Margin requirements in India Stock Market - New SEBI Norms
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How Margin Loans Work - a Primer
Occasionally people ask how these loans work. With that in mind: from the Canadian prairie on a beautiful day in July, to you: First, if you're from the U.S.: I'm doing this from a Canadian perspective which means I'm ignoring the Regulation T, special memorandum account, overnight maintenance requirement, and initial margin, because all of those are concepts that have no equivalent or application in Canada. But the basics are the same. You can ignore all of those concepts because they have no bearing on how margin actually works. Those concepts are simply restrictions in how you can use margin and as a practical matter they're not onorous restrictions. I'm also ignoring U.S. risk-based "portfolio margin" because that's a specialized, alternative margin system some brokers offer in the U.S., that we don't have in Canada. We have traditional, rules-based margin that hasn't changed in Canada in 100+ years. Note: If you are a Canadian resident buying U.S. stock in Canada you still fall under the Canadian rules for margin. Margin in Canada hasn't really changed since the 1900's, except you have to put up at least 30% nowadays instead of 10% as it was back before the crash of 1929. Basically that's the only thing that's changed. In Canada you can borrow up to 70% of a position at once for most stocks. This means that if you want to buy $10,000 worth of RBC or Apple, you only have to put up $3,000 and your broker lends you the rest. Margin was first developed in the Netherlands which basically invented the modern financial system we have today in the West, back in the 1600s. The Dutch East India corporation (ticker VOC) was at one point 20% of the world's total commerce. That would be like a company in 2020 grossing about 16 trillion US a year. By comparison Apple brings in about one half of one percent of that. The Amsterdam stock market developed just to trade VOC and other shares and related securities. Seein the success of their Continental rivals, the British copied the Dutch and for a long time, until after the Battle of Waterloo, the western world had two rival financial capitals, London, and Amsterdam. For various historical reasons, Amsterdam got pushed out of the picture and for about 100 years the City of London (which is what the financial district in London is called) was the financial capital of the west. They of course now share that crown with New York City. But it's really the Dutch who started it all, around the time of Vermeer. *** The concept is that the bank (or broker) will lend against some of your stock, but not all of it. They want a "haircut." The haircut is the amount they won't lend against. In Canada the haircut is usually 30% but can be 50% and there are some stocks the banks won't lend against at all, like most of the stuff on the TSX-V or on the U.S. pink sheets. Every bank is different, so BMO InvestorLine might want 50% on one company and Interactive Brokers Canada might want 30% or vice versa for another. But most things are 30%, some are 50% and some are 100% (meaning no loan). The maximum available leverage is 1/haircut. If the haircut is 30% as is typical in Canada, the bank will let you buy up to 1/0.3 = 3 1/3 as much as your cash, meaning, you can borrow up to 2 1/3 dollars for every dollar you put up. That's the limit. But: So say you have $3,000 and you want to buy on margin. As the bank haircut (margin rate) is 30%, you can buy $3,000/0.3 = $10,000 worth of stock. Obviously you then have a loan of $7,000. You now have $10,000 worth of stock, but remember, the bank won't let you borrow against 30%*$10,000 = $3,000. So your collateral is only $7,000. So you now have a $7,000 loan collateralized by $7,000 worth of stock. In the above example, you put up 30% margin, the same as the haircut. It's easy to see that if your total position slides so much as a dollar, you will have less collateral than $7,000 and therefore get what's called a "margin call" where they will tell you that you have to put up more money in a few hours or sell stock (which automatically pays down the loan to the extent of the sale) so that you have enough collateral to cover your loan, otherwise they will automatically sell a stock of their choosing at an amount of their choosing. They are also allowed to sell whichever stock they choose automatically without calling you first, in the event of a margin call. That is explicitly set out in your margin agreement. There have been at least two challenges to that in the Ontario courts in the last 20 years or so, where the former client argued that the bank sold their shares out without first advising them, or, in one of the court cases, after promising to hold off so that the client could put up money, and then reneging on that and selling the client's stock anyway. The court in both cases sided with the bank. The margin is for real, not negotiable, it is there to protect the bank and the other client's capital, and the words "the bank can sell at any time and without prior notice" mean what they say they mean. If you get sold out at a loss, don't expect the courts to give you redress. So obviously you need some "buffer" because of volatility, but how much do you borrow? Now you have to understand some more math. target margin = 1-(1-x)*(1-haircut) x is the price drawdown target margin is how much margin you have to put up. Say Apple is marginable at 30% (the haircut) by your bank. You decide you want to borrow on margin. But you decide, "I will allow Apple to slide 40% from what I buy it at before I get a margin call." So how much margin should you put up? target margin = 1-(1-0.4)*(1-0.3) = 1-0.6*0.7 = 1-0.42 = 0.58. So you have to put up 58% margin. That means if you have $3,000 to invest, you would buy $3,000/0.58 = $5,172 worth of Apple. If Apple is trading at $350 that means it can slide to $210 before you get a margin call. At which point you will have lost 0.4/0.58 = 68.9% of your money. (Remember, leverage is simply 1/margin.) You can convince yourself by working through it as a check. In the example, as you had $3,000 and you margined that at 58%, you bought $3,000/0.58 = $,5172 worth of stock. Obviously your equity at the time of purchase was be $3,000 because you owned $5,172 worth of stock and owed the bank $2,172. Because of the haircut, 0.3*$5,172 = $1,551 could not be used as collateral. Then the stock slid 40%, from $350 to $210, so your total stock position was then (1-0.4)*$5,172 = $3,103. Of course, you still owed the bank $2,172. But remember, not all of the $3,103 was available be used as collateral, only 70% (meaning, 1-haircut) of that. So at $210 your collateral was (1-0.3)*$3,103 = $2,172, exactly the same as the loan amount. $210 was, therefore, the lowest price at which you still have sufficient collateral. Anything less and you would have received a margin call or the bank would simply have automatically sold stock, depending on how they saw the risk. Key takeaway here is that the haircut is 30%, meaning that 30% of your stock cannot be used as collateral, which mathematically also means that your account equity/total amount of stock = (total amount of stock-loan)/(total amount of stock) has to stay at or above 30%. You're putting up 58%, meaning you're borrowing 1/0.58 - 1 = 72 cents from the bank for every dollar of your own money that you put up. The formula above is simply a rearrangement using basic algebra, of the basic margin equation which is: price at margin call = initial price of stock*(1-target margin)/(1-haircut) Whatever you do, make sure you are maxing out your TFSA or possibly RRSP or possibly both before you use margin, or only contribute a small amount of capital to a margin account and make sure your TFSA or RRSP is your main stock investment vehicle. Do not put up your TFSA as collateral on a margin account. You could end up getting a margin call, then the broker transfers the TFSA over to the margin account, but then the stock market slides again and now your TFSA is wiped out along with your margin account. Questrade offers this and I think it's an absolutely terrible idea. Frankly I think the CRA should disallow it. Notice how none of the banks offer this. Also have a plan for a margin call. You will get a margin call at some point. One good plan is simply to sell enough stock to pay off the margin loan and then re-enter margin when conditions warrant. It makes absolutely no sense to have cash lying around to meet a margin call. Why not just invest the cash and not use margin. The old adage is, "Never meet a margin call" and I think that's good advice. If the bank gives you to choice of either putting in more money in or selling, then sell. To me there are only 3 reasons you would use a margin account:
You have a large account in a diversified stock portfolio and you want to borrow against say 5% of that to go and buy a car, renovate your house, pursue an investment other than securities;
You are consistently good at beating the stock market by a significant amount, and you have maxed out or at least significantly contributed to a TFSA or RRSP or have other wealth-generating property, you have a well-thought out plan that you commit to, that governs your trading decisions, how much you will borrow, and what you will do in the event of a margin call;
You are executing certain trades that require a margin account; for example, options spreads, short selling stocks or commodity futures trades.
To me the following are bad reasons to trade on margin:
It looks like a way to make even more money in stocks, even though you don't know how to make money in stocks;
You are a diversified "Canadian Couch Potato" -style investor getting more or less average returns and you realize that you can buy stock get a 5% dividend yield and pay 4% pre-tax on margin money, so you decide to be a margined "couch potato."
Margined investing = active investing = checking your positions at least daily and following a trading plan. Finally, the average investor working with average capital should always, always, make the TFSA their #1 priority. The TFSA is truly a gem. When I was in my 20's back in the 90's, the only tax shelters for the average Canadian were the sale of their primary residence and the RRSP, the latter which is a deferral and a deduction but not an outright break the way the TFSA is. The TFSA offers leverage effectively equal to the capital gains inclusion rate * your average taxation rate, and yet without a margin call and at zero percent and it doesn't even magnify your losses. No margin account can match that. Some investors don't believe in margin at all. Like Warren Buffett, who said in a 2018 CNBC interview, "It's crazy to borrow against securities." (Note he said borrowing against stocks, not borrowing to buy stocks.) But he is right in saying that the bad thing about margin is that it gives you limited additional potential upside but at the cost of great potential downside. Understand the risks. Read your margin agreement. Consider even meeting with a securities lawyer who can explain the agreement to you. Consider this statement from an article posted on a popular stock investing website (Fair dealing exception), posted March 15th, 2020: " https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/03/15/5-ugly-lessons-from-a-nasty-margin-call.aspx From its close on Feb. 19 to its close on March 12, theS&P 500fell more than 26%, a huge decline in less than a month. Like many investors who had been using options in a margin account, I faced a margin call during that precipitous decline and was forced to liquidate positions to satisfy that call. Note that despite facing that margin call, I never actually borrowed money from my broker. I just had margin available and usable from a purchasing power perspective in the event some of my options got exercised against me. It didn't matter to my broker, though, who only saw the margin math, rather than the cash and investment-grade bonds that were also in that account and hadn't seen their values evaporate. Unfortunately, my experience during that margin call revealed some very ugly realities about how Wall Street really works, particularly when it comes to retail investors. " He goes on set out "lessons learned." None of those lessons learned is "read your margin agreement before you trade." So he didn't really learn his lesson. Anyway, it's up to each person to do what is right for them, bearing in mind the risks. But know the risks. Trading with margin doesn't mean you'll be wiped out, but if you trade anything you need to know what you're doing and that is even more important if you've agreed to borrow money. The post here was to explain how to do the calculations for this popular and important financial tool as there is a lot of misinformation out there on the subject, make some suggestions on how you can use it as a part of your overall portfolio, and give my opinions on how one might do that. Whichever road or roads you take, good investing. For more details on the TFSA and its contribution rules, see https://www.reddit.com/CanadianInvestocomments/hcy9r9/how_the_tfsa_works/
Zerodha vs Upstox comparison from the perspective of a daytrader.
I already posted this on indiainvestments but I'm going to post it here too because I'm not sure if my post is going to get approved by the mods there. Every once in a while a discussion pops up on this sub about which is better, zerodha or upstox, and many of the replies are usually from investors or swing traders. As a daytrader who's used them both for almost an year, I just want to share my thoughts on this because it might be useful for someone looking this up in the future. In my personal opinion, zerodha is, by far, the better choice. Not because zerodha is amazing, but because upstox is terrible. Here's why:
Non-existent communication with its clients. Need to get some piece of information? Good luck with that. You can try calling the customer care and most of the time your call will go unanswered. Even if they do pick it up, their agents are very incompetent. They know only about the account-opening process and if you ask them anything else, they're clueless. They'll just give some scripted response and will be of no help. You can try asking on their live-chat. They'll literally make you wait for 20-40 minutes (not exaggerating) and then give you some copy-pasted reply which usually does not answer your question anyway even after all that waiting.
Well if you're desperate enough you can try asking on their forum but the last time any developer or employee even bothered to respond was years ago. Now it's turned into a wasteland full of people posting random crap. Seriously, just visit that link once if you want to have a nice chuckle.
Now coming to their web and app platforms. Their app is decent, no major issue there. Their web platform used to feel very sluggish compared to zerodha's which feels way more smooth & snappy and sometimes it would just completely freeze up and force you to close your browser from the task manager. I have a quite powerful gaming PC with 16gb ram and this was happening even when I had no programs open other than just the browser with only one tab.
I mainly trade commodities and the commodity market is open until midnight. One day I noticed at around 5 in the evening that the charts just completely stopped moving, both on the app and web. I mean they just froze and stopped updating tick by tick. I complained to their customer care both on the phone and on twitter and I thought it was going to get fixed soon because surely they're going to take it seriously when something that big & important is broken, right? Well they didn't. I thought it would at least be fixed before the market opened the next day. Well it still wasn't. I think the devs were not even aware of the issue and the customer care just forgot about it as soon as they hung up the phone and didn't even bother to report it to anybody. I finally got fed up and messaged their co-founder about it on LinkedIn and it got fixed within one hour. May be he didn't even see my message and it was just a coincidence or may be it wasn't.
