Cryptocurrency has taken the world by storm in recent years. After years of operating under the radar, it has exploded into the mainstream and captured the imagination of millions across the world. If you are new to the world of cryptocurrency, it can be impossible to know where to begin. By following these handy tips and tricks, you can find out everything you need to know about trading cryptocurrency and prevent yourself from getting caught up in the hype and making a number of mistakes that can cost you time and money in the long run.
Pick a strategy
The process of getting involved with cryptocurrency can be stressful. There are a number of steps you can take early on to ensure you are putting your best foot forward and protecting yourself and your assets at all times. Before you dive in and get lost in the sheer volume of cryptocurrencies available to the everyday trader, you must first choose a strategy. This will provide you with a basic framework to guide you from start to finish. It can also mitigate the financial risk involved with trading cryptocurrency by making a series of decisions for you on your behalf. A strategy is not required but it is recommended. It can allow you to respond accordingly and bounce back in the event of a sudden market crash. There is no universal correct answer when it comes to selecting the right one for you. It will usually include asset classes, setups, tools, and triggers. You can also use your strategy to set out how and when you will trade. By establishing a personalised schedule ahead of time, you can inject some structure and routine into your trading strategy. There are plenty of strategies out there, including DeFi Yield investing, which allows you to earn interest on crypto that you hold and stake it against other coins. Check out a reputable DeFi Yield platform such as Unagii, to see if this is the right option for you.
Pick an exchange
Before you invest in cryptocurrency, you must research which companies offer exchange services. A cryptocurrency exchange, or digital currency exchange, is a business that allows you to trade cryptocurrencies for assets or money. This can influence where you trade, how you trade, and the community within which you will trade. These are all important factors that must be considered before you embark on your cryptocurrency journey. As you gradually familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of trading, it may benefit you to stick to reputable, well-known sources and purchase your cryptocurrency from reliable exchanges. You may end up spending a bit more than you intended to, but you are less likely to be ripped off. By knowing how to spot fraudsters from afar, you can prevent yourself from losing time and money and earn high yield staking rewards on your assets. Once you complete a transaction, all sales are final. There is no way to retrieve your cash, and banks will be unwilling to help. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Automate your trading
Cryptocurrency is a 24/7 global market. It never sleeps. It is impossible to keep up to date with each minor or major development that may affect your assets. The constant desire to track each cryptocurrency can lead to burnout, dependence and even addiction over time. To prevent this from happening, you may benefit from automating your trading strategy. There are a number of tools and platforms out there designed to help you monitor your cryptocurrency without becoming exhausted. They work by tapping into a series of algorithms and processes to trade based on asset price, technical indicators and the proportion of value within your portfolio. Modern automated cryptocurrency trading platforms may also operate on the blockchain. This can be a great option for those new to the world of cryptocurrency trading or with a little less time to spare. Shop around to find the right trading bot to suit you and your lifestyle.
Build a portfolio
A solid cryptocurrency portfolio can stand the test of time. There are several factors you must consider when deciding which cryptocurrencies to invest in to build on your existing portfolio. Putting all of your eggs into one basket is never a good idea. By diversifying your assets, you can provide a sense of stability and dependability within such a volatile and destructive market. You can also reduce the risk of financial ruin in the event of a market crash. When it comes to establishing a portfolio and welcoming a brand-new addition, you must evaluate market cap, circulation supply, and total supply. Investing in a single asset can be a recipe for disaster. Distribute risk to a number of different coins and manage your portfolio by making small changes or adjustments over time.
Patience may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of trading cryptocurrency, but it should be. Those looking to make a quick buck are often disheartened to learn that it takes time and patience to make a solid return on investment on cryptocurrency. The market may be volatile, but your net worth is unlikely to skyrocket overnight. Take the time to implement the right strategy and ensure it is working for you. Investing in cryptocurrency is a learning curve. Without the right training and guidance, you will make mistakes along the way. However, this equips you to deal with any future problems and allows you to overcome and adapt as necessary. By surrendering to your inexperience and trusting the process, you can learn the ropes and master your strategy over time.
Ask for help
There is no shame in admitting defeat or asking for help. Whether you have blown your savings or have a burning question regarding a prospective investment opportunity, it can be easy to try to keep up with the excitement only to find yourself getting lost in the hype. But do not fear; help is out there. Fellow traders were in your position at one point or another. Most people will be willing to help out and provide you with wisdom and advice to help send you on your way. Those involved in cryptocurrency trading are determined to see others succeed and will encourage you to overcome obstacles and keep going in any way that they can. There are countless cryptocurrency trading communities out there. You can interact with others that share the same passions and interests as you and receive help and advice whenever and wherever you may need it. Communities may be established around assets, strategies, beginner guides, universal adoption of cryptocurrencies, or trading platforms. Trading is a personal journey. Joining a cryptocurrency community may provide you with a number of benefits, but you must remember not to become a victim to the hive mentality.
