Getting started in stock market trading  

If you are interested in getting involved in stock market trading there are a number of things to be aware of. Firstly, if you know little about the subject you will need to become more familiar with it. There are a number of resources that will help you to learn the basics of stock trading. Remember, the key to being successful is to know what you are doing and stay calm when things become fraught.

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Learning as much as you can is the best way to minimize your losses once you begin trading. Stocks are also known as shares or equity. Companies sell shares to the public to enable individuals to have a percentage of ownership in the company. This is why, when getting into stock market trading, it is important to invest in the right companies. It is well worth seeking investment advice to help you take the right steps.

 

The first point to be aware of is that stocks increase and decrease in value. If a company performs well, then its stocks will be in great demand. This increases the value of the stock, as more people will be interested in buying. However, if a company is not making a profit, demand for its stocks will decrease.

 

The stock market fluctuates constantly, a fact you will need to bear in mind when it comes to stock trading. If you choose to invest in a company that is performing well you will enjoy the benefits. Companies that are stable and generating high levels of profit pay dividends to their investors, which can provide them with a steady source of additional income.

 

One of the main things to think about when getting involved in stock market trading is why you want to invest. The main reason will be to make money, but think about what you will be using this cash for. Some people choose to invest to fund a certain type of lifestyle, such as if they are planning to travel, whilst others may be wanting to invest in order to secure a better standard of living when the time comes for them to retire. Think about what your aims are and what you plan to gain in the long run.

 

Stock market trading is ideal for those planning to invest long term. As the market can be unpredictable, it is not always a good idea to invest with the hope of becoming instantly wealthy. Be prepared to spend some time researching the options available so that you maximize the chances of investing in the right company. Try to learn as much as you can about the company you are considering investing in before risking any cash.

 

You should be aware of which companies are performing well in your area. It is better to invest in a company that you know a lot about. Familiarize yourself with the value of its stocks over past months and years. You will need to know as much as possible about any companies you are planning to invest in, such as how much they are worth, cash flow and how well they are likely to perform in the future.

 

Another step to getting into stock market trading is to start building up a portfolio of stocks. You are not restricted to investing in one company or one particular business sector. Try to create a portfolio that spans a number of industries, as this will enable you to continue earning even if one is doing badly. Look at various markets to identify which ones are performing best at a particular period of time and be prepared to shuffle your portfolio.

 

In addition to choosing the right companies, you also need to know when to purchase particular stocks. Have a look at recent stock trends; there are stock charts available that will help you. You can find stock quote charts online and in newspapers. Doing a little research will help you to understand stock chart symbols and other stock market terminology.

 

Once you are ready to take the plunge you will need to employ the services of a stockbroker. There are different types of stockbrokers available, so you will need to choose one that is right for you. You may wish to choose one that offers financial advice, as this will enable him or her to look at your financial situation and suggest the best stocks to invest in.

 

By taking the right steps, you can enjoy all the benefits that stock market trading offers and build up a portfolio that is both diverse and profitable.

Should You Buy or Lease Your Next Car?  

If you’re in the market for a vehicle, whether new or used, you’re probably facing many different questions and options. One of these is whether to buy or lease your car. Once you’ve figured out exactly which vehicle you want, you’ll face these two options and you’ll want to be well-educated in both of them. Buying and leasing each have their benefits and drawbacks, which are important to understand before you make your decision. Read on to learn more about these two options and make the decision that’s best for you.

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Buying

Do you plan on keeping your car for a long time? Is this an investment that you feel is for the long-term? These are signs that buying could be right for you. When you buy your car, you will own it once the loan is completely paid. So basically, each payment you make is bringing you closer and closer to ownership as you gain equity. And once you own your car, it’s yours to alter or modify however you want. (Keep in mind that as you’re paying off your car, you may not be able to make modifications like paint changes, add audio systems, etc. until it’s fully paid off.)