They recently released a new version of their website which seems to be better than the old one. I used it a little and already noticed a major flaw which was making it impossible to update my orders. Honestly, it's an amateurish mistake involving form validation which makes me question the competency of their developers and if then even bothered to properly test the platform before releasing it. I reported the issue but I highly doubt they even saw my report yet.
All of these are just front-end issues. Now coming to their back-end, one day it just stopped working for almost THREE HOURS straight. Nobody was able to login, both on the app and web of course, and those who were already logged in were not able to place orders, see their positions or do anything at all. I thought may be it was just me but I went on twitter and there was a tsunami of users complaining. Well after such a big fuck-up surely they're going to say something about it right? May be apologize or release a statement about what went wrong or something? Nope, they just remained completely silent like it never even happened. Not even a single post or reply on twitter even to this day. Also this is not a one-time issue. Their back-end stops working quite frequently but it's usually for a few minutes only and not for three hours which is still bad if you're a daytrader. Zerodha has such fuck-ups too sometimes but they usually at least address it instead of pretending like it didn't even happen.
Next, they just do whatever the fuck they want without even informing the clients its going to severely affect. I was using their API (which I was paying a monthly subscription fee for btw) for many months and one day it just stopped working. Then I found out that they had just suddenly decided to STOP their api services INDEFINITELY for almost all of their users with ZERO prior notice. Obviously this is a huge problem especially for those who do algo trading but I guess upstox thought it wasn't such a big deal.
I mainly trade crude oil and one day during the whole corona virus fiasco I wasn't able to place any orders as it was saying I didn't have sufficient money in my account to place an order. I was very confused because I was able to trade without any problem on the previous day and now it's saying insufficient funds even though not much has changed since yesterday? I asked their customer care (it took me almost an hour to get a response from them btw) and they were clueless. They were just sending me a copy-pasted response as usual. I kept digging and found out after a lot of searching that they had decided to suddenly double the margin requirements overnight and even their customer care wasn't aware of it.
Are you seeing a pattern here? Lack of communication. They won't inform you about anything and won't respond to you even if you try to reach out to them. This was the most frustrating part of my experience with them.
This post ended up becoming quite longer than I expected but hopefully it will warn new users to stay away upstox unless they get their shit together but I highly doubt it's ever going to happen. Zerodha has it's flaws too but it's quite decent in my opinion and definitely the best discount broker in India. At least their customer care isn't stupid and can answer some technical questions instead of knowing literally nothing except the account-opening process.
Sweden’s Famously Stealthy Submarine Is Now Even Quieter
Go Sweden! Thanks for that job done! What's the difference inSweden and Switzerland. Switzerland has an economy more like The United States. They complain over there that the Franc is overvalued and they are not paid enough to live. Sweden has progressive taxation and income distribution and has a more stabler economy because of it. Stockholm is the Capital of Sweden since 1523 A.D. It shares the Scandinavian Peninsula with Norway. Coming up is the Difference between Norway and Normandy. Here's a map of Sweden and Norway: Location of Sweden Map from Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica States," The country has a 1,000-year-long continuous history as a sovereign state, but its territorial expanse changed often until 1809. Today it is a constitutional monarchy with a well-established parliamentary democracy that dates from 1917. Swedish society is ethnically and religiously very homogeneous, although recent immigration has created some social diversity. Historically, Sweden rose from backwardness and poverty into a highly developed postindustrial society and advanced welfare state with a standard of living and life expectancy that rank among the highest in the world. " Here are the Facts of Sweden according to Merriam-Webster: Official Name: Konungariket Sverige (Kingdom of Sweden) Form Of Government: constitutional monarchy with one legislative house (Riksdag, or Parliament ) Head Of State: King: Carl XVI Gustaf Head Of Government: Prime Minister: Stefan Löfven Capital:Stockholm Official Language: Swedish Official Religion: none Monetary Unit: Swedish krona (SEK) Currency Exchange Rate: 1 USD equals 9.879 Swedish krona Population: (2019 est.) 10,284,000 Population Rank: (2018) 89 Population Projection 2030: 11,261,000 Total Area (Sq Mi)**172,750 Total Area (Sq Km)**447,420 Density: Persons Per Sq Mi(2018) 64.7 Density: Persons Per Sq Km(2018) 25 Urban-Rural Population: Urban: (2018) 87.4% Rural: (2018) 12.6% Life Expectancy At Birth: Male: (2017) 80.7 years Female: (2017) 84.1 years Literacy: Percentage Of Population Age 15 And Over: Male: 100% Female: (2008) 100% GNI (U.S.$ ’000,000) (2017) 529,460 GNI Per Capita (U.S.$) (2017) 52,590 Here's what The CIA World FactBook has to say about Sweden: (Here are some highlights): Sweden’s small, open, and competitive economy has been thriving and Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living with its combination of free-market capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. Sweden remains outside the euro zone largely out of concern that joining the European Economic and Monetary Union would diminish the country’s sovereignty over its welfare system. Timber, hydropower, and iron ore constitute the resource base of a manufacturing economy that relies heavily on foreign trade. Exports, including engines and other machines, motor vehicles, and telecommunications equipment, account for more than 44% of GDP. Sweden enjoys a current account surplus of about 5% of GDP, which is one of the highest margins in Europe. GDP grew an estimated 3.3% in 2016 and 2017 driven largely by investment in the construction sector. Swedish economists expect economic growth to ease slightly in the coming years as this investment subsides. Global economic growth boosted exports of Swedish manufactures further, helping drive domestic economic growth in 2017. The Central Bank is keeping an eye on deflationary pressures and bank observers expect it to maintain an expansionary monetary policy in 2018. Swedish prices and wages have grown only slightly over the past few years, helping to support the country’s competitiveness. In the short and medium term, Sweden’s economic challenges include providing affordable housing and successfully integrating migrants into the labor market. Agriculture - products: This entry is an ordered listing of major crops and products starting with the most important. barley, wheat, sugar beets; meat, milk Industries: This entry provides a rank ordering of industries starting with the largest by value of annual output. iron and steel, precision equipment (bearings, radio and telephone parts, armaments), wood pulp and paper products, processed foods, motor vehicles Unemployment rate:This entry contains the percent of the labor force that is without jobs. Substantial underemployment might be noted. 6.7% (2017 est.)7% (2016 est.)country comparison to the world:101 Population below poverty line:National estimates of the percentage of the population falling below the poverty line are based on surveys of sub-groups, with the results weighted by the number of people in each group. Definitions of poverty vary considerably among nations. For example, rich nations generally employ more generous standards of poverty than poor nations. 15% (2014 est.) Household income or consumption by percentage share:Data on household income or consumption come from household surveys, the results adjusted for household size. Nations use different standards and procedures in collecting and adjusting the data. Surveys based on income will normally show a more unequal distribution than surveys based on consumption. The quality of surveys is improving with time, yet caution is still necessary in making inter-country comparisons. lowest 10%: 3.4%highest 10%: 24% (2012) Budget:This entry includes revenues, expenditures, and capital expenditures. These figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms. revenues: 271.2 billion (2017 est.)expenditures: 264.4 billion (2017 est.) Taxes and other revenues:This entry records total taxes and other revenues received by the national government during the time period indicated, expressed as a percent of GDP. Taxes include personal and corporate income taxes, value added taxes, excise taxes, and tariffs. Other revenues include social contributions - such as payments for social security and hospital insurance - grants, and net revenues from public enterprises. Normalizing the data, by dividing total revenues by GDP, enables easy comparisons acr . . .more 50.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Now for Switzerland: Map of Switzerland It's rights next to France and Austria and is the size of Half of Scotland according to Encyclopedia Britannica online; This map is from their page. According to Merriam-Webster: Dialing code: +41 Population: 8.57 million (2019) Currency: Swiss franc Swit·zer·land | \ ˈswit-sər-lənd \variants: or FrenchSuisse \ ˈswʸēs \ or GermanSchweiz \ ˈshvīts \ or ItalianSvizzera \ ˈzvēt-tsā-rä \ or LatinHelvetia \ hel-ˈvē-sh(ē-)ə \
Definition of Switzerland
landlocked country (a federal republic) in western Europe in the Alps; capital Bern area 15,937 square miles (41,277 square kilometers), population 8,293,000 see also SWISS entry 1 sense 1 Britannica states: " For many outsiders, Switzerland also evokes a prosperous if rather staid and unexciting society, an image that is now dated. Switzerland remains wealthy and orderly, but its mountain-walled valleys are far more likely to echo the music of a local rock band than a yodel or an alphorn. Most Swiss live in towns and cities, not in the idyllic rural landscapes that captivated the world through Johanna Spyri’s Heidi (1880–81), the country’s best-known literary work. Switzerland’s cities have emerged as international centres of industry and commerce connected to the larger world, a very different tenor from Switzerland’s isolated, more inward-looking past. As a consequence of its remarkably long-lived stability and carefully guarded neutrality, Switzerland—Geneva, in particular—has been selected as headquarters for a wide array of governmental and nongovernmental organizations, including many associated with the United Nations (UN)—an organization the Swiss resisted joining until the early 21st century. " According to CIA"S World Factbook. Switzerland's Economy is as such: Switzerland, a country that espouses neutrality, is a prosperous and modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labor force, and a per capita GDP among the highest in the world. Switzerland's economy benefits from a highly developed service sector, led by financial services, and a manufacturing industry that specializes in high-technology, knowledge-based production. Its economic and political stability, transparent legal system, exceptional infrastructure, efficient capital markets, and low corporate tax rates also make Switzerland one of the world's most competitive economies. The Swiss have brought their economic practices largely into conformity with the EU's to gain access to the Union’s Single Market and enhance the country’s international competitiveness. Some trade protectionism remains, however, particularly for its small agricultural sector. The fate of the Swiss economy is tightly linked to that of its neighbors in the euro zone, which purchases half of Swiss exports. The global financial crisis of 2008 and resulting economic downturn in 2009 stalled demand for Swiss exports and put Switzerland into a recession. During this period, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) implemented a zero-interest rate policy to boost the economy, as well as to prevent appreciation of the franc, and Switzerland's economy began to recover in 2010. The sovereign debt crises unfolding in neighboring euro-zone countries, however, coupled with economic instability in Russia and other Eastern European economies drove up demand for the Swiss franc by investors seeking a safehaven currency. In January 2015, the SNB abandoned the Swiss franc’s peg to the euro, roiling global currency markets and making active SNB intervention a necessary hallmark of present-day Swiss monetary policy. The independent SNB has upheld its zero interest rate policy and conducted major market interventions to prevent further appreciation of the Swiss franc, but parliamentarians have urged it to do more to weaken the currency. The franc's strength has made Swiss exports less competitive and weakened the country's growth outlook; GDP growth fell below 2% per year from 2011 through 2017. In recent years, Switzerland has responded to increasing pressure from neighboring countries and trading partners to reform its banking secrecy laws, by agreeing to conform to OECD regulations on administrative assistance in tax matters, including tax evasion. The Swiss Government has also renegotiated its double taxation agreements with numerous countries, including the US, to incorporate OECD standards. GDP (purchasing power parity) $523.1 billion (2017 est.) $514.5 billion (2016 est.) $506.5 billion (2015 est.) note: data are in 2017 dollars GDP (official exchange rate) $679 billion (2017 est.) GDP - per capita (PPP): $62,100 (2017 est.) $61,800 (2016 est.) $61,500 (2015 est.) note: data are in 2017 dollars Gross national saving: 33.8% of GDP (2017 est.) 32.3% of GDP (2016 est.) 33.9% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: 53.7% (2017 est.) government consumption: 12% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 24.5% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: -1.4% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 65.1% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -54% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 0.7% (2017 est.) industry: 25.6% (2017 est.) services: 73.7% (2017 est.) Agriculture - products: grains, fruits, vegetables; meat, eggs, dairy products Industries: machinery, chemicals, watches, textiles, precision instruments, tourism, banking, insurance, pharmaceuticals Industrial production growth rate: 3.4% (2017 est.) country comparison to the world:92 Labor force**:**5.159 million (2017 est.) country comparison to the world:81 Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 3.3% industry: 19.8% services: 76.9% (2015) Unemployment rate: 3.2% (2017 est.) 3.3% (2016 est.) country comparison to the world:40 Population below poverty line: 6.6% (2014 est.) Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 7.5% highest 10%: 19% (2007) Budget: revenues: 242.1 billion (2017 est.) expenditures: 234.4 billion (2017 est.) note: includes federal, cantonal, and municipal budgets Taxes and other revenues: 35.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.) country comparison to the world:60 Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): 1.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.) country comparison to the world:33 Public debt: 41.8% of GDP (2017 est.) 41.8% of GDP (2016 est.) note: general government gross debt; gross debt consists of all liabilities that require payment or payments of interest and/or principal by the debtor to the creditor at a date or dates in the future; includes debt liabilities in the form of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), currency and deposits, debt securities, loans, insurance, pensions and standardized guarantee schemes, and other accounts payable; all liabilities in the GFSM (Government Financial Systems Manual) 2001 system are debt, except for equity and investment fund shares and financial derivatives and employee stock options country comparison to the world:119 Fiscal year: Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.5% (2017 est.) -0.4% (2016 est.) country comparison to the world:30 Current account balance: $66.55 billion (2017 est.)$63.16 billion (2016 est.) country comparison to the world:7 Exports: $313.5 billion (2017 est.) $318.1 billion (2016 est.) note: trade data exclude trade with Switzerland country comparison to the world:17 Exports - partners: Germany 15.2% US 12.3% China 8.2 %India 6.7% France 5.7% UK 5.7% Hong Kong 5.4% Italy 5.3% (2017) Exports - commodities: machinery, chemicals, metals, watches, agricultural products Imports: $264.5 billion (2017 est.) $266.3 billion (2016 est.) country comparison to the world:18 Imports - commodities: machinery, chemicals, vehicles, metals; agricultural products, textiles Imports - partners: Germany 20.9%, US 7.9% Italy 7.6%, UK 7.3% France 6.8% China 5% (2017) Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $811.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $679.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.) country comparison to the world:3 Debt - external:. $1.664 trillion (31 March 2016 est.) $1.663 trillion (31 March 2015 est.) country comparison to the world:12 Exchange rates: Swiss francs (CHF) per US dollar -0.9875 (2017 est.) 0.9852 (2016 est.)0.9852 (2015 est.) 0.9627 (2014 est.) 0.9152 (2013 est.) And their Military is such as CIA states: Military expenditures**:This entry gives spending on defense programs for the most recent year available as a percent of gross domestic product (GDP); the GDP is calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). For countries with no military forces, this figure can include expenditures on public security and police. 0.68% of GDP (2018)0.68% of GDP (2017)0.68% of GDP (2016)0.66% of GDP (2015)0.66% of GDP (2014)country comparison to the world:138 Military and security forces**:This entry lists the military and security forces subordinate to defense ministries or the equivalent (typically ground, naval, air, and marine forces), as well as those belonging to interior ministries or the equivalent (typically gendarmeries, bordecoast guards, paramilitary police, and other internal security forces). Swiss Armed Forces: Land Forces, Swiss Air Force (Schweizer Luftwaffe) (2019) Military service age and obligation**:This entry gives the required ages for voluntary or conscript military service and the length of service obligation. 18-30 years of age generally for male compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; every Swiss male has to serve at least 245 days in the armed forces; conscripts receive 18 weeks of mandatory training, followed by six 19-day intermittent recalls for training during the next 10 years (2019) Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 34,072 (Eritrea) 16,565 (Syria) 12,282 (Afghanistan) 5,744 (Sri Lanka) (2018) stateless persons: 49 (2018) Illicit drugs a major international financial center vulnerable to the layering and integration stages of money laundering; despite significant legislation and reporting requirements, secrecy rules persist and nonresidents are permitted to conduct business through offshore entities and various intermediaries; transit country for and consumer of South American cocaine, Southwest Asian heroin, and Western European synthetics; domestic cannabis cultivation and limited ecstasy production. Here's an article about an International Dispute with the European Union (EU): https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1283471/eu-news-switzerland-rejected-membership-bloc-twice-spt When looking to solve problems with countries, look at their economy and study it.
