Author Archives: Daniel Packer

The importance of understanding emerging markets as a small business owner

The emerging markets are a land of opportunity for investors and business entrepreneurs. They also represent an area of inherent risk. However, in the competitive marketplace, businesses need to look for ways to reduce costs and increase profit margins – and the emerging market is a good way to achieve this.

The emerging markets are actually much closer than you may think. Although many people still think of the Far East and South America, we now have emerging markets within Eastern Europe and just beyond in Turkey. Africa is also now becoming an exciting new region for many investors.

For business owners, emerging markets are an opportunity to source cheaper labour and products. Both the manufacturing and service industries can make significant savings by outsourcing to emerging markets; as many companies are already doing. Some business owners are taking this one step further by investing in companies overseas that support services; this is a clever way to help cheaper suppliers stay in business while also benefiting from a growing economy.


One of the most interesting emerging economic regions at the moment is Africa, and this includes the Seychelles. This is a region where the middle class is growing exponentially. It is estimated that the world’s middle class population will nearly double from the 2009 figure of 1.8 billion people to 3.2 billion in 2020 – and many of these middle class people will be in Africa.

In countries such as South Africa and Nigeria, many people are now obtaining college qualifications and going on to run successful businesses. One major change in recent years is that many new businesses are quickly utilizing the benefits of the internet to reach customers overseas.

Nigeria is Africa’s fastest growing country and is becoming a dominant force in the continent; if growth continues it could soon rival South Africa as the largest economy on the continent. Egypt is another of Africa’s growing economies and due to its favorable location, it has great potential to support European businesses.

The Middle East

Many of the Middle Eastern economies are experiencing economic growth, and are actively seeking international trade links. Countries such as the United Arab Emirates have grown to prominence in the luxury markets, and other countries are hotbeds of business and investment opportunity. The growth in technical infrastructure in the region is helping to connect more of the Middle Eastern customer bases to the global digital marketplace. Entrepreneurs such as Ehsan Bayat, who split their time and business between their native countries and the United States, are proof of the growing cooperation between East and West.

Have an escape plan

The emerging markets can be extremely volatile so it is important for businesses to develop a contingency plan when dealing with them. For example, if a new supplier is sourced from a newly emerging economy then a business may be able to purchase products at a lower price to increase profit margins or reduce their prices to undercut the competition. However, the business should be prepared for the worst case scenario; the supplier could suddenly close down or supplies could be temporarily cut off due to unforeseen circumstances.

If risk is managed and plans are in place to cope with worst case scenarios, then the emerging markets can be a land of opportunity that will allow a business to succeed over the competition and ultimately win a larger market share.

The Ideal Amount of Savings at Age 30

The Ideal Amount of Savings at Age 30I love looking really far down the road. I love projecting account balances in the future, and I love the idea of compounding interest.

I also like making money today, I like having the ability to spend money on the things I want, and I have no problem paying a little extra for things if I can afford it. I hate stress, so if a few dollars saves me from worrying, it’s money well spent.

So I thought about, in order to retire comfortably at age 66, I’d need $4 million. Why that much? Because it’s such a huge number, that even with inflation and everything, there’s no way I could ever need more than that. It’s very possible I won’t need that much. But I know that in 40 years, if I have $4 million in savings, there’s no way I won’t have enough money for everything I’ll want.

So working backwards, with an 8% rate of return, I’d need $250,000 in savings by age 30 to hit that mark. If I earn 8% every year, I’d have $367,000 at age 35, $539,000 at age 40, $1.16 million at age 50, $2.5 million at age 60, and just about $4 million at age 66. The “normal” retirement age will probably increase in the next 40 years, so I’ll still be retiring early at age 66.

$250,000 is not an easy target to hit by 30, but the benefits are enormous.

There would be no need to save a dime the rest of your life. Once retirement is fully funded, there’s no need to save extra. As long as you earn as much as you spend, you can spend that money however you want. No more saving 20% for retirement, you can focus on education, the house, travel, or whatever else you’d like.

