Month: January 2018

What The Heck Is An IPO

Have you ever thought about how a company is publicly traded? How does it all begin? It all begins with the IPO. These are some of the steps you would need to take if your wanted your company to be publicly traded.

Many entrepreneurs hope one day they will build their company into a successful brand that can be publicly traded on a stock market. Essentially that is what an IPO, or Initial Public Offering, is. It is the process where a privately held company becomes a publicly traded company with the initial sale of its stock. Even after an IPO, publicly traded companies can revert back to being private entities if they so choose.

Essentially, an IPO is a tool that companies use to secure capital through investments for future use. In most instances, this investment is used to expand or improve their business, purchase assets, or provide a dividend to investors. Once a company has decided to have an Initial Public Offering, there are a number of steps involved. Let’s take a look at those steps:

  • First, the company will choose an underwriter. An underwriter is usually a bank, or multiple banks, that help the company put together their prospectus. Underwriters are also in charge of getting the security out to the public. The prospectus is actually written twice, an initial prospectus and a final prospectus. The initial prospectus is often referred to as a red herring. The red herring usually lists secondary information about the company, but not important info like IPO stock share price and the number of shares available.
  • Next, the final prospectus is filed with the Securities and Exchange Commissions, the company and underwriter set a date for the Initial Public Offering.
  • Finally, the IPO occurs.

While there are many things that go on while preparing for the IPO, these are the basic steps. Preparing for an IPO takes a lot of work and is a very exciting time for a company. As an entrepreneur myself, I hope one day to take my brand to the next level and offer it as a publicly traded company. For more on investing, be sure to sign up for my FREE 5-day course for beginners #Slayinvest

 

Disease Called Debt
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Trading And Investing: What’s The Difference

Trading and investing are two completely different animals. Find out the differences and see which one is right for you. Drop a comment on the blog and let me know which one you choose.

Investing and trading are two very different animals and approaches to wealth creation or attempting to make a profit in the market. When it comes to wealth creation in the equity market, investing and trading are the two genres of the field. The goal of investing is to gradually build wealth over an extended period of time; whereas trading involves more frequent buying and selling of stock, commodities, currency pairs or other instruments, with the goal of generating returns that outperform buy-and-hold investing.

Imagine, today, you and your friend bought an equal amount of seeds to sow in your fields but you sold your seeds to someone in a day because you could earn a profit. However, your friend sowed the seeds and let them grow for a few years till they gave new seeds. He sowed the new seeds and continued this for years and sold a lot more seeds eventually than were bought. By investing his seeds he would have made profit quite different than what you made by trading your seeds. This is simply the difference in investing and trading. To learn the same in financial markets, let’s learn 4 key differences between investing and trading.

1) The Bottom Line

Trading is a method of holding stocks for a short period of time. It could be for a week or more often a day! A trader holds stocks till the short term high performance, whereas, investing is an approach that works on buy and hold principle. Investors invest their money for some years, decades or for an even longer period. Short-term market fluctuations are insignificant in the long-running investing approach.

2) Capital Growth

Traders look at the price movement of stocks in the market. If the price goes higher, traders may sell the stocks. Simply, trading is the skill of timing the market whereas investing is an art of creating wealth by compounding interest and dividend over the years by holding quality stocks in the market.

3) Risk

Undoubtedly, both trading and investing imply risk on your capital. However, trading comparatively involves higher risk and higher potential returns as the price might go high or low in a short while. Since investing is an art, it takes a while to develop. It involves comparatively lower risk and lower returns in a short run but might deliver higher returns by compounding interests and dividends if held for a longer period of time. Daily market cycles do not affect much on quality stock investments for a longer time.

4) Art vs. Skill

Let’s learn it this way, trading is a one-day cricket match while investing is a test cricket. You would watch skillful players in the team who are expected to strike fours and sixes to score higher in a one day match. Whereas, the art of the game is seen in the test match! Similarly, traders are skilled, technical individuals who time the market and learn market trends to hit higher profits in the stipulated time. It is related to the psychology of the market. Investors, on the other hand, analyze the stocks they want to invest in. Investing also includes learning business fundamentals and commitment to stay invested for a longer term. It is related to the philosophy that runs the business.