[warning: antiblack slur, antiblackness, racism against south Asians and south East Asians] I hope at least one person reads this without a dismissive attitude. Please don’t call me a sell out or suggest I’m not azn since the age + username of this account is enough proof that I’m Bengali. The rhetorical questions asked in the “I support BLM but...” shows me that that particular person didn’t actually research for the answers to those questions. If you do not remember, those questions were saying that because Asians unlike white people did not partake in the same systems of oppression against black people, we are not required to support BLM. However, there are many flaws wrong with that argument, but I will only address the titular sentiment implied by those questions. “Asians have never enslaved Black people.” The siddis of the Indian subcontinent are an Afro-Asian diaspora with multiple pasts and presents which you will learn if you take the time to read this article. Scholars pose theories that Siddhis arrived to South Asia by trade routes from East Africa. However, Siddhis did not only arrive as traders and sailors. Many of them were in fact the very commodities who were traded as domestic slaves and military conscripts during the Indian Ocean Slave Trade. Already existing institutions and markets in North Africa supplied wealthy Muslim Arabs of the Ottoman Empire and other parts of Arabia with African slaves. These African slaves would then be imported to to islands in the Indian Ocean and to the Indian subcontinent. “Until the early 20th century, these broad patterns [of slave trading] were affected by the ebb and flow of local powers and trading networks, the continuing spread of Islam, the changing fortunes of empires (in North Africa, Egypt, the Middle East, Turkey, Abyssinia, Persia, and India), and fluctuating demand for other international goods, from gold, cloth, and ivory to ostrich feathers, cloves, and sugar.” The siddhis are far from the only African diasporas in Asia much less in the Indian subcontinent alone who have ancestors that were enslaved Africans. aznidentity claims to be a platform for pan-asian experiences, histories, and identities. By using broad overarching statements such as “Asians did not enslave Black people” you are not only erasing the complicity of us South Asians and Middle Easterners for such practices and institutions just a century ago, but also the identities and histories of the Afro-Asian diasporas who are the descendants of enslaved Africans. Building on my last point, the legacy of the enslavement in Africans in the Middle East and South Asia still affects how we perceive Africans today. For one, the lack of education on the Indian Ocean Slave Trade is obvious evidence of the continuous marginalization of African diasporas in Asia and black people in general. If you read the first article, you will learn about how the rudimentary education and perception of Siddhi history erases the role that they played into constructing kingdoms, societies, and nations in South Asian as sultans, as domestic slaves, as military conscripts, etc. This has caused the marginalization of Siddhis in Pakistan and India in particular which have the high populations of the aforementioned ethnic group. Lastly, MODERN SLAVERY EXISTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST IN THE FORM OF KAFALA. “For decades, migrant domestic workers in Lebanon have complained of rampant abuse at the hands of their employers. Stories of unpaid wages, being locked into the homes where they work, of violence and sexual assault are all commonplace.”. Arabian gulf economies rely on the cheap labor of migrant workers from Africa, South Asia, and South East Asia. The way that this affects African migrant workers in particular is reflected in the Arabic word “abeed”. Abeed is an antiblack slur which literally means “slave” and is predominantly used against darker skinned Africans. Calling black people abeed has been part of the Arab world long before the kafala system of the exploitation of migrant workers existed, and it’s status as an antiblack slur probably started with the Indian Ocean Slave Trade. This is why Arabs may call Africans or Afro-Arabs an abeed even if they are not migrant workers or domestic servants. The Kafala system relies and supports racism and xenophobia against South Asians and South East Asians in order to exploit Asian migrant workers from those countries. In a similar way, the kafala system relies on and supports antiblackness to exploit African migrant workers, which includes invoking the historical relationship of African slaves and Arab slave masters. The dispossession of Afro-Asian diasporas and the treatment of African migrant workers are rampant consequences of the enslavement of Africans by Asians. I really really recommend reading into the history of Afro-Asian diasporas and the effect of the kafala system on all migrant workers, including black ones and Asian ones, to understand all the nuances of this topic I might have skipped out on. Migrant workers right now in Gulf Countries are forced to do without pay, are being laid off, are being repatriated to their former nations, at alarming rates because of the pandemic. Lastly, it’s upsetting that i know some of you may only care about the kafala system because I mentioned exploited migrant workers from South Asia and South East Asia. But then again, if you’re blindsided by your own racial trauma that you selfishly choose to ignore how your communities contribute to the marginalization of other minorities, you probably don’t care for dismantling system of oppressions you neither benefit or are harmed from.
BJP Manifesto Congress Manifesto The BJP Manifesto is available in Hindi and English, while the Congress Manifesto is available in Hindi, English, Odia, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Punjabi, Assamese. I've provided a few highlights from both the manifestos. The manifestos are large and it is not possible to cover all the points. I have covered the points which I believe are easier to judge on implementability.
Congress manifesto is longer.
BJP Manifesto doesn't allow to copy text (even though it is a PDF document).
Highlights of BJP Manifesto
Welfare of Soldiers - Armed forces will start planning for the resettlement of solders three years before their retirement and in accordance with their preferences. This will include provision for skills training, soft skills training, financial support for higher education, for housing and for starting an enterprise.
Citizenship Amendment Bill - Hindus, Jains, Buddhist and Sikhs escaping persecution from India's neighbouring countries will be given citizenship in India.
Combating Left Wing Extremism - We are committed to taking necessary and effective steps against left wing extremism to eliminate this menance in the next five years.
Jammu & Kashmir - Article 370 - We reiterate our position since the time of the Jan Sanhg to the abrogation of Article 370. We are committed to annulling Article 35A of the Constiution of India as the provision is discriminatory against non-permanent residents and women of Jammu and Kashmir.
Pension for small and marginal farmers - We will launch a pension scheme for all small and marginal farmers in the country so as to ensure socoail security to them on reaching 60 years of age.
Interest-free Kisan Credit Card loans - We will provide short-term new agriculture loans up to Rs. 1 lakh at 0% interest rate for 1-5 years on the condition of prompt repayment of the principal amount.
Digitization of Land Record - On the lines of Aadhar project, we will complete digitization of land records on a mission mode.
Fisheries - Blue Revolution - We will bring all fishermen under the ambit of all welfare programmes and social security schemes with expanded coverage of accident insurance.
Top 50 Ranking in Ease of Doing Business Index.
To protect the interests of small traders, we will provide an accident insurance of 10 lakh rupees to all the tranders registered under GST.
To encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst the youth, we will launch a new scheme to provide collateral-free credit up to 50 lakh for entrepreneurs. We will guarantee 50% of the loan amount for female entrepreneurs and 25% of the loan amount for male entrepreneurs.
Urban Mobility - We will launch a national urban mobility mission to provide technology based urban mobility solutions to all urban local bodies and increase the use of public transport, enhance walkability and cycle use.
Swachh Bharat Mission - We will ensure that all habitations attain open defecation free status and those that have attained the status sustain the behavioural change.
Road Connectivity - We will double the length of National Highways by 2022.
Railways - We will ensure conversion of all viable rail traicks to broad gauge by 2022.
Railways - We will make all efforts to ensure electrification of all railway tracks by 2022.
Establishment of New Airports - In the next five years, we will double the number of functional airports.
Coastal Development - We will double our port capacity in the next five years.
Eliminating Tuberculosis - We have rolled out a special mission to eliminate TB from India by 2025.
Simulatenous elections - Wea re committed to the idea of simulatenous elections for Parliament, State assemblies and local bodies to reduce expenditure, ensure efficient utilisation of government resources and security forces and for effective policy planning.
Protecting the Himalayas - We will ensure the Himalayan States are provided special financial assistance in the form of a 'Green Bonus' to facilitate the protection and promotion of forests in those states.
Higher Education - We will take all necessary steps to increase the number of seats in Central LAw, Engineering, Science and Management institutions by at least 50% in the next five years.
Women-led Development - To generate better work opportunities for women, 10% material to be sourced for government producrement will be done from MSMEs having at least 50% women employees in their workforce.
Ensuring equal rights - We will legislate a bill to prohibit and eliminate practices such as Triple Talaq and Nikah Halala.
Reservation for Women - BJP is committed to 33% reservation in parliament and state assemblies through a constitutional amendment.
Ensuring welfare of Poor - We will ensure pucca houses for families either living in kuchha houses or without access to housing by 2022.
Political resolution of the matter of Gorkha - We are also committed to implement the reservation in the legislative asssembly of Sikkin for Limboo and Tamang tribes.
Pension scheme for all small shopkeepers - We will expand the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan scheme to cover all small shopkeepers.
Ram Mandir - We reiterate our stand on Ram Mandir. We will explore all possibilities within the framework of the Constitution and all necessary efforts to facilitiate the expeditious construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
** Sabarimala** - We will undertake every effort to ensure that the subject of faith, tradition and worship rituals related to Sabarimala are presented in a comprehensive manner before the Hon'ble Supreme Court. We will endeavour to secure constitutional protection on issues related to faith and belief.
Unifirm Civil Code - BJP reitrates its stand to draft a Uniform Civil Code.
Highlights of Congress Manifesto
Jobs - All of the 4 lakh vacancies as on 1 April 2019 in the Central Government, Central Public Sector Enterprises, Judiciary and Parliament will be filled before the end of March 2020.
Jobs - Application fees for government examinations and government posts will be abolished.