Cryptocurrency can be a minefield. When it comes to investing, it can be difficult to know where to begin. With so much to learn, mistakes are almost unavoidable. By following these handy tips and tricks, you can enter the world of cryptocurrency trading equipped with all of the tools and information required to make an informed decision. Once you have picked a suitable strategy, selected a reputable exchange, automated your trading, and built a portfolio, the fun can begin. You must also remember to be patient and ask for help if and when necessary.
JUMP-STARTING PROCUREMENT TRANSFORMATION WITH A CLEAR AND REALISTIC PLAN
by Alex Klein, COO at Efficio Consulting
Following a period of ongoing economic uncertainty, business spend has risen high up on the C-Suite agenda, with the procurement function shifted into the hot seat as the enablers of not only rapid cost-cutting but future profitability. In fact, according to Efficio’s experts and authors of recently released PROFIT FROM PROCUREMENT, companies that break down the silos between departments and effectively optimise the procurement function can expect to add 30% to their bottom line.
But where to begin? In order to successfully embark on a roadmap to profitability, a concrete and realistic plan must be put in place – one that has clear objectives and actions agreed amongst all involved. Unfortunately, this is not something that can be achieved overnight. As with anything worth having, this involves a program of gradual transformation and is likely to take no less than 18 months to really drive an impact. With a long lead time to success, the CPO must ensure that the program makes the desired splash – proving its value and keeping internal stakeholders engaged throughout. This requires a plan that will have a high impact, high visibility, cross-functionality, and be fully resourced. Only then can procurement’s profit potential be truly unleashed.
Take a step back and listen
When embarking on a Procurement Transformation mission, getting to know the key stakeholders involved will be a crucial first step to getting the project off the ground. Whether that be the CEO, CFO, functional heads, or business unit heads – the CPO must take the time to listen and understand their expectations, needs, and requirements before a vision for the road ahead can be formed.
Suppliers are often forgotten in this mix, yet they are equally as crucial. Questions need to be asked, such as – what improvement options do they see? How could they help us to reduce cost? And how can we help them in return? What each stakeholder wants from procurement, and where they see value will likely differ, so it is important to have all cards on the table upfront. Not only should these considerations sit at the heart of your plan, but they can actually assist in making it a reality.
Determining the desired outcomes
Next up, and at the top of the pyramid that comprises your plan, needs to be a clear vision. Whilst the outcome of your efforts may seem pre-defined – such as, to cut costs and release profitability – the scope of this can span as wide or as narrow as you’d like. Now is the time to consider how far you want to stretch this outcome, and the only way to determine this is to ask yourself, “what does the next level of procurement look like in my organisation”?
This procurement vision, of course needs to link back to the businesses overall corporate strategy. For example, if the business is looking towards aggressive growth, procurement should help facilitate this by aiming for scalability. If the strategy is to rapidly digitise, procurement can play a part in digitising the supply chain.
As part of this vision, the CPO must also consider their desired role and remit. For example, how do you see procurement’s way of working changing? How do you see your procurement people interacting with the rest of the business? What do you want your suppliers to say about you? Once defined, a clear ambition can keep Procurement Transformation on track and aligned. Without it, and with every stakeholder having varying needs, the desired outcome can quickly become lost.
Establishing a step by step improvement plan
So, you now have a solid vision – you’ve spent time listening to your internal customers – surely, you’re now ready to focus on getting there? Not so fast – you now need to think about the various facets of the function, including the organisation, people, and processes to establish where you currently stand. This will act as a baseline, in which a roadmap can then be developed and will require set objectives along the way to keep the journey on track. “House of Procurement tools” can be particularly effective here – these frameworks break down the procurement function in terms of strategy, organisation, people, processes, and systems – marking them against a benchmark of bad, average, and good. By plotting against this framework, you can tackle transformation in chunks, setting concreate objectives as a sub-factor level.
Once the current state of play has been established, the goal can then be plotted at the other end of the roadmap, with the activities needed to get to this end goal plotted in between. Key to plotting such a roadmap will be a review of which activities matter, what people are doing currently, and whether these tasks having a meaningful impact. This may require a restructure of the current team, which may require investing in additional strategic procurement resources as well as upgrading internal capability.
