5 Alternative Investment Approaches

WHAT ARE ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENTS?
An alternative investment is a class of investment that are not covered under any Government regulatory like RBI, SEBI, IRDA, and PFRDA. It refers to a privately pooled investment fund – a trust or a company.

Here are some alternative investments approaches that may influence your investment decisions -

#1 FOCUS ON ABSOLUTE RETURNS
You invest to end up with more money than what you started with. It means you are looking for an absolute return: how much did you actually make, is the main focus.

Invest in assets that you believe will do well; don’t invest in a product just because it’s likely to outperform the market. Have your analysis on hand.

#2 RETURNS ARE ONE-DIMENSIONAL, RISK IS MULTI-DIMENSIONAL
When it comes to investments, returns are easy to calculate. Keep your focus on Risk involved with the alternative investment asset as well. Prepare a list of the relevant risks. You need to have a clear idea of the risks involved in your investment, as it will help you to take a calculated decision.

Also, if at all something unexpected happens, you will be more likely to make better decisions if you’ve thought about the risks before investing.

#3 KNOW THE SOURCE RETURN
Understand what will influence and drive the returns on your investment. While you hold the investment, monitor the value of your investment.

Constantly revisit your assumptions of the return drivers of investment, in case they don’t match your parameters or expectations rethink your investment.

#4 UNCLEAR IS GOOD
Anything that’s not traditional is alternative. An alternative investment is populated by investment ideas that may not be immediately obvious. For instance cryptocurrency.

Continuously learning, exploring, researching, studying, and looking outside your comfort zone is the key to financial success.

#5 DIVERSIFICATION IS A MUST
Holding a mix of assets that are equally good, but which behave differently, will leave your portfolio’s return intact, and lower its risk as well.

Diversify means constructing a portfolio with very varied return drivers and risk parameters, not just different assets.

Most of us see investing in alternative investments highly risky. However, if you desire to live a successful and fulfilling life and retire with enough money to enjoy your retirement years, you must take calculated risks. This includes risks in your relationships, risks in your career, and risks in your investments.

While taking smart calculated risks is vital to reaching your goals in life, remember that taking bad risks and losing can set you back, sometimes significantly. It may help, however, to remember that taking smart risks is as simple as making wise decisions.

A Framework for Good Decision-making

I’ve learned a lot in my life from observing others and through my personal experiences-both good and bad. Therefore, when I consider taking a risk in any area of my life, here are the questions I ask myself:
1. What are the risks? Be honest. Don’t let your emotions prevent you from carefully considering all possible risks. This is where the landmines exist.
2. What are the odds of one of the risks coming true? Be truthful. Use real data whenever you can by doing research and talking to others.
3. What are the rewards? Be realistic. Can you really quit your day job and devote ten hours a week to something and make $100,000 a year? (Probably not.)
4. What are the odds of those rewards? Be sensible. Find out how many others have done something similar and how they have fared.
5. What other options do I have? Be creative. Don’t limit yourself. Consider all possibilities.
6. Do I need to make this decision today? Probably not. Take the time you need to do your research and explore your options.

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5 Tips for Raising Funds From Crowdfunding

If you are going to start a crowdfunding campaign, you may wonder how you can raise funds quickly. In this article, we are going to talk about some crowdfunding tips that may help you collect more funds for your startup. Based on the type of platform and campaign, you can tweak and adjust these tips. Read on to find out more.

Tip #1: Do your homework

This tip may work for you only if you have enough time to prepare for these campaigns. Generally, it takes around 11 days to do the homework and get ready for the launch of this campaign. Based on your fundraising needs and campaign type, your time requirement may vary. Given below are some tips that may help you get ready:

• Get the best fundraising advice from the internet
• Opt for the best crowdfunding platform
• Consider other successful campaigns
• Find out how to ask for donations
• Decide if you should organize an event

Tip #2: Ask For funds Early

If you think you just need to launch a campaign page and funds will start pouring in, you need to think again. In the US, there are more than 200 crowdfunding platforms. So, what are the chances of your campaign being found?

So, what you should do is promote the campaign the same day you launched it, which will help you set yourself apart from the crowd. According to statistics, around 50% of startups collect most funds during the first and final 3 days of the duration of the campaign.

