XE, EXCHANGE RATES, AND MARK UPS EXPLAINED

Deciding when to make an international transfer and at what rate can be critical to protect businesses from exchange rate fluctuations. This is why risk management experts and currency specialists play an important role in the market to safeguard your profits from the volatile foreign exchange markets of the world. So if the fees charged by overseas money transfer providers like PayPal or Western Union make your heart skip a beat, you know it’s time to find someone who rises above the competition.

XE.com-history and position of the site

There are several money transfer companies in the market, so finding one that fits your personal or business requirements can be challenging if you don’t know where to look. This is where transferring money with XE eliminates the hidden fees that other financial institutions charge discreetly or otherwise.

Unlike the scores of other independent exchange services operating in the market, XE has been in the business for over 20 years and is a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide, which itself is the leader in facilitating electronic payments between banks, retailers and consumers around the world. In fact, leading brands like PayPal, Google, Netflix and Apple use XE.com international money transfers for their payments.

XE Money Transfers

XE Money Transfer is an online foreign exchange remittance company having its headquarters in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. The foreign exchange experts at XE ensure that the customers get the best deal when using their portal. XE.com International money transfers allow you to remit money in 220 countries and across 139 currencies, with almost every transaction being completed in a single working day. There are no fees, the rates are competitive and regular updates are sent on your phone via SMS or through email.

XE collaborates with independent third-party research companies to gather data on rates and fees. These companies then request a money transfer quote from some banks and XE for the specified amount to be transferred within a matter of minutes. These details are then recorded and supplied to XE so that the FX margin for XE Money Transfer can be calculated and passed on to the customer. With zero transfer fees, XE Money Transfer is an affordable and efficient way to send money internationally. However, there may be hidden charges levied by the participating banks, over which XE has no control.

Why do the exchange rates on XE.com and XE money transfer service differ?

Exchange rates provide an indication of how much your money is worth, if exchanged into the currency of another country. Since currency exchange transactions are happening 24×7, seven days a week, there are bound to be fluctuations in the foreign currencies that are being actively traded. These rates are known as flexible exchange rates, as they keep changing constantly from one moment to another, depending upon supply and demand.

Since most of the currencies of the world are bought and sold based on flexible exchange rates, high demand or shortage will lead to an increase in its price. The exchange rates at XE.com are linked with foreign exchange markets. When the markets are open, the rate offered to you will keep fluctuating till you confirm your transaction, after which the exchange rate is treated as fixed. In other words, the rate you see on the XE.com website is not the mid-market rate, because if the markets are closed on weekends, the rate last offered will be when the market last closed and not current.

What is the difference between interbank exchange rate and buy/sell rates?

A question that often crops up from time to time, especially for new entrants wishing to trade in foreign exchange, is that why is the buying and selling rate for a currency pair different? You will always find this anomaly whenever you open your trading portal. In order to fully understand what these two rates mean, you need to have a basic understanding of how trading in foreign exchange works.

The concepts are actually very simple. The buying price, also referred to as the bid price, of a currency exchange rate is considered to be the rate at which the market is willing to buy the currency at. The selling or ask rate is the rate at which sellers within the market are ready to offload their currency at.

The buying rate will always be lower than the selling rate, the difference being known as spread. The spread between the buying and selling rate is effectively a tool to ensure a profit for the agent who facilitated the deal. As a rule of thumb, the more liquid the asset, the smaller the spread, as when trading in Euros or US dollars which are said to be the most liquid currency pair in the world. The spread widens as the liquidity is passed down to smaller specialists who each want to claim their share in the deal.

The interbank rate, also known as the mid-market rate is exactly halfway between the buying and selling rate of a currency pair. Unfortunately, this rate is reserved for big banks dealing in large transactions, which means the average person making a smaller transfer has to pay a hefty markup for the service provider to make a profit. On average, this levy is between 4%-6% and can affect your wallet significantly if you are making international transactions regularly.

