Glance Pay Launches ‘Pay With Bitcoin’ Feature

Glance Pay Launches ‘Pay With Bitcoin’ Feature

Smartphone payment application Glance Pay introduced a new ‘Pay with Bitcoin’ feature in its payment ecosystem, as the Press release read.

According to the Press release, users can pair their cryptocurrency wallet with their Glance Pay account and then purchase Glance Dollars with Bitcoin. Users can further spend the in-house currency (Glance tokens) at the merchants using Glance Pay ecosystem.

The release asserts that bitcoin payments take hours to complete but with the newly added feature, Glance enables the lightning fast payments using in-house currency. The firm considers ‘Pay with Bitcoin’ as an important step forward as it is advancing its blockchain infrastructure.

What is Glance Pay?

Glance Pay and Glance PayMe is a pair of the smartphone payment application, owned by Glance Technologies. The application allows merchants to provide their customers with a complimentary and quick secure payment, with additional digital rewards.

Company’s CEO Desmond Griffin highlights in the release that they are concentrated at the evolution of the payment features to ensure that their platform is at the forefront of technology. He further added:

Pay With Bitcoin allows Glance users to unlock the value of their crypto assets for use in their everyday lives while seamlessly opening up a new cutting-edge payment method for merchants.

The company believes that they will lower the barriers for the merchants to adopt cryptocurrency payment by evicting the cryptic and complicated process of crypto wallets. Their payment application will let merchants receive payment in fiat currency, thus merchants won’t require any cryptocurrency knowledge.

Glance PayMe application’s feature, dubbed Pay with Bitcoin, provides merchants of any size with an unparalleled suite of payment options, including powerful anti-fraud technology and a robust loyalty rewards program – all managed via the merchant’s own mobile device without the need of any extra hardware, as stated in the release.

Recently, Ohio State of the U.S. has also started accepting the Bitcoin as tax payment as BitPay reported. Though the payment option will be available to businesses only in the initial phase and later, it will open up to individual taxpayers.

A Canada based jewellery manufacturer and retailer – Birks Group, has also started accepting Bitcoin payment, in a collaboration with BitPay as reported.

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Ebix Wins Coveted Contract to Deploy its Forex Exchange Services at World’s Busiest Airport - Dubai International Airport

Ebix Wins Coveted Contract to Deploy its Forex Exchange Services at World’s Busiest Airport

Ebix, Inc. (NASDAQ: EBIX), a leading international supplier of On-Demand software and E-commerce services to the insurance, financial, e-governance and healthcare industries, today announced that Dubai international Airport has selected Ebix to deploy Forex Exchange services at two of its airport terminals.

Dubai International Airport is the primary international airport serving Dubai, United Arab Emirates and is the world’s busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic, while handling approximately 88 million passengers a year. While employing approximately 90,000 people, Dubai International Airport is estimated to indirectly support over 400,000 jobs, contributing over US$26.7 billion to the economy, which represents around 27 per cent of Dubai’s GDP and 21% of the employment in Dubai.

Ebix’s Forex Exchange services were selected by the Dubai Airport after a thorough competitive evaluation process involving more than 15 competitors of EbixCash. The Airport selected EbixCash to deploy its services across Terminals 1 and 2 of the Airport.

EbixCash WorldMoney is Ebix’s Foreign Exchange Division that will be implementing this multi-million-dollar contract for the Dubai International Airport. This marks a big international win for EbixCash WorldMoney, the undisputed Leader in India’s Foreign exchange and outward remittance markets.

EbixCash WorldMoney is an Omni-channel exchange that offers a variety of Foreign exchange and outward money remittance products targeting niche sectors like leisure travel, corporate travel, overseas education related remittances, airport money exchange including duty free shops, tour cost remittances of travel agents, disbursement of crew wages to ships docked on Indian shores, immigration related remittance, retail and wholesale currency markets. EbixCash WorldMoney is one of the few named players in India with the requisite AD-II and FMCG regulatory licenses to conduct these businesses through a vast network encompassing 165 outlets spread across 55 cities, 200+ franchisee partners, 2,000+ travel agents, 50+ banks and financial institutions, 1000+ SMEs, and 150+large corporate clients.

EbixCash WorldMoney Forex Exchange has an approximate 70% market share of India’s airport Foreign Exchange business encompassing 24 international airports like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata International airports, while conducting over 1 million transactions per annum. The EbixCash WorldMoney Exchange also has a 15% market share in India’s fast growing $1.5 Billion education outward remittance business.

About Ebix, Inc.

With 50+ offices across 5 continents, Ebix, Inc., (NASDAQ: EBIX) endeavors to provide On-Demand software and E-commerce services to the insurance, financial, healthcare and e-learning industries. In the Insurance sector, the Company’s main focus is to develop and deploy a wide variety of insurance and reinsurance exchanges on an on-demand basis, while also, providing Software-as-a-Service (“SaaS”) enterprise solutions in the area of CRM, front-end & back-end systems, outsourced administrative and risk compliance, across the world.

With a “Phygital” strategy that combines 260,000 physical distribution outlets in many Southeast Asian Nations (“ASEAN”) countries, to an Omni-channel online digital platform, the Company’s EbixCash Financial exchange portfolio encompasses leadership in areas of domestic & international money remittance, Forex, travel, pre-paid & gift cards, utility payments, lending etc., in an emerging country like India. The Company’s Forex Exchange has an approximate 70% market share of India’s airport Foreign Exchange business encompassing 25 international airports like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata International airports, while conducting over 1 million transactions per annum. EbixCash, through its travel portal Via.com, is also one of Southeast Asia’s leading travel exchanges with over 110,000 distribution outlets and 8,000 corporate clients processing over 24.5 million transactions every year. For further details, visit www.ebixcash.com

Through its various SaaS-based software platforms, Ebix employs thousands of domain-specific technology professionals to provide products, support and consultancy to thousands of customers on six continents. For more information, visit the Company’s website at www.ebix.com

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Abaxx chooses Cinnober

NSD and ARQA Technologies integrate new platform

Abaxx Exchange has chosen Cinnober’s TRADExpress Trading System and TRADExpress RealTime Clearing for its new commodity exchange and clearinghouse.

Abaxx’s commodity exchange and clearinghouse, currently in development in Singapore, will initially focus on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) derivatives.

The new exchange will leverage Cinnober’s established trading and clearing systems, providing “a resilient and reliable technological” framework for Abaxx Exchange.

Cinnober provides trading and clearing technology to marketplaces and clearinghouses globally.

Cinnober’s customers include exchanges such as the Asia Pacific Exchange, Australian Securities Exchange, B3 and Euronext.

John Knorring, CEO of Abaxx Exchange, said: “We were impressed with the functionality of the Cinnober solutions, in addition to the competencies of their technical teams. This partnership establishes the foundation to extend the portfolio of capabilities of the Abaxx Exchange.”

Peter Lenardos, CEO of Cinnober, commented: “Cinnober’s systems are playing a crucial part in setting up this venue for price formation and trading of LNG contracts, to make global energy trading more efficient.”

He added: “Our proven trading and post-trade solutions will enable Abaxx to rapidly deploy the infrastructure, functions and services needed to operate a safe, fair and orderly marketplace.”

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Deutsche Bank applies Israeli Startup technology for real estate investment

Skyline AI uses machine learning technologies to analyze multiple data sources and locate gainful real estate investments

DWS Group GmbH & Co. KGaA, the asset management arm of Deutsche Bank AG, announced Tuesday it will begin using technology by New York-headquartered real estate startup Skyline AI Ltd. to manage its real estate investments. DWS reports assets valued at 700 billion euros under management.

Skyline AI uses machine learning technologies to analyze data from more than 130 sources and find gainful real estate deals by factoring parameters including asset condition, management quality, and access to public facilities.

The company was founded in 2017 by four Israeli entrepreneurs who previously founded video content startup StreamRail Ltd., acquired by Israeli software and app monetization company IronSource Ltd. in 2016. The company raised $21 million to date from investors including Sequoia Capital Israel and TLV Partners.

Free Christmas Cloud Software Automates Crypto Trading With Major Bitcoin Exchanges

Trade Santa has announced the Santa Bot, free cloud software for trading cryptocurrencies that will allow users to capitalize on the volatility of the crypto this festive season. The software is designed to execute simple strategies used by a majority of traders and takes only 10 minutes to set up.

The cloud trading software also comes with detailed tutorials to help guide users through each step of trading. It’s designed to execute trades through API keys from all cryptocurrency exchanges supported by the software, meaning that it’s limited to only trading, and not withdrawing or access user funds without their authorization. Currently, the Santa Bot supports six crypto exchanges, which include HitBTC, Kucoin, Bitfinex, Bittrex, Binance, and Poloniex.

Santa Bot Functions

According to Cointelegraph, Santa Bot comprises of a number of trading pairs, and can execute both short and long term strategies with the permission of the users. It depends on technical indicators to try and perform accurate trades to maximize the profits of the user.

Trade Santa also says that the software can execute up to 100 times more trades compared to trading manually. It achieves this by tracking the movements of the market, targeting a number of trading pairs simultaneously without the interference of the users.

When it comes to mitigating risks involved in the cryptocurrency market, Trade Santa says that it has a number of measures to ensure users don’t incur a lot of loses. It executes additional orders to compensate for any unexpected market shifts.

Simple Set Up

According to Trade Santa, the Santa Bot takes only 10 minutes to set up. One will only need to follow the provided guide to configure their trading parameters in order to make their trading automated. When it’s done, one will only need to set their trading pair and have their own targets and leave the rest to the bot.

The bot’s interface allows users to review some of the market pairs that show potential in a 24-hr period, and they so wish, three, six and 12-hour period. The dashboard also allows them to access a summary of the executed trades, which includes estimates of profits, orders in progress, balance in form of bitcoin, and current exchange rate of BTC/USDT.

The Best Day Trading Software for Beginner to Advanced Traders

Traders rely on their platform’s up-to-the-minute speed and analysis tools. Choose the right platform, and that means the difference between your success as a trader or getting left behind.

Not every trader is searching for long-term holdings for a retirement account—some traders are more interested in earning a profit by buying and selling assets on a daily basis. Day trading is the process of buying and selling stocks (usually done online) within a 24-hour span.

We’ve created a list of some of the best trading platforms for day traders, along with a list of characteristics you can use to identify the next great day trading interface.

