Smart ways to use your credit card

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Owning a credit card can be a big responsibility, and it can be either your friend or your foe, depending on how you use it. The following are ways to smartly use credit cards and enjoy its long list of advantages.

  1. Define specific goals of owning a credit card.

If you’re a first time credit card owner, you have the chance to start it right by building a good credit history. How do you do it? Start by setting your goals. First, try to stay below your credit limit and never max out your credit card.

Remember, your credit card should not be treated as your direct cash source, but an alternative to support small monthly charges. Getting used to spending below your credit limit early on is a sure way to become a responsible credit card owner.

  1. Keep track of your daily credit card use.

Thanks to today’s technology, you can now easily monitor your credit card use online – and this is very important especially if you’re a new credit card holder.

Paperless billing documents are also available to help you get in touch with your monthly credit card statement wherever you are in the world, instead of having the bank send you a letter to your address. This way, you can easily see your daily and monthly spending pattern, and make adjustments if necessary.

  1. Make use of your credit card’s rewards program.

Once you have developed the self-discipline to use your credit card responsibly, it’s time to avail of the perks of owning a card. Rewards, for example, are available for cardholders. When spending using your card, you can earn points, discounts, cash-backs, or even mileage points and use them in your future purchases or bookings.

How globalization catapulted small businesses towards success

The business world has benefited so much from globalization that it has become one of the major factors that help entrepreneurs attain international success.  While corporations may be the big winners that claim the lion’s share of its advantages, it’s also true that small enterprises can take advantage of the access and diversity of resources that globalization can offer.

For instance, even with the absence of a huge capital for initializing an effective marketing plan, small enterprises can still have the opportunity to reach a global audience. Thanks to the internet and the privilege of a globalized and connected world, even low-cost marketing campaigns have the potential to gain access to a wider customer base and expect generous revenue.

With just a click and a browse away, buyers and prospective customers can easily access corporate and business websites to find products and services for their personal or business needs.

Additionally, hiring the best people no longer has to be limited to the talents within your locality. One of the most important impacts of globalization is the availability of remote staffing. This has helped small businesses grow and create superstar teams in a virtual office. Regardless of their location and difference in time zone, small companies have both the flexibility and freedom to work with and choose from a bigger talent pool.

Product development and information exchange have also been available to even small businesses. This is because the triumph of big companies that focus on the advancement of technology and product research is also a success for small business owners.

Globalization has built a safe and productive place for passive and active collaboration among organizations, experts, and business owners. Additionally, business knowledge, particularly in product development and information sharing among similar industries, can help small enterprises grow and become globally competitive.

How start-up ecosystems can pave the way to successful ventures

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In definition, a startup ecosystem is a network that consists of driven individuals, young professionals, beginner entrepreneurs, and even established startup companies with a collective focus of forming an organized network. The ecosystem’s main goal is to form new startup ventures and also to strengthen existing ones.

The main factors that determine the structure of a start-up ecosystem include both external and internal pointers. These primarily include the state of the domestic and international financial climate, recent and predicted disruptions in the market, defining transitions within large companies, and even global financial bubbles.

Most of the interactions of startup ecosystem may take place in a physical environment, but since these networks involve members from all over the globe, the system can also be organized in a virtual location.

Coming from different geographical and cultural background, they have different strategies to entrepreneurship and access to necessary resources.  That is why, even if several organizations belong to a single start-up system, they are expected to take on different projects and approaches.

The success of a startup ecosystem depends on the availability of vital resources such as time, money, and most importantly, skills. These vital components are expected to come from the individuals, groups, and organizations that comprise the entire ecosystem.

Even if the members of an active startup ecosystem may come from every part of the world, interactions, may it be physical or virtual, remain important. Planning of meeting, events, and conferences can enable the flow of these resources, fueling ideas for potential entrepreneurial ventures as well as strengthening existing startup companies.

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.