooperation among economically active neighbors.

Increasingly virtual: Today’s most disruptive digital industries

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Digital technology used to be just a medium that catered to consumers looking for entertainment and leisure, but a growing trend of new innovations has made it more than what it was initially created to be. Today, digital industries are disrupting even the most stubborn sectors, creating a future where digitization reigns supreme. Among technology stocks, digital companies are making it big. Here are some of the most important digital industries today.

Digital marketing

Marketing has come a long way from its traditional marketing campaigns. In digital marketing, products and brands are promoted through electronic media, reaching millions of potential consumers with just a click of a button. It also offers the ability to analyze trends, generate leads, calculate conversions—all in real-time. Most importantly, customers have easy access to product and service information, wherever they are in the world. This enables direct communication between the seller and consumer, providing an environment of trust even in an entirely virtual setting.

Software development

The industry emphasizes the importance of gathering data to develop, maintain and publish software based on different business models that can help improve efficiency and productivity. Indeed, modern products of the software development sectors offer more accurate, faster and not to mention cost-effective programs that have helped introduce many organizations, private, commercial and public, to digitization and modernization.

E-commerce

Buying and selling of products and services have been made easier through funds and data transmittal via electronic channels. Thanks to the power and accessibility of the internet, the global e-commerce is now a billion-dollar industry. Variety and convenience were the two things that the e-commerce industry first offered to their millions of online customers but recent disruptions are not just focused on these fundamental aspects but also in prioritizing consumer experience and interaction.

Profit models: Television vs. Film

Movies and T.V. series are two of the most popular and extremely profitable entertainment sectors today. However, because of the dynamic trends that easily captivate audiences and viewers around the world, one sometimes dominates the other in terms of revenue.

The important question to ask here is, which is generally more profitable? To be able to answer this, this article will try to discuss the profit models and related business strategies that eventually shape the fate of these media commodities.

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Film

Producers of the biggest films today usually take huge financial risks when they spend millions of dollars to create a single movie. You may be wondering, can filmmakers earn from these huge investments?

One of the ways that filmmakers make money is through domestic and overseas box office sales. On the other hand, popular movies like Star Wars, for instance, have earned a huge profit on toy merchandise alone. Another income-generating strategy is selling media franchising rights to companies outside of the entertainment industry in order to promote their own products.

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Television

The popularity of a TV brand will always determine its earning potential. For instance, one of television’s most successful money-maker is HBO. The hit TV series Game of Thrones saw soaring profits for their home brand, and even if the series is nearing its end, experts predict huge earning channels from the show’s merchandise, media franchising and even streaming rights from domestic and overseas companies.

Most television shows turn to DVD sales to earn the biggest percentage of their profit, raking hundreds of millions of dollars, but advertising streams are their major advantage. In fact, advertisers pay a huge amount of money just to appear on the same screen time with a popular television series.

How cryptocurrencies emerged

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Everyone living in the wired world today has probably heard or read about cryptocurrency. Although this digital alternative to traditional currencies wasn’t generally accepted years ago since it was invented, it eventually managed to establish enough following in order to become one of the most innovative methods of exchange or payment in the modern era.

The history of cryptocurrencies goes way back in the 1980s. Even then, people started toying with the concept of non-physical cash, a digital currency that can be an equal physical cash alternative to be used for different financial transactions.

David Chaum, an American cryptographer, invented the first form of digital cash, aptly named as DigiCash when he was in the Netherlands. The invention was an extension of the once popular encryption algorithm, the RSA.

Some technology giants were attracted to the very concept of DigiCash that even Microsoft was ready to hand in $180 million to Chaum’s company so that the cryptocurrency’s application program, eCash, will be made available on every Windows PC in the world. Unfortunately, Chaum rejected the offer and this was followed by another misfortune when the Netherland’s central bank expressed hostility towards the company.  In 1998, Chaum’s firm suffered a tragic bankruptcy.

Today, the rise of the popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and the blockchain technology seems to be unstoppable ever since it was recognized publicly in 2009. The digital cash fever was followed by other digital currencies that are slowly making their name in this emerging industry so that over 850 cryptocurrencies are being traded not just in the U.S. but across the globe.

While many investment experts applaud this interesting innovation, financial analysts, on the other hand, remain skeptical.

REPOST: Sustainable by design: the cutting edge of commercial real estate

Booming economies also mean great business for the real estate industry. But unlike in the past decades, today’s architects and designers are much more meticulous than ever, with building design projects mostly aiming to respond to the evolving needs of both the workforce and the environment. More on this from The New Economy:

Italian architect Stefano Boeri’s Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) in Milan is cloaked by 2,500 hanging plants and incorporates 1,100 trees from 23 different local species

The gradual global economic upturn of recent years has aided a construction boom. In the US alone, new developments contributed over $647bn to the economy in the third quarter of 2017, after several bullish years.

This trend shows no sign of abating: in 2018, we will see a series of innovative and expensive commercial real estate projects set new records. For instance, the world’s tallest building will be erected in Dubai, and their are plans to construct a skyscraper town around it.

Among such developments, striking new builds demonstrate how design is adapting to changing commercial and environmental demands.

Raising the roof
For Daniel Safarik, Editor at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the enduring interest in skyscrapers goes beyond the simple economic advantage of using less land and results from the buildings’ intrinsic appeal. Safarik told The New Economy: “[A marketable, iconic skyline is about] monetising the emotional resonance of building towards the sky that has occupied the human imagination since the Tower of Babylon.”

Radical new projects are seeking to capitalise on this effect: New York’s emerging Steinway Tower is set to become the world’s thinnest skyscraper, while St Petersburg’s 462m-high Lakhta Centre will make a prominent stand for the enduring status of these ambitious builds and their allure for investors.

But increased infrastructure budgets seem to be paying dividends in innovation too, as bold designs replace traditional models. Portland, for example, will house the world’s first timber skyscraper when Lever Studio’s $29m construction, Framework, is completed this year.

Then there’s the Vessel, a honeycomb-shaped tower of interlocking stairs in New York’s Hudson Bay, which features in the largest private real estate project in US history and is tipped to become the city’s Eiffel Tower.

Although Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel is no skyscraper – standing at just 150ft, it’s relatively modest when compared with Steinway Tower’s 1,428ft drop – the creative design at the centre of this $20bn development reinforces the centrality of monumental design to new commercial projects.

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