Conclusion

Traders put money in a stock for a short term. They buy and sell fast to hit the higher profits in the market. Missing the right time may lead to a loss. They look at the present performance of the companies to hit the higher price and book profits in short term. Investors keep themselves away from the trends and invest in value. They invest for a longer period of time keeping an eye on the stocks they hold. They patiently wait till the stock reaches its potential. Ultimately, the ones who achieve their financial goals are successful!
Going back to our story, you are the one to decide if trading the seeds at a higher price making a smaller profit in a short time is your goal or holding on and growing more seeds to sell at a much higher price, in the long run, is what you aim for.

Let me know in the comments below between trading and investing, which one is a good fit for you. If you’d like to learn more about investing, consider signing up for my FREE 5-day course #Slayinvest 
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Cryptocurrency, What It Is And Ones You Should Watch

Cryptocurrency is all the rage right now. Whether or not you or for it or against it, it's here to stay. Or is it? Find out a little more about cryptocurrency so you can make an informed decision on if you would like to invest in some.

When I hear the word cryptocurrency, I automatically think of Superman and his weakness, kryptonite. Cryptocurrency certainly sounds like a currency you could spend on the planet Krypton, but fortunately, it is not. I’m sure you have heard of the instant millionaires due to investing in cryptocurrency. But are you sure it is right for you, may be the question you are asking yourself? Hopefully, we can answer some of your nagging questions right here.

What is Cryptocurrency?

Many people don’t know, but cryptocurrency blazed on the scene as a side product of something else. The mysterious inventor of Bitcoin, the first and most important cryptocurrency, Satoshi Nakamoto, never really intended to invent a currency of sorts. His main goal was to create something many people failed to create before digital cash.

In the nineties there were many attempts to create digital cash, sadly they all failed. The single most important part of Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention was that he found a way to build a decentralized digital cash system. After seeing all these prior centralized attempts fail, Nakamoto tried to build a cash system without a central identity. This is like a peer to peer network for file sharing.  This decision by Nakamoto became the birth of cryptocurrency.

Realizing Digital Cash

To realize digital cash you need a payment network with accounts, balances, and transaction. One major problem every payment network has to solve is to prevent double spending: to prevent that one entity spends the same amount twice. Usually, this is done by a central server who keeps record about the balances.

In a decentralized network, you don‘t have this server. So you need every single entity of the network to do this job. Every peer in the network needs to have a list of all transactions to check if future transactions are valid or an attempt to double spend.

If you take away all the noise around cryptocurrencies and reduce it to a simple definition, you find it to be just limited entries in a database no one can change without fulfilling specific conditions. This may seem ordinary, but, believe it or not: this is exactly how you can define a currency.

But how can these entities keep a consensus about this records?

If the peers of the network disagree about only one single, minor balance, everything is broken. They need an absolute consensus. Usually, you take, again, a central authority to declare the correct state of balances.

But how can you achieve consensus without a central authority?

Nobody did know until Nakamoto emerged out of nowhere. In fact, nobody believed it was even possible. Nakamoto proved it was. His major innovation was to achieve consensus without a central authority. Cryptocurrencies are a part of this solution – the part that made the solution thrilling, fascinating and helped it to roll over the world.

Cryptocurrency To Watch

Besides the famous, trendsetting cryptocurrency Bitcoin, here are six cryptocurrencies worth watching. The currencies inspired by Bitcoin are collectively called altcoins and have tried to present themselves as modified or improved versions of Bitcoin.

Litecoin, launched in the year 2011, was among the initial cryptocurrencies following bitcoin and was often referred to as ‘silver to Bitcoin’s gold.’ It was created by Charlie Lee, an MIT graduate, and former Google engineer. Litecoin is based on an open source global payment network that is not controlled by any central authority and uses “scrypt” as a proof of work, which can be decoded with the help of CPUs of consumer grade. Although Litecoin is like Bitcoin in many ways, it has a faster block generation rate and hence offers a faster transaction confirmation. Other than developers, there are a growing number of merchants who accept Litecoin.

