StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article

Why You Should Invest in Tech Stocks

We are currently surrounded by big technology stocks such as Amazon, Alphabet Inc, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple; with some of these stocks crossing the $1,000 per share mark, they can be (and very much are) an attractive investment opportunity. Given that technology is currently shaping our world and everything in it, big technology stocks are only going to increase in price and become more valuable as time goes by, meaning they have the potential to make those who invest in them very rich indeed. Although some of the major technology stocks have climbed to astronomical levels, their current values are only just the beginning.

In the broadest sense, this category of “tech stocks” includes any stocks which are involved in the research, development and distribution of technological goods, services and solutions. So, they include companies which produce everything from computer software and hardware, televisions and even mobile games such as Angry Birds. In 2017, technology stocks offered investors the highest return on investment at an average of 34.28%… not too shabby!

#1: High Returns Does Not Mean Low Risk

Just because there have been strong returns, this does not mean that there are zero risks involved. As we are well aware, technology can change at a rapid pace, often overnight, and companies which are currently leading the way can soon fall behind as new and innovative companies come along and take the top spot. In some cases, technology companies can be forced out of business by new entrants to the market. Although this is unlikely to happen with market leaders such as Amazon, it is not impossible, and this is something which should always be kept in mind.

In addition, investing in emerging companies may appear like an attractive investment opportunity, however, it is not unheard of for companies which were expected to perform well disappear overnight into the abyss.

Although technology is a very exciting investment space that includes everything from smartphones to blockchain, artificial intelligence to streaming services and more, there are inherent risks which you expose yourself to by ploughing your money into technology companies.

#2: Areas for Investment

As mentioned, technology investments are very varied and include a range of companies and products. Once upon a time, tech stocks would have been almost exclusive to computer hardware and software. These days, however, it includes all sorts. In fact, it is hardly accurate to call most tech companies which operate in the market computer companies (think Apple, IBM and Microsoft) because they operate in several other areas such as:

  • Artificial Intelligence where computers perform tasks which once would have only been possible by human beings. AI is one of the fastest growing and most prominent areas for investment, however, this technology still has a long way to go and it is far from perfect.
  • Smartphones, the industry of which is led by Apple and Samsung. There are a lot of other players within the smartphone market producing everything from software, mobile apps and physical mobile devices.
  • Blockchain, something which has gained a lot of publicity in the last couple of years. It is the technology which backs up Bitcoin and other industry-leading cryptocurrencies, however, it has applications to far more than just cryptocurrency.

These three areas demonstrate that the tech space is dominated by far more than just computers, and that there are several investment opportunities available to those who want to get involved. Given that there are so many possibilities, it can be difficult for new investors to get involved in the market.

#3: 4 Tech Stocks Worth Looking At

Although the market is huge and there are infinite investment possibilities, there are four major contenders which are worth looking at.

1. Apple

Apple is by far the world’s favorite consumer tech company, leading the way with their range of smartphone and laptop computer devices. Apple’s stocks usually rest around the couple-of-hundred dollars mark and given the insatiable appetite of consumers for Apple’s products then it is a stock which isn’t going to be decreasing in value soon.

2. Alphabet Inc. (Google)

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is also a very attractive investment opportunity. Google leads the way on the internet by providing several services which we all know and love such as Googlemail and YouTube. The main problem with investing in Alphabet is the fact that their shares sit at around the $1,100 mark. If you can afford it, though, it is worth going for, because this company is going to continue to grow as it focuses on new ventures.

3. Facebook

Facebook is a money-making machine and whilst the recent data scandal has harmed the social networking giant, it is not going to be shutting up shop any time soon and at around the $200-mark, Facebook’s stock is incredibly cheap. It is likely that we will see Facebook continue to grow strongly over time at a rapid pace.

4. Amazon

Amazon is an unstoppable company which is beginning to encroach on our lives in entirely new ways. From Amazon Key and drone delivery to AI solutions such as Amazon Alexa, the company is really pushing boundaries with its innovative technologies and desire to satisfy consumer demand at all levels. Amazon’s shares usually rest around the $1,900 mark which, again, whilst pricing some people out, it is worth spending your money on should you have enough to do it. Amazon’s share price exceeding the $3,000 mark is far from being a far-fetched idea; it is more a question of when this will happen.

