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Monday, August 29, 2016

Best scholarship programs to apply for in autumn 2016

By Edusson

Going to school at a younger age helps beat inflation
College education costs rose 500% in 21 years
Forbes Magazine highlights that college costs have been increasing at a rate of about 7% per year. The overall consumer index has increased by 115% since 1985 while the college education inflation rate has risen by almost 500%. 

Nowadays, Almost two thirds of undergraduates receive some kind of grant, with student borrowing being on the upswing. The truth is that loans must be repaid eventually. 

There are thousands of scholarships out there that students can apply for. Below is a look at Best Scholarship programs to apply autumn 2016. The list can help students to offset some of his or her college costs.

Flinn Scholarships (x20)


The Flinn Foundation is a philanthropic and privately-owned grant making organization formed to improve the quality of life and benefit future generations in the state of Arizona. In its lifetime, the Foundation has sponsored technology-based medical care programs while at the same time recruiting top physician specialists to the state of Arizona. Today, it supports the advancement of biosciences in the state together with other program areas so as to assist build a knowledge-driven economy in the state. The scholarship amounts to $100,000 and the application deadlines are usually in October of every year.

Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship


The Evans Scholars Foundation is a charitable trust offering 4-year tuition and housing scholarships to caddies who deserve it. It is run by Western Golf Association. Applicants are supposed to have excellent grades, outstanding character, financial need and a strong caddie record. Applications are available starting the first of August, with students advised to send their applications before 30th September. Since the scholarship includes full tuition, room and board, the amount usually varies.

America’s Youth of the Year Boys & Girls Clubs


Youth of the Year has been America’s Boys and Girls Clubs premier recognition program since 1947. It celebrates the exceptional achievements of Club teenagers. Local clubs recognize members who are aged between 14 and 18 years as Youth of the Month Winners and usually choose one of them to take part in state competitions. The winner in each state gets a $5,000 scholarship as well as an advance to regional competitions. Deadlines for applications vary by state, with applicants expected to first compete in their home states before taking part in a final national competition. The scholarship amounts to $50,000.

Ms. America Competition


The Miss America Pageant is a competition targeting women aged between 17 and 24. Participants are judged based on various categories such as lifestyle, fitness, presentation, artistic expression, community achievement, presence and poise. The competition’s organization is the largest provider of scholarship for young women in the world. The deadline varies by state, and participants are forewarned that there is an entry fee of $1,119.

FEREP Scholarship


The Federation Executive Recruitment and Education Program (FEREP) Scholarship supports Jewish students who are planning to pursue careers as professionals for the North American Jewish Federation system. It awards scholarships of not more than $20,000 annually. Chosen students who satisfy eligibility requirements will take part in federation orientation and interviews. Chosen student will have to work in a North American Jewish Federation for at least two years after finishing graduate school.

About the author: The article is provided by Edusson (academic writing advisory service)

Image: DigitalRalph/Flickr; CC BY 2.0

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Olympic Games seen by XTrade Europe investors



What makes a good investor? Is it a massive portfolio? We think it is not. Too many opened trading positions can lead to a total failure. Is it a big initial capital? Of course not! There is something else that is common to all successful XTrade Europe online traders- ability to find great investing opportunities in almost every situation. This is what makes a difference between great and average investors.

So, the first thing that every online trader should do is to sharpen this skill of finding new opportunities at different paces, regardless of whether we talk about the presidential elections, oil policy or even sport games. The Olympic Games in Rio are the perfect example. Almost all big investors and XTrade Europe speculators are there (not physically, of course). After all, what would be a better business opportunity than the biggest sport event on the planet?

Here is one example. Lets’ look what happens with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) index during Olympics. Fortunately, we can use one research published by Bespoke Investment Group. What this research showed? It showed that DJIA just “love” Olympics! From the 1900 to present days, the rate of return of the DJIA was approximately four percent during Games, which is fantastic.
Of course, all these countries had to spend billions in stadiums, hotels, infrastructure, but these investments brought them a big return. All these countries, especially cities, literately exploded before and after the Games. 

