Monthly Archives: April 2017

More Information About An Upcoming Webinar

Online businesses, you can’t hope to make any sales or attract any new customers if you don’t first get traffic to your website.
There are a lot of different factors that go into increasing website traffic. So at times it can seem overwhelming for some small businesses. But you can learn more about increasing traffic to your business website at an upcoming webinar.

The webinar, How to Get Traffic to Your Website, takes place on Wednesday, July 19 at 2 p.m. ET. Attendees can learn affordable techniques to get the right visitors to your website from Small Business Trends founder and CEO Anita Campbell. The event is sponsored by Verizon.

Learn more about the webinar and other upcoming events in the Featured Events section and listed below.
To see a full list or to submit your own event, contest or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.

Featured Events, Contests and Awards
WEBINAR: How to Get Traffic to Your WebsiteWEBINAR: How to Get Traffic to your Website
July 19, 2017, Online
Join us on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, at 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. PT) to learn affordable techniques for how to get more visitors to your website. Most importantly — how to get the right visitors — ones that may turn into customers. In this webinar, Anita Campbell, founder of award-winning online publication Small Business Trends will share examples, do-it-yourself ideas, and tips you can put into practice today.

WEBINAR: Give Your Team What it Needs for SpeedWEBINAR: Give Your Team What it Needs for Speed
July 25, 2017, Online
Join us Tuesday, Jul 25, 2017 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (EDT) to discover how to give your team what it needs for speed. The right technology tools and resources can help your team respond to — and stay ahead of — your competition and the market. Whether you have two employees or 100, you can always ramp up team speed. From improving processes and decision-making to boosting collaboration and providing your team with the technology and tools it needs, this webinar will explore the ways in which team speed can be leveraged as a critical competitive edge. Our panel of entrepreneurs and experts will engage in a lively, informed and interactive discussion about how you make your team more nimble and agile—and boost productivity and profits as a result. Our Panelists include Anita Campbell, CEO of Small Business Trends, Gene Marks, owner and operator of the Marks Group, and Ramon Ray, Small Business Evangelist at Infusionsoft, publisher of Smart Hustle magazine, and Technology Evangelist at SmallBizTechnology.
Influencer Marketing DaysInfluencer Marketing Days

September 25, 2017, New York, N.Y.
Influencer Marketing Days is a forum rich in professional development and laser-focused networking opportunities. Whether you are a marketer involved in PR or integrated marketing, community development or social media management, or an influencer looking to leverage the power of influencer marketing, this conference is for you! It is the must-attend event both for marketers responsible for their company’s influencer marketing campaigns, and for influencers looking to optimize monetization of their clout. Whether you already run influencer marketing campaigns or you’re investigating ways to leverage this powerful type of marketing, Influencer Marketing Days will equip, educate, and inspire you to make the most of your efforts.
Rule Breaker Awards Ceremony Rule Breaker Awards Ceremony

October 24, 2017, Scottsdale, Ariz.
On October 24, 2017 at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Rule Breaker Awards will honor and celebrate those entrepreneurs who have succeeded by doing it their way in a ceremony featuring the Rule Breaker of the Year and Rule Breaker Award winners.

NextConNextCon
October 23, 2017, Scottsdale, Ariz.
At NextCon, you’ll gain:
– Proven techniques to garner higher customer satisfaction.
– Insider strategies from leading experts to help you provide amazing customer service.
– Methods of engaging your employees to better deliver on your customer experience.
– Hands-on training with Nextiva’s technology and products so you can take advantage of tools you already have, or learn about new ones.

Sales World 2017Sales World 2017
November 08, 2017, Online
Sales World 2017 takes place November 8th to 9th, 2017, Online; Live and On Demand. It is the largest Sales Industry Event in the World and will be attended by over 10,000 Sales Professionals. It’s the one sales event you can’t afford to miss!

DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017 – Digital Marketing ConferenceDIGIMARCON WORLD 2017 – Digital Marketing Conference
November 14, 2017, Online
DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017 Digital Marketing Conference takes place November 14th to 16th, 2017. Whether your goal is to reinforce customer loyalty, improve lead generation, increase sales, or drive stronger consumer engagement, DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017’s agenda will help attendees enhance their marketing efforts. Sessions will focus on building traffic, expanding brand awareness, improving customer service and gaining insight into today’s latest digital tools.

Tips to Calculate an Exchange Rate

An exchange rate is how much it costs to exchange one currency for another. Exchange rates fluctuate constantly throughout the week as currencies are actively traded. This pushes the price up and down, similar to other assets such as gold or stocks. The market price of a currency – how many U.S. dollars it takes to buy a Canadian dollar for example – is different than the rate you will receive from your bank when you exchange currency. Here’s how exchange rates work, and how to figure out if you are getting a good deal. (For the more advanced investor, you might want to check out Currency Exchange: Floating Rate vs. Fixed Rate or What economic indicators are most used when forecasting an exchange rate?)

