There are a lot of opportunities online for anyone that wants to make a little extra money. From a part-time hustle to an all-out digital career, there are loads of ways that you can make money with an electronic device, and a connection to the internet.
Paid Surveys - Did you know that thousands of South Africans earn extra income by simply participating in online surveys to help local companies improve their products? Finally, now you have an opportunity to do this as well! You can find a list of the top survey sites for South Africa HERE
Selling Your Photos Online - Selling photos is a wonderful way to make money online if you have an aptitude for photography. Two popular platforms that you can try are Shutterlock and Unsplash. Every platform will have different requirements, but they will all pay you in hard cash. Though the photography market is quite hectic, it’s still a good method of gaining a passive income if you’re persistent and professional. Plus, the opportunity for additional sales is higher when your photos become popular. Many companies need photos of landscapes, and we all know that South Africa has some of the most amazing scenery in the world. In some cases, a smartphone is enough to get started, depending on the stock photo site you choose.
Be a Freelance Content Writer - Freelance writing is a serious online business. The internet enters most areas of our life, and the need for blog articles and various types of content is exploding. There are many kinds of online writing work, and many people need things like product descriptions or simple reviews. Before going further in this direction, you first need to set up a blog or website. This will be an amazing portfolio where you can demonstrate to potential clients or businesses that you can deliver great work. A LinkedIn profile can be created to function as an online portfolio as well. Don’t forget that many writing clients will want to see specialized work, so be sure to consider what area you would like to specialize in. The pay for online writing varies, but with some practice, you should be able to make a decent part-time income.
Sell Unwanted Goods - You can sell your unwanted stuff to people who want it and make your side business a real money maker. There’s plenty of options to use for sales such as Gumtree or Amazon. Don’t forget to do some research and see what assets have recently been sold so you have a target price. If you a business, you can sell other people’s goods as well. Many people don’t have the time or patience to sell goods online, and you can do it for them. If you charge a reasonable percentage of the sales, you can make a solid business out of selling used goods online.
Build a Personal blog/website - Not only can you write for companies to gain income but you’re also able to run your own blog to raise money as well. Set your expectations at a reasonable level because this job requires consistent practice and lots of patience. Bloggers make a profit, often through press coverage, advertising products, and writing sponsored guest posts. You will need to run the blog for a while before you can expect to see any profits, but it is very simple to get started. Check out some of the other ideas on this list for ways to leverage a blog for greater income, like selling drop shipped items.
Legitimate Remote Jobs can Pay Real Money - Many companies are heading to a work-from-home style of business since this type of model helps save money, and eliminates the risk of illnesses. People are completely flexible while working for a company and selecting where they decide to spend their time.CrowdSource, for example, hires remote writers, editors, and other jobs that can be done easily from anywhere. Companies like Fast Chart offer work-from-home options for medical transcriptionists. You can also try seeking opportunities at LiveOps, a call center staff. You might be surprised at how much time and money you save when you work at home. There is no transit, and you can cook for yourself. Think about it!
Become a Dropshipper - Dropshipping is not a strange term, especially when eCommerce is booming. Anyone can be a drop shipper since the work requires low investment at the beginning and also guarantees minimal risk. The system operates by purchasing the stock (goods) from a third party supplier or manufacturer, who then fulfills the customer’s request. You don’t have to shop or handle goods in advance because the product comes directly from the vendors whenever an order is placed by a customer. There are many dropshipping platforms out there, and some are basically free to use. You will need to figure out how to market the goods, which is where a blog or website comes in very handy.
Affiliate Marketing - Affiliate marketing is a popular method of making money online in South Africa and across the world. You can sell into a variety of markets with this business model, and make money almost anywhere. You can generate revenue from product sales. In other words, affiliate marketers will refer readers to a lot of products and get a small cut from them. Once a customereader buys products, you will earn a commission. A widely known approach is to start creating your own blog in a specific niche and to establish a trustworthy community that can purchase your promotions. Unlike dropshipping, you simply get a commission and have no other responsibilities. So easy! Check out SA’s leading affiliate network – https://www.affiliate.co.za/
Online Business with Etsy - Try selling DIY designs and crafts on Etsy if you’re a skilled maker. An Etsy shop is basically free to operate, and you can make real money with the platform. Once your registration is complete, you can start posting photos of your works, and people can purchase your products. There is really no limit to what can be sold on Etsy, but make sure that you are able to send your goods to other countries, as many buyers are likely to be in the EU or North America. A PayPal account is important to have and also a popular payment choice so that customers can pay you quickly. Take nice pictures of the items to help draw purchasers into a sale. Make sure that you have good customer service as well, or you won’t be selling on the platform for very long!
Forex Trading - You might have heard about trading FOREX or Contract For Difference (CFD) trading. The basics of this online money-making are simple. You will choose a currency pair, and bet on the direction of one currency vs. the other. For example, you could speculate that the EURO will appreciate vs. the RAND (or just about any currency). If you are correct, and then sell the contract, you will make profits. While this might sound easy, most people who do this lose money. In addition to currency, most retail FOREX brokers will allow you to trade in other markets, such as commodities, or shares. If you are looking for a reliable income, this probably isn’t right for you. On the other hand, if you don’t mind taking on risks, trading FOREX can be extremely profitable.
Creating a blog couldn’t be easier and yet more complicated in 2020. There are so many different things to think about, and yet so many different platforms you can use to streamline the process. Understandably you’ll already have an idea of what you want to write about, I, unfortunately, can’t help you with that, but what I can do is show you how you can set up a killer blog that will drive readers to your website. We’ll take you through what you’ll need to get started, our five steps to setting your blog up, the best blogging platforms to use, how to get your blog discovered, and the do’s and don’ts of blogging. But first, we need to establish what type of blog you want to set up.
What type of blog?
Firstly you’ll want to have a goal in mind. What are you aiming to achieve through your blog? Do you want to pull in more users to your sales pages by writing about your brand, to increase its publicity? Do you want to build a blog that promotes brands and products from other companies? Or do you just want to set up a blog documenting your travels around the world? In order to pick the right software for you, you’ll want to have a grasp before you start of how big this blog is going to be, whether you’re going to monetize it, and what type of blog it’s going to become. For example, if you’re planning on building an affiliate blogging programme, where you promote other brand’s products and call readers to action to but the products, you’ll be writing a lot of content and will benefit from having a more comprehensive blogging system with lots of plugins to promote sales. But if you’re looking to just set up a personal, or a personal brand blog talking about yourself and your brand, you may not perhaps need as many comprehensive features as you would if you were building an affiliate blog. You may also want to build an online portfolio of your work, which could require an entirely different piece of blogging kit, as opposed to the traditional blog that hosts articles and journals.
What you’ll need to get started.
There are 3 key things you’ll need to get up and running.
A blogging platform.
After you’ve identified the type of blog you want to set up, plus whether you’re going to make money from it, you’ll then need to pick a blogging platform tailored to your needs. Many people chose to operate on WordPress as it is one of the most comprehensive blogging systems going, but they forget platforms like Wix and Squarespace that are great for both helping you save and make money and are great options for those who are less tech-savvy and are new to the blogging game. Plus if you’re blogging for business, you might want to think about using LinkedIn for your business blog. We’ll go into more detail on what blogging platforms are best for your needs shortly, but make sure to keep in mind your objectives and technical experience when choosing the right platform for you.
A hosting platform.
Every website needs a web host to store their website’s information on the internet. A web host is an online service provider that will store your website’s information on one of its online servers. This will put your blog out there to the world. The best web hosts will perform a variety of functions for you, for example, Wix is an all-in-one package that will host your website for you, allow you to register a domain name, and has easy to use website design tools to help you start your blog. Web hosting can be expensive though so make sure you pick the best value for money host that can cater to the amount of traffic you have running through your website. Check out our post on the 11 best hosting providers. [Insert blog link here]
A domain name.
I’m sure by now you already know what sort of blog you want to set up, whether that’s a travel, blog, a blog accompanying your online store, or perhaps an affiliate marketing product review blog. You’ll have a niche and an idea and now all you need is a name. Every website online has what’s called a domain name. It’s included in the website address at the top of your search bar, for example, our domain name is www.digitalsupermarket.com. You’ll need to register a domain name after you purchase a hosting plan, to enable customers to find your site quickly and easily. One good tip is to find a hosting platform like Bluehost or GoDaddy that will provide you with a free domain name when you register for one of their web hosting plans as domain registration can be fairly pricey. Pick a great domain name that is easy for customers to read and type into Google so they can find it easier online. TOP TIP: To increase your blog’s search engine ranking, and to help more people find you on Google, try to pick a domain name that has either a .com or .co.uk ending. These domains often rank a lot higher in Google searches than .org’s, .net’s, and .info’s, and for that reason can be slightly more expensive, yet can help boost your site’s reach and credibility.
The Best Blogging Platforms For You.
There are a wealth of platforms out there catering to all your blogging or online portfolio needs. We have listed some of the main ones below shedding some light on what needs they service and why they might be a great option for you.
WordPress - The best software to give you full customisation.
WordPress is perhaps one of the most renowned blogging platforms in the world, running approximately 35% of the internet. It’s favoured highly by professional bloggers because it gives you total freedom to do whatever you want with your blog. WordPress can help you build your blog using one if its search engine optimised themes, you can customise using its drag and drop website builder tool to create a stunning blog. What’s more, is you’ll be able to use its professional blogging service to post your content online and take advantage of the hundreds of third party app plugins, you can integrate into your blog, to improve automation, add new features, and drive traffic to your site. The only downside of WordPress is that it can be quite technical and can take some time getting used to, but once you’ve got the hang of things, you’ll have great control over everything on your webpage. Pros: Cons:
Domain name registration
Tons of third-party plugins and apps
Technical and can take some getting used to
Not the best if you’re not tech-savvy or are just starting out.
