Are Property Investors Ignoring The Real Cost Of Real Estate??

  • Buying and selling fees, ongoing management charges, tax and tenancy uncertainty can erode any potential profits on property investment.

  • Falling gross rental yield rates and rising housing prices can make it harder to find reliable returns.

  • AltX provides access to the attractive property market without some of the risks and expenses that come with direct investment.

Drawn to potential gains in a surging market, Australians continue to invest in real estate. But is there a better way to get in on the boom without costs and fees chipping away at your yield?

 According to the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data, property represents 51% of household wealth in Australia. And it doesn’t look like that percentage is going to be going down anytime soon. In June, ABS figures revealed quarterly growth in household wealth of 5.8%. And the increase was once again driven by residential property. The asset class grew by 6.7% in the period – the largest quarterly jump on record.

It’s clear Australians have retained their strong appetite for investing in property and are hungry for more opportunities. But is being a landlord all it’s cracked up to be – especially as residential prices continue to rise?

It all adds up

It’s one thing to outbid (or out-negotiate) the competition for your new investment property. It’s another factor in all the other initial and ongoing costs associated with real estate investing, all of which can dent potential returns in both the short- and long term. They include:

  • Buying and selling costs including stamp duty, conveyancing fees, agent fees, and inspections, not to mention the time involved in research, due diligence, finance, and settlement.
  • Ongoing fees such as property management services (which can generally eat up 7-10% of weekly rent income plus GST[1]), maintenance and repairs, strata fees, and landlord insurance (about $1200 a year for a property worth $1million[2]).
  • Capital gains tax on rental income from positively geared investments, as well as on the eventual profit when you sell.

And there’s also the potential unreliability of tenants, which can become an even bigger concern as you grow your investment property portfolio. On the one hand, more dwellings mean a greater number of potential income streams. On the other, each carries its own risk of vacancy and no- or low-rent periods, as we saw during COVID-19 support measures.

As vacancy rates rise and fall, so, too, can your return, bringing an extra element of unpredictability.

Prices up, yield down

Several other factors are making it harder for investors to find yield in the rental market.

In September 2021, the gross rental yield dropped to 3.32% – the lowest ever – with Melbourne (2.8%) and Sydney (2.5%) recording the lowest figures. COVID border closures and migration restrictions most likely played a role in this drop – highlighting one of the risks of traditional property investment.

Months of rising housing prices also make it harder to find consistent yield due to the inverse relationship between the two factors. Combining low yield with the aforementioned costs of real estate investment, and you can see why many potential investors are frustrated.

Taking some of the worries out of real estate

Alternative investing options like AltX give you a chance to get involved in the upward-moving Australian property market – without exposing yourself to as many of the costs and variables that can cause your yield to yo-yo.

By investing in the private real estate debt used to fund Australian real estate projects, property is still a part of your portfolio as the underlying security – without the burden of owning it yourself. Your regular monthly payments come in the form of interest, rather than rent, which means less worry about vacancy rates or unreliable tenants. And with an average deal timeframe of 12 to 18 months and no exit costs, you’ll have more flexibility in where and how you allocate your capital.

It’s an exciting time to get involved in the soaring Australian property market. And the alternative investment options from AltX might be the key to avoiding some of the traditional costs associated with doing so.

About AltX

AltX (www.altx.com.au) is a market-leading alternative investment platform. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Sydney, AltX provides bespoke access to alternative income-generating products which have traditionally been inaccessible to individual investors.  AltX has funded in excess of $2bn of transactions since inception with zero loss of investor capital.

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Medianet

Will The Omicron Strain Impact Property Trends??

Pete Wargent, the co-founder of BuyersBuyers, Australia’s first national network of property buyer’s agents, says the Omicron strain of the coronavirus will have a negligible impact on the trajectory of the housing market.

Mr Wargent said, “to a certain extent, the last couple of years should have reminded us that making predictions is very hard, especially when they are about pandemics or the future. But, that said, there’s little to indicate that the latest strain of the virus will have any meaningful impact on housing market trends.”

“After an initial wobble, stock markets have been resurgent, and financial markets have been largely unperturbed, which is likely to be a better indicator than the latest alarmist headline.”

“Financial markets are possibly factoring in the various news about the lack of serious cases of the latest strain to date, with many reporting mild symptoms. However, case numbers seem to be increasing rapidly, which could delay the full reopening of the international borders into 2022”.

