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ENTREPRENEURSHIP

The Most Valuable Career Skills — And How to Develop Them

Career Skills

Though you likely haven’t thought about those New Year’s resolutions in a while, 2019 is nearly half-way over. With another lap around the sun charging fiercely ahead, it’s a good time to do a gut check on how you’re doing. What were those goals you set for yourself? Or more specifically: your career?

 

Even if you haven’t been promoted or quit your not-so-great gig (yet) — there are ways you can evolve as a professional by investing in your skill set. This forever-evolving aspect your productivity and purpose in the office includes both technical and interpersonal proficiencies, and is something to revisit at least once a year.

 

As career expert Wendi Weiner explains, “These can be a mix of soft and hard skills that lead into one’s personality as well as core skills that a professional learns on the job such as business development, sales execution, or relationship management. Career skills are industry specific but also broad in nature as skills are often transferable from one role or one industry to the next.”

As the calendar pages continue to turn, here, leading career experts provide their best recommendations for the most valuable career skills to invest in for 2019.

1. Versatility and Integrity

If there’s one certainty you can depend on, no matter what date it is, it’s change. As millennials make up more and more of the workforce, they’re challenging traditional norms and paving the way for a new definition of upward mobility.

That’s why Weiner says, more than anything, companies are looking for employees who are versatile and can roll with the punches, so to speak.

“Companies are always evolving due to a changing economy. This is extremely important for technology-based companies or startups,” she explains.

With this dynamic workforce, more and more are working remotely — whether from a WeWork or a beach in Thailand somewhere — which puts a new onus on self-motivation. Because of this, Weiner says versatility must come with an aptitude for teamwork and integrity.

“There is a need for employees to be collaborative and have a strong sense of integrity when it comes to working afar and being honest about the work being done,” she adds.

2. Relationship-building

Say what you want about the trite advice about the immense importance of building your relationships, but they’re on point.

As career expert for Monster.com Vicki Salemi explains, this soft skill impacts every aspect of your career and your ability progress. Consider how you interact with your boss, your colleagues, your employees, your clients and even virtual assistants, if they’re part of your gig.

Salemi challenges professionals to consider how well they not only nurture and build, but repair in-office dynamics. No matter if you want to move up in your current company or switch to a new one, how you create and foster relationships with others will make or break you.

After all, it’s simple: people want to work with — and hire — those they like.

 

. Creativity

Chief brand and engagement officer at EHE Health, Joy Altimare reminds professionals that creativity is part of everyone’s job description — not just writers, producers, and art directors.

As she puts it, this soft skill is rooted in your ability to think through multiple lenses when creating, building, and innovating.

“It is an inspiring concept that requires one to look beyond the fundamentals of one’s job. Don’t just think about the utility of your job, think about the contribution you’re making to the team and your organization,” she adds.

READ HOW TO START A BUSINESS

4. Running effective meetings

Lately, there’s been plenty of talk on the importance of meetings: how many are necessary to meeting goals and client expectations — and how many waste everyone’s already-limited time.

Especially for those at a manager level, exercising your best judgment rather than accepting every invite — and encouraging your employees to do the same — is a special skill for 2019, according to career expert Elizabeth Whittaker-Walker. More to the point, you should be rethinking how you approach and strategize for the meetings you do need to have.

“When meetings are absolutely necessary, it’s critical to know how long to spend on each agenda item, which things to bring up at what time, and how to effectively budget time to align on next steps, and so on,” she continues. “Part of planning an effective agenda is being clear about the goal and desired outcome, which helps you to know if a meeting even needs to happen. Could the matter get resolved via e-mail, a quick phone call or even a text message, instead?”

5. Tech Aptitude

No matter where you live or what you do, the likelihood that you’ll use a computer is pretty much a guarantee. With few exceptions, every level — from entry to executive — is expected to know their around a digital landscape.

“Employees need to have the additional training and aptitude for workforce productivity and success. This means understanding data privacy, tech, and digital marketing,” Weiner continues. “Companies are interfacing with clients online and virtually, so the ability to build strong relationships through relationship management in a virtual network is also a key skill.”

6. Organization

Ballpark: how many emails did you send and receive today? What about meeting invites? Phone calls? Have you thought about those notes you took a day ago — or typed ‘em up yet?