Quick look: the best day trading software

  1. Ally Invest: Best for low-cost trading
  2. TD Ameritrade: Best for resources
  3. Interactive Brokers: Best for high-volume traders
  4. E-Trade: Best for intermediate to advanced traders
  5. Charles Schwab: Best for premium features
  6. eOption: Best for advanced traders

First, understand the risks and potential of day trading

Professional day traders are drawn to the benefits of day trading, which can include:

  • Work-from-home opportunities. Day traders are often attracted to the freedom of location—especially for parents of young children, those who care for family members or students.
  • Virtually unlimited earning potential. Forget waiting for a raise or fighting coworkers for a promotion. So long as you choose liquid assets that can be easily bought and sold, the only limit to your income is the successfulness of your trading strategy.
  • Independence. Day traders never have to worry about someone stealing their idea at a meeting or dealing with a difficult boss. Many day traders report a huge amount of personal satisfaction from being personally responsible for all of their income and losses.

Some of the risks of day trading include:

  • Capital losses. Even if a majority of trades are profitable, day traders may see commissions, fees, and minor losses slowly chip away at their profits, which results in less money earned.
  • A lack of guaranteed income. If you have a family to support, guaranteed income is likely very high on your list of needs to provide for your family. The unpredictability of the market and the potential for trading loss can cause undue amounts of stress.
  • High barrier to market entry. Pattern day traders must have at least $25,000 in their accounts before they may begin trading on the margin (even if their brokerage’s minimum is lower than this amount) according to regulations from the SEC.
  • Psychological addiction. It can be easy to get addicted to the action. The connection between trading and gambling addiction is so strong that Gamblers Anonymous has a recommendation that traders hold a stock for at least 18 months before selling, if they hold stock at all.

What makes a good day trading software?

Before you choose what day trading platform, you should know what separates great brokerages from okay ones.

Low fees and commissions

Unlike investing for retirement (which typically involves purchasing a stock or fund and holding onto it for years), day traders make a large number of trades per month, sometimes executing upwards of ten trades a day. This means that fees and commission prices should be more important to day traders than long-term buyers. Even a few dollars’ difference in commission price can make a huge impact for active traders.

A comprehensive and responsive platform

Day traders (especially those that scalp and sell as soon as their assets become profitable) rely on quick movements to make money on their trades. The best day trading platforms are responsive and employ an up-to-date research center to help traders plan more effectively and quickly buy and sell their shares.

Trading platforms should be easy to use and intuitive—check out a few YouTube tutorials before making a commitment to ensure that you understand where the most important tools on your platform are located and how to operate them.

Minimum account balances

Most platforms have some type of minimum balance, ranging from $500 for basic accounts to $10,000 for professional trading platforms. Make sure you have enough capital to meet the account minimum before you sign up for a platform.

Great research tools

Research tools, like market analyses, expert editorials, and market movement news can also be particularly beneficial for day traders. The best trading platforms also offer daily news and research over a breath of multiple asset types and industries to offer you a full picture of how the market will move on a daily basis.

Mobile compatibility

Do you frequently trade on the go? Some brokerages offer mobile trading platforms for smartphones and tablets that will allow you to trade away from your desktop—an invaluable benefit for full-time traders who want to watch their charts 24/7.

The best day trading software

1. Ally Invest

Ally Invest is well-known as a platform for casual traders and newbies, but the brokerage firm also offers a powerful suite of tools for professionals as well.

Ally’s fees are on the low end of average at $4.95 per stock and ETF trade, but volume discounts are available for frequent traders.

The platform also offers a host of surprisingly intensive trading tools for a budget broker. Ally has partnered with Recognia (a world leader in technical analysis) to add:

  • An in-browser profit-and-loss calculator
  • A probability calculator
  • A tax-implication calculator

With no account minimum or annual account maintenance feeAlly Invest is a great choice if you’re still building up capital and learning the ins and outs of the market.

2. TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade offers a large number of tools and platform options to make day trading simple and profitable. The brokerage’s online desktop platform offers a host of learning tools for new traders, including a full library of educational videos and articles, portfolio planning tools and even a chatbot that can answer questions on demand.

TD Ameritrade’s expert-level thinkorswim platform offers advanced charting software, customizable trading indicators, and practice trading with a dummy account called paperMoney.

Mobile traders will fall in love with the TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader app, which offers almost the same functionality of its desktop counterpart.

Unfortunately for day traders, this extensive research database and tools come at a price—TD Ameritrade customers will pay $6.95 per trade, which is quite high and can seriously cut into profits. However, the platform has a $0 account minimum and charges no annual or inactivity fees.

3. Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers’ platform was created with the active, professional day trader in mind. The platform is not intended for casual or long-term traders. If you want to open an account with Interactive Brokers, you’ll need to pay a $10 monthly inactivity fee if you do not keep at least $100,000 in your account or you do not accumulate at least $10 in monthly trade commissions.

While $10 may not sound like a lot, consider the fact that other brokers charge between $4 and $7 per trade and Interactive Brokers’ commissions are the lowest in the game. You can expect to pay $0.005 per share traded with a minimum of $1 and a maximum of 1% of the trade value.

Interactive Brokers even offers additional discounts for the highest-volume traders. The broker’s Trader Workstation is extensive and overwhelmingly large number of intricate features, including volatility measurement tools, customizable alerts and watchlists, and “heat maps” of market segments that experience unusual activity.

With a massive selection of stocks, rock-bottom fees, and high-level trading tools, Interactive Brokers is a powerful tool in the hands of an experienced day trader—but may be overly complicated and expensive for new traders.

4. E-Trade

You might remember E-Trade from the brokerage’s “trading baby” commercials that were popular in the early 2000s—but the platform has expanded its offerings exponentially since that time.

E-Trade now offers three platforms aimed at a specific segment of traders: E-trade Web, OptionsHouse and E-Trade Pro.

E-Trade Pro offers the highest number of features and analysis tools, but access is restricted to those who hold an account with at least $250,000 in capital. The E-Trade mobile app is simple, yet responsive, and allows traders to place orders and track real-time stock quotes with little lag or delay.

E-Trade’s commissions are a bit more expensive than most at $6.95 a trade, but new traders can often get 60 days of free trading when they open an account with at least a $10,000 minimum deposit.

5. Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab offers a brokerage suite perfect for traders of all skill levels, capital, and research needs.

New day traders will appreciate Charles Schwab’s easy-to-use Trade Source trading platform and 24/7 customer service options while seasoned veterans will love the broker’s customizable StreetSmart Edge platform and extensive research options, live news and earning reports and in-house equity ratings.

The broker’s mobile app also offers above-average functionality, with a fast and responsive interface and simple trading options.

However, it’s important to note that opening an account with Charles Schwab requires an initial minimum deposit of $1,000—though this fee is often waived with promotions and monthly $100 deposits.

6. eOption

eOption is the broker for day traders who are concerned about costs above all else. At just $3 commission per trade and a $500 minimum balance, eOption’s costs are hard to beat without moving up to a professional-grade broker like Interactive Brokers.

eOption offers both a desktop and mobile platform, each with full trading functionality, live streams, and up-to-date quotes. However, the platform compensates for this low commission in other ways—“inactive traders” who make fewer than two trades per year or who have less than $10,000 in capital in their accounts will face a $50 annual fee, and the broker cuts many of the research and analysis tools that characterize more expensive options.

eOption is best for advanced brokers who use outside charting and research tools and only need the trading platform to execute their buys and sells.

Final thoughts

The nearly unlimited earning potential of day trading is a quality that attracts a large number of investors—but great volatility also comes with great risk. If you’ve considered embarking on a day trading path, ensure that your retirement funds are secured in a top-rated index funds first to protect yourself and your family against excessive loss.

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CryptoCurrency Guarantee (CCG)

Singapore developer (programming) Sin Tan Soft Pte Ltd and Singapore business broker VS Sistem Pte Ltd signed an agreement to create three Guarantees, which consists of five, nine and fifteen cryptocurrency CryptoCurrency Guarantee (hereinafter CCG), based on the existing blockchain Platform.

“CCG is created thanks to an investment company from Dubai, which funds developers in Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, Africa and South America. This client is the owner of a large amount of cryptocurrency and will use it as collateral for CCG in real estate transactions, securities, as well as in buying and selling expensive cars and antiques”, director of Sin Tan Soft Pte Ltd, Dang Thi Phuong Thuy, at the Conference of Seamless Vietnam 2018 held in Ho Chi Minh City said.

CCG – is a stable financial instrument in terms of volatility. For instance, when an investor sells a CCG property to a buyer of real estate or other properties, using a smart contract, it allows buyer to reduce the leverage due to the absence of advising party. The CCG price will be set as a result of the equalization between supply and demand for the property, and at the end of the transaction it will be recorded and redeemed to the buyer at 0%. What will this financial instrument give to the market, when it is included in the blockchain? A block chain is an immutable register in which transactions with a CCG can be recorded. They are automatically registered when certain conditions are met. The advantages of the register are transparency, traceability, reliability and increased security, decentralization and security, which give the market three types of price reduction for any property. Firstly, such transactions will exclude traditional financial intermediaries, who earn up to 5% of the value of real estate. Besides, intermediaries like realtors who earn up to 5% of the property price will be a thing of the past. As a result, the blockchain-based CCG will lower the price of real estate by as much as 10%. Secondly, the cost of real estate construction will be reduced by 20% due to the investor’s mutual settlements with suppliers of building materials and work in the same block chain using CCG. Thirdly, fraudulent schemes related to the falsification of documents will be impossible.

The new Blockchain platform with CCG Guarantees eliminates the need for intermediaries such as lawyers, agents, financial and insurance institutions. Paying for property using cryptocurrency will also help buyers bypass bank charges.

CCG reduces deposit fees by offering intelligent contracts that can be customized to meet the demand of buyers and sellers. CCG will visibly revitalize the markets and make real estate investments accessible to more people.

The CCG is a consolidated currency derivative consisting of quoted cryptocurrencies with regularly updated weighting based on publicly available data. The CCG offers both individuals and market professionals stabilization in the form of Cryptocurrency Guarantee, hedging exchange rate volatility and purchasing power of individual currencies.

Currency volatility creates disharmony and is considered as a great threat to investment. This leads to chaos not only in world trade, goods pricing, but also makes investment planning ineffective.

The advantage of CCG is that it is a natural currency stabilizer.

CCG is not a release-ready banking product, it is an alternative and a market solution for participants in the transaction, since the CCG is free from potential manipulation by external factors.

