The golden years in paradise: Top tropical destinations for retirees

Most people plan to spend their golden years doing the things that make them feel more alive. Some of them finally find the time to work on their hobbies full-time but for retirees who just love traveling, retirement gives them the freedom to live life to the fullest by exploring the places and destinations that they only used to hear and read about on magazines. Here are some of the most popular tropical travel destinations for retirees and seniors that should be on your list, too.

Vanuatu

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This island-nation located south of the Pacific is a tropical archipelago. Vanuatu is composed of 82 small islands but only 65 of them are currently inhabited. According to Islands’ 2014 ranking, Vanuatu is one of the best choices for retiring early. Additionally, seniors planning to spend their golden years in this tropical paradise only need a minimum of $3,000 a month to finance a comfortable lifestyle.

 

The Cayman Islands

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If you want to live your retirement days in a first-class lifestyle, the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean is the most favored by seniors with impressive retirement funds. The three-island nation has private and public healthcare options and offers available health emergency air transport to Miami. One of the perks of choosing the Cayman Islands is the availability of cheaper housing and reasonably priced properties.

 

The Bahamas

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The Bahamas, a major offshore investment center, is composed of 700 islands but only 30 of them are currently inhabited, with Nassau, Governor’s Harbor, Paradise Island, and Freeport as the most populated areas. The islands are inhabited by friendly locals and expats who have found their second home in this sunny paradise. Retirement in the Bahamas offers a comfortable quality of life to seniors and retirees because aside from the comforts that money can buy, the best things about this destination are free: the relaxing sound of the sea, sunny days, and fresh air.

How changes in the Federal Reserve’s monetary policies influence the global economy

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The central banking system of the United States, the Federal Reserve System (also known as the Fed) is one of the most influential central banks in the world. In other words, any changes in the roles, regulations, and responsibilities of this financial institution have direct effects on the global financial state.

The Fed’s monetary policies were designed to achieve three main objectives that primarily benefit the citizens of the state: maximizing levels of employment, price stabilization, and most importantly, moderating long-term interest rates.  Over the years, its reach has expanded as the U.S. Central Bank also focused on the supervision and regulation of banks, stabilizing the country’s financial system, and even providing financial services especially to national and foreign depository institutions.

Just like any nation’s central bank, the Fed’s implementation of specific monetary policies hold the power to control the country’s overall economy. However, given the influence of the U.S. dollar as a preeminent currency in the global market, these changes tend to cause ripples beyond the country’s economic boarder.  For this reason alone, investors and analysts always keep a close eye on every move that this central bank makes.

For instance, in the event of a global financial crisis such as the one in 2007, the FED’s response has proven to be crucial. Here, the American central bank and other leading central banks of the world focused on implementing new policies and programs to aid in the liquidity of financial institutions. Ultimately, these adjustments also helped improve the conditions of the financial markets.

Indeed, the most powerful central banks in the world, most especially the United States’ Fed, have proven to cause not just a national but a global impact on the economy. This is true nowadays that the global market has become highly sensitive to every move of the American central bankers and their future implications of the most respected global reserve currency, the U.S. dollars.

For more about monetary policies, currencies, stocks, and investing as a whole, visit LOM Financial’s official Facebook page HERE.

Big Three: The most trusted credit rating agencies in the world

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The international debt markets have relied on credit rating agencies for over a hundred years. Currently, the industry is home to more than 70 companies that allow borrowers, represented by individuals to even governments, to easily access loans from trusted institutions.

Here are the top credit rating agencies today.

  1. Standard & Poor’s (S&P)

As a business intelligence company, S&P offers credit ratings on countries, bonds, as well as other forms of investments. The agency was founded in 1957 and is based in the United States. The company and its entire services as a whole have a total market capitalization of $ 23.7 Trillion.

  1. Moody’s

Moody’s, also known as Moody’s Investors Service, is recognized as one of the top bond credit rating agencies not only in the US where it is headquartered but across the globe. The company’s main focus is on government-issued bonds as well as bonds issued by commercial entities.