Jobs - Congress will require businesses employing 100 persons or more to start an apprenticeship programme, impart skills, pay a stipend, and employ from among the trained apprentices whenever a job is created or becomes vacant in that business. We will amend The Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Rules, 2014 to include ‘Apprenticeship’ as an additional activity.
Industry - Congress promises to increase the share of India’s manufacturing sector from the current level of 16 per cent of GDP to 25 per cent within a period of 5 years and to make India a manufac-turing hub for the world.
Industry - Congress will announce a ‘Make for the World’ policy under which foreign and Indian companies will be invited to invest in ‘Exclusive Export-only Zones’, manufacture and export their entire pro-duction, pay no indirect taxes and pay a low rate of corporate tax.
Industry - Congress will acquire patents, create a patent pool and make advanced technologies available to small and medium businesses.
Urban Policy - Congress will introduce a new model of governance for towns and cities through a directly elected mayor with a fixed term of 5 years, an elected Council and a separate administrative structurefor each urban body.
Urban Policy - Congress promises the Right to Housing for the urban poor and protection from arbitrary eviction. We will build night shelters for the homeless so that no one will sleep in the open.
Rural Development - We will pass the Right to Homestead Act to provide a homestead for every household that does not own a home or own land on which a house may be built.
Information and Unorganised Sector - Congress will ratify ILO Convention 87 (Freedom of Association) and ILO Convention 98 (Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining).
Agriculture - Congress will repeal the Agricultural Produce Market Committees Act and make trade in agricultural produce—including exports and inter-state trade—free from all restrictions.
Agriculture - Debt is a civil liability and we will not allow criminal proceedings to be instituted against a farmer who is unable to pay his/her debt.
Agriculture - The Essential Commodities Act, 1955 belongs to the age of controls. Congress promises to replace the Act by an enabling law that can be invoked only in the case of emergencies.
Economics - The Angel Taximposed on Start-Ups will be withdrawn completely.
Economics - NYAY
The target population will be 5 crore familieswho constitute the poorest 20 per cent of all families. They will be the beneficiaries of MISP or NYAY;
Each family will be guaranteed a cash transfer of Rs. 72,000 a year;
As far as possible, the money will be transferred to the account of a woman of the family who has a bank account or who will be urged to open a bank account;
There will a Design phase (3 months) followed by a Pilot and Testing phase (6–9 months) before roll-out;
The rollout will be implemented in phases;
The estimated cost will be <1 per cent of GDP in Year 1 and <2 per cent of GDP in Year 2 and thereafter.
As the nominal GDP grows and families move out of poverty, the cost will decline as a propor-tion of GDP.
Economics - GST 2.0 - The GST 2.0 regime will be based on a single, moderate, standard rate of tax on all goods and services.
Banking - Congress will amalgamate 2 or more PSBs so that there will be only 6-8 PSBs with a national presence and reach.
Science - Congress promises to work with industry to increase the expenditure on science and technology to 2 per cent of GDP.
Fisheries - Congress will establish a separate Ministry of Fisheries and Welfare of Fisherfolk.
National Security - Congress will provide a statutory basis to the National Security Council (NSC) and the office of National Security Adviser (NSA). Their powers and functions will be defined under the law and both authorities, and the agencies under them, will be accountable to Parliament.
Internal Security - The most serious threats to internal security emanate from (1) terrorism, (2) infiltration of militants, (3) Maoism or Naxalism and (4) caste or communal violence. Congress believes that each of these threats deserves a separate and distinct response.
CAPF - Congress promises to ensure increased representation of women to achieve a minimum of 33 per cent in the force strength of CISF, CRPF and BSF.
Arts - Congress will guarantee artistic freedom. Artists and craftsmen will enjoy the freedom to express their views in any form without fear of censorship or retribution. Attempts by vigilante groups to censor or intimidate artists will be viewed seriously and action against them will be taken according to the law
Instututions - Congress promises to amend the Anti-Defection Law to provide for instant disqualification of a Member of Parliament or a Member of the State Legislature for proven disobedience to the party’s whip or for withdrawing allegiance to the party or for supporting another party. A disqualified mem-ber shall not be eligible to hold any public office (including that of minister) or be a candidate in an election to Parliament or the State Legislature for a period of 2 years from the date of disqualification.
Instutions - Congress promises to amend the Aadhaar Act, 2016 in order to restrict the use of Aadhaar to subsidies, benefits and services provided by the government as was originally intended under the law.
Governance - We will introduce a Diversity Index as a metric to assess and ensure diversity in all government bodies, semi-government agencies, public sector enterprises and other public bodies.
Governance - Congress promises to pass an Anti-Discrimination Law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, caste, gender or language in the supply of goods and services that are made available to the public in general such as housing, hostels, hotels, clubs, etc.
State-Centre relations - We will review the distribution of legislative fields in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution and build a consensus on transferring some legislative fields from List III (Concurrent List) to List II (State List).
State-Centre relations - Congress will give Special Category status to Andhra Pradesh as promised by Dr. Manmohan Singh on 20 February 2014 in the Rajya Sabha.
State-Centre relations - Congress promises full statehood to Puducherry.
Local Self-Governments - We will remove all provisions stipulating pre- qualifications (such as minimum education) for candidates at elections to local bodies.
Judiciary - Congress will introduce a Bill to amend the Constitution to make the Supreme Court a Constitutional Court that will hear and decide cases involving the interpretation of the Constitution and other cases of legal significance or national importance.
Laws - Omit Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code and make ‘defamation’ a civil offence;
Laws - Omit Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (that defines the offence of ‘sedition’) that has been misused and, in any event, has become redundant because of subsequent laws.
Laws - Amend the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 in order to strike a balance between the powers of security forces and the human rights of citizens and to remove immunity for enforced disappearance, sexual violence and torture.
Police reforms - Cause investigations into cases of communal riots, lynchings and gang rapes by a special wing of the State police under the direct command of the State Headquarters of the police.
Media - Congress will pass a law to curb monopolies in the media, cross-ownership of different segments of the media and control of the media by other business organisations. Congress will refer cases of suspected monopolies to the Competition Commission of India.
New Planning Commission - Congress will scrap the Niti Aayog.
Gender Justice - Congress promises to pass the Constitution (Amendment) Bill to provide for reservation of 33 per cent of seats in the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies in the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha and in the Rajya Sabha.
Gender Justice - We will amend the Service Rules to reserve for women 33 per cent of appointments to posts in the Central Government.
Reservation - Congress promises to amend the Constitution to provide for reservation in promotion posts for SCs, STs and OBCs.
NE States - We will withdraw immediately the widely resented Citizenship Amendment Bill introduced by the BJP Government against the wishes of the people of the NES.
Minorities - We will pass a new law in the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha and in the Rajya Sabha to prevent and punish hate crimes such as mob-engineered stripping, burning and lynching.
Healthcare - Congress promises that the total government expenditure on healthcare will be doubled to 3 per cent of GDP by the year 2023-24.
Education - Congress promises to double the allocation for Education to 6 per cent of GDP in the 5 years ending 2023-24.
Education - We will take measures to dispense with the NEET examination.
Environment - Congress recognises that air pollution is a national public health emergency.
Environment - We will work with State Governments to increase the forest cover from the current level of 21 per cent to 25 per cent by the year 2025.
Digital Rights - Provide access to all persons to high quality internet at affordable rates;
Digital Rights - Uphold the principle of net neutrality.
Digital Rights - Pass a law to protect the personal data of all persons and uphold the right to privacy;
Sharering (SHR) I believe this one is going to surprise so many. Already generating revenue and doing buybacks every week. Already over 10 000 registered users. Mainnet + app + masternodes and staking before EOY.
I got this stuff from Steve Aitchison, he wrote this review and posted it on Uptrennd. Figured I should put it on here as well since I truly believe this is an incredible moonshot. I'm personally holding SHR myself and am very convinced it will do extremely well. Give a read through it and you will immediatly see why. Enjoy guys. Introduction Imagine for a second the following scenario. You are a 2 car family. One car is used every day going back and forth to work, for shopping, all the little jaunts you and your husband like to go on. Your grown children are at university and come home for the weekends so the other car sits in the driveway all week and doesn’t get used during the week. What a waste of a perfectly good car. You think to yourself we could put that car to good use and actually help to pay for university fees, by renting it out during the week. However, then you think “well it’s only a little Ford Fiesta who’s going to want to rent that.” Well, it turns out a lot of people want to rent it and for a good price: £34 ($40) per day, a possible $800 per month. Peer to peer car sharing has grown massively over the last few years and people are making serious money by letting our vehicles on a daily basis, emulating the Airbnb model. In fact companies like Turo, Getaround and Drivy, which has just been acquired by Getaround for $300 Million, are bringing in serious investors like Toyota, Softbank Vision Fund, Menlo Ventures, and IAC to the tune of over $800 Million. A key difference between rental companies and peer to peer is that they have vastly improved technology with app interfaces that make locating assets and resources, reserving and using them, and making payment convenient and seamless. This, combined with location-specific analytics, allows by-the-minute access to assets and resources (e.g. cars or bicycles) and enables customers to pick up and drop these assets where and when convenient. Car sharing is just one example of an industry that is being disrupted. We have seen, experienced and read about the amazing growth of Airbnb which is now estimated to be valued at $38 Billion. Airbnb has been so successful that companies like booking.com are trying to get in on the act by adopting a similar model when it comes to booking accommodation. There is also the phenomenal rise of bicycle rentals which we see in cities all over the world, not quite the same as peer to peer sharing, but it’s another rental model that is ripe for being disrupted by the new sharing model. With this business model in mind what other areas could it be used in: Transport: Used for the rental of cars, trucks, scooters, trailers, and even heavy vehicles. Delivery Drivers: Facilitate booking and payment for delivery drivers. Agriculture: Garden sharing, seed swap, bee-hive relocation, etc. Finance: Peer to peer lending Food bank, social dining Travel Tours, shared tour groups Real Estate Airbnb, co-housing, co-living, Couchsurfing, shared office space, house swapping. Time: Labour, co-working, freelancing Assets Book swapping, clothes swapping, fractional ownership, freecycling, toy libraries. Transportation Car sharing, ride-sharing, car-pooling, bicycle sharing, delivery company, couriers And so much more! This newly emerging, but highly fragmented sharing industry, is currently worth over $100 billion. It is predicted to grow to at least $335 billion by 2025. As you can see from a few examples above the sharing economy has a lot of room to grow but what it doesn’t have, yet, is a company who can facilitate ALL of the above use cases in one place. That is until now! ShareRing is disrupting the disruptors by bringing everything together in one place and making it easy for you and me to share anything and everything and making it as easy as opening an app on your phone. Business Case The sharing market has exploded over the last several years. This is due, in part, to the digital age we live in, as we now have over 2.82 Billion people with smart phones around the world. It also due to how easy the business model of sharing lends itself to the digital world, and how with the simple installation of an app we can access a plethora of markets to rent almost anything from. Due to this rise of digital platforms and the proliferation of smartphones, revenues coming from sharing economy platforms are only expected to increase. It is estimated to grow to a $335 billion industry in 2025, compared to its $14 billion value in 2014. (PwC UK). The beauty of the sharing economy is that it is a win/win/win situation for the person who wants to rent something for a few days or weeks, the person who is renting out, and the company who facilitates the ease of the transactions between the renter and the person renting out. Typically the renter will save a lot of money whilst renting out someone else’s apartment, car, bicycle, clothes, dog sitting services etc and they can almost be assured of quality due to the social side of the business model with reviews from real people. The person who is renting out can make additional income and will want good reviews and therefore keep the standard of service higher. The company that is facilitating all of this can make a lot of money on transaction fees, as well as from advertising, and partnership deals, and obviously have an exit strategy for possible buyouts. When it comes to looking at the business model, ShareRing fits in to the Commission Based Platform as described in Ritter and Schanz study where they looked at the core difference in difference business models of the sharing economy: Singular Transaction Models, Subscription-Based Models, Commission-Based Platforms and Unlimited Platforms.) Commission Based Platforms are dominated by (at least) triadic relationships amongst providers, intermediaries and consumers with a utility-bound revenue stream. These business models enable their customers to switch between provider and consumer roles by creating and delivering the value proposition. Only a few employees work for the intermediary and the value creation and delivery is externalized. From a consumer perspective, consumers are empowered to collaborate with each other and to design the collaboration terms by negotiating the terms and conditions of the content, creation, distribution and consumption of the value proposition. Depending on the orientation of the value proposition, consumers purchase commodities (Tauschticket, ebay), access commodities in a defined timespan (booking.com, Airbnb) or buy services (uber, turo) from occasional and professional providers found via an intermediary. The intermediary mainly focuses on nurturing a community feeling and reducing exchange insecurity by incorporating rating systems, micro-assurances and standardizations of payment and delivery into the platform. The platform mainly takes commissions for successful matching and executing trade. (Journal of Cleaner Production Volume 213, 10 March 2019, Pages 320-331) The USP of the ShareRing Business Model The USP that ShareRing has is that it brings all of the different forms of sharing together in one app through partnerships and