Wix - Best for monetizing your site.
Wix is probably the most streamlined and easiest blog providers. It’s so simple and easy to use, it’s therefore great for anyone just starting out in the blogging world. You can customise one of its stunning templates with Wix’s drag and drop editor, and then upload blog posts to your site by slotting in pictures, gifs, social media buttons, sidebars, and other widgets that will help your blog stand out. One of the coolest features about Wix is its marketplace integration, where you can install a whole variety of third-party applications to your blog to provide your users with greater features and usability. Wix is the perfect all-in-one blogging solution to help you easily build a platform to amplify your business to the world, helping you to make more money, but it can also save you a lot of money as it’s cost-efficient plans roll up, web hosting, blog posting, and domain registration all into one product! Check out our Wix review and our comparison of Wix and Squarespace for a deep dive into Wix’s main blogging features. [Insert link here] Pros: Cons:
Streamlined and easy to use blogging software
Includes as a package, web building tools, domain registration, and web hosting
Tons of third-party plugins and apps on the Wix marketplace
Great platform to help make money and save money on its reasonably priced subscription plans
Don’t get the same full control as you see with WordPress
Locked into using Wix’s templates.
Squarespace - Best for creating visually stunning blogs.
Squarespace is very similar to Wix, in that it is an all-in-one web building and blogging platform that can help you build a blog you can monetize efficiently. It sets itself aside though through its better design and customisation features, making it one of the best platforms on the marketing if you’re looking to design a visually aesthetic blog. I’d recommend using this platform if you are a business operating in some sort of design, arts, or culinary industry. Although it offers minimal template options, Squarespace’s templates are works of art and offer you great customization when building your blog. Plus Squarespace offers a great blogging tool that lets you schedule posts and customize your blog to suit more mobile audiences. Pros: Cons:
Streamlined and easy to use blogging software
Can build a visually stunning blog on Squarespace with its streamlined tools
Excellent blogging features
All-in-one web host, domain registrar, and web builder
Can’t add third-party applications on Squarespace
LinkedIn - Best for blogging businesses.
Aside from setting up a blog on your own site, corporate entities can use LinkedIn to enhance and amplify their presence online. LinkedIn has more than 575 million users, most of whom are professionals and members of corporate conglomerates, and you can use this social platform to target some of the most influential people in the world. If you’re blogging about business this is the perfect platform to use a pre-existing community of people to enhance your social standing. You’ll then be able to build connections and followers on your profile who can easily share your blog on their platform through a couple of simple clicks. Pros: Cons:
Utilise LinkedIn’s pre-existing community of business people to amplify your brand
Target corporate directors and influential people directly through LinkedIn
Check out what people are looking at on LinkedIn and tailor your content to that market
Again you are confined within what LinkedIn’s platform will let you do, it’s not your site and you don’t have full customisation
Instagram - Best for the Artists.
Instagram is one of the biggest blogging sites in the world and without realising it, we are all technically bloggers in some way with our Instagram accounts, right? Ultimately for professional use, it is great for building a portfolio that has some form of visual or graphic eye-catching media around it. Instagram lets you post videos, photos, boomerangs, even write a blog in the photo’s caption if you wanted to! Best of all, Instagram is free, and you can use its business software to link up your online store, to drag users away from your profile, using its product tagging features, and land them in your online checkouts. Our top tip for using Instagram is to post regularly and keep on the theme of your blog. Don’t go off-piste as you’re followers will catch on quickly and unfollow you. And with 1 billion people using the platform each day, it is a great way to gain people’s attention and build your brand’s presence online. Pros: Cons:
Best for the creatives.
Totally free and easy to use interface.
Access to a pre-existing community of people.
Online selling capabilities.
Again you are confined within what Instagram’s platform will let you do, it’s not your site and you don’t have full customisation
The Do’s And Don’ts Of Blogging
Here are a couple of top tips to bear in mind when building your blog to help you create an awesome, lead driven platform.
Don’t use complicated language too soon.
With that in mind, do include language that your target audience will understand. But remember they are still here to learn, so don’t drop people in at the deep end right away by using complex jargon off the bat. Define terms and spell it out in layman’s terms for people at the outset, and as the post goes on, then introduce more complex writing. Introducing technical jargon at the start of your posts is an instant turn off for most readers.
Don’t waffle - Keep it succinct.
People want to get to the punchline now. 43% of people admit to skimming through blogs to get to the information they need, meaning to get your blogging site converting leads, you need to engage the reader early on and offer information succinctly throughout your post. Plus don’t make your blog too long. Depending on what you’re writing, a lot of people will see large volumes of text and will switch off immediately. There is no set limit for what a good and bad amount of text is, that’s something you’ll have to figure out per your industry, but from my experience, the shorter, the better.
Don’t make headlines too long.
Also ensure that your headline is not more than 60 characters long. If it gets too long it won’t rank well in search engines and people just won’t want to read it. Check out this headline analysis tool which will analyse the effectiveness of your proposed headlines.
Don’t plagiarise or use credited images.
Copying other people’s work is lazy and can land you in a lot of hot water in extreme cases if you breach a copyright regulation. But it’s also just unfair on the person who has worked hard or been creative to write that work. The same goes for images, people need to make a living from the content and photos they’re taking so don’t steal that off them.
Do write killer headlines.
People are like goldfish. You only have about 3 seconds to get their attention. That’s why it is important to write catchy, funny, and enticing headlines to draw your reader in. One good way to do it is to use the “How To” and “10 Best” strategies. These sorts of titles telling people ‘How to set up a blog’ or ‘the ten best web hosting platforms’ are search engine optimised, lead winning titles that rank highly in Google searches. Try them out and see!
Do post regularly.
The key to creating a great blog that builds leads is posting regularly. Although it is not the best idea to post regularly. Ideally, you want to post 3-4 times a week to get the best influx of traffic to your site. You’ll also want to check out when’s best to post for your target audience, for example, if you’re in the FOREX market, you’ll want to post your blogs perhaps at 8 AM, before the markets open when city workers are on their staring at their phones on their morning commuter trains to the city.
Do share on social media.
Share your content far and wide on your social platforms. Everyone is on social media these days and its outreach is simply phenomenal. That’s why you should always share your posts to your social channels to get greater traffic on your website, and include share buttons all-around your blog to invite your readers to share your articles too!
Do use SEO keywords to drive more traffic.
In a nutshell, SEO keywords are the phrases people put into search engines when they are looking for information on a certain subject. They are how you get found on your website. Depending on what you are writing about, there is always a set of keywords relating to that topic that you can implement, to help you show up higher in people’s google searches. For example, people might regularly search in google, ‘what is the best compost for growing sunflowers?’ When you come to writing about growing sunflowers in your blog, you might want to use these words or incorporate this question into your blog somewhere, to help you rank higher on Google.
Do use call’s to action to take your readers to the next step.
If you don’t challenge your reader at the end of your blog to follow you on Instagram, or check out your sales pages, you’ll never get the leads or sales you are looking for. With that in mind, build compelling calls to action at the end of each of your posts, to pull readers into taking the next step. Check out our post on landing pages to see a couple of cool ways on how to implement calls to action on your site [insert link here].
Do identify a target audience.
People will often tell you to write as though you were in the shoes of the person you’re looking to bring to your website, but it’s true! Identify what type of people you’re writing to, for instance, if you’re writing a business blog about FOREX trading, you’ll write with potential traders in mind who have one eye on the stock market and the other on your blog. Or if you’re a wedding florist, you’ll set your portfolio up to target those people looking to get married in the next year.
Leads, Sales, Results.
Blogging is one of the most influential marketing strategies in the world and the best bloggers can reap some awesome rewards for producing some truly awesome content. It is fairly straightforward to get started and we advise if you’re a small business, or someone with minimal blogging experience, to try out Wix or Squarespace first before you jump into using more technical platforms like WordPress. Once you’re up and running remember our top tips on what to do and what to avoid when writing your blog. Plus don’t forget to think about optimising and adding useful applications to your site to help you build and grow your content. Check out these 39 awesome blogging tools you can use to drive greater traffic to your site! Found this article useful? Make sure you share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter and let us know in the comments if you have any other useful blogging tips.
WikiFX: the murky business and the murkier methods
https://preview.redd.it/1rf74ljv34l51.png?width=960&format=png&auto=webp&s=566235871ce22dd3078f0532dfb672bff6eb0707 The irony of financial markets is that this business that officially has got as much regulation as arms trafficking, has also got the same problem –- numerous illegal entities that evolve around the niche. Scam brokers, funds recovery services that rob the robbed traders, HYIPs, “learn how to make millions overnight” trading courses and a number of other schemes all tend to exploit the weak point of human nature – the belief that there is the magic device with the “MORE MONEY” button out there, that someone can sell you.
A thief shouting “Thief!”
Considering the above there is a high demand in society for truthful and unbiased information about the market players. WikiFX claims to be the provider of such honest information about brokers but in fact, makes money by blackmailing brokers and promoting any company that offers to pay enough in their rankings. WikiFX is a classic illustration of a thief shouting “Get the thief!” louder than anybody else in the crowd. The strategy works unfortunately and traders tend to trust WikiFx broker’s ratings without questioning what these ratings are based on and who sponsors this global brokers’ database.
Paving the road with some good intentions
Even the most horrible crimes against humanity were done under the cover of best intentions. Starting with the first crusades and ending with the holocaust. There are always some sound arguments, protected people and reliable methods. Ask any trader whether each forex broker must be regulated by a third party? The answer will be “yes” with a near 100% probability and this answer is totally correct. Know-your-customer procedures and some unbiased third-party control are essential for maintaining the overall transparency of any business in a sphere of finance. This is the argument that WikiFX starts with when promoting its service and there is absolutely no point to argue. Starting with an indisputable truth is a good strategy to win the debate. “The long-term presence on the market adds credibility”, – says WikiFX, and hears “yes” again. “Don’t you agree that the longer the company is in the business, the better?”. “Sure”, – the trader agrees one more time. The mission is completed. This is when the broker ranker can add any other criteria to their appraisal methods. Traders will tend to trust the service because they’ve agreed upon the most important criteria. The rest are minor details. But what if the rest of the appraisal methods are not just minor issues? What if these details can be the means to manipulate the facts as much as they want to?