Overview

XE charges no transfer fees no matter which currency and amount transferred.XE also offers great exchange rates. However, XE is a business and needs to make a profit to survive. It is therefore important to look closely at the way XE structures the payments.

Since mid-market rate is not achievable through XE, they cover costs through markups. Markups tend to be 0.5% to slightly less than 1% over the mid-market rate for most currencies, except for a few. This against many competitors who have markups of  over 1% in all cases. It is therefore important to check the exchange rate, if you want to consider XE for sending money abroad.

Investing in Opportunity Zones: 10 Key Points to Remember

According to recent reports, more than 7 million people in the United States are actively investing in real estate at present. Many more are considering this type of venture but aren’t sure of which types of real estate to funnel their money into. After all, numerous options are available, and each one has its own distinct strong suits. While virtually all sectors of the real estate investment market deserve due attention, opportunity zones are rapidly gaining steam. They offer quite a few benefits not only for investors but entire communities.

What Are Opportunity Zones?

Opportunity zones are specific areas throughout the United States that are considered distressed or in need of an economic boost. They’re designed to improve housing and job opportunities for people living in those areas and foster economic development, thereby fueling growth. You can invest in opportunity zones via qualified opportunity zone funds. If this concept appeals to you, it’s important to understand a few key points beforehand.

1) Different Opportunity Zone Investment Options

A few types of opportunity zone investments are available. They include stocks in companies and investments in real estate located within opportunity zones. Other types of investments are also possible.

2) Multiple Investment Opportunities

In addition to different types of investment options being available, various types of areas are eligible for investments. These include industrial areas, urban communities, suburban neighborhoods, and rural areas to name a few.

3) Aids in Portfolio Diversification

One of the key rules of thumb for investing is maintaining a diversified portfolio. Opportunity zone investments can cover this in one fell swoop. Many qualified opportunity zone funds include investments from a wide range of industries and companies, so investors can essentially cover a great deal of ground with a single QOF investment.

4) Tax Benefits to Consider

Numerous tax benefits apply to qualified opportunity zone investments. For one, taxes on capital gains investors decide to reinvest in QOZs can be deferred for several years. Secondly, investors who hold onto OZ property investments for at least 10 years are permanently exempt from capital gains taxes on those properties. Those are only a couple of the key advantages.

5) OZ Investments Can Act as 1031 Exchanges

For quite some time, real estate investors have been taking advantage of 1031 exchanges. Qualified opportunity zone investments can work in much the same way. With QOZ investments, though, you only have to reinvest capital gains in other opportunity zone properties to benefit from tax deferral as opposed to all the profits from sales.

6) Capital Gains Can Cross Over

Investors with capital gains from other types of investments can funnel those gains into OZs to take advantage of tax benefits. For example, if you earned capital gains from stocks or precious metals investments, you can invest those gains in opportunity funds and reduce the amount of capital gains taxes you owe.

7) Ample Room for Growth

While all investments pose certain risks, OZs are proving to be lucrative for investors. Reports are showing significant appreciation in these areas. This is true of both residential and commercial properties.

8) Extensive Perks

Opportunity zone investments can provide far-reaching advantages. Investors certainly stand to benefit from gains on their investments. Residents in OZs benefit from more job opportunities, better housing, and greater access to much-needed services. Business owners in these areas see greater profits as a result of outside investments as well, and the list goes on.

9) Choose Investments Wisely

Be sure to research OZ investment options thoroughly before investing. Some of these investment opportunities are potentially more lucrative than others. Despite the consistent gains most offer, some can be much riskier than others as well.

10) Plenty of Areas to Choose from

Last, but certainly not least, it’s important to understand the scope of opportunity zones in the United States and the investment options they have to offer. Over 8,000 qualified opportunity zones have been designated by the IRS so far, and each one offers a vast range of investment opportunities.

In a Nutshell

Qualified opportunity zones are receiving a great deal of attention because of all the benefits they have to offer. They give investors a chance to profit significantly while enjoying tax benefits. At the same time, they provide extensive opportunities for people living in the communities being invested in as well as surrounding areas.