What you think why countries compete to be hosts to world’s sportsmen and national teams after all? It is not because they like sport more than anything else. It is not because they want to show their great hospitality, rich culture or something like that. It is because of the money. Yes, the money is the energy that moves things forward. Just visit some of these cities and you will see the “remains” of the Olympic Games at every corner. And of course, where there is a chance to earn, investors from XTrade Europe and other big groups will be there to make a profit.

After this, we can be more than sure that Olympics have a great effect on the economy, especially on the economy of the hosted countries. Of course, every rule has exceptions. In this case, the exemption is the Olympics held in Sidney (2008), where the market went down almost two percent. This “catastrophe” was not caused by the Games, but by a huge mortgage crisis that was active at that time.

Here is the advice that every XTrade Europe investor should follow if he want to remain successful in this business: Do not observe the Olympic Games just as ordinary sport competition, but also as a great business opportunity. Economies of the hosted countries grow almost without exception during this period. Use this information to improve your trading situation. All good investors are already in their positions, waiting with their eyes wide open. What is your strategy? Do you have one at all? If not, make sure you have one before next

Image: Onacdan/Pixabay; CC0 US-PD

Monday, August 22, 2016

Walmart identifies eight chemicals to be removed from products

By Mark Sadaka

Walmart and environmental friendliness
Walmart has taken action to help protect the environment
Recently, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announced that they will push their suppliers to remove, or at the very least restrict, the usage of eight extremely hazardous materials found within a variety of their household cleaning, personal care, and beauty items sold within the shopping center.

The retailer named all of the chemicals that they want removed, which include formaldehyde, a chemical found within wood products and building material. Pressure from consumers revealed they are increasingly more conscious of what types of chemicals enter their products and food.

Last year, Target Corp. took the same measure by removing over 1,000 chemicals from various household cleaning and personal care products that they sell in every store across the country. They even took a stance to promote only the products that adhere to these regulations and remove all chemicals listed.

Proctor & Gamble


Proctor & Gamble, a major product supplier for Wal-Mart Stores, has been using parabens in their products, but only within the safe limits set down by regulatory agencies from around the country. The major company also ensures every customer purchasing their product can discover exactly what is inside said product by featuring the parabens on the label for easy reading. They have also worked tirelessly to remove triclosan from over 99 percent of their sold products.

Transparency


Back in 2013, Wal-Mart vowed to the public to increase their transparency regarding ingredients found in products they regularly sell on store shelves. While working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Safer Choice organization, Wal-Mart has begun using safer chemicals and materials within all of their store-brand products.

To achieve the Safer Choice certification for their branded products, Wal-Mart put a new policy into effect in January of 2014. This policy basically said that all products sold by the corporation and Sam's Club within the United States would adhere to safe products and chemicals within every item sold. In April of this year, the company announced they had already successfully removed around 95 percent of their high-priority chemicals from products sold in home and personal care sections of the store.

Starting in 2018, Wal-Mart declared that all products being sold within their stores must disclose all chemicals and production information on the packaging of every product. The retailer claims they will work with their suppliers to encourage this to happen in the markets where they have stores open, not just within the United States.

Now, the chemicals Wal-Mart intends to remove for customers just like you will include butylparaben, which is often used as a type of preservative within cosmetics, and triclosan, which is often used in clothing, furniture, and children's toys. The toys are a main concern for many families who shop at Wal-Mart, as they do not want their kids being infected or falling ill due to any harmful chemicals in their products.

Triclosan is also used within toothpaste, but Wal-Mart stated they have no intention of pushing for its removal due to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration deeming it safe for use within toothpaste alone. That may worry some people, though they have no doubt been brushing their teeth for years now and without any adverse effects on the human body.

Some chemicals are entirely safe for human consumption. Wal-Mart is simply seeking the opportunity to remove any unsafe chemicals from the products they stock and sell to ensure all customers can enter a safe space for shopping. Their stores have been known to cater to the customer above everything else, so this move makes a lot of sense for the corporation that continues to grow each year.

About the author: Mark Sadaka from Sadaka Associates, the leading Hazardous Chemical Attorney, has a national practice and works with clients from New York to Alaska.

Image: Jared C. Benedict via Wikipedia, "Wal-Mart Exterior"; GFDL, CC BY-SA 3.0 

Monday, August 15, 2016

The financial side of launching a startup

By Nate Vickery

Only a small percentage of several thousand companies that are being incorporated every year can be called startups. Paul Graham, famous computer scientist, investor and essayist says that startups are companies that are designed to grow fast. 