Can WikiFX appraisal criteria be trusted?
If we take a look at any broker’s WikiFX rating, we can see that the criteria of appraisal are the following:
The year of registration
Market Making license
For example, this is what the top-rated broker’s summary looks like at WikiFX: WikiFX Forex com example https://preview.redd.it/t4ugtbt344l51.png?width=625&format=png&auto=webp&s=95fddf8434faf8938d1a3f18bbd5f1da2ceb47e4 Looks good. Really. Regardless of the attitude to this particular brokerage, the work seems to be done fine. All the regulators are listed below, the information on the used software, licensing, and years of operation is included. But what if we take some other random brokerage with one of the lowest rankings at WikiFX? NinjaTraderBrokerage WIkiFX Ranking https://preview.redd.it/pgyqp0u644l51.png?width=631&format=png&auto=webp&s=eb268faac83608a494c31a39eb1621f7132e3520 This is where the truth reveals itself. Once again, regardless of the attitude to this particular brokerage this is really easy to find out what they do, what licenses they’ve got and what kind of software they use. Suspicious clone? Seriously? If WikiFX staff cared enough to do any investigation prior to stamping that “Suspicious” mark on the brokerage, they would have seen that both domains, nijatrader com and ninjatraderbrokerage com belong to the same entity. NinyaTrader whois data https://preview.redd.it/2097lkw944l51.png?width=563&format=png&auto=webp&s=079cc4248b825a3cd941c6b691a67bb9769f4f7f If they cared enough to collect information on the brokerage from at least one reliable source, like Investopedia or any other similarly known database, they would also have found out that the company not only provides the brokerage service, but also is known for its trading platform with advanced technical analysis tools. But the only trading software that WikiFX considers reliable seems to be MT4/MT5. They simply ignore the fact that trading does not evolve around MetaTrader products, no matter how good and popular they are. WikiFX lowers the score of any brokerage with custom-developed software. We can clearly see this with the above example. Other criteria that WikiFX is proud to use for the broker’s appraisal are regulations. Using the same example let’s see how well they do the appraisal in this field. As you can see above, WikiFX used the “Suspicious Regulatory License” stamp for NinjaTrader Brokerage. And here is what The National Futures Association, that NinjaTrader is registered with as a futures broker has on its record: NFA regulation of NTB proof that WikiFX did not consider to be trustworthy https://preview.redd.it/di8fwkdd44l51.png?width=629&format=png&auto=webp&s=2de618d5df26bd8fcca99c51a6030f4bdfa7f776 We can’t expect every trader to know that any futures broker that wants to operate on the US market must be a member of NFA. This is the requirement of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regarding the futures broker’s operations. But this is totally unacceptable for a broker ranking website, which WikiFX claims to be, to mark NFA-registered futures brokerage as non-reliable. By the way, did you notice on the above screenshot that NTB has obtained the NFA license in 2004? Yet, this does not prevent WikiFX from claiming that the brokerage has only been providing its services for 1-2 years only, instead of the factual 16 years of operations. We can long discuss the reasons that lie behind such selectivity of WikiFX but this random example clearly shows that any brokerage that provides access to non-forex derivatives trading or dares to suggest custom-developed software to its traders is in danger of receiving a negative review at WikiFX regardless of the factual reliability and regulations.
What lies beneath WikiFX selectivity?
WikiFX claims to have a team of professionals that are all involved in objective appraisal of broker’s services, licenses and used software. The methods used by these professionals remain unrevealed and as we see from the above comparison two similarly reliable brokerages can get any score from 1.0 and up to 10.0 at WikiFX, no matter what regulations they’ve got, for how long they’ve been in the business and what kind of software they use. This is difficult to say what lies behind such selectivity with 100% confidence. The first thing that comes to mind is that WikiFX might be affiliated with some brokers. The hypothesis gets even more realistic if we try to understand who sponsors WikiFX. There are no transparent built-in ads neither on the web-version of the website nor in its applications. There are no paid subscriptions for access to the database. This means that users sponsor the service with neither their attention to ads nor directly. Being the non-charity and non-governmental organization WikiFX can’t be sponsored with donations or a government. The only option that we have left is that brokers sponsor this ranking system directly, which automatically makes the whole system non-reliable and highly biased. The only transparent method that we know WikiFX uses to collect money is sponsorship fees they collect from their offline events participants. Let’s have a look at the exhibitors of the recent WikiFX Expo in Thailand. WikiFX Expo Exhibitors
TLC is a non-regulated investment platform that was founded in 2019
Samtrade FX is not regulated by any of the agencies that WikiFX itself lists as reliable
Forex4you is not regulated by any of the agencies that WikiFX itself lists as reliable
B2 Broker is a non-regulated broker
XDL FX is a non-regulated broker
VAT FX is a non-regulated broker Six out of sixteen WikiFX recent expo exhibitors do not have proper legal status according to the “standards” of WikiFX itself. This fact does not prevent them from promoting the services of these companies at their offline events. This conspicuous fact tells a lot about the attitude of WikiFX to common traders looking for reliable partners. Reputation is nothing but a sale item for this brokers’ ranking system.
Murky & Murkier
So far we’ve only discussed the facts that anyone can check himself using free tools and sources. It was not that difficult to discover that WikiFX uses non-transparent standards for brokers’ appraisal. It ignores the specifics of some brokerages lowering their scores due to non-standard derivatives they offer to trade or custom trading software. It also promotes non-regulated and non-licensed brokerages, which is 100% against the declared WikiFX values and mission. The rumors are that this company was also noticed blackmailing brokers with the purpose of making them pay for better reviews at WikiFX. There are also some signs that indicate suspicious promotion of WikiFX platform through social media and Quora. Some of the WikiFX positive reviews also look highly suspicious. All of the above is a matter of further investigation. Nevertheless, thousands of users keep relying on the information provided by this scam ranking system. It may even look like all these users are satisfied. WikiFX has got 4.5 starts at Google Play, which sounds good enough. However, positive WikiFX reviews use similar semantics and are also highly suspicious. Despite the high average grade, Google Play finds the following messages to be most relevant and brings them to the top of WikiFX reviews: Google Play most relevant WikiFX reviews https://preview.redd.it/kftutvcl44l51.png?width=532&format=png&auto=webp&s=1ccb74ee156388285a2fab711dd604945c04377c
You’ve got the facts now and it’s time to make your own conclusions.
The majority of this sub is focused on technical analysis. I regularly ridicule such "tea leaf readers" and advocate for trading based on fundamentals and economic news instead, so I figured I should take the time to write up something on how exactly you can trade economic news releases. This post is long as balls so I won't be upset if you get bored and go back to your drooping dick patterns or whatever.
How economic news is released
First, it helps to know how economic news is compiled and released. Let's take Initial Jobless Claims, the number of initial claims for unemployment benefits around the United States from Sunday through Saturday. Initial in this context means the first claim for benefits made by an individual during a particular stretch of unemployment. The Initial Jobless Claims figure appears in the Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report, which compiles information from all of the per-state departments that report to the DOL during the week. A typical number is between 100k and 250k and it can vary quite significantly week-to-week. The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report contains data that lags 5 days behind. For example, the Report issued on Thursday March 26th 2020 contained data about the week ending on Saturday March 21st 2020. In the days leading up to the Report, financial companies will survey economists and run complicated mathematical models to forecast the upcoming Initial Jobless Claims figure. The results of surveyed experts is called the "consensus"; specific companies, experts, and websites will also provide their own forecasts. Different companies will release different consensuses. Usually they are pretty close (within 2-3k), but for last week's record-high Initial Jobless Claims the reported consensuses varied by up to 1M! In other words, there was essentially no consensus. The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report is released each Thursday morning at exactly 8:30 AM ET. (On Thanksgiving the Report is released on Wednesday instead.) Media representatives gather at the Frances Perkins Building in Washington DC and are admitted to the "lockup" at 8:00 AM ET. In order to be admitted to the lockup you have to be a credentialed member of a media organization that has signed the DOL lockup agreement. The lockup room is small so there is a limited number of spots. No phones are allowed. Reporters bring their laptops and connect to a local network; there is a master switch on the wall that prevents/enables Internet connectivity on this network. Once the doors are closed the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report is distributed, with a heading that announces it is "embargoed" (not to be released) prior to 8:30 AM. Reporters type up their analyses of the report, including extracting key figures like Initial Jobless Claims. They load their write-ups into their companies' software, which prepares to send it out as soon as Internet is enabled. At 8:30 AM the DOL representative in the room flips the wall switch and all of the laptops are connected to the Internet, releasing their write-ups to their companies and on to their companies' partners. Many of those media companies have externally accessible APIs for distributing news. Media aggregators and squawk services (like RanSquawk and TradeTheNews) subscribe to all of these different APIs and then redistribute the key economic figures from the Report to their own subscribers within one second after Internet is enabled in the DOL lockup. Some squawk services are text-based while others are audio-based. FinancialJuice.com provides a free audio squawk service; internally they have a paid subscription to a professional squawk service and they simply read out the latest headlines to their own listeners, subsidized by ads on the site. I've been using it for 4 months now and have been pretty happy. It usually lags behind the official release times by 1-2 seconds and occasionally they verbally flub the numbers or stutter and have to repeat, but you can't beat the price! Important - I’m not affiliated with FinancialJuice and I’m not advocating that you use them over any other squawk. If you use them and they misspeak a number and you lose all your money don’t blame me. If anybody has any other free alternatives please share them!
