07.24.15

A Recurrent Reminder of What Hedge Funds Is

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07.13.15

Making it Big: 5 Basic Steps to Success

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Who doesn’t want to be successful? All of us want to be successful in the things we find joy in our lives. We all have dreams that line up waiting to be fulfilled and interests that we want to excel in. May it be in business or in our chosen professions, we all dream to make it big.

The key to becoming successful, according to Earl Nightingale, is the understanding of the “Law of Cause and Effect”. Whatever we “sow” as we pursue our chosen interests is what we “reap”. Not everyone in this world understands this concept that is why there are people who win in life and there are those who fail.

Those who fail do not understand that everything in life has a price. This price doesn’t literally mean of monetary value but it refers to the things that you give out (effort or hard work) in order to gain what you have set to achieve. This is the reason why you can’t just have what you wish for without having to work for it. For example, you want to have a house of your own, you won’t be able to have it if you sulk all day in your room and do nothing. If you wanted that promotion at your place of employment, you won’t be able to get it if you give out incomplete work.

If you aren’t successful though, that doesn’t mean you won’t become one. That is why you need these 5 basic steps start your journey to making it big:

Step 1. Set a Goal. Make a resolution.

Set one big goal and be resolved to achieve it. A resolution is when you have made an earnest decision to be determined in doing what you are set to do. This makes the foundations of your dream strong enough that your will to pursue it will never wither. With determination come sacrifices in order for you to successfully reach your goal. Not only you will make such great sacrifices but also those people you have built your dreams for and with. Make sure these people understand the goals you have set and the things you are willing to set aside for a while in order for you to successfully attain these ambitions. If you aim to become promoted in your workplace, you will have to put on long hours at the office and less hours at home. If you are aiming for a successful business endeavor, you will have to give a lot more extra hours at your place of business than at home. This requires incredible heights of patience and understanding from the people you have built your dreams around; your loved ones. These sacrifices will be worth it.

Step 2. Be Creative.

Making it requires you standing out and to excel among everyone else. In order for you to stand out, you need to be creative and you need to be willing to give more than what your bosses or your costumers ask of you. Creativity will up your game several notches from everyone else. If you are into business, make sure the service you offer to your clients is of great quality. The willingness to go beyond the expectations of your costumers will surely make them come back for more.

Step 3. Be Self-Reliant.

It is YOUR dream. YOU are responsible of achieving it. Nobody else will reach your dreams for you. Only YOU can make it work. In everything that we do, there will always be setbacks and difficulties. It is your job to hold on to your goal and never let go. May it be problems with business associates, or some problems at the office that throws you off track in pursuing your objective, you are responsible of stirring the wheel right back at the right path.

Step 4. Use Your Time Wisely.

Time is your best friend and your worst enemy. If you manage your time wisely, it will become an advantage in reaching your target. If not managed wisely, time will kill opportunities that may pull you closer to your dreams. Learn to use time to your advantage. Do not let anyone waste your time. They have their own time to waste so do not allow them to take yours. Remember that time is the most precious commodity in this world.

Step 5. Work Hard.

Every successful person in this world knows very well that without hard work, nothing will be achieved. This is the most crucial step for it requires a resolved goal, a creative mind, self-reliability and time. Remember that nothing in this world is free. In order to gain something, you must work hard for it. What you reap depends on how much you have sown.

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07.6.15

Man vs. Machine: Understanding Auto Trading

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06.30.15

Understanding Your Market

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To set your long range focus for your business, you must fully understand your customer base. You should know:

• Who are your customers?
• What are their needs and wants?
• What are their problems?
• Can you solve their problems?
• How much is a solution worth to them?
• Are they willing to pay for a solution to their problem?

One of the ways to discover the answers to these important questions is simply to ask your customers. As obvious as this may sound, many businesses do not ask their customers about their problems. There are many very effective and discreet ways of obtaining this information. For instance, if you own a retail store, talk to the customers. Ask them what you can do for them and listen to what they tell you.

However, be careful not to bombard customers with lots of questions. Restrict your questions to just a few. Don’t go the route of the Commonwealth Bank. This company recently sent me a ninety question survey. I have no intention of answering ninety questions. If they had asked me three questions, chances are I would have provided the answers, and so would most people.

One approach which has proven successful at obtaining customer preferences is to ask two questions a month. Customers usually respond well and are even happy that you are so interested in their needs.

I don’t find focus groups too useful either. Larger companies sometimes like them, and they are often recommended by market research companies. My caveat is that they seldom come up with anything new. When designed to test a particular product, focus groups are useful. Otherwise, in my opinion, they produce very little useful information.

Positioning

The concept of positioning your business is about how your market perceives your business and your products. Are you perceived as an expert in your field? Are you a low cost leader? Do you have niche appeal? You can position yourself to be anything you really want. Planning your business’s position involves considering issues such as:

• Competition – How is your business perceived compared to others?
• Market – How do you address the problems and needs of your target market?
• Uniqueness – What makes you different, or better, or unique in your field?

Positioning your business is especially important in fiercely competitive or crowded markets. Differentiating your business from the crowd becomes crucial.

To plan your position, first determine where you want your business to fit in your industry in the broad scheme of things. One strategy can lead you in a completely different direction than another. As you follow each positioning strategy through you need to consider the qualities of your business and products and what price category you want to occupy.

Next, tailor and fine tune your position. Identify any specific benefits your business or products offer your customers. These could be such qualities as reliability, safety, convenience, ease of use, etc. You can even choose two benefits and have a primary and secondary position.

Positioning Statement

To communicate your position, you need to develop a positioning statement. Properly developed, it should state in a single sentence or a few words the entire position for your business. This basic idea should exactly fit your business products and services. It should accurately reflect the needs of your customers and target your audience. A very direct relationship exists between choosing your position and communicating this position to your market and the success of your message. For example, don’t position your products and services to meet the needs of a high end market if your products are actually more appropriate for a lower end audience. In addition, once established, your company message should not change. You will be using it for your marketing messages, the design of your facilities, your web site and all your promotional materials. Choose your correct position carefully in the start and stay with it.

Business Identity

When creating the position for your business, you need to establish the identity or culture for your business. Your business culture combines your company’s vision, mission and position into a cohesive whole. Your culture should communicate everything about your company in your image and style.

Company Vision Statements

The story for your business or your vision statement guides your image and your contribution to society. This story is designed to evoke specific attitudes and images about your business in an emotional way. A great vision statement will enable your customers to understand exactly why you are in business and what you bring to the community. It should outline what you wish to accomplish with your business as well as your plans for contributing to and improving your market.

A very effective vision statement uses a story. It effectively communicates an identity and a history for your business in a unique and friendly manner. To create a story for your business, consider your actual facts. Did you have a dream that you made a reality? Do you have any specific training, experience, or background that you can incorporate as part of your story? Maybe you have a unique history or your business was handed down through your family from your great-grandfather to your grandfather, to your father then to you. Any of these make great stories. They appeal to customers, and build automatic relationships and trust. Customers identify with you and feel they already “know” you and your business.

Stories also have an educational factor. Clients like to be educated. They want to understand as much as possible about what they buy and from whom they buy it. This applies to every industry and every business. So, if you have a story, be sure to tell it. Make sure that your employees understand and can repeat it. If your story is less than compelling, look for ways to enhance it and build it into a better story. But develop your own unique history and company story.

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06.17.15

How Does Asset Allocation Work?

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