“Ipsa scientia potestas est” said one great thinker, which translated, meant in knowledge itself is power. In today’s global quest for power, everyone is looking into the sky for the answer. And no, it’s not blue sky thinking, but satellites.
While we have the one Hubble looking out into the universe, we have hundreds more pointing back at us. These earth-facing satellites tells us stories of ourselves that we could otherwise not know. Here are ways these eyes in the sky impact human lives and investments.
Estimating global oil inventories
Oil inventory is one application of satellites. Ursa Space Systems can estimate oil inventory globally using proprietary algorithm and space images. This is important as official state figures are deliberately inaccurate. This is for national security reasons.
Hence, it helps investors to know what exactly is in storage. Low storage means high demand. Inversely, high storage means oversupply and potential price drop.
Forests and woods
The rate of deforestation is another area of interest. Imazon provides government with imagery showing the rate of deforestation of the Amazon. This helps policy makers to understand the severity and rate of deforestation. Investors can use this information to assess the risks of policies against their portfolio.
Farms and Crops
On the flip side of deforestation is agricultural data. TellusLab Inc specializes in rationalizing satellite data to understand and estimate crop yields. This started with soy and wheat has expanded into palm oil, coffee and cocoa. These data helps commodity investors to hedge against a particular crop and country.
Surveying oil fields
Iceye is a unique satellite system helping oil producers unlock trapped oil and gas reserves in cold environment. This system can pinpoint where the permafrost is melting and releasing trapped natural gas. This takes away all the guesswork of Artic oil and gas exploration. This level of certainty gives investors confidence in their related portfolio.
Global fishing activities
Fishing is one area satellites help both private sector and public sector. NGOs like Global Fishing Watch use satellite data to map vessels, location and rate of fishing. Vessels that fish in non-fishing zones are reported to the authorities for swift action.
In general, this data helps investors to predict the trends in fishing supply and demands. Where there is over-fishing, prices will drop. After some time, the inevitable correction will kick-in for a strong buy.
Time to fishing for the right stocks then!
Urban Development with satellite guidance
Urban development has high impact on human lives. A poor design could lead to high loss of lives. However, if done well, it could make a city into a powerhouse. Using images from NASA’s Landsat and the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1 satellite programs, World Bank researchers track expansion of urban cities. It helps town planners to understand potential risks.
It also helps economists and policy makers understand the impact of urban expansion. So, when disaster strikes, investors can assess the impact on their investments.
Satellites on a budget
SpaceKnow offers a DIY spatial analytics platform approach to use of satellites. It can track number of cars in a parking up to shipping vessels and shipping lines. Any investors inclined in specific companies or industries can order custom reports.
This is the sort of powerful tools investors can play with today. It’s like having your own satellite without the hassle.
Besides helping investors make sound decisions, satellite also help governments and NGOs. They use the power of satellites to observe climate change and biohazards such as virus spreads. Even pilots use tools like EarthCast to predict actual turbulence during their flights.
The next time you look up the skies, smile. You don’t know who’s looking back at you.
3 Ways The World’s Wealthiest Man Stays Ahead Of The Competition
In the past year of raging tech IPOs, Amazon’s taken “crushing it” to a whole new level.
Along with Apple, Amazon has become a trillion-dollar company, making CEO Jeff Bezos the world’s richest man in the process.
So how does CEO Jeff maintain his edge in the face of new market entrants and a constantly-evolving industry?
Here are three ways he does it:
1) Be a Missionary
“You have got to have some passion for the arena that you are going to develop and work in, because otherwise you’ll be competing against those who do have passion for that, and they’re going to build better products and services,” Bezos said at Amazon’s re:Mars conference in Las Vegas.
“Missionaries build better products and services — they always win,” said Bezos. “Mercenaries are just trying to make money, and paradoxically the missionaries always end up making more money.”
2) Embrace Risk and Failure
“If you come up with a business idea and there’s no risk there…it’s probably already being done…[and] being done well…. So you have to have something that might not work and you have to accept that your business in many ways is an experiment and it might fail,” Bezos said. “And that’s ok.”