You can use the in-built sharing mechanism of your crowdfunding platform to get the word out about your startup. This may include Twitter, Facebook and email, to name a few.

Tip #3: Look for prospective investors

Look for investors who may be willing to provide funds for a certain cause. For instance, if you know a relative, neighbor or colleague who has lost a family member to cancer, chances are that they may be willing to provide funds for a cancer research campaign.

Tip #4: Be Clear about where the funds will go

If you want your prospective investors to trust your crowdfunding campaign, we suggest that you be clear about where the money will go. It’s even better if you be as specific as possible. By keeping your investors informed about your campaign, you can build their confidence and they will continue to invest more money in your startup.

Tip #5: Offer Incentives

For investors, incentives work like a charm but they work for specific campaign types. The good news is that crowdfunding campaigns are more successful when it comes to creative projects and adventures. Listed below are some popular incentives you may offer to your prospective investors:

• Free tickets to a game, concert or show
• Media shout-outs
• Handmade crafts
• Caps and hats
• T-shirts

In short, if you follow these crowdfunding tips, you will be more likely to raise a lot of more money for your start-up.

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Common Small Business Loan Mistakes to Avoid

Although small business loans can provide new companies with the cash they need to start business or grow, there are a few mistakes to avoid. Education is the key. Not only is it wise to know the ins and outs of all product options, but also to find the best lender for you. Large organizations have many options, but sometimes a small, local bank is able to offer a more customized and personal relationship. Opportunity is out there for each business. It is worth the time to find it and infuse a company with the cash it needs. The right loan can be a great tool for a business, but the wrong one can be it’s ruin.

Choosing the wrong business loan

If your startup or growing company is in need of some cash flow, small business loans could be the perfect answer. However, there are a number of options available and choosing the right one can be tricky. Educate yourself regarding the details and fine print of each. Some may have attractive rates, but be alert for shortened payback schedules, which could actually hurt you in the end if your short term returns don’t meet your payment needs. A bank can guide you through the details, and the Internet can always offer answers about good options for a business your size and type.

Not dealing with a lender directly

Many believe that a broker will best guide them through the process of reviewing small business loans, because of the one-on-one relationship. However, most brokers earn their income by receiving a commission on particular products. That could taint their opinion and limit your options to only those that benefit them. Instead of limiting yourself, learn what you can during your search and deal directly with the lender. Be sure that your business receives the product that is right for it, and serves it best.

Failing to clearly understand the pricing

Transparency is important in any business transaction, but especially in one that deals with a contract requiring financial responsibility on your part. If too many questions go unanswered or are skirted, that should send up red flags and keep you from signing on any dotted lines. You should be able to clearly see the annual percentage rate and what the loan will cost you, in total, over the life of the loan. Any stipulations about penalties for missing payments, holding payments, or paying the loan off early should also be clearly outlined. Once you sign, your company will be responsible for the debt, regardless of unpleasant clauses that you discover later.

Going with a shady lender

As the old saying goes, if something seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. The Internet makes all sorts of products and lenders across the world available to everyone. It could mean it brings a great opportunity to your business’ doorstep that otherwise would not have been available. It could also mean a scam or shady deal is trying to find you. Doing your due diligence and researching the lender to be certain they are reputable is one of your responsibilities when looking for small business loans. Make sure they are transparent and follow best practices. You can also check them with regulatory agencies and see who else they have done business with in your area.

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Getting Equipment Finance For Businesses

Have you tried running a business? It’s a hard job, isn’t it? If you have experience in this area, you might have already understood the function of finance. There isn’t any business out there that can roll or expand without money since there are certainly a lot of things to spend for in the business.

Money to spend for business is still a major concern of people. Entrepreneurs have recognized the role of planning so that money won’t so much become a problem. Getting loans for equipment finance purposes is all too tempting and many companies do this. What is great about this method is that, you know how much you are going to pay for several months or a couple of years maybe. The amount of money for amortization is the same month after month so there is no problem in issuing checks for the repayment of the equipment loan.

Having money allows a business to be more flexible and more people are looking for companies to give them adequate equipment financing. This is the reason why so many of these businesses are able to obtain new equipment, pay for overhead expenses or other things.