Today, tech stocks represent the most valuable of all investments, second perhaps only to gold and other timeless precious metals. As the world begins to demand more and more from technology and new developments occur, having a stake in some of the world’s foremost technology companies is likely to provide a sizeable return on investment in the future, especially if you buy into them now whilst their shares are still relatively low compared to what they could be.

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article

How Credit Card Companies Make Their Money

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article
 
You’ve likely experienced a fair amount of credit card companies trying to entice you via offers in the mail. When you consider the fact that the United States’ total credit debt reached $1 trillion in 2017, it becomes clear why: these credit cards are a massive source of revenue.

On the surface, credit cards may seem like simple and convenient money and nothing more. However, there are also aspects of credit cards that are somewhat deceptive – sometimes intentionally so. Often the upsides of the card are written in large print, while the downsides are written in a conveniently small font.

The ease of credit card use can spell trouble for more impulsive buyers, which highlights the importance of knowing yourself and the ways that you tend to deal with feelings like anxiety. We may think we are above the influence that stress has on our finances, but studies indicate the contrary. In fact, compulsive buying disorder impacts 5.8% of the US population and affects people of all ages.

High-Interest Rates

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article
 
Obviously, credit cards can allow you to pay for things when you don’t have money at that point in time, but this convenience also has a dark side. Thinking that this is “free money” is a mistake many credit card initiates make, particularly among a younger demographic. Unfortunately, this paves the way for young credit cardholders to dig themselves into a hole that may take years to free themselves from.

It’s important to remain aware that credit card interest rates are commonly in the 20% range. This puts an impetus on debtors to pay off the amount sooner rather than later at the peril of being slammed with penalties that are hard to deal with. In addition, keeping a balance of over 10% of your credit limit tends to weigh heavily on your credit score.

Another common tactic that credit companies employ is appealing to potential card holders with an initially low rate, which then balloons into a far more severe figure after the initial enlistment period ends.

For best practice, keep a low balance on the credit card as much as possible, and always pay off the required amount by the due date. If a large amount is spent on a credit card that can’t be paid off, taking out a loan to avoid the sky-high interest risk is generally the better course of action than taking the hit.

Charges To Merchants

Many times businesses enact a minimum cost for credit card charges. This is because companies charge an extra 2-3% on all purchases to merchants. In order to counteract this charge, businesses create a mandatory minimum.

This small percent may not seem like much, but in the scope of the billions of credit transactions that take place every day, this amount adds up. This rate becomes one of the biggest revenue streams for credit companies.

Cash Advances

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Apart from your total credit line, the cash credit line. The cash you take out from your credit card abides by a different set of rules than the regular use of the credit card. In other words, the interest rate is often higher and may begin amounting interest as soon as you withdraw it.

Differing Tactics According To Demographic

A person with less education tends to get specially designed advertisements showcasing more rewards than the advertisements aimed at more educated individuals. This effectively runs up debt more reliably than if they advertised the same way across the board.

On average, each credit account makes about $213 for the company per year. This is an area in which credit companies vary wildly based on the credit standing of the cardholder.

Fees

When someone has bad credit already, their credit lenders are known as “subprime issuers”. In these cases, the credit company usually makes more money from fees than interest rates. Some examples of these fees are outlined below.

  • Balance Transfer Fees – Transferring debt from one credit card to another with a lower interest rate often results in a fee of 3-5% of the amount moved.
  • Late Fees – If the minimum amount is not paid by the due date, late fees often result. In some more deceptive cases, the initial fee is waived only to deliver an unpleasant surprise the second time around.
  • Annual Fees – these are especially common on cards that promise higher rewards rates, as well as on cards issued to people with subpar credit.

Foreign Exchange Fees

One source of fees that catches many credit users off their guard arises when traveling in a foreign place. Many times these charges are made at the time of purchase, and generally amount to around 2.5% of the purchase price.

