Promising Small Business

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    New Regulatory Body Set To Transform Britains Wine Investment Industry

    NFIB and WIA to Provide Better Protection for Wine Investors

    Millions of Britons enjoy drinking it and many now see it as a long-term investment. Unfortunately, fine wine has also become a focus for fraudsters who trick investors into buying wines or vineyards that bear little resemblance to what they see in the prospectus, or may not even exist. The increasing number of such rorts in Britain has led to calls for action to be taken to protect investors and to increase consumer confidence in fine wines. In the upshot, the UKs National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) is joining forces with the newly-formed Wine Investment Association (WIA) to tackle the problem.

    On 14 February 2013, the NFIB and the WIA jointly announced the launch of the new self-regulatory body which will aim to transform the growing wine investment industry by providing better protection for investors in the UK. The WIA has been formed by leading figures from the fine wine investment industry and seeks to support the sector’s growth through voluntary regulation, establishing best practices and setting up processes to identify fraudulent activity.

    Director of the NFIB, Det. Supt. Dave Clark, said: “Fraudsters will always follow the money, wine investment is just the latest in a long line of investment opportunities that are being exploited and corrupted to the detriment of the industry as a whole. He added that the NFIB sees the creation of an auditable framework of self-regulation as a step towards maintaining and increasing consumer confidence, while also identifying investment companies which do not operate in accordance with the required high standards.

    New Code to Tackle Wine Investment Frauds

    Following an extensive consultation period, the WIA has set out the standards and procedures with which its members must comply to remain in good standing. Under the new code of conduct to be drawn up, wine investment firms will undergo stringent audits by accountancy firm Mazars. These will include checks on systems such as stock rotation and to make sure that purchase orders and invoices tally. The director of the WIA, Peter Shakeshaft, revealed that companies which successfully complete the independent audit process commissioned by the newly-formed regulatory body will bear a WIA logo offering consumers a trustworthy safety kitemark. Shakeshaft added: Our industry has been held back far too long by unscrupulous practitioners and issues around fraud. The WIA will really hold the industry to account.

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    US Domestic Remittance Market Research Report Ken Research

    Espousal of mobile banking and mobile payments continues to augment rapidly in the United State and is expected to change the domestic remittance landscape in the country.

    An extensive variety of financial services are currently being offered through the mobile channel in the US. These services comprise of mobile banking, person-to-person payments, mobile shopping and price comparison services. Espousal of mobile banking and mobile payments continues to augment rapidly in the US. Banks are increasingly investing billions of dollars in developing smart apps, providing additional features for mobile banking and remittances. The majority of the banks believe that the mobile channel will help them reduce their transaction cost and increases customer engagement and enhancement. With mobile phone penetration surpassing 90% of the population, the profit potential of remittances via mobile is huge.

    The m-remittance market in the country is also observing a growing number of collaborations between the banks and MTOs, facilitating quicker mobile money transfers. For instance, The US Bank has expanded the Western Union money transfer service to its online and mobile banking platforms. Western Union services will be directly integrated with the US Bank mobile banking app. Similarly, MasterCard has partnered with eServGlobal, a mobile payment solutions provider to expand the capabilities of its international mobile remittance platform HomeSend. Hub providers such as BICS HomeSend and few others have made it feasible to integrate mobile wallets or money transfer systems of two different providers. As the companies collaborate and enhance each other’s mobile remittance capacities, m-remittance services are expected to evolve and will become more flexible. Mobile money transfers are a viable option for an under-banked or unbanked population. Many Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are keen to explore the segment of mobile money, especially for the under and unbanked population in the US.

    The market for mobile remittances and mobile person-to-person payments has proved to be a lucrative, as telecom groups, technology companies, retailers and banks have been entering into a business which is projected to grow rapidly in the next few years. More and more companies are expected to venture into the m-remittance landscape, thus bringing in superior technologies and innovation.- – According to the research report.

