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Wealth Management

THE GOLD FACTOR

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Gold has long been viewed as a safe haven asset, a tried and tested asset, a secure place for investors to put their money when other investments are volatile and a way of hedging against falls in stocks or currencies.

 

As concerns continue to grow over the global economy, with several countries experiencing and expecting subsequent waves of the pandemic, the price of gold has climbed to a record high – overtaking its previous record from the financial crisis in September 2011.

 

James Turner

“The rush to buy gold is driven by fear among investors due to the pandemic and the weakening global economy. Gold is often seen as insurance, it’s finite nature makes it a better store of value at times of uncertainty. Expectations for a lengthy economic recovery and lasting damage due to coronavirus is making the case for buying gold even stronger,” says James Turner, Director at Company Formation Specialists, Turner Little.

 

With interest rates near zero, gold becomes an attractive medium to have without having to worry about interest rates, as the price of gold rises as uncertainty in the markets rise. Supply constraints could also potentially drive prices higher, as demand soars.

 

“The current surge in price comes at a time when governments are trying to bring about a post-pandemic recovery, but there are still concerns over the long-term economic downturn, which has investors worried. But it’s important to remember that gold is still a volatile asset and doesn’t come with any guarantees. But when interest rates are low, gold does tend to prosper. It’s an important tool, but it needs to be properly managed,” adds James.

 

If you’re interested in protecting your safe haven assets, get in touch with us today. We specialise in creating bespoke solutions for individuals and businesses of all sizers. The knowledge and expertise of our specialists will be able to assist with any enquiry, no matter how complex.

Wealth Management

WHAT WILL TRADING FLOORS OF A POST-COVID WORLD LOOK LIKE?

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Ganesh Iyer, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, IPC

 

The last year brought around a monumental change to the way most people work due to the impact of the pandemic, and the financial services industry was no exception. The last few months, though, have provided hope that life could very soon return to ‘normal’ with the strong vaccination efforts around the world.

This time provides the perfect opportunity for all of us to consider the best aspects of remote working in a bid to create a new concept of what a healthy work-life balance should look like. One way financial firms could achieve this is through developing distributed hub-and-spoke offices or putting in place the infrastructure so people can work on a longer-term basis from remote locations. But for this to happen, the financial services community needs to overcome the challenges of ensuring security, reliability, resilience, compliance, all while adhering to strict regulatory requirements.

 

Importance of flexibility

As we look towards the future, banks such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs have recently informed their employees that they should be prepared to return to offices again in the coming weeks. News like this may seem like the financial services sector is keen to return to pre-pandemic ways of working, but this is not necessarily an outlook supported by the whole industry.

For example, the Financial Times reported that there are differences between North America and Europe over the speed at which bankers should return to their desks, with some US executives calling for a swift return to pre-pandemic normality while many European banks – such as London-based HSBC and France’s Société Générale – are taking a different approach. These variations demonstrate a need for banks to remain flexible to the ever-changing circumstances and differing views, especially as the sector has been quite effective in working productively away from the trading floor.

However, even for larger institutions, the balance between flexibility, security, reliability, and scalability is a challenging task. There are many firms that are still experiencing significant pressure on costs and resources, and there is still uncertainty around what the future will bring. It is important that firms consider whether there needs to be an even split between homes and offices, or if some employees will prefer to permanently work remotely, as well as prepare for any future scenarios that may require remote working at scale again. The list of questions goes on and they may be difficult to answer, but they are fundamental to the choices that financial firms will make regarding the vendors they work with and the technologies they implement.

Fortunately, many of the elements that address these concerns already exist – it is just a matter of implementing them in a way that is right for firm-specific needs. In the last 10 years, there has been a growing trend towards firms utilising the cloud and taking advantage of the subscription model, which has enabled technology vendors to create solutions that combine flexibility with reliability, and scalability with certainty. The subscription model benefits firms of all sizes and ensures everyone has access to the same state-of-the-art technology as their competitors.