How the news affects forex markets
Institutional forex traders subscribe to these squawk services and use custom software to consume the emerging data programmatically and then automatically initiate trades based on the perceived change to the fundamentals that the figures represent. It's important to note that every institution will have "priced in" their own forecasted figures well in advance of an actual news release. Forecasts and consensuses all come out at different times in the days leading up to a news release, so by the time the news drops everybody is really only looking for an unexpected result. You can't really know what any given institution expects the value to be, but unless someone has inside information you can pretty much assume that the market has collectively priced in the experts' consensus. When the news comes out, institutions will trade based on the difference between the actual and their forecast. Sometimes the news reflects a real change to the fundamentals with an economic effect that will change the demand for a currency, like an interest rate decision. However, in the case of the Initial Jobless Claims figure, which is a backwards-looking metric, trading is really just self-fulfilling speculation that market participants will buy dollars when unemployment is low and sell dollars when unemployment is high. Generally speaking, news that reflects a real economic shift has a bigger effect than news that only matters to speculators. Massive and extremely fast news-based trades happen within tenths of a second on the ECNs on which institutional traders are participants. Over the next few seconds the resulting price changes trickle down to retail traders. Some economic news, like Non Farm Payroll Employment, has an effect that can last minutes to hours as "slow money" follows behind on the trend created by the "fast money". Other news, like Initial Jobless Claims, has a short impact that trails off within a couple minutes and is subsequently dwarfed by the usual pseudorandom movements in the market. The bigger the difference between actual and consensus, the bigger the effect on any given currency pair. Since economic news releases generally relate to a single currency, the biggest and most easily predicted effects are seen on pairs where one currency is directly effected and the other is not affected at all. Personally I trade USD/JPY because the time difference between the US and Japan ensures that no news will be coming out of Japan at the same time that economic news is being released in the US. Before deciding to trade any particular news release you should measure the historical correlation between the release (specifically, the difference between actual and consensus) and the resulting short-term change in the currency pair. Historical data for various news releases (along with historical consensus data) is readily available. You can pay to get it exported into Excel or whatever, or you can scroll through it for free on websites like TradingEconomics.com. Let's look at two examples: Initial Jobless Claims and Non Farm Payroll Employment (NFP). I collected historical consensuses and actuals for these releases from January 2018 through the present, measured the "surprise" difference for each, and then correlated that to short-term changes in USD/JPY at the time of release using 5 second candles. I omitted any releases that occurred simultaneously as another major release. For example, occasionally the monthly Initial Jobless Claims comes out at the exact same time as the monthly Balance of Trade figure, which is a more significant economic indicator and can be expected to dwarf the effect of the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report. USD/JPY correlation with Initial Jobless Claims (2018 - present) USD/JPY correlation with Non Farm Payrolls (2018 - present) The horizontal axes on these charts is the duration (in seconds) after the news release over which correlation was calculated. The vertical axis is the Pearson correlation coefficient: +1 means that the change in USD/JPY over that duration was perfectly linearly correlated to the "surprise" in the releases; -1 means that the change in USD/JPY was perfectly linearly correlated but in the opposite direction, and 0 means that there is no correlation at all. For Initial Jobless Claims you can see that for the first 30 seconds USD/JPY is strongly negatively correlated with the difference between consensus and actual jobless claims. That is, fewer-than-forecast jobless claims (fewer newly unemployed people than expected) strengthens the dollar and greater-than-forecast jobless claims (more newly unemployed people than expected) weakens the dollar. Correlation then trails off and changes to a moderate/weak positive correlation. I interpret this as algorithms "buying the dip" and vice versa, but I don't know for sure. From this chart it appears that you could profit by opening a trade for 15 seconds (duration with strongest correlation) that is long USD/JPY when Initial Jobless Claims is lower than the consensus and short USD/JPY when Initial Jobless Claims is higher than expected. The chart for Non Farm Payroll looks very different. Correlation is positive (higher-than-expected payrolls strengthen the dollar and lower-than-expected payrolls weaken the dollar) and peaks at around 45 seconds, then slowly decreases as time goes on. This implies that price changes due to NFP are quite significant relative to background noise and "stick" even as normal fluctuations pick back up. I wanted to show an example of what the USD/JPY S5 chart looks like when an "uncontested" (no other major simultaneously news release) Initial Jobless Claims and NFP drops, but unfortunately my broker's charts only go back a week. (I can pull historical data going back years through the API but to make it into a pretty chart would be a bit of work.) If anybody can get a 5-second chart of USD/JPY at March 19, 2020, UTC 12:30 and/or at February 7, 2020, UTC 13:30 let me know and I'll add it here.
So without too much effort we determined that (1) USD/JPY is strongly negatively correlated with the Initial Jobless Claims figure for the first 15 seconds after the release of the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report (when no other major news is being released) and also that (2) USD/JPY is strongly positively correlated with the Non Farms Payroll figure for the first 45 seconds after the release of the Employment Situation report. Before you can assume you can profit off the news you have to backtest and consider three important parameters. Entry speed: How quickly can you realistically enter the trade? The correlation performed above was measured from the exact moment the news was released, but realistically if you've got your finger on the trigger and your ear to the squawk it will take a few seconds to hit "Buy" or "Sell" and confirm. If 90% of the price move happens in the first second you're SOL. For back-testing purposes I assume a 5 second delay. In practice I use custom software that opens a trade with one click, and I can reliably enter a trade within 2-3 seconds after the news drops, using the FinancialJuice free squawk. Minimum surprise: Should you trade every release or can you do better by only trading those with a big enough "surprise" factor? Backtesting will tell you whether being more selective is better long-term or not. Hold time: The optimal time to hold the trade is not necessarily the same as the time of maximum correlation. That's a good starting point but it's not necessarily the best number. Backtesting each possible hold time will let you find the best one. The spread: When you're only holding a position open for 30 seconds, the spread will kill you. The correlations performed above used the midpoint price, but in reality you have to buy at the ask and sell at the bid. Brokers aren't stupid and the moment volume on the ECN jumps they will widen the spread for their retail customers. The only way to determine if the news-driven price movements reliably overcome the spread is to backtest. Stops: Personally I don't use stops, neither take-profit nor stop-loss, since I'm automatically closing the trade after a fixed (and very short) amount of time. Additionally, brokers have a minimum stop distance; the profits from scalping the news are so slim that even the nearest stops they allow will generally not get triggered. I backtested trading these two news releases (since 2018), using a 5 second entry delay, real historical spreads, and no stops, cycling through different "surprise" thresholds and hold times to find the combination that returns the highest net profit. It's important to maximize net profit, not expected value per trade, so you don't over-optimize and reduce the total number of trades taken to one single profitable trade. If you want to get fancy you can set up a custom metric that combines number of trades, expected value, and drawdown into a single score to be maximized. For the Initial Jobless Claims figure I found that the best combination is to hold trades open for 25 seconds (that is, open at 5 seconds elapsed and hold until 30 seconds elapsed) and only trade when the difference between consensus and actual is 7k or higher. That leads to 30 trades taken since 2018 and an expected return of... drumroll please... -0.0093 yen per unit per trade. Yep, that's a loss of approx. $8.63 per lot. Disappointing right? That's the spread and that's why you have to backtest. Even though the release of the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report has a strong correlation with movement in USD/JPY, it's simply not something that a retail trader can profit from. Let's turn to the NFP. There I found that the best combination is to hold trades open for 75 seconds (that is, open at 5 seconds elapsed and hold until 80 seconds elapsed) and trade every single NFP (no minimum "surprise" threshold). That leads to 20 trades taken since 2018 and an expected return of... drumroll please... +0.1306 yen per unit per trade. That's a profit of approx. $121.25 per lot. Not bad for 75 seconds of work! That's a +6% ROI at 50x leverage.
Make it real
If you want to do this for realsies, you need to run these numbers for all of the major economic news releases. Markit Manufacturing PMI, Factory Orders MoM, Trade Balance, PPI MoM, Export and Import Prices, Michigan Consumer Sentiment, Retail Sales MoM, Industrial Production MoM, you get the idea. You keep a list of all of the releases you want to trade, when they are released, and the ideal hold time and "surprise" threshold. A few minutes before the prescribed release time you open up your broker's software, turn on your squawk, maybe jot a few notes about consensuses and model forecasts, and get your finger on the button. At the moment you hear the release you open the trade in the correct direction, hold it (without looking at the chart!) for the required amount of time, then close it and go on with your day. Some benefits of trading this way: * Most major economic releases come out at either 8:30 AM ET or 10:00 AM ET, and then you're done for the day. * It's easily backtestable. You can look back at the numbers and see exactly what to expect your return to be. * It's fun! Packing your trading into 30 seconds and knowing that institutions are moving billions of dollars around as fast as they can based on the exact same news you just read is thrilling. * You can wow your friends by saying things like "The St. Louis Fed had some interesting remarks on consumer spending in the latest Beige Book." * No crayons involved. Some downsides: * It's tricky to be fast enough without writing custom software. Some broker software is very slow and requires multiple dialog boxes before a position is opened, which won't cut it. * The profits are very slim, you're not going to impress your instagram followers to join your expensive trade copying service with your 30-second twice-weekly trades. * Any friends you might wow with your boring-ass economic talking points are themselves the most boring people in the world. I hope you enjoyed this long as fuck post and you give trading economic news a try!