    The report -The US International, Domestic Remittances and Bills Payment Market Outlook to 2018 – Tie-ups and Mobile Remittances to Foster Future Growth- provides detailed overview on the International, Domestic Remittances and Bills Payment Market of the US and helps readers to identify the ongoing trends in the industry and anticipated growth in future depending upon changing industry dynamics in coming years. The report will help industry consultants, Money Transfer Agents, Banks and other stakeholders to align their market centric strategies according to ongoing and expected trends in future.

    Read more-

    Author Bio: Contact Person- Ankur Gupta Email Id- Website-

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    India’s Strong Gold Investment

    We all know that the glitter of gold can be too hard to resists sometimes. This is why investing in gold has become one of the most profitable transactions that you can make these days. When it comes to choosing the right gold products you surely have where to pick from: 1 kilo gold bar, gold coins, gold bullion, one ounce gold bars, gold funds and so on. The variety of gold investments is daunting, therefore making a choice can become a rather difficult task.

    Gold is and has been the preferred investment for Indians especially because the potential price increase and because it is considered a hedge against inflation. Studies show that when the inflation rises with 10 percent, for example, then the process for gold will rise for 30%.

    Throughout generations, gold has been one of the most trusted investment vehicles. Taking into consideration that the gold production on a worldwide scale is far below than the demand, gold prices are likely to go up in the months to come. Gold has proved itself to be the only medium of exchange that is absolutely free of credit risk. This is why the trend among investors is to invest at least part of their savings in the precious metal.

    Buying gold however, can take numerous forms. One of the most popular ways of investing in gold in India is definitely jewellery. For Indians, owning gold jewellery is a sign of wealth and it gives them the advantage of owning physical gold and also being able to use it for fashion purposes at the same time. Of course, there is a downside to this also: the loss of value due to impurities, the high charges and exchange rates when and if they decide to sell them.

    Another gold investment product, which has become quite popular is represented by the gold bar. This is the oldest form of gold preservation and the advantage of this product is that it can be found in various sizes: one ounce gold bar, 1 kilo gold bar, 20 grams gold bar and so on. This gold product offers the satisfaction of holding gold and knowing that you can buy or sell it online at any time. When you own physical gold bars then you need to deposit it in a vault and take out insurance in order to protect your investment.

    India, as well as other important economic powers of the world, such as China, have started to invest heavily in gold. Therefore, when you want to make sure that you protect your investments then you have to start doing the same thing.

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    One Sure Way To Find A Reliable Loan Modification,

    Eventually you may need to pick a loan modification specialist. This can be very difficult if you don’t know what to do. One way to find a specialist is to do a little investigating, ask a few friends for advice, or consult some professionals who work in this area. Here are some guidelines.

    One sure way to find a reliable loan modification specialist or modification firm is to ask people who have used the services of such professionals in the past. Personal recommendations might not give you many names. You may need to explore other avenues of finding help. There are other means of finding a loan modification specialist. Ask your local real estate broker. Due to the very nature of their business, they will know lawyers who have had experience with the procedures involved in foreclosure, financial disasters, and loan modifications.

    A simple call to your local state bar association can assist you in finding a lawyer who has experience dealing with situations similar to your own. You might not be comfortable letting your lending institution know how difficult things are for you. However, a talk with the bank manager about your situation may also result in a recommendation.

    A foreclosure attorney is another source of finding a loan modification specialist. Due to the nature of their business, these lawyers have dealt with loan modifications while representing their clients. They might be reluctant to offer a name, but you won’t know until you ask.

    After you have done the research and found some possible loan modification specialists, narrow your list to three choices. Call the attorney or firm and ask if they would be willing to negotiate a loan modification on your behalf. Don’t jump right in to the process and start giving out personal information right away; take some time to get to know who you are hiring. Even then, never give out your mortgage ID number, driver’s license number, social security number or credit card numbers over the telephone

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    Secret Offshore Bank Account – Is It Possible

    Secret offshore bank accounts are the stuff of legend. This article intends to debunk some of the myths about secret offshore banking by setting out what is and isn’t possible.