“Moreover, a look back at how the housing market fared through the past two years suggests that there are more crucial factors at play than the latest strain of the virus, such as the cost of mortgage debt and the supply of properties being made available for sale” Mr Wargent said.

Cooling naturally

BuyersBuyers co-founder Doron Peleg said that a cooling of the housing market was inevitable in 2022 after a storming year in 2021. Still, the latest virus strain wasn’t a key factor in his forecasts.

Mr Peleg said, “a range of factors combined will help to take the heat out of the housing market in 2022, such as gradually rising mortgage rates, more vendors looking to lock in gains, and more cautious buyers as affordability bites following the strong price gains of 2021”.

“The rate of immigration has not been a key factor in driving the market over the past couple of years, with the notable exception of CBD and some inner-city apartments, where the absence of international students has been felt particularly keenly.”

“Remember, though, that the closure of the borders didn’t lead the doomsday outcomes many commentators predicted, partly because corrective policy measures were taken” Mr Peleg said.

“All eight of the capital cities recorded double-digit price gains over the year to September, with most recording price rises of about 20 per cent or higher”.

Population growth to resume

Pete Wargent of BuyersBuyers said that buyer sentiment has been broadly unchanged by the latest virus developments.

Mr Wargent said “there is less fear of missing out in the housing market now. But the pattern of housing trends through the pandemic has taught more buyers to look through the short-term noise and to buy quality properties when they can while taking a medium-term outlook.”

“We wouldn’t be surprised to see employment surging towards a record high approaching 13½ million through 2022, with the economy likely to grow by about 5 per cent per annum for the next couple of years, in turn helping to push the unemployment rate down to 4 per cent for the first time since the mining boom go-go years”.

“There might be a delay in the rebooting of immigration due to Omicron. But looking through the noise, population growth should be back to over 300,000 per annum whenever travel does become easier, and potentially even nearer to 400,000” Mr Wargent said.

About BuyersBuyers

BuyersBuyers connects people looking to buy a property with some of the best buyer’s agents around Australia. We aim to level the real estate playing field to give first-time and experienced home buyers and property investors a personalised service with the advantage of having a property expert working for them, serving only the buyer’s interests. Our national network of top buyer’s agents is the largest in Australia and offers some of the most affordable buying solutions on the market.

All our buyer’s agents are licensed, experienced, and are committed to working in the best interest of our clients. We offer excellent value for money with very competitive and affordable fees and no commissions. What you see is what you get. Our bespoke property research and tools enable buyer’s agents and buyers to stay informed on market trends and our insightful property reports help determine the best places to buy. That’s why we are quite simply, ‘the better way to buy property.

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Medianet

How Investors Are Embracing Alternative Strategies In This Day And Age

Traditionally financial advisers were considered investment specialists who earned fees for advising their ‘non-financial’ clients on where to invest. But with traditional debt and equity investments no longer achieving the desired outcomes, they’ll need to stay ahead of all available investment options – including the ones self-directed investors are already embracing.

Trust in financial advice eroded during the Banking Royal Commission, and only one in ten Australians currently receive financial advice. Oliver Wyman estimates non-advised investments in Australia are worth $3.6 trillion – more than three times assets under advice.[1]

“Financial advisers have been forced to make significant changes – to their fee models, professional education requirements and client duty of care – and in some cases their licensees have exited the industry,” says Nick Raphaely, CEO and Co-founder of AltX, an alternative investment platform focusing on property-backed private debt.

“At the same time, the available universe of investment options has expanded – and many high net worth or sophisticated investors know that. They expect more from their advisers than ever before.”

Direct investors are embracing debt

While it’s still a relatively small component of any portfolio, industry experts believe Australia’s private debt market could double by 2025. According to Preqin, Australia’s private capital assets under management rose steadily in 2020 to a record $77 billion, and the country has one of the most attractive risk/return profiles globally. These assets comprise private equity, venture capital, private debt, real estate, infrastructure, and natural resources.

“Investors no longer question whether the asset class has merits. They come directly to us, and are more interested in whether the deal matches what they’re looking for in terms of risk and return,” says Raphaely.

One AltX investor, who currently has over 100 deals on the platform and also invests in private debt elsewhere, says AltX’s deals play a “conservative role” in his portfolio as a capital preservation play. “I like the quality of the deals, and I like AltX’s flawless default rate of zero. Your money works harder there than with the bank, without taking on any undue risk.”

As a wholesale investor, he also invests directly in property, funds and equities – without a financial planner.

