Why Pursue a Career in Finance? Financial Planning

In the olden days a career in finance did not offer anything more than a back-office recording keeping job. A finance person was understood to be a record-keeping person in an organization.

However, with the evolution of business landscape, the role of finance has evolved and become more challenging. In today’s organization a finance person occupies a much broader role involving decision-making, planning, controlling the financial operation of a business.

Within finance, one can find a variety of job roles that are not limited to just the accounting field. You can explore financial career options in various industries such as financial service, financial planning, fund management, regulatory compliance, trading, financial management, and so on.

These different jobs require you to have completely different skill sets, and you can choose a financial career that suits your personality and skill level.

If you are analytically oriented, you can choose a career in risk management, where your job is to measure and manage the risk faced by a bank or a financial institution. Alternatively you can also join the insurance industry as an actuary where you ass the risk of loss, and design and price new insurance products. These jobs require number crunching skills. You are also expected to be very diligent as a small mistake can turn into big losses.

On the other hand, if you are a very outgoing person and like meeting people, you may be better suited for selling financial instruments. You may want to join a bank or an insurance company, and promote their financial products to prospective customers. In a bank, you are expected to sell their financial products such as deposit accounts, credit cards, personal loans, home loans, etc. For a career in sales, most organizations provide you a thorough training on their products and common techniques for selling. You are expected to be a go-getter with the ability to close deals quickly. In most financial services institutions, you are paid a decent salary and a commission, which is based on your sales targets.

One more lucrative career option is in trading. As a trader you use your employer or client’s funds to trade in financial products such as equity, bonds, currencies and currencies in an attempt to make a profit. Traders study the financial markets and identify opportunities to make profit. This is a high stress job and requires you to have strong analytical skills and a tough attitude. A career in trading also offers good salaries with bonuses and incentives linked to your performance.

While these are a few important career options available in finance, a person interested in this field can choose from a much wider array of job roles. Best of luck with your financial career!

financial planning

Deeper Voice Exercises – Learn to Tone Your Voice Money

For men, having a high-pitched voice can be a traumatic experience. Even if you’re built like Arnold Schwarzenegger, nobody will take you seriously if you sound like Mickey Mouse. Having a deep, resonant voice can also help you get a better job, and even land the girl of your dreams. But what can you do to get a deep voice quickly? Here is a pair of deeper voice exercises that might help you.

Begin by saying the words “Bing-Bong,” “Ding-Dong,” and “King-Kong” slowly and clearly. Sustain the final ‘ng’ sound for as long as you can. Deepen your voice gradually with each repetition. Then repeat but deepen your voice just a little bit. Do three repetitions of this exercise per day for around a week.

After a week repeat this exercise, but this time with your head facing upwards. This makes the exercise a little more difficult because you are stretching your vocal cords. Do no more than two repetitions a day of this exercise but do the workout daily. But remember not to overdo this exercise as you may damage your voice.

You can also try scream singing, meaning singing along to heavy-metal records complete with all the screams and growls. But just as with the above exercise, do not overdo it. A deep voice is attractive; a damaged voice is not.

Apart from these deeper voice exercises you should also learn to speak from your diaphragm. This would allow you to project a deeper voice. You should also maintain good posture. Keep your head straight up and your chin forward when you speak.

If you practice these deeper voice exercises regularly and make these techniques second nature, then you should have the deep voice you want in no time.

money changer

The Five Components of a Business Strategy Financial Planning

Can you define exactly what makes up a business strategy? Some people say no, but we think you can.

In fact, we believe a valid business strategy has five components:

  1. Your company’s current or desired core competencies
  2. A description of how you will differentiate vs. competitors
  3. The industry or industries in which you intend to compete
  4. The initiatives you plan to implement in the areas of marketing, operations, information technology, finance and organizational development
  5. A financial forecast that shows how your plans will meet stakeholder requirements over the next 3 to 5 years

Let’s look at each of these components.

The first component of a valid business strategy is a clear description of your company’s current or desired core competencies.

You may be thinking, “Great, but what’s a ‘core competency?'” While there are many definitions, here’s a good one from Wikipedia:

ACore competency is something that a firm can do well and that meets the following three conditions:

  • It provides consumer benefits
  • It is not easy for competitors to imitate
  • It can be leveraged widely to many products and markets.

A core competency can take various forms, including technical/subject matter know how, a reliable process, and/or close relationships with customers and suppliers. It may also include product development or culture, such as employee dedication.”

For example, we could say that Southwest Airlines is a reliable airline that offers low fares. But in order to provide those benefits, it has to have certain “core competencies,” important capabilities that enable it to have low fares and to be reliable. We believe that Southwest Airlines has four core competencies that it executes so well that it regularly beats all other US airlines in terms of profitability.

These core competencies are:

  • The lowest operating costs per plane
  • An economical point-to-point airport network
  • A fanatical culture focused on customer service and cost savings
  • An ability to keep planes in the air more of the time than its competitors.

Southwest airlines couldn’t offer the benefits of low prices and reliable service if it didn’t master these core competencies. What key benefits do you want to offer your customers? What core competencies do you need to master to provide them?

The second component of a valid business strategy is a description of how you differentiate vs. competitors.

In our experience, differentiation is about being the best at something. This should be encapsulated in your mission statement – what are your company’s aspirations and how are you going to beat the competition? We just talked about how Southwest Airlines differentiates — what are you going to offer customers that will make them choose your products or services so that you can grow your business?