How to Invest in Jewellery and Diamonds in 2021

When it comes to the question of investments, diamonds and jewelry will always be at the top rank answers. This is actually one of the many life lessons the past year 2020 had initially taught many of us worldwide – where to invest your money and how?

 

Given that 2020 has been financially challenging, as per decreasing employment rate, sales, and marketing, investing in something with high value and high demand can be the best go-to choice. This is why many have started to invest this year in diamonds, gold, stones, and the likes. If you are one of the people who wants to start his or her own investment, here are some details on how to invest in jewelry and diamonds.

 

Select an Aged Diamond

When it comes to investments, selecting the right option is a must. Investments in the real world can be synonymous to a gamble – one wrong move and it can be a waste of money. In investing in diamonds and stones, going for diamonds that can be held for years and generations are highly recommended. These generation diamonds, the mere fact that it is an aged diamond, possesses such high value and can quadruple its original purchase price. That is especially true for engagement rings.

 

One of the most famous aged diamonds in the world is the Argyle Violet found in the Argyle Mine in Australia. This diamond, polished into 2.83 carat, is one of the few gems that are produced over the last 32 years. Apart from its age, coloured diamonds are also the rarest of them all – therefore, adding much value.

 

Know the Clarity of Your Diamond

Besides from taking Diamond Studies 101, every investor must know the Diamond Clarity Scale in order to fully be aware of what the diamond’s true worth. In the Clarity Scale, there are 6 categories and a total of 11 specific grades.

 

The high graded diamond out of all is called Flawless. From the name itself, this graded diamond has no inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification. Now, this type of diamonds are usually the ones who bear the greatest value over time due to its no inclusions with no blemishes factor – making it one of a kind. Other runner ups for good diamond investments are Internally Flawless (IF), Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS), and Very Slightly Included (VSI).

 

One of the many examples of importance in clarity is Sotheby’s Flawless 8.41 carat Pink Diamond that was sold for $17.7 Million, higher than the top estimate of $15.5 Million. The sale makes the diamond one of the most luxurious and expensive diamonds per-carat ever sold. What added even more to its value is its Pink persona that is stated by Sotheby as natural and “internally flawless that is virtually unseen.”

 

Go for Colours

As stated above, coloured diamonds play a big role in terms of value and are a good investment to begin with due to it being ultimately rare. Non-white diamonds are typically called, fancy coloured diamonds and is automatically given a higher price bracket. Much like the previously stated diamonds and stones, the value they have gotten was also heavily based on their colours. This created such a win for the owners when it comes to putting in on auction or just for sale.

 

Conclusion

You can never go wrong investing on diamonds and jewelry. Apart from being updated in every decade, its demand just keeps on increasing – making it an overall successful purchase. However, purchasing diamonds are still highly dependent as to one’s knowledge of stones and its characteristics. After all, diamonds are lifetime partners and they deserve to be known and handled with care.

When Due Diligence is Solely Your Responsibility

When exploring a 1 deposit casino platform, by the time you take advantage of the offered bonus or promotion, you can rest-easy, knowing that all the due diligence is done to ensure the regulations are adhered to. In many other more significant things, the responsibility for thorough due diligence falls squarely on you.

Everyone needs a trustworthy auditor for such things. The companies mentioned in this post have all signed up to IAAPA’s trusted auditor program, and provided IAAPA members with a real estate disclosure form to cover the vast majority of concerns related to the company.

I’m in the process of doing the same for HBXexplore, where the questions are somewhat different (in terms of due diligence and due diligence, but mainly due diligence). This project is directly related to a contract I signed with HBXexplore earlier this year, so if you’re a member, I’m very interested in your feedback!

Hopefully these companies are trustworthy. While the various jurisdictions in which they do business can obviously make it difficult to determine which countries are safe to trust, the ones with a legitimate relationship with their paying members, like IAAPA and HBXexplore, appear to be reliable and hopefully we’ll find out more about their specific practices and reputation in the near future.