“I find they don’t really understand what you’re trying to do, or they have a bias towards a particular path,” he says. “I wish accountants could still provide that kind of advice, because they see everyone’s books and understand what does and doesn’t work.”

Most investors don’t have the time or expertise to stay on top of a truly diversified portfolio – let alone any tax advantages. Yet 19% of Australians say the biggest barrier to accessing financial advice is lack of trust – and 29% say it’s a desire to manage their own finances.

AltX’s Flagship First Mortgage Debt Fund has recently received a ‘Recommended’ rating from independent research house IIR, and AltX can also create bespoke funds for advisers. This makes first mortgage private debt more accessible for both advisers and their clients.

However, they first need to understand the role of alternative assets like private debt in the current market.

Liquidity, yield and capital preservation

For investors approaching or in retirement, generating reliable income is the number one concern right now. But defensive positions are currently difficult: investing in cash currently does not beat inflation, and other fixed-income like 5-year Australian government bonds are only returning around 0.5% yield.

“Alternatives are not designed to keep pace with ‘raging bull’ equity markets – they provide non-correlated diversification to protect investment portfolios,” explains Raphaely. “But they can provide a balance of income, diversification and liquidity if you know what you are looking for.”

For example, AltX provides returns of around 4%-8% on first mortgage-backed property loans, over a fixed period – say 12 months. Construction loans may yield higher returns, but they assume an extra level of risk in the execution of actually building a project.

That’s why private debt investors need to do a fair amount of due diligence before committing to any specific deal. And their advisers should be across those details too.

“I understand property,” the AltX investor told us. “I don’t look at any LVR (Loan to Value Ratio) over 65% unless it’s a cracker of a position. I look at the valuation and whether I agree with that value. I look at the property, where it is and what the alternative uses are – how easy it would be to resell. And I tend not to go past 12 months.”

He prefers to invest directly, to have full visibility over the underlying asset. “I like that AltX has been doing this for quite a while. What I really love is that the exit strategy for the borrower is clearly laid out for every transaction. This gives me a lot of clarity on how I’m going to get my money back.”

Not just for those in the know

Raphaely co-founded AltX 10 years ago because he believed the ‘exclusive club’ mentality of investing in private debt was ripe for disruption. “It shouldn’t have to be a case of who you know,” he says. “We want to democratise access to this asset class.”

Many AltX investors do hear about the platform through friends and colleagues. These investors are far less likely to come through their financial adviser – although Raphaely hopes that will change as more planners understand the valuable role private debt can play in a portfolio.

“Instead of targeting a balanced portfolio mix with 60% equities and 40% bonds, think about it in terms of time,” he suggests. “Especially for retirees, who don’t have the time horizon to recover from a capital loss or ride out low bond yields.” For example, carving liquidity needs up into time, you could allocate cash funds to a 12-month private debt deal – and enjoy strong returns with a similar sense of security. “As a first mortgage holder, you rank in priority to other creditors,” notes Raphaely.

Other assets, like private equity, also have a strong showing as alternatives to equities – but (like equities) they play a growth role, rather than yield. And private equity positions are far less liquid than shares.

“There are assets that can provide income, but they aren’t the ‘usual’ types of products many financial planners are used to,” says Raphaely. “If we look at the US, there is certainly growing acceptance of alternatives as part of the mix. Yieldstreet, for example, enables investments in art or marine finance as well as real estate.”

As financial advisers seek to stay relevant in ever-changing markets – where new tech platforms may be just as trusted by the next generation of investors as a human adviser – it’s important to be aware of all the possible options available to meet investor goals and risk appetite.

About AltX

AltX (www.altx.com.au) is a market-leading alternative investment platform. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Sydney, AltX provides bespoke access to alternative income-generating products which have traditionally been inaccessible to individual investors.  AltX has funded in excess of $2bn of transactions since inception with zero loss of investor capital.

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Medianet

Here Are The 5 Biggest JobKeeper Earners That Received More Than $1.2bn

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission effectively announced that it was mandatory for businesses to disclose the amount of JobKeeper payments they received and that these figures will be publicly listed on ASIC’s website.

Basically, it’s compulsory for every publicly listed company that received JobKeeper payments during the Covid-19 pandemic to publicly disclose their earnings from the scheme from Tuesday as per the Australian.

The Australian further confirms that initially, the $101bn payment scheme was set up to help keep businesses afloat throughout the pandemic, however, the plan created controversy when it was discovered that thousands of companies actually made a profit during the pandemic thanks to this initiative.

