KaratGold Coin (KBC) is Bridging the Digital Gap Between Gold and Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is the newest major asset class to emerge in the 21st century. Most famous is Bitcoin, but the crypto markets now include several thousand digital currencies and tokens. These tokens are used for all kinds of purposes, but the ones used as digital money are still the most popular. Among the top 10 cryptocurrencies trading today, 4 (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ripple…or 6 six if you count Tether and Binance Coin) are primarily as digital forms of cash.

However, none of these digital assets has a foundation of inherent value. Sure, the law of supply and demand ensures that these cryptocurrencies have value as long as people use them, but there’s nothing built into these technologies that makes them reliable stores of value.

This has led a whole new generation of asset-backed-cryptocurrencies to enter the stage. Coins like these will theoretically always hold their value, as long as they continue to be backed by real world assets that retain value. A number of different asset-backing types have been used since these so-called “stablecoins” first emerged, but none is so interesting or promising as gold.

Gold can sound downright out of place when it comes to cryptocurrency. After all, this is an ancient asset that seems out of step with the internet age. But a coin called KaratGold Coin (KBC) has found a remarkable way of unifying gold with this newest kind of asset.

KaratGold Coin wasn’t the first cryptocurrency to be linked to  gold. But it is the first cryptocurrency to be 100% tradable for gold (in the form of CashGold – more on this later). The company that introduced KaratGold Coin to the market in the first place, Karatbars International, has introduced a remarkable array of products and services that are transforming the very notion of gold ownership in the 21st century.

Take, for example, the K-Merchant app. K-merchant allows users to transact with KBC in all kinds of ways. The can buy it with Bitcoin, Ethereum, or fiat currencies, or sell it for the same. They can also spend KBC for goods and services with thousands of online retailers. This essentially means that gold is now spendable online, because KBC ownership and gold ownership are now equivalent.

This last point is true because of the possibility of exchange. Starting July 4, 2019, KBC will be swappable for gold in the form of CashGold notes (at participating ATMs). CashGold notes a paper bills that resemble normal fiat bills in style and form. The difference is that CashGold notes hold a tiny bar of gold, weighed at just 0.1 grams. The gold confers value upon the note.

KBC prices are tethered to the value of specific quantities of CashGold. This means that users can own gold without having to possess it. They can also transfer the ownership of this gold by spending KBC online. KBC also pays for services on the new IMPulse K1 smartphone. With the IMpulse K1 Phone that complements the Karatbars’ infrastructure, calls and text messages will not be transmitted through conventional ways, but instead, they are encrypted and broadcasted by a newly created Voice Over Blockchain Protocol (VOBP). As a result, there’s no need to worry about third parties monitoring user’s actions, as the VOBP uses peer-to-peer encryption that cannot be hacked or manipulated in the current state of the art. Linked to the phone, Karatbars presents a clear utility of Karatgold Coin being that KBC serves as a credit for phone calls.

All told, this diverse set of products and services changes the way it’s possible to use gold, and a new class of investors is reconsidering gold for a place in their (virtual) portfolios.

 

Dwayne Rettinger, Other Experts Discuss: Updating Your Will – When To Do It

It’s time we stopped viewing our wills as stagnant documents, completed once then filed away in a dusty safety deposit box until death. In reality, a will should be seen as a living, breathing file that must be periodically updated to reflect changes in our lives. Here are some situations where another look at your will might be necessary.

1.  A New Addition to the Family: Children need plenty of attention, especially when they are young. But it’s also important to prepare for the worst, says Dwayne Rettinger, an Executive Financial Consultant with IG Private Wealth Management. “What if you are unable to care for your child due to an illness or an accident?” he asks. “You must designate a guardian who is prepared to take custody of your children.” If you already have children who are named in your will, make sure the new addition is added to the will as a beneficiary, Rettinger adds.

2.  Common-law marriage: Living common law is much more frequent now, as well as being socially acceptable. Young couples in particular may choose this option, especially if they price out the cost of a wedding. However, in some Canadian jurisdictions, common law spouses don’t have the same rights as married ones. It’s unfair but your financial consultant can help you check the rules in your jurisdiction and structure your will and estate plan in a way that best reflects your intentions with respect to your partner.