CCG offers the opportunity to receive new revenue from a new opportunity. It offers a wider range of benefits than other tools, and avoids the problems associating with it.

CCG is considered the perfect management tool. CCG gives trade parties a head start and increases confidence in trade, eliminating uncertainty, providing a less volatile trading environment for participants in transactions on equal terms, automatically cutting off a significant portion of excess participants and associated costs.

The principles underlying the CCG have been tested, analysed and approved by a wide group of economists and market participants. It is based on the CCG Limited algorithm. CCG quote is produced in real-time CCG Limited in an environment with multiple redundant data to ensure availability of 365 × 24 × 7 quotes with monitoring and rejection functions. Real-time CCG quotes are available through the Interactive Data Collection (“IDC”) through its data terminals and data channels. Currently IDC calculates and offers three types of CCG based on 15 cryptocurrency pairs:

  1. CCG CryptoCurrencyGuarantee (Basket No. 1) # 147285

Crypto Currency Guarantee consists of 5 coins: XRP, LTC, XLM, EOS, ETH.

  1. CCG CryptoCurrencyGuarantee (Basket No. 2) # 147289

Crypto-Currency Guarantee consists of 9 coins: XRP, LTC, XLM, EOS, ETH, ADA, DASH, ZEC, NEO.

  1. CCG CryptoCurrencyGuarantee (Basket No. 3) # 147215

Blockchain ride-hailing app gets nod from Singapore taxi companies

Ride-hailing app Tada has signed up over 2,000 Singaporean taxi drivers to its new blockchain-based platform for licensed cabs, with a target of onboarding 5,000 by the end of the year.

MVL, the South Korean startup behind Tada, also announced a partnership with fintech and blockchain company Omise, which will see the two test-run cryptocurrency payments in Thailand.

Drivers from Singaporean cab companies ComfortDelGro, Premier, SMRT, and Transcab are among those to have joined Tada Taxi, MVL’s new standalone app for hailing licensed taxis. While none of the firms has “formally endorsed” the app, MVL founder and CEO Kay Woo said that all four had consented to their drivers using the platform.

Woo suggested that perceived “disadvantages” tied to existing ride-hailing players in the market may explain the apparent lack of willingness on the part of the firms to enter into formalized partnerships with Tada at this stage.

Nevertheless, Premier Taxis managing director Lim Chong Boo said that his company “welcomes” the new app.

“We are happy to note that Tada supports our objectives to keep taxi fares affordable [yet] rewarding for our business partners,” he said. “The launch of Tada Taxi reinforces our efforts to serve our taxi drivers and commuters.”

MVL launched Tada as an e-hailing app for private cars in Singapore in July. As is the case for private-hire cars, taxi drivers that sign up to Tada won’t have to pay any commission out of their fares to the platform. They’ll be rewarded with MVL Coins for getting good reviews from users, while users will get tokens for contributing their feedback. Tada allows for immediate cashing out of earnings, providing another boon for drivers.

According to Woo, Tada has around 20,000 drivers and 100,000 riders in total signed up to its platform.

Woo said that Tada decided to create a separate taxi-hailing app after market research indicated demand from both taxi drivers and passengers for a dedicated platform, free from the surge pricing associated with private car-hailing. At peak times, customers bear higher costs due to surge pricing, while heavy traffic in Singapore’s main business and shopping districts means that taxi drivers often feel forced to pick up lower flat fares, Woo suggested. Tada Taxi solves these issues by allowing taxi drivers to respond to e-hails and offering only metered fares, giving users an estimated price for their ride in-app, he added.

While Tada Taxi has been launched as a dedicated app, taxi-hailing will also be available through the main Tada main app. However, the two services will be kept separate and clearly demarcated in-app, differentiating it from Grab’s JustGrab feature which scours both private cars and taxis.

MVL aims to eventually get other automotive industry stakeholders onto its platform – like carmakers, insurance companies, gas stations, and dealerships – where token holders will be able to spend their MVL Coins – and, potentially, other digital tokens and fiat money. The startup aims to generate revenue by taking a commission from these B2B partners on any products and services they sell to drivers and riders through the platform.

MVL has also launched ride-hailing services in South Korea and Vietnam and is adding Cambodia and Thailand to its list, according to Woo. The startup has already signed up Vietnamese insurance provider PTI as a B2B partner, while it is negotiating a similar deal with an as-yet unnamed Singaporean brand. In Cambodia, it is working with a car financing company, a taxi firm, and a payments platform in advance of its launch there, he said.

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JPMorgan Chase is spending $10.8B on blockchain and real-time payments

JP Morgan Chase&Co. has spent more than any other financial institution this year on investing in new technology from blockchain and all-mobile banking to real-time payments.

JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) is investing $10.8 billion this year on developing new technologies, $1.4 billion more than it invested last year. The bank has worked with more than 500 fintech startups, and in June announced its all-mobile bank, Finn by Chase.

“We’re not just a bank, we are a technology company. What we invest grows each year,” said Bill Dehmer who oversees upstate New York for JPMorgan Chase’s national middle market banking group.

“The key is turning the investment into technology for our clients that makes it easier for them,” Dehmer said. “It’s a competitive advantage we’re trying to bring.”

The Albany Business Review spoke with Dehmer and Brian Anderson, who leads the payables product solutions specialist team for commercial banking at JPMorgan, on Thursday when Anderson was in town meeting with clients about how they can use new JPMorgan technologies.

Dehmer, based in Albany out of Corporate Woods, serves businesses with over $20 million in annual sales in an area stretching from Kingston to Albany and Buffalo, as well as some parts of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. He has been with JPMorgan since the 1990s.

Anderson’s team is responsible for following and implementing the latest payment trends, fintech partnerships, blockchain, connectivity and business case analysis. Anderson is a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute MBA grad.

“We’re helping to speak to market about our blockchain technology, so we set up Blockchain Center of Excellence,” Anderson said. “Throughout it is how do we drive it to meet our goals. We bring the scale, the client base, the knowledge of the products, the regulatory knowledge.”

Among those new technologies is real-time payments, a system JPMorgan created that makes it easier for companies to pay bills and employees immediately with approvals coming in seconds instead of hours or days.

Anderson used the example of when a natural disaster strikes, and a family is displaced. Instead of putting a hotel charge on a credit card, and waiting for an insurance claim check, the insurance company could pay out the claim immediately to the person’s account.

The Blockchain Center of Excellence, another big investment, is finding ways to use blockchain technology in treasury services, capital markets, custody and funds services and in financing.

“What businesses need is changing before our very eyes. They’re looking for faster and efficient,” Dehmer said.

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12 ReTech’s new E-Commerce tools to battle for relevance against Amazon

Las Vegas, NV, Hong Kong & Salt Lake City, UT, Nov. 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, 12 ReTech Corporation (otcqb:RETC) unveiled its revamped Lexi-Luu Dancewear e-commerce site. Shoppers and consumers can view and shop at www.lexiluudancewear.com.

The new website built upon the Shopify e-commerce platform was created because its predecessor was not able to utilize any of the components of 12 ReTech’s “12 Online Solutions” which the Company uses to improve the performance of its own as well as client’s e-commerce properties. Built on a Shopify base, the new site features “best of category” practices that many successful online stores utilize, including rich content, fast checkout and multiple checkout solutions as well as Google analytics.

And this is just the beginning. 12 ReTech will begin to add its “12 Online Solutions” features such as “shoppable video”, gamification modules and machine learning algorithms that match content with viewer demographics. The “12 Online Solutions” also provide advanced analytics that allows our team to combine and analyze data from the myriad data sources that are used in e-commerce marketing including: its website, Facebook, Instagram, e-mail campaigns, Google, SMS, Snapchat and others. It also includes tools and techniques which are designed to attract, engage and convert shoppers into buyers.

The new Lexi-Luu online store is being transformed into a comprehensive platform that controls all aspects of business operations from manufacturing and marketing to shipping and receiving. It will directly interact with our 12Mobile APP and will even allow wholesale customers to purchase at different pricing levels than consumers.

Ashley Tomaszewski, VP of Digital Marketing at Emotion Fashion Brands commented, “when properly implemented, 12 ReTech’s “12 Online Solutions” delivers the ability to affect shopper behavior by collecting real time data and utilizing predictive analytics to deliver relevant content to each individual shopper via web and mobile channels. The purpose of these advanced tools is to get shoppers to stay longer on an e-commerce site and raise conversion levels.

Angelo Ponzetta, Chief Executive Officer of 12 ReTech commented, “Our technology is designed to attract shoppers to our retailers and convert them into buyers. We are constantly adding new innovations to our offerings which are designed around these concepts. We understand that it’s not just about technology, it’s also about content that is innovative and engaging while fully utilizing the power of today’s technology.”

Mr. Ponzetta continued, “Look for 12 ReTech to create technology that make it easier for shoppers to purchase goods from our retailers. Amazon created “One-Click” to reduce online shopping cart abandonment. We will soon be discussing our own e-commerce innovations that make it easier for new shoppers to become buyers!”

Hub Blanchette, CEO of Emotion Fashion Brands said, “The 12 ReTech Team continues to be amazing to work with! They have resources that we could never have reached on our own. We have made fantastic progress in all aspects of our business in a short amount of time.”

Mr. Blanchette continued, “To celebrate the launch of our new Online Store, Lexi-Luu is offering a 38% discount site-wide to everyone for two whole days! Our wholesale customers and distributors are encouraged to contact us for special deals for them to stock up for the Holidays!”

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Apple join forces with Salesforce for the World’s #1 CRM

Enabling powerful apps and customer experiences exclusive to iPhone and iPad

Apple and Salesforce today announced a strategic partnership that brings together the number one customer relationship management platform and iOS, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, enabling powerful new mobile apps for business. Working with Apple, Salesforce is redesigning its app to embrace the native mobile platform with exclusive new features on iOS. The companies will also provide tools and resources for millions of Salesforce developers to build their own native apps with a new Salesforce Mobile SDK for iOS, and a new iOS App Development course on Trailhead, Salesforce’s free, web-based learning platform.

“We’re excited to work with Salesforce and that their industry-leading CRM will embrace native iOS and deliver exclusive new features on iPhone and iPad,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “With the powerful combination of iPhone, iPad and iOS — the best hardware and software for business — together with native Salesforce apps and the new Salesforce SDK, we can deliver great customer experiences for businesses around the world.”