What makes these loans more attractive is due to the fact that there are online applications for people to use and they don’t have to wait in long queues to hand in their applications. The proper type of loan is available and clients are given coaching on what to do. This is so unlike the manner of most banks where you have to wait for a long time for approval and in the end, they may choose not to approve your application. Owners of small businesses stand with lesser chances of loan approval from banks and this has made them lose faith in the banking system. Banks on the other hand do not want to risk their money on small businesses because there is a greater percentage of having a bad credit case due to the erratic income of the self-employed sector.

Thus, the borrower obtains better advantage by obtaining the money needed to run the business. What these borrowers like about applying the equipment finance strategy is that, they can buy the right equipment and won’t have to settle for those with lesser quality.

It is vital that you create a list of equipment you would need and their suppliers. Make a comparison of the prices given by these suppliers for used and new equipment. Equipment financing can pay for your computers and other apparatuses. No matter how small or large the equipment is, there is a corresponding loan what would solve the requirement for the business. To be successful in making the business run, you need the help of machines. People will appreciate if you are using quality equipment and thus, will give more trust to you and even recommend your business to others.

Financing offers the payment terms that’s convenient for you, so that you would be able to play your resources and apply them for other things as well.

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Benefits of Credit Card Machines for Business

Other than credit card machines, technology has produced many notable effects, including the credit card machine. In the 21st century, people open themselves up to technology from the very center of their being. It has the added benefit of leading to an increase in the use of credit and debit cards. Additionally, the coronavirus’ arrival has also contributed to the increased use of contactless transactions. EMV cards are replacing magistrate premium cards. EMV chip cards give you the ability to make contactless payments. The merchants must have advanced payment terminals to accept such payments.

Credit and debit cards are used almost exclusively in today’s business world. To take your business to the next level, you must associate it with a credit card machine. The processing and payment services you need for online sales include a merchant processor that provides you with an online payment gateway. There will always be online modes that people will prefer to use, regardless of the volume of transactions. As a result, you have to use an advanced piece of equipment, such as a credit card machine, in tandem with your business.

Advantages:

Just because we’re living in the 21st century, it’s impossible to conceive of life without modern technology. A large number of businessmen prefer to stick to established business models. However, sometimes you have to alter your plans according to the current situation. This means that you need to be one step ahead of everyone else in the business. You will lose customers otherwise. An establishment that gets access to a credit card machine will enjoy countless benefits. Listed the benefits; so, don’t miss the following:

Obtain Legal Recognition for Your Company:

Accepting card payments using digital payment terminals is a legitimate business practice, so it should help your company a lot. The card brand name will be printed on the POS, and thus the customers will have no problem noticing it. This logo will be featured on the same online marketplace as well. The greater the number of customers from outside the country, the more money you’ll make.

Increase Your Profitability:

To accept various forms of payment, like credit cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and more, use a credit card machine at your business. Creating a positive impression on your customers is quite simple, but it also keeps your customers loyal. A credit card machine, thus granting flexibility in the ecosystem of online payment, provides customers with many payment options, thus allowing them to pay bills in various ways.

How to stay ahead of the competition:

Many businessmen have not yet fully embraced digital equipment, making small-business models in the early stages of transition. To accept online payments, your business equipment must be upgraded. If customers are no longer carrying cash, you can outpace your competitors. Research has shown that when customers use their cards to make a purchase, they spend more. Additionally, because you will make a substantial profit from accepting card payments, it’s highly recommended that you do so.

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Super Visa Insurance Monthly Pay North York

Note: SV is Super Visa

What is a Canadian Super Visa?

It is a Visa for parents or grandparents. It is a temporary resident permit that allows parents and grandparents to stay for up to 2 years in Canada per visit. Issued for parents and grandparents of citizens or permanent residents in Canada. It has validity for up to 10 years. A regular multiple-entry visa is also valid for up to 10 years, but only allows stays of up to 6 months per visit.

What is the processing time of a Super Visa?

The approximate processing time of a SV is short and takes almost 8 weeks. There are also specific requirements that one must meet before applying for a SV.

What Are The Mandatory Requirements To Apply for This Visa?