There are also several well-proven benefits of leveraging technology solutions through a subscription, or software-as-a-service (SaaS). As most businesses adopting a cloud-native environment will know, subscriptions mean companies only pay for the solutions they need, while also having the choice to expand and consume more as the business grows. A subscription model also means firms will not be implementing aging technologies, as SaaS is evergreen given it can be seamlessly updated and upgraded in the background, with new delivery channels, access mechanisms and markets added and made available on-demand.

 

Adaptable trading environment

Being able to trade at any time, from anywhere and from any device in a way that is secure and compliant is a huge competitive advantage during this uncertain climate.

For example, a newly established firm requires a solutions provider that can offer the latest, most efficient, and affordable technology that is scalable. Additionally, all businesses are now very much aware of the importance of resilience – both now and for the future – and require a solution that offers an element of futureproofing, enabling them to adapt and maintain their competitive edge for any unforeseen events or challenges that may come their way. This means technology and infrastructure providers need to provide a higher standard of service and constantly evolve, update, and upgrade their tech so that it operates seamlessly and transparently for clients.

 

Supporting the post-COVID trading world

There are many unknowns and uncertainties about what our post-COVID world will look like, but one thing that is certain is that there will be change. Regardless of whether firms choose to revert to pre-pandemic ways of working or not, almost every industry has learned valuable lessons based on the experiences of the last year of the vital need to be flexible and adaptive in order to be able to pivot in whatever direction the business needs to take to thrive and maintain resilience. By leveraging the right technologies, adopting a cloud-native environment, and using the subscription model, financial firms can ensure they are ready to embrace the working environment of the post-COVID world in whatever form it takes.

 

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Finance

A BRIEF GUIDE TO TRADING IN CRYPTOCURRENCY SECURELY

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Trading in cryptocurrency is becoming increasingly popular in the financial world. Crypto’s huge rises in value over recent months has encouraged many to consider it a valid and important way to invest their money. However, it can be tricky for someone new to the world of crypto to know how to start. The process of setting up can take a few days, but once you’re ready to go, it can be fairly simple to start trading.

 

Find A Crypto Wallet

To store crypto, you will need a cryptocurrency wallet. There are many wallets out there to choose from, in both software and hardware forms. You could choose a free to use software wallet, to begin with, and then invest in a more secure hardware wallet if you plan to hold amounts of crypto for the medium to long term. Hardware wallets typically cost anywhere from £50 to £150, so it is worth doing your homework and finding the right wallet for your needs.

 

Sign Up With A Brokerage

You will need an account with a brokerage service to begin trading. It would be best if you looked for brokerages that offer good security, an easy-to-use interface and plenty of cryptocurrencies to choose from.

You will need to provide some identification to open an account with a reputable brokerage, and it may take a few days to get your account verified. Therefore, it is vital to do your research and ensure that the brokerage you choose is legit before providing any personal information.

 

Get Help From Experts

Once you have your account up and running don’t rush to buy your first Bitcoin. As a beginner to the world of crypto trading, there are plenty of potential pitfalls, and talking to experts can go a long way to reducing the risks.

Check out Traders Of Crypto, a cryptocurrency community that provides expert, collective knowledge to those starting out with crypto trading. There you can find plenty of free guides to help you on your trading journey.

 

Choose Your Crypto

The next step is to decide on the crypto you want to trade in. There are thousands out there to choose from, with the most well-known being Bitcoin. The more popular the crypto, the more likely it is to remain stable, so it may help to start with Bitcoin for your first transactions.

Once you have some experience, you could branch out to smaller altcoins, though it is often wisest to keep most of your trades to the bigger coins.

 

Make Sure You Have The Capital

You will need sufficient capital to buy and trade cryptocurrency. You can add this to your brokerage account, typically by bank transfer or debit card payment. It is crucial to keep in mind that the value of crypto frequently changes, so ensure that you are spending only what you can afford.

 

Start Trading

You can start by either trading cash for crypto or crypto for crypto. However, keep in mind that there may be brokerage costs for each trade, so you should choose your trades wisely.

 

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