Jun 08

Money and Power

If anyone wants to know why money was invented they need to look at the power that it generates. Politically it is the mainstay of governments while religiously it has grown gods and made their organisations indispensable. So where does it fit into the scheme of human behaviour and why is it at the root of the World Order? One could may assume that something other than an invented commodity would fit that role so why doesn’t it?

When humans took to a sedentary life and gave up wandering the forests and taking their food from the land, as God originally intended, they had time to think about other things. In the depositions of their living areas archaeologist have uncovered tales of their development from what might be termed primitive living to the more sophisticated trade deals and exchange of goods.

Other things crop up as well and chief among them is the religious side of life and the sacred sites where they imprinted their feelings and beliefs on items in art form. Over time the images became ever more lifelike and their meanings clearer. It was there where my research discovered the power.

It came first in the form of an exchange between humanity and the Sun-God. This unmistakable giving of life for prosperity permeates the ancient world and mysterious sites, like Stonehenge in England, or the temples of the Maya in Mexico. They stand as fortresses of power holding a code within that is only now interpretable.

My reincarnation and evidence that there is no heaven or hell is behind my ability to look at these sites from a different perspective and without the religious bias to better understand their meaning. It is a fact that the ancients were desperate to communicate with the sun and they worked out ways to do that. One way was to send a man up riding the cross as a kite to mate with the Mother God. This is shown in rock art in Nordic regions, such as Ostergotland (star of god’s land).

Dispersed light creates rings of seven colours, the same as the rainbow, and the number for ‘her’ is ‘seven’. The man is number 8 and multiplied together 7×8 is 56, the number of holes in the outer circle of Stonehenge. Both these numbers are linked to ancient beliefs that carry over into modern religious practices.

There are 7 candles on the altar of Christian churches, and 7 lights in the normal Jewish menorah, and so on. There are also 7 days of the week and 3×7 is 21, another mystical number. The 3 represents the ancient trinity of Mother God, sun and light.

Stonehenge displays the practice of exchanging god-men on crosses for fertility of the earth. The core of the site is the horse-shoe shape enclosed by the trilithons, made of 2 upright stones with a cap supporting them are the top. The ‘horse’ features prominently in ancient rituals and the white horse was etched out of the underlying chalk in several places in both Britain and Europe.

In time the use of circles as a symbol of exchange gave rise to the coins that were imprinted with the king’s head because he was supposedly the one married to the sun. The magic of handing over his image in exchange for goods took hold and gave rise to the monetary system. It was enhanced by Constantine, who established the Catholic Church in the year 325. He is also the one who organised the system of commerce that is still in play.

Jun 08

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.

Jun 08

The Future of Financial Services

The ease of making financial transactions and financial services in general, had first been revolutionised when telegraph companies introduced wire transfers. But with the coming of new age financial services like Bitcoin and Ripple, it is the time we address the question of what the future holds for the financial services of the world.

Traditional Wire Transfers

Let us begin by first taking a look at how things have been going on for these past 150 years since wire transfers were first introduced. Transferring funds using a wire transfer method via a bank is not a single step process but a multi-step process. It is like this:

    • The sender approaches his or her bank and orders the transfer of funds to an account. Unique codes like BIC and IBAN codes are provided to the bank by the sender so that the bank knows exactly where the funds need to be transferred.
    • The sender’s bank contacts the receiver’s bank by sending a message through a security system, such as Fedwire or SWIFT, signalling it that a transfer needs to be made. The receiver’s bank receives this message, which includes settlement instructions as well, and then asks the sender’s bank to transfer the amount specified in the message.
    • The sender’s bank now transfers the amount. This is not done in one go but bit by bit, so it can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days for the entire sum to be transferred.
  • To make the transfer, the two banks must have a reciprocal account with one another. If that is not the case, the transfer is made through a correspondent bank that holds such an account.

As one can see, this form of transfer relies overly on a mediator, takes more time than it should, and can prove to be costly as the banks charge some fee for their service. Distributed currencies like Bitcoin provide a viable alternative to this process.