The govt of Canada has laid down some mandatory rules for parents and grandparents to apply for a SV. Those rules are,
1) Proof of their relationship with the child or grandchild who must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident.
2) A copy of the child’s or grandchild’s birth certificate.
3) A proof of medical examination document.
4) An official document naming the applicant as the parent.
5) A satisfactory evidence of a private medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company valid for one year from the date of entry.

Can The Parents Or Grandparents Work With A Super Visa?

No, the parents or grandparents are not permitted to work as their visa has the same restrictions as a visit visa holder.

What is a SV Insurance?

With the above information provided, now we know to whom a SV is issued and who apply for a SV. Not only the parents and grandparents require a SV, but also a medical insurance before entering Canada. The medical insurance should be no less than CAD $100,000 in coverage for health care, hospitalization and repatriation. This step is mandatory for the SV applicants.

SV applicants have to submit a proof of purchasing a medical insurance from a private insurance company.

There are a lot of medical insurance companies in Canada and North York has also got the best ones. People can go for SV insurance monthly pay North York. This facility of monthly pay gives a convenience of paying insurance charges monthly. This facility of monthly pay gives a convenience of paying insurance charges monthly.

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Setrega – A Global Analytical Regulatory Platform

Setrega is the Global Regulatory Analytical Platform which provides a comprehensive solution to the financial institutions for complying with one or more Regulatory Authorities. Through highly customizable and end-to-end automation, Setrega helps clients to configure Reporting Data, Reporting API, Connecting/Integrating Settings, Report Generation Requirements, Report Validation Requirements, Report Submission Mode and Feedback Management. As a Global Regulatory Analytical Platform, Setrega is designed to integrate with any financial services firms to receive regulatory data and process them to regulatory reports in specific formats with minimum customization effort.

Currently, all financial institutions are facing problems with dynamic changes in regulatory requirements, implementation risks associated with regulatory reporting and managing regulatory report error handling. All financial institutions are forced to adapt to these challenges and continuously seek for solutions which are cost-effective and accurate, with real-time feedback management. Sensiple’s Setrega fits into this emerging environment by supporting multiple Regulatory Authorities with an end-to-end automated solution.

Regulation Complied Preconfigured – ESMA – MIFIR/MiFID II, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia (SFC) etc.,
Significant benefits of the Global Regulatory Analytical Platform are,

Automation Capability

Financial Institutions gets the advantage of preparing and submitting regulatory reports without manual effort.

Comply with new Regulations without risk

Setrega provides flexible data source configuration, API mapping and reporting format changes with minimum customization in product level which ensures relief from regulatory and compliance risks for the financial institutions working in various regions.

Scalability

Depending on the Institutions type like Buy Side/ Sell Side/venues, Setrega is scalable in terms of increasing number of connections, the humongous volume of data, more number of reports and formats, increased number of submission modes and regulatory authorities.

Transparency

Handling a large volume of data gives challenges in managing data to auditing; Setrega makes it more accessible by allowing the clients to have full control over data by powerful data transparency method.

Dashboard

Setrega act as a one-stop shop for all regulatory reporting for financial institutions. A vastly informative dashboard in Setrega provides all historical, current and scheduled regulatory reports and its internal & external statuses in graphical and tabular representations.

Regional Coverage

Financial firms who run their business across the globe get benefited from Setrega as one solution solves all the regulatory and compliance needs. It is successfully verified with major regulatory frameworks like MiFID II and NFA (National Futures Association) and regulatory authorities like SEC and SFC.

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Handle Your Finances With Care

It takes years to gather a handsome amount of money, and if it is not handled properly, your most prized possession would soon escape from your hands like sand. This is the reason why people go for financial planning. It gives you a great sense of satisfaction when you know that your money is in safe hands and is being handled with utmost care.

However, not many people are aware of the process involved in financial planning. Based on your financial position, it is very important to go ahead with personal planning because if you don’t start planning well in advance, then you might face several challenges in the future.

Financial advisors suggest all individuals follow these six basic key principles for financial planning.