funny to see that subject pop up again. it was what drove me insane enough to find this sub in the first place. at any rate, the problem is not the bots. I thought it was, but those are just part of the parasitic ecosystem. but to get that, first we need to take a few steps back on web history, ad serving, UX, tracking technology and media advertising. too lazy to gather links, but you know, do your googlin'. I assume that most of you are fairly web literate here, but I'll try to go down into the bare bones as much as possible for those who aren't. so let's start with a basic question - what is a web visitor anyway? from the standpoint of a normal person, that would be a person browsing a given website or piece of content. from the standpoint of technology however all you know is that some device has downloaded content from your server using the http protocol. thanks to the wonderful technology of web browsers, you can plant browser cookies on a visitor - stuff that's used to remember if they logged in, what their preferences are, stuff that your service can read from the device. it also serves usually very basic telemetry like last visit time, session time, and so on. this, over time has evolved in what we call browser fingerprinting, a convoluted bunch of technology that allows websites and web services to uniquely identify you. it still doesn't know if you're a human or not, but from the standpoint of the web technology, you're a visitor. now back in ye old days of the web, when the first banner ads were springing up, these were important questions. most consumers were still to be reached on traditional media channels, and ad spend would have to be justified somehow on the risky ventures of online business. so beyond traditional polls that would infer the value of visitors, websites would start tracking number of visitors, time on page and so on. these were used to milk the advertising cow so to speak, and it gave in to some funny developments like the creation of the popup ad - if I recon correctly on geocities, where they would just but the ads everywhere until some big auto company noticed that they're appearing on porn sites. so - put the ad in the popup, and you can claim it's not in the context of porn! around this point in time the online ad business is still pretty low tech. you actually have to call a physical human being, they send you ppts and pdfs, you send back image files and excel sheets, you wire money, the ads run, and so on. this is called direct sales, and it's tracked again by counting a bunch of visitors, and telling you how much impressions and clicks your marvelous creatives and ad budget generated. now enter google - or more precisely, a technology firm called doubleclick that was to be acquired by google. they developed a tool for automatic ad serving, later to be called programmatic advertising, that keeps the pesky sales dude out of the loop and achieves reasonable amounts of scale for a more hefty price - after all, if the sales are automated, you get a bidding war for attention between different advertisers, and you're paying for clicks. so you can see how this was a strategic move for google - they already had the most valuable data available in this situation. they were seeing in real time what people were searching for, and using the programmatic ad serving system, you could effectively bid not just for general attention - but for attention with an intent to buy. ...and the way that google got this data is because they indexed the web, using bots. at least GoogleBot would identify itself as a site visitor, but in the meantime they developed a service for websites to comprehensively track their own visitors and where they were coming from and what they were doing on your website. incidentally, you could also put on google's ads on your webpage to earn quite a bit of money, as content relevant ads would be shown through the doubleclick system. this kicked off two things: one, the ability to classify your website visitors into different clusters and segments allowed businesses to start tailoring the appearance of the website or service to fit that specific audience segment, starting off the great fracture - segmentation of the web (in the sense that two people viewing the same website at the same time were not seeing the same thing) two, it created a very strong financial incentive for people to trick google into thinking they were having actual human visitors that would click on ads, when in fact they were bots. in an even funnier twist, some of them were from browser hijackers, commonly known as malware at the time, which google cross-financed. look up download valley and crossrider. at the cross section of the above two, you had one interesting twist: websites that would appear differently to the security bots or the compliance officers of Google as they would to fake visitors or malware jacked human beings. the former would get a benign looking website, while the latter would get bombarded with auto clicking ads. this kicked off the billion dollar arms race called online advertising fraud. I'm not here to shed a tear for big money corps bleeding money. the real fallout lay somewhere else, but for that you have to understand that you never really saw the real internet, you only saw your corner and the one that was personalized for you. but if you ever had the pleasure of watching daytime TVs or off channels and witnessing the ads, you could kind of infer what kind of audience must be watching these shows generally. from quite clear rip offs to magic number lotteries and television fortune telling, these sorts of programming was aimed at the most gullible, bought for pennies, where the smallest audience portion had to be converted into a money making operation. ...and with audience segmentation and data gathering, that was now possible at unprecedented scale, automatically. so big was the scale in fact, that it gave birth to an entire new beast of an industry called affiliate marketing, where instead of a regular payroll, you'd get a cut of the sale should you figure out an angle on where to push whatever fucking bullshit the vendors were offering to whoever the fuck would be dumb enough to click on an ad and buy. (the funniest story I recall was someone pulling five figures a month because he figured out that if you buy ads on anime-hentai pages and sell PUA shit courses and e-books you'd make a killing) at any rate, affiliate marketing brought with it the killer landing page, the thing that's supposed to hammer the nail in the coffin once you get through the banner ad. the earliest form of deceptiveness in memory comes from various pirate sites, that had fake download buttons as banner ads and virus alerts as the landing pages. but then at some point, some schmuck realized that for certain type of products, like diet pills or forex trading or whatever, the best lander is in fact a fake news page that comes packed with comments and all. that would convert like crazy, because it had the appearance of social proof. until at least the lawsuits came raining down, and these sorts of landing pages and campaigns for being banned left right and centre on all platforms. which just launched a new arms race as the campaigns would be disguised for the bots doing the checkups, and aged facebook profiles would start selling for like 5K USD - these people were making 30-40k a day, they could afford to spend that much to continue running the shop. speaking of facebook - it came just about the right time for the shit to brew max total. first they were unprecedented in the amount of data they were getting off of their users, and they came just in time to catch the full swing of what we call the 'responsive web' - that no user at the same time would see the same thing on their page, it was all allocated through an intricate web of recommendations, running real time, based on previously gathered and forecast behavioral data. it also ran on one simple premise: take over the starting page position from google for most people, then they do not have to justify, ever, any ad spend that takes place on their platform, as long as it performs. furthermore, it was completely lacking any revenue share sort of scheme (save for the short period of facebook gaming, see Zynga), thus there was no incentive for the amount of bot traffic that the previous internet era had bred. instead, it came with an entirely different one - bots that would offer social proof in the way of shares and likes, but would not directly risk the business model, thus giving no incentive for facebook to fight them. (note that google didn't do much jack shit either besides indiscriminately penalizing websites it deemed suspicious when they reached critical payout thresholds) the rest of the story you kind of sort of know. how the obama campaign was brilliant in using the new social media to inspire hope and blah blah blah, kicking the door open for big money politics who could hire the best snake oil salesmen in the market, who had the data and as you can see from the above, had the ethical standards of a shoe. at around 2014-2015 the press (the mainstream media) started to raise question about the duopoly, the buzzword of filter bubbles started appearing, not entirely unrelated to the fact that facebook by this time cannibalized their traffic with a fucking embedded share / like button and started charging money for them to reach their own audience. after 2016 the cries of fake news were everywhere, because there was no online space left which everyone was viewing the same way, and you had no way to verify what the person next to you was looking at. since then, we've all become grandpa yelling at the television set, with nobody around us seeing what we're seeing on the screen, so we're being accused as bots and looking for bots under the carpet. but it's been a long way coming, and the bots are honestly the least of our worries. trust me, I went bankrupt over that one. truth or fake doesn't even begin to describe the magnitude of the problem: more like we entered the phase where every word, event or picture is defined by who ever the fuck wins the auction over it, as the marketers of human attention grind the gears of the money mill without even understanding how fast they're digging towards hell. don't believe me? look around the marketing and advertising related subs these days. the priests are eating the indulgences, and we're only now entering the period of deep fakes, good algo generated audio and good enough NLP. and in the meantime, the shadowrunners running up between two corp headquarter-highrises are skinning your belief systems. so the best you can do is really, not litter the remnants of cyberspace which are not being mined, astroturfed or being pulled apart by the algos. no human connections on a nuclear trash heap mate.
Seven figure affiliate marketer specialising in Amazon Associates (AMA)
Hello all. The reason I am starting this AMA is because I want to give back to the community, many years ago when I first started in online marketing, a few people I bumped into online helped me massively when I was a complete noob. I recall a guy called Steve (not even sure where we first started talking) but I remember hassling him all the time, asking him really basic stuff such as 'how do I change my name servers' and 'how do I setup one HTML page to link to another' he never once ignored me and always helped me. Then there were a varied bunch on Digital Point forums and Niche Chopper forums who helped massively when I was getting into affiliate marketing, Clickbank mainly and using SEO & PPC to drive traffic. To put it bluntly, I am very grateful for the people that have helped me out over the years. Their support and my own persistence has helped me to achieve what I've achieved and I thought what better way to give back, than to do an AMA in a community which I feel is as close as resemblance as that of the communities of my past. So, before we start, let me quickly go through what I am experienced in, as there is no point people asking questions I can't help to answer. I started affiliate marketing in 2007, after joining Digital Point forum, first it was proxy websites and Google Adsense and then selling proxy advertising on Yahoo Groups I'd built and then an SEO blog and Clickbank and a whole variety of other Clickbank products (forex, health, DJ recording software e.t.c.) then I was a vendor on Clickbank, then I sold that website. Then I began to focus on Amazon Associates and I've pretty much focused on that ever since, alongside third party monetisation with advertising platforms such as AdThrive, Affiliate Window, CJ and ShareaSale. I am fortunate enough to be able to say I have made seven figure profits in this time all from Amazon Associate based websites, I've sold seven figure websites and bought six figure websites, I am from the UK and have a limited company. Note: if one of the mods needs to verify any of these things, just message me, I appreciate it might look odd as I've used a throwaway account. So ask away, I'll try my best to be as detailed as possible but there are a few things I have to keep confidential due to contracts e.t.c.