According to the new ASIC disclosure requirements, all publicly listed companies that received JobKeeper must declare the total amount of money they received, the number of employees they received it for, as well as if they made voluntary repayments of the payments.

That said, here are the top five companies that received the highest amounts of JobKeeper for the 2020-21 financial year. The entire list can be found via the ASIC website.

Qantas – $695.5 million

Crown Resorts – $198.3 million

Flight Centre – $152 million

Mosaic Brands – $96.5 million

Star Entertainment Group – $94.9 million

The combined earnings of the five largest recipients of the JobKeeper payment come at a total of more than a whopping $1.2bn taxpayer dollars!

More to come regarding this revelation.

Editorial credit: TK Kurikawa / Shutterstock.com

5 Good Reasons Wealthy People Love Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe, a traditional Swiss watchmaking brand, enjoys an aura of covetable glamour that originates from its lavish traditions of watchmaking and its exquisite polished, handcrafted timepieces.

In this article, we will walk you through 5 compelling reasons that make Patek Philippe an incredibly popular choice amongst rich collectors. Here, take a look:

A Symbol of Exclusivity

Research reveals that since 1839, Patek Philippe has made and sold less than 1 million watches, which allows this luxury Swiss watchmaker to enjoy an immensely covetable brand appeal. Patek watches take around nine months to be manufactured, while the more exquisite pieces are produced in a period of over two years. The growing demand and the sought-after models have given the brand an affluent status that allows rich people to set themselves apart in the crowd.

Hand-Finished Beauty

Philip Patek watches are known for their finesse and beauty. These intensely charming timepieces are admired because of their stunning hand-finished components. The Swiss watchmaker infuses each design with an iconic detailing that captivates the admirers with its distinctive and high-end glamour. From the dynamic batons to the hand-finished hands, and the overall design, it is the little details that allow a Patek watch to leave the onlookers struck by its sleek appeal.

It’s an Investment

Many savvy collectors invest in Patek watches as an investment, and both vintage and modern watches promise a spectacular resale value. History stands witness to the fact that Patek watches bought back in the 1950s or 1970s, for instance, the Calatrava, and the 5131 Cloisonné Enamel, sold twice more than their original retail price.

Be part of a Legacy

Patek Philippe maintains an archive for every single watch made since 1839, and it allows watch enthusiasts revel in the confidence of being a proud member of the Patek community. The archives have meticulously documented the history of each and every watch that has ever been produced by the celebrated Swiss watchmaker, allowing the purchaser to be a part of a legacy shared with royal family members, heads of states, and celebrities.

Traditional Watchmaking Traditions

Rich people adore Patek Philippe for its rich legacy and its traditional watch and case-making techniques that date all the way back to the 1800s. This iconic brand continues to dominate the market of luxury watches with its meticulous preservation of centuries’ old watchmaking techniques, handcraftsmanship, and alluring designs.

Photo by Antony Trivet from Pexels

How To Get Your Loved One A Gift That’s Personally Picked This Christmas

With an 80% increase in gifting during the pandemic lockdown period, this female-founded Aussie gifting startup, PersonallyPicked has seen exponential growth over the past year. Demand continues to grow for unique and fabulous gift options for loved ones being sent, “just because”.

As the name suggests, PersonallyPicked allows customers to curate the perfect gift for their friend, colleague, or loved one, selecting from over 150 incredible gift options. For those more indecisive or in need of a little gifting inspo – there are ready-made gift boxes for a quick solution.

That said, PersonallyPicked says that over 95% of their customers choose to build their own personalised gift box – offering a gift that, as the name states, is personally picked for them.

Some of the most popular gift items during the current lockdowns have included drinks such as Melbourne Martini cocktails in a jar, Just a Glass Wines, and T2 teas, as Aussies enjoy a tipple or two from home – be it toasty and warm, or fresh and fruity.

Additionally, people are spreading the fun, with activity-related gifts rising in popularity during the lockdown. Many Australians are sending Journey of Something puzzles, quiz games, and cocktail recipe books to keep people entertained at home. It seems we’re also quite keen to pamper friends and family with beauty and wellness products such as the Aunty Honey Heat Packs, Lapcos Face Masks, and Huxter Bath Salts in rather high demand.

PersonallyPicked Co-Founder Samantha Lynn said, “Customers are sending gifts not for any particular occasion, but just because loved ones were going through difficult times and as a way to re-connect and bring joy. We have also had a huge uplift in corporate clients and businesses organising gifts for their staff who were working hard in lockdown at home, which is really great to see.”