“With this partnership, we’re bringing together the world’s #1 CRM platform with iPhone and iPad, the world’s best devices for business,” said Marc Benioff, Chairman and co-CEO, Salesforce. “Together, Salesforce and Apple are defining a new era of mobile innovation with native apps on iOS, and empowering millions of people with access to Trailhead and the skills they need for the jobs of the future.”

The initial focus areas of this strategic partnership include:

  • Native Salesforce iOS apps for business: Salesforce, working with Apple, will redesign the Salesforce Mobile App to give customers rich experiences exclusively on iOS, with unique Apple capabilities such as Siri Shortcuts, Face ID, Business Chat and more. Salesforce will also introduce its first-ever Trailhead Mobile App first on iOS. The partners will also deliver powerful iOS apps for industries and small business that will serve their specific customer needs.
  • Empowering Salesforce developers on iOS: Apple and Salesforce are developing the first Salesforce Mobile SDK that is optimized for Swift, Apple’s powerful and intuitive modern programming language. The native SDK will enable businesses and developers to build and deploy apps for iPhone and iPad on the Salesforce Lightning Platform, adding to the hundreds of thousands of iOS apps for business in the App Store today.
  • Accelerating developer learning and career growth: Apple and Salesforce believe strongly in the democratization of technology and empowering developers—with any education level or background—to learn skills for the jobs of today and tomorrow. To support developer learning and career growth, Apple is launching a new Get Started with iOS App Development Trail that will teach anyone how to build native iOS apps in Xcode with Swift.

Attendees of Dreamforce 2018 can get an early look at the new Apple and Salesforce offerings in the Salesforce Campground (Moscone South Halls ABC) or the Trailhead Area (Moscone West Level 1). For more about the partnership, please visit salesforce.com/apple or apple.com/business/partners.

Availability

  • The Get started with iOS App Development Trail is available today at trailhead.com/apple.
  • The new Salesforce Mobile SDK for iOS will be available by the end of 2018.
  • The rebuilt Salesforce Mobile App will be available in early 2019; the first-ever Trailhead Mobile App will launch later next year.

About Apple

Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud. Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.

About Salesforce

Salesforce, the global CRM leader, empowers companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way. For more information about Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), visit: www.salesforce.com.

Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase Salesforce applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CRM.” For more information please visit https://www.salesforce.com, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.

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27 Experts Give You Their Best Online Store Opportunities For 2018

27 Experts Give You Their Best Online Store Opportunities For 2018

Thinking about launching an e-commerce business, but don’t know where to start? Well, an e-commerce business idea would be helpful.

Of course, that’s just for starters.

While you can peruse books and guides on how exactly to start a successful, long-term online store –– every entrepreneur everywhere has to start at the exact same place.

And that place requires you to answer this 1 question:

What are you going to sell?

From there, you’ll then launch into competitive reviews and building your online store –– just 2 more steps on the way to building a long-term, successful venture.

But it all starts with what your product is. And, some even argue, the ultimate success of your business is also all about your product.

Marketing, social media reviews, customer lifetime loyalty –– all of those are easier when your product speaks for itself.

So, while some of us are lucky enough to have online store ideas find us, others of us –– well, we have to search.

Top 16 Ecommerce Business Ideas of 2018

To help save you time and energy, we picked the brains of some of the industry’s most trusted and successful entrepreneurs, marketers and researchers to get their thoughts on business opportunities with huge growth potential. Dive on in and learn more about their favourite e-commerce business ideas for 2018.

  1. Niche fashion communities build fast and sell well.
  2. Online digital health services are on the rise.
  3. Sell Industrial b2b products for high margins with little competition.
  4. Identify super niche products (think gluten-free).
  5. Planners have a massive following.
  6. Target tech savvy retirees (who shop online).
  7. Appeal to people’s ideologies.
  8. The education industry is getting big investor bucks.
  9. Do things Amazon can’t.
  10. Find confusing products (and provide useful instructions).
  11. Passion is the most important part!
  12. Remove the middlemen to win big.
  13. Deep knowledge has the most power.
  14. Solve your own problem.
  15. Use KickStarter for research.
  16. Sell something cool.

1.) Niche fashion communities build fast and sell well.

Niche fashion sites are a huge e-commerce opportunity. Niche fashion communities serve those audiences with hard-to-find or hard-to-fit needs. Those communities can also serve upcoming mindsets and trends –– like minimalism or the Great Return of Bell Bottoms (emphasis my own).

Here are a couple of site examples for you before we dive in what the experts have to say:

ONYCHEK

ONYCHEK is a great example of a niche fashion brand serving hard-to-find communities. In this case, that community is Luxury Fashion from Africa.

Tucker Blair

Tucker Blair serves both customizability as well as a niche audience –– that of New England nostalgia.

 

Bygone Brand

With both brick-and-mortar and digital locations, the Bygone Brand has leveraged nostalgia and advertising lore for a niche fashion site geared toward those looking for prints no longer available.

Below are more ideas.

Daniel Wallock, Marketing Strategist, Wallock Media

While the fashion and garment industry is incredibly crowded, I’ve been having trouble finding minimalist clothing without branding and quality fabric.

I shop at James Perse and Everlane, but I’d love to see a store that just focused on selling incredible-quality monotone-coloured clothes that you could order in pairs of 5 or 10.

This would appeal to a very niche audience, but I think creating an incredible quality brand that only specializes in simple outfits could possibly do well with people like millennials who are looking to dress more minimally and worry less about making choices regarding their clothing.

Brett Owens, Marketing Director & Co-Founder, LeadDyno

Clothing, clothing, clothing. There is an endless demand for clothing products of all types!

Nearly 40% of the affiliates and influencers in our e-commerce affiliate network have this checked off as a category of interest for them.

Find a niche apparel product and sell it. There are plenty of influencers out there who would love to help you promote it, and plenty of folks who are waiting to buy it.

2.) Digital health services are on the rise.

Digital health services here means a couple things:

  1. The e-commerce capabilities for patients and others affected to buy items previously only sold in office
  2. Products that help people prevent health issues, including more education around health in general

So, before we dive into the advice, let’s look at two that do these 2 things.

National Autism Resources

National Autism Resources creates a community-like online space for parents and practitioners, as well as offers helpful items and education to help people find what they need, and then get it delivered to them.

Jigsaw Health

Jigsaw Health is highly committed to education around magnesium for their customers and potential new customers. They write frequently on their blog, use videos to help spread the word on YouTube and Facebook and ultimately have turned the product they sell into an educated community.

Ryan Pfleger, Founder, PayWhirl

Digital services like online personal trainer sessions and digital classes are on the rise and are worth noting!

Sweta Patel, Director of Demand Generation, Cognoa

I would say the most underserved niche is the digital health market.

Digital health has been emerging for a long time and most products are not being sold online due to the regulations.

There are a lot of e-commerce business opportunities for health-care companies to evolve in the online space and increase their revenues. An idea I would recommend to an entrepreneur is around building a product that helps digital health products become more readily available for those in need.

It may be a smaller niche than Amazon that just focuses on health care products but it would make it easier for providers and patients to get things at their convenience.

3.) Go Industrial for high margins with little competition.

Launching in B2B or the industrial e-commerce industries is hard. It has a high barrier to entry –– but then again, the margins you make from it are also much higher. And, you typically spend less on marketing to boot!

Best yet –– few other B2B brands have figured out how to sell something online well and at scale. That means that if you have any e-commerce chops at all, this market is ripe for you.

Here are a few examples.

AP Electric Generators

Most people don’t dream of owning a business selling generators. That is unless it’s highly profitable. With few others on the market to compete, thanks to a high barrier to entry as well as costly shipping and storage, AP Electric nearly owns the market.

1-800-Stencil

What I love the most about 1-800-Stencil is that this B2B brand is *very* good at Facebook marketing. I see their ads often, and the comments on them are the only social proof any B2B buyer would need to pull the conversion trigger.

By focusing on a niche, B2B market and trying out various B2C growth tactics, 1-800-Stencil leads the industry in their vertical.

 

Eric Carlson, Co-Founder, 10X Factory

I think there is a HUGE opportunity in construction supply related e-commerce.

There are several brands in construction that drop ship and have websites that simply take people to a request form.

In my opinion, the construction supply niche has big dollars, decent margins and very few sophisticated players.

Ross Simmonds, Founder, Foundation Marketing

The most underserved niche for e-commerce is in B2B.

As B2B buyers become younger and younger, more opportunities are opening up for B2B brands to sell their products online and turn e-commerce into a viable online business for their brand.

In many cases, B2B brands think of themselves as regional businesses, but with technology today, there are opportunities to reach new marketers with a simple website, shipping processes and understanding of how their customers are using Google to find solutions like theirs.

From telephone providers and bottling equipment to sensors and interior design services, B2B is one of the most underrated yet high-potential opportunities for e-commerce entrepreneurs.

Daniel Wallock, Marketing Strategist, Wallock Media

An industry that is underserved by e-commerce is the industrial equipment and industrial pharmaceutical equipment industry.

A lot of companies that sell expensive equipment stay away from online stores, but I’ve worked with clients who were selling tons of very expensive equipment online without doing almost any marketing.

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The first step to a platform migration is an RFP. Our free template includes more than 100 questions to send to all platforms you are considering, including:

  • Hosting & Security
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4.) Think micro-niche such as gluten-free or nurses who CrossFit.

Trying to come up with unique e-commerce business ideas for your store? The more niche you can get –– the better. Why? Because with Facebook’s targeting power, you can spend less to perfectly serve a unique audience no one else is touching.

WholeMe

WholeMe sells healthy, gluten-free snacks –– which as our expert below and yours truly can attest to –– do not exist enough in the wild! They are serving a very badly needed market, and one ripe to buy!

Diamond Exchange

Part of serving a niche audience is often allowing for insane customization. This way, you only produce 1 item –– and you know for sure it will sell.

Diamond Exchange is the master of this strategy. Their site allows for above and beyond engagement ring customization from the comfort of your home. They get a sell. You get something no one else has.

Now that is niche.

Kaleigh Moore, Freelance writer

Gluten-free products! As someone who’s always searching for them, I can vouch for the fact that the current online business market is lacking.

Ryan Bemiller, Founder, Shopping Signals

I think people can see big success by combining two or three niches into a highly specialized micro-niche. For example, male nurses who are into CrossFit. Just an example!