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A REVIEW ON EXERGLOBAL AND CURRENT IMPRESSIVE FEATURES
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The developed games is connected to XPC coin and owners will receive micro dividends from Casino and Adventure games including Viridi Forex. CONCLUSION The ExerGlobal project have introduced a new dimension of profitable investment that is unrivaled by competitors. These innovative products and services available within the expanded network of Exer Global will help propel the project ahead of the competition in the market, hence ExerGlobal requires more attention from investors because it will definitely become successful in the future. For more details, kindly visit the official links below ;Website: https://exerglobal.com/Mining: http://exermining.com/White Paper: https://exerglobal.com/Download/pdf/sv/eXer%20Presentation%207lvl.pdfFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/youniqexerglobalgroupTwitter: https://twitter.com/YouniqGTelegram: https://t.me/youniq\_exerglobal\_groupWRITER DETAILS,Bitcointalk Username : Johnson KnightBitcointalk Profile URL : https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=2326370;sa=summaryTelegram username : @crimson_osito
This is a test of different methods to make passive income. With different goals, starting requirements, time to build requirements and business models. There are three questions to be addressed and answered;
Can a person build up meaningful passive incomes starting free, and spending less than an hour a day. Can blogging and SEO replace a full time income in passive/recurring income in under two years? Can speculation based passive income achieve compounded ROI over 250% in a year?
The three models I will use will be building an online services based business, and later outsource the delivery of service. Write long form blog posts to target niche questions in an area of which I am very knowledgeable, and investing in managed Forex accounts. More in-depth details on each; Services Business With this, I will see if I can build a services company from $0 revenue with $0 out of pocket costs. Once I have met a target amount of net profit monthly, I will look into ways to outsource the service delivery at a cost less than my monthly income. When I'm making money with this, I'll re-invest it into improving things like websites, marketing funnels and product delivery efficiency. I'll be selling an informational based product on subscription. I will have weekly and monthly subscription offers, and will do these at extremely low price points. $3 a week or $10 a month. It's the old "Stack 'em high and sell 'em low" tactic. I know there is a lot of scepticism (rightly so) around the niche I am working in. A lot of people do the same service with terribly low quality. The best way to succeed here, is to make it almost risk free to try it, and then leverage world of mouth - social proof is king in sceptical niches. I set this up in 20 minutes. There's no need to spend a lot of time on it. I used wix.com for a free website. Their template feature built the website, and I edited the details. Really, 10 minute job. Then I used the Wix logo maker to get some logos. I set up a Facebook fan page, with that I set up a couple groups. One is a public group for marketing, the other is a paid members group. I used Canava to make my cover pictures for this. https://www.canva.com/create/facebook-covers. I also set up a Telegram channel for quick and direct communication with paid members. I will spend about 20 - 30 minutes on this a day. I will do my content for the paid members, and then I will also water this down a bit and use it for marketing also. As time goes on, I will add different distribution channels for the marketing content. I will do this by creating one solid bit of content, and then little bits of it as feeder content. This recycling of content is referred to by Gary Vee as "Sawdust content", and it's a great way to leverage time. https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/content-content-content/ I am going to drive past this by making my main promotion method a week's free trial. The niche is quite technical, it has a learning curve to it. To save me a lot of hassle on FAQs and teaching the absolute basics, I am going to focus my posting efforts into areas where people speak my language. I'll promote in dedicated forums. The audience of this will be highly targeted, and convert easily for a free trial. They'll also cover easily to the low ball subscription. So long as the service does it's job, they'll stay on and tell others. If it doesn't do it's job, I do not deserve to be paid. When it comes to outsourcing, I have a few options. I can take apprentices. Teach them the skills for free, and then later give them jobs. There's the option of directly hiring a competing service to basically white label for me. Finally I have the option of selling the entire business for a large pay off, although this is not technically passive income, I would get paid 2 years worth of time running the service up-front. I class that as a win. SEO Blog For my SEO blog, I am going to set up a "Go to" guide for people setting up services that are very similar to the services company mentioned above. I know, It's like typing 'Google' into Google ... there's no way to tell what will happen. I will actually be teaching them how to set up a service a step above the one I am doing for the services passive income. Anyone who does well with the services company I am doing will naturally switch to a more profitable and easier to run service. I've already been down that road. I know the questions and challenges these people will face making this evolution in their business, and I can provide a lot of value to these business owners. I've done basic keyword research, and I think I can write better articles than currently exist, and can do more "SEO stuff" than those ranking now have done. I'll monetise this with affiliate offers (there are things essential to running the business, most of my traffic will need these things). I will also probably scale this out to offer things like article writing, lead generation, sales funnels and so on. Of the above, almost everything can be outsourced if it is bespoke, or created quickly from templates that are customised to suit the business owner wanting to purchase it. So these are easily made passive incomes, and the affiliate deals pay me recurring without extra inputs from me. So all I need to do is get the blog to the top of Google on my searches, and then systematise the delivery of things I sell there. Again I am not going to take a lot of time on making the website here. I'll use Wordpress, I'll use Elementor as a page builder. The general stuff on my site will be nothing flashy or fancy. Clean, professional and minimalist suits my niche well. 80% of my time on this will be spent on keyword research and article writing. I am not going to put huge efforts into backlinking and other SEO tactics. I'll make my on page SEO tight, and then I will write extremely high value articles. My play on this will be entirely based upon writing stuff people do not bounce from. I'll do my best to be the best, and then trust Google will work that out, somehow. Start up costs on this are low, but there are some. It requires at least a domain name and hosting. Also autoreposnders and likewise tools will help. Net starting costs for this does not exceed $200. I will allocate on average 2 hours a day to this. This may be in small blocks of writing and keyword research each day, and sometimes marathon writing seasons. I will be using a basic SEO model of having some main pillar content (4,000 words or so) and a bunch of feeder blogs (1,500 - words or so). If and when I do any sort of backlink building (and I will, if my raw writing is not ranking) , I'll adopt the sawdust strategy as explained by Gary Vee. As an added bonus, I can run another little services business from this website that is related to my low cost services business. This then acts as a natural place to send people who are highly over qualified for my super cheap service. Alternatively, I can sell these people as leads to business owners looking to learn more about setting up these services and landing on my site. This makes me less, but is entirely passive. Speculating and Compounding For this, I've invested $10,000 into a managed Forex trading account that runs on a medium/high risk setting. This is entirely passive. The trading team and I sign a contract. Then everything just happens. I'm a person of relatively high risk tolerance, so I am willing to see my investment swing down 30 - 35% in the worst losing streaks. Based on historical results, this should enable me to average over 20% a month (using geometric averaging over 12 months). Meaning I compound over 250% annually. I will run this investment for at least 3 years, which if target gains continue to hit, will compound to over 1,000% gain. Even though I am risk tolerant, I am not mental. So my continued investment is this is contingent upon the account manager maintaining common sense risk protection benchmarks. If anything "weird" happens, I'll pull all or most of my investment, and allocate to different account managers. Results so far on managed account: +$1,047.11 https://preview.redd.it/1up08q4an8c31.png?width=818&format=png&auto=webp&s=8c4b29839cc7bca7924998e975f92705fe715230 I will post either weekly or bi-weekly (depending on other obligations) updates on how these ventures develop.
Recent conversation with google chat about my suspended app