onboarding of users. No other company, to date, is bringing everything together in such a way. However there are other factors that make ShareRing unique, which we will look at. Token Economics SHR is a utility token and will be used to pay for transactions on the network, such as 'new booking', 'add asset', etc. SHR is used by providers to pay for their access to the ShareLedger blockchain, including the addition of assets, renting out of assets, adding attributes, adding smart contracts, and other features. SharePay (SHRP) is used by customers to pay for the rental of assets. Masternodes will also be a main feature of the SHR token. When a transaction fee is incurred, it will be distributed in a way that allows for masternode holders who provide a service to the platform to receive a reward from each transaction. Transaction fees are charged to sharing providers in SHR. The distribution of transaction fees will be as follows: 50% - will be distributed amongst the active masternode holders who host an active node on the blockchain at that point in time (these holders provide a service to the platform). The distribution will be based on a calculation of the Total Amount Staked and the total continuous uptime of the node. 50% - will be provided to ShareRing Ltd (view ShareRing owned masternodes) for various purposes that contribute to working capital and platform growth. Leased Proof of Stake Consensus ShareRing have chosen the Leased Proof-of-Stake protocol as the consensus algorithm for ShareLedger. This choice is based on the practicality and security benefits evident in the Waves platform. It is also much more cost effective than Proof-of-Work (POW), and will not suffer from the current issues Bitcoin and other POW cryptocurrencies are facing such as scalability and electricity consumption. As explained above master nodes will be a main feature but there is the other feature of lightweight nodes. A user with a lightweight node will be able to stake their tokens to a full node of their choosing and participate in reaching consensus. They will also be free to cancel their leasing at any time as there are no contracts or freezing periods. The more tokens that have been staked in a full node, the higher the probability the node will have in producing the next block. Since the reward is given based on the total number of tokens staked in the full node, there will always be a trade-off between the size of the full node and the percentage of the reward. As an average user of the platform, you will not need to have technical knowledge on how to set up a node nor will you have to download the entire blockchain in order to stake your tokens. Only a user who sets up a full node will be required to do this, making it simpler than ever for users to earn a reward for supporting the platform. The return expected for staking is expected to be around 6 - 8% although this has yet to be confirmed. Buybacks ShareRing are currently implementing a series of buybacks which started in the beginning of November: The buyback operation is done at a random time during the week. If there is enough liquidity, SHR tokens will be bought through a single market order at the time of buyback. In case there is not enough liquidity, a limit buy order at last sell order price will be placed on the market, and will remain open until it gets filled. The buyback program was implemented to test the API purchase process for when live transactions occur on ShareLedger The Buyback Program is expected to:
Reduce the supply of ShareTokens available in both public and private markets
Bring New capital and fund inflows into the Shareledger
Substantially magnify value creation for the ShareToken holders
The Token Flow ShareRing will bring in hundreds of merchants to list their rental products, either exclusively or as part of an aggregator system e.g. When you look at the likes of trivago.com they will list the best hotel prices from multiple merchants who are listed on their website. Essentially ShareRing will become part of the aggregator ecosystem and be listed on sites like trivago.com as well as have exclusive agreements with merchants who are listed directly on their app. ShareRing’s USP is that they have everything on one place as well as their OneID module with means buyers can get a hotel, rent a car, rent their ski equipment, book events all through the one app and using the OneID. With that in mind they are going to attract a lot of merchants. This is where it gets exciting so pay attention to this part. When a merchant is part of the ShareRing ecosystem and a buyer rents something from that merchant ShareRing will take a small % commission from that transaction. So say someone books a hotel for $100 for the night, ShareRing might take $0.50 as a commission. What ShareRing will then do is go to one of the exchanges that ShareRing (SHR) is listed on and buy SHR tokens directly using an API system using USDT. Now, the actual commission has not been disclosed yet however if we assume even a 0.25% commission that means for every $100 Million worth of bookings made through the app will net ShareRing $250,000 which means buy backs of $250,000 for the SHR token, which increases the liquidity of SHR on the exchanges. If you think $100 Million of bookings is a lot, booking.com customers book around 1.5 Million rooms per day, if we estimate an average of $50 per room that is $75 million of bookings PER DAY or $2 Billion worth of bookings per month. This revenue coupled with revenue from OneID and eVOA makes ShareRing profitable almost from day one of the app going live. OneID And eVOA Another exciting development from the ShareRing team is the collaboration between ShareRings Self Sovereign Identity protocol and third party providers to bring OneID and eVOA which will utilise OneID With the huge rise in E-commerce and with over 2.82 billion people who now own a smartphone we are entrusting our personal information to more and more centralised entities. These entities are frequently hacked and our information is leaked to outside parties. ShareRing aims to tackle this with their service OneID module. ShareRing’s OneID solution protects users' data by handling Know Your Customer (KYC) information through third parties and ShareRing’s Self Sovereign Identity Protocol. ShareRing does not hold any identifying information anywhere on its servers. It provides the ultimate security for the renter and also the provider, as the Protocol encrypts and stores your data in a secure manner within your device. Essentially, this means that it is near impossible for a hack or data leak to happen, simply because there is no centralized server of data for hackers to exploit. The OneID module is very easy to use. The end-user needs to complete their ID submission only once, with the entire submission process requiring less than two minutes to complete. Once this step has been completed, the customers KYC is destroyed by the 3rd party document verification system and the OneID module allows merchants to verify a customer’s identity via a hashed verification packet, stored on the users device and ShareLedger. This removes the need for merchants to store or see personal information; safeguarding both merchants and users from fraud. To create your ShareRing OneID, simply:
Take a picture of your government ID document
Take a selfie
Confirm and submit your details
This is something I am really excited about for ShareRing and they already have made partnerships for other companies to use this feature which is another income stream for ShareRing. eVOA E-Visa On Arrival allows applicants to apply online and receive a travel authorisation before departure – this eVOA can be shown at dedicated Thailand immigration counters on arrival at major Thailand airports, allowing travellers to pass through in minutes. OneID system is scheduled to become the lynchpin technology in Thailand’s electronic Visa On Arrival (eVOA) system; one of only two companies to partner with Thai authorities to provide this service. The new Visa system eliminates much of the hassle involved in entering the country: This is a strong validation of the OneID system - immigration controls are some of the most scrutinized processes in any branch of government, and if the OneID solution can operate to their standards then it is truly business-ready. As explained by our COO, Rohan Le Page: “We are providing our OneID product for Thailand e-VOA (Visa On Arrival) that allows 5 Million travellers from 20 countries including China and India to complete the visa process on their mobile through our app. This provides a streamlined immigration process that negates the need for an expensive and time-consuming process when you get off the plane. Additionally, fraud is mitigated with several extra layers of security in the back end including our blockchain (ShareLedger) consensus model that makes all data immutable and all but impossible to hack.” Profit Margins on OneID So how does ShareRing make money from OneID and eVOA? With each application for an eVOA using the OneID module ShareRing will make an undisclosed commission. The e-VOA is available to citizens of 21 different countries and is intended for those who will be holidaying in Thailand and not working in the country. This means that each eVOA will last for a period of around 15 days which effectively means that ShareRing will get commission multiple times from each person travelling to one of the 21 countries listed below: Andorra, Bhutan, Bulgaria, China, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Cyprus Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan The profits on this alone, according to projections, are worth millions of dollars per year to ShareRing, with a healthy growth of about 35% in raw profit over the next 5 years, ultimately netting the company about $1.5 million profit per quarter. The ShareLedger Blockchain Platform ShareRing will utilize the registered intellectual property from the existing KeazACCESS framework (KEAZ: A car sharing company founded by Tim Bos) as well as improving it the blockchain experience in their team. It will consist of fo the primary elements: SharePay (SHRP) – SharePay is the base currency that will allow users of the ShareRing platform to pay for the use of third party assets. ShareToken (SHR) ShareToken (SHR) is the digital utility token that drives sharing transactions to be written to the ShareRing ledger that is managed by the ShareRing platform. Account – This will be a standard account, which such an account being represented by a 24-byte address. The account will contain 4 general fields: SHRP – SharePay token balance SHR – ShareToken balance ASSETS – linked/owned by the account (see below for definition of an Asset) ATTRIBUTES – Any additional attributes that are associated with this account. These attributes may be updated or added by Sharing Economy providers that utilise the ledger such as ID checks by rental companies. These attributes may be ‘global’ (i.e. used by any sharing providers) or ‘local’ (i.e. used by a specific sharing provider). Assets – An asset represents a tangible real-world or digital asset that is being shared, such as a car, a house, industrial machinery, an e-book, and so on. Smart Contracts – Similar to a number of other blockchain platforms, such as Ethereum and NEO, the ShareLedger blockchain will feature highly customisable smart contracts. These Smart Contracts will allow for decentralised autonomous applications that can be attached to an asset and/or account. Every smart contract will be Turing complete, meaning it will have the ability to implement sophisticated logic to manage the sharing of the assets. The smart contracts will be tested and reviewed by ShareRing in a sandbox as well as audited by reputable third-party code auditors prior to implementation. Proof of Stake Consensus ShareRing have chosen the Leased Proof-of-Stake protocol as the consensus algorithm for ShareLedger. This choice is based on the practicality and security benefits evident in the Waves platform. It is also much more cost effective than Proof-of-Work (POW), and will not suffer from the current issues Bitcoin and other POW cryptocurrencies are facing such as scalability and electricity consumption. The ShareRing App At the heart of the ShareRing project lies the ShareRing app: A universal ‘ShareRing’ app is being developed that will allow anyone to easily see and use any sharing services around them. Each partner will have the option of developing a ‘mini’ app within the ShareRing app that will have functionalities specific to that partner. The app will use geolocation-based services to display the ShareRing services that are nearby Social Media Presence Coming from a social media background I feel this is an extremely important area to look into, especially in the crypto world. ShareRing has done an okay job in growing their social media presence however I feel it could be much better. Here is a look at some of the key stats for their online social media presence: Youtube: 191 Subscribers Instagram: 238 Followers Linkedin: 376 Followers Telegram: 6,525 members (very active) Twitter: 2,216 Followers (Fairly regular updates) Facebook: 1,965 Followers Whilst social media may not be a priority just now I feel there has to be a big presence with image-based platforms and video-based platforms. Youtube and Instagram should be made a priority here as it spans all generations: Other News on ShareRing There is a lot of stuff going on at the moment with ShareRing which is what makes it an exciting prospect. Rather than give information on each of them here are some highlights provided by the ShareRing team.: - ShareRing's revolutionary ID management based module OneID. - Worlds first Blockchain based eVOA in place with major Thai company targeting 5 to 10 million travellers from 20 countries. - 2.6 million International Hotels/ Accommodation coming on to the Platform. Lots more to come! - Partnership with HomeAway - 200,000 Activites, Tours and Events added to the ShareRing App - Multi Global Car Sharing Partnerships - 1 Partner Directly Integrating SHR's OneID consisting of 1.2 million Vehicles across 150 Countries - Luxury Car Brand Sharing Platform purely based on SHR - SHR payment system SHRP available in 10% Taxi Terminals in Australia - SHRP available in 10,000 EFTPOS Terminals Australia wide - White Labelling Services incorporating ShareRings revolutionary OneID - 20 Significant Unannounced Partnerships, more to come! - Major Partners include - - BYD (Largest Electric Car Maker in the World) - DJI (Largest Drone Maker in the World) - Keaz (300 locations around the world) - Yogoo EV Car Sharing - MOBI Alliance Member Overview of Positives and Negatives Negatives Social Media and marketing possibly needs to be ramped up in order to bring more awareness to the project. The roadmap and white paper has not been updated recently for 2019/2020 but this I believe is coming soon. Positives With a low market cap project like ShareRing the risk to reward ratio is very good for retail and institutional investors. Technical analysis of current prices, currently at 31 Satoshi, is also very good with resistance levels at 50, 77 and 114 Satoshi which would be nearing its all time high. Referral program will increase the numbers of users that are currently using the site. If ShareRing can capture even a small % of the overall sharing market then success looks assured. There are 20 new announcements coming up and with Tim Bos looking for more partnerships it seems likely that ShareRing will break ATH prices soon. Great long term hold, in my opinion. Realistic Expectations of ROI Short term (4 weeks - 12 weeks) Short term looks great for ShareRing both from a TA point of view and a fundamental point of view. With lots of news still to come out about ShareRing there is not going to be a shortage of fundamentals to drive the price up. From a TA point of view the next line of resistance stands at around the 50 Satoshi level which would complete a massive cup and handle formation from August 24th of this year. After that we are looking at resistances of 77 and 114 to reach near the all time highs which i expect ShareRing to reach going into 2020. Long term (6 Months - 2 Years) If ShareRing can onboard users and keep on making partnerships at the same rate there will be no stopping it. It’s all about onboarding the users and utilising the most powerful marketing tool ever - word of mouth! When a great app is realised with great and useful functionality then it tends to go viral and I am hoping this happens for ShareRing. With a market cap at the moment of just under $6 Million then I don’t think it’s crazy to talk about 1000% increases in the next 2 years and I really believe that is being extremely conservative, given where we think crypto is heading as a whole.
