Saturday, August 22, 2015

Oil Prices Fall Again as U.S., Asia Demand Looks Set to Weaken


Oil Prices Dropped in Asian Trading

Oil prices dropped again in early Asian trading recently as traders speculated lowering refinery consumption after the US summer while the weakening economies of Asia and the high global production showed concern on the oversupply. The US crude futures had been trading at $41.84 a barrel each at 0014 GMT, which was around 3 cents below their last settlement and not more than six years low touched earlier this week.

Brent futures had been at $48.61 per barrel, down by 13 cents though the same is still some way from their 2015 low of $45.19. Both crude oil benchmarks have more than halved in value from the last year. They had rallied earlier in the year though are now almost a third below their last year rise in May.

Data have conveyed that several speculators have taken on large bets on further likely falls lying ahead. The reason for the change being twofold, one is the weak demand in several countries due to dull economic growth together with surging US production. Beside this is the fact that the oil association OPEC is unwavering in not cutting production as a way to prop up the prices.

Speculating Rise in U.S, Stockpile

According to ANZ bank it was commented that the `fundamentals suggest downside risk still tends to remain in key markets, especially iron ore and crude oil, in the months ahead’, speculating a rise in U.S. stockpile in the forthcoming months as refiners reduce operations for the purpose of maintenance as the summer driving season tends to come to an end thereby reducing the demand for US crude.

A subsidiary of Fitch Ratings, BMI Research had stated that the market could have an overshot to the downside, hoping in a modest recovery in the prices towards the fourth quarter. BMI Research analyst had commented that `the downward move had been largely speculative driven by the Iranian nuclear accord, economic uncertainties surrounding China and bearish re positioning in the futures market’.

Several oil traders have been positioning themselves to earn profit from an additional drop in U.S. prices. With regards to betting on further outright falls, the traders have become aggressive in taking up put options, an option which tends to sell a contract once the price begins to fall to a certain level, at a price as low as $35 and probably $30 a barrel.

Long-Term Outlook Seems to Remain Bearish

One broker had informed that the amount of queries that they had recently received with regards to leveraging bets on further price falls, have been quite surprising. Underlining the bearish sentiment, money managers as well as hedge funds cut their net long holdings of Brent crude futures for a fourth straight week, according to exchange data shown recently.

Long-term outlook also seemed to remain bearish with BMI Research guessing `oil prices probably to remain fixed till 2018’. They had stated that `the return of Iranian oil to the market, coupled with strong project pipelines in North America, the Middle East, West Africa and Kazakhstan would see global supply growth exceed the growth in global consumption for the next two years’. It was forecasted by the firm, that Brent would average to $56 and $55 in 2016 and 2017 respectively with U.S. crude averaging $53 in both the years.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Apple Feels the Pain of China's Yuan Move


Apple’s Discomfort on China’s Yuan Move

U.S. companies relying greatly on sales to China which includes Apple as well as fast food chain Yum Brands are feeling the discomfort of China’s move to weaken its currency. On Tuesday, in reply to the country’s economic slowdown, China’s central bank undervalued the nation’s tightly controlled currency, the Renminbi – RMB or the Yuan.

The 1.9% cut, its biggest one-day drop in decade,was called as a onetime adjustment by the People’s Bank of China though the surprised move had moved the stocks down together with concerns that it would affect U.S. companies, like Apple which have been on the rise selling their products to the world’s most populated nations. China had become Apple’s leading revenue source under CEO Tim Cook, after its Americas region, including the U.S.

The iPhone maker, in the latest financial quarter ending June had stated that China had made up around $13.2 billion of its overall $49.6 billion by way of revenues. This was up by 112% from the same quarter of 2014, when China had made up just around $6.2 billion of the overall revenue of Apple.

Several Companies Deprived of Huge Percentage

Yum Brands also had broad exposure to China owing to the popularity of its KFC fast food chain and about 52% of its revenue came from China as per Goldman Sachs. Mead Johnson Nutrition, the baby formula maker, in the meanwhile developed 31% of its revenue from China and Tesla; the electric car maker had been moving to sell in China after the nation had broken a record for car sales in 2013.