3. Second marriage: Getting married again can complicate matters, especially if you have kids from your first marriage. You have to decide whether your new spouse deserves a share of your estate. And you’ll want to make sure that your children’s inheritances come directly from you. This is not a matter of trusting the new spouse, it’s an effort to make the transition as simple as possible.

4. Caring for the disabled: Special needs children will always require detailed attention in any will, says Dwayne Rettinger. “It’s possible you’ll need to support them for the rest of their lives, so make sure that fact is spelled out in your will,” he adds., “Think about the child’s long-term needs and act accordingly. In such cases, you might need a lawyer who specializes in such cases to cover all the bases.”

5. Have you moved recently?: If you have recently moved out of the country or even out of the province, you should consider re-drafting your will in the new jurisdiction, according to Edgar Chana Law in Toronto. “Each province in Canada has different laws governing estate succession, and planning techniques used in one province may not be valid or effective in another province. Moving to another country or acquiring assets in another country can also add complexity to your estate planning that would require revisiting your will.”

6. What Else has Changed?: Lawyer Michelle Kaminsky suggests going through your list of heirs, representatives, guardians, trustees or executors. Consider whether their circumstances have changed in some way. “For example, are they still of sound mind and capable of serving in the role you have designated? Have they passed away? These are definite reasons you may need to immediately update your will,” she says.

At the very least, experts suggest reviewing your will every five years to reflect any major changes in your financial and personal circumstances. More importantly, does it still reflect your wishes? Major life events should make you seriously reconsider the information in your current will. In any event, it’s always a good idea to have your financial advisor and your lawyer involved in the process of drawing up your updated will. Their expertise will help smooth over what can be a challenging process.

Disclosure: https://www.investorsgroup.com/en/legal/disclosures

Data Driven Decisions

Making decisions is the ultimate job of anybody in a position of responsibility in a business, especially if they’re ultimately in charge. As a founder, CEO or Chief Operating Officer, the majority of your job is taking high level, strategic decisions for your business. You need to inform yourself so you know what the right long term goals are you need to be working towards, as well as dealing with the day to day issues that arise as part of running any complicated organisation.

It’s a cause of stress: successful CEOs command high salaries not just because they create success for businesses but because they are capable of handling the stress of being the person with whom the buck stops. Today we’re looking at a way of making decisions that makes that stress easier to handle, and makes the business of running a company less taxing and easier to succeed at.

Lifting the Load

The mains source of that CEO stress and isolation is that the responsibility for your decisions is concentrated solely on you. You might seek feedback, or talk to experts in the field, but the ultimate decision comes down to you and your judgement.

If you build data into your decision-making process, you lift this crushing load. It’s no longer you and best instincts, you have measures of your business’ performance, of customer behaviour and market forces to work with. The very best data experts can turn those into reliable predictions about the outcome of your decisions.

Using data like this gives you an objective foundation to your process. You don’t have to justify your decisions simply with your judgement and experience, you can point to a prediction about how this choice will likely result in a positive outcome for your business, while another would cause a poorer result.

Data Gathering

Consumer intelligence agencies can give you an insight into your market: the many consumers out there who could potentially choose to spend their money with you, whether they have yet or not.

This kind of insight can inform every level of your business: for marketing and product design it’s obvious. Understanding your market lets you tailor your offering to appeal to biggest possible cross section of people, and communicate what you have to offer in a way they’ll respond to.

It can also influence your customer service policy, informing whether they’d respond well to a generous policy, and letting you know the platforms your customers value being able to engage on, whether it’s phone, email or via social media.

Building data use into your business from the ground up – and showing you really listen to hard, evidence based feedback creates a constructive company culture that can survive successfully in the long term.

5 Tips for Paying Off Those Credit Cards Quickly

If you’ve ever dealt with credit cards, then you already know they are a useful tool, but they can also get you in a heap of trouble if you aren’t careful. There are many myths out there associated with these cards and the debt they carry, but what it comes down to is you have to pay your bills if you don’t want to ruin your credit score. With that in mind, read on below for a few tips to help you pay them off quickly.