• Analyse your current financial status: To be able to plan for future you should first be very confident about your current financial position. Make a checklist of all the assets and liabilities and your income and expenditure. Having this information at hand, you would be in a clear position to understand how you can achieve your financial goals. Your total financial worth would help you to determine the ways to accomplish your set goals, which include paying for your children’s education, buying a new property or being ready for any financial emergency like the loss of a job.

• Chalk out your financial goals: In order to accumulate wealth, a lot of planning has to be done in order to achieve the desired goals. Setting goals would give you an urge to go ahead to achieve it. Your list of financial goals should be very specific, which would show that they are crystal clear in your mind.

• Plan for alternatives: You cannot expect your planning to go as per your wish, so you should always have a plan B at hand. After listing down your goals you plan for alternatives as well.

• Analyse the alternative options: You should ponder upon the feasibility of the alternative ways taking into account your social, personal and economic condition at present. The liquidity of your assets also matters in this regard.

• Creation and execution of your financial plan of action: Once you have planned about your alternative options and have analysed its feasibility, it is time for you to put these plans into action.

• Review your plan: Since financial planning is very dynamic process it is subject to change at any moment. So, it is always advisable to keep reviewing your plans every now and then.

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The Security Intelligence in The Financial Services

Security intelligence is the data related to safeguarding an organization from any outside and inside threats along with the processes, and policies developed to accumulate and evaluate the information.

It can also be referred to as the actual collection, standardization, and analysis of the data created by users, applications, and structures that influence the IT security and risk position of a business.

On a daily basis, information flows in organizations for the senior management to make smart decisions. The various stakeholders (employees, customers, contractors) are interfaced through various technologies.

However, the technological infrastructure can also result in serious security issues. The probable areas of intrusion are unlimited. Security experts and business leaders are trying to find an answer to the question – Is it feasible to have a robust security in an increasingly interfaced environment?

Though the answer is yes, it needs a radical transformation in processes and practices encompassing the financial services sector. The focus is not only on IT. Robust security facilitates a positive customer experience.

Cybercrime and Profitability

Financial institutions are at great risk since they are perceived to be an easy target for cybercriminals. According to a survey by IBM, “Financial markets, insurance, computer and professional services together account for over 40% of all security incidents worldwide.”

The losses, pertaining to cybercrime in other sectors could be due to industrial intelligence and fraud related to intellectual property, but in banking, online fraud is a possibility.

Any fraud related to the intellectual property and industrial intelligence could lead to reduced shareholder value, shut down of the business and net financial losses. These are the issues impacting the global financial sector, not only because the main reasons are not identified or the disruption to the customer is immediate, but also because they can result in a significant loss of money.

As per Andrew Haldane, Financial Stability Director at the Bank of England, “Cyber-risk has become a more pressing concern than economic depression and the Eurozone crisis, as it is a rapidly rising area of risk with potentially systemic implications”.

Comprehending the seriousness of the security risk is only a beginning. Financial institutions must establish an in-depth security intelligence strategy that would enable the financial institutions to have an insight into the perceived threats.

Financial institutions leverage top-notch analytics to get an understanding of:

The types of attacks that are occurring.
The probable source of the attacks.
The technology used by the cyber criminals.
Weak spots that could be exploited in the future.

Michael Davison, Banking and Financial Markets, IBM, stated,” There’s not another single issue that unites the interests of so many people at senior levels of banks. It unites technology, the CFO, security and compliance functions. But cybersecurity is also mission critical for people running lines of business and who are running P&Ls. So quite rightly it sits on the Board agenda. But there’s still work to do to educate Boards about the urgency of an effective response to the rapidly changing environment.”

Financial institutions must implement the following practices to get the balance between the required innovation and the related risk:

Establish a risk-conscious culture

An organizational transformation with an emphasis on zero tolerance towards a security failure must be established.
An initiative encompassing the organizational hierarchy to execute smart analytics and automated response competencies is needed to identify and resolve issues.

Safeguard the Working Environment

The functions in distinct devices must be examined by a centralized authority and the wide array of information in an institution must be categorized, tagged with its risk profile and circulated to the concerned personnel.

Security Design

The greatest problem with the IT systems and the unnecessary costs is from executing services initially and looking at security afterwards. Security has to be a part of the application from the first phase of design.

Ensure A Safe Environment

If the system is secure, security personnel can monitor every program that’s functioning; ensure it is ongoing and operating at optimal level.