This post introduces some information extracted from interactions with publicly known real estate clients of HBXexplore (search for “HBXexplore” at their websites, which aren’t always up to date, and read through their disclosure forms), and compares their general impression of their “real estate clients” with my own (but especially after speaking with their real estate clients, and keeping in mind I speak only for myself, and am not a partner in their company or associated with them in any way). I hope the information shared here will help you make your own judgments and do your own due diligence before trusting any of these businesses with your own investments.

About the Foreign Language Source

Michael Vollbracht is an IT consultant and lawyer living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He recently became a member of IAAPA, and his real estate investments have previously been discussed on this blog.

He also runs a blog with an educational focus called Practical Applications and Realities (in Dutch only), which focuses on important real estate issues, laws, applications and other relevant topics. He is also a member of IAAPA’s real estate project. He usually speaks publicly about various real estate issues, and may provide valuable information to people looking for a trustworthy real estate investment company.

Mike Vollbracht is also a lawyer at a Dutch law firm. His practice focuses on commercial law, entrepreneurship and disputes. He often provides legal consultations for real estate developers and investors who need legal advice concerning real estate law in their countries (and typically in the Netherlands, but also in the UK and other countries), in order to make their investments more transparent and profitable.

As an architect and a lawyer, Mike specializes in the legal aspects of real estate, and he represents property owners in legal disputes over land ownership, site rights, rights of conveyance, and other types of land issues (like notifying authorities and zoning regulations).

Should You Invest in Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is relatively new but a buzzing word in the current market. It’s also very lucrative to investors for its potential. You’ve probably heard about investors using sites like https://coincierge.de/bitcoin-future/ to learn about this lucrative currency, but what is this cryptocurrency? Is it legit enough to be trusted with people’s money? It’s alright if you still don’t understand the fundamental things about cryptocurrency, as it’s not like our usual monetary system. So buckle up to know the basic things about investing in cryptocurrency.

You’ve probably heard a thing or two about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and other altcoins like Ethereum, Monero, Litecoin, etc. There are also mining based altcoins. If you know how to mine aeon, your knowledge is adequate in this field. So, if you know about basic things, you can skip the first half of this article. To see if you should invest in cryptocurrency or not, read the second half of this article.

What is “Cryptocurrency”: After Satoshi Nakamoto invented Bitcoin in 2008, developers created thousands of other cryptocurrencies. So, it isn’t easy to describe cryptocurrency under one definition. But broadly, cryptocurrency is a digital currency that is not controlled by any government or institution ( decentralized) and encrypted. Cryptocurrency works through a blockchain, which is a public financial transaction database.

How does “Cryptocurrency” functions: It runs on a distributed public ledger called a blockchain. Blockchain keeps all the records of cryptocurrency exchanged and held by users. Bitcoin is the first and most popular decentralized cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin are called altcoins. They are generally created through a process called mining. Cryptocurrencies are exchanged from person to person without any middleman, or government. No central bank or government controls their value or how much they will be produced. People can exchange real money with a coin or token of a cryptocurrency. Each coin is a unique line of code that no one can duplicate. So, they are easy to track and identify.

Use of “Cryptocurrency”: Until this point, people see cryptocurrency as an investment. If it gains enough trust from the users, spending on it will increase too. Several online retailers accept cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is widely used between two individuals who value it for goods and services. At first, cryptocurrencies were used to hide from tax or make illegal transactions. Now, IRS has made a new law regulating cryptocurrency. So transactions are not anonymous, and illegal use of cryptocurrency has decreased.

If you’re trying to decide whether you want to find and invest in cryptocurrency or not, you should keep in mind the following things.