 Wynn Resorts that runs hotels as well as casinos gained a massive 83% of its sales to China, according to Goldman. Several of the chipmakers together with other tech companies too derived a huge percentage of their revenues from China as per Goldman Sachs which included:

  • Chipmaker Qualcomm with 61% of its revenue exposed to China 
  • Chipmaker Nvidia got 54% of its revenue from China 
  • Chipmaker Intel Corp that got 36% of its revenue from China

Negative Effect on Sales – Offset of Lower Production Cost

The negative effect on sales could be the offset of lower production cost for some of the companies, according to Adolfo Laurenti, chief international economist for Mesirow Financial in Chicago.

Apple for instance assembles several of their products in China and hence could benefit from the cheaper Yuan. Laurenti also mentioned that companies having strong brands, such as Apple could not be rejected as badly as the less popular products since wealthy Chinese consumers would be willing to spend more to have those brands name.

He further added that `Chinese consumers in particular preferred American brands especially marquee products and so the adjustment in price would not deter them much’. The major apprehension is what the devaluation move would recommend about the larger economy of China, according to senior economist with Morningstar Investment Management, Francisco Torralba and his main concern is that the depreciation of the RMB is construed by markets as a sign that Chinese economy tends to be weakening more than what they contemplated. He adds that should it occur, sales to China will be affected by more than just currency cost.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Easy Ways to Simplify Your Finances


Trim Spending If Possible

In the present scenario, prices on commodities have been escalating and at times one may find it difficult to cope up with the expenses wherein it tends to get more than the income. No matter how hard one may try to simplify life there seems to be no way to mentally track every financial deal in the current busy world.

Keeping track on the budget of what comes in and goes out, is very much essential which could help in understanding where one tends to spend more and where you spend it, so that you could trim spending wherever possible. The aim is to understand and trim the budget categories which would otherwise lead to stress and several sleepless nights or probably financial adversity. Creating a personal budget could be helpful since it provides a deep vision on the finances, on its expenses and savings. It is essential to first list out –
  •  Fixed expenses which are those that do not tend to change for instance the homeowner insurance, mortgage etc. 
  •  Variable expenses are those expenses which may differ monthly such as the electric bill, water bill, grocery bill etc. 
  •  Check which major categories each bills may fall in, such as home expenses, phone expenses, car expenses, utility expenses etc. 
  •  List out each major category, detail each expense under the categories and sum up each category which will then indicate on the accurate expenses incurred in each category. The individual will get a better insight on the expenses done and where one could draw the line in curtailing the expenses.

Personal Budget

You could follow the steps by starting on making a list of necessities which needs to be paideach month by creating a personal budget. These could be the expenses which cannot be avoided and is incurred every month as mentioned earlier like the groceries and all the payments of utilities.

Then we have the personal expense ladder which may include things which provide security and peace of mind like health insurance, life insurance etc. If the expenses tend to exceed the income slab, one may need to reconsider on the expenses involved which could be the internet usage, cable or satellite television, phone etc. and find out means of curbing on the expenses which would not be much of a strain at the time of making payment.

The amazing thing about personal budget is that it is an eye openeron where you can cut down in some areas to save on some cash.

IRA – Individual Retirement Account

Individuals could evaluate their net income or loss by considering the income and subtracting the expenses and you tend to meet up with a positive number. Then there seems to be a balance left after meeting all the expenses.

The extra money could be then put into a IRA which is an individual retirement account, offering a valuable future tax break, a tax-free income during retirement. The benefit of a Roth IRA is based on the beholder’s tax bracket, both now and when they tend to retire.

 IRA is an ideal saving for young lower income workers, who will not miss the upfront tax deduction and will benefit for years of tax free compounded growth. Cutting down on unwanted expense could also help while making purchases which could benefit tremendously in managing the income within its limits and be able to cut back for some free cash.