Over the last 12 months, PersonallyPicked has seen a 250% increase in sales, with the online gifting trend seeing no sign of slowing down.

PersonallyPicked offers a range of bright, colourful, and unique packaging options that stand out from the crowd. The best part, each gift box is personalised with the recipient’s name for the ultimate personalised experience.

For more information or to order your own PersonallyPicked gift box, head to: www.personallypicked.com.au

The Surefire Guide To Starting And Successfully Running A Home Business

By:

Some of today’s most prominent businesses were started at home, and many of today’s successful business owners are content to operate their businesses from their home office, garage, or on-site warehouse. 

A small business may be defined as a “privately owned corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship with fewer employees and less annual revenue than a corporation or regular-sized business.” Therefore, a small home business can be defined as such; only its operation occurs at the proprietor’s residence or in the residential setting of one of the employees. 

Many people decide to start a small home business to earn extra income or simply to go into business for themselves. Many small businesses are run from homes today, ranging from financial consulting and baking to salon services and tutoring. Whether you’re interested in selling products or providing services from your home, the following information will help you get started and probably answer some questions you might have and know some pros and cons. Of course, if you have little ones at home, starting a business alongside them can be a challenge – but not impossible! Parenting while working from home can actually be enjoyable, while also setting a positive example for your children to learn from.

Benefits and Advantages of a Home-Based Business

If you’re thinking about launching a home business, you’ll want to explore the many enjoyable advantages and benefits. In fact, many of these benefits persuade people to start a home business in the first place. 

Time with Family

Many people prefer to work from home so that they can be around for the family. Small business owners can be on-site to keep an eye on older relatives who may need occasional assistance. They can be at home when children are let out of school, and they can enjoy flexible hours to quickly leave home and attend kids’ events like after-school track meets or basketball games. Even if you are a “pet parent,” staying at home jobs or starting your own business will be ideal for taking care and sharing more time with the people you love or your furry loved ones. 

Zero Commute Time

The average American spends an hour per day commuting to and from work. That adds up to 20 hours per week. Many people spend even more time commuting, enduring the stress of heavy traffic, inclement weather, and crowded busses or trains. There is also the substantial cost associated with work commutes. Being at home will reduce these extra costs since you will be able to cook and eat at home, avoid traffic, lower your gas budget or any other transportation budget. This would be the perfect time to start eating clean and having a healthy diet, adding more activities that will keep you productive such as meditating instead of being stuck in traffic. 

Save on Commercial Rent

When you run your business from home, you can save the cost of rent. If you operate your business in a commercial space, you’d be required to pay rent as well as utilities and insurance. You can avoid this type of overhead by operating your business online from your home. You can reinvest the money you save on commercial rent back into your business in some other form, such as digital marketing

Multitask between Your Professional and Personal Lives

While it may take some practice to juggle tasks associated with your business and personal life skillfully, you can undoubtedly multitask when running a home business. You can break from your work to throw in a load of laundry or prep for dinner on your lunch break. You can create a daily dynamic schedule that includes tasks related to your business and household needs. Moreover, you may easily fit a wide range of tasks into your day without the commute time, such as exercising.

Be More Productive

Because your business belongs to you, you’re likely to feel a tremendous investment in its success. So, you’re apt to work hard and be highly productive. Moreover, there won’t be any other employees (unless you decide to hire them) or a boss around to distract you from your tasks. Consequently, you can more easily stick to your workday plans. When you run your own business, you can set your own goals in terms of productivity and develop the strategies to achieve them that work best for you. You definitely are able to become your own boss! A great way to get started would be creating a schedule you know you will follow every day. It must have realistic metrics so you can stay motivated throughout this new journey. While making your schedule, you might want to add some household activities that might take around 15 minutes to complete or maybe just take an outdoor walk or read that book you have purchased and haven’t had the chance to open it—organizing your agenda and working at home will a great experience. It doesn’t matter if you are a morning or evening person.

Getting Started

Starting a business is an exciting prospect, but there are a lot of details to address. By staying organized and tackling all necessary tasks, you can set your business model up for a successful launch.

Define Your Business

Take time to define your business clearly. Will you sell products, services, or both? Although you may already have a good idea of what you want to do, you’ll want to think in terms of specifics once you’re serious about starting a small home business. Take time to brainstorm through some ideas and make a list of the possibilities you’re most interested in pursuing. Once you have a shortlist, you can research your options and take a look at the marketplace to determine if there’s a need for your offerings. Take into consideration also what are you good at, baking, cooking, singing, tutoring, numbers, dropshipping, etc. this will help you to keep motivated and have a business project that you will enjoy and won’t see it as a boring work task that you just have to perform. 