 

There are some drawbacks to keep in mind when buying a car, however. You will need to make a much larger down payment when buying a car than you would when leasing. And when you’re buying, you are taking a chance that you’ll be able to resell the car for a good value. This is different from leasing, where the resale value is actually determined beforehand and put right in the contract. But remember that you’re truly making an investment in the vehicle so if you see this as a long-term car, buying can really be a great option.

 

Leasing

When you lease a vehicle, you’re able to pay way less money overall because you’re not paying for the sales price- only the future depreciation. You’re able to make a much smaller down payment, so leasing is a good option for people who don’t have a large amount of cash ready at hand to drop on a car. A typical length for a car lease is about 3 years, so it’s a good option if you’re someone who likes to change vehicles rather frequently. And if you like a car with the latest and greatest tech options, leasing might be for you. Because you’ll be switching cars every few years, your next vehicle will have the newest updates! Leasing can be a great option for people who want to drive an expensive car but can’t afford to buy it. You can check out a BMW lease to find out more about options for your next vehicle.
But when you lease, keep in mind that you don’t have many rights over the vehicle. You can’t make any modifications you want and there might even be a restriction on the miles you can drive. And when you lease, you’re essentially just renting for a couple of years and paying extra interest on top. So you’re not really making any investments in a future purchase. Also, you usually need a good credit score to be able to lease a vehicle.

 

Why Shared Christmas Parties For Your Employees?

There are many different reasons why you may want to consider a shared Christmas party. The truth is that we are looking at something that has a lot more advantages than what you may be tempted to believe at first glance. We are talking about an opportunity that you have to take into account because of what we are about to mention below. Make sure that you consider every single one of these advantages.

Shared Christmas Parties Are Cheaper

If you were to calculate how much you need to pay for a really large corporate event and one that is built based on the shared system, you would instantly notice that there is a huge monetary needs difference. You simply cannot afford to organize something huge and wildly entertaining since your budget is really low. With this in mind, you can easily contact and participate in a London Christmas party by West End Events or similar event organizers. You save a lot of money and can offer a lot of entertainment for what you pay.

You Do Not Need To Organize Much

A huge advantage of the shared Christmas parties is that all you really need to do is talk with organizers and make payments. You do not actually plan anything except make a list of the people that are about to participate. With this in mind, you can stay focused on work and not have to waste a lot of time in organizing a Christmas party. Unfortunately, organizing Christmas parties is much more time consuming than many tend to believe. Even finding a suitable venue is a lot more complicated than what you initially think.

You Can End Up With A Themed Party

Studies show that the traditional Christmas parties are not seen with great eyes at the moment by employees from all around the world. The shared Christmas party almost always includes a special theme because of that. Some of the really popular themes include movies, James Bond and Las Vegas.

The fact that the party will have a theme will automatically increase the entertainment factor. Your employees will be more entertained and will have a much better time. In fact, they are much more likely to want to participate simply because the party has a theme. You can get them there and they will enjoy the event even more.

Consider The Shared Christmas Party

As you can instantly notice now, the shared Christmas party is a really good idea. You can dramatically reduce the budget that you need to throw a party for your employees and there is a much higher possibility that they will feel better at the party.

Remember that the advantages highlighted above are just some of those that you should take into account. Many others can be mentioned. The truth is that the shared corporate parties are gaining popularity because of the fact that they are great. You will find options that are available for practically all holidays, not just for Christmas since company managers realize the benefits associated with them.

Google Takes On the Big Boys in the Video Conferencing Market

Video conferencing for business is a lucrative market. A large video conferencing system can easily cost several thousand pounds upwards, which for smaller businesses is not a viable option. However, Google have now come up with an innovative high-definition video conferencing solution that is designed to appeal to smaller businesses and start-ups.

Chromebox for Business Meetings

The Google system is being marketed as a ‘Room-In-A-Box. Instead of paying out for an all-singing and all-dancing system, businesses can pay just $999 for a teleconferencing system that can cope with up to 15 people at a time. According to Caesar Sengupta, vice president of Google’s product management team, the system will enable companies to enjoy face-to-face communications without the huge price tag associated with larger systems.

What Does the Google System Include?