2) Ethereum (ETH)

Launched in 2015, Ethereum is a decentralized software platform that enables Smart Contracts and Distributed Applications (ĐApps) to be built and run without any downtime, fraud, control or interference from a third party. During 2014, Ethereum launched a pre-sale for ether which received an overwhelming response. The applications on Ethereum are run on its platform-specific cryptographic token, ether. Ether is like a vehicle for moving around on the Ethereum platform, and is sought by mostly developers looking to develop and run applications inside Ethereum. According to Ethereum, it can be used to “codify, decentralize, secure and trade just about anything.” Following the attack on the DAO in 2016, Ethereum was split into Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC). Ethereum (ETH) has a market capitalization of $41.4 billion, second after Bitcoin among all cryptocurrencies.

3) Zcash (ZEC)

Zcash, a decentralized and open-source cryptocurrency launched in the latter part of 2016, looks promising. “If Bitcoin is like http for money, Zcash is https,” is how Zcash defines itself. Zcash offers privacy and selective transparency of transactions. Thus, like https, Zcash claims to provide extra security or privacy where all transactions are recorded and published on a blockchain, but details such as the sender, recipient, and amount remain private. Zcash offers its users the choice of ‘shielded’ transactions, which allow for content to be encrypted using an advanced cryptographic technique or zero-knowledge proof construction called a zk-SNARK developed by its team.

4) Dash

Dash (originally known as Darkcoin) is a more secretive version of Bitcoin. Dash offers more anonymity as it works on a decentralized master code network that makes transactions almost untraceable. Launched in January 2014, Dash experienced an increasing fan following in a short span of time. This cryptocurrency was created and developed by Evan Duffield and can be mined using a CPU or GPU. In March 2015, ‘Darkcoin’ was rebranded to Dash, which stands for Digital Cash and operates under the ticker – DASH. The rebranding didn’t change any of its technological features such as Darksend, InstantX.

5) Ripple (XRP)

Ripple is a real-time global settlement network that offers instant, certain and low-cost international payments. Ripple “enables banks to settle cross-border payments in real time, with end-to-end transparency, and at lower costs.” Released in 2012, Ripple currency has a market capitalization of $1.26 billion. Ripple’s consensus ledger — its method of confirmation– doesn’t need mining, a feature that deviates from bitcoin and altcoins. Since Ripple’s structure doesn’t require mining, it reduces the usage of computing power, and minimizes network latency. Ripple believes that ‘distributing value is a powerful way to incentivize certain behaviors’ and thus currently plans to distribute XRP primarily “through business development deals, incentives to liquidity providers who offer tighter spreads for payments, and selling XRP to institutional buyers interested in investing in XRP.”

6) Monero (XMR)

Monero is a secure, private and untraceable currency. This open-source cryptocurrency was launched in April 2014 and soon spiked great interest among the cryptography community and enthusiasts. The development of this cryptocurrency is completely donation-based and community-driven. Monero has been launched with a strong focus on decentralization and scalability, and enables complete privacy by using a special technique called ‘ring signatures.’ With this technique, there appears a group of cryptographic signatures including at least one real participant – but since they all appear valid, the real one cannot be isolated.

So now that you know a little more about cryptocurrency, how likely are you to purchase some if you haven’t already? Leave your answer in the comments below, and don’t forget to like and share.

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What Is Blockchain Technology?

One of the hottest topics of conversation around is cryptocurrency and blockchain. If you are wondering exactly what blockchain technology is then this post is for you. Find out what all the hype is about.

 

What exactly is blockchain technology? This is a question I have gotten from several of my readers, so since it is such a hot topic, I decided to just do a post about it. With Bitcoin, Litecoin, Iota and several other cryptocurrencies being so popular, it’s no wonder people want to know about everything surrounding it. Grab a cocktail and settle in for this one.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology is an invention by a person or group of people known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Blockchains are secure databases by design. The concept was introduced in 2008 and then implemented for the first time in 2009 as part of the digital bitcoin currency; the blockchain serves as the public ledger for all bitcoin transactions.

By using a blockchain system, bitcoin was the first digital currency to solve the double spending problem (unlike physical coins or tokens, electronic files can be duplicated and spent twice) without the use of an authoritative body or central server. Since its development, it has evolved into something phenomenal. By allowing digital information to be distributed but not copied, blockchain technology created the backbone of a new type of internet. Originally devised for the digital currency, Bitcoin, the tech community is now finding other potential uses for the technology.