    1) It’s impossible to open an offshore bank account without first somehow identifying yourself. This means sending a notarized copy of your bank account/passport details to the bank or intermediary.
    2) Most offshore banks will also require a reference from a bank at home.
    3) If you open an offshore account in the name of your offshore company, you still need to provide all the formation documents, and the name and address of a real person. No bank will let a faceless entity open an account without pinning it down to a real person.

    So how is it Secret?

    Well, the reasoning behind all this, is that if you open an offshore account the bank may let you have a ‘number’ rather than a name. This so called ‘numbered account’ allows you to send wire transfers without third parties knowing who you are. An account in the name of a company will do a similar thing, allowing you to send and receive payments almost anonymously, because the company name rather yours will show up on all transactions.

    The problem is, this doesn’t shield you from government inquiries. If for example a government authority suspects you of having an undeclared offshore account, that you are hiding money from your spouse or otherwise engaged in funny business they can go to the country or bank in question and request your details. While some countries will reject the majority of these requests others are more pliant.

    Switzerland and the Cayman Islands are two in particular that co-operate with US and EU authorities. Although both have strong bank secrecy laws on paper, these are not so closely followed in practice. Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse have made headlines recently over IRS investigations into US held offshore accounts.

    The truth is, if you really want a secret account you may have to look further than ‘traditional’ tax havens. That means jurisdictions without tax-information exchange agreements or other links to high-tax countries.

    Another option is using an offshore bank account alternative. This could be (for example) sending your funds to a trust company which then opens a bank account for you in their name. Although this is also not 100% foolproof, it does offer another level of privacy in the same way that an offshore company will shield your identity.

    Whichever option you choose to take, it pays to follow some ‘golden rules’ of privacy:

    1) Limit the number of people who know about the offshore bank account to as few as is humanly possible.
    2) Fund the account with a cheque or western union transfer, rather than by wire from your home bank. 3) Never send funds directly back home from the offshore account.

    Good luck!

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    Twelve Benefits of Do-It-Yourself Debt Settlement

    Although the tide of bankruptcies receded after the new bankruptcy law went into effect on October 17, 2005, a swelling volume of new personal bankruptcy filings are starting to flow into the court systems. With consumer credit card debt now over $820 billion and 97 percent of consumers seeking pre-bankruptcy credit counseling unable to repay their debts, analysts should not be surprised to see bankruptcy numbers steadily climbing.

    In the wake of these developments, debt settlement is becoming a popular bankruptcy alternative for consumers experiencing financial hardships. This trend will likely continue as the economy continues to suffer from sluggish growth, stagnant personal income, a persistent negative personal savings rate and rising gas and energy prices. In tough times, debt settlement often provides the fastest resolution to overwhelming debt outside of bankruptcy.

    As debt settlements popularity grows, so do the number of companies offering professional debt settlement programs. These companies offer a valuable service to consumers, especially those who do not have the patience or emotional strength to negotiate directly with aggressive and sometimes intimidating creditors and debt collectors. However, with the right information, you can negotiate your own debt settlements and be debt-free in about two to three years.

    Here are twelve benefits to demonstrate the value of the do-it-yourself debt settlement method.

    1. Low investment. Do-it-yourself debt settlement guides are much less expensive than the service fees charged by professional debt settlement companies. For example, the popular Do-It-Yourself Debt Settlement Kit, published by the National Financial Awareness Network, costs only about $150 and is available for purchase online at www.nfan.com.

    2. High return. If you were able to settle one $6000 account for 50 percent (which is a typical settlement amount), you would save $3000. That is a 200 percent return on your $150.

    3. Save money. Hiring a professional debt settlement company will likely cost you thousands of dollars in service fees, compared to about $150 for a do-it-yourself debt settlement kit.

    4. Know thyself. Who do you trust more than yourself with your money? Handing your personal, sensitive financial dealings over to a complete stranger can be unnerving, especially if it is unnecessary.