Donald Pettit, Sales & Partners Manager, SalesWarp

I think the next wave of businesses who will emerge on the e-commerce scene is the service-oriented businesses that can personalize products at a high level.

Think about the companies that make a Lego replica of your home & family or the custom-printed M&Ms.

Customers are increasingly demanding high levels of customization and personalization: they want a unique experience and a unique product.

For any emerging brand, I would almost demand they have a micro-niche strategy to reach the small clusters of devoted customers with ultra-personalized products and services.

5.) Planners have a massive following.

This advice comes from Suzy Moore, the founder and former owner of So Suzy Stamps –– an online stamping community she grew to valuation within 3 short years. If she says something has community power, you better believe it does.

Here’s an example of a site to help you visualize what Suzy says.

Beatific

Beatific’s site is fun, inspirational and they’ve grown their social media audience to more than 100,000 is just a little over a year.

Suzanne Moore, Narrator, All About Suzy

Planner supplies. They have an almost cult-like following that is INSANE!

Instagram followers are in the 100K range. There are planners, bullet journals, accessories, stickers, traveller’s notebooks, pens, stickers, washi tape, bookmarks and so much more.

Most of the suppliers reside on Etsy and it’s rare to find one single location that offers EVERYTHING.

This is such a creative endeavour that it would be fabulous to have a company or site that could utilize these budding entrepreneurs and carry their items. Think outside of the box and get creative!

6.) Today’s retirees are tech savvy (and shop online).

More people than ever are reaching retiree age, and continuing to live long, healthy and happy lives past their retirement date. And with that trend comes a boom in older generation technology and products.

Here are a few.

Soundwall

Soundwall has seen incredible success in nursing homes and the homes of older people. Why? Because it looks like art (AKA it’s really nice) and it plays music as well as lights up when something in the room moves.

So, for instance, you may want to get up to go to the restroom in the middle of the night –– and want to make sure you don’t jam your leg on anything.

Soundwall will help you.

To be fair, this product isn’t only for retirees. It seems to work well for just about anyone.

Expression Fiber Arts

Again, Expression Fiber Arts doesn’t sell only to retirees, but they don’t overlook them either. Their product suits users of all ages well, and the brand has a particular hand-me-down feel that goes from one generation to the other as the skill is passed down and picked back up.

Emil Kristensen, co-founder & CMO, Sleeknote

In my opinion, there’s a massive underserved niche in the older generation. Many of the people who retire now have grown accustomed to using computers at work.

This means we have an older generation who knows how to use computers and feel comfortable shopping online.

5-6 years ago this consumer group would not be targeted online, but rather through traditional marketing channels such as TV and radio.

Now and in the next 5-10 years, this group will grow and increasingly shop online. For instance, yarn, which often appeals to the older consumer segment, can now target potential customers online as well.

7.) Appeal to people’s ideologies.

No, this doesn’t mean go crazy and appeal to people’s crazier sides. Instead, it means to use the communities people are already forming around you to sell them things that help them identify.

Let’s look at an example.

Nine Line Apparel

Nine Line does this incredibly well. Founded by two veterans, this brand brings patriots together in clothing and household items –– speaking to them as part of the community and ideology.

Jordan Brannon, President and COO, Coalition Technologies

Offensive or contentious products. I’m shocked by how rigid people are becoming in their view of other political groups as we take our social media soapboxes to the real world.

There’s huge opportunity to develop products espousing a particular soapbox stance in a very aggressive (and hopefully humorous) manner. Lots of e-commerce sites cater to offensive humour, but very few play to particular ideologies or soapbox topics exclusively.

8.) The education industry is getting big investor bucks.

It’s true –– online education is booming as brands old and new alike turn to e-commerce as the next channel of growth.

Check out a few below.

Bridgepoint Education

Bridgepoint Education runs Forbes’ online boot camp –– and uses a site to gather interest through SEO as well as to sell the courses.

Rand McNally

Rand McNally has come a long way from just supplying the atlas in your classroom. Today, the brand pushes out new technology and GPS connection software –– all utilizing its atlases and mapping systems, of course.

Nelson Education

Nelson Education has taken to e-commerce in 2017 to sell both B2C and B2B, allowing parents and educators to get exactly what they need from the brand when they need it.

 

 

David Feng, Co-Founder and Head of Product, Reamaze

The education niche seems fairly underserved by ecommerce. One great example is the company Wonderbly which recently secured an $8.5 million round from investors.

E-commerce entrepreneurs with a background in educational publishing and personalized content creation will have a significant advantage here.

9.) Do what Amazon can’t.

We’ve talked about this a bit so far in this article, but needing customizations or specifications on products isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it is those things that a mass site like Amazon can’t do well. And where smaller, more knowledgeable brands like yours can really blossom.

Let’s look at a couple of examples.

Discount Electronics

Discount Electronics offers detailed laptop and computer customization unparalleled nearly anywhere on the web. It’s what keeps their customers coming back –– and forgoing Amazon in favour of their low prices for a custom-built item.

Dazadi

Dazadi, the founder of which is quoted below, ships ping pong tables and other large household items not just to someone’s house, but coordinates to have the truck drivers take it out and build it in the customer’s home.

Why do they win in this vertical? Because they take those extra steps few others are willing to do. (Hint: ShipperHQ is how they make it happen).

Sam’s Furniture

Same as Dazadi above, Sam’s Furniture ships furniture from their Dallas warehouse around the U.S., coordinating with LTL freight to get large items where they need to go.

The furniture vertical isn’t an easy one for e-commerce –– but Sam Furniture has been able to spread out their hometown love and loyalty to the nation as a whole, all by figuring out the shipping issues.

 

Vladimir Gendelman, Founder and CEO, Company Folders, Inc.

An underserved market is custom-built items, mostly because there is an expense involved in adding a product to the site and then taking it down.

With custom-built items, you can have a higher margin to allow for more work.

It could be a car, furniture, jewellery or something that gives people one-of-a-kind goods.

My advice is to start an e-commerce business with unique items and figure out a way to work with designers or other providers to create an online business outlet that is really known for high-quality one-of-a-kind pieces.

Plus, you have to have an easy process for people to submit their ideas for their items and get them made.

John McCann, CEO, Spectrum Audio, & Co-Founder, Quote Ninja, Inc.

The keyword here is niche. Pick a narrow lane, and own it. I’ve struggled with this myself, trying to sell more products than we can possibly keep track of.

Our goal this year has been to cut all of that excess fat and narrow our lane substantially.

Sell items that require a little bit of expert knowledge, and be that expert.

If someone needs to call and ask a few questions before ordering, I don’t see that as a bad thing anymore. It gives you an edge over Amazon, and the other big guys.

If it’s an item that anyone can order without calling, or needing some assistance with, rest assured you’re likely to lose the battle against Amazon and friends in the long run.

Jason Boyce, Co-founder & CEO, Dazadi

Anything heavy online that ships via LTL freight is relatively underserved.

Shipping large freight in the U.S. is very difficult.

We’ve spent a decade and a half mastering freight shipments and we still have much to learn, but we see our skills in this area as a competitive advantage.

Amazon and others are also trying to figure this out, but it’s still very much a work in progress.

10.) Find confusing products (and include instructions).

Whether it’s FAQs or additional spec information drawn out in an easy-to-digest way, do whatever you can to make sure your product is the most consumer-friendly on the market.

Annesley Surfboard

Annesley does a lot on their product pages right, but one of the best parts is allowing you to spin the board around and showing you exact length and measurements based on your own surfing level.

James Thomson, President, PROSPER Show

It’s not what the specific product is, but how poorly competitive products are doing at bringing out the value of the product.

I would look for products where there is a question about how to install or use the product.

Be the seller that comes along with a much richer experience that includes how-to videos, proper documentation, and carefully thought-through effort to address the top 10 problems/issues a customer is likely to have when buying or using the item.

That seller is going to do better than everyone else.

We see hundreds of brands that exist only on Amazon, where those brand owners know how to do a better job merchandising and clarifying the benefits of their products to Amazon customers. National brands need to start thinking more like those Amazon-only sellers.

11.) Passion is the most important part!

All in all, no matter the product you sell, the very first thing you have to be is passionate about it.

Why?

Because the days will get hard. They always do. And the only thing that’s going to keep you going is your passion for the product, the people and the community you are building.

Here are a few brands that take passion to the next level.

Highway Robery

Founded by husband and wife duo Evan and Jackie, this robe company takes pride in its ethical roots, as well as its very, very photogenic friends.

 

Andie Swim

It all started with a work trip to a local beach. That’s when Melanie realized she didn’t have a suit she’d feel comfortable wearing around co-workers.

So, she set out to find one, and per usual, the experience was terrible.

Awful lighting in dressing rooms. Gross tags in the crouch. Really awful suit fits that nearly changed her mind about going to begin with.

That’s when she had some conversations with friends –– and everyone she spoke with had the. Exact. Same. Experience.

And that’s when she launched Andie Swim.

Christopher Cowden, Director of Operations, Grace and Lace

I agree with Seth Godin on this one. There is no end of people who will sell you a lackluster gadget or a ho-hum service.

What we need more of in this world is people who offer their unique “art” to the world.

To would-be entrepreneurs: whatever makes you come alive, whatever makes time disappear, if there is some activity you engage in that you wouldn’t trade for anything else in this world that brings value to others, do that.

Creating a business model around your passion is not the difficult part.

Jason Ehmke, Senior Client Data Analyst, AddShoppers.com

I wouldn’t recommend any one niche to anybody. I would recommend any entrepreneur to go with what they’re passionate about.

If you’re passionate about a specific niche, you’ll put in the extra effort needed to put yourself ahead of your competition. If you start an online store in a niche that is underserved, but you’re not passionate about, you’ll end up burning out before it becomes worth your while.

Greg Johnston, Managing Director, Be A Part Of

Do what you are passionate about. The niche is not really what I would focus on. Just focus on doing what you love better than someone else.

Being an entrepreneur is a lifestyle, you have to love it. If you want a hobby or quick cash, find untapped niches and sell fast and get out!

12.) Remove the middlemen to win big.

Retail isn’t dying –– but a lot of distributors are. Why? Because they can’t offer the lowest price or the highest quality. Who can? The manufacturers. The owners. The real people behind the real business.

Sure, these folk have had to learn a few marketing chops to take their product to the masses, but now without the middlemen, they are seeing skyrocketing profits.

Here’s an example.