Finding Market Exchange Rates

Traders and institutions buy and sell currencies 24 hours a day during the week. For a trade to occur, one currency must be exchanged for another. To buy British Pounds (GBP), another currency must be used to buy it. Whatever currency is used will create a currency pair. If U.S. dollars (USD) are used to buy GBP, the exchange rate is for the GBP/USD pair. Live rates for several major currency are available on the Investopedia Forex page.

Reading an Exchange Rate

If the USD/CAD exchange rate is 1.0950, that means it costs 1.0950 Canadian dollars for 1 U.S. dollar. The first currency listed (USD) always stands for one unit of that currency; the exchange rate shows how much of the second currency (CAD) is needed to purchase that one unit of the first (USD).

In this case, 1 / 1.0950 = 0.9132. It costs 0.9132 U.S. dollars to buy one Canadian dollar. This price would be reflected by the CAD/USD pair; notice the position of the currencies has switched.

Yahoo! Finance provides live market rates for all currency pairs. If looking for a very obscure currency, click the “Add Currency” button and type in the two currencies being used to get an exchange rate. Find charts, with live market rates, for most currency pairs on FreeStockCharts.com.

Conversion Spreads

When you go to the bank to covert currencies, you most likely won’t get the market price that traders get. The bank or currency exchange house will markup the price so they make a profit, as will credit cards and payment services providers such as PayPal when a currency conversion occurs.

If the USD/CAD price is 1.0950, the market is saying it costs 1.0950 Canadian dollars to buy 1 U.S. dollar. At the bank though, it may cost 1.12 Canadian dollars. The difference between the market exchange rate and the exchange rate they charge is their profit. To calculate the percentage discrepancy, take the difference between the two exchange rates, and divide it by the market exchange rate: 1.12 – 1.0950 = 0.025/1.0950 = 0.023. Multiply by 100 to get the percentage markup: 0.023 x 100 = 2.23%.

A markup will also be present if converting U.S. dollars to Canadian dollars. If the CAD/USD exchange rate is 0.9132 (see section above), then the bank may charge 0.9382. They are charging you more U.S. dollars than the market rate. 0.9382 – 0.9132 = 0.025/0.9132 = 0.027 x 100 = 2.7% markup.

Banks and currency exchanges compensate themselves for this service. The bank gives you cash, whereas traders in the market do not deal in cash. In order to get cash, wire fees and processing or withdrawal fees would be applied to a forex account in case the investor needs the money physically. For most people looking for currency conversion, getting cash instantly and without fees, but paying a markup, is a worthwhile compromise.

Shop around for an exchange rate that is closer to the market exchange rate; it can save you money. Some banks have have ATM network alliances worldwide, offering customers a more favorable exchange rate when they withdraw funds from allied banks.

Need a foreign currency? Use exchange rates to determine how much foreign currency you want, and how much of your local currency you’ll need to buy it.

If heading to Europe you’ll need euros (EUR), and will need to check the EUR/USD exchange rate at your bank. The market rate may be 1.3330, but an exchange might charge you 1.35 or more.

Assume you have $1000 USD to buy Euros with. Divide $1000 by 1.3330 to get 740.74 euros. That is how many Euros you get for your $1000. Since Euros are more expensive, we know we have to divide, so that we end up with fewer units of EUR than units of USD.

Now assume you want 1500 euros, and want to know what it costs in USD. Multiply 1500 by 1.35 to get 2025 USD. Since we know Euros are more expensive, one euro will more than one US dollar, that is why we multiply in this case.

 

Let’s Learn About A Beginner’s Guide to Precious Metals

Since the dawn of time, gold and silver have been recognized as valuable. And even today, precious metals have their place in a savvy investor’s portfolio. But which precious metal is best for investment purposes? And why are they so volatile? If you’re just getting started in precious metals, read on to learn more about how they work and how you can invest in them. There are many ways to buy into precious metals like gold, silver and platinum and a host of good reasons why you should give in to the treasure hunt.

All That Glitters Is Gold

We’ll start with the grand-daddy of them all: gold. Gold is unique for its durability (it doesn’t rust or otherwise corrode), malleability and its ability to conduct both heat and electricity. It has some industrial applications in dentistry and electronics, but we know it principally as a base for jewelry and as a form of currency.