3) Change Your Mind
“The greatest tragedy of mankind — or one of them — is that people needlessly hold wrong opinions in their minds,”Dalio has said.
In fact, people who win typically have worked hard to recognize what beliefs or biases they hold and “actively try to look for evidence that disconfirms” them, Bezos said.
10 Ways To Avoid Financial Stress
If financial difficulties are keeping you awake at night, take action and tackle your problems head on otherwise they are likely to get worse. The ability to pay for rent, mortgages, bills, and food are fundamental to our quality of life.
It is important to plan for future financial hardship by making saving a goal and budgeting carefully. It’s impossible to predict what will happen in the future, so to cushion any financial hardship, it’s worth putting a little money aside each month.
Developing a savings plan now will enable you to get on with living your life stress-free!
Reduce monthly bills
List all your current outgoings and look to see if you can make any savings. Often it’s tempting to keep the same standing order from the same insurance company for year upon year. You are likely to be paying too much for your premiums and it’s worth shopping around and switching.
Look at the amount of interest you are paying on loans, mortgages and credit cards, you could be able to secure a better deal. One thing to remember is to check your credit score if it is poor lenders won’t give you the best interest rate.
It is possible to repair your credit score by using the expertise of a credit repair company.
Utility bills can be reduced by switching utility providers. Use an online comparison site to secure the best deal. Switching is easy as most of the work is completed for you by your new supplier.
To budget carefully you need to be in control of your spending and to be in control you need to be aware of your income and outgoings. List every necessary outgoing that must be met on a monthly basis and you will be left with an amount which will have been spent on miscellaneous items such as eating out.
You can then design a budget plan so that you can put a certain amount into a savings account. You will probably be surprised at how much your morning coffee costs when added up over the month.
Cut it down to once or twice a week and you will make significant savings.
Make savings work to your advantage
Savings (if you have them!) can work to your financial advantage. Ensure you choose the best financial products that give the maximum return on your savings. Financial products change rapidly to factor in a financial audit of your savings every couple of years to check savings are in the best account.
You could also consider investing your savings property or financial shares. This has the potential to be lucrative but is not without risk. Consider hiring a professional and independent financial advisor for advice.
Ideally, you should set apart some of your salaries each month in order to build up an emergency fund. Life can be unpredictable and without savings to fall back on, your car breaking down or your roof leaking could plunge you into more debt as you borrow to rectify the situation.
Savings will cushion the blow of any financial hardship.
Stop Paying Extra Bank or Late Fees
Late fees are not helping you. They add up over time – fees can even accrue fees!
If you are the kind of person who always forgets to pay their bills on time, you can get around this by automating your finances so that the money automatically goes out of your account.
You should also avoid making any extra charges on your credit card unless you are sure that you are able to pay it off in full at the end of the month.
Don’t Pay Full Price!
Paying full price is a really common financial mistake that a ton of people make.
In today’s world, you can find a sale on just about any item. If you see something you need at the store, take a few moments to shop for it online and you’ll probably be able to save 10-20%
Not only does this method stop you from overpaying, it also gives you a moment to think and decide whether or not what you were thinking of buying is actually a worthwhile investment.
Create a Financial Defense Plan
All of us need to not only earn our living and grow our finances if we’re to live a comfortable and happy life, but we must also defend them.
That means ensuring you stay rational, sensible and forward-thinking in all matters related to your financial health.
There are a few considerations you can take care of in order to make this so, and generate a cognitive and systemic financial defense to keep your money yours, and flowing in the direction you most want.
Here are the keys to defending your financial interests
Know Good Lawyers
The most important thing is to have good counsel and good advice. So, hire the best attorneys that you can afford. From real estate to contracts to brand protection, you need someone behind you making sure you aren’t making any major missteps.
The world practically runs in the courtroom now, unfortunately. So, with good attorneys on your side, it will keep you out of the courtroom and focused on running your business.
Have A Contingency Plan
It’s always best to have a fail-safe.
This might mean never tying up all your investments in one basket. It might mean diversifying your investments .
Or, it could mean allowing only one or two financial handlers to have any kind of insight into your money matters in the first place.