Instead of saving for huge goals, savings can go toward family vacations, education, and some of life’s pleasures. $250,000 is my goal for 30, and then that extra 20% (or more ideally, 60%) of income that goes to savings can go toward a house or kids.

Readers, what do you think? Is $250,000 a realistic goal? Are the benefits enormous enough to make it worth it?

11 Tips to Get Your Financing Approved!

Looking for financing to get the home you’ve always wanted? You can explore a lot of financing options out there. One of the most popular ways to finance your home is to apply for a mortgage. Here are some essential tips to help you get your loan application approved!

  1. Don’t move the money

If you’ve got plans to take out a loan, then make sure you don’t move your money around. Don’t take it out of your bank accounts. Leave it there for 6 months. Too much movement can make it seem like you’re short on cash and that could make banks or lending companies doubt your capability to pay off the loan. Also, remember not to take out any personal loans 2 to 3 months before you’re set to apply for a major one. That could reduce your chances of getting the second loan approved.

  1. Know your costs

Knowing exactly how much you need to spend to buy the property you’ve been eyeing matters. It helps you plan your budget as well as rearrange your funds. One way to figure the amount then is to use tools like stamp calculators for mortgage on sites like PropertyGuru Singapore. With these tools, it’s easy to determine your costs and as a result, properly allocate your funds.

  1. Be specific

When banks or lending companies know exactly what you’re spending their money on, they tend to provide the loan at a lower interest rate. The more they know, the less risk involved for them, or at least that’s how they see it. So make sure you provide a detailed explanation in your loan application.

  1. Match it to the right loan

One reason some loans don’t get approved is because people are applying for the wrong one. For instance, if you want to borrow funds to finance your education, then don’t take out a personal loan but the education loan package instead. Did your home suffer devastating damage from the storm? Don’t take out a personal loan when there’s a perfectly good renovation loan package you can apply for instead.

  1. Double-check for errors

Sometimes, the reason your loan wasn’t approved is because you filled out the information wrong, or provided the wrong information. A wrongly spelled name can derail the process and make you start the application process over. So review everything before you submit your application. Check the accuracy of the dates, the spelling of your name or where you live, your birthday, along with the rest of your personal information. These are pretty basic but you’d be surprised at how many people make mistakes when it comes to the basics.

  1. Shop and compare

There are plenty of housing mortgages you can choose from. Don’t go for the first affordable rate you find. Look around until you’ve got a list of potential mortgage packages. Compare the features and interest rates. Also factor in the payment flexibility of the loan. Do this until you find the best one at a price range that’s reasonable for you and your wallet.

  1. Know what you’re getting into

Before you sign up, know or ask about the penalties for late payment. While you want to make sure your payments are always on time, you never know what could happen in the future. By knowing the consequences of a late or delayed payment, you’ll know what is at stake, which should push you to do your hardest to provide on-time payments.

  1. Read the fine print

Aside from knowing the penalties, look over every inch of the document so you know what rights and services you’re entitled to. That way, if the company should break or violate those rights, you’ll know, allowing you to take immediate corrective action.

  1. Be aware of the conditions

Money Sense provides a detailed table on what housing loan conditions go how much down payment. Use it as a handy guide to determine which bracket your loan should fall under.

  1. Don’t forget to check all the fees involved

Some banks might charge more than others. Ask about those charges so you know what services you’re paying for. Also, if you think the bank charges too many fees, you might want to consider switching to another bank for better-cost savings.

  1. Ask a professional

If there’s anything you don’t understand, consult a financial professional for help. You could also hire a real estate lawyer and agent to help you understand what steps to take as well as legal details that need to be seen to. With help, applying for a home can seem less intimidating for you.

Applying for financing is to first step to getting the home you’ve always wanted. So follow these tips to improve the chances of your application earning the approval it needs.

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