It takes a lot of hard work to come up with a great answer to this question and even more work to make that differentiation real. It’s easy for us to say that Southwest is the best low-cost airline in the US, but it’s extraordinarily difficult for them to pull it off.

The third component of a valid business strategy is a description of the industry or industries in which you intend to compete.

You need to be able to define just what kind of company you are – are you a furniture manufacturer? A gift card retailer? A consulting firm, a bearings distributor, a toy importer, etc.? This step sounds easy but we find that companies are often so concerned about getting too narrow in their focus that they fail to become really clear about what they want to do. A company with a good business strategy will have thought through these issues and made the hard decisions necessary to clarify its identity. If it has, it can easily pass the litmus test of identifying the industry or industries in which it operates.

The fourth component of a business strategy is the set of initiatives you plan to implement in the areas of marketing, operations, information technology, finance and organizational development.

These are the plans that guide your company’s focus and resource allocation over the next several years. If your business strategy is specific enough to be relevant, you will have detailed plans in all of these areas.

The fifth component of a business strategy is a financial plan that forecasts the results you expect to get from your plans and illustrates how they will meet stakeholder requirements over the next 3 to 5 years.

Your strategic planning process cannot be separated from your annual budget process. In the vast majority of companies, if it’s not in the budget, it doesn’t exist. That’s why you have to have a very senior financial person on your strategic planning team, preferably the CFO. During the planning process, your team must compile a financial plan that estimates the results of implementing your strategy. This plan needs to earn the approval of your company’s management and board and should be reviewed on a regular basis to track results and make refinements.

So – those are the five components of a valid business strategy. Good luck planning your success. And succeeding because you plan.

financial planning

What’s the Best Way to Make Money at the Dog Track? Money

Success at the dog track is measured by how much money you make. It’s as simple as that. If you walk out with less money than you walked in with, you have a problem. If you walk out with more money than you walked in with, on a regular basis, you’re a winner. Of course, we all have our losing days, but you need more winning days than losing ones.

So, what’s the best way to make sure that your bankroll grows rather than shrinks? While there are a lot of different ways to handicap greyhounds, I think that there’s only one way for most people to get to where they can make money at the track almost every time they go. You do it by starting small and building up to making bigger bets.

Your instinct might be to make big, complicated bets – wheeling and keying dogs in trifectas and superfectas. Unless you have very deep pockets, phenomenal luck and fantastic handicapping skills, you’ll lose your shirt. Instead, here’s the best way to win money and keep more of it at the dog track.

Start with win bets. Find the best dog in a race and bet it to win. Use a good handicapping system and don’t bet too many bets on a program. Betting every race is the quickest way I know to empty your pockets and get discouraged. However, DO handicap every race. Play the ones you’re surest of and just watch the rest and see if your pick wins.

No one can pick a winner in every race, I don’t care how good they are at picking dogs. On a program with 10 races, the average beginner should bet no more than 3-4 dogs. Do that until you’re hitting enough so that you’re ahead on almost every program. It’s very important to keep good, written records of your picks. No changing your mind after the race because you would have picked a dog. Be honest with yourself and keep track of your wins.

When you get to where you’re picking enough winners to make a profit on them on a regular basis, increase the amount of your win bets. That’s all there is to making a consistent profit at the track. Once you’ve mastered this, you can go on to quinielas, trifectas and even superfectas. But until you develop your handicapping skills, stick with small win bets on a few races. It’s very hard to do, but worth it in the long run.

money

How to Make Money Fast by Retrieving and Returning Shopping Carts Money

Are you looking for a way to make money fast? If you have a large utility vehicle, like a pick-up truck, you can retrieve and return shopping carts for a cash reward.

Most every mid to large retail grocery, variety and department store has a stock of shopping carts on hand. They are purchased by the store, of course, so that customers can use them when shopping in their store.

Shopping buggies are expensive. The average cost to the retailer for just one is between 75 and 100 dollars. Large ones like the kind you find at wholesale and club stores can run upwards of 200 dollars or more.

Most retail stores have dozens of them; busy big-box stores may even have hundreds of them. Purchasing enough of them to meet a store’s demand and traffic levels requires a significant expenditure of cash.

It is, therefore, in the best interest of the retailer to protect that investment. Most retailers do their best to make sure that carts remain on store property. However, shopping buggy theft is all too common. The average store loses about $8,000 $10,000 to per year to this problem.

Because they are so expensive to buy, many store owners and retail companies pay cash rewards for the return of their carts which have been stolen (or “borrowed”) and not returned. Cash rewards typically range from 25 to 50 dollars per cart.

Here’s how you can retrieve and return those buggies for cash: contact retailers in your area which have shopping carts. Find out if they pay for returned carts. Many do, but won’t give cash rewards to just anyone. (Store owners don’t want the public to abuse the reward system by stealing carts themselves in order to get the reward.) Usually you have to sign a cash-for-retrieval contract.

You’ll have to provide some forms of identification, usually a driver’s license plus one other item (like a Social Security or credit card). You may have to sign a waiver absolving the store of liability in the event of something unforeseen.

You can make arrangements with any or all of the retailers in your area. The more contracts you have, the more money you can make.

If you’ve lived in your city for any length of time, you’ve probably seen common dump sites for stolen shopping buggies. Visit these areas regularly. Additionally, get in the habit of keeping your eyes open every time you’re out and about town. You’ll probably spot discarded shopping carts regularly. You can pick these up and return them as you come across them, or store them at home until you have several of them.

money