    5. You are your best client. Professional debt settlement companies often service thousands of clients. It is nearly impossible for anyone else to provide the level of service and attention that you can provide to yourself.

    6. Stay in the know. By managing your own debt settlement program, you will always know what is going on with your accounts. How can you keep yourself in the dark?

    7. Record keeping. As a do-it-yourselfer, you only have your records to keep up with. Professional debt settlement companies often have thousands of clients and each client has multiple accounts to keep up with.

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    Stock Investment for Beginners

    Stock investment is a career, hobby or tool that is not easily accessible to everyone. It can be very risky and can cost you a lot of money if you don’t know anything about handling a portfolio and applying a working strategy in your investing activities. For the new investor, it is a business that will require a lot of skills and knowledge in order to be successful. Serious business it may be, but it certainly is one that will earn you a generous amount of money if you pursue it with the right information and smart decision-making.

    Research the investment type that you want to trade –

    It is necessary to learn more about the securities that you wish to invest in. As it can be a factor that can contribute to your success in the stock market, gaining valuable information regarding the investment types that you can pursue will be of great help in your undertaking as a novice in stock market dealings. With so many tools and resources available to you, both online and offline, there is no excuse for not doing proper research before you make any decisions. From guides, books, seminars, training courses, newsletters, reputable websites, audio courses, podcasts and much more, you have access to more information than ever to help you decide what type of investment is right for you.

    Look for a working strategy that you can employ in trading –

    Beginning stock investing requires careful evaluation of your options. You have to be certain that what you are doing is right and that it will help you reap the rewards of your undertaking. The easiest way to achieve this is to apply an investment strategy that you have cautiously analyzed.

    A working strategy can be the key to the outcomes of your stock market transactions. You will be able to come up with one if you will take the time to research the market including all the factors that affect its movement. Though there is no certainty as to the markets predictability, knowledge about how it tends to vary depending on its various determinants shall help you employ the most applicable technique for your investments. With careful stuffy, you will be able to earn great returns with your stock market dealings.

    Stock investment for beginners can be very lucrative, but you have to understand that it is not easy to take part in and should not be taken lightly. Before you jump in, don’t be afraid to get help from professionals, it may be a decision that saves you a load of money.

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    Steps to Owning Bank Foreclosure Properties

    Owning bank foreclosure properties is a simple process which anyone can undertake without the help of agents or brokers. There are real deals to be made in buying one of these distressed properties as long as the buyer approaches the entire affair with diligence and caution.

    The process for buying bank foreclosure properties begins with research. The best place to start is the Internet where there are multitudes of web sites providing listings and information on foreclosures. There are free sites that offer country-wide listings but they are highly susceptible to inaccuracies. Your best bet would be the web sites that charge for subscription. For a small investment you get access to all types of foreclosures all across the country as well as news and studies on the market. You can customize your search in these sites to yield only the properties that suit your needs and buying capability.

    Once you have subscribed to a web service offering foreclosure listings and before selecting your main prospects, you need to prequalify for home financing first if you do plan to pay for your purchase in cash. You can go to your bank and submit for a financial assessment to know the kind of loan and the amount you qualify for. You need this pre-approval certificate when you make your offer.

    The Value Appraisal

    If you have selected the home you would like to purchase you need to get an appraisal of the value of the property or at least the most likely price of the home compared to others like it in the market and the neighborhood. Bank foreclosure properties are typically sold at around 20 to 30 percent less than their market value.

    The Offer

    A typical offer for a bank owned home comes with good-faith money given upfront which can be around three percent of the purchase price. Your loan pre-qualification document should also be included in your offer. After your offer is accepted the deed of sale is drawn up. Some important matters to take care of at this point are the inspection period and the closing date as this could impact the overall cost of your purchase. The bank will allow an inspection contingency phase where buyers can cancel their purchase based on the inspection results.

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    How To Acquire Significant Market Share.

