Binary Options Trading As an Investment Vehicle

It is human nature to try to make the most of our assets, including our financial assets. Apart from those people who have no ambition and throw away their money, the majority look for ways to increase the amount they have. They look to the future, and try to build enough resources to let them see out their retirement in a financially stable way.One of the most common ways to try to build up cash reserves is to use existing cash to put into some kind of investment scheme. There are many different investment vehicles available, and one of the most popular ones in recent times has been binary options.Like all investment schemes, there is an element of risk involved, but one of the reasons binary trading has become so popular is it provides an opportunity to make substantial profits over a relatively short time period.Bad investmentsThere was a time when people were quite happy to leave their spare cash in a bank. They felt it was secure there, and that gave them such confidence that they did not worry too much about the poor rates of interest they were receiving.Today, unless you have a very large sum of money to invest, putting your money in a savings account is like throwing it away, albeit over a long time period. Interest rates on standard savings accounts are now almost always lower than the rate of inflation.That means that even though the dollar amount in your savings account may be growing year on year, its real value is actually falling. In other words, you can buy less with the amount in your savings account now than you could with the amount you originally invested. In the present financial situation, putting your money in a bank savings account has to be regarded as a bad investment. This is especially the case for long term goals, such as a comfortable retirement.Why binary options trading is a viable alternative?As already stated, binary trading provides a way to make decent profits over relatively short time spans. One of the key aspects of this type of trading is that results are known quickly, giving investors the option to take corrective action before large losses are incurred.Later, we will look at how this type of trading compares to other forms of investment. First, it is important for the potential trader to understand what this type of trading involves, and how it is different from other more standard types of investing. The best way to do this is to compare this type of trading with stock market investments.To make our explanation clearer, we are going to create a fictitious company called Ace Products Inc. whose stocks are traded on the NASDAQ. The company is doing well, and its share price has risen by more than a dollar in the last year to $7.95 today.StocksStocks or shares are issued by companies that have floated on one or more of the world’s stock exchanges, such as the NASDAQ or the London Stock Exchange. Companies issue shares at a given price, and anybody can then buy some of these shares. Shares are bought and sold through the stock exchanges. The price of shares is dictated by supply and demand. The more demand for a given the share, the higher the price will be.When you buy shares in a company, you become a part owner in that company, no matter how small your share allocation is. That means you have a say, albeit a tiny one, in how the business is run.Shareholders are entitled to vote at the company’s AGM, where they can take part in votes to appoint people to the board, and to approve the company’s annual accounts. Most people who have small shareholdings do not bother to attend the AGM to do this. They can appoint a proxy to vote on their behalf. If they do not attend and do not appoint a proxy, they assign the right to vote on their behalf to one of the board members.If the company they have invested in makes a profit, the board may decide to issue a dividend. The company decides it has a surplus of cash that will be divided amongst the shareholders. Each share will have some monetary value, and the total payable to a shareholder is the share dividend value multiplied by the total number of shares he or she owns. When the dividend is paid out, most companies permit shareholders to reinvest the money by purchasing new shares, or they can opt to receive a cash amount.For the purposes of our illustration, we will assume you own 1,000 shares in Ace Products Inc., which you bought 6 months ago at $7.25 each. The company has announced that it will pay a dividend of 2c per share. That means you are entitled to a $20 payout from the company. For simplicity’s sake, we will ignore brokerage fees and bid/offer spread (of which more later), but if you decide to sell the shares, you can now make a profit in your investment. Here’s how:Sale price: 1,000 x 7.95 = 7,950Dividend: 20Gross worth: 7,970Amount invested: 1,000 x 7.25 = 7,250Gross profit: 720The key factors here are:1. As a part owner of the company you got a dividend of $20 from profit distribution.2. When the company is doing well, the price of shares tends to rise.3. If the company did not do well, there almost certainly would have been no dividend, and the price of shares is likely to have fallen.4. If the price of shares falls below the price at which you bought, your holding will be worth less than what you paid for it. You will have just two choices. You either sell at a loss, or hold on to your shares in the hope that the share price will go up again.5. When you bought your shares, you did so because you expected the share price to rise.6. You own your shares, and you can hold on to them for as long as you like.Binary options tradingThe term “binary options” harks back to the early days of this type of trading, when there were only two possible outcomes. You either made a profit or make a loss – there was