Minister Zhong Shan 钟山 - Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China 中华人民共和国商务部 No.2 Dong Chang'an Avenue, Beijing
The People's Republic of China would like to continue discussion with all relevant parties to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership in will be the twenty-fifth round of talks. Important stages of note where progression has been made and deemed acceptable for all 21 parties: *Between the 18–20 November, 2012 a framework on the agenda and scope for negotiations was settled upon.
Between the 9–13 of February, 2015 an expert group on electronic commerce with a proposal on e-commerce presented to working groups.
Previously this year on May 24, 2019, issues pertaining to the goods and services sector were raised.
The RCEP negotiation includes: trade in goods, trade in services, investment, economic and technical cooperation, intellectual property, competition, dispute settlement, e-commerce, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and other issues relating to regional trade. China advocates for fair and sound negotiation on RCEP and in light of current trade developments in the Asia-Pacific region as well as across the globe, we advocate for this regional FTA to mark the watershed for sustainable and mutually satisfactory trade terms for all concerning parties. The Government of the People's Republic of China presents a working final text on RCEP which it hopes will be adopted in what is a final round of talks:
Contracting Parties or hence forth referred to as The Parties or Signatories: ASEAN (Constituting the states of: Indonesia Malaysia Philippines Singapore Thailand Brunei Vietnam Laos Myanmar Cambodia) China Japan South Korea India Australia New Zealand RECOGNISING their longstanding and strong partnership based on the common principles and values reflected in the Framework Agreement; DESIRING to further strengthen their close economic relationship as part of and in a manner coherent with their overall relations, and convinced that this Agreement will create a new climate for the development of trade and investment between the Parties; CONVINCED that this Agreement will create an expanded and secure market for goods and services and a stable and predictable environment for investment, thus enhancing the competitiveness of their firms in global markets; REAFFIRMING their commitment to the Charter of the United Nations signed in San Francisco on 26 June 1945 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10 December 1948; REAFFIRMING their commitment to sustainable development and convinced of the contribution of international trade to sustainable development in its economic, social and environmental dimensions, including economic development, poverty reduction, full and productive employment and decent work for all as well as the protection and preservation of the environment and natural resources; RECOGNISING the right of the Parties to take measures necessary to achieve legitimate public policy objectives on the basis of the level of protection that they deem appropriate, provided that such measures do not constitute a means of unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade, as reflected in this Agreement; RESOLVED to promote transparency as regards all relevant interested parties, including the private sector and civil society organisations; DESIRING to raise living standards, promote economic growth and stability, create new employment opportunities and improve the general welfare by liberalising and expanding mutual trade and investment; SEEKING to establish clear and mutually advantageous rules governing their trade and investment and to reduce or eliminate the barriers to mutual trade and investment; RESOLVED to contribute to the harmonious development and expansion of world trade by removing obstacles to trade through this Agreement and to avoid creating new barriers to trade or investment between their territories that could reduce the benefits of this Agreement; DESIRING to strengthen the development and enforcement of labour and environmental laws and policies, promote basic workers’ rights and sustainable development and implement this Agreement in a manner consistent with these objectives; and BUILDING on their respective rights and obligations under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organisation, done on 15 April 1994 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘WTO Agreement’) and other multilateral, regional and bilateral agreements and arrangements to which they are party; HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS: Article 1.1 Objectives. The Parties hereby establish a free trade area on goods, services, establishment and associated rules in accordance with this Agreement. 2. The objectives of this Agreement are: (a) to liberalise and facilitate trade in goods between the Parties, in conformity with Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (hereinafter referred to as ‘GATT 1994’); (b) to liberalise trade in services and investment between the Parties, in conformity with Article V of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (hereinafter referred to as ‘GATS’); (c) to promote competition in their economies, particularly as it relates to economic relations between the Parties; (d) to further liberalise, on a mutual basis, the government procurement markets of the Parties; (e) to adequately protect intellectual property rights; (f) to contribute, by removing barriers to trade and by developing an environment conducive to increased investment flows, to the harmonious development and expansion of world trade; (g) to commit, in the recognition that sustainable development is an overarching objective, to the development of international trade in such a way as to contribute to the objective of sustainable development and strive to ensure that this objective is integrated and reflected at every level of the Parties’ trade relationship; and (h) to promote foreign direct investment without lowering or reducing environmental, labour or occupational health and safety standards in the application and enforcement of environmental and labour laws of the Parties. (i) to strive for near elimination of import duties on all produce and deep liberalisation in trade in services. This agreement shall cover provisions for intellectual property (including geographical indications), public procurement, competition, transparency of regulation and sustainable development. Specific commitments against non-tariff obstacles on sectors such as automobiles, pharmaceuticals and electronic goods. Article 2.1 Fees and other charges on imports Each Party shall ensure that all fees and charges of whatever character (other than customs duties and the items that are excluded from the definition of a customs duty under Article 2.3(a), (b) and (d)) imposed on, or in connection with, importation are limited in amount to the approximate cost of services rendered, are not calculated on an ad valorem basis, and do not represent an indirect protection to domestic goods or taxation of imports for fiscal purposes. Article 2.2 Duties, taxes or other fees and charges on exports Neither Party may maintain or institute any duties, taxes or other fees and charges imposed on, or in connection with, the exportation of goods to the other Party, or any internal taxes, fees and charges on goods exported to the other Party that are in excess of those imposed on like goods destined for internal sale. Article 2.3 Duties, taxes or other fees and charges on exports Neither Party may maintain or institute any duties, taxes or other fees and charges imposed on, or in connection with, the exportation of goods to the other Party, or any internal taxes, fees and charges on goods exported to the other Party that are in excess of those imposed on like goods destined for internal sale. Article 2.4 Committee on Trade in Goods
The Committee on Trade in Goods established pursuant to this agreement (Specialised Committees) shall meet on the request of a Party or of the Trade Committee to consider any matter arising under this Chapter and comprise representatives of the Parties.
The Committee’s functions shall include: (a) promoting trade in goods between the Parties, including through consultations on accelerating and broadening the scope of tariff elimination and broadening of the scope of commitments on non-tariff measures under this Agreement and other issues as appropriate; and
(b) addressing tariff and non-tariff measures to trade in goods between the Parties and, if appropriate, referring such matters to the Trade Committee for its consideration, in so far as these tasks have not been entrusted to the relevant Working Groups established pursuant to the Committee on Trade in Goods. Article 2.5 Special provisions on administrative cooperation*
The Parties agree that administrative cooperation is essential for the implementation and the control of preferential tariff treatment granted under this Chapter and underline their commitments to combat irregularities and fraud in customs and related matters.
Where a Party has made a finding, on the basis of objective information, of a failure to provide administrative cooperation and/or irregularities or fraud, on the request of that Party, the Customs Committee shall meet within 20 days of such request to seek, as a matter of urgency, to resolve the situation. The consultations held within the framework of the Customs Committee will be considered as fulfilling the same function as consultation.
Article 3.1 Provisional measures In critical circumstances where delay would cause damage that would be difficult to repair, a Party may apply a bilateral safeguard measure on a provisional basis pursuant to a preliminary determination that there is clear evidence that imports of an originating good from the other Party have increased as the result of the reduction or elimination of a customs duty under this Agreement, and such imports cause serious injury, or threat thereof, to the domestic industry. The duration of any provisional measure shall not exceed 200 days, during which time the Party shall comply of the Agreement on Safeguards contained in Annex 1A to the WTO Agreement of the Agreement on Safeguards are incorporated into and made part of this Agreement, mutatis mutandis. Article 3.2 Compensation
A Party applying a bilateral safeguard measure shall consult with the other Party in order to mutually agree on appropriate trade liberalising compensation in the form of concessions having substantially equivalent trade effects or equivalent to the value of the additional duties expected to result from the safeguard measure. The Party shall provide an opportunity for such consultations no later than 30 days after the application of the bilateral safeguard measure.
If the consultations under paragraph 1 do not result in an agreement on trade liberalising compensation within 30 days after the consultations begin, the Party whose goods are subject to the safeguard measure may suspend the application of substantially equivalent concessions to the Party applying the safeguard measure
The right of suspension referred to in paragraph 2 shall not be exercised for the first 24 months during which a bilateral safeguard measure is in effect, provided that the safeguard measure conforms to the provisions of this Agreement.
Article 3.3 Anti-dumping and countervailing duties
Except as otherwise provided for in this Chapter, the Parties maintain their rights and obligations under Article VI of GATT 1994, the Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of GATT 1994, contained in Annex 1A to the WTO Agreement (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Anti-Dumping Agreement’) and the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, contained in Annex 1A to the WTO Agreement (hereinafter referred to as the ‘SCM Agreement’).
The Parties agree that anti-dumping and countervailing duties should be used in full compliance with the relevant WTO requirements and should be based on a fair and transparent system as regards proceedings affecting goods originating in the other Party. For this purpose the Parties shall ensure, immediately after any imposition of provisional measures and in any case before the final determination, full and meaningful disclosure of all essential facts and considerations which form the basis for the decision to apply measures, without prejudice to Article 6.5 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement and Article 12.4 of the SCM Agreement. Disclosures shall be made in writing, and allow interested parties sufficient time to make their comments.
Article 3.4 Consideration of public interests The Parties shall endeavour to consider the public interests before imposing an anti-dumping or countervailing duty. Article 3.5 Investigation after termination resulting from a review The Parties agree to examine, with special care, any application for initiation of an anti-dumping investigation on a good originating in the other Party and on which anti-dumping measures have been terminated in the previous 12 months as a result of a review. Unless this pre-initiation examination indicates that the circumstances have changed, the investigation shall not proceed. Article 3.6 Lesser duty rule Should a Party decide to impose an anti-dumping or countervailing duty, the amount of such duty shall not exceed the margin of dumping or countervailable subsidies, and it should be less than the margin if such lesser duty would be adequate to remove the injury to the domestic industry. Article 4.1 Market access
With respect to market access through the cross-border supply of services, each Party shall accord to services and service suppliers of the other Party treatment no less favourable than that provided for under the terms, limitations and conditions agreed and specified in the specific commitments contained in in the agreement.
In sectors where market access commitments are undertaken, the measures which a Party shall not adopt or maintain either on the basis of a regional subdivision or on the basis of its entire territory, unless otherwise specified, are defined as:
(a) limitations on the number of service suppliers whether in the form of numerical quotas, monopolies, exclusive service suppliers or the requirement of an economic needs test; (b) limitations on the total value of service transactions or assets in the form of numerical quotas or the requirement of an economic needs test; and (c) limitations on the total number of service operations or on the total quantity of service output expressed in the terms of designated numerical units in the form of quotas or the requirement of an economic needs test. Article 4.2 Specific Market and Goods Access
Preferential access to the markets of all signatory parties , specifically in the sectors:
(a) Pharmaceuticals (b) Construction materials (steel, aluminium, concrete, ...) (c) Textile and Leather Goods (d) Chemicals and associated products (e) Drinks and Tobacco (f) Commodities and Transactions (g) Optical and Medical apparatus (h) Production machinery (i) Rubber and plastics (j) Transport machinery (k) Electrical machinery (l) Personal electronics (m) Raw materials and precious metals and gems (n) Personal care products (o) Technical instruments (p) Electronic devices/equipment (inclu. those used for industrial purposes.) (q) Medical equipment (r) Refined Petroleum (s) Raw materials (eg. iron, steel, wood). (t) Organic Chemicals (u) Ships and Boats (v) Foodstuffs, especially meat, cereals, fish, cocoa, dairy products, tea and coffee, vegetables and fruits. (w) Heavy Machinery and parts (specifically those for industrial and commercial use). (x) Toys and Games (y) Furniture Article 4.3 Further Elements of the Agreement
Barriers on investment and access to financial markets between all parties are lowered but specific safeguards in respect to domestic legislation and can be reinstitute for a 2 year period.
The agreement comes into effect one year after it is signed. Over the year after that, tariffs for the specified products would be gradually lowered so that they are completely removed two years after signing the agreement.
Existing ISDS measures in use have already been proven satisfactory and shall not be expand on ISDS which would only bring more harm to both parties. Enforcement of ISDS rulings are comprised of a neutral WTO review after all attempts of arbitration between both parties have been exhausted.
