Working Capital Financing – Commercial Financing Solutions

Working Capital Financing is forever a major challenge for small and medium sized business in Canada. And that is certainly not to say that larger corporations don’t have that challenge, it’s simply a case of having more assets and resources to deal with the same challenge.

As a business owner or financial manager the level of funding that you need, and the method in which you achieve that financing is really what drives the solution to your challenge. It is important, in understanding your cash flow needs and solutions, to determine if your working capital financing is required due to the capital intensive nature of your business – or if you in fact simply need to ‘ monetize’, or ‘cash flow ‘ your assets in an effort to generate more working capital and faster turnover of those funds.

Your focus on cash and business financing becomes even greater if your sales and profits are increasing. However, at the same time the ability to obtain business credit in Canada remains a challenge.

Bank financing has become more difficult to acquire, and many firms are looking at non traditional or alternative sources of financing to secure the funds they need for working capital.

Another hard reality of working capital financing is that most small and mediums sized business are searching for more cash flow on an unsecured basis. This type of financing is very difficult to achieve in the Canadian marketplace, certainly in the Chartered bank environment.

So what are the sources of financial capital that Canadian business owners and financial managers can investigate and potentially utilize? Let’s cover off some of the basic options – These include:

Personal savings (not high on a business owner’s priority list!)

Business Credit Cards

Factoring

Government Working Capital Term Loans – Financing Business Loan (These are cash term loans with fixed payments and rates)

Factoring financing

Asset Based lines of credit

When you are looking for working capital financing one of the key areas you can start with is your own key financial metrics. You don’t need to be a seasoned financial analyst to determine at what rate your receivables are turning over. The bottom line if you haven’t realized it yet (we are sure you have) is that receivables and inventory ‘ eat ‘ cash.

One key point needs to be made here, if your sales are growing at 15% and your receivables are growing at 15% that’s not a bad thing. (To calculate simply measure the ratio of these two data points) However, if your sales are growing at 15% and receivables are growing at 30% your cash flow and working capital is being consumed by the investment you have made in A/R and inventory that is not turning over. Collections and inventory turnover are a key aspect of working capital financing.

Commercial financing from a bank is the optimal solution for small and medium sized business – as have noted that is difficult to achieve. Funding a business can be complex and we urge clients to seek the advice and guidance of a respected, trusted and experienced commercial financing expert to ensure they pick the right tools to solve working capital challenges.

The Future of Finance – A PhD in Mathematics With Focus on Computational Finance

The PhD in Mathematics with focus on Computational Finance does not have many degrees attached to it but rather combines into a vast field dealing in computational finance. Specialization is only possible with degrees in Finance, financial management, statistics, mathematics or business administration. The course itself involves learning mathematics, finance, statistics, business administration, financial management, which all form the fundamental basics.

A PhD in Mathematics with focus on Computational Finance holder can work as a financial adviser to major organization. They can also work as a policy maker for organization and businesses or as chief financial managers. Other outlets where lucrative jobs with a doctorate degree in this field is guaranteed is the banking sector, science related outfits like NASA, research centers, finance ministries, stock markets, etc.

The private and public sectors are always looking for the prospects that specialize in financial areas. In fact, a PhD in Mathematics with focus on Computational Finance is the best bet for anyone that is interested in guiding and directing the future of finance.

For working professionals, the amount of time needed to complete the requirement for a doctorate in this field does not always work with their busy schedule. With the ability to control the timing of the pace and completion time, the option to pursue the doctorate online seems to beat the traditional method.

An online doctorate in Mathematics with focus requires approximately 6 years of study; this includes research and preparation of a dissertation. While the dissertation and research can optionally be completed in absentia, the coursework requires a significant amount of time spent in a classroom. Regardless, very many accredited schools that offer PhD in Mathematics with focus on Computational Finance still reach out to gain the attention of those that are seeking to improve their ability to shape the future of finance on a global level. This is because the program provides any business leaders with the tools needed to change the old methods in financial field and provide leadership and education to those who follow them in the course of meeting their business needs.