Google is providing everything your business needs to hold a teleconference, with the exception of a screen, a keyboard and a broadband connection.

  • Chromebox computer with an Intel Core i7 processor
  • Combined speaker-microphone unit
  • High definition camera
  • Remote control
  • Software to run the system

During the first year, Google provides access to support in the event of any problems materialising, but if your business requires ongoing technical support, it will cost $250 per year for each Chromebox system in place. Technical support is a cloud-based system.

All security fixes and updates are handled remotely in the cloud, so the end-user never has to worry about keeping their software up to date.

Ease of Use is a Bonus

Apparently the Chromebox system is really easy to use, although users do need to have a Gmail or Google+ account in order to sign in and take part in the teleconference. It uses Google Hangouts, a teleconferencing facility in the cloud. Meetings can be scheduled using Google Calendar, although businesses don’t have to use Google Apps before buying a Chromebox system. Participants in the meeting simply sign in using a Google account on their laptop, PC, tablet or smartphone and click to join a conversation, in the same way as you would on a Skype chat. Those with a Google+ account are only given limited use of Google Hangouts.

Several big US companies have been road testing the product prior to the main launch in the US and by all accounts are very happy with it.

The main piece of hardware in the Google system is the ultra-small Chromebox computer. It is not much bigger than a sandwich, but despite its small stature the diminutive Chromebox packs a pretty large punch thanks to the powerful Intel Core i7 processor chip inside. Cheaper versions of the system computer have also been launched by the likes of Samsung and Asus.

Potential Applications for Google Chromebox for Meetings

Because the Google Chromebox for meetings system is limited to a maximum of 15 participants, it isn’t going to be suited to every scenario, but for businesses running small training sessions or briefing meetings between remote office locations, the Chromebox system is ideal. Participants can even log in from non-workplace locations as long as they have an internet connection. So if you are stuck on a train, but you need to attend a vital meeting with colleagues, you can sign in on your smartphone and the meeting can go ahead with you instead of without you.

Advantages of Google Chromebox for Meetings

The main advantage of Google’s Chromebox for meetings is that it is cost effective for small businesses. It also requires very little management as most of the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff takes place in the cloud. However, if you need to accommodate more people, you are better off investing in a bespoke video conferencing system from a reputable company.

Integration with Other Video Conferencing Systems

Google’s Chromebox teleconferencing system can be integrated with existing video conferencing equipment and systems provided by other vendors. However, there will be a cost implication and companies will need to pay an extra monthly fee to use the extra facilities.

Worldwide Launch

The Google Chromebox for meetings teleconferencing system was launched in the United States in February, but will be rolled out across other countries over the next few months, so customers in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan will soon be able to make good use of the system. Through its partners, including HP, Dell and Asus, further Chromebox teleconferencing devices are being launched. These are designed to appeal to the enterprise video conferencing sector.

Google is mostly known as a search engine behemoth with a lucrative sideline in advertising, but with the launch of the Chromebox video teleconferencing system it would appear that Google is trying to expand the enterprise arm of the business. But whatever the underlying motivation, it is clear that Google fully intends to make the most of any opportunities to supply products to the business market where possible. And if it can undercut Microsoft at any point, so much the better.

Factors To Look Out For When Looking For A Conference Venue

In order for any industry event to go as it was planned, it is vital that the best conference venue possible is chosen. A failure to do this would lead to those that attend having a bad time. This will have a negative impact on your business as the conference venue will automatically be associated with your company/brands.

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The best corporate business event will represent a perfect opportunity for individuals and companies to maintain and build up a good list of customers, clients and business contacts. Because of this, it is highly important for your business that a good venue is selected. A team of organizers that is completely dedicated will assist you a lot, especially when referring to management and structural time requirements.