A definitive agreement on food safety and food standards should be reached before any agreement is signed.
A reasonable trade-off in trade restrictions needs to occur.
Article 4.4 Duration
This Agreement shall be valid indefinitely.
Either Party may notify in writing the other Party of its intention to denounce this Agreement.
The denunciation shall take effect 12 months after the notification under paragraph 2.
Article 4.5 Fulfilment of obligations
The Parties shall take any general or specific measures required to fulfil their obligations under this Agreement. They shall see to it that the objectives set out in this Agreement are attained.
Either Party may immediately take appropriate measures in accordance with international law in case of denunciation of this Agreement not sanctioned by the general rules of international law.
Article 4.6 Authentic texts This Agreement is drawn up in duplicate in the Mandarin, English, Malay, Khmer, Hindi (and respective minority languages of India), Indonesian, Japanese, Lao, Malaysian Malay, Māori, Tamil, Korean, Thai and Vietnamese languages, each of these texts being equally authentic. Article 5 Protection of cultural heritage sites and historic monuments The Parties, in conformity with their respective legislation and without prejudice to the reservations included in their commitments in the other provisions of this Agreement, shall encourage, in the framework of appropriate programmes, exchanges of expertise and best practices regarding the protection of cultural heritage sites and historic monuments bearing in mind the UNESCO world heritage mission, including through facilitating the exchange of experts, collaboration on professional training, awareness of the local public and counselling on the protection of the historic monuments and protected spaces and on the legislation and implementation of measures related to heritage, in particular its integration into local life.
Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has allowed stock exchanges to extend timing of equity derivatives trading till 11:55 pm with effect from October 1, 2018. The move is aimed to enable integration of trading of various segments of securities market at the level of exchanges, Sebi said. Trading in equity derivatives will take place from 9:00 am to 11:55 pm, similar to the trading hours for commodity derivatives segment which are presently fixed between 10:00 am and 11:55 pm starting October.
These measures pertain to margin collection requirement and computation of liquid net worth for the equity derivatives segment. The provisions of the circular will be effective from June 1. With regards to client's margin collection requirement in the equity derivatives segment, SEBI said that clearing members or trading members should include initial margin, exposure margin or extreme loss margin, calendar spread margin and mark to market settlements. Client margins are required to be compulsorily collected and reported to exchange or clearing corporation. This is likely to have a negative impact on option writers and traditional brokers. The initial margin required for the positions is computed using a software called SPAN (Standard Portfolio Analysis of Risk). SPAN margin covers almost of the risk for of the day. Exposure margin is the margin charged over and above the SPAN margin which is the discretion of the broker. Failure to have requisite SPAN margin in the account can result in penalty being levied by the exchanges. “These changes will impact the brokers who collect minimum margins for F&O trading especially option writers” said Nitin Kamath, founder and CEO, Zerodha. “Now brokers will have to collect span margin, exposure margin and MTM loses upfront, while the penalty on margin shortages is huge”.
Derivatives future and options Being a developing nation Indian stock market a being very shallow in late ’90s. In early 2000 India introduces the exchange-traded derivatives on NSE and BSE both. With the emergence of futures trading on NSE India witnessed huge spike in trading volumes and major chunk of new participants entered in the market. During 2000-2008 Bull Run Indian traders make a huge amount of money in futures and options trading. It’s been 20 years since the derivatives have emerged in India and we have seen a lot of informed traders are trading derivatives market as their full-time career and many also based trading systems have been introduced in recent past. ? So why anyone needs to understand the derivatives and how it will going to help in improvising the trading strategies and profit margin we’ll try to understand this in this article.
Let first try to understand what are derivatives??
Derivatives are the financial instrument which derives its value from the performance of some underlying assets. Any assets whose value are uncertain and cannot be determined can be an underlying asset for derivatives. For example, if we say what will be the value of Nifty in next trading session, intrinsically it is difficult to say where nifty trade will tomorrow at 1 P.M. So two people who hold the opposite view about Nifty can make bet on the moment on nifty and make a contract on this assumption. In derivatives scenario, these types of contracts are known as Futures Contract. Futures market follows the zero-sum game rule, which means one person loss will be the profit of other, financial assets such as share possess some value they create wealth but profit and loss from the derivatives market is being generated from the pocket of traders who are in a trade.
What is the importance of derivatives markets?
Derivative makes Market Efficient – Derivative market helps in replicating the underlying asset payoff. The price of underlying and its derivatives will remain in equilibrium which reduces the arbitrage opportunities in the market.
Price Discovery – Derivative helps in determine the correct price for the shares and commodities. Financial markets are affected by all the major news around the world. How the trades interpret this information the prices of stocks keep on changing and helps in discovering the right price.
Counterparty Risk – Derivative market reduces the counterparty risk as exchanges are very strict on margin norms, they take upfront margin from both the parties based on the volatility of stock so that counterparty fulfills their obligations.
There are different types of derivative contract such as forward future options, swaps, floor, and collar, etc. However, the most preferred derivative instruments are futures and options. Most of the traders all over the world trade in options markets. In India, we have also witnessed that a large number of traders are trading in options markets. Although options trading is the most difficult and complex in all the above derivatives. Let’s try to understand the options market. Whenever we talk about directional trading, people are more fascinated towards options trading as it required very less capital and can generate a higher return. But as we discussed option trading and understating is not that much easy to implement. In the option market, there are basically two instruments which trader’s trader – which are known as Call option and Put options. Call options increase in value when the market goes upside and decrease in value market falls. On the other side, put options increase in value when the market falls and decrease in value when the market rise. With these, there are other complications which are attached to options which are known as Option Greeks, such as. • Delta – shows the rate of change of premium with respect to change in option premium. For example, if Nifty rises from 11000 to 11100 how much the value of call and put options increase and decrease in value respectively that is determined by delta. • Theta – show the decrease in value of an option due to passage of time, if the time to expiry is high means the expiry date is for the option value decrease is less but as we approach the expiry value of option started decreasing at an increasing rate. • Vega – shows the change in option premium with respect to change in volatility of the option. Option premium is also affected by an increase or decrease in the volatility of the market, higher the volatility the option premium will tends to be high and vice versa. • Gamma – Show the rate of change of Delta with respect to change in the underlying price. • Rho – Rho signifies the change in option premium with respect to change in interest rate in the economy. Let’s take an example to understand options working. Nifty is trading at 11000 and 11100 CE is trading at Rs.55. and the expiry is on 31st Oct. We are expecting that market will reach 11600 by the end of 31st Oct 2019. Scenario 1. Nifty reaches at 11600 on 31 Oct 2019. Instead of buying the future contract we bought the call option of 11100 at 55.00. So we have paid Rs. 55 from our pocket that’s our outflow [i.e 55*75(75 is the lot size defined by exchange) = Rs.4125. (Total Investment). First we need to cover out cost to be in profit. So Strike price + Premium will be our break-even point in this case. i.e 11100 + 55 = 11155. We will start making money when the nifty will start trading above 11155.00 in our case. On 31st Oct Nifty trades above 11155 and closes at 11600 as we expected. P&L = 11600-11155 = 445 (So we earned 445 point on this trade. i.e = 445 *75 = Rs. 33,375.00 So with our expectation be right we make profit of 33,375 with just investing only Rs.4125. Scenario 2. Nifty goes opposite to our view and closes at 10800. In this case, we didn’t close above 11155 which is our break-even point and we know that if the market goes the price of put options rise and price of call option falls. So, in this case, we’ll lose money. We will lose amount only equivalent to the amount paid which is equal to Rs.4125.00 Scenario 3. Nifty remains at 11000 only. In this case, when the market closes at the same price, the theta will play an important role here, as the expiry comes near our option value which we have bought at Rs.55 will start to decay and it will become zero if the market closes to below 11155. As in our case if stay at 11000 we’ll again loses money as it stays below 11115 and that will again be equal to Rs.4125. The above calculation shows the simplest working of options trading, there is more and more complex addition to it.
Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with another interview. Today's interview is with Colin McIntosh of Sheets & Giggles, a brand that sells eucalyptus bedding. Some stats:
Product: Eucalyptus bedding.
Started: May 2018
Location: Denver, CO
Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
I’m Colin McIntosh, Founder & CEO of Sheets & Giggles, a pun-based, eco-friendly bedding brand that launched in May 2018 on Indiegogo with our first product: lyocell bed sheets made from eucalyptus trees. Our bedding is softer than cotton, more breathable, and more moisture-wicking, and it also uses up to 95% less water than cotton sheets to make. (Major trade-off: it’s generally more expensive than cotton, and you have to take better care of it [no bleach, cold wash, low heat, etc.].) In our first 6 months in business, we received over 6,000 orders and nearly half a million dollars in revenue, and in September we won first place at Denver Startup Week 2018. In October, we began shipping preorders and got about 4,500 out the door, and we’re still catching up with demand! Nearly ⅘ of our customers are women, and more than half are in their 20s and 30s.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
From 2015 - 2017 I ran biz dev at a Techstars-backed wearable tech startup in Denver. We raised a $3M seed round, grew to a full-time team of 25, and were in most major retailers in the US… and then it all abruptly ended in September 2017. It was pretty devastating, and I can’t really go into the reasons why it ended, but leaving retail partners at the altar without holiday inventory was particularly upsetting for me as the partner lead. After that experience, I decided that the timing was about as good as it was going to get for me to found a company: I had a great CO network, had just been through Techstars, was on the founding team of a company that launched two crowdfunded physical products at nationwide retail, and had built a skill set in marketing and distributing physical products. That said, I didn’t have much money in my bank account (working at startups will do that to you), and I didn’t want to raise VC right off the bat, so I knew I had to do a crowdfunding campaign. My criteria for a new business I decided that I needed my own physical product brand to sell, and I started by listing the criteria for my new company. I wanted:
A large commodities market (so I didn’t have to build a category out of thin air), but one that I could differentiate meaningfully in.
A highly fragmented market with no clear leader
A market with no brand loyalty or affinity
A market with little brand differentiation
A product that was traditionally physical retail that I could help bring online with a DTC model
A product with a low-complexity supply chain (i.e., no electronics or software components)
The domain I really believe that a good brand name and .com can make or break a company, so I looked through all the domains I owned to see if anything matched. I owned SheetsGiggles.com, and I thought “Does bed sheets fit?” and it did, almost perfectly. (Side note – I owned the domain because in the summer of 2017 I was watching War Dogs, and Miles Teller’s character tries to sell bed sheets to retirement homes that all reject his product. I couldn’t believe that his character didn’t do market research and validation before buying all that inventory, so I told my girlfriend to pause the movie so I could write a full business plan for a bed sheets company named Sheets & Giggles, and I bought the domain that night. She and I have since broken up because, well, yeah… who does that.) In short, I built a business model I felt very passionately about, and then designed a product that I thought plugged nicely into that model. Validating the product In February, I then validated that people would actually pay a profitable price by initially running a few hundred bucks worth of Facebook ads to a landing page I built with Kickoff Labs and Shopify. (Link is to an old page that’s still the same, though the CTA changed after April to funnel traffic to the Indiegogo vs email capture.) With the help of a crowdfunding agency I trusted, I targeted crowdfunding lookalike audiences, told people the expected price and launch date on Indiegogo, explained the product with some punny copy, laid out a few fun pictures we had taken at a photoshoot that cost us $500, and asked for their email. To this day I’m still a little shocked, but 46% of people gave us their emails during this time, and we collected over 11,000 emails from interested buyers in just 8 weeks. We also used this prep time ahead of the crowdfund to lock down a manufacturer and send them initial designs and order quantities, and on May 1 we launched on Indiegogo with nearly 500 customers on day 1 and $45,000 in day 1 funding (on a $25k goal).
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing the product.
Because I didn’t have any textile experience, I had to hire outside consultants to help me design, develop, and test our products. I gave them my high-level criteria (lyocell for sustainability, has to be super soft, has to be premium, must be durable, must be made by a socially conscious manufacturer, etc.), and they created my tech packs and other designs for me. We sourced our manufacturer at market week in NYC in March 2018, and we left with a handshake agreement with an Indian company who hit all our criteria more so than anyone else. I had a blast visiting them to inspect production in June (fun fact: India is hot in June). We had massive fabric rejections due to poor quality in our first production runs, which lowered our overall sales potential for the year and set our ship date back, but we had to make sure our product was perfect. The unboxing experience I also had a particular vision for our packaging centered around one goal: because we were a DTC company and wouldn’t do physical retail in year 1, we needed to focus entirely on an incredible unboxing experience that made the product feel as premium as possible. Outside: a white box, nice wax coating, logo front and center with no other copy, easy to open, nice and sturdy. Inside: make people smile from the get-go, have a social call-to-action, include free extra surprises (a knapsack that wraps the sheets and an eye mask), put funny copy all over the place, and add a donation bag that people could use to donate their now-defunct cotton sheets (sheets & blankets are the #2-most-requested item at shelters behind socks).