MAJOR UPDATE: THE App was reinstated, detailshere Google gives no help, it's sad THIS WAS WITH THE FIRST AGENT Mia 1:29 AM You are now connected to Mia. Please type your message and hit 'Enter' to send. Mia 1:29 AM Hi there, thanks for contacting Google Play Developer Support! There will be a short survey at the end of our chat so you can provide feedback on the service I'm providing. How can I help you today? ME 1:29 AM We currently have an app that is suspended on the play store...... Mia 1:30 AM May I please have the package name of the app you're referring to? ME 1:30 AM (I SUBMITTED THE NAME) Mia 1:30 AM Please hold Mia 1:35 AM After checking, it looks like the issue is related to our policy. Mia 1:35 AM Unfortunately our team does not support policy issues. Mia 1:35 AM I will route this case to our policy team for you so that you can get further information from them via email. ME 1:35 AM hold on ME 1:35 AM I actually have a few questions for you ME 1:36 AM I've been routed to the policy team and they do not respond, I've filed more than one appeal and they do not respond ME 1:36 AM it's been almost a month ME 1:37 AM The first thing I need to know is googles account suspension policy ME 1:39 AM during research on how to get help from google with out problem, I have basically found that google will not help with any further explanation on a suspension despite the vague explanation but if we resubmit the app without fixing the problem our account can get suspended ME 1:40 AM The app was suspended for SPAM..... there is nothing like that in our app, nothing close to it, so it's hard to fix something that does not exist Mia 1:43 AM If you don't have any other questions I will end this chat session. Have a great day! Mia 1:43 AM Thanks for chatting with Google Play Developer Support today! Your chat session is now complete. CONVERSATION WITH AGENT 2 Bella1:44 AM You are now connected to Bella. Please type your message and hit 'Enter' to send. Bella1:44 AM Hi there, thanks for contacting Google Play Developer Support! There will be a short survey at the end of our chat so you can provide feedback on the service I'm providing. How can I help you today? ME1:44 AM I just tried to chat with an agent and my chat was just ended without any respnse Bella1:45 AM okay ME1:45 AM please review this ME1:45 AM ME 1:37 AM The first thing I need to know is googles account suspension policy ME 1:39 AM during research on how to get help from google with out problem, I have basically found that google will not help with any further explanation on a suspension despite the vague explanation but if we resubmit the app without fixing the problem our account can get suspended ME 1:40 AM The app was suspended for SPAM..... there is nothing like that in our app, nothing close to it, so it's hard to fix something that does not exist Mia 1:43 AM If you don't have any other questions I will end this chat session. Have a great day! Mia 1:43 AM Thanks for chatting with Google Play Developer Support today! Your chat session is now complete. ME1:46 AM I am asking for help and I am not getting any ME1:46 AM I do not want to submit a new version of our app having not caught the problem and get our account closed ME1:47 AM We are trying to fix and comply with whatever policy google has but this seems to be impossible Bella1:48 AM okay, I understand your concern. Bella1:48 AM First, May I please have the package name of the app you're referring to? ME1:48 AM (I SUBMITTED THE NAME) ME1:49 AM I have filed appeals and gotten no help ME1:49 AM at this point we just don't want to get our account closed for a new submission ME1:49 AM the policy team does not respond Bella1:51 AM okay, I understand your concern. Bella1:52 AM However, since I am not a member of the policy team, I have no information about why your app is suspended, and how to fix it. Bella1:52 AM at this time, the only thing I can do is help you to route the case to our policy team ME1:52 AM I get tthat Bella1:52 AM I hope you can understand ME1:52 AM I want to know about account suspension ME1:52 AM I'm trying to understand what can cause a account shut down ME1:53 AM we have redesigned our app and want to resubmit it but if the policy team does not respond, what do we do? Bella1:53 AM This is still a policy issue, I can add this question in the note, and let the policy team to answer your question. ME1:54 AM Sure I guess ME1:54 AM well can you tell me what your team is able to help with? ME1:54 AM I have never gotten one question answered through this chat..... ME1:55 AM what exactly does your department help with? Bella1:55 AM most of issues about using play console. Bella1:56 AM for example, how to publish an app, how to use the app statistics.... ME1:56 AM is there any way to go above the policy team? ME1:56 AM any other team or person? Bella1:56 AM Unfortunately, no. ME1:57 AM So, I've sent them 2 appeals and about 3-4 emails and gotten no response, what do I do next? Bella2:00 AM At this time, the only thing I can do for you is to route the case to our policy team. Bella2:00 AM I have no idea what kind of decision they will make. ME2:00 AM ok, unable to answer my question? ME2:01 AM it seems like the decision is to not respond Bella2:01 AM I am not sure about that ME2:02 AM The last thing I got was after submitting the appeal it said someone will contact me within 72 hours, that was on 5/30 ME2:03 AM I have had 3 agents on chat tell me they will route my concerns ME2:03 AM Our app is a teaching tool ME2:03 AM there is no spam ME2:03 AM no posting ME2:03 AM we never even sent a push notification ME2:04 AM but we were suspended for a spam violation ME2:04 AM I filed a very very detailed appeal and there has been no response ME2:04 AM this is actually effecting our funding ME2:05 AM there has to be more that one way to get help Bella2:06 AM I understand. ME2:06 AM I'm just trying to get help here but it seems like the biggest company in the world isn't even able to try and help ME2:07 AM is there any kind of number I can call? Bella2:07 AM Unfortunately, policy team didn't provide phone support. ME2:08 AM ok, but are there any other help numbers in google, for anything else that might be able to help? Bella2:08 AM At this time, only policy team are able to help you. ME2:09 AM ok fine ME2:09 AM I get it ME2:09 AM basically no help at all ME2:09 AM Can you note that, "CUSTOMER HAS RECEIVED NO HELP AT ALL" Bella2:09 AM sure I will ME2:10 AM when you route this issue to the policy team how long is it supposed to take to get a response? Bella2:11 AM I have no idea, since I am not a policy team member ME2:11 AM ok Bella2:11 AM Is there anything else I can help you today? ME2:11 AM nope Bella2:11 AM Hope that I'm being helpful! Have a good day, bye bye! Bella2:12 AM Thanks for chatting with Google Play Developer Support today! Your chat session is now complete. Bella ended the chat ............................................................................................................... ****UPDATE: I decided to post that conversation out of frustration in the moment but since there's been so much support and feedback here's some more details. The app was suspended on 5/30, this was the email: After review, Bit Trainer – A Live Cryptocurrency Simulator, has been suspended and removed from Google Play as a policy strike because it violates the spampolicy by posting repetitive content. Next Steps
Read through the Spampolicy for more details and examples of policy violations.
Make sure your app is compliant with all other policies listed in the Developer Program Policies. Remember that additional enforcement could occur if there are further policy issues with your apps.
Additional suspensions of any nature may result in the termination of your developer account, and investigation and possible termination of related Google accounts. If your account is terminated, payments will cease and Google may recover the proceeds of any past sales and/or the cost of any associated fees (such as chargebacks and transaction fees) from you. If you’ve reviewed the policy and feel this suspension may have been in error, please reach out to our policy support team. One of my colleagues will get back to you within 2 business days. Regards, The Google Play Review Team THIS WAS MY RESPONSE: Our app was suspended for "Repetitive content violates our Spampolicy " Our app is a educational tool. It is designed to help people learn how to trade cryptocurrency without the risk. it simulates the process using real time prices. As of right now our app does not contain any posting of "content". It is currently being used in Old Dominion University as part of their crypto currency curriculum. BASED ON THE SPAM POLICY PAGE -Message Spam, does not apply becuse our app does not send SMS, email, or other messages. -Webviews and Affiliate Spam, our app does not drive affiliate traffic to a website or provide a webview of a website. every single page in our app is designed from scratch and the information provided on each page is obtained via the exchanges api based on thier guidelines. -Wizard Spam, our app was not created by an automated tool or wizard service. Again every single page was designed from scratch by our team and built the Monaca platform. -Guides, our app is not a guide and serves no ads. Our app contains 8 pages.
Watchlist, a page to add the cryptocurrencies that you want to keep track of, similar to dozens of other apps on the market like tab trader, blockfolio or cointracker.
Trading, similar to Forex Game, the main function of our app. It let's you use the credits we provide to simulate purchasing the available cryptocurrency of your choice.
Selling, where you sell what you purchased on the trading screen
Leaderboard, all users are displayed and ranked based on how well they do trading.
Wallet, this is where you see all of the currency you are holding, and your transaction history.
Global Market, This screen shows all the coins on the market based on Coinmarketcap API
Earn Credits, where you can play a simple game to earn more credit when you run out.
Coin converter, a simple calculator that let's you get the values of different currencies, no different from any other cryptocurrency converter on the market.
THEY RESPONDED WITH: Hello, Thanks for contacting the Google Play team. After review, we've confirmed our initial decision and we won't be reinstating your app Bit Trainer – A Live Cryptocurrency Simulator at this time. Repetitive content violates ourSpampolicy and is prohibited on Google Play. Developers are important partners in maintaining a great user experience on Google Play and we appreciate your cooperation. If you do choose to re-publish a new version of your app, please review the Developer Program Policiesto make sure your app is compliant with our policies. Regards,LindaThe Google Play Team After that I wrote back with a bunch of question, several times, had about 5 live chat sessions that went the exact same way. UPDATE: I sent two messages one to the general help and the second one was directly back to Linda who had responded to the first suspension appeal and here are the responses I got. FROM MY MESSAGE TO LINDA: Hi developers at Hashtiv, Thanks again for contacting Google Play Team. As much as I'd like to help, our team is unable to provide information to your inquiry. Instead, please refer to the following links for further assistance: Developer Program Policies Thank you for your understanding and continued support for Google Play. Regards, Lisa The Google Play Team AND THE OTHER: Hi there, I'm happy to help you with issues related to publishing and distributing apps through the Play Console. At this time, my team is not able to provide information about policy enforcement decisions. I forwarded your question to the appropriate team at Google, and you can expect to hear from them soon. If you have questions about using the Play Console, please let me know. Regards, Pete Google Play Developer Support Did you know we offer chat support in English? You can chat with us Monday through Friday, 12 a.m. to 12 a.m. Greenwich Time (GMT).