Oyin Handmade

Oyin Handmade used to only sell through distributor sites or drugstores. Today, the brand is still sold there, but there’s no reason not to have a homepage both B2B and B2C consumers can love (and shop!).

Sun Bum

A sunscreen that is a brand all its own? Yeah, the world has changed! Sun Bum promotes healthy living and SPF protection, and sells both B2B and B2C so their loyal consumers can get the lowest possible price.

Max DB, Founder, HeyMaxDB – Content Strategy

Any company giving a limited offer at a reduced price in an industry dominated by middlemen. Companies like Dollar Shave Club, Everlane, those get me really excited.

If you can corner the same kind of situation, definitely go for it. And call me.

13.) Deep knowledge has the most power.

Want people to buy from you? Prove to them you know the most about it.

Trust breeds trust –– and conversions.

What topic do you know the most about? That’s the one you should get in to!

Here’s an example.

FlexFireLEDs

The FlexFire website has more information than Wikipedia when it comes to strip LED lights. This is because the founder has invested time into building out the most helpful site he possibly could on the topic –– and today, it wins him the business of Google, Disney, Ford and more.

James Brown, Client Engagement Manager, RANDEM

Do/sell what you know better than anyone else. Either your special knowledge comes from your previous working life or your specialist hobby.

If you’re able to effectively communicate your deep knowledge and passion for a specific product/market, you will find others who are willing to engage with you, and hopefully, buy.

14.) Solve your own problem.

Necessity is the mother of invention. And that’s a good thing. Just like Andie Swim above, and the example below, think through your pain points and figure out how to solve them. Likely, others have had the same issue too (and are looking for your solution!).

reCAP Mason Jars

“Our story began with salad dressing,” writes the founder of reCAP Mason Jar lids. “After creating yet another oily mess with the lid and ring, I searched for a pour cap that would fit my Mason Jars and allow me to shake, pour and store dressing.”

Today, the brand has tutorials on fermentation and take-to-work salads, among many other things!

Daniel Wallock, Marketing Strategist, Wallock Media

If I were a new entrepreneur, I wouldn’t think about what product I want to offer or sell. Instead, I would think about what is a problem I can solve and/or what is a product I can make better.

At the end of the day, people want to buy a product that will make their life better.

I would think about creating something that adds real value to people in need or has better unfair advantages than other related products that already exist.

Bill Widmer, eCommerce SEO & Content Marketing Consultant

I’m good at growing eCommerce businesses, but I’m not so great at coming up with products to start them.

My advice to an entrepreneur? Solve your own problem. If you do that, you’ll have a better understanding of your target audience (people like you), which will make EVERYTHING much easier.

15.) Use KickStarter for research.

Kickstarter is a wealth of information on what consumers want, right now. In fact, even established brands use it to launch new products.

Native Union

That’s exactly what Native Union did –– launched a Kickstarter project to get funding for a new gadget for their line. Check it out.

Bill Bailey CEO, Nodal Ninja

I suggest staying abreast of the newest gadgets and technology.

Follow Kickstarter and project funding sites and look for projects that “spark” your attention.

Talk to the developers and ask for the first shot at reselling their products once they are ready to go to market.

16.) Cool products matters (here’s why).

And in the end –– no matter what you sell –– selling it better than your competition is going to depend on how you build a community and relate to your audience.

You need them to think you are cool. That you know what you are talking about. That your products should be trusted over all others.

Here’s how a couple brands do that.

RAD Soap

Fun visuals and an organic online atmosphere blend aesthetics with sustainability, and the RAD audience loves it.

Obscura

Taking their brick-and-mortar brand online, Obscura recreates their in-store cool home vibe in a series of never-ending online windows with beautiful photography. It’s an online store presented as an online magazine.

David Tendrich, CEO & Co-Founder, Reliable PSD

I think the key nowadays is to stop focusing so much on demographics and niches and instead focus on psychographics within a niche.

For example, someone buying a high-end leather bag might fall into a couple categories:

  1. I buy high-end leather bags to feel elite.
  2. I buy high-end leather bags because I want quality that will last.

The more you hone in on just 1 or 2 of these, the more you’ll connect with that group of people, and you’ll become the “go to” for that psychographic.

With our coding agency, Reliable PSD, that’s essentially what we did. We came in to an insanely over-saturated market, but we were the only ones to speak to a specific psychographic within that market, making us the instant obvious choice to people within it.

It doesn’t matter how crowded anything is. If you come in and you’re cooler than the other kids on the playground, people will want to hang with you.

Final Thoughts:

Identifying an online store idea with growth potential is an important part of starting a successful ecommerce business. What you sell matters. How you land on what you sell does too. Whether you come by your ecommerce idea through passion or by luck, be sure you focus on product quality and customer service above all else.

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Apps That Make Investing Easy: Acorns, Betterment, Robinhood, Stash

The smartphone has revolutionized the way we manage our finances — from paying bills to tracking our credit scores. Thanks to a wave of new investing apps, it’s never been easier for novice investors to get their start in the market. Services like Acorns, Betterment, Robinhood and Stash let users invest small amounts of money to begin to grow wealth.

But how good are these apps at growing your money, and what are the pros and cons?

Read on to find out all you need to know about investment apps. We’ll periodically update this post with new apps and reviews.

Acorns

acorns

How it works: Acorns is an app that is designed to help users invest their spare change by rounding up purchases to the dollar. By linking your checking account and credit cards to the app, it can take everyday purchases like a $4.22 latte and round it up to the nearest dollar, which in this case would be $5. Once you’ve accumulated $5 in round-up savings, the app invests the money for you in a portfolio of your choosing.

Acorns’ main selling point is how simple it is to choose your investments. To get started, Acorns asks for your age, how long you’re looking to invest, your income, your financial goals, and your risk tolerance. From there, the app recommends one of five portfolio blends. Each portfolio comprises six low-cost exchange traded funds (ETFs). Portfolios range from conservative (with a larger allocation of bonds) to aggressive (with a larger allocation of stocks).

Fees: Like any product aimed at convenience, Acorns’ investing platform comes at a price: $1 per month for accounts with $5,000 or less, and an annual fee of 0.25% of the account value for balances over $5,000.

Making withdrawals: Acorns does not charge a fee for withdrawing money, but it will take some time to hit your bank account. Withdrawals take five to seven business days, the company says. That’s because Acorns has to sell the stocks and bonds from your account to cover the withdrawal, which could take up to three business days alone. Then, the company transfers the funds into your account, a transfer that could take one to three days.

Best suited for: Individuals who struggle to set aside savings each month and want to invest for short-term goals.

The pros:

  • No minimum balance is required.
  • No monthly deposit requirement.
  • You can deposit extra funds to your account at any time or set up a recurring deposit.
  • Withdrawals are free and can be made at any time.
  • The app is totally free for students.
  • Users are free to accept or decline portfolio recommendations and can change portfolios at any time.
  • Easy to withdraw funds without any penalty or fees.

The cons:

  • Acorns’ $1 or 0.25% fee may sound nominal. But for an app aimed at investors who are saving only small amounts of cash on the side, those fees can quickly eat into your long-term investment gains. “If you only have $100 and you’re charged $1 a month, you’re paying $12 a year,” says Robert Farrington, founder of TheCollegeInvestor.com, an investing and personal finance site aimed at millennials. “A 12 percent fee is criminal … and once that money is gone, it is not going to compound.”

There are plenty of ETFs and mutual funds out there that charge far lower fees. But Acorns’ main selling point is the ease of selecting a portfolio, which takes away the headache of comparing dozens of different funds on your own.

Betterment

betterment

How it works:Betterment is a service that pretty much takes all the guesswork out of investing. Users input their investment goals, and the app suggests individual portfolios based on an investor’s risk tolerance and goals. Betterment uses software and algorithms to manage money by investing it into a blend of Vanguard exchange traded funds (ETFs), including U.S. and international stocks, short-term Treasuries, inflation-protected Treasury securities, and emerging market stocks and bonds. Betterment’s algorithm manages your investments for you and rebalances them over time, making sure you’re properly invested in the right mix of funds.

Fees: Betterment currently offers a promotion of up to six months for free. After that, fees are relatively low — 0.35% per year on accounts with a minimum monthly auto deposit of $100 and 0.15% for accounts that hold at least $100,000. But beware: If you do not contribute at least $100 to your Betterment account each month, they’ll hit you with a hefty $3 fee.

Making withdrawals: Betterment does not charge any fees or a penalty for making withdrawals, which usually take four to five business days to process. The website notes that a withdrawal might be delayed if a user recently made a deposit, because the deposit needs to fully settle first before another action.

Best suited for: Novice investors who are investing for long-term goals like retirement.

The pros:

  • Betterment currently offers a promotion of up to six months managed for free. After that, fees are relatively low (0.35% a year on accounts with a minimum monthly auto deposit of $100 and 0.15% with a minimum of $100K).
  • The website also offers personalized retirement advice to help educate first-time investors.
  • It is easy to withdraw funds with no penalty or fee.
  • Betterment recently launched RetireGuide, which offers personal retirement savings advice to users.
  • Betterment’s SmartDeposit feature lets users choose a certain amount the app is able to transfer from their bank account into their Betterment account. It’s a savings feature aimed to help people who struggle to set aside extra funds.

The cons:

  • If you can’t contribute at least $100 to your account every month, Betterment will charge you a fee of $3. At that rate, you might be better off saving your cash in a high-yield savings account or a low-cost index fund.

Robinhood

robinhood

How it works:Robinhood is a brokerage service that offers zero-commission stock and exchange traded fund (ETF) trading. Once you sign up for the service and link it to a bank account from which to pull funds, you are ready to trade stocks. Just type in the name of a particular stock and either put it on your “watch list” or buy shares. On the company’s homepage you can find out how much each share of stock is selling for and read current news about the stock. Once the trade has been placed, you can either buy more shares or sell what you have.

Fees: There is no minimum investment to get started, and Robinhood charges no trading fees.

Making withdrawals: Uninvested funds must remain in your Robinhood account for five trading days before they can be withdrawn. The company states that the holding period is established for “anti-money laundering and risk management purposes.” You must also wait for your funds to settle after a sale before withdrawing. From the date the trade is made, it will take another three days.

Best suited for: Individuals who know a bit about stock trading and want a commission-free way to try their hand in the market.

The pros:

  • There is no minimum investment to get started and no fees.
  • Users can set up automatic transfers.
  • Proceeds when you sell stocks and ETFs are available immediately to reinvest.

