Why Yahoo Finance Is The Best Financial Website

Yahoo Finance is the best free solution for analytical Finance data on the internet. When I was a young Investment Banker, I used to use Yahoo Finance all the time to check on daily stock prices. It is absolutely great for young poor college professionals who don’t have much money and would like to learn more about Finance. If you cannot afford expensive data services like Bloomberg and still want to conduct basic financial analysis, then Yahoo Finance is for you.Yahoo Finance can totally help you with many different tasks. You can get all the latest news on companies that you are interested in. Simply punch in the company’s ticker and get all the latest information about that particular company. It even works for mutual and index funds. If you are looking to study macroeconomic data or country specific currency data, Yahoo Finance can provide you with exchange rate data as well.If you are looking to do financial modeling, you can get excellent historical data on Yahoo Finance about any company or mutual fund you choose. Then you can download the data in csv format to use with any spreadsheet program of your choice. This is a wonderful feature because it provides you with the very raw data you need to make a price graph. Then, you can use the graph to figure out future price movements, trends and shapes. This is incredible for any up and coming technical analyst.Because Yahoo is strong in a lot of different countries around the world, you can even access international data concerning many emerging economies. So, if you are studying Asian or South American economies, you can now get good reliable data about these countries as well. Also, get historical currency exchange rate data that can be of great help when charting forex graphs and predicting prices.The best feature in Yahoo Finance is the ability to create your own mock portfolios. You can now pick companies that you think will do well and create your own portfolio. Then, you can see if you would have made money using those decisions. You can buy and sell as many shares that you want depending on chosen price points.You even get customized news alerts for the companies in your portfolio. I would recommend that you create as many portfolios as possible to learn as much as you can about different types of investments. This is also an excellent learning tool for those people who are looking to learn more about the stock market.Yahoo Finance can be an absolute boon for anyone wanting to start out in Finance. If you are looking to learn how to go about conducting yourself in the market, then getting to learn the ropes is a breeze on Yahoo Finance. I would recommend the site to any newbie. It is truly an excellent offering from Yahoo and it comes at a great price: free. So go ahead and register yourself, get your own user name and password and you can be off on your own Finance adventure.

Alternative Financing Vs. Venture Capital: Which Option Is Best for Boosting Working Capital?

There are several potential financing options available to cash-strapped businesses that need a healthy dose of working capital. A bank loan or line of credit is often the first option that owners think of – and for businesses that qualify, this may be the best option.

In today’s uncertain business, economic and regulatory environment, qualifying for a bank loan can be difficult – especially for start-up companies and those that have experienced any type of financial difficulty. Sometimes, owners of businesses that don’t qualify for a bank loan decide that seeking venture capital or bringing on equity investors are other viable options.

But are they really? While there are some potential benefits to bringing venture capital and so-called “angel” investors into your business, there are drawbacks as well. Unfortunately, owners sometimes don’t think about these drawbacks until the ink has dried on a contract with a venture capitalist or angel investor – and it’s too late to back out of the deal.

Different Types of Financing

One problem with bringing in equity investors to help provide a working capital boost is that working capital and equity are really two different types of financing.

Working capital – or the money that is used to pay business expenses incurred during the time lag until cash from sales (or accounts receivable) is collected – is short-term in nature, so it should be financed via a short-term financing tool. Equity, however, should generally be used to finance rapid growth, business expansion, acquisitions or the purchase of long-term assets, which are defined as assets that are repaid over more than one 12-month business cycle.

But the biggest drawback to bringing equity investors into your business is a potential loss of control. When you sell equity (or shares) in your business to venture capitalists or angels, you are giving up a percentage of ownership in your business, and you may be doing so at an inopportune time. With this dilution of ownership most often comes a loss of control over some or all of the most important business decisions that must be made.

Sometimes, owners are enticed to sell equity by the fact that there is little (if any) out-of-pocket expense. Unlike debt financing, you don’t usually pay interest with equity financing. The equity investor gains its return via the ownership stake gained in your business. But the long-term “cost” of selling equity is always much higher than the short-term cost of debt, in terms of both actual cash cost as well as soft costs like the loss of control and stewardship of your company and the potential future value of the ownership shares that are sold.

Alternative Financing Solutions

But what if your business needs working capital and you don’t qualify for a bank loan or line of credit? Alternative financing solutions are often appropriate for injecting working capital into businesses in this situation. Three of the most common types of alternative financing used by such businesses are:

1. Full-Service Factoring – Businesses sell outstanding accounts receivable on an ongoing basis to a commercial finance (or factoring) company at a discount. The factoring company then manages the receivable until it is paid. Factoring is a well-established and accepted method of temporary alternative finance that is especially well-suited for rapidly growing companies and those with customer concentrations.

2. Accounts Receivable (A/R) Financing – A/R financing is an ideal solution for companies that are not yet bankable but have a stable financial condition and a more diverse customer base. Here, the business provides details on all accounts receivable and pledges those assets as collateral. The proceeds of those receivables are sent to a lockbox while the finance company calculates a borrowing base to determine the amount the company can borrow. When the borrower needs money, it makes an advance request and the finance company advances money using a percentage of the accounts receivable.

3. Asset-Based Lending (ABL) – This is a credit facility secured by all of a company’s assets, which may include A/R, equipment and inventory. Unlike with factoring, the business continues to manage and collect its own receivables and submits collateral reports on an ongoing basis to the finance company, which will review and periodically audit the reports.