Describe the process of launching the business.
We founded S&G in October 2017, but we started work in earnest on January 2, 2018. I actually have a longer blog post on our site from Week 2 about what we did from October - January. We spent our first 3-4 months building a brand identity map, getting the bare bones website set up, getting a logo finalized, refining our messaging, and setting goals for “what success looks like.” I also hired a part-time intern and a marketing agency that would help with our crowdfunding campaign (that’s now my agency of record), and I hired a PR agent in Denver that I knew through the grapevine. I brought on a small 2-person product team to design the products I had envisioned, and in March we found and signed our manufacturer in NYC at Market Week (met with a bunch of manufacturers for interviews, described what we needed, got to know people, sampled different fabrics, and left with a handshake deal). In February, we did our first photo shoots, and in March we did a video shoot in preparation of our 30-day Indiegogo that was planned for May 1. Luckily I knew people locally in Denver that I could ask for photography and videography help, and all in all we spent about $3,000 making our initial collateral for the Indiegogo. We had a single set of white sheets that we used for all our lifestyle and product shots, and because I’m an idiot I didn’t even wash them or iron them, so we’ve got visible creases in all the pictures that we use to this day :p Prepping for crowdfunding campaign We budgeted 10 weeks to get ready for our Indiegogo (that’s a must), and we spent that time running Facebook ads to landing pages that were set up for email capture. Working backwards from a $100K goal and an estimated $100 average backer value, we knew we needed 1,000 backers, and we knew that we had to get about 30% of those (300) in the first 24 hours to be successful. Assuming a 3% conversion on our email list, that meant we had to get 10,000 emails to ensure 300 day 1 customers. I budgeted $1 - $2 per email lead, and I hoped to convert at a high enough rate to come in under that (ended up being $0.89 per lead). Building our email lists During this prep time, we used Kickoff Labs for our landing page software, and we ran a social sharing competition so people would share our landing pages organically as well (we got about 15% of our leads organically). We ran about 50 different ad variants to about 12 different landing pages to find out what converted the best (different images, headers, subheaders, text, value props, calls-to-action, layouts, etc.), and then we picked the best combo of 4 ads and 2 landing pages that converted best. We ended up capturing 11,000 emails in 10 weeks at about 46% conversion, which was insane – that’s when I knew we were on to something. Building hype and the launch We sent out one email per month to our list to keep them engaged, got customer feedback in the form of surveys (which colors to they want, most popular sizes, etc.), and that informed which colors and sizes we chose to make for our launch (had to hone in on 25 SKUs tops to ensure limited logistical complexity). Ahead of May 1, we sent out “72 hours” and “night before emails,” and on May 1 we ended up raising $45,000 on our first day from over 400 backers! (We also did a ton of product development and testing / approvals, designed and approved packaging, placed our first PO in April with a deposit to our manufacturer, and spent time planning out the cadence of our Indiegogo communication and marketing.) In June I traveled to India to inspect production and our facilities, and I made sure the production quality and pace was what we needed to succeed. Love our Indian partners. We began shipping thousands of preorders on October 1 (pretty much all 5-star reviews!), and now we’re just holding on for dear life through the holidays.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Social media engagement I think the single best thing we do to drive conversion is answer all Facebook comments and messages within minutes. I have the Pages Manager app on my phone (it’s terrible but it at least works), and when people comment on our ads we respond immediately to almost every single comment with on-brand straightforward answers, questions, jokes, pics, gifs, etc. I honestly think that some people are deciding to buy before they ever click on our ads based on our answers to questions and interaction with commenters. A lot of people (especially customer service folks) don’t understand that you’re not just responding to the person who asked; you’re writing marketing language to convert the thousands of people who will read the comments before clicking. SEO We have about 50-50 paid/organic traffic right now. On the SEO side, we’ve worked to become the #1 result for “eucalyptus sheets” (ahead of Bed Bath, even) and top 5 for “lyocell sheets,” which are both small but very targeted organic search queries. Good steady revenue flows. We also have a ton of word of mouth with our customers and are starting a referral program that gives people 10% cash back for sales they refer when they share S&G with others and $10 off for their friends that use their link. (It’s already been used by large media outlets with good success.) Only funny emails We also almost never email our list of customers or broader email list. If we email people (maybe once a month), it’s something objectively funny that will make them laugh (and may not even have a CTA), or it’s worth their while in the form of a targeted sale. (I.e., “Hey you love your sheets, did you know they also make a sheety gift?”) Purple Friday Our most successful day post-Indiegogo has been Purple Friday (PF), which we did on 11/16 (Friday before Black Friday). We got over $22K in sales in one day, and to accomplish that we ran a 30% off sale (normally 15% off for preorders) and pushed 24-hour ads to Facebook to spread the word to our followers, general audiences, existing customers, and prior site visitors. We also sent out an email about PF to our existing customers that focused on giving the gift of S&G to someone eco-conscious in their life. This strategy allowed us to preemptively tap into holiday purchases without competing with everyone’s Black Friday (BF) sales; we were able to elevate our brand “above” the insanity of BF; and we were still able to double dip and participate in Black Friday and Cyber Monday because of the natural increase in conversion on those days (but we didn’t send out emails about those days). Customer service We bend over backwards for customer service; I literally put my cell phone on the contact page and get about 10 calls a day.
Reviews And of course, the social proof that comes from reviews has been crucial. In my opinion, our reviews are responsible for upping our conversion rate from 4% in August (no reviews, pure preorder) to 5% in October (first reviews) to 6% in November (more reviews).
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
We operate profitably, and in 2018 we’ll grow at a 25% compound monthly growth rate (60% from last month). We’ll probably end the year at about $600K in revenue (constrained by inventory), with 65% gross margins and about 10% net margins when it’s all said and done. Our cost of acquisition is under $30 for the year, we’re converting at over 5% on SheetsGiggles.com right now, and 100% of our sales come through the site. Average initial cart values are about $140, and lifetime values should be > $1000 if we play our cards right (38% of Americans buy new sheets every year). Our day-to-day operations revolve around production management, customer service, digital marketing, website improvements, content creation, fundraising, and logistics. Next year, we’ll expand our product lines to new sizes (Twin, Split King), add new colors (red, green, beige), and add our first non-bedding product: a eucalyptus lyocell throw blanket. We also plan to dip our toes into international sales next year with the UK, Australia, and Canada, and likely the EU too (gotta start translating the pun somehow). Short term, I start paying myself in December (sheet yeah, only took a full year...), and next year we plan to grow 4-5x in revenue. To accomplish that, we’ll expand to a couple new channels without going overboard or doing physical retail (Amazon in January, and HSN or QVC would be my Q3/4 target). I can talk for hours about why we’re not doing physical retail. Main reasons:
Their margin share requirements for this category are ~40-60%, which means our “cost of acquisition” for that channel will at least be the margin cost, which is 2x our standard CAC.
For little-known brands that don’t “sell themselves,” merchandising costs add up super quick. I.e., if you’re a new company and need to educate people on your product to sell through, you need to spend money on displays, which can wind up being hundreds of dollars per store. If you’re in 1000 stores and you’re merchandising correctly, you’ll spend over $100,000 before you sell a single unit.
You need to train sales associates to talk about a product well, which costs money and will give you little long-term ROI (high turnover in sales associates). I can’t tell you how many bedding stores I’ve walked into and asked questions about competitors’ brands, only to be given totally incorrect information with poor sales efforts (I’m weird and do this too often).
Your packaging needs to “sell” the product in person, or it at least needs to grab someone’s attention and make them stop. Ours is a clean white box with our brand name on it; it would be DOA at retail until we revamp it.
Return policies can cripple a startup. If we sold 50 units into 100 stores on Nov. 1, that’s 5,000 units and hundreds of thousands of dollars, right? Nice. Except if on Jan. 1 each store still has 25 units on hand, those 2,500 units are coming right back to you, and you better have kept half the money you from that PO in escrow. Otherwise, you’re cooked. (And if you think you can negotiate away return rights, they’ll just dump your remaining inventory on Amazon, stealing the buy box away from you and harming your brand in the process.)
Philosophically, instead of rushing into retail headfirst, I think it’s strategically wiser to spend a few years building a well-known brand that will sell itself at retail and that will give you more supplier power when negotiating with retailers.
As for what long-term success looks like, I envision storming the last Bed Bath & Beyond in a sort of Helms-Deep-style raid.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Habit: I always try to have an action bias, and I try to focus on getting items done that “unlock” my team members’ work. If someone needs me to write some copy that allows them to do 4 hours of work, I’ll take care of that first thing in the AM. Or, if someone needs to be trained on logistics software to do customer service, I know my life will be made easier if I train them ahead of tackling my must-do’s for the day. Lesson: We should have been a C-Corp from day 1 (we were an LLC at first). Corporate transitions cost attorney fees. Unforeseen problem: Political season drives up the cost of Facebook ads big time (50% increase). Lesson: Don’t hire people you know are assholes just because you need someone to do the job. Suffer and do it yourself, or delay the launch, but don’t hire assholes. It’ll hurt you more in the long run. Lesson: You get lonely, and personal relationships will suffer. Make time for family; why even start a business if you can’t spend time with important people in your life? Good decision: Stay heads down on building a business that’s revenue-positive and growing, and investment will come to you.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Google Sheets is my everything; I obsessively update my pro forma before I go to bed every night with daily numbers. Shopify is an amazing platform and I love that they calculate and collect local sales tax for you. Bold Cashier + Bold Upsell are the best apps on Shopify for upselling after someone has already made a purchase, which is incredibly valuable (about 20% of people add something else to their cart after they’ve already given you money, which increases average cart values). I use Judge.me’s Shopify app for my product reviews – best cheap app by far and allows people to post verified reviews, pics, videos, edit reviews, etc. Hypervisual Page Builder is the perfect Shopify app for building out landing pages that convert. Streak is great – I track leads (out of stock requests, etc.) all from Streak. Lastpass for password management. Slack for team comms. MailChimp for email. My logistics software… I would not recommend and we’re switching. Open to suggestions.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
It’s embarrassing, but I don’t really read books at this point. I hate that I’ve become this person who just works when I’m awake, and I need to make time to read more. I do love the Dan Le Batard Show podcast – it keeps me up to date on sports and pop culture and is my lifeline back to Miami, where I’m from. Rand Fishkin did a 40-minute talk in September of this year that was stellar and that I think is a must watch for someone starting a business. He’s learned a lot the hard way, and you can almost hear the desperation in his voice basically telling you “learn from my mistakes.” The best thing I ever heard from him is something like “If you make $10M in revenue, you hear crickets. If you raise $10M, your family comes out the woodwork, your friends trip over themselves to congratulate you, your team throws you a party, you become the toast of the town, TechCrunch writes an article about you. This is how we train people to raise money and not make money.” My best resource has been and continues to be the Techstars network (went through Techstars in 2015 in Boulder). I’m on the Colorado Techstars alumni board and love that I have access to the network for mentorship, investment, amplification, and recruitment.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
My #1 thing is: build a business model first, not a product. So many entrepreneurs spend time and money (lots of time and lots of money) building a solution for a problem they perceive without ever validating that it’s a viable business. Make sure you feel passionately sure that the business model is sound – sustainable margins, strong product-market fit, engaged potential buyers, and long-term growth potential. Spend a few hundred bucks on Facebook ads to a landing page that describes what you’re building – are people giving you their email to lock in to the Kickstarter price? No? Then you have to go back to the drawing board before you spend more money and figure out if your value prop isn’t good enough, if the product vision needs improvement, if your proposed price is too high, or if your marketing just sucks. The last thing you want to do is to spend $100,000 building something over a year of your life and then find out nobody wants it. I genuinely think that people do the opposite of this because when you work on a product, no one can tell you no. In your mind’s eye, it’s going to be a huge success, and you can stay heads down on building it. You can envision a perfect future. The moment you begin selling and someone tells you no, that rejection stings worse than anything in the world, so I think people avoid that inflection point (sales) for as long as possible to avoid possible rejection while they work on building the “perfect” MVP. Going headfirst into sales / gathering leads can actually really help you, though. You’ll gather a user base who can give you feedback on how they want you to build the product, and more importantly you can go to an investor and say, “I have 500 leads signed up who will give me money if I can give them this thing. Give me money to build this thing.” It’s a much stronger value prop than “I want to build this thing and here’s why it makes sense,” and it doesn’t cost you that much to do (costs far less than product development).
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
Yes, I’m hiring in marketing (someone who can do everything including creative, copywriting, and digital), supply chain management, logistics (inventory management, international freight, and domestic shipping), and customer care.
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