Brainstorm Your Business Name

Take time to choose a business name carefully. You’ll want to choose a name that’s easy for customers to spell and remember. It makes sense to select a web-friendly name in this digital age and nothing too similar to your competitors’ names. While there are business name-generating apps available that you can try, you might also want to make a list of possible names for your business and run them past family and friends to get their thoughts. You can even ask your close friends and family to suggest options as a way of helping you brainstorm.

Identify Your Target Audience

Who are you trying to sell to? Defining your target audience, whether it’s local homeowners or teenagers nationwide, will help you market your business effectively. When you have a target demographic in mind, you can create more targeted strategies for engaging potential customers. Therefore, you must identify your product or service’s target audience before you begin marketing efforts for the brand. The group will include existing customers as well as potential customers.  

Your target market does not necessarily consist of everyone who may be interested in your products. It’s important to identify the people you want to reach through your brand marketing efforts, whether you’re using digital marketing campaigns or advertisements or on social media channels.

Understanding your target audience and their pain points allows you to create content more effectively and target advertisements with the right marketing message for each segment.

Develop Your Business Plan

Creating a business plan is a crucial step for developing your home business. It can include every aspect of your business, guiding both its launch and operation. Some key elements of your business plan should include:

  • Company description: provide a summary of what your company does. Company descriptions give an overview of key aspects of your business, such as what you do and what sets you apart from the competition. Your business description should clearly explain what you do.
  • Breakdown of your products and services: The product or service section of your business plan should emphasize the value you offer clients or customers.
  • Executive summary: provide a formal business summary, one that could appear in professional business directories.
  • Marketing and sales plan: describe how you intend to market your company (i.e., digital and traditional sales measures)
  • Competitive analysis: analyze the marketplace you intend to operate in; know how you fit in and who your competitors are. 
  • Operating plan: describe how you plan to run your business and list company departments and managing personnel.

Financial Considerations

You’ll need to carefully evaluate your finances and develop a budget related to your startup expenses and business operation. Don’t forget to add in costs for items like marketing, insurance, and other necessities associated with the types of products or services you’ll sell. Determine whether or not you’ll need to apply for a business loan. For entrepreneurs who are starting new businesses, personally funded venture capital is often the first thing they consider. While this is common at the beginning, it is essential to separate your personal and professional funds when your business is growing and earning cash, not only for tax purposes but also to protect your credit and eliminate unnecessary stress.

Legal Business Structure

Take time to determine your business’s legal stature and structure. Do you intend to own your business as a private proprietor or to create a corporation? Learn about the different structures and decide which is best suited for you and your business.

Business Licensure

What type of license will you need to operate your business? Be sure to calculate the cost of your license into your startup costs. Although there are general business licenses, there are also specialty licenses that may apply to your business. Check here to learn more about specific types of business licenses.

Branding Campaign

Marketing is essential for any business but definitely a home business. You won’t have the benefit of being in a commercial area where you can post commercial signage. You’ll need to create a marketing plan that includes both traditional and digital marketing initiatives. Branding is the idea that if you display a positive message about your company to enough people for long enough, they’ll think about you when it’s time to make a purchase.

Source: Porch.com

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

5 Ways To Keep Yourself Healthy During The COVID-19 Pandemic

In the midst of a global pandemic, many want to know which ways are best to boost your immune system. However, it must be noted that there is no diet, supplement, or lifestyle modification that will protect against COVID-19 except for proper hygiene and social distancing. The tips listed below may support and boost your immune health, making it easier to fight off disease and infections, but they do not specifically fight against COVID-19

That being said, here are 5 tips that will boost your immune health and with time will help you feel healthier as well help your body to fight off illnesses.

Getting Enough Sleep Each Night

You may notice when you get a cold or start feeling sick, you start sleeping longer and deeper. This is your body allowing your immune system to better fight off the illness. Your immune system takes a lot of energy to fight off illnesses, likewise, it takes a lot of energy to protect against them. It’s important to get enough sleep for many reasons, among them is to have enough energy to give your immune system a chance to fight off illnesses.

Work Whole Plant and Fermented Foods into Your Diet

Whole plants, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are incredibly rich in nutrients and antioxidants. These may give your immune system an upper hand in its fight against some harmful pathogens. It can cut down on chronic inflammation, provide fiber to promote gut health, and most provide the vitamin C needed to reduce the duration of a common cold.