The cons:

  • This app is not for suited for novice investors. Unlike Acorns or Betterment, there is no ready-made portfolio designed for your needs. Robinhood is a hands-on service, aimed at people who have a grasp on buying and selling stocks. Robinhood also provides minimal information to investors to reassure them during times of market volatility. “It’s self-directed and you need to know what you’re doing,” Farrington said.
  • Robinhood currently only allows users to trade stocks and ETFs. You’d have to look elsewhere if you want to trade options, OTC securities, warrants, or mutual funds.
  • The service does not allow users to transfer existing brokerage assets into the app. However, the company says this will be changing soon.

Stash

stash-2stash invest

How it works:Stash lets you pick from 30 different flavors of exchange traded funds (ETFs). To make the app more approachable, the ETFs come with friendly names like “Clean & Green” and “American Innovators.” Clean & Green, for example, is the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF, a fund broadly invested in renewable energy companies. The American Innovators fund is the Vanguard Information Technology ETF, which has holdings in over 300 tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook. The Slow & Steady portfolio is the PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility ETF, a fund invested in low-volatility stocks. Depending on your risk tolerance and investing goals, Stash suggests which funds best fit your needs.

Fees: Stash is similar to Acorns in terms of fees. It charges $1 per month for balances under $5,000 and 0.25% annually for balances of $5,000 or more. (Stash offers a promotion of the first three months for free.) Fees are taken from your bank account, however, and do not come out of your investment portfolio. You only need $5 to get started.

Making withdrawals: Withdrawing funds is fee- and penalty-free, but they are capped at $10,000 per day. Withdrawals take one to three business days to process before funds become available in your bank account. The company notes that the process might take a few more days if you need to sell investments first.

Best suited for: Novice investors who want to get into the market but are intimidated by all the jargon and don’t have much money to play with. It also works for investors who don’t want to pick stocks piecemeal and like the flexibility of investing in fractional shares.

The pros:

  • Fees are relatively low assuming you put enough money in the account each month to offset a high percentage fee.
  • Along with ETFs, users can invest in some individual stocks, but only if they are listed as investment options.
  • You only need $5 to get started, and Stash offers a promotion of the first three months for free.
  • Stash allows you to invest in fractional (or partial) shares in companies.
  • Its “Auto Stash” feature allows you to schedule automatic deposits into your account.

The cons:

  • The $1 monthly fee can bite into investment gains. And once your account hits $5,000, Stash begins charging 0.25% annually.
  • You can only view your account on a smartphone, as there is no desktop platform.
  • Stash is effectively letting investors choose funds that are widely available for anyone to invest in outside of the app — without the additional 0.25% fee.

Farrington noted that it is important to review your investment portfolio on an annual basis to ensure that fees aren’t too high and that it has the investment choices you want. “These apps are designed to be a kickstarter to help you get started, but they might not be able to get you to the next level,” he said.

Regardless, Farrington believes that investing apps are an overall positive. “In general, the easier companies make it for people to invest, the better it is as a whole,” he said.

Source

Acquisition that boost Affordable Housing and Investment Management Expertise

MRI Software Acquires TCAM Asset Management

TCAM’s Software-Enabled Services and Investment Leadership Broaden MRI’s Affordable Housing Solutions Portfolio

MRI Software LLC, a global leader in real estate software solutions, today announced the acquisition of TCAM Asset Management. TCAM provides asset and portfolio management, advisory and consulting services to owners, investors and public agencies in the affordable housing industry. MRI’s software is already used to manage more than half of all affordable housing units in the United States, and bringing TCAM’s investment expertise and software-enabled services into the fold allows MRI to provide managed and consulting services for all major stakeholders in the affordable housing lifecycle – from financing and development to asset, investment and property management.

Headquartered in Boston, TCAM provides services to clients for more than 1,600 properties and 176,000 apartment units across 48 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. TCAM experts bring a combined 325 years of experience in the affordable housing and tax credit industries and success in leading the underwriting, structuring and management of diverse, multi-billion-dollar portfolios. The company’s clients include world-leading banks, insurance companies, real estate developers, housing agencies, and more. Prior to this acquisition, TCAM had already been using MRI’s Investment Central product as part of its asset management offering.

“TCAM has been an MRI client for 10 years and, throughout our relationship, we have been highly impressed by the team’s deep expertise in affordable housing and tax credit asset management,” said Stan Price, Senior Vice President of Investment Solutions at MRI Software. “TCAM’s asset management and advisory services are a natural extension of MRI’s comprehensive investment and property management software and data management services, enabling MRI to provide a complete solution for affordable housing investors, syndicators, owner/operators, and housing agencies.”

“MRI has been bringing cutting-edge technology solutions to the affordable housing industry, and we’re excited to build on that momentum,” said Jenny Netzer, Chief Executive Officer of TCAM Asset Management. “Our comprehensive asset and portfolio management services perfectly complement MRI’s investment management and property management offerings. As part of MRI, we believe we can help clients achieve better results from their affordable housing assets.”

In addition to today’s announcement, MRI acquired IPM Software, a provider of affordable housing property management, accounting and compliance solutions, last month. Both MRI Software and TCAM Asset Management are exhibiting at Affordable Housing Finance’s upcoming AHF Live event at the Hyatt Regency in ChicagoNovember 12-14Jenny Netzer and Allen Feliz, Managing Director, TCAM, will moderate a pre-conference workshop entitled “Intro to Asset Management” on Monday, November 12 from 8:30am to 12:00pm.

About MRI Software
MRI Software is a leading provider of innovative real estate software applications and hosted solutions. MRI’s comprehensive and flexible technology platform coupled with an open and connected ecosystem meets the unique needs of real estate businesses-from property-level management and accounting to investment modeling and analytics for the global commercial and residential markets. A pioneer of the real estate software industry, MRI develops lasting client relationships based on nearly five decades of expertise and insight. Through leading solutions and a rich partner ecosystem, MRI liberates real estate companies to elevate their business and gain a competitive edge. For more information, please visit mrisoftware.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Chet Murray 
LEWIS
mrisoftware@teamlewis.com

SOURCE MRI Software

Related Links

http://mrisoftware.com

Top 13 Best Stock Market Trading Apps

Our In-depth Review narrows down 1000’s of Stock Market Mobile Apps to the Best 13.  What are the Best Apps for Free Stock Trades, Beginners & Powerful Stock & Crypto Analysis? 

Click on the summary below to jump to the review you want or simply keep on scrolling.

What are the Best Stock Market Apps for iPhone & Android

  • Best for Global Exchange Data & Chart Analysis & Social Trading – TradingView
  • Best for Commissions Free Stocks, Options and ETF Trading – Firstrade
  • Best for Trading from Charts on U.S. & Canadian Markets – TC2000
  • Best for Simple Zero Commission Stock Trade from your Phone – Robinhood
  • Best for News and Free Stock Trading when integrated with Robinhood – Yahoo Finance
  • Best for Social Stock Tweeting – StockTwits
  • Best for Gamified Social Learning – Trade Hero
  • Best for Stock Market Information – Investing.com
  • Best for Stock Research & News – FINWIZ
  • Best for Spare Change Investing – Acorns
  • Best for Automated Investing – M1 Finance

The Best Stock Market Trading Apps for iPhone & Android Reviews

1. TradingView – Best for Stock Chart Analysis, Portfolio Tracking, Stock Screening, and Social Investing

TradingView is at the cutting edge of HTML5 development, which simply means, whatever device you use TradingView on, it will be visually perfect due to the incredible responsive software design.  This means you do not need to sync your data across devices it is already there.  Tradingview is the software I use every day and because it is geared around social interaction, learning and community ideas, it is a fabulous place to be.  You can follow me on TradingView and get my regular analysis updates.The incredible thing about TradingView is that they do not even need an app for smartphones or tablets.  There is no app, simply go to TradingView.com and it is up and running, no installation no problems.

Ok, the software is great but what are the benefits of TradingView?

Well, TradingView won our 1st place award for Best Stock Market Charting Software and our 1st Place Award for Best Free Charting Package.

Everything you get on the desktop you get on mobile and tablet.  In summary, the highlights are:

  • Powerful stock charting with a huge selection of indicators, chart types, and drawing tools
  • Fully functional stock screener integrated into the fabric of the application
  • A social investing first approach which means it is better at social than Twitter or Stocktwits, there are real trading communities and an amazing flow of trading ideas.
  • The data coverage is simply amazing covering nearly every stock exchange on the planet including, stocks, ETF’sForexCryptocurrencies much more.

You can trade directly from charts with TradingView, the broker integration is with CFD brokers like OANDA, Poloniex or CQG.  Forex.com our award-winning USA foreign exchange broker is also integrated.  TradingView also has a paper trading option which makes it ideal for beginners to practice their trading.

For these reasons and many more – TradingView wins again.  Prices start at FREE, but I recommend the PRO package at $9.95 per month or optimally the PRO+ at $19.95 per month.

Read the Full TradingView Review

2. Firstrade – The most Powerful App for Zero Commission Stock, Options and ETF Trades + Excellent News & Research

Firstrade Mobile App – Options Trading & Portfolio Management

Firstrade is the best broker you have never heard of.  They came in second in our broker review in 2017, but the moved to commission-free stock trades in August 2018 which catapulted them to the top of our Best Stock Broker Review.

But let’s talk mobile trading apps because that’s why you are here.

The Firstrade stock trading app allows you to manage your portfolio seamlessly, you can trade stocks, options, and ETF’s commission-free directly from your phone.

Firstrade is a large brokerage and you need to open a brokerage account to be able to take advantage of the app.  But the benefits are huge:

  • Seamless integration
  • Portfolio Management
  • Real-time Profit & Loss
  • Buy and Sell from your Smartphone
  • Did I mention commission-free trades

If you are looking to trade from your phone, choose Firstrade.

Read the Full Firstrade Review

3. TC2000 – Powerful Charting, Real-time Stock Screening and Trading Direct from the Charts

It is an incredibly powerful yet easy to use stock analysis suite.I have been a Platinum subscriber with TC2000 for 20 years.  Why, because they offer simply the best-integrated charting and real-time fundamental scanning and screening service available.

TC2000 is ideal for those wanting to trade and invest in the U.S. and Canadian stock market as international exchanges are not supported.  TC2000 was also a review winner for the last 5 years in a row in our Stock Trading Software Review.