The good news is that the internet helps us to choose. There are websites like Venue Search London that present the available conference venues so we can see what is available. However, choosing between the venues can be complicated. With this in mind, here are some factors that you have to take into account:

Location

The chosen location should be convenient. It has to be near suitable transport links. This is a key detrimental factor in the event that guests and speakers will find it tough to actually attend the event. Try to choose a venue based on who will participate and where they will be accommodated. Obviously, in the event you bring in people from out of town, you will be responsible to also arrange transportation. The ideal venue is the one that is properly connected and really easy to access. The conference venue is useless if it has all that it needs but is not properly located.

Service Quality

It is vital that absolutely all services offered are of a really high quality. This ranges from catering to the technology that is made available for the conference. Make sure that you are always going to be offered the service quality that will be the best, according to the budget that is currently available. It is normal to want to save money but if this means you sacrifice quality, it may be better to cancel the conference. Remember that everything that happens and what is offered will reflect on you as an organizer.

Financial Flexibility

It is obvious that your available budget will have a strong impact on what you choose but you should be aware of the fact that the best possible conference venues out there will always be flexible. They will offer flexible packages and you can negotiate prices base on what the venue offers and what you need. In some cases you will be allowed to bring something from the outside so that you can save money like bringing your own projector.

Allow yourself as much time as is necessary to make the best possible choice and find a conference venue that is 100% suitable for the event you are going to organize. This is a little tougher than it seems at first glance but it is not at all impossible. You can surely find something great if you have enough time to search.

 

How to Invest Like an Expert

So you’re ready to invest your money in the stock market, but it’s been way too many years since you took that one class in high school or college that taught you about investments, if that class even existed! Many of us know that smart investing is the way to create a stable financial future, but it can be hard to know exactly what strategies to use in order to make your money grow. While this should be something that’s taught to all adults, unfortunately it’s often passed over leaving many of us unsure of what to do with our money once we’re ready to invest. But don’t worry, with a few smart tips you can be working the market like an expert and on your way to financial growth.

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Patience pays off

Jumping into the stock market is not a game that you’re going to jump out of quickly. When you decide to invest your money in a company, you are committing to that investment for the long haul. (Or, at least you should be if you’re looking for stable financial growth.) Some people jump in and out of different stocks but they rarely experience consistent growth. Have patience and know that your stocks will rise and fall but don’t jump out and sell at the very first downturn.

Do your research

You could take the strategy of just investing in companies with cool names or a trendy brand, but that’s a shot in the dark when it comes to the success of your investment. Instead, do ample research beforehand so you know where your stocks lie in the grand scheme of the marketplace. You may not be able to predict their financial future, but you can make good estimates based on trends in the past, the current management, and other factors that you’ll discover can affect their success in the market. Look for the KW “trading signal” and start learning about the stock market so you can become a wise investor.

Focus in on a few

Some people like to spread their money around different investments, placing a bit here and a bit there in case one stock dives, so they won’t lose much money. This makes a bit of sense, but these types of investors also won’t benefit much if they do invest in a successful company. If you do good research before, you can invest in just a few companies with confidence about their progress and success. You’ll be better off concentrating your investments in a few places than you will by spreading your money thin over many areas.

Sell Smart

We already mentioned that you don’t want to sell off your stocks at the first hint of a downturn, because it’s natural for stocks to fluctuate over time. But it is necessary to be able to know the wisest time to sell. Once you’ve gotten experience observing the market, you’ll know when your stocks are taking a brief downturn and when they’re moving on the downward trend for the long term, and it’s time to get out.

Best Business Travel Tips

These days, more and more people are traveling for work, to keep up with the ever-changing international marketplace. As technology shrinks the globe, business travel is becoming an important part of many people’s jobs. While it’s obviously fun to travel, doing so for work isn’t always the most convenient, especially when you’re rushing for tight layovers in order to make that important meeting. But when done right, you can relax and enjoy the journey, take advantage of changing scenery and get your work done without a hitch. Take our tips and use them on your next business trip!

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Packing wisely

Executive travel is all about organization, and this starts with the way you pack your bag. You’ll most likely be rolling with a carry-on or two, so pack smart with the overhead compartment size in mind. Avoiding any checked baggage will let you breeze through the exit once you arrive! Keep all your electronics and any chargers in one place, so you can easily work on the go. Don’t forget to bring any adapters you might need if you’ll be leaving the country.