Manage the Network

Organizations that route approved data through controlled entry points will be in a better position to identify and separate the malware.

Cloud Based Security

To prosper in a cloud scenario, organizations should possess the technology to operate in a secluded environment and track probable issues.

Involve Vendors

An organization’s security strategy must also involve its vendors and efforts must be made to establish the best practices among the vendors.

Financial firms have been a major target for malware attacks. Several aspects are impacting the financial sector. The direct connection between the breach of several personally identifiable information (PII) to the profitability has not been lost on the global financial stakeholders. This has led to the implementation of several global security projects.

A hazardous type of malware for online financial transactions is “Man-in-the-Browser” intrusions. It happens when a malicious program affects an internet browser. The program adjusts activities conducted by the user and in some instances, can initiate actions independently. It could lead to online stealing.

Financial institutions that can transform radically at a fundamental level, the way they function would be safeguarded.

The aim of enterprise security could initially emphasis on IT structures, it must be extended from the technology personnel & their systems to each individual within the organization, and all the stakeholders conducting business with it.

Financial firms must comprehend the data that they have, which must be made available to the system, where they can compare and develop a real understanding of the actual threats and contingencies that may compromise the business.

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Tips On How To Spend Your Windfall Income

As individuals, especially workers we sometimes get windfall incomes in forms of bonuses, profit shares, etc. However, a lot of the time the temptation is to spend the money on acquiring a new car, new clothes, shoes, new phones, among other things. While acquiring these things in themselves is not a bad idea, it is wiser to use windfall incomes for things that will have long term positive impart on our lives especially because we do not have a full grabs of what tomorrow will bring.

For workers just starting off or in mid level careers, it is really important not to squander windfall incomes on non-essentials.

Many years ago during the mid 2000s, when the banking and telecommunication really became big industries, many banks and telecommunication companies paid bonuses and profit shares to their staff on a yearly basis. Most new staff and mid level staff squandered their money on buying cars, renting new apartments in high brow areas and changing their wardrobes almost every 3 months. Nite clubs were packed every Friday night with each person almost trying to out do the other in terms money spent.

Today, the story is different. The global economy is almost comatose. Banks are no longer giving huge bonuses, neither are telecommunication companies doing any better. The oil industry is in shambles. Every industry is operating lean.

Windfall incomes will not come all the time as the economic realities have now shown us. So if you are fortunate to get a bonus or profit share that amounts to something reasonable, here are a few tips on how to spend wisely:

1) Invest in real estate: As much as this sounds like really over flogged, it is a wise counsel. A businessman once said, “the only Estate that is Real is Real Estate”. Real estate is big business. There is a huge demand for rental apartments especially mini flats and 2 bedroom flats. There are several real estate companies offering instalments payment options for those interested in buying land. You can invest your windfall income in buying a half plot or full plot of land. I will advice you buy from a real estate company rather than directly from the community especially if you do not have funds for immediate development.

The simple reason is that the real estate company usually would have sorted out community settlement issues with the land owners and so you can be rest assured that you land is at least secure from land grabbers. Also, by buying from a real estate company, you will benefit from quick capital appreciation of your investment and rapid development of the locations since there will be several people also buying and developing their property in that location. Another advantage of investing in real estate is that after developing the property, you can put it up for rent if you do not wish to reside in that location and use the rental income to pay for your rent in your desired location.

2) Invest in a part-time business: If you already have a business that you can run part- time alongside your full-time job, you should invest your windfall income in that business. You can buy the needed equipments or register for a training programme that will increase your expertise in that business area. If you do not already have business idea, you may want to consider doing some research to see what part-time business to invest in.

3) Invest in education: You can invest your windfall income in further education that will boost your profile and give you a better chance at a higher paying role in your industry or another industry entirely. You an also invest in the education of your loved ones like your spouse, children or siblings (if you have this responsibility thrust on you)

4) Invest in Marriage: Yes! you read me right.

This is for those who believe in marriage. If you have a partner and your really desire to spend the rest of your life with the person, then invest your windfall income towards settling down. You can start making down payments for some critical items on your list. Marriage is an investment in your lifetime happiness.

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