In addition to providing working capital and enabling owners to maintain business control, alternative financing may provide other benefits as well:

It’s easy to determine the exact cost of financing and obtain an increase.
Professional collateral management can be included depending on the facility type and the lender.
Real-time, online interactive reporting is often available.
It may provide the business with access to more capital.
It’s flexible – financing ebbs and flows with the business’ needs.
It’s important to note that there are some circumstances in which equity is a viable and attractive financing solution. This is especially true in cases of business expansion and acquisition and new product launches – these are capital needs that are not generally well suited to debt financing. However, equity is not usually the appropriate financing solution to solve a working capital problem or help plug a cash-flow gap.

A Precious Commodity

Remember that business equity is a precious commodity that should only be considered under the right circumstances and at the right time. When equity financing is sought, ideally this should be done at a time when the company has good growth prospects and a significant cash need for this growth. Ideally, majority ownership (and thus, absolute control) should remain with the company founder(s).

Alternative financing solutions like factoring, A/R financing and ABL can provide the working capital boost many cash-strapped businesses that don’t qualify for bank financing need – without diluting ownership and possibly giving up business control at an inopportune time for the owner. If and when these companies become bankable later, it’s often an easy transition to a traditional bank line of credit. Your banker may be able to refer you to a commercial finance company that can offer the right type of alternative financing solution for your particular situation.

Taking the time to understand all the different financing options available to your business, and the pros and cons of each, is the best way to make sure you choose the best option for your business. The use of alternative financing can help your company grow without diluting your ownership. After all, it’s your business – shouldn’t you keep as much of it as possible?

How to Start a Legitimate Online Business From Home

Understanding how to start a legitimate online business starts by first understanding the way online marketing and sales works. Below I have outlined 5 different phases that you can use to help you prepare and successfully launch your online business Although following these phases will drastically increase your chances of success, ultimately the key to your online success will fall on your own unique ability to get things done! Your drive, determination, ability to set goals and follow through with them will determine your level of success with your online business. Most people tend to rush into things without doing their proper due diligence and research. You need to first know what it is you’re promoting or marketing. Is it a physical product or service? Who your target market is and what do they expect to gain from your company or business. Once you take a moment to figure this out then, you’ll move on to phase 2 of your initial set up.Phase 1 – Register your Business EntityThis is so Important but yet most people totally skip it. Getting your company registered with your state will save you a ton down the road. You can find tons of resources online to register your business name with your state. If you want to create a legitimate online business do yourself a favor and take care of the legal side of your business right from the beginning It will allow you to operate as a legally registered business, accept forms of payment under your business name, hire staff (if needed), write off business expenses, open up business accounts, open up a line of credit for your business, save you in instances when someone trying to sue you and you have the benefit of being able to write of business expenses using your company’s Tax ID number.Phase 2 – Choosing your nicheThis is the simplest step but, for some can take the most time to overcome. I suggest you choose a niche in which you know. Try to go into a niche that you’re comfortable with that you’re also interested in. Don’t let the products decide what niche you’re going to go into. You choose your niche and then you choose a product that fits your specific niche. Don’t try to spread yourself too thin either. If your business is structured around music & equipment, avoid complicating things right off the bat by introducing other non related products that don’t coincide with your main product. Get good at selling one thing before you move on to the next.Phase 3 – Selecting Your Base of OperationsThis is the phase where you decide what online platform you will use to base your initial campaign from. If its physical products then you might want to start off by creating a seller account in the marketplace where your targeted audience is known to be, that receives a good volume of traffic. If you plan on going the digital route or information marketing, you will most likely need to create a website of your own. Whichever you choose, keep in mind that this should be your central hub for all traffic and communications between you and your potential customers. Your online business needs to look as legitimate as possible right from the start. People base a lot of their buying & interaction of perception. The more authentic and legitimate your online business looks, the greater your chances of converting visitors into potential customers and traffic into leads which ultimately converts into a paid customer.Phase 4 – Preparing Your Home Base to Open ShopOnce Phase 2 is completed and you’ve found your central hub make sure that you’ve done everything cosmetic that you can possibly do. If you want to look like a legitimate online business right from the start then it would be beneficial to have a company logo created and a few different website banners designed that match your overall theme. You can have this created for cheap by going to a site like fiverr.com. You also want to decide on a color theme for your website that matches your logo. You’ll need to choose who or what will be presented as the face of your online business. People want to know who or what figure represents this company in the public eye.Phase 5 – Getting CustomersOnce you have went through the 4 phases and you have a product or service to promote your next step will be to drive customers or leads to your online business. What’s having the best product or service in the world if no one can find it? No good at all. There’s two forms of driving customers to your online business or as we online marketers refer to it as “driving traffic” and that’s the free way or the paid way. Paid ways include but are not limited to google ads, banner advertisements on other high traffic websites, TV advertising radio & newspaper ads. Some free ways to drive traffic and generate leads/customers consist of social media, word of mouth, youtube.com, blogging & article marketing or joining a network with other like-minded individuals The free ways could appear to be slower, results wise but in the log run can be the base source of stable traffic & leads for your business, if your marketing budget was to dry out. Consider your budget and map out your strategy wisely.