Recharge with USB

One of the biggest pains of working on the road is dealing with the many electronics and chargers that you have for your phone, laptop, camera, iPad, etc! Instead of trying to manage a million different cords and finding outlets for everything in your hotel room, just use your USB port on your computer to charge your items up on the go.

Create a routine

When you’re traveling often, routine will be the key to a smooth experience. This will help you avoid jet lag or feeling tired when you arrive. Eat a healthy meal before you board so you won’t be starving when you arrive, or tempted to chow down on unhealthy food that will leave your energy depleted. Put on comfortable clothes if you’ll be flying internationally, so you can sleep more easily. And pack your on-board materials like books and laptops in a place that’s easy to access so you’re not rummaging for them on the flight.

Picking the right lines

Sometimes when you’re traveling for business, you’re in a hurry. It might be a tight layover or you might just be running late for your flight. Either way, knowing the art of picking the fastest lines can save your life in this situation. Remember: the fastest line isn’t always the shortest one! Watch out for families with kids, as they can hold things up, and observe the efficiency of the personnel to see which line is moving people through more quickly.

Is contracting the job for me?

Striking out on your own is a big move and you need to be 100 per cent sure it’s the right choice for your before you take the plunge.

Becoming a contractor is becoming an incredibly popular way of working and figures from the Office for National Statistics found that more and more Britons are becoming self-employed.

The number of freelancers, sole traders and contractors in the UK is now at 4.37 million – an increase of 172,000. This is an all-time high for self-employment and makes up 14.5 per cent of the total workforce.

However, if you’re considering becoming a contractor you’re bound to have worries and doubts about the process and the pressure you’ll be under.

Here are a few things worth considering if you want to become self-employed.

You make the rules

Wave goodbye to the days of someone else telling you when you should be working and when you can take a holiday. As a contractor, you can enjoy much greater flexibility with your schedule and you can pick and choose who you want to work for. This means you can really tailor your job to your strengths and passions.

Contracting pays

As a contractor you can demand a much greater rate than a permanent employee. When you’re self-employed, you hold all the cards in negotiations. Businesses need talented temporary workers to plug the skills gap which is taking root in many organisations. Consequently, they’re willing to pay the big bucks to secure the best workers and remain competitive.

You’ll never get bored

If you thrive off variety, then contracting is certainly the route for you. Because you can pick your own jobs and contract duration, you can collate a healthy mix of projects to satisfy your varying appetites. You won’t get chance to get bored in one job and if you do, you’ll have the comfort of knowing that you’ll be taking on a different challenge in the immediate future.

Responsibility falls to you

While it’s great to be in charge of your own job, as a contractor the responsibility for things like tax and finding a new position falls largely on your shoulders.

Some people aren’t a fan of this pressure and enjoy the perceived security of having a fixed employer. However, there areumbrella company UK services like Tarpon that can make things much easier.

Whether helping you find the next job or dealing with your accounts, contractor services are indispensable for ensuring you comply with the letter of the law and thrive in your new profession.

Is it the right fit?

While the lifestyle of being a contractor might sound ideal, you do of course have to consider if you’re cut out for it.

You need to be a certain type of person to make this way of working go off successfully.

At a basic level, you need to be able to move from place to place. Consequently, being a driver is a big bonus.

You should also be sociable enough to cope with constantly having to meet new people. Similarly, it helps to be adaptable; easily slotting into new environments.

Having initiative and a willingness to educate others is also a bonus. While you may only be at a place for a short while, they are paying for your services and should get the most out of you, whether that’s efficiency or expertise.

Making the switch to contracting in 2014

If you have been unhappy with your work-life balance or are simply looking to take more control of the conditions surrounding your employment, you may well have considered becoming a contractor. However, it is common to have concerns regarding the change.

The big change is in terms of working conditions, as those who operate on a freelance basis have the ability to structure the jobs they do around their working life, leaving them with far more freedom when it comes to making arrangements for childcare, or just having the capability to pursue interests away from work.