On Tuesday 16th July, just a few weeks ago I was invited to attend a Karatbit, Karatbars/Karatbank presentation. The presentation was touting everything including a blockchain mobile phone. Someone had approached me over the weekend to investigate an investment, they had made with Karatbit/Karatbars. I attended the presentation with some research which, to be honest, was not that favourable to the company but nevertheless still went with an open mind. KaratBank, a Singapore-based financial organization, has propelled another digital currency that it claims is bound to real physical gold. Is this a progressive thought – or a trick? KaratBank, an organization located in Singapore, has quite recently declared the dispatch of KaratBank Coins (KBC), another digital currency it said is attached to gold. Be that as it may, not just the cost of gold, as different monetary forms — to real bits of gold: they're embedded in plastic cards or banknotes. In any event, that is the way it appears upon first sight. KaratBank is a sister company of KaratBars International, located in Germany. KaratBars really sells gold in exceptionally small quantities (like 0.1g to 1g bullions), inserted into plastic cards (Karatbars) or money like notes (CashGold). The notes are famously overpriced: back when 1 gram of gold was $40, the 1g CashGold note cost $65. As per KaratBank whitepaper, 10,000 KBC can be traded for 0.1g CashGold notes. The initial coin offering kicked off earlier this year and proceeded until March 21, with the ICO starting March 22 (1 KBC = $0.05), Coin Telegraph reports. Be that as it may, KaratBars International as an organization is emphatically connected with scams. A basic search for KaratBars on Google returns three connections with the word "scam" in them on the first page. KaratBars was prohibited in Canada in 2014 over an Autorité des marchés agents (AMF) with a Scam warning. The Canadian government found that KaratBars executes some kind of multi-layered marketing (MLM), or "pyramid" scheme organisation that urged individuals to get new recruits and profit from their sales, promising a return of $15,000 to $136,000 every month. In any case, Is KaratBank is a different story? All things considered, yes and no. Upon a more intensive look at the organization's whitepaper, one finds the following: "United States of America citizens, residents (tax or otherwise) or green card holders, as well as residents of Canada, the People's Republic of China or the Republic of Singapore, are not qualified to partake in the KaratBank ICO." As indicated by the Behind MLM site, the explanation behind this may lie in the way that those nations have actualized strict regulation on ICOs, and KaratBank does not have any desire to have anything to do with them. "ICOs are not unlawful in the US or Canada. In the US, however, ICOs are ordinarily viewed as securities and require registration with the [Securities and Exchange Commission]," the site reads. "Singapore hasn't prohibited ICOs however it is one of the nations KaratBars International works in through the shell companies KaratPay and KaratBars Singapore. Singapore regulators closing those organizations down would cripple KaratBars International. The board most likely figure it's best not to take any risks." To work lawfully in any purview, KaratBars International would need to register itself with the proper securities regulator in that jurisdiction, which the organization appears to need to abstain from, raising doubts. From one's point of view what is disheartening is that blockchain is a great new technology and companies like this seem to mix their existing business with cryptocurrencies. Knowing full well that the general public does not really understand cryptocurrencies, let alone blockchain or Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). As a blockchain consultant, one feels obligated to pose some questions anyone thinking of getting involved should be asking. At the presentation, I heard the presenters say “ Karatbars is giving its members the opportunity to buy gold in small quantities. They also encourage you to save in gold instead of paper money. This can easily be done by buying as little as 0.1 gram of gold or 1 gram - 2.5 gram or 5 grams.” They said members can keep their gold in Karatbars' vault or ask them to send it to you. Cash gold is the most popular form of buying gold as the gold is embedded in a banknote. 24kt gold 99.9% pure makes it easier for anyone to accumulate wealth. Karatbars is also involved in cryptocurrency and got their own coins, namely KBC and KCB coins. I'm going to get very deep into this, but the main thing to remember is that they say, “these coins are increasing in value and that it is backed by gold”. whereas and another Cryptocurrency is backed by nothing. As a self-proclaimed proponent of blockchain and a graduate of Digital Forensics, I feel obligated to say a few words about this presentation on Karatbit or at least as a conscious citizen of this global world of technology users. Blockchain is a magnificent emerging technology that can be harnessed to do so many things. But most importantly it is a technology that provides one single source of truth. If groups are using this single source of truth technology to spread untruths, someone concerned must come out to say something. Blockchain is a technology that can put everyone on an even playing field but it seems very few understand it. The individuals with even the fleeting basic understanding can influence the general public perception of cryptocurrencies. This leads me to ask a great quote from a book called Richest Man in Babylon …. “if you want advice on investing in expensive jewels, why would you go to a butcher?” The following is what the masses are being manipulated to attach their hopes and dreams. It is that “a further drop in the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has recently left investors nursing heavy losses. Many proponents are holding out for a new breakout “if their digital assets can go mainstream.” The most important part of that statement is “if their digital assets can go mainstream”. This made me ask some questions about Karatbit and this is what I came up with. Something is fishy!! Can someone clarify the following? Claim 1: Gold mine worth $900 million provides security. Can’t find any official source as proof. Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyKQIckXyIU Claim 2: Backed by a gold mine in Africa Can’t find any official source as proof. Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5Q3ZvR4b04 Claim 3: Audit report by MM Revisors for a gold mine in Madagascar Can’t find proof that MM Revisors exists. Not sure if this report was published by Karatbars Int (can’t find it on their official website), but this is being circulated by some investors as if it were. Reference: https://karatbars-me.webnode.es/\_files/200000070-01d6002d18/audit.pdf Claim 4: Karatcoin Bank is a fully licensed crypto bank and is situated in Miami Can’t find proof that they are registered as a licensed financial institute in Miami, Florida. Can’t find Karatcoin Bank as a registered corporation, but found Karat Coin Corp. Reference: http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/SearchResults?inquiryType=EntityName&searchNameOrder=KARATBANK&searchTerm=Karatbank Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXip2Fizz5U&t=152s Claim 5: Not a pyramid scheme Karatbit describes this as an affiliate program but clearly is a pyramid scheme at best, see links below; Canada: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/karatbars-quebec-activities-covered-by-prohibition-orders-514201571.html Namibia: https://economist.com.na/43874/extra/karatbars-international-is-a-scamsays-central-bank/ Netherlands: https://www.afm.nl/en/nieuws/2014/mei/waarschuwing-karatbars Claim 6: 100KBC = 1g of Gold at $40 per gram (1 KBC = $0.40) (guaranteed) Total supply = 12,000,000,000 KBC (can’t find figures of circulating, so using supply instead) Total gold needed to cover buy back of all coins: 12,000,000,000 / 100 = 120 000 000g = 120 tons (South Africa as a whole produced 139.9 tons of Gold in 2017). Total money needed to buy back all the coins: 120 000 000g x $40 = $4.8 Billion Can’t find proof that they have 120 tons of gold in storage (or backed up by the mines as claimed) or that they are at least worth $4.8 Billion to buy the gold? Taking a more conservative approach: According to icobench.com, they raised $100 000 000 with their ICO from 60% of the total supply. Let’s assume the 60% of 12,000,000,000 is in circulation. This equals to 7,200,000,000 KBC. Total gold needed for the buyback of 7,200,000,000 KBC: 7,200,000,000 / 100 = 72 000 000g = 72 tons Total money needed to buy back all coins: 72 000 000g x $40 = $2.88 Billion Loss for buying back the KBC that were sold during the ICO: $100,000,000 - $2,880,000,000 = - $2,780,000,000 A potential loss of $2,78 Billion!!! Or am I taking crazy pills? Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgeHjhlMfn0 Reference: https://icobench.com/ico/karatgold-coin Claim 7: This Forbes.com article gives credibility to the KBC coin This article was written by a Contributor. Reference: https://www.forbes.com/sites/joresablount/2019/05/31/10-blockchain-companies-to-watch-in-2019/#308b507e543f There is no traditional editing of contributors’ copy, at least not prior to publishing. If a story gets hot or makes the homepage, a producer will “check it more carefully,” DVorkin said. Reference: https://www.poynter.org/reporting-editing/2012/what-the-forbes-model-of-contributed-content-means-for-journalism/ “Blogging for Forbes requires being what is commonly referred to as a "self-starter." So far, nobody has said, "Um, you can't do that," or, "Oh, my God, no!" Reference: https://www.forbes.com/sites/susannahbreslin/2011/04/06/how-to-become-a-forbes-blogge#231bb9972862 “Warning over 'scammers paradise' as watchdog reveals victims lost £27m to bitcoin, cryptocurrency and forex frauds last year” • Some 1,850 cases were reported to Action Fraud, a 250% increase on 2017-18 • Victims lost an average of £14,600 - with fewer than 1 in 20 getting money back • Investors are often initially told they've made a profit • They are then encouraged to put in more money - at which point the fraudsters run off with their cash Potential victims have been warned over bogus online 'get rich quick' schemes as it emerged people lost more than £27million to cryptocurrency and foreign exchange scams last year. Fraudsters promise high returns to those who invest, according to Action Fraud and the Financial Conduct Authority. Victims lost an average of £14,600 in 2018-19 and stand little chance of getting their money back. Reports of cryptocurrency and forex investment scams increased by nearly 250 per cent in 2017-18, from 530 to nearly 1,850. The scams work by criminals promoting get-rich-quick online trading platforms through social media. Posts often use fake celebrity endorsements and images of luxury items like expensive watches and cars. Beat the scammers: These then link to professional-looking websites where consumers are persuaded to invest. Often investors are led to believe their first investment has successfully returned a profit, and are then enticed to invest more money or introduce friends in return for greater profits. But the returns stop, the customer account is closed, and the scammer disappears with no further contact. 'Anyone handing over their hard-earned cash should make sure they understand what they're getting into, they've checked it's a legitimate investment, and not rely on hype and excitement from friends or social media. 'Investing isn't a get-rich-quick scheme - and anything that uses fear of missing out or requires you to invest before thinking is best to be avoided.' Those considering an investment to check the following for tips on how to avoid investment fraud at www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart. Scammers can be very convincing so always do your own research into any firm you are considering investing with, to make sure that they are the real deal. 'It's vital that people carry out the necessary checks to ensure that an investment they're considering is legitimate. UK consumers are being increasingly targeted by crypto asset-related investment scams. Certain crypto assets, like Bitcoin and Ether (also known as cryptocurrencies), are not regulated in the UK. This means that buying, selling or transferring these crypto-assets falls outside FCA remit. The same is true for the operation of a cryptocurrency exchange. However, some types of crypto-asset products may be or may involve regulated investments depending on their nature and how they are structured. For example, firms that sell regulated investments with an underlying crypto asset element may need to be authorised by the FCA to do so. In recent months, the FCA claims it has received an increasing number of reports about crypto-asset investment scams. Some of them may involve regulated activities, others don’t, but all use similar tactics. How crypto-asset investment scams work Cryptoasset fraudsters tend to advertise on social media – often using the images of celebrities or well-known individuals to promote cryptocurrency investments. In this case, laughably they said KaratBit was endorsed by Barak Obama’s sister. Who is she and what does she know about cryptocurrencies and blockchain? The ads then link to professional-looking websites. Consumers are then persuaded to make investments with the firm using cryptocurrencies or traditional currencies. The firms operating the scams are usually based outside the UK but will claim to have a UK presence, often a prestigious City of London address. Scam firms can manipulate software to distort prices and investment returns. They may scam people into buying the non-existent crypto asset. They are also known to suddenly close consumers’ online accounts and refuse to transfer the funds to them or ask for more money before the funds can be transferred. Action Fraud has also issued a warning on cryptocurrency scams. How to protect yourself Be wary of adverts online and on social media promising high returns on investments in a crypto asset or crypto asset-related products. Most firms advertising and selling investments in crypto-assets are not authorised by the FCA. This means that if you invest in certain crypto assets you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if things go wrong. The FCA doesn’t regulate crypto assets like Bitcoin or Ether which are vastly the most recognized cryptocurrencies, let alone KBC, they do regulate certain crypto-asset derivatives (such as futures contracts, CFDs and options), as well as those crypto assets I would consider securities. A firm must be authorised by FCA to advertise or sell these products in the UK – check FCA Register to make sure the firm is authorised. You can also check the FCA Warning List of firms to avoid. You should do further research on the product you are considering and the firm you are considering investing with. Check with Companies House to see if the firm is registered as a UK company and for directors' names. To see if others have posted any concerns, search online for the firm's name, directors' names and the product you are considering. If you’ve already decided you want to invest in gold, this might not be a bad company to side with. But if you’re just looking for an opportunity to earn a sustainable income and become financially independent, there are better options out there.
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