While fermented foods may not be what many think is best for their diets (And in fact when done improperly can be dangerous so be sure to research fermentation before starting) they are often packed with probiotics and beneficial bacteria that promote gut health. In turn, this allows your stomach and immune system to work together to fight off illness.

Limit the Amount of Added Sugars in Your Diet

With many coming to the conclusion that added sugars and refined carbs contribute heavily to obesity, it is important to try to begin cutting these out of your diet. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease are all capable of suppressing your immune system. To maintain a healthy immune system it is vital to cut the risk of these by reducing how much-added sugar is in your diet to 5% of your daily calories.

Practice Moderate and Daily Exercise

Simple, daily exercises such as brisk walking, steady biking, jogging swimming, and light hiking are all great ways to stay in shape, as well as boost your immune system. An active body has a better chance of fighting off infections and illnesses.

Drink Enough Water Everyday

While drinking water does not directly protect you from germs or viruses, it does prevent dehydration and boosts your overall health. Preventing dehydration is important for everyone, as you are far more susceptible to illness while dehydrated.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Universal Music Launches A Major Expansion In China, With The Launch Of Multiple New Local Record Labels

Universal Music Greater China (UMGC), a division of Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment today and Republic Records, today announced the launch of Republic Records China, the first international label division of leading U.S. label Republic Records to launch worldwide.

Republic Records, the label founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, is home to some of the world’s most acclaimed and successful international artists, labels, and entrepreneurs including Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Drake, The Weeknd, and Post Malone amongst others and has long been synonymous with breaking and introducing global talents of the highest quality. In recent years, Republic artists have found success around the world, including in China, where Taylor Swift has consistently broken records for international sales success, thanks to building a large loyal fanbase across the region.

The new Republic Records China label will be built with the same blueprint and ethos as its sister-label but will focus on signing and developing the next generation of Chinese music and C-pop talent from Mainland China, with a view to reaching a global audience. The label will be based in Beijing and led by Tony Wen, who has been appointed Managing Director, Republic Records China, effective immediately and will report to Sunny Chang, Chairman & CEO, UMGC. Wen has significant experience within the Chinese music and media industries as both a successful music producer and former Sony Music and EE-media executive, with the first label signings to the new label to be announced shortly.

In making the announcement, Republic Records founder Chairman & CEO Monte Lipman said, “We’re thrilled to see the launch of Republic Records in China led by the brilliant leadership team of Tony and Sunny. This initiative recognizes the extraordinary growth in the Chinese marketplace and the palpable influence which has made a tremendous impact on our industry worldwide.”

Adam Granite, EVP, Market Development, UMG said, “I’d like to thank Monte, Avery, and Republic Records for their support, as we welcome Republic Records China and Tony to the UMG label family. We are incredibly excited for Republic to become a new force synonymous with the best in Chinese music, just as the Republic brand is seen as a trusted mark of quality around the world.  It is a unique time for music in China, with a diversely rich talent pool of new artists and talent that have the potential to find huge success both domestically, across Asia, and more than ever before around the world. UMG has a long history and culture of supporting and developing the best global music talent, and the launch of new labels only helps to accelerate and strengthen the domestic Chinese music market and most importantly introduce new and exciting artists and music to fans in China and beyond.”

Sunny Chang, Chairman & CEO, UMGC, said, “I am also very pleased to welcome aboard Tony Wen – a highly experienced, senior executive in the music industry, who has established his career in the local market and has now become part of the amazing UMGC management team. His insights and experiences will bring indispensable value for us, as we launch Republic here in China. We thank Monte and Avery for the trust in UMGC, to launch Republic as a cornerstone for our multi-label strategy, as we set to expand the horizons for Chinese music talent in the future.”

The launch comes as part of a significant expansion of UMG’s recorded music operations within China, with the establishment of a multi-label structure, to lead its focus on domestic A&R and local language artists within the region. Republic Records China will sit alongside EMI China, PolyGram Records China Universal Music China, each operating independently with their own dedicated artist rosters, A&R and specialist marketing teams as part of an innovative and unique to market, multi-label strategy, reinforcing UMGC’s commitment to accelerating and introducing the next wave of Chinese music talent to the world across a variety of genres, as it becomes the first major music company to establish multiple frontline label operations across China.