It was established by John Moody in 1909 in New York City. Aside from credit ratings, its services also cover market tools, analysis, as well as financial market research.

  1. Fitch Group

Fitch Group, Inc. offers a variety of products and services in the financial industry, such as surveillance and analytical tools, credit market research as well as platforms that allow access to credit-related information.

However, Fitch Group’s most popular contribution to the industry is its credit ratings and analytics, as well as related market opinions that have helped borrowers and participants monitor credit quality and potential risks in the market. Fitch was also founded in New York in 1914 by John Knowles Fitch.

What really determines oil prices?

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Oil holds its constant title as the most valuable commodity in many modern societies (making it a major element in most local and offshore portfolio management accounts), not only because it is one of the highly-traded non-financial products globally, but also because products derived from petroleum like oil covers a huge percentage of the world’s energy demand.

In the U.S. alone, crude oil provides 39% of the country’s energy source, with transportation topping the list for the industries that rely mainly on oil products on their day to day operations.

Since it’s the most sought-after commodity in the market today, the price of oil constantly changes. There are several factors that determine the price of oil and dramatic changes in these figures greatly affect the economy on a global scale.

However, unlike other products, what determines oil prices defies the basic rules of supply and demand. This is because the primary determinant of this commodity’s price will depend on traders who bid, on a daily basis, on oil futures contracts through the commodities market.

Traders make their decisions every day and their behavior that decides how they bid depends on controlled factors such as access to crude oil’s future supply, demand from the top oil consumers that include the United States, and most importantly, the present supply of this commodity in terms of output.

While traders and their sentiment towards oil as a potentially valuable commodity in the future can dramatically affect its price, other factors that are geopolitical in nature can also predict how oil prices will fare in the market.

Deals among economically dominant countries in the world greatly control the price of oil through pivotal decisions that could, in one way or another, influence the sentiments of traders and financial betters who are always on alert for every possible fallout.

Unforgettable historical events that took place in the Bahamas

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The Bahamas is a major archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean and a popular destination worldwide not just as a top tourist hotspot but as a global offshore portfolio management center that serves an impressive domestic and international client base. While the world sees the Bahamas as a top destination for travel and business, there were several moments in history that placed the Atlantic nation on the international headlines.

Here are the important events that took place in the Bahamas:

 

Establishment of Freeport

It was in 1955 when the Bahamas made a historic move to establish a free trade area where tourism and offshore banking emerged and prospered. The mid-1950s was an important decade in the history of the Bahamas when Wallace Groves started his vision to transform Grand Bahama Island into a haven not just for travelers but also for businessmen. That’s when he established a promising city, the Freeport, as a central business and tourism hub.

 

Bahamian Independence

After centuries of colonial rule, Bahamas decided to finally enjoy its independence on July 10, 1973, from the British colonial rule. On that same year, the newly-independent territory became an official member of the United Nations. This was just years after Britain granted the Bahamas self-government, one of the most important historical events in the country.

 

Aaliyah’s tragic plane crash

One of the most known accidents that took place in the Bahamas is the death of Aaliyah, a popular American singer/actress. On August 25, 2015, the actress was onboard a plane when it suddenly crashed just minutes after takeoff from the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas. The artist was not alone in the small plane, as she was also with seven others who suffered the same fate.

Owned, paid, and earned media: Building a solid marketing blueprint

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Entering the game in the digital marketing field can be challenging – unless you have with you a rich arsenal of information and strategy that you can use together to create a better, and more effective online campaign for your products or services. For instance, just knowing the differences between the three important digital strategy terms, owned, paid and earned media, can catapult your online presence to impressive heights. Here are the definitions that you should keep in mind:

 Owned Media

As the name suggests, an owned media is a web property that represents your brand and establishes your online presence. Most importantly, it’s a type of media property that you can personally control. For instance, your business website or product blog sites can be considered as an owned media, and related pages from social networking sites are extensions of your media properties.

Earned Media

The earned media is an element that helps the online audience reach and interact with your owned media. Basically, it can be defined as an online “word of mouth” campaign that helps your product or services connect with real people. These can come in the forms of mentions, viral posts and reposts, online reviews, or even just social media shared contents. This is only possible through achieving organic rankings and of course, producing and providing high-quality content.