Like the internet (or your car), you don’t need to know how the blockchain works to use it. However, having a basic knowledge of this new technology shows why it’s considered revolutionary. The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.

A blockchain is a distributed database, meaning that the storage devices for the database are not all connected to a common processor.  It maintains a growing list of ordered records, called blocks. Each block has a timestamp and a link to a previous block.

Cryptography (hence the word cryptocurrency) ensures that users can only edit the parts of the blockchain that they “own” by possessing the private keys necessary to write to the file. It also ensures that everyone’s copy of the distributed blockchain is kept in synch.

Blockchain Breakdown

Imagine a digital medical record: each entry is a block. It has a timestamp, the date and time when the record was created. And by design, that entry cannot be changed retroactively, because we want the record of diagnosis, treatment, etc. to be clear and unmodified. Only the doctor, who has one private key, and the patient, who has the other, can access the information, and the information is only shared when one of those users shares his or her private key with a third party — say, a hospital or specialist.

How Blockchain Works

On the internet, anyone can publish information and then others can access it anywhere in the world. A blockchain allows anyone to send value anywhere in the world where the blockchain file can be accessed. But you must have a private, cryptographically created key to access only the blocks you “own.”

By giving a private key which you own to someone else, you effectively transfer the value of whatever is stored in that section of the blockchain.

So, to use the bitcoin example, keys are used to access addresses, which contain units of currency that have financial value. This fills the role of recording the transfer, which is traditionally carried out by banks.

So now that I have explained blockchain to the best of my ability, do you think blockchain is the wave of the future? Share your thoughts below in the comments. Also please use the social share buttons and share among your social platforms, please and thank you.

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Investing: What It Is Why It Matters And Why You Should Be Doing It

Have you ever thought about investing? I'm sure you have, but maybe you just didn't understand it. This year on the blog I plan to teach a lot about investing. In this first post of the new year, I tell you what it is why it matters and why you should be doing it.

Happy New year!! For the past couple of years, I have talked a lot about budgeting and becoming debt free. This year, I want to focus on growing your money through investing. So with that being said, this first post of the year I will give you an overview of investing. I’m sure some of my readers already know or at least have heard about investing. My question is, are you doing it? If not, you should be.

What is investing?

 A good example of investing would be a college education. You spend your time (a resource) in hopes of earning a degree and a good job after graduating (the future benefit). Although a college education is a type of investment, that is not what I am talking about here. I am talking about stocks, bonds, property and other things that have the potential to increase in value.  

In a financial sense, investing is when you commit money to a financial asset, such as stated above, stocks, bonds, financial securities, in hopes of receiving more money later.

Why investing matters

When people ask me why investing matters, I tell them it matters because of compounding. When I think about investing, I think of compounding and time. That makes it easier for people to understand why one would risk their money for a potential return. You may remember learning about compounding and interest in math class. The principle is easy, the returns you earn on money can be compounded and then start to earn returns too. When you give your money plenty of time to compound, the growth can become exponential.

Why you should invest

Who wants to work until they die? Okay, I know that was a little bit drastic, but we are living longer and our money should last longer if we don’t want to work until we die. Social security won’t be enough for us to live a comfortable life after retirement. Our money should last at least as long as we do or longer.

The bottom line is, you only make money two way’s by working for it and making it work for you. If you keep your money in the bank in just a regular old non-interest bearing account instead of investing it, your money is not working for you and you will never have more money that you save. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for saving money so having a savings account is not a bad thing, but why not take some of that money and invest?

By investing your money, you are getting your money to make even more money. Doesn’t that sound amazing?! It really does not matter how you invest, whether it be stocks, bonds, mutual funds, futures, options, precious metals, real estate or even your own small business, the goal is to make investments that will generate more cash for you in the future.

If you are still on the fence about investing or just want to learn more about investing, I invite you to take my FREE five-day course #Slayinvesting. In this Free course, you will go in depth about different types of stocks, bonds, investments and learn strategies to begin investing.

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