Pay off the One with the Smallest Balance First

It makes sense to pay off the credit card that has the smallest balance first to get one out of the way. For example, if you have one credit card that has a $1000 balance and one that has a $200 balance, pay off that one first. If you don’t have the money to do that, consider getting a small personal loan to get it done. It’ll be easier to pay off the loan than it will to be late on the card and end up with late fees and interest that will have you owing a cool 1K before you know it.

Look at the Bill in Chunks

There is really no certain order that you should pay off your credit cards in, but it does help to pay off the smallest ones first and then look at the rest in chunks, not as one huge bill that needs to be paid. For example, if your credit card debt is totaling $10,000, you should look at it in manageable chunks of $2500 a piece. It will make it easier to deal with, when you aren’t looking at the debt as something that has to be paid off all at once.

Work on the Cards with the Highest Interest Rates

Once you have paid off the smallest cards and broken the others down into manageable chunks, start working on the cards with the highest interest rates, since those are the ones that are costing you the most money. You have to whittle down the principal owed on the card, so that the interest doesn’t eat you alive.

Consolidate Your Debt

One of the best ways to pay off your credit card debt quickly is by consolidating that debt. There are many places out there that are willing to help you do that. If you can put all of your credit card balances into one lump sum and make one low, monthly payment, you won’t be scrambling to figure out who to pay first and get behind on some.

Create a Budget

Another way to pay off your cards quickly is by dedicated so much of your monthly budget to paying each card. In this way, you’ll be whittling away at them a little at a time, but they will get paid.

These are just a few of the top tips out there for paying off your credit cards as quickly as possible. Remember, interest fees are killer, so work to pay the principal down as fast as you can.

How to Maintain a Good Credit Score

What causes bad credit? Late payments, charge-offs, defaulting on loans, foreclosure and bankruptcies are some of the things that can ruin your credit. An unpaid judgment can also cause your credit score to drop to the point where even an easy personal loan isn’t so easy to get. Dealing with bad credit can be frustrating. Fortunately, there are ways that you can keep your credit score high.

How to Improve Your Credit Score

Check Your Credit Report

It is estimated that 20 percent of people have at least one error on their credit report. If you have a low score, then it may be due to errors on your credit score. That is why it is important to obtain a copy of your credit report. Keep in mind that you can get one free report each year. If you have errors, then you will need to report them to the credit bureaus as soon as possible.

Watch Your Credit Card Balances

A credit card can make or break your credit score. If you keep your credit card balances low, then you can increase your credit score. Paying on time can also boost your credit.

The optimal credit utilization percentage is 30 percent. This means that if your credit card limit is $1,500, then your balance should not be above $500. You can keep your balance low by making multiple payments throughout the months. If you are getting close to the 30 percent limit, then you can ask for a limit increase.

Leave Old Debt on Your Credit Report

Many people remove items that they have paid off from their credit report. However, it is a good idea for you to keep these items on your credit report. Keeping items that you have paid off on your report will help you add points to your credit score.

Pay Bills on Time

Your payment history is one of the main things that affect your credit score. In fact, it determines 35 percent of your credit score. That is why paying your bills on time is one of the best things that you can do for your credit score.

It is important to note that one missed payment can drop your credit score. If you have any missed payments, then you will need to pay them off as soon as possible. Ask your bill collectors to delete past-due accounts after you have paid them off.

Be Careful About Applying for New Credit

You can add points to your credit score by having multiple credit cards on your credit report. However, applying for too many credit cards at one time can cause your credit score can drop. Lenders may also consider this a risk. Many people apply for credit cards in order to supplement their income.

Bad credit is a problem that many people have due to things like late payments, past-due accounts, collection accounts and errors. However, there are ways that you can improve it. You will need to make sure that all credit errors are corrected. You will also need to keep your credit card balances low, pay bills on time and leave old debt on your credit report. Additionally, you will have to be careful about applying for new credit.

5 Keys to Turning Your Side Hustle Into a Successful Business

Starting a side hustle is the perfect way for people to pursue their passion while paying their bills. With hard work and dedication, entrepreneurs can start a business while using their regular income to support their efforts and keep the lights on.