This fee may be a small price to pay generally speaking, but it still might be a reason to avoid making large purchases when traveling abroad, or opting to use cash if you do.

Commission From Selling Cardholder Names

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You may wonder how credit companies know who you are and where to send their advertisements to. One of the sneakier ways that credit card companies make money is by selling your name and info to other companies so they too can bombard you with advertisements.

StrategyDriven Enterprises, LLC

StrategyDriven Enterprises, LLC

StrategyDriven is dedicated to providing executives and managers with the planning and execution advice, tools, and practices needed to create greater organizational alignment and accountability for the achievement of superior results.

We help our clients create and execute a clear, forward-looking strategy – translatable to the day-to-day activities of all organization members – that’s critical to their realizing success in today’s fast paced market environment. Not only does a compelling, well executed strategy align individuals to a common purpose, it ensures that purpose best serves the company’s mission.

The StrategyDriven website provides access to a wide array of best practice business planning and execution tools, streamlined process flows, how-to articles, example-rich podcasts, and customizable ready-to-use program management templates. Premium Members receive access to over 200 members-only articles, whitepapers, models, and tools and templates; providing an in-depth look into critical business performance areas; placing specific focus on the alignment of organizational standards, programs, and behaviors to the optimal achievement of mission goals. Sevian Business Program purchasers receive fully implementable business performance improvement processes out-of-the-box, enabling the acceleration of business growth and heightening of operational efficiency needed to significantly improve bottom line results.

Collectively, our products offer business leaders the opportunity to access the knowledge of a highly educated and experienced staff without the associated overhead expense.

At StrategyDriven, our seasoned business leaders deliver real-world strategic business planning and tactical execution best practice advice – a blending of workplace experience with sound research and academic principles – to business leaders who may not otherwise have access to these resources.

Contact StrategyDriven Enterprises, LLC

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StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article

Change a Career in a Successful Way (Step-by-Step)

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals ArticleIs the work challenging? Do you think your career decisions were great? Do you really like your career growth? All the answers lead to a negative feeling? If so, it is time to change all these things and think about next steps.

Your career should make you happy and offer you a work-life balance. It is sometimes better to forget about your current job. Maybe you need to start a new job, where you can use all your skills. Or it is possible to make your current position much better for your career growth?

There are several reasons for changing your career and some steps that will help you do it.

Signs That Your Career Needs to be Changed

Your dissatisfaction in a career may be a reason for problems with your mental health. To avoid them, you need to know when to start thinking about changing a career. And don’t get concerned over such changes. Stay confident and keep in mind that CV writing service reviews can help you choose the professional and reliable company to assist you with writing the application document to find the new job.

So, let’s observe which signs you should pay attention to.

Physical Signs

Is there an anxiety? Are you aging? Maybe there were some work-related injuries?

Maybe you feel good when you receive a paycheck. But the work environment doesn’t bring out the best of you? Talk to your boss. There should be some alternative options. Remember that high-stress environment cannot help you work well.

You also shouldn’t feel that your co-workers just take advantage of you. Fear of losing your job is abnormal too.

Mental Signs

Today a lot of people have mental health issues, most of which are related to stress. To avoid problems with your health, be attentive to these signs:

  • High anxiety;
  • Difficulties with concentration and sleeping;
  • The tension in the neck;
  • You feel depressed.

If these tips can characterize you, maybe it is time to think about changing something.

Why Can a Career Change be Good for You?

A career change may become a reason for reviving the excitement for your work. It may fulfill your lifelong dream. So, it is time for a career change, if:

  • You work in a negative workplace. Just change a workplace and don’t be discouraged.
  • Your boss is a difficult person. Maybe it is time to talk to your boss? In most cases, communication is the greatest decision.
  • You feel lost about what you always do. Don’t fear the idea of working on a completely new project. This may make you feel that life is passing by you. Fear of the unknown shouldn’t prevent you from your career growth.