Startup business financing
Proper appropriation of capital is essential for startup success
For this reason a startup business model requires a highly specific launch protocol. Since finances are usually the most critical segment of company’s incorporation, in this article we explained some basic financial principles, which should be applied in first phases of startup development.

Understand and categorize your costs


Determining your budgetary needs is critical for launching a successful startup. There is no universal method for determining your expenses, since every business niche comes with its own specific expenses.

Manufacturing businesses require a much larger initial investment because you need to acquire production equipment and rent a production hall. Service businesses usually require you to rent property on a top location. You will also need a niche-specific license surety bond that will guarantee the level of services you are offering to the public. Surety bonds are also required for contractors who are working on government-funded projects. Also don’t forget to add workforce costs to this mix, which include the costs of recruiting and training new employees.

In order to understand your expenses, you should separate them into several categories:

Onetime vs ongoing expenses

Costs of incorporation and production equipment are onetime costs. Months with significant onetime costs, can bring very small (or no) profits. That’s why you need to use the following months to fix this cash flow disruption and make up you lost returns. Ongoing costs, by contrast, are paid on the regular basis. They usually include: utilities, property rent, salaries and raw materials purchase.

Essential vs optional expenses

Essential costs are necessary for your business to run smooth. You must pay them, even if this leaves you without profits for one or several months. Optional costs benefit your business process, but they should be paid only when your budget is full. Most entrepreneurs postpone optional purchases, until they receive a more significant ROI.
Fixed vs variable expenses

Variable expenses depend on your company’s performance, while fixed ones are consistent from month to month. Corporate tax is a good example of variable cost, while rent, utilities and salaries (without bonuses) are usually considered as fixed costs.

How to fund your business launch?


If you wish to build a successful business, you shouldn’t only rely on your own funds. The higher initial investment makes your company more competitive and if you have a worthy business idea, you will definitely find investors who will be ready to pour their funds into your project. For finding the right investors you will need a well-written business plan and a lot of patience. You can use several ways to fund your newly-launched business, including:
  1. Using your own funds, and funds you acquired from friends and family

Most people start their business with their own funds. Friends and family are the easiest investors to find, but they are not accredited investors, which increases the complicity of your relations with them, especially if your business fails (they might consider their investment as a loan). Taking money from unaccredited investors can also cause troubles with SEC and delay your initial public offering (IPO).
  1. From consulting to production and service business

Consulting businesses are great because they don’t require high initial investment and they offer outstanding ROI. Many entrepreneurs decide to start offering their consulting services, and use the profits they’ve gained for adding production or service segment to their company.
  1. Angel investors

Angel investors are rich individuals. Taking money from angel investors is considered as a proper venture funding. It means that they expect a promised return. If your business doesn’t bring enough return, they can urge you to sell the company or offer its stocks on IPO. Receiving an angel investment requires you to create an elaborate exit strategy that will enable you to return your own investments.
  1. Seed funding

Seed funding firms invest relatively small amounts of money in newly-incorporated companies or entrepreneurs with valuable business ideas. These investment companies are also called the Incubators and investing represents their prime business. Unlike angel investors they often take a much bigger role in company’s development. They give out advice and help entrepreneurs to solve various technical and organizational problems.

Return on investment


Return on investment is the most popular profitability ratio, but it isn’t necessarily the same as company’s profits. While profits measures your company’s performance, ROI only focuses on the money you invested in the project and on the return you’ve realized. If you invested $400,000 in your startup’s launch and your net profit is $100,000 (in the first fiscal year), it means that your ROI is 25 or 25%. This also means that you will need to wait 4 years before you return your whole investment, and all the money you gain after this date, can be viewed as a pure profit. ROI is a very important figure, which can be used for measuring the performance of your pricing policies, inventory and capital investments and overall profitability of your business.

After the successful first phase of company’s development, startups usually become the object of interest of rich venture funds. These investment funds can pour in huge investments and turn startups into highly successful international companies. That’s why overcoming financial problems in first stages of startup’s development is one most important tasks for every entrepreneur.


About the author: Nate Vickery is a business consultant, and editor-in-chief at Bizzmarkblog.com.

Image: US-PD