Paid Media

Last but not the least is the paid media. Basically, you’re paying for the promotion of your content in order to direct audiences to your owned media, and eventually drive your earned media. This is an important move especially for the new players in the digital marketing field. Influential social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn provide paid advertising services to promote your brand and increase your content’s reach. Media influencers, on the other hand, can also be paid to share, mention or tweet about what you offer for an increased conversion.

Some major takeaways from the recent Facebook “breach”

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Cambridge Analytica is a political consulting firm that made headlines days ago because of its links to the U.S. presidential campaign back in 2016. According to the reports, the company allegedly illegally and unethically harvested information of Facebook profiles belonging to millions of American users and utilized the data to create a major political advantage in favor of Donald Trump.  According to investment firm LOM Financial, tech stocks went on a sell-off following the incident.

Although the highlight of the case was mostly American Internet users, it created a whole wave of criticisms and alarming questions about Facebook’s privacy policies and how users felt unsafe and violated. After days of silence, the social media’s CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg, admitted that there were indeed policies that allowed the misuse of the public’s data, acknowledging that the company failed their community’s trust.

Lessons will be learned, added by the CEO, but as an individual user of Facebook and other social networking platforms, or even as a policy-maker in a country where SNS are widely used, what are the takeaways from this breach?

Most experts believe that traditional frameworks should be redefined especially when it comes to the principles of privacy and sharing of information. This is because the root of the crisis can be traced back to Facebook’s policies that gave permission to the developers of third-party applications to freely access a user’s personal data since 2007. It was only in 2014 when the company decided to reduce this volume but It was already too late.

For individual users of any social networking sites, remedies can be as easy as disconnecting their private profiles to unnecessary and unused online applications that may have access to the information that they post online. It also goes without saying that carefully choosing which third-party program to give your data to should be a preventive measure.

While these steps can relatively protect you from future hacks, some users believe that completely deleting themselves from the networking site is the ultimate solution.  What do you think?

Cleanest modern industries and innovations that are saving the planet

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One of the major objectives of the Paris Agreement is to “decarbonize” the global economy by 2050 and many participating nations are slowly but effectively finding ways to reach their goals that can ultimately reduce the devastating effects of global warming.

One of the steps that countries and industries agreed to take is to lessen the emissions of regions with high-carbon economies while ensuring cost-effectiveness without compromising the quality of life.

While some industries are still yet to find these practical and environment-focused solutions, there are others that were successful in introducing ground-breaking innovations that will benefit the entire planet in the near future.

For instance, the role of food and agriculture is a big part in the global climate conversation, and many experts believe that this sector can rely on a regenerative agriculture to reduce the industry’s dependence on fossil fuels.

It’s a fact that industrial farming is a major contributor to global warming and shifting to a more organic and renewable agricultural process should not just be an option but an obligation.

Clean coal, on the other hand, has been a commercially viable candidate for the energy industry that is expected to stop carbon emissions produced by coal-fired electricity plants and power stations especially in highly-industrialized countries.

While the technology of clean coal may sound promising, this clean option is still facing some practical hurdles to be successfully put into practice.

Meanwhile, the logistics and transportation industry has caught the world’s attention in its approach in zero-emission vehicles. For instance, Tesla’s recent launch of their semi-truck is painting a new future for the trucking sector, promising a brighter tomorrow for zero-emission trucks across the globe.

The global rise of ecotourism and responsible travel

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Tourism as a whole is a 7.61 trillion-dollar industry, and ecotourism is a rapidly growing category under it. The year 2017 was designated by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, promoting different trends and movements centered on sustainability across the industry.

As the growing effects of global warming threatens the world’s most pristine travel destinations, the international travel community has realized the urgency to make their move especially after Sustainable Travel International revealed that the industry is responsible for the 5% of the global carbon emissions.

 

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Sustainable tourism, now termed as “ecotourism,” doesn’t have a clear definition but it focuses on an important aspect: advocating transformative and responsible travel. In addition, it can’t be categorized as just one type of travel, but it’s a form of tourism that enables participants to not only explore natural destinations but to help protect these environments.