Many people may well have used the start of 2014 as the motivating factor they needed to pursue alternative working arrangements, with some even making it their new year’s resolution to become a contractor.

However, the one aspect that often puts workers off making the switch to contracting is the perception that they will spend the majority of their time struggling with accounting books and chasing payments.

While it is true that limited company contractors are required to keep extensive, detailed accounts, this is not the only option when it comes to working on a freelance basis.

Indeed, many people who make the switch to contracting discover their circumstances mean they may not benefit forming a limited company and operating in this manner.

This is because of the IR35 regulation, which considers whether you are a ‘disguised employee’ of your client.

Unfortunately, the regulation revolves around HM Revenue and Customs’ definition of the term ‘self-employed’ and this is not readily available.

However, it is generally believed that if you are in complete control of when, where and how you complete your contracts, can substitute and there are no mutual obligations between you and the client, you may be deemed to be outside of IR35.

Those who fall inside IR35 can then either choose to operate on agency payroll, or take the employment of an umbrella company (find out more here).

Indeed, many of those who are not caught by IR35 still consider umbrella companies, as this company becomes your employer and takes care of the administrative side of contracting on your behalf. All a contractor is required to do is file a timesheet and submit an expense claim – which can often be done online.

The umbrella company will then make all necessary tax and national insurance deductions, leaving you free to concentrate on your life outside of work, or even just completing more contracts.

What are your hidden office costs?

Running a small business can be an expensive endeavour and it is possible for certain costs to sneak up on you unless you carefully keep an inventory of all your outgoings.

As well as the obvious spending like salaries and overheads such as rent and utility bills, you’ll have to factor in the cost of any equipment you have to buy for the office.

This is where things can easily start to slip through the net, as it is easy to forget about outgoings such as printing when you come to calculate your total budget.

Research from OKI shows that the average office worker prints out 10,000 pages every single year, so even if your business only employs a handful of people this can soon mount up to a significant sum of money in terms of paper and ink.

These are the sort of costs that can be deemed as ‘hidden’ in the budget of your business, as it is supplies you won’t even think about replenishing, even though they can prove to be expensive.

Saving cash

Most offices will already have a recycling strategy in place, with workers encouraged to think before they print and ensure used paper goes in the right bin once it is finished with.

But this is a really basic measure and the most environmentally-aware companies will be doing even more to consider their impact on the planet. For instance, double-sided printing might seem like a small thing, but used right it can slash the amount of paper you are using in half.

Businesses should also encourage members of staff to turn off their computers when they are not in use, as PCs use a surprising amount of power even when they are in standby mode.

Devices such as printers, fax machines, photocopiers and scanners can all be turned off at the end of the day and over the weekend when they are not in use – as again, the cost of running all this equipment can soon mount up.

Smart printing

Businesses that are concerned about the hidden costs involved in running an office are increasingly turning to smart printing as a way to become more efficient and save money.

Smart Managed Document Solutions from OKI provides firms with an integrated suite of software and technologies that has a vast array of benefits, such as that enhances the document workflow, management and security within an organisation.

This then leads to the formation of a fully integrated and optimised solution which meets the needs of your business. This can take a number of different forms, whether it is through capture and distribution, document and content management, security and output, mobility or device and contract management.

Printing stats

The research from OKI that found the average member of staff prints out 10,000 pages of documents also uncovered a number of other surprising and enlightening facts.

According to the report, just 20 per cent of employees are printing out double-sided documents, resulting in a huge amount of wasted paper, ink and energy for their organisations.

Some ten per cent of any firm’s printing costs supposedly comes from hardware, paper and other consumables, maintenance and power – so it is well worth businesses devoting some time to see how they can reduce these costs.

OKI also found that 19.5 per cent of the total productivity lost by an organisation is from challenges relating to working with documents, showing just how big a problem this can become for the average business.

Smart printing might be a relatively new innovation, but many companies are already reaping the rewards and it looks set to become increasingly common in the coming months and years.