The Worden Brothers who created TC2000 have also launched the TC2000 Brokerage which was also a review winner in our Best USA Stock Brokers Review has some incredible benefits, meaning:

  • You can trade directly from charts
  • You can scan on fundamentals and customer technical conditions and then initiate a trade in seconds.
  • You get a first class experience on mobile

The reason TC2000 comes in 3rd place in this review is simply that the trades are not commission free.  But the software and for example the options visualizations are excellent.

The downsides are there is no social integration or news and research dimensions to the app.

4. Robinhood – Best for Simplicity connecting you with an investing platform that lets you buy and sell stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies with zero commissions.

Robinhood is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). Thus Robinhood insures accounts for up to $500,000 for American customers.Notably, Robinhood charges no trading commissions.  Instead of trading commissions, Robinhood makes money through a $6 membership fee; margin trading, and rebates from executing brokers.

Beyond that, Robinhood fully encrypted its app and built-in state-of-the-art security measures. Additionally, market geeks will love the real-time cryptocurrency and other market information available through Robinhood.

Markedly, Robinhood offers a free share of stock to persons who sign up for its brokerage accounts. The free stocks could include Ford (NYSE: F), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), and Sprint (NYSE: S).

Robinhood is the best stock app for beginner traders who want to keep in super simple. In particular, it is a great resource for investors with a high tolerance for risk. However, apps associated with traditional brokerages will better serve more demanding and experienced investors.

Fortunately, Robinhood is available for Android and Apple devices. Thus it is available in the App Store and Google Play.

Further reading: Robinhood vs Firstrade in our free trading brokers showdown.

5. Yahoo! Finance– This app is being constantly being updated and fixed by Yahoo!! Moreover, Yahoo Finance is still one of the better sources of market news around.

If you are looking for easy-to-read market news and data, Yahoo Finance is still one of the best apps around. In addition, Yahoo!! Finance offers access to a wide variety of market-oriented videos.

Including clips from popular news shows and interviews with business leaders.

There are features that allow you to trade stocks and follow over 100 cryptocurrencies in the Yahoo! Finance App. The Yahoo! Finance App is available for iOS in the App Store and Android in Google Play.

Yes, you heard correctly you can trade directly from Yahoo Finance.

In fact, surprisingly Yahoo Finance has a huge selection of broker integrations. So as opposed to going through the hassle of signing up with a specific broker you can use Yahoo to integrate with your broker

The list of major brokers Yahoo integrates with:

Fidelity Charles Schwab Vanguard
E*Trade TD Ameritrade Capital One
Ally Invest TradeStation Merrill Edge
Interactive Brokers Robinhood Coinbase

6. StockTwits– This interesting app allows you to follow social media posts by a wide variety of speculators, traders, and other stock geeks.

StockTwits is a great place to get the feel of the markets and see what traders and speculators think.

Notably, a lot of the contributors share charts for technical analysis. The Trending Lists feature is an excellent means of seeing the latest trends.

The downside is that Stock Twits contains advertising. On the other hand, the information you can learn from StockTwits finance, stocks, and cryptocurrency chat can provide an interesting and unique picture of the market.

StockTwits is available in Google Play for Android and the App Store for Apple devices.

I use StockTwits so if you are inclined to do so, you can follow me, I regularly provide market and stock insight and analysis.

7. TradeHero–TradeHero is a “gamified social trading app” designed to teach trading and investing.

Instead of trading, they designed TradeHero to teach trading and familiarize you with the market. TradeHero teaches trading by giving you access to a virtual trading platform.

For instance, TradeHero gives you $100,000 in play money. TradeHero also offers the ability to trade stocks on 35 virtual platforms. In addition, TradeHero teaches FX (foreign exchange) trading with 38 currency pairs.

TradeHero is a great resource for beginners that want to practice trading and experience the market. Moreover, TradeHero is a good tool for experienced traders who want to test theories, systems or strategies.

Notably, TradeHero allows users to learn from the trades and tips of experienced traders it calls “Heroes.” Hence, TradeHero is an excellent learning tool for all levels of investors.

The drawback to virtual trading apps is that you could think of trading as a game. However, virtual trading apps are a great teaching tool. For instance, virtual-trading apps are a good way to introduce to introduce younger people; who grew up with video games, to the market.

Conversely, TradeHero offers real-money trading in selected countries. Benefits include zero commissions on trades and the ability to open accounts within five minutes. TradeHero is best for those who want to gain experience in trading.

TradeHero is available for both Android and Apple devices. Hence, TradeHero is available from Google Play and the App Store.

8. Investing.com–If you are looking for an app that just provides stock information, Investing.com is a good choice.

For example, Investing.com provides real-time updates about 30,000 financial instruments traded on 100 exchanges worldwide.

Additionally, the app offers an economic calendar that provides alerts and updates about economic events and announcements worldwide. Interest rate changes, regulatory changes, and IPOs for instance.

Investing.com offers breaking news and a custom portfolio. Investing.com is available on Google Play for Android devices and the App Store for iPhones.

9. FinWiz-Stocks from Finance Wizard– A lot of investors like this app because it is light and easy to use but packed with features.

For instance, FinWiz lets you sync data to the cloud on multiple devices. Thus, you will always be able to access your last stock search. Moreover, you can follow your stocks on multiple devices; such as your phone and your computer. A Dual Time feature lets you track and compare two investments at once.

FinWiz combines real-time stock quotes, key statistics, the latest news, detailed financial information, and earnings information in an easy to read screen. Thus, FinWiz is perfect for value investors.

Unfortunately, FinWiz is only available for Android in GooglePlay. Thus, FinWiz is one of the best Android-only stock apps we found.

10. Acorns– This is the best of the “spare change” investment apps. To explain, Acorns automatically invests extra cash or spare change in individual retirement accounts.

Acorns is best for beginners, lazy investors, and busy people with little spare time. On the other hand, experienced investors and stock geeks will find Acorns too simple. Thus active investors will hate Acorns but passive investors will like it.

Acorns costs $1 to $2 a month. The Acorns app is available in the App Store for iPhones and Google Play for Android devices.

11. M1 Finance– M1 Finance is designed for hands-on investors who want to build their own portfolios.

Uniquely, M1 Finance lets you copy expert portfolios or build your own. Furthermore, M1 offers both automatic and manual investing. Thus, M1 is a great resource for serious investors busy with careers or families.

The great advantage to M1 is that allows automatic investing based on your preferences. Hence, M1 is perfect for serious investors with little spare time. In addition, M1 Finance offers no-fee investing.

M1 Finance is available for Android in Google Play and Apple in the App Store.

12. Stock Trainer Virtual Stock Trading App – Stock Trainer teaches users about stocks by letting them make mock trades with virtual money.

Stock Trainer can be a valuable education tool because they base its virtual markets on real markets. For example, Stock Trainer offers virtual markets based on 20 exchanges in 13 countries.

Stock Trainer offers real-world experience in research, analysis, and statistics. Uniquely, Stock Trainer is free which makes it a good resource for beginners. The danger with apps like Stock Trainer is that they can teach you to view the market as a game.

Unfortunately, Stock Trainer is only available in Android from Google Play. Therefore it is not available for iPhones.

13. The Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management (PWN) AppThis is the best investment and stock app for high-income iPhone users.

The PWN app offers Goldman Sachs clients quick access to market news, accounts, and portfolio data information. Uniquely, the PWN app offers easy and secure communication with Goldman Sachs’ wealth managers.

Unfortunately, the PWN app is only available for iPhones with iOS version 7.0 or later. However, it will work on the iPod Touch fifth generation or later. In addition, the Goldman Sachs PWN app is only available in certain countries listed at its website. Another advantage is that the PWN app is available in the App Store.

Source

Taxes and Expenses management made easy for freelancers and self-employees

Coconut has today launched a new smart current account combining banking and accounting services, designed specifically for the UK’s ever-growing freelance and self-employed workforce.

The app-based business current account will prepare customers for HMRC’s ‘Making Tax Digital’ which starts rolling out from April 2019. Coconut features automated tax management and expense tools, giving customers visibility into how much tax they owe with a real-time estimate, while also categorising their expenses for tax and allowing them to stay on top of client payments with instant notifications.

The Coconut Start account which ultimately aims to eliminate tax returns, is free and can be opened in minutes on a mobile – instead of waiting for weeks which is the current norm. The app will offer optional extra services, such as VAT management.

Recent data from Coconut’s Self-Employment Survey highlights how money becomes complicated business when you work for yourself. Unexpected tax bills, unpaid invoices and financial admin are holding people back from finding financial security, with a quarter of respondents admitting that budgeting for taxes is one of the top five headaches when working for yourself. Keeping track of expenses (24%) and completing tax returns (22%) were also high on the list of challenges that self-employed people face, with almost a quarter storing their receipts in a box waiting to be sorted at the end of the year.

Sam O’Connor, Co-Founder and CEO of Coconut said:
“The growth of self-employment in the UK is one of the biggest structural changes in our workforce of our time, but self-employed people are still one of the most underserved groups of businesses when it comes to banking products and services that meet their specific needs.

“Staying on top of tax and expenses, getting paid on-time or managing an unpredictable flow of income is a big worry and time-suck for customers. And this is only going to become a bigger burden with Making Tax Digital requiring digital tax submissions quarterly instead of annually. We created Coconut to sort out these challenges for freelancers and we ultimately aim to eliminate the need for tax returns, removing a huge amount of stress for business owners.”

The nature of the UK’s workforce is changing. The growth in the numbers of self-employed workers has massively outstripped growth in standard employment over recent years with a record 4.6 million choosing to work for themselves.

Despite making up such a large proportion of the workforce, self-employed people lack digital solutions specifically tailored to their needs and are often time-poor, which means completing tax returns is a major source of frustration. This is supported by HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) announcement last week that more than three million UK taxpayers are yet to file their online self-assessment tax returns for the 2016-17 financial year, putting millions of self-employed professionals at risk of an immediate £100 late filing penalty – even if they don’t owe any tax. Last year, 840,000 people filed their tax return late suggesting a windfall for HMRC of £84m in late fees, and with Coconut that will be a thing of the past.
HMRC’s new requirement for businesses and self-employed people to keep digital records and send quarterly tax submissions through it’s Making Tax Digital initiative will only compound this problem further for unprepared sole traders. Coconut aims to solve this through its innovative offering which will make the pain around self-assessment deadline day a thing of the past for the self-employed.