Student Finance for Chinese Universities

Chinese universities have recently started to attract a lot of students from abroad. The trend began in the 1950s and recent statistics shows that there were close to 410000 students studying in China as at end of the last decade. There were students from 125 countries and regions. There are undergraduates, postgraduates, doctoral students, trainees, scholars, and students pursuing research coming to China. China is one of the attractive education hubs. Infact, statistics shows that China was the 10th most popular destination for US students going abroad and third most popular non-western nation. However, foreign students cannot be employed in China while at study. Therefore, students must be able to support themselves and arrange for student finance before enrolling in a Chinese university. If you are one of them, how do you go about getting China university student finance? Read on.

Government help to students seeking finance to study in a Chinese University

Good news is that the Chinese government is encouraging its colleges and universities to expand the scholarship amounts and widen the horizon of fellowships and scholarships to foreign students and China university student finance. They are also encouraged to collaborate with private sector and come up with attractive scholarships for outstanding foreign students.

Already the Chinese government has approved finance worth $362 million to around 350,000 students looking to study in Chinese universities since the introduction of subsidized loans since 1999. The extent of subsidy provided by the government is 50% of the interest amount which is paid by the government and the remaining is paid by the students along with the principal.

However the government itself recognizes that the percentage of students who actually got the loan approved stands at 31.2% which is low and the government would like to grow this figure. The main cause for the low percentage is attributed to the fact that the private sector banks are not too keen on providing finance to students who want to study in Chinese universities as the loans are not required to be backed by collateral. Whether loans will be given out or not is determined based on the credit worthiness of the students and the absence of collateral is a deterrent in providing finance. As of now the People’s Bank of China has appointed four main commercial banks to provide finance to Chinese students which are Bank of China, China Construction Bank, the Agricultural Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of china.

However such finance schemes which look at subsidizing interest repayments are at present only available to Chinese students who are Chinese citizens and have passed the requisite academic examinations

I am not Chinese, can I still get finance to study in a Chinese University or China university student finance?

There are finance programs available to international students who want to study in a Chinese University. One of the popular sources which the students are using today is to go to china by enrolling in an exchange program in a university that offers this option. Normally a host of universities have exchange programs going in which students from their universities visit universities abroad and students from universities abroad come and study in their colleges. These schemes exist not only for students who want to study but also for students interested in internship and working in these countries.

The main requirements of getting finance are credit worthiness, passing the requisite tests and getting through interviews and in some cases having collateral against the loan as well. However in the case of China some universities additionally put up the condition that the students should have a working knowledge of Chinese or Mandarin to be eligible.

There is a growing number of American students who are now interested in studying in China while in the past this was to gain exposure culturally and most of the students were of Chinese origin born in American the trend is changing now. More and more students are coming to China not only to gain cultural knowledge but also advance their careers professionally when they get back home. As a result commercial banks have also designed specialized finance programs with the needs of the students in mind and it is becoming increasingly easy for students to find such loans as China’s Universities are becoming popular as an international destination for further education.

What Does The Student Finance Corporation Do?

The Student Finance Corpration helps students to get loans for completing their studies. The range of loans available are for post secondary education. The eligibility and terms of repayment will differ from student to student based on their financial conditions, repayment ability, credit rating and the college that they are applying to.

This is called a secondary loan market because it does not finance the loans itself but rather acts as a conduit between lenders, students and schools. The specialty of this organization is to service loans from the Federal Family Education loan program. However, the Student Finance Corpration is just one means of getting loans for students and there are quite a few other organizations who provide loans as well

Major types of Student Finance

Student finance comes in four major forms:

Student Loans: Many students apply for federal government to finance their educations. The main student loan is the Stafford Loan, Such loans have low interest rate, no credit check and also do not require any collateral. There are two ways in which the loan is disbursed, one is when a private company disburses it to the family like the Citibank. All the loans are insured by the Federal Government against default. The second type of loan is when the federal government pays the family directly.

Parent Loans: Parents of dependent students can take loans for their children to cover their educational expenses. These are called federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) and unlike the Stafford loan these loans are not subsidized and are
charged at an interest rate of 8.5% for the loans disbursed after July 1 2006. Repayment begins after 60 months of disbursement and you can’t wait till the education to get over before repaying the loan.

Private Student Loans: Parents and students turn to Private loans for financing their education need because the federal programs are often limited in the amount of money they disburse and this gap has to be bridged by the private players. The rate of interest also is higher comparatively but there are several plans available which give a lot of flexibility to the parents while repaying.