no other scenario. Today, there are many more complex ways in which you can take part in this type of trading, but beginners should stick to the most basic.Binary trades always have an underlying asset. This could be a stock, a currency, a commodity, a stock market index, and so on. We will use Ace Products Inc. as our underlying asset.A key element of this type of trading is that you must specify an expiry time in the future. This could be just a few minutes, an hour, a month etc. Another key element is the strike price. When you make a trade, you take a position that says the strike price will be at or above a certain level at some time in the future.If you think that Ace Products Inc.’s share price will have risen to $8 in 30 days’ time, you can make a call option. You back your belief with an investment amount. On the trading platform, another trader will have the opinion that your prediction is wrong. He or she will make an offer that will be a percentage of your investment amount.You both enter into an irrevocable options contract. When the contract expires or closes, the Ace Products Inc. will either be at or above the $8 you predicted. Is so, you get your investment amount back, plus the additional percentage you were offered. If the share price is below $8, you lose your entire investment amount.When you make a call option in a binary options trade, you are not buying anything physical. If you take a call option on the share price of Ace Products Inc., you do not own any shares in the company. Taking a call option means you think the price of the share is going to increase to at least the specified price at the specified time.For the sake of completeness, it is worth pointing out that even if the share price of Ace Products Inc. had exceeded $8 during the lifetime of the contract, which is irrelevant. It is the price at the exact expiry time that counts.With this type of trading, you are not restricted to making contracts based on rising prices. You could also make contracts based on the value of the underlying asset falling. This is termed a “put” option. This works in exactly the same way. For example, you can take a put option that Ace Products Inc. price will have fallen to $7.90 in 30 days’ time. You will be shown an offer amount that you will get if you are right. If you are wrong, you lose your investment.Why is binary options trading better than investing in the stock market?Hopefully, it should be fairly clear from the example above that this type of trading provides you with a vehicle for making quick profits. This is almost impossible with share investments.If you buy or sell stocks, there are other factors you must take into account. We mentioned the bid/offer spread above. This is often referred to as the bid/ask price. When you see a quoted price for Ace Products Inc. share price, which is an average of the selling price and the buying price, because these two prices are different. The amount that you can buy a given share for is always higher than the amount you could sell it for at that particular time. The difference between the two is the bid/offer spread.The bid/offer spread can be quite substantial, and it is not unusual to see spreads of 1 – 2%. That means if you buy some shares in Ace Products Inc., the share price has to rise by at least the bid/offer spread percentage before you could possibly make a profit on selling the shares. In addition, you will almost always have to pay brokerage fees on both your purchase and on your sale.This means your investment is going to be tied up for some time before there is any chance of making a profit on it. Another vital aspect of investing in stocks is that there is no way to make a profit or even break even if the stock price goes down.If the stock price starts falling, you are faced with the agonizing decision of whether you should sell at a loss, or wait in the hope that the price will rise again. There is nothing you can do to improve your position. Another important factor is that you will have to make quite large investments in stocks to gain a reasonable profit.With binary options trading, you can make a good profit from a series of small investments. You will know the results very soon, and you have the opportunity to offset negative results relatively quickly. In other words, you have much more control over your investments.Is binary options trading better than investing in property?As with stocks, when you invest in property you own the asset. You will have to make a large investment in buying property, and that can be tied up for quite some time. The costs of buying property are high and there are many associated fees for owning/buying a property. You can expect to pay about 10% above the purchase price in fees, duties and taxes. You will also have to pay legal fees when you sell property.All this means that you cannot possibly make a profit from property investments until the price of your asset has risen by at least 10%. That means your investment has to be considered a long term one, and your capital is completely tied up. As with stocks, if property prices go down instead of up, there is no way for you to regain your investment.So in conclusion, there are always risks involved in all kinds of investments. When you invest in stocks, property or other standard investment vehicles, you have no way to offset falling prices. Investments in these vehicles tend to be long term.Investing in binary options trading gives you much more control over your capital. You are dealing in a short-term marketplace, so you get the opportunity to take corrective action if trades go against you. You can invest small amounts of money and still have the chance to make good profits. Binary options trading is certainly something to which the savvy investor should give some thought.