Nevertheless, this plan must be granular, and it must be actionable. It is all well and good having great ambition, but it is nothing unless you know exactly how and what it takes to get there. Transformation takes time, and it will certainly not happen overnight, so make sure to break down your roadmap into smaller, more achievable, chunks. Rather than focusing on a single end goal 18 months down the track, ensure you have milestones to aim for after month three and month six, that contribute to the overall picture. Assembling such a plan is no easy task, but it is the very foundation needed for procurement teams to jump-start transformation.
So, what comes next? Buy in from the rest of the business of course. After all, a plan can only be successful once it has board level approval and sufficient investment. In part two of this series, Alex Klein will explore the stages that follow, including: developing a savings execution plan, building a business case for procurement investment, and ensuring program structure and governance.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MANAGING DATA RISK IN THE FINANCE FUNCTION
Written by Steph Charbonneau, Senior Director of Product Strategy, Vera by HelpSystems
CFOs and financial controllers play a pivotal role in how organisations evaluate and manage data risk. Analyst firm Gartner reports that more than 30% of organisations will use financial risk assessments of their data assets to prioritise investment choices for IT, analytics, security, and privacy by 2022.
Data is particularly at risk within the finance function. Sensitive data such as customer and supplier information, financial statements, and personnel records are processed and shared daily both inside and with vendors outside the organisation. The finance team communicates with banks, auditors, and lawyers on a regular basis and while laws and policies exist to provide protection, there’s no certainty as to where your data could end up, and you can’t control it once it is sent. The information that resides outside the organisation’s security perimeter is accessible with equal permissions, meaning access is not restricted once someone gains it.
Assess Your Vulnerability
All of this presents an immense risk. Understanding what the risks and potential costs are is an important component of organisational planning. How would the organisation react if sensitive information were disseminated to the wrong audience? What could it cost? Simply thinking ‘it won’t happen to me’ or assuming a party erroneously receiving sensitive data will act with integrity and delete the information can no longer be justified. Data breaches are common and can have a significant impact on your business.
The financial risk of a data breach is typically the cost of lost revenue, compliance challenges, cost of litigation, privacy regulation penalties, and reputational damage. Revenue loss risk and litigation costs risk are tangible impacts that can be measured. However, it is more difficult to quantify the probability. On that front, understanding your data’s level of vulnerability is important. If you are SOC2 compliant, your risk will be mitigated by the controls within the internal bounds of your system. On the flip side, it is difficult to assess the probability for data that leaves your repositories. Internal compliance, including SOC2, cannot address it.
Thankfully, there’s a multitude of methods to protect assets and minimise your cyber risk. Consider securing and managing your data with technology like digital rights management (DRM), data loss prevention (DLP), data classification and security incident and event management (SIEM) software. There are network controls you can put in place, and you should have a process for evaluating the security of any apps you use to minimise your vulnerability. Evaluate your cyber risk holistically to ensure nothing slips through the net, otherwise your vulnerability remains.
Implementing Data Security Best Practices
Cybersecurity can be very complex depending on the size and industry of the organisation. New attack methods and new technologies to deal with those attack vectors show up all the time. To maximise efforts at assessing security risk, allocate resources so the most effective tools and strategies (such as encryption or digital rights management) are used to protect the most important information assets.
Finance leaders should follow these best practices to manage their team’s cyber risk.
- Identify exposures in either tools or processes and work with the IT team to close the gaps in security.
- Classify your files and with it, understand where your sensitive data is located and how access is provided to parties that need it, especially those outside your organisation. Company policies and processes often overlook, or have no direct control of, data outside the organisation so this awareness is important.
- Adopt a zero-trust approach to protecting your sensitive data and implement technology that allows you to manage your risk. Software such as digital rights management,for example, protects your most valuable data assets no matter where they travel, allowing you to secure, track, audit, and revoke access if data accidentally or maliciously falls into the wrong hands.
- Educate and train finance team members to recognise and manage risk. Employees need to understand the importance of the data they are using and have access to the right tools and processes so that it is handled correctly.
Protect Your Most Valuable Assets
Evaluating an organisation’s cyber risk starts with clearly understanding the company’s risk tolerance. Is the organisation risk tolerant, or extremely risk averse? The answer may differ depending on what needs to be protected and what industry you operate in. In the finance function, what level of risk are you willing to accept and still justify and defend to stakeholders? Start by identifying those assets where the risk is unacceptable and where access needs to be carefully controlled and managed and focus your execution from there.
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