Consolidation Loans: Student Loan consolidation is used when one or more loans taken for education purposes by parents and students are consolidated into one big loan and that is repaid instead of the smaller chunks of loans. Consolidation loans are available for most federal loans, including FFELP (Stafford, PLUS and SLS), FISL, Perkins, Health Professional Student Loans, NSL, HEAL, Guaranteed Student Loans and Direct loans. Some lenders offer private consolidation loans for private education loans as well.

Student Finance Corporation, Newark NJ

If you are living in Newark and are looking for the student finance corporation, newark nj it is known as the HESAA short for New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority. This authority is the secondary market for loans if living in Newark or any other part of NJ and you feel the need for a federal student loan. The good news is that this authority keeps on coming up with flexible and discounted loans for the students seeking loans in NJ.

For instance in the state of New Jersey the loans are disbursed by the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) which is the state’s wing of the Student Finance Corporation. In the case of the New Jersey Student Finance Corporation they waive 1% of the guarantee fee from its borrowers and thus the entire loan amount is used towards education purposes.

Types of Business Finance – Grant Finance

Whether your business is small and new or large and established you will need adequate finance for the majority of projects, purchases and expansions you’re your business makes.

Obtaining the necessary cash to get your business off the ground can be a challenge and few new companies are able to finance themselves on cashflow alone and therefore need to consider gaining finance from other external sources. There are many of these external sources who will be willing to provide you with this start up finance, a few examples of these are stated below:

o Bank loans

o Business angels

o Venture capitalists

o Overdrafts

o Credit cards

o Friends and family

These are just a few examples of some of the places that business start-up finance is available from; however there is another source of business finance available that many people often seem to forget, this is grant finance. Business Grants can however take several months to process so you should always add extra time to your planning so that you get a decision on your grant application before the project is due to start.

A lot of start up companies and small businesses are often put off the idea of applying for a business grant to help them with their finances and because of this many of these businesses are missing out on a great opportunity to gain extra cash for there business; cash that doesn’t need to be paid back.

Few, if any new companies can finance themselves on cashflow alone and therefore need to consider raising finance from other external sources. If your business needs extra cashflow for a specific project or purpose then a business grant could be exactly what you need. This is because business grants are only awarded for specific aspects. So what exactly is a business grant? A business grant is when an organisation or authority gives a sum of money to your business to help you succeed in a particular project these business grants are mainly awarded by the Government at both a local and national level as well as by smaller bodies such as The Princes Trust or The Arts Council.

When you are applying for a business grant there are certain things that you should keep in mind such as a detailed description of the project, an explanation of the potential benefits of the project, a detailed work plan, details of your own experience and if possible a business plan. All of these will help you with your application process and help you to get closer to that business grant that you want.

If you are successful in your grant application the money that you receive is none repayable and you won’t have to pay any interest for it either; however you will need to carry out a significant amount of hard work if you want to stand a chance of obtaining a grant. These grants are also limited so the competition that you will face for them is intense.

Finance Series – Exploring Investor Rationality

The Efficient Market Hypothesis has been under fire since Eugene Fame of the University Of Chicago Graduate School Of Business first suggested it back in the early 1960s. The central idea behind the Efficient Market Hypothesis is the theory that investors are completely rational in interpreting and acting on market news and information (which, ostensibly, is fully revealed public knowledge).

It has since come to be known as the Theory of Rational Expectations. This rational investor behavior is factored into the value of all news and information the moment it becomes available. And it happens to the extent that “beating the market” becomes an impossible task.

The idea of investor rationality has been under fire by the few “gurus” who have consistently beaten the market since its inception. Nobel Laureate and father of Behavioral Finance, Daniel Kahneman, pointed out that the failure of the rational model is not inherent in the logic of the theory, but rather in the human psyche. He posited that nobody has the ability to simultaneously process all incoming stimuli and attain a complete understanding and mastery of that stimuli.

