Archive for July 30, 2016

Survey Indicates More People Are Saving For The Holidays

According to a rewards program site, 34 percent of its users are already saving up for holidays although Black Friday, Christmas and New Year’s are still so far.

The survey was participated by around twenty-six thousand users of Swagbucks. 15% of these surveyed users have already started saving since January. 18% of these surveyed users have started saving since June. While another 21% of these surveyed users will start saving by fall. However, 19% of these surveyed users do not have plans on saving for the holiday season at all.

It may still be 6 months from the holidays but intelligent shoppers are starting to prepare. These shoppers don’t want to overdo the shopping costs and expenses. From the survey, 73% of them plan to just expend the same amounts they did from last year. 40% of those surveyed plan to be on strict budgets while 24% plan to supplement their spending by using cash back sites. 20% plan to as much coupons and 10% plan to have a dedicated savings account for spending.

In terms of budget, 20% of those surveyed want to restrict spending between 100 and 250 dollars, 33% plan on spending 250 to 500 dollars and 26% plan on spending 500 to 1000 dollars.

Presents came as the 1st priority for the saving. Parents are the top responders saving followed by significant others and children. It is not only the holiday presents being saved up for. Other items on the saving lists included food, parties, decorations, holiday travel and holiday themed attires like an Ugly Christmas Sweater Sweater or tie. 46% want a budget for food, 26% for decorations and 26% for holiday travel.

In 2015, holiday sales went up by 3% to 626.1 billion dollars and non-holiday sales went up by 9% to 105 billion dollars. This is according to the National Retail Federation or NRF.

Even though most save and plan, there are still a number of shoppers who shop the last minute. NRF conducted a survey in 2015 resulting with 53.5% of buyers completing their shopping by the 15th in December with 90% of those also having holiday related things they still needed to buy.

Either way, businesses should also prepare their marketing schemes to attract these savings and budget conscious buyers.

New Company Changing The 3D Printing Industry

One negative thing about 3D printing that most people does not realize is that when the printed object comes out of the machine, the work is only halfway finished.

Once a printed part, even the tiniest ones, comes out of the printer there is some work that needs to be done. There are printers that require the parts to be soaked in sodium hydroxide in order to remove the frame that is supporting the parts while other printers require that the printed object be soaked in alcohol or perform sanding right after. In majority of the cases, the finishing touches that need to be done on the printed parts are as long, if not longer, than the time it took to print the 3D parts.

Rize, a startup company, claimed that it has found a solution for this problem. The company’s headquarter is in Boston and came out of the blue with a new product – a 3D printer called Rize One. This new printer claims that once the printed parts comes out of the machine, no laboratory work needs to be done and no assembling should be performed. All the operator has to do is print the object, take the frame off by snapping and then the job is finished.

According to the CEO and President of Rize’s, Frank Marangell, compared to other technology where it needs three hours to print something, Rize One will only take up 30 seconds. He cited baking a birthday cake as an example wherein one has to decorate the cake after it comes out of the oven just like the existing 3D printing. In the case of Rize One, there is no post-processing needed and the cake will be fully decorated once it comes out.

Currently, the startup company has gathered $4 million worth of funding coming from two companies – Longworth Venture Partners and SB Capital. They also have five beta clients from different industries such as a popular coffee company and supplier of the government military. The only customer that Rize is naming is the well known shoe company, Reebok. As printing technology evolves, so is the other printing companies in the world such as the Perth Printing Company.

The Rising Costs Of Employer-Sponsored Premium In New York

 

According to a report made by Empire Center, New York has the second costliest employer-sponsored health premium. Last 2015, premiums rose by more than three times compared to the national average of $5,963. According to federal data, the average single coverage premium in Alaska is $7,807 while in New York, it is $6,801. The growth of single premiums in New York was 7.8% while nationwide growth was 2.2% in 2015.

Data also shows that the average family premium in New York is $19,630 while the nationwide average is $17,322. Premiums have always been high in New York but its growth is quite alarming since from 10th in 2010 and 18th in 2003, it jumped to second place in 2015. The state’s Department of Financial Services has strict price regulations in place but the premiums are still rising. In 2010, regulators have cut down into half the rate increase as requested by health plans but it was unable to solve the problems of rising premiums.