For some, keeping a side hustle is a great way to supplement one’s income while working a full-time job. For others, the goal is to create a full-time endeavor. Here are five keys to turning your side hustle into a successful business.

Get the Right Tools in Place

When you’re building a side hustle, you have wiggle room to try new things, make mistakes, and determine what is going to work best in the long run. Get the right tools in place– particularly the costly ones– when you have another income to support the expense.

Assemble what you need to create professional-looking Self-Employed Invoices and social media graphics. Determine if you need to outsource and purchase a branding consultant and designer. Get those big bucket items handled before attempting to shift from a side hustle to a full-time gig, and you’ll take off some of the pressure to succeed in the early months of your transition.

Set Goals and Deadlines

If you want to successfully shift from the side hustle mentality to that of a full-time entrepreneur, it is critical that you set goals and deadlines for yourself. Remember the SMART goal-setting process: goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.

If you decide that you want to make this shift, set a deadline for yourself. You are highly more likely to achieve your goals if you have a perceived deadline, even if you’ve assigned it to yourself. To ensure you meet the goals and deadlines, you must also create an action plan. Remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish.

Develop Your Time Management Skills

If you are handling both a full-time job and a side hustle, you already have some strong time management skills in your favor. That being said, as you transition into full-time business mode, you’ll need to become even more efficient. Work to develop your time management skills and determine how you will prioritize your tasks.

Many entrepreneurs opt to use the Eisenhower Decision Matrix to determine which tasks should be conducted when. With this matrix, you divide tasks into four quadrants:

  1. High Urgency, High Importance – tasks you must do right away.
  2. Low Urgency, High Importance – tasks you should schedule for another time.
  3. High Urgency, Low Importance – tasks you should delegate.
  4. Low Urgency, Low Importance – tasks you shouldn’t bother with.

By breaking these tasks down as such, you ignore petty distractions and put your focus where it should be to reach your goals.

Network Like a Champ

If you haven’t already taken steps to cultivate connections both within your industry and in your community, now is the time to do so. Let people know about your business plans and create a network of people with whom you can consult and build referrals.

It’s worth noting that you may never work with the people you add to your network, but you never know when a potential client will come your way via one of your connections, and a part of building a successful business is having a strong client base.

Prioritize Self-Care

Entrepreneurs face a high potential for burnout and stress. Be sure to set aside time to take care of yourself and do the activities you love, apart from work. Set business hours for yourself, so that you are able to unplug and focus on the joys in life. Take care of your mind and your body so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Turning your side hustle into a successful business will be challenging, but well worth the effort if you go about it the right way. Use these five tips and success is sure to follow.

What is a “Small Business” Work Retreat?

It’s difficult to find the balance between work and your personal life in the startup phase of your business. You fear that if you step away for even a minute, the entire enterprise will flounder and fail. The truth is that there is a lot of risk associated with starting a business. And it could not work out. But you will never know for sure unless you put your whole self into it. However, that could lead to burn out.

Entrepreneurs have drive, but this can be what forces them into a state in which they are unable to enjoy simple pleasures, they end up innocently ignoring friends and family, and can’t ever relax. Walking the line between work and play isn’t simple, especially when there is so much to sacrifice on both sides.

This is where the “work retreat” comes in. It’s a chance for the owner to switch gears for a bit, use a different part of their brain, while remaining productive and checking things of his or her list. It’s a small business owner’s version of a vacation without the feeling of guilt and fear that if you aren’t growing, you’re dying.

Here are some things to plan for your “work retreat”:

Accounting with Professionals

If you outsource accounting, most of the time you’ll be communicating with your “guy” online. Look for qualified accounting services in Montreal to grow your business, while also giving you a reason to visit once or twice a year. Set an appointment to discuss ideas, plans going forward, or talk about anything that would benefit from a face-to-face.

Boosting Your Marketing

Marketing ideas require inspiration. Being out and about during a work “retreat” gives you a chance to see your potential audience, observe them, brainstorm ideas and more. Carry around a note-taking device and review your comments at the end of the day, hopefully coming up with something tangible by the end of the week like a campaign or a solution to the marketing block you are currently in.