The movement has transformed many travel companies as they shift to what is called as “experiential tourism,” which highlights experiences that help travelers understand the environment including the ecosystem that live in it.

 

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Guided by the measures set by the industry, many ecotourism companies and organizations have reached several milestones in reverting the effects of irresponsible tourism. The results of the early years of this growing movement have brought positive impact to the several travel destinations, with activities that help preserve the environment through education. Accommodations range from eco-friendly resorts, glamping, to all-out backpack camp out adventure.

Some experts believe that the immediate rise of ecotourism can be credited to the digital revolution and how it inspired millions of people around the world to help make a change not only as enthusiastic travelers but as environmentally-responsible human beings.

REPOST: Erupting volcano is suffocating Bali’s economy

Mother Nature can heavily influence a region’s economy, especially when the likes of earthquakes, hurricanes, and volcanic eruptions are at play. Top tourist destination Bali is one such case, as the island struggle to address the chaos caused by erupting Mount Agung. Read the full story on CNN:

HONG KONG (CNNMoney) — A volcano spewing clouds of ash has plunged one of the world’s top tourist destinations into crisis.

The Indonesian island paradise of Bali, which welcomed almost 5 million foreign visitors last year, is struggling to deal with the chaos wrought by Mount Agung in recent days.

Officials say as many as 100,000 people need to urgently leave the danger zone around the volcano, which started belching ash on Saturday. The eruptions have prompted the closure of Bali’s main airport, leaving more than 50,000 travelers stranded.

The disruption is hurting businesses ranging from international airlines to street vendors. Tourism is the biggest industry on Bali, which was ranked as the world’s best destination this year by travel site TripAdvisor.

Local authorities estimate that as many as 15,000 tourists have already canceled their vacations to Bali as a result of the disruption caused by the volcano over the past three days.

Every day Bali’s main airport is closed costs the local economy about $18 million, according to Keith Loveard, senior analyst at Jakarta-based Concord Consulting. He expects the island’s economy to take a major hit over the traditionally busy Christmas and New Year period as tourists rethink their travel plans.

“There’s a very strong chance that many would-be tourists will decide to go elsewhere,” he warned.

Tourism in Bali has suffered in the past. It declined significantly after deadly terrorist attacks In 2002 and 2005, which resulted in “a dramatic drop” in local residents’ incomes, according to Loveard. Volcanic activity in the region has also disrupted air travel to the island in previous years.

The current turmoil could hamper the Indonesian government’s goal of attracting 20 million tourists annually by 2019. Bali makes up more than 40% of all tourist arrivals into the country, according to analysts at Nomura.

Mount Agung’s eruptions have prompted the evacuation of 30,000 people.

 

Indonesia has been trying to cultivate alternative tourist destinations like nearby Labuan Bajo. But these could also be affected by Mount Agung’s ash clouds and by a prolonged closure of Bali’s main airport, which is a hub for other parts of the country, according to Loveard.

The crisis is already eating into the profits of airlines across the region.

Indonesia’s flag carrier Garuda is the most heavily exposed. Corrine Png, an analyst at research firm Crucial Perspective, estimates that Garuda has a 30% share of traffic at Bali’s main airport and stands to lose $300,000 for each day that it’s closed. The company’s shares sank 1.8% on Tuesday.

The disruption is costing AirAsia, the Kuala Lumpur-based budget airline, around $250,000 per day, according to Png.

Neither Garuda nor AirAsia immediately responded to request for comment on those estimates.

“The worst outcome is if Mount Agung continues to spew volcanic ash intermittently for many months,” Png said. That would result in repeated closures of the airport and significant numbers of flight cancellations.

However, the volcano chaos may not have any major implications for the Indonesian economy as a whole. Bali only accounts for 1.5% of the country’s total gross domestic product, according to Nomura.

Still, President Joko Widodo wants tourism to account for 8% of the Indonesian economy by the end of 2019, up from 4% last year.

“Mount Agung could frustrate those ambitions,” Loveard said.