Among the companies that were severely affected by the increase in premiums include Health Republic Insurance of New York, a startup that sustained heavy losses. The rate requested for 2016 was actually trimmed just weeks prior to its declaration of insolvency and shut down by the state. Most of the large employer’s health insurance plans were exempt from state oversight because the state’s rate review process only applied to policies that are purchased by individuals and small businesses including coverage through the state’s health insurance (ประกันภัยสุขภาพ) exchange.

So much attention has been focused on public health insurance exchanges that were create under Obamacare. This was supposed to provide insurance to people who were not eligible for the job based health benefits. However, the law had a broader effect on people who had employer-sponsored health insurance.

It is important for people to compare Health Insurance in order to get the best they can. There are websites that compare the market by rank according to best price for your needs. They are committed to help you find the best price so that you will be able to make an informed decision for your Health Insurance.

Thailand Properties Remain Attractive To The Filthy Rich

 

According to Landscope Thailand, a growing number of expats are using the country as their base due to lower costs and easy access. The recent influx of technology-based companies is very noticeable particularly the longstanding presence of Japanese companies that uses Thailand as their production base. The low baht has become very interesting to investors particularly those involved in bio-plastics, bio-pharma and e-commerce because Thai property prices are a bargain compared to Singapore.

However, property agents and consultants are wondering if the expats in Thailand can afford to purchase or lease super-luxury units in high end properties like MahaNakhon. MahaNakhon is a 77-story tower that is expected to be completed soon. It is considered as one of most notable architectural creations and has already won several awards even if the first residents have to wait until September to move into the apartments.

The super-luxury segment of Bangkok’s property market is booming in spite of the political and economic woes that are affecting the lower end of the market. Demand remained to be high for high end properties because they are waiting out the political instability. According to property agents, 2,400 super-luxury units will be available in Bangkok’s property market by 2019. Most buyers come from the younger generation of Thais who are attracted to the new freehold condos with two or three bedrooms.

On the other hand, buyers of MahaNakhon are mostly foreigners. At first, some of the clients were frightened by the high prices but still, they made it their first choice. Asian buyers are interested in freehold condos even if they have to pay big premiums. MahaNakhon is too big and expensive but wealthy investors are willing to pay for a Bangkok property in the right location with first-rate service and property management. Once MahaNakhon’s doors open, a higher price tag for the apartments will be expected.

Many investors are unfamiliar with Thailand’s property market that they often experience difficulty in searching for condo for rent Bangkok. The best option is to work with a reputable and experienced team of professionals that offers comprehensive service exclusive to those who are not knowledgeable of Thailand’s local market.

Can Bitcoin Be Used As Hedge Against Inflation?

According to reports, the global Bitcoin mining industry is dominated by China. A large number of Bitcoin mining farms can be found in Inner Mongolia and other remote parts of the nation where the cost of electricity and computer hardware is cheap. While the government of China is cautious about the Bitcoin trading transactions happening all over China, the people assume that the digital currency is their hedge against the erosion of the Yuan’s purchasing power.

The popularity of Bitcoin mining has certainly surged in China because of the presence of banks in the remotest parts of the nation. The Chinese can open a bank account in as fast as 10 minutes and get a debit card immediately after an account has been opened. Both the rich and poor Chinese enjoy convenient banking access with no questions asked. Banks including the post office provide efficient services for money transfers. A lot of payment operators that include Alibaba, Tencent and Unipay also offer transfer services at very cheap prices.

Unlike the Western World that enjoys a lot of freedom when it comes to choice and judgment, the Chinese are no so in tune with the political philosophy of libertarianism. In fact, most of the Bitcoin players are not even concerned with the security of their transactions. The most logical explanation for the popularity of digital currency is China’s real fear over inflation.

While it is very unlikely for Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies to become a medium of exchange in the near future, it can be used to store value and for asset diversification. Inflation rates in China are a major cause for concern even if it has not reached the levels of Argentina’s problems. As a result, the Chinese will consider Bitcoin as their hedge as the purchasing power of the Yuan continues to erode.

Miners use software for their Bitcoin mining transactions. Miners obtain their Bitcoin when they buy on an exchange, when it is accepted as payment for goods and services and when new ones are mined. Mining is the language used to discover the digital currency which is similar to mining gold.