About Republic Records

A division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, Republic Records is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as Ariana Grande, Black Thought, Drake, Florence + the Machine, Greta Van Fleet, Hailee Steinfeld, Jack Johnson, James Blake, James Bay, Jessie J, John Mellencamp, Jonas Brothers, Julia Michaels, Kid Cudi, Lil Wayne, Lorde, Metro Boomin, NAV, Nicki Minaj, Of Monsters and Men, Pearl Jam, Post Malone, Seth MacFarlane, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and more. Founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, it is also comprised of innovative business ventures, including American Recordings, Boominati Worldwide, Brushfire, Casablanca Records, Cash Money, Lava Records, XO, Young Money, among others. Republic also maintains a long-standing strategic alliance with Universal Music Latin Entertainment (J Balvin and Karol G).  In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey), Sony Pictures (Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse) and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television franchises. Extending further into the worlds of film, television, and content, Republic launched Federal Films in order to produce movies and series powered by the label’s catalog and artists. Its first production was the Jonas Brothers documentary Chasing Happiness for Amazon Prime Video. Find out more at: https://www.republicrecords.com/

About Universal Music Group

Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising, and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring the most comprehensive catalog of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation, and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms, and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. Universal Music Group is a Vivendi company. Find out more at: http://www.universalmusic.com

Source: www.universalmusic.com

Card Payments In Australia Are Expected To Rebound And Grow By 8.3% This Year

The Australian payment card market, which has been on the rise for the past few years, registered a slowdown in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic with reduced consumer and commercial spending. However, the market is expected to rise by 8.3% in 2021, forecasts GlobalData, a leading data, and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s Payment Cards Analytics, the value of card payments registered subdued growth of 0.8% in 2020, much less compared to 5.8% in 2019. With improving economic conditions and vaccination programs gathering pace, the card payments market is set to rebound and reach A$749bn (US$577.3bn) in 2021.

The value of card payments is forecasted to grow further and register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6% between 2021 and 2025 to reach A$967.9bn (US$746.1bn) in 2025.

Sowmya Kulkarni, Senior Payments Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Australia has a developed card payment market with a strong payment infrastructure and high consumer preference for electronic payments. Australians are prolific users of payment cards, with a high frequency of card payments at 185 times per card in 2020. While the card payments market was affected in the short-run due to the pandemic, it is expected to rebound and continue its growth trajectory from 2021.”

The growth in card payments will be supported by the rising usage of contactless cards and e-commerce payments. The use of contactless cards is on the rise as even smaller merchants are now insisting on non-cash and contactless payments amid hygiene concerns arising from COVID-19. To support this, the limit for contactless card payment was increased from A$100 (US$77.08) to A$200 (US$154.16), effective April 2020.

In addition to physical cards, payment via mobile wallets with stored debit and credit cards are also gaining prominence in Australia. According to the Commonwealth Bank, as of March 2021, over 40% of the bank’s debit and credit card contactless transactions were made via mobile wallets.

In addition, the drop in overall consumer spending during the pandemic has been offset by a rise in online spending, as wary consumers are staying home and using the online channel. Payment cards are the major beneficiaries of this as they are the most preferred tool for e-commerce payments in Australia.

Debit cards are the most preferred card type for payments, accounting for 58.5% of the overall card payments value in 2021 while credit and charge cards account for the remaining 41.5% share.

The share of credit and charge cards segment is on a constant decline over the past few years due to the changing consumer attitude towards credit card debt, and the growing prominence of alternate financing options such as buy now, pay later. The reduction in consumer spending amid the pandemic also adversely affected the segment with credit and charge card payment value declining by 10.7% in 2020.

Ms. Sowmya Concludes: “While the COVID-19 pandemic hampered the growth of payments market in the short-run in Australia, it is expected to grow at a robust pace over the next four years, supported by the gradual economic recovery, a rise in consumer and commercial spending and high contactless adoption.”

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

FYI

  • Quotes are provided by Sowmya Kulkarni, Banking and Payments Senior Analyst at GlobalData
  • Information is based on GlobalData’s Payment Cards Analytics, which provides deep insight into the key trends in the global payment card market covering 73 key markets.
  • This press release was written using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis conducted by GlobalData’s team of industry experts

About GlobalData

4,000 of the world’s largest companies, including over 70% of FTSE 100 and 60% of Fortune 100 companies, make more timely and better business decisions thanks to GlobalData’s unique data, expert analysis, and innovative solutions, all in one platform. GlobalData’s mission is to help our clients decode the future to be more successful and innovative across a range of industries, including the healthcare, consumer, retail, financial, technology, and professional services sectors.