  • Gain enough knowledge before putting your money: As it is a relatively new system, many things are still unknown. A handful of people fully understand it. Even the real name of the inventor is still unknown. Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym. Ignorance makes you vulnerable to risks. So if you want to trust your money with cryptocurrency, do enough research first.
  • Analyze the volatility: No government regulates cryptocurrency. So its value is determined by its holders. It is worth how much their holders are willing to exchange for them. This feature makes cryptocurrencies extremely volatile. According to coindesk, the price of Bitcoin swang between 4,916$ and 19,665$! Of Course, every currency is volatile to a degree. But traditional fiat money is far more stable than cryptocurrency. This volatile situation makes investing in cryptocurrency a poker game to new investors in this field. You can either hit the jackpot or fall in a pit. That is why experts suggest being very cautious when and how you are investing in cryptocurrency.
  • Cryptocurrency for deceptive activity: People who make illegal deals often use cryptocurrency as it can not be easily tracked and can be hidden. There is also a fair chance of being hacked. It’s like digital robbery. Thieves impersonate an account holder and request the holder’s sim to be transferred to a new device. Scammers can also hijack mobile accounts to get access to digital wallets. If someone loses his key ( or code) of the digital wallet, then all the cryptocurrency he owns are irrecoverable. It is a little scary that only you are responsible for your coins; banks or insurance can’t back up or give you security. But this can be overcome with best and cautious practice.

Also, cryptocurrency can be destroyed overnight if the computer crashes and doesn’t have any backup. Investors suggest using the backup of cryptocurrency wallet keys and use a strong password.

You’ve seen the things you should be careful about when investing in cryptocurrency. Here comes the answer to should you invest in cryptocurrency or not. Well, it depends on you. Are you willing to take all that risk? If you want to avoid risks and build wealth slowly but surely over decades, investing in the crypto world isn’t your thing. Your current wealth status must be considered. You can’t gamble with your financial future.

Here is a general rule of thumb to decide whether you should invest in cryptocurrency or not. If you don’t have any debt or your emergency fund can cover for debt and living expense for at least a couple of months, and you are already investing a fair portion of your income in the stock market, which is more secure than the crypto world than it is safe to say that you can invest in cryptocurrency.

Be confident about investing. If you have an intuition that the current Bitcoin price is the low point before an upswing, then go ahead and invest. Besides the horrors about risks and scams, many cryptocurrencies have a huge development and many credible developers behind them. The future of cryptocurrency is bright but still not certain. For now, it’s better to be smart and safe.

Things to consider before investing your savings

Investing your savings into something can be a great move that generates an additional income, but it is also something that should be carefully evaluated.

However, there are many factors that can influence how successful your investment is in the end, so before you do anything, the best course of action is to sit down and take a look at the situation realistically.

Investing is always a risk, which means you need to be prepared for all outcomes.

To help you with all of that, here’s a short list of things you need to evaluate before making a serious financial commitment of this kind.

 

Be aware of scams

The most important thing is that you have someone you can trust helping you with your investment. 

Unfortunately, scams are not unheard of in this line of work, so do your homework and find a person who you know is going to do everything in their power to help you. 

And should you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to deal with a scam, getting help from lawyers such as the ones from Optimal Solicitors is the best move to make.

 

Have a clear plan in place

What do you want to achieve with your investment? How big do the returns have to be? What kind of risk are you willing to take? 

All of these questions have to have a clear answer before you commit. 

If you don’t have any prior experience in investing, the best thing to do is to talk to a professional and see what they tell you. 

With a clear plan, you will know exactly what to do in every situation.

 

Invest in different assets

Diversifying is vital because it protects your investment from any price plunges a market can experience. 

Sure, you may have an industry you’re familiar with, but investing all of your funds into one company’s stocks, for example, can be risky. 

By spreading your resources out, you will not be as affected by a drop. As a matter of fact, a drop in one place can result in a rise of another asset.

 

Age

Investing when you’re young and investing when you’re on the verge of retirement or even retired is not the same. 

Young people can often afford to make riskier investments and wait longer for the returns to come in. 

On the other hand, older people will probably want to find the safest investment available so that they can be sure the income they create this way will be steady.

 

Keep an emergency fund close by

Like we said, investments are often a risk, so it’s always smart to create some sort of a safety net for you if things don’t go as expected. 

Savings are the best way to do that, and you may want to have enough there to keep you going for at least several months if all else fails. 

If you lose your job or your investments come crashing down, something like this can literally save your life.