Posted in investments | Tagged | Comments Off

“Would You Repeat That?” – 5 Communication Challenges For Credit Card Agents

Most credit cardholders know that the credit card industry made a decision to outsource call-in service centers to overseas locations where English is the second or third language. That decision was made to save operational costs on labor. Yet, what is the ongoing impact on North American credit cardholders?This article discusses the five most common communication problems that negatively impact North American credit card customers today as a result of the outsourcing of customer service centers.While these problems could have been predicted had credit card industry decision makers studied the literature on the complexities of language proficiency and culture, they didn’t. Now the industry is grappling with makeshift solutions to extreme customer dissatisfaction.The Customer’s Need – Quick Financial SolutionsIn each of the five examples below, a credit cardholder has called his credit card company, or is responding to a new credit offer, in hopes of finding a financial solution to a financial problem. He may need a new credit card so he can pay medical bills. He may need to get his car fixed so he can get to work. He may need a balance transfer in order to reduce his interest rate and avoid bankruptcy. Yet, whatever his need, it is likely that any problem or delay in getting that financial solution in place will cost him time, frustration and money.Yet, as ubiquitous as credit card transactions have become, their success in providing quick financial solutions for credit cardholders depends upon precise written and oral communication. This includes the accurate keying in of all relevant information and the conveying of accurate interest rates, financial terms and repayment obligations, all of which become part of a legally-binding contract between the credit card customer and the company with which he does business.The Agent’s Job – More Complex Than RealizedThe job of credit card agent is, sometimes, mocked because of the low pay it commands. However, to do the job well requires that an agent be an expert oral communicator with superior reading skills who can answer a customer’s questions while quickly sorting through what is, sometimes, confusing, duplicated or poorly organized on-line information.These complex language skills, however, have been misunderstood, underestimated and undervalued, as illustrated by five common problems that occur when an agent does not have them.The Five Most Common Problems1. Overlooking Account RestrictionsAn agent overlooks a “restriction” on a credit card account and the transaction fails.A restriction is something that prevents or limits the use of a credit card. The most common restriction results from the fact that a credit card has not yet been “activated.” The procedure for activating the card usually requires that the customer call a specific 800 number that is listed on the new card and confirm, through an automated system, that he has received the card.A customer can also place a restriction on a card, such as a dollar amount limit for individual transactions. Yet, sometimes, a customer will opt to put a restriction on his account and then forget that he has done so.It is up to the agent to scan the account for restrictions and make sure there is nothing to prevent the transaction from going through. Yet, noticing the presence of those restrictions requires fast, careful and accurate reading.Overseas agents, more than North American agents, tend to overlook restrictions, such as when a new account has not yet been activated.2. Spelling ErrorsAn agent makes a spelling error in the documentation for the “receiving” account in a balance transfer transaction and it fails to go through.Should the company name or address of the receiving account be misspelled, the transaction will fail. Misspellings most often occur because overseas agents are not familiar with American geography or place names. Common mistakes: “J C Penney” is spelled “J C Penny” or MA is used as the abbreviation for the state of Maine instead of ME.3. Sending Money To An Account That Cannot Receive ItAn inexperienced agent does not know a transaction is not possible.Some bank checking accounts allow direct deposits from credit card companies, others do not. An inexperienced overseas agent, unfamiliar with U.S. banks, often will not have access to this information. He will, subsequently, attempt to send money to a bank account that cannot accept it.4. Misreading An OfferA balance transfer offer is read incorrectly and a customer is either trapped in a high rate or assessed an unexpected feeBased upon his reading of on-screen offer #5, the agent believes that a customer will pay 0% interest on his balance transfer for 12 months if he opts for offer #5, and he tells the customer so. A more accurate reading of the documentation reveals that offer #5 has a provision which will require that customer to pay 18% interest on his balance transfer.While there was a balance transfer offer with an introductory interest rate of 0%, because the information can be poorly laid out, confusing and even duplicated, the agent misreads or misses the fine print and selects the offer with an 18% APR by mistake.Or, the agent chooses the offer that requires an upfront fee for a balance transfer.Or a 3% fee is part of an offer that the customer, inadvertently, chooses because the agent either a) did not read that part, b) read it but did not understand that the customer would be billed a fee, and/or c) did not convey to the customer that the fee was part of the offer.5. Selection Of Wrong On-Screen OfferAn agent selects the wrong on-screen offer by mistake.After reading the terms for a couple of credit card offers to the customer, the agent means to go back and choose the offer that the customer indicated he wanted. However, since the onscreen offers