Decentralized Currencies

What sets services like Bitcoin apart from traditional services is that they do not rely on a central mediator but rather operate using cryptographic protocols. The process is therefore faster, simpler, and much more efficient. The system is quite transparent to both end users as well while traditional systems are susceptible to fraud due to the complex process involved.

However, there is a downside to this too. With services like Bitcoin, it is simple to trace a transaction back to each unit value’s creation.

Solution? A Common Ground

More and more people are opting for services like Bitcoin and peer-to-peer mobile transfers, where a network operator could help users transfer funds by simply sending an SMS. Although these are indeed more efficient, they are a long way from global acceptance because there are many who still do not have bank accounts, plus there is the issue of limited user identification in such services.

What would be ideal for everyone is if banks could tap into the potential of decentralized currencies and overlap the source code of services like Ripple on their existing system to form a hybrid of the two. It would kill two birds with one stone as:

    1. Decentralized currency systems provide more efficient transfers
  1. Bank systems ensure only registered users access the service, taking away the possibility of foul play.

Conclusion

The world has come a long way since the last time an indigenous financial service system was introduced. There is definitely a crying need to improve this traditional service and decentralized currencies like Bitcoin have shown them the way.

Jun 08

Stop Bad Financial Habits And Choose A Fresh Start

People are often influenced to give unsolicited advice to others about the easiest way to manage finances. Even though of the will make sense, the majority of these are very generic in general. You must exercise caution when you assemble a monetary strategy out from this information, though it’s important to create a precise and consistent plan.

Nevertheless, you happen to be still left together with the unanswered question. How would you prevent the decline of funds on stuff that are of no use, and yet approach managing your individual finances?

The Situation: A lot of people, including you, don’t fully understand how important it is to save cash with regard to their future. Figure out how to save first then spend, not the other way around. While this is superior to no savings in any way, it is definitely not the correct way to build an excellent savings plan.

Steps To Managing Your Individual Finances Well.

Listed here are some important tips that you can consider if you wish to reduce costs for the future. These techniques have helped a lot of people be successful at taking better proper care of their finances.

Put 20% Of The Earnings Into Savings

In case you are to be successful in the foreseeable future, carry out the opposite of just what the average person does. As opposed to saving whatever remains, save first and spend afterward. Even if you are expecting a reduced check than normal, be sure to save 20% out from each and every single check that you receive. Make sure to deposit this money once you receive money. You will have learned a vital lesson, and saving the amount of money than enables you to work your way down taking good care of everything, bills first.

Saving money assists you to create a healthy financial habit that will help you to budget your money efficiently for the rest of your way of life. You could possibly feel much less stressed about finances when you know that you have an urgent situation fund available.

Don’t Complicate Matters

It is obvious the iPhone 7 is great. Your buddies and colleagues have purchased it,but the iPhone 6 plus is one that you simply bought a few time ago. While many of these new gadgets are fun and exciting to have, you undoubtedly don’t need a new phone unless your old phone is dying. You must never buy it unless you really want an iPhone 7.

Can that new phone do something that your particular old model can’t do? It is essential to sometimes treat yourself with luxuries, just make sure this really is something great rather than some of those undesirable habits one does repeatedly. Additional money is the best money to pay, not the 20% you will be saving.

Cash Over Credit

Maybe you are from the opinion the charge cards in your wallet should be used, not hidden away. Often we start off with good intentions buying only small things likely to pay them off at the conclusion of every month. $50 here or $25 there can’t hurt, and you can always pay it off following the month. That brand of thinking gets people in trouble quickly, plus they rack up a pile of debt.

Jun 08

My Tips on Improving Your Finances for Life

There is no way to avoid dealing with money and finances these days. Therefore you should try to learn as much as possible to help you make good financial decisions and to increase your confidence about money.

When you make a budget, it should be realistic regarding your income and spending habits. Be sure to include all of your income such as alimony, child support, rental income, or any other. Always use your net income not your gross earnings in these calculations. Once you have the numbers, you can consider how to adjust your spending to stay within your income range. To maintain your budget never exceed your incoming cash flow.