Getting a Photo Shoot

A photoshoot is always a great excuse to get out to an exotic destination. Plan with a local photographer or bring one along to create some visual content that you can use for the upcoming months. You’ll be “working”, but still experiencing a different scenario than the one you have been stuck in for the last few months.

Finding New Suppliers/Retailers/Partners

Meeting face-to-face and being somewhere in person can really give you a leg up on your business. Whether it’s attending a trade show and looking for suppliers, or visiting potential retail locations, being “on the ground” can give you benefits that an online interaction won’t be able to make up. From feeling materials and seeing them yourself, to shaking hands with an important contact, making a trip can be a great way to combine both business and pleasure.

The day-to-day reality of owning a business is not always sunshine and rainbows. There’s a lot of grinding and a lot of sweat. But by switching gears and going on a “retreat”, not only will your mind have a rest, your business will benefit from the inspiration and tasks that you complete while away.

4 Goals for A Great Retirement

When it comes to retirement planning, you need to do more than figure out how to increase your investments or scale down your expenses; you also need to set some meaningful goals.

Goal setting isn’t something you should do only when you’re trying to climb the corporate ladder or achieve your dream career. It’s something that will also serve you well if you want to enjoy a great retirement.

Without goals, retirement can be challenging. If you have to live frugally, then it’s rewarding to focus on something other than financial affairs. But goals are also important if you have a well-funded retirement, because they let you take full advantage of all the time you now have available.

Bearing in mind the value of goal setting when you retire, here are some worthy goals to consider when you’re planning your retirement:

Goal #1: Provide for your family after you have gone.

Besides creating a will, another way you can provide for you family after you pass away is to get burial insurance. This insurance not only covers the cost of your funeral, but it can also be used to pay other outstanding final expenses like credit card bills, legal costs, and medical expenses. Although the normal purchase range is between $5,000 to $25,000, you can buy coverage up to $50,000. If you review the guide by Policyzip entitled “How Burial Insurance Works,” which can be found under their section on Life Insurance, you’ll discover why this is an affordable way to take care of your last expenses.

Goal #2: Correct Financial Miscalculations

While you can correct financial miscalculations when you retire, it’s best, if you can, to correct them before you retire. Depending on the nature of the miscalculation, you may have more options because you’ll still have a salary. For instance, some financial miscalculations might be not investing enough, investing in a declining sector of the economy, or not diversifying your portfolio.

Goal #3: Find ways to avoid letting your money sit idle

If you’ve been successful in saving a substantial amount for your retirement, you may feel that you’ve taken care of your financial needs. This is a mistake because if you let your money sit in a low-yield account, the rate of inflation will erode its value over time, and this means that it may not be enough to cover future expenses. Explore ways to invest your money, including buying some blue-chip stocks.

Goal #4: Share your wealth of knowledge and experience.

There are probably many things that you could share with others that would enrich their lives. Think about some of the things you have acquired a considerable amount of knowledge about and that others would love to learn. Once you’ve identified what it is that you would like to share, then find some avenues to express your ideas. For instance, you could create instructional lessons on Udemy, give talks at your local library, or start a blog. Depending on what you’re sharing and the avenues you use to share your knowledge, you could monetize your knowledge. For instance, if you’ve worked in the financial sector all your life, you could start a personal finance blog that offers your readers ideas on how to manage their money better. You could then monetize this information by using affiliate links in your blog posts.

To conclude, don’t make the mistake of thinking of retirement as retreating from the world to live a quiet life. If you adopt this attitude, you’ll end up bored and frustrated with all the time you have on your hands. Instead, make some meaningful goals to enjoy your retirement.

5 Ways to Enjoy Your Spring Break

Spring Break is just around the corner, and for some restless college students, it can’t come fast enough.  Having lived through tough exams, late night cramming sessions and last-minute revisions on papers and thesis, students are eager for a break from studying and from the cold of winter.  For many, heading to the tropical climes or straight to the closest beach is all they can think about.  And while they may have fantasies about fruity cocktails with little umbrellas, string bikinis and partying into the wee hours, the reality is that you have to pay to play.   For too many students, this means using their student loans to fund their trips.  As eager as they may be to frolic on the beach, the sobering fact of more student debt should give them pause.  With a little planning, Spring Break can be a time to refresh your mind and relax your body, catch up with friends and visit family.  Here are five ways to make your Spring Break a social and financial success.