look alike and there can be duplicate offers on-screen, the agent inadvertently chooses the wrong one.A Customer’s NightmareThose within the credit card industry who find themselves trying to help a distressed customer after one of these “deals” has been transacted, and the money moved from lender B to lender A, describe the process as “a nightmare” for the customer, and very difficult for any agent trying to assist him.In most cases there is no remedy for the customer, who can be on the hook to pay money he doesn’t have, yet the customer often spends hours on the phone waiting to speak with agents, explaining his problem, and being transferred from one department to another, day after day, until he gives up.At that point, should the customer be able to pay off or transfer his balances to a different credit card lender and extract himself from the one with which he is now furious, he will take his business elsewhere and never come back.Credit card companies, therefore, are learning a hard lesson in how language works and how important effective communication can be. For the credit cardholder who has been burned, they cannot learn it too fast.What Effective Verbal Communication RequiresEffective communication requires significant give and take between conversing parties. Agents must pick up subtle language cues when they are listening to customers, as customers are not always explicit.For the agent attempting to work in a “second language”, it may take years before he can communicate well enough to be able to recognize those cues. Since language and culture are inextricably bound, some cues may be very difficult to learn without a direct experience of North American culture. However, the subtleties that the agent misses can be vital details in completing financial transactions correctly.It should, therefore, be no surprise that credit card companies receive millions of complaints each year from customers who say they were not able to understand the overseas agents they spoke with and/or that those agents seemed unable to understand them.Companies Experimenting With SolutionsAs a result, those credit card companies that make the most extensive use of offshore outsourced customer service (and some very large credit card companies only use outsourced customer service) are acutely aware of the problem and are currently experimenting with what they hope will be solutions.These experiments include funneling calls into a type of “clearing house,” sorting them according to technical difficulty, and then transferring each customer to a call center that, from past experience, can provide the necessary assistance.However, these experiments will not involve abandoning the outsourced customer service model any time soon. The tens of millions of dollars that credit card companies save by buying offshore service at $4.00 an hour will not be abandoned lightly.Instead, look for more strategies that involve directing balance transfer inquiries away from agents who, potentially, may experience communication difficulties and shifting those inquires toward centers with balance transfer specialists who have “proven ability” in these transactions. These balance transfer specialist centers will, most likely, be in North America.SummaryCustomers are experiencing inconvenience and financial loss due to the overseas outsourcing of credit card service centers. Miscommunication with overseas credit card agents whose first language is not English is a significant problem and negatively impacts financial transactions.The credit card industry is aware of the situation and is searching for solutions that will decrease incidents of miscommunication and increase customer satisfaction. The attempts by different credit card companies to solve this problem are likely to be varied and may have uncertain results.If you are looking to transact a balance transfer, whether on a brand new credit card account or on an existing account, you must be aware of this problem and I suggest you follow the strategies outlined in my article Credit Card Balance Transfers – How To Avoid Disaster.Also, be aware that an ounce of kindness or humility will often be repaid many times over by an agent who will then go out of his way to be helpful. So remain polite and respectful when calling in for assistance. When a tense conversation can be toned down with humor, do so as long as the agent understands you are not making fun of him.My final recommendation is one I’ve made in other articles, however, it deserves repeating.Should you be concerned that you are not being properly understood by the overseas agent who is facilitating your legally-binding balance transfer or other credit card transaction, you can ask to be transferred to a North American agent.However, do not request to be transferred to an agent in the United States because that will exclude Canadian call centers. Yet, in this industry as a whole, the best customer service comes from Canada. Canadian agents have a strong and established reputation for knowledgeable, effective service in the credit card business, so if you can land one to work on your balance transfer, consider yourself lucky.

Posted in credit cards | Tagged | Comments Off

Top 10 Myths About Making Money Online

Do you know anything about making money online? I mean anything that is tested and proven, not just seen elsewhere. I’ve heard and read hundreds of myths about making money online. A lot of people, especially newbies, read them, take them as granted and let them ruin their online business – by either not starting it or by walking the wrong way and sticking to it no matter how long it doesn’t work.Well, I’m working online since eight years and I have tested a lot of things. I know for sure that the following 10 claims are very, very wrong. If you’ve been exposed to them or worse – you believe in them – now is the time to realize how wrong they are.1. You need loads of traffic.