The next step is to total up your expenses, and you should make a list of all monthly expenses. Your list should document each and every expense that you have whether it expense, spontaneous or just a one time expense. Remember that this list needs to have a complete breakdown of your costs. Be sure to add in expenses that you have from restaurant dinners and fast food as well as grocery bills. Reduce expenses linked to your cars, such as gas and insurance. If you have payments that you make quarterly or less frequently, divide them up to reflect a monthly payment. Make sure you include incidental expenses, for instance, baby sitters or storage unit rentals. Try to have the most accurate list possible.

Now that you have a good idea of your income and expenditures, you can start planning a new budget. Look at each expenditure on your list, and decide what you could do without. If you normally buy coffee from a cafe, calculate how much money you would save on a weekly basis if you bought it from McDonald’s instead, or made it at home. Exactly what and how much you are willing to compromise is completely up to you. The first step is identifying expenses that are not necessary so you can use the money for something else.

If your utility bills are rising, you may want to upgrade your appliances to save some money. Upgrading to well-fitted double-glazed windows, for example, can reduce your heating bill dramatically. Besides you can repair any leaky pipes and only run the dishwasher with a full load.

Swap old, inefficient appliances for those that use less energy. Although doing so may cost you some money upfront, over the long-term you will save a fair penny on your utility bills. Unplug the appliances you do not need. In time you will notice significant savings in your energy consumption.

You can make a significant decrease in your heating and cooling bills by improving your insulation, as well as the roof above it. Insulation or roofing issues can be very costly, as maintaining a regular temperature in the home can be expensive. If you invest in the upgrades, it will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Using these tips not only saves you money, but it also helps you start bringing your budget under control. An expensive upgrade can save a lot of money in lowering electricity or water bills. This is one way that you can make your budget more reliable.

Jun 08

Financial Planning Service Companies – Why Select the Best?

The world without any considerable doubt can be easily considered as one big market. Trade and business are the only two things that keep the world running. Yes, there are inventions and discoveries as well, but they are also traded to get through with an ample amount of profit.

People can easily come around with one or the other form of business. Either they own it or work for it. Each of these businesses thus has their financial statements and records. Without these, the business may well disappear.

There are many forms of finances that a person might practically have to deal with. There are the mutual fund investments. There are the hedge funds and many more. There are many best financial services companies that are present nowadays that help people.

These financial services companies ensure of the very fact that people do get the best results from the business that they are in. There are various advantages that people may enjoy if they hire the financial service companies.

Financial planning:
Before moving further on the topic, people should understand that what exactly is the financial planning? This is something that can help people in a long course of time and thus help in managing the finances the best.

Why Recruit the Financial Service Companies?
There are many reasons why a person should think of hiring these services. Financial services can be well considered as one of the very important services, and the following are the various advantages that the companies providing them can guarantee:

• Consulting: Yes! The financial consultancy services are one of those most important things that are necessary before any decision to invest. Consulting helps in various things. People can ensure that they are getting through with the most important knowledge of finance and these companies do provide with that.
• Taking Care: the main aim is to take care of each and every financial gains and loss in the company. Evaluating them and taking the necessary actions. These can be done by the professionals only, and this is the only reason why people should ensure that they do have one of these financial companies to aid them.

Apart from these two important advantages that people can come around with they should also ensure that there will be much more advantages if people select the best ones for themselves. Only the very top financial services companies can ensure of the fact that the best services will be provided.

The following are the best advantages of recruiting the top notch services:
Free Services: The top financial service companies believe in the very fact that the people can only get the very best of the results if they do have a hope in the fact that their services by no means are frauds. This is the exact reason why they provide the people with the various free financial planning services.

Varied Services: This is again one of the major advantages of the top notch companies. The very first thing is that each and every company that is top notch is there because of the excellent knowledge that they do possess. They believe in the fact that the various services that they will provide ill attract the customer’s attention. They have knowledge about various things like portfolio management.

Creation of The Portfolio: This is something that cannot be achieved excellently just by any company. Only the top notch ones will work the best to provide with absolutely marvellous results on the portfolio. They will change as well as customize them according to the customers. Also, they will help in managing them.