From the many arguments for and against the theory of rational expectations, I observed that many of the arguments stemmed from a difference in the understanding of what rationality means in the first place (indeed, that is further proof that “rational” people can look at ideas and apply their own bias and still be regarded as “rational”). If the world is made up of blistering imbeciles making irrational decisions, like those who argued against the theory suggest, wouldn’t the world more closely resemble an assembly of monkeys? Yet, if the world is made up of rational humans the way the theory postulates, wouldn’t the world be more robotic than human?

For too long, academia has debated the theory by taking sides with either the monkeys or the robots without a clear understanding of what constitutes rationality in the first place. Is the investor who rushes blindly into the stock market during market bubbles irrational? Are investors rational beings if they buy undervalued and sell overvalued stocks? Essentially, all reasonable human beings are rational! Rationality is the consistency of action based upon a set of logical variables. The issue here is that the difference in one’s level of knowledge and life experiences is the determining factor that allows for the installation of a distinct set of logical parameters and values in every human being!

This means that two human beings looking at and interpreting the same information can come to two separate conclusions and resulting actions! The result of which is a two-sided market. An investor who has lost a significant amount of money in the stock market may prefer to stay out of an overextended stock regardless of how fantastic the news. On the other hand, investors who have never been through that same life experience would simply continue to buy on the news. Both investors, in this case, are rational in regard to their own level of knowledge and experience. This explanation of rationality effectively consolidates all the differing views on the Theory of Rational Expectation. Because investors are rational, two-sided markets are created, making the overall market more and more efficient. Because investors are rational, they rush after price bubbles on the expectation of profits only to be defeated by the Law of Regression to the Mean.

Being greedy is a rational response to one’s needs and wants and being fearful is a rational response to one’s past sufferings. The driving factors of Greed and Fear are also rational expressions! Contrarians who take positions against the market are rationally expressing their expectations that markets eventually turn against the prevailing trend. Trend followers who take positions along with market trends are rationally expressing their belief in that trend continuing into the foreseeable future. Both create a two-sided market for each other, driving the overall market towards more and more efficiency.

However, this explanation of rationality completely nullifies the part in the theory that states that “rational investors should act in a similar fashion in response to the same news”. Because there is no way of measuring or predicting whether or not there will be more decisions of rational buying or rational selling in response to new information, nobody can predict market movement with any moral certainty. Although not attributed to random behavior, the unpredictable nature of the market has more cause and effects than the theory itself can explain.

In summation, any argument to explain market behavior through the notion of rationality has limited application in reality. As investors in the stock markets, our understanding that the markets cannot be predicted and the set-up of realistic stop loss points in preparation for worst-case outcomes and hedging portfolios using stock options, are the most rational actions that can be taken. As behavioral finance suggests, everyone makes the best of a bad situation and the situation in the stock market has never been ideal for anyone.

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.

Construction Finance and the Problem With Banks

High street banks are often the benchmark for clients looking to borrow money. This is true of personal mortgages, loans and no less so for funding building projects. Most would agree that they provide the cheapest rates and all builders and developers are looking for the cheapest construction finance.

The problem is that for most clients the high street are simply not an option at the moment, and from news I have had, nor will they be for the foreseeable future. I have dealt with clients who should be able to obtain bank funding, having clean credit, a good track record and years of experience in the sector. They are still being declined for various reasons, such as the loan amount is too low, the type of build is not what the bank wants, they have other loans that would need to be repaid first – the list goes on.

However, just because your current bank will not give you construction finance does not mean that there are no options available to you. It does mean though that you should not judge quotes we, or others give you, on the basis that the rate of interest or fees might be more than you are used to or were expecting.

Off high street lenders are NEVER going to offer building finance as cheap as the big banks. They are specialists filling a gap in the market, and to be frank, they know that your options are limited. Lenders such as this are mostly funded by investors who want to see a return on their money and the lender themselves need to charge a margin to stay in business. The market has set the rates that others are prepared to pay and so you have a stark choice – pay the higher rates or do not borrow the money. For those that are cash rich there is no issue but for the majority that want to leverage their capital it is the difference between building or not building.

Of course, paying more for the construction finance means less profit for you, the developer, but it does mean you are making more profit than not doing any work at all. If you cannot get a project funded at a high street rate then the rates you have in mind or might want to pay are not applicable for comparison. A bank may have given you funds at 1.5% above base in the past but that is irrelevant now. The past is not today.