The key is to be able to have a solid plan but also be able to pivot to something else should the first plan fail.
With the willingness to keep a backup plan, or a mode of operation to take when something fails or doesn’t go the way you expect, you at least won’t lose anything.
Keeping a solid contingency is also reliant on keeping solid discipline with your financial means – without this none of your decisions are likely to land effectively.
Pore Over Contracts
Whenever signing a contract, or forging a new one, you need to know exactly what terms are referring to.
You also need to read between the lines, and consider what situations a certain stipulation could affect in the future. Remember, even vaguely written terms in a contract do not fall there unexpectedly.
They are either there to make or defend a certain form of income, or persuade and dissuade a certain type of behavior. Every word counts.
Remember the first recommendation? Well, here’s where they come in. But, it’s important to know how to read and interpret the contracts yourself as well.
Study contract terminology and simply dedicate the time to observe and understand.
Look For Weak Spots
What are the weak spots in your defense system?
Could it be family members having access to your accounts? Do you think it could it be emotional family members asking for financial help, when this is not genuine?
Or perhaps it could it be the services you bank with.
Don’t forget about the way you log in to your accounts and store passwords.
To prevent your finances from being breached, keep up to date on modern security measures. From there, you should be settled.
To reduce your financial stress, the key is to lower your costs, increase your passive income, and protect your assets.
Debt Crisis 101: Hedge Fund Legend Ray Dalio’s Take On What Triggers Rising Debts
The 2008 financial crisis resulted in enormous failures for both individual and institutional investors. There were not many investors who were able to navigate through the crisis calmly and without great losses. Those who did knew the fundamental basics about how debt crises work.
Therefore, learning how to maneuver future debt crises is extremely critical for all investors, no matter how big or small their portfolio is. Economic changes are unavoidable, of course, so the only way out is to understand the primary cause-and-effect relationships and to learn to manage them, argues Ray Dalio in his new book, Big Debt Crises.
Cyclic nature of debt cycles
Debts essentially originate from credit. It is the credit or assumed ability to purchase which leads to debt. Therefore, debt is not always bad because it gives the economy purchasing power. It is when the debt is not used productively and does not get repaid in time that it becomes bad.
Excellent lending standards are a necessity. If they are too stringent, debt will be less, but so will be purchasing power, which will restrict economic development. On the other hand, if lending standards are too lenient, there will be more money and more growth, but high, unpaid debt becomes a threat to the overall economy.
Of course, when a person borrows money, it means he is purchasing something that he cannot afford at the time. It’s important to realize that he isn’t just borrowing from the lender, but also from his future self. There will be a time in the future when he will have to spend less than he earns so he can pay back the debt. He may again have to borrow money at that time to be able to pay back the old debt, which creates a cycle. This cycle applies to nations and individuals alike.
The effects of the debt cycle
Every debt cycle is caused by a lack of purchasing power and/ or buying more than one can afford. When the borrower is unable to meet his debt obligations, the lender is, in turn, unable to meet his own obligations to his creditors, and that obviously leads to a number of problems.
The most significant effect of debt cycles is that huge losses are incurred due to non-payment. The lender expects certain payment amounts every year, which either get reduced or written off entirely. As a result, losses get piled up on both lenders and creditors.
On the other hand, even when the debt cycle is balanced for a short period, the long-term implications are enormous. The businesses which borrowed or those that loaned money may become financially unstable for a long time. This affects the entire economy of a country.
Can debt crises be managed to avoid big problems?
If the policymakers of a country efficiently handle debt cycles, it is possible to control debt crises to a large extent. They can use their authority and knowledge to make policy changes so that debt crises do not drown the entire country.
Policymakers can start with the use of austerity, or spending less than what is brought in. They may also make certain debt defaults and restructuring. The central government can print more money and make more purchases to increase the amount of money in circulation. Another efficient method is to transfer money from those who have more to those who need it, which can be done in various ways.
Thus, debt cycles are integral and unavoidable parts of an economy’s system. However, they can be managed effectively to ensure they do not become vast crises.