Three Ways To Take Your Jewelry Company To A New Level

These days, many jewelry companies are ready to operate at a greater level of excellence and expedience in order to optimize their conversion rates and expedite daily operations. If these are your objectives as a jewelry owner, it's important to note that there are numerous ways for you to realize your objective. Here are three:

1. Invest In High Quality Refining Services. 

If you're serious about taking your jewelry company to a new level, consider the value of investing in high quality refining services. Refining services help your products look as pristine and perfect as possible, and this can contribute to the development or maintenance of a very positive reputation in the mind of the public. Once you start looking for the ideal refining services, consider a company such as JRG. With extensive industry experience and a passion for making your jewelry look absolutely amazing, the company's professionals can provide you with the excellent, expedient products and services you're looking for. Click here to learn more about the company.

2. Seek Digital Marketing Assistance. 

In addition to investing in high quality refining services, it's a good idea to seek out high quality digital marketing assistance. This strategy is important because effectively advertising your company via internet is a wonderful way to extend your sphere of influence and build a bigger base of lifelong customers. To ensure that you pick the ideal digital marketing company to assist you, make sure that the firm you select can offer all of the following services:

  •  online reputation management (ORM) 
  •  link building 
  •  social media optimization 
  •  keyword research 
  •  Google analytics 
  •  content creation 
  •  web design and development 

3. Focus On Employee Optimization.

Your employees play a profound role in determining how effective your business will be. Since this is the case, it's a good idea for you to focus on employee optimization. There are numerous ways that you can help your employees become better on both a personal and professional level. One strategy you should consider is periodically throwing corporate parties or company get-togethers that take place outside of the work setting. Doing so enables your employees to connect with one another in a more personal way that can help facilitate group cohesion and diffuse office tension.


If you run a jewelry company and want it to be as successful as possible, it's important to know that implementing a strategic plan can help. When you're ready to get the process started, consider the value of making the aforementioned tips an integral component of the strategic plan. Good luck!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Asset Allocation - Don't Put All Eggs in One Basket


Asset Allocation – Portfolio Distribution of Various Investments

Asset allocation is a term on how the portfolio is distributed with the various investments. As such there does not seem to be any simple formula which could define the right asset allocation for a single investor. It is one of the most major decisions which investor could make, according to a certified financial planner and the founder of the Delancey Wealth Management, Ivory Johnson.

A simple expanded portfolio could comprise of many investment classifications like stocks, cash and bond and the allocation to each of these groups should be based on the investment goals, risk tolerance as well as the time horizon needed for the utilisation of the funds.

However the agreement among several financial professions is that asset allocation seems to be one of the most major decisions which investors should make. Selection of individual securities is secondary to the way one allocate the investments in stocks, bonds and cash as well as equivalents which would be the main factors of one’s investment consequences.

Extension of Financial Plan

In brief, asset allocation should be an extension of a financial plan. Three main sections of asset being equities, fixed income and cash and equivalents, tend to have various levels of risk and return. Hence each will behave differently over a period of time. The benefits of using an expanded asset allocation are that the combination of several various investments could have varied patterns of returns according to Johnson. He adds that this would mean that the goal of portfolio variation would be to generate the maximum possible return for a specified level of risk.

For instance, if a portfolio of a small company stocks could cause greater returns than an exp
anded portfolio of stock then it is unlikely to achieve that result without considerable more risk or volatility. The outcome would be that in the process of determining an appropriate asset allocation, the combination of assets to hold in your portfolio would be a very personal one. Asset allocation which would work best at any given point of time would depend mainly on the time horizon as well as the ability to handle the risk factor.

Life-Cycle/Target-Date Funds

Known as life-cycle, or target-date funds, asset allocation mutual funds are an effort in providing investors with a portfolio structures which would address an investor’s age, risk factor as well as investment objectives with an adequate allotment of asset classes.Nevertheless, critics of this approach indicate that coming to a standardized explanation for allocating portfolio assets, can be challenging due to individual investors would need individual solutions.

By including asset groups with one’s investment returns which tend to move up and down under various conditions in the market within a portfolio, investor get the opportunity of protecting themselves from substantial losses. Generally, the returns of the three main asset groups have not moved up and down at the same time and the market condition which tends to cause one asset group to do well often causes another asset group to have an average or poor returns.

The investor here on investing in more than one asset category tends to reduce the risk of losing money and his portfolio’s overall investment returns will not suffer losses. Should one asset group’s investment return tend to fall; the investor would be in a position to counteract the losses in that particular group with a better option in investment returns in another asset group.