  1. Make your travel plans early – You can save a lot of money and headache when you confirm your hotel reservations weeks before leaving. The earlier you book your rooms, the greater your discount is likely to be.

 

  1. Pool your resources -If you know you’re going to travel with friends, don’t forget to allow for extra luggage, sleeping accommodations and the like. Pool your resources and buy bulk shampoo, and other toiletry items you can divvy up among yourselves.

 

  1. Use a Groupon coupon – Rent a car and drive to your destination.  Driving will cost less than flying, and you can share the expenses with friends.  Not only will you have more control over your experiences along the way, but you can often find places where parking is free.  With a dollar car rental coupon you can save as much as $40 off a weekly rental, and even more when you apply a money saving Groupon to your rental fees.

 

  1. Set a spending limit and don’t exceed it. – Spring Break is a time to get away – but not go crazy.  Remember, what goes up must come down.  When you’re talking about your credit card balance, it can take a long time to pay off a few days’ worth of frivolous spending.

 

  1. Bring your student ID – Not only will you need it to verify your identity, you can get local discounts at many places along the way.

3 Tips To Improve Your Money Management Skills

If you’re not adequately handling your finances, you may be stressed out and struggling to keep up with your bills. Although your problem may be due to the fact that you’re not earning as much as you need, some of it may be due to poor personal money management skills.

There are some basic personal finance management techniques that you can quickly learn to begin to feel confident about your ability to manage your finances. Let’s take a look at how to get money for a financial emergency, how to create a budget, and how to build awareness around money.

1. How to get out of a financial emergency.

There’s nothing more distressing than doing your best to make your salary last through the month only to be blindsided by an unexpected high expense.

If, for instance, you notice one morning before you get into your car on your way to work that all four tires of your car need to be changed, then, on average, it could cost you as much as $600 because the cost of tires ranges from $500 to $700. While you might be able to postpone this for a few weeks, the longer you wait, the more you risk having a blowout on the freeway. Since you may only be earning about $300 to $500 a week, with that money going to pay your regular bills, you may be wondering how you’re going to be able to afford to buy new tires.

Fortunately, there are lending companies that will give quick cash loans you can pay back in installments. The approval process is fairly easy and you will receive your money fast. You just need to be employed, have a valid Social Security number, and have an active checking account.

  1. How to create a budget.

In order to create a budget, you need to take the following 7 steps:

  • First, find a system that works well for you. You may want to get a software program that makes it easy to set up your budget. Alternatively, you may prefer complete autonomy in how you organize the budget. In this case, use a spreadsheet. After you’ve opened up a spreadsheet program, put in column headings and then create cells for recording income and expenses and cells for calculating totals.
  • Second, establish what your net income is after taxes. You need to know exactly how much money is coming in every month from all your income sources.
  • Third, make a list of all the ways you spend your money each month.
  • Fourth, create a financial goal to spend less than you earn.
  • Fifth, make a plan to help you reach this goal.
  • Sixth, take a month to track your cash flow.  This first month should be focused on researching your budget numbers.
  • Seventh, keep on improving your budget. Every month, you will get a more realistic idea about your spending habits, and you will get numerous insights on how to manage your money better.
  1. How to raise your money awareness.

In order to improve your habits around money, you need to increase your awareness around money. Specifically, you need to become aware of where your money is going. In order to develop self-awareness, you need to keep track of  the following four things:

  1. How often you sabotage your money plan.
  2. When you confuse your needs with your wants.
  3. The times you succumb to peer pressure, spending money on things that you don’t really want but buy anyway because you are trying to fit in.
  4.  When you abuse your credit card, creating a debt that you won’t be able to pay off during the next billing cycle.

The best way to develop money awareness is to carry a small notebook with you. Simply writing each money mistake you make will build your awareness; and, over time, you will stop making mistakes.

In closing, if you find yourself struggling with money, you’re not alone. Millions of people struggle with money management because they were taught how to manage their money despite years of formal education. Fortunately, learning these three basic money management techniques just requires time and patience to master.