If your site(s) receive a lot of traffic this can really make it easy to monetize through advertising. But quality is more important than quantity. Sites with less but quality visitors can achieve much higher profits by selling own or affiliate products than the pennies one file-hosting site earns from advertising for example. I have a small site with around 1,000 visitors monthly which earns a lot more than a site with 5,000 unique visitors monthly.2. You can achieve good results submitting your site to thousands of directories.
Directories don’t bring traffic and have no meaningful effect on your search engine rankings. Almost all the site directories are worthless and submitting to them is loss of time and/or money. There are some directories like DMOZ and some niche directories which can bring some benefit if you get listed. But don’t spend too much time even on them – using the directories as promotional method can never make your business.3. Your products must have the lowest prices.
In fact it’s quite the opposite. If your products are very cheap it’s almost sure you are not going to make much money. First, your products will be perceived as low quality and will attract mostly low quality visitors, trouble-makers and so on. Second, you will need to sell a lot of these products to make profits with thin profit margins. This will not let you use paid advertising tools like PPC for example. And finally, if you are selling products at low prices, other sellers will quickly do the same and reduce your sales. Playing the pricing game isn’t the way to succeed.Set reasonable prices for your products. You can have quality service, good site, SEO, creativity, advertising, packaging, promotions and so many more advantages instead of low prices.4. You need top search engine rankings to succeed online.
I love getting search engine visitors. In fact many of my sites rely heavily on search engines traffic. But this is not the only method to succeed online. You can make lots of money online without getting a single search engine visitor. There are so many other free and non-free options to generate traffic: social networks, advertising, PPC, affiliates, referring sites, guest posting on blogs, niche directories, RSS aggregators and many more. In some industries (for example web design) getting top search engine rankings will cost money and efforts that may be out of the reach of an individual. On the other hand, everyone can make a Facebook fan page and promote it, especially with some creativity!5. You need to have money in order to make money.
For sure! At least $10 for a domain name (although some make money even without a domain name). But that’s all that you really need. Don’t get me wrong, investing money in your web business can help a lot and can speed up the things very much. You can buy advertising, get software developed, get professional design, pay for content, buy links and so on.But you don’t have to. I have started most of my sites without investment other than domain and hosting. Later I have invested money in some of the sites and kept developing other without investing money. Both ways work and have their advantages and disadvantages.6. You can build a site, then forget about it and just enjoy the income
With very few exceptions this is simply not true. Web business is just like any other business and requires work. Of course static content sites or software services can run relatively on their own. But some kind of support is always required. And there is a lot of hard work while you get to the moment of making money. Don’t expect that you will throw some site online and the money will start flowing and never stop even if you don’t lift a finger.7. At any cost avoid the “make money online” niche
People who write about make money online love advising their “students” against doing the same. They will explain you how you will be competing with the best, how the market is over saturated and how you just won’t succeed. I’m not sure why they do it – most probably they want to avoid competition.Make money online is a huge niche and there is an enormous number of people who are interested in it. While there is also huge amount of supply, there is still a lot of money to be made in it, and there will always be. You shouldn’t be afraid of the huge competition – it only means that the market is huge.While I make more money in other niches, “make money online” is the one that brings very large profits from a single customer.8. Relying on online income is very risky.
And how is relying on offline income less riskier? Is working for a boss who can say “you are fired” tomorrow less risky? Or having a small store on the street where a powerful brand can open a new store tomorrow is not risky?At least online you can have multiple sites and enjoy multiple sources of income. And if a site or even all your sites somehow lose their income you can always try new ones armed with the knowledge and experience of the first ones. And you can do this with almost no money, too.9. The only people who make money online are those who teach others how to make money online.
That’s the opposite of myth 7. It’s not true. There are millions of small niches where you can create and expand your online business. People make money with sites about curing headache, making pots or returning ex-girlfriend. “Make money online” is only one of the millions. You can try your chances with it, but you can also make money online without ever mentioning the words “money” or “online” in your sites, even once.10. Affiliate marketing is the best way to make money online
Just like offline, there are many methods to make money online. Affiliate marketing is good, but it’s only one of them. You can make money selling only your own products for example. You can create software (if you are not a programmer you can hire someone to program it), you can sell designs, information products, music, everything.Some online marketers make money only with AdSense and other advertising without selling neither their own, nor affiliate products. This is just as vital as affiliate marketing. Your business is not tied to the way it makes money and you should try various ways.

Posted in Money Online | Tagged | Comments Off