    Breaking into the market isn’t the simplest of choices for any business. A business must analyse several factors, and every aspect is essential in determining the plan to be undertaken for acquiring market share. Choices such as when, where, and at what level of cost, all play a definitive role in the possible success or failure of any business.

    The key to this understanding is that when making a move for market share, strive to be in the limelight – so everyone, potential customers and competitors alike, can’t avoid your presence even if they tried. You should be aggressive in your approach, which can easily be measured by the time, money and effort put into your advertising, sales promotion, publicity and public relations, introductory offers and discounts, etc. The businesses which are able to differentiate themselves from their competitors are the real champions of their industry, and they are, without doubt, the market leaders. They get focused customer attention and unique privileges over all others in their market.

    The following activities can be initiated by a business to make their presence felt in the market:

    – Differentiated Products and Services – The products or services offered by a business should be differentiated from those offered by others. It might be in the area of technology, design, packaging, the look or just about anything else, but the product or service should have a special and unique image in the thoughts of the customers.

    – Customer Focused Advertising – Advertising is an important and effective means of reaching out to your potential customers. Television, radio, internet, mobile phones and print media are the common advertising tools used in today’s world. This advertising should be customer and market targeted. The intensity of this advertising and how many people it will reach usually depends entirely upon the budget allocated.

    – Customer Relationship – Customers are the most important aspect of any business, and the aim of all businesses is to reach out to these customers in the most effective manner – as efficiently as possible. The fundamental point of marketing is to create long term relationships with as many customers as possible, and with improved presale and after sales service, a business can deliver quality assistance to the pursuits of every customer, thereby guaranteeing long term relationships and regular custom.

    – Introductory Offers and Schemes – It’s very important at the time of entering a market that a business should use introductory offers, rebates, discounts and schemes to stimulate customers toward purchasing products and services.

    – Extensive Warranties and Guarantees – Almost every customer will prefer a product that carries some kind of warranty or guarantee. If a new product has some form of extensive warranty or guarantee, most customers will consider that the company is being responsible for their product, and therefore, it’s seen as an “intelligent buy”.

    Copyright (c) 2009 Alan Gillies

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    The Real Deal With Bank Properties Listings

    While there are indeed many bargains that can be found in the foreclosures market, you should not expect that every property that appears in bank properties listings is a bargain. There are many factors that could drive property prices either up or down. Knowing how to appreciate the market as well as the forces that move behind foreclosures and the entire real estate industry can level your expectations. When dealing with bank properties in particular, take note of the following as smart guides so that you may be able to purchase properties wisely.

    The Real Deal With Bank Offerings

    It is a common notion that bank properties are the safest to buy in the foreclosures market, owing to its ability to erase all liens and transfer clean, good property titles to the buyer. However, despite the screaming ads that boast of low prices and steep discounts, you should be aware that banks do not pass everything on a golden plate.

    When pricing a property and before putting up in bank properties listings, the bank would usually price it almost near to what it is worth, unless it foresees that the property would hardly sell in the market. To attract buyers, banks would commonly employ marketing strategies that would entice the average buyer. This includes offering the property as a move-in-ready property or including some furniture with the sale or even waiving some of its closing costs.

    Also, while banks generally aim for quick sales, this does not mean that they jump in on every offer that they receive for a property. In fact, many foreclosures stay on the market for several months before signs of its being sold even become apparent. The main reason is because it could take weeks or even months for a bank to respond to a buyers offer. And when it does, it almost always makes a counter-offer which could again prolong the negotiation.

    Another thing to be aware of when dealing with bank properties is the fact that defects in property conditions are hardly disclosed by the banks. This is understandable, since many state laws do not or even exempt them from disclosure liability. Another reason is that banks could not be expected to know the condition of all the properties in its inventory.

    Finally, when looking at bank properties listings, bear in mind that there are very few banks that will offer or even entertain pre-closing repairs. If you think that you can insert the deal at any time in your negotiations, you may be in for a surprise. The way to deal with this is to do your own inspection and approximate the repair costs to determine its level of acceptability to you.