The value of gold is determined by the market 24 hours a day, nearly seven days a week. Gold trades predominantly as a function of sentiment; its price is less affected by the laws of supply and demand. This is because new mine supply is vastly outweighed by the sheer size of above-ground, hoarded gold. To put it simply, when the hoarders feel like selling, the price drops. When they want to buy, new supply is quickly absorbed and the gold prices are driven higher.

Several factors account for an increased desire to hoard the yellow metal:

  1. Systemic Financial Concerns: When banks and money are perceived as unstable and/or political stability is questionable, gold has often been sought as a safe store of value.
  2. Inflation: When real rates of return in the equity, bond or real estate markets are negative, people regularly flock to gold as an asset that will maintain its value.
  3. War or Political Crises: War and political upheaval have always sent people into gold-hoarding mode. An entire lifetime’s worth of savings can be made portable and stored until it needs to be traded for foodstuffs, shelter or safe passage to a less dangerous destination.

The Silver Bullet

Unlike gold, the price of silver swings between its perceived role as a store of value and its very tangible role as an industrial metal. For this reason, price fluctuations in the silver market are more volatile than gold.

So, while silver will trade roughly in line with gold as an item to be hoarded (investment demand), the industrial supply/demand equation for the metal exerts an equally strong influence on price. That equation has always fluctuated with new innovations, including:

  1. Silver’s once predominant role in the photography industry (silver-based photographic film), which was been eclipsed by the advent of the digital camera.
  2. The rise of a vast middle class in the emerging market economies of the East, which created an explosive demand for electrical appliances, medical products and other industrial items that require silver inputs. From bearings to electrical connections, silver’s properties made it a desired commodity.
  3. Silver’s use in batteries, superconductor applications and microcircuit markets.

It’s unclear whether (or to what extent) these developments will affect overall noninvestment demand for silver. One fact remains; silver’s price is affected by its applications and is not just used in fashion or as a store of value. (Find out how everyday items you use can affect your investments in Commodities That Move The Markets.)

Platinum Bombshell

Like gold and silver, platinum is traded around the clock on global commodities markets. It tends to fetch a higher price than gold during routine periods of market and political stability, simply because it’s much rarer; far less of the metal is actually pulled from the ground annually. Other factors that determine platinum’s price include:

  1. Like silver, platinum is considered an industrial metal. The greatest demand for platinum comes from automotive catalysts, which are used to reduce the harmfulness of emissions. After this, jewelry accounts for the majority of demand. Petroleum and chemical refining catalysts and the computer industry use up the rest.
  2. Because of the auto industry’s heavy reliance on the metal, platinum prices are determined in large part by auto sales and production numbers. “Clean air” legislation could require automakers to install more catalytic converters, increasing demand. In 2009, however, American and Japanese car makers started turning to recycled auto catalysts or using more of platinum’s reliable (and usually less expensive) sister group metal, palladium.
  3. Platinum mines are heavily concentrated in only two countries: South Africa and Russia. This creates greater potential for cartel-like action that would support, or even artificially raise, platinum prices.

Investors should consider that all of the above factors serve to make platinum the most volatile of the precious metals. (For more on this entire industry, check out The Industry Handbook: Precious Metals.)

Filling Up Your Treasure Chest

Let’s take a look at the options available to those who want to invest in precious metals.

  1. Commodity ETFs: Exchange traded funds exist for all three precious metals. ETFs are a convenient and liquid means of purchasing and selling gold, silver or platinum.
  2. Common Stocks and Mutual Funds: Shares of precious metals miners are leveraged to price movements in the precious metals. Unless you’re aware of how mining stocks are valued, it may be wiser to stick to funds with managers with solid performance records. (For related reading, see Strike Gold With Junior Mining.)
  3. Futures and Options: The futures and options markets offers liquidity and leverage to investors who want to make big bets on metals. The greatest potential profits – and losses – can be had with derivative products.
  4. Bullion: Coins and bars are strictly for those who have a place to put them. Certainly, for those who are expecting the worst, bullion is the only option, but for investors with a time horizon, bullion is illiquid and downright bothersome to hold.
  5. Certificates: Certificates offer investors all the benefits of physical gold ownership minus the hassle of transportation and storage. That said, if you’re looking for insurance in a real disaster, certificates are just paper. Don’t expect anyone to take them in exchange for anything of value.

Will Precious Metals Shine for You?

Precious metals offer unique inflationary protection – they have intrinsic value, they carry no credit risk and they themselves cannot be inflated (you can’t print more of them). They also offer genuine “upheaval insurance”, against financial or political/military upheavals.

From an investment theory standpoint, precious metals also provide low or negative correlation to other asset classes like stocks and bonds. This means that even a small percentage of precious metals in a portfolio will reduce both volatility and risk.