Common Mistakes

When you make a career change, try to avoid things that can negatively influence the result:

  • A desire to get a higher salary. This is not the tip that shows that you are in a wrong career. Remember that a position with a higher salary may be completely not what you expect.
  • Overnight decisions. Don’t make such quick decisions in this situation. When you are stressed or just disappointed you can’t think clearly. The biggest problem, in this case, is that positive tips are overlooked.
  • Promotion. In most cases, promotion takes a lot of time. That is why don’t think that there are no results. It may take years. So, this is not the reason to change your current place of work.
  • You are bored. Remember that repeated job is always boring. In this case, you may change your desk or communicate with co-workers. This may be enough to forget that you are bored with the job.

But before you will make a final decision think about these questions:

  • Can you imagine working in a new department?
  • Can you work well with people? What is a real problem at work?
  • How much time have you devoted to your career to get any result?

Making a Change for a Successful Career

If you are ready for changes, follow these tips:

  1. Write a career plan. Think carefully about the courses you need to take and other things to do to complete the goal.hat
  2. Weight your options. You may use your diplomas and gained degrees in different roles. But think which role will be able to make your happy.
  3. Think about your pros and cons. Be honest. Your weaknesses and strengths may have a real impact on your job.
  4. Find a mentor. This person can tell you a lot about the position you want to get. Ask this person what career tools you need to have.
  5. Volunteer first. Take on volunteer opportunities. This will help you to understand whether you really want to get the position.

Remember that you need to spend some time to move towards a new career. To reach this goal you need to avoid common mistakes. Also, remember about signs that will show that it is the right time for changes. Think about the steps of changing carefully to get the wanted result.

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article

4 Strategies for Dealing with Workplace Stress

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals ArticleMost people have experienced work-related stress at least once in their lifetime. Even if you love what you do, you can inevitably feel a bit of pressure to either meet a deadline or complete a challenging task. On the one hand, a certain amount of stress can be useful because it can keep you alert and help you complete that job with a higher determination. On the other hand, being exposed to prolonged stress can eventually take a toll on your health.

While it is impossible to avoid stress at all times, one can still figure out a few ways of dealing with stress. Before doing that, you need to learn what the factors that cause stress are. Low salaries, excessive workloads or work that isn’t challenging are just a few of them. If you’re willing to make a change in your work life, here are a few strategies.

Establish Boundaries

Due to the fact that people spend most of their time at work, they somehow feel the need to remain connected to their work-related problems even when they are at home. If stress is taking over your personal life and it is affecting your relationships, you might want to establish some boundaries. For example, not checking your emails in the evening or not answering the phone while you’re with your family can be a good start. Although it might be difficult to leave stress behind, you should somehow separate your personal and professional life in order to diminish the amount of stress that you’re dealing with.

Take Time to Recharge

Taking time to recharge is without a doubt the most efficient way of dealing with workplace stress. No matter what kind of job you have to perform, breaks are essential. If you want to avoid the risk of injury or even a burnout, taking time to recharge is that you need to do. Disconnecting from time to time allows you to allocate time for yourself, time that you can spend focusing on your well-being. However, if you’ve already been injured due to repetitive strain, you could contact The Compensation Experts. Keep in mind that your health is a lot more important than anything else and you should not be afraid to speak up when something bad happens.

Learn How to Relax

At times, it can be difficult to take a whole day off and focus on your well-being. That is why you need to learn some equally effective practices that don’t take long to complete, but that have great results. Meditation, mindfulness or deep breathing exercises are very useful for everyone who is dealing with work-related stress. Being able to concentrate on a single task without distraction will change your life.

Talk to Your Supervisor

Your supervisor should know exactly what to do when an employee is complaining about work-related stress. They should know that healthy employees are more likely to be a lot more productive, so their main focus should be on their worker’s health. Write a list of your stressors and have an open conversation with your supervisor. This will help you create an effective plan for managing your stress, which will improve your performance.

Workplace stress is a serious problem that should not be treated as a regular occurrence. Check out these tips for some guidance, and if they are not helpful, you might want to consider a career change.