The fact that building finance is available is good news but now is as crucial a time as ever to use a broker with experience and knowledge of the market. Making the wrong choice could cost you thousands in unnecessary fees and interest.

Going through the internet looking for lenders directly is possible, of course. But how long will that take you? Hours or days? How do you know they will be the best fit for your project? Will they give you all the information you need day 1?

Working with an experienced broker can make the process much easier as they will have a real understanding of how each lender works, the process they go through and what costs you can expect, before you get too far into an application.

So, construction finance is out there but for your own sanity don’t automatically compare it to what you are used to and what you think should be available.

I have been in the finance industry for over 10 years and can help you find the right finance package for your project. We have links with the lenders that are active in the market and can assess your project very quickly, often within a single phone call.

Personal Finance Saving Options

There are many options available to one when he or she begins to think about creating a personal finance strategy to help meet their financial goals. Suggested by many is creating a personal strategy to meet financial goals while growing one’s wealth. There are many opportunities offered by banks and credit unions available and an understanding of them will help when one decides to look for one that meets his or her special needs.

Savings accounts have proven crucial when it comes to successful personal finance and although traditional simple savings accounts can offer peace of mind, they do not offer the rewards of other types of savings options. One aspect a person may consider is the investment into CD’s. CD’s are a great way for a person to invest their money into the banking system with less risk than that when one invests his or her money into other avenues.

CD’s are for people who can afford to invest their money over a given time period. After this specific time period, one can cash out their CD for its value along with the interest it has accrued. CD’s normally have a time period until they meet their maturity. One will invest a specific amount of money, normally at least five hundred dollars, and gain interest on that investment which is typically higher than traditional simple savings accounts.

CD’s usually have an investment of six months, nine months, twelve months, and some even five years of a period where one’s money is invested. Normally, the longer amount until maturity will offer one a higher percentage yield upon cash out. One should note that although these offer better returns over simple savings accounts and money market accounts, the rules are more strict than they are for the other more traditional savings accounts.

When one invests in CD’s he or she is not allowed to make any withdrawals of that money until it reaches maturity. This can be limiting for some in the fact that traditional simple savings accounts will allow withdrawals at basically any time in case of an emergency. However, this is not the case when dealing with CD’s. CD’s must mature before you are able to cash them out. When you invest in a CD, the money no longer is yours until the time period has been realized and although if there is any emergency and you must withdraw money, you will be penalized far greater than with other savings accounts and may actually lose money depending one the terms and conditions are with the bank that you use.

No matter if you choose a CD, money market account, or traditional simple savings account, one must always be sure to read the fine print in the terms and conditions. Make sure you understand the terms clearly and you know exactly what the positive and negative aspects are before sticking your money anywhere.

Personal Finance Goals

Although for some personal finance may come natural, for many the idea of balancing their monthly income against their financial responsibilities can be a daunting task. Some find it hard to set money aside that is needed for electrical bills, water bills, insurance and end up unable to pay some of their necessities when they come due.

However, balancing your personal finance sheet does not have to be this hard. Many financial experts suggest one should create a list of all of his or her responsibilities that must be met each month. After making this list, one should take their net monthly income and see how it stacks up against all the bills that he or she has decided are must pays.

After doing this, your personal finances news become relatively simple. The hardest part is sticking with the list and making sure everything that is considered a necessity is met. After one has an understanding of their monthly needs versus their monthly income, he or she should also add an amount of savings to the list that contains the must pay bills.

It is recommended by practically every economist that one needs to have some sort of monthly savings plan. You can never tell when the alternator may fail on your car or when the wind blows your screen door from its hinges during a bad storm. By having some sort of savings account, one will be able to make any needed repairs to his or her personal property. After all, for most people a car is necessary to get them to work so this savings account would almost be like an emergency account as well.

Also, there are many ways in which one can cut his or her monthly costs. The ability to cook at home instead of dining out can be a great way to save money. Making sure your car is properly tuned can greatly increase one’s gas mileage, which is another way to cut your monthly costs. When creating a list of one’s monthly priorities, be sure to factor in expenses such as gas, dining out, and other things you may spend money on. It’s not just your power bill and mortgage that takes away from your bottom line. Anywhere there is money being spent regularly is open game to adding to your list.