Most professionals feel pulled in many different directions with deliverables here and follow-ups there. Your ability to stay on top of — and better yet, ahead — of the many demands of your gig will set you apart, according to Salemi.

“It’s important to be able to prioritize work efficiently, and part of that means sorting through an influx of information,” she continues. “Productivity and time management also fall in this bucket — to succeed in 2019, know what to focus on and accomplish, especially as deadlines approach.”

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

5 Ways To Plan Your Finances In Your 20s

Elon Musk net worth

Navigating the murky waters of financial planning in your 20s is no easy task. With the economy perennially in a state of flux and debt on the rise, maintaining a healthy financial life has proven to be even more challenging. We spoke to some finance gurus and experts to glean from them the following that could throw ideas and provide some relief:

Read Top 10 Richest Men in Africa

  1. Save. This money is not for immediate use, it isn’t even for foreseeable use. This money is for the long-term, and can be diversified through a number of different investments and unit trusts. These banking faculties ensure that the money you’re putting away is reaching its maximum potential and will serve you well, when the need for it arises. The amount being saved will depend on monthly income and expenses. Increasing this as you progress to each stage of life is recommended and will serve you well when the time comes to reap these rewards.
  2. Budget. Keep track of your monthly expenses and reduce frivolous spending. A detailed review of your expenses in a month can help determine the money you need to cover it. After all essential expenses such as rent or loan repayments, the cost for essential items such as food and toiletries should be calculated next. The last to follow is optional expenses such as eating out or luxury spend. In doing this, it ensures all the important factors are covered while leaving room for the occasional splurge.
  3. Emergency funds. Life can be unpredictable. With this come unforeseen costs. To prepare for this, experts recommend creating an emergency fund. This fund is an accumulation of money that is put away to access should the need arise. It can be used on an unexpected medical emergency or sudden job loss. The creation of this ensures that debt is not incurred and long-term savings are spared. It should be placed in a bank account that is quick and easy to access so the funds are available immediately should you need it.
  4. Assets. Acquiring assets such as vehicles or property is an important investment into the future. Using the finance options available also has its benefits. Creating a positive credit score is important for anyone especially later on in life when business loans may be needed or when opening accounts. While vehicles depreciate quicker, these are assets that can be kept for years at a time and can be used as collateral for a better model when the opportunity arises. Property is also an investment and does not depreciate.
  5. Retirement funds. Time waits for no man and age catches up with us all. This is why saving for retirement is something that should be started as early as possible. Everyone wants to age comfortably. To do this, it means taking the initiative while you’re young. Over and above the pension or preservation fund being accumulated through your job, setting up a retirement annuity is also highly recommended. This ensures that either a lump sum or monthly stipend is received ensuring that you age in style.

Read How Aliko Dangote became the richest man in Africa

Being in your 20s can be exhilarating and terrifying all at once. The events of your 20s are a significant factor in how you approach the rest of your life. The one thing you want to make sure is that your finances are in order. Debt globally is the highest that it has ever been, and the economy is in recession. Preparing now makes sure that you weather the storm. With calmer seas, you’ll reap the rewards instead of being stranded with no lifeline. Let your finances be one of the things you do well in your 20s.

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ENTREPRENEURSHIP

The Key Strategy to Buying Stocks in 2021

how to buy stocks

For investors looking to grow their portfolios these days, here is a hard truth: You have limited options.

In this extended era of low rates, average interest on savings accounts is close to zero. Fixed income is not much better, with 10-year Treasurys offering well below 1%.

That’s not even enough to keep up with annual inflation, let alone grow your savings for a comfortable retirement. That leaves one primary weapon in your arsenal: Equities, or shares in publicly-traded companies.

The stock market

There is more risk involved with buying stocks than with bonds or other investments, but there is also more potential return. Looking through a long-term lens of many decades, stocks are a smart place to be – returning an average of 9.2% a year over the last 140 years, according to data from Goldman Sachs.

Compound that return over many decades of your working life, and you can see why stocks are a core component of most portfolios. They not only offer potential share-price appreciation, but income generation as well, if they provide a dividend (a regular payment to shareholders).

Using a simple growth calculator at Investor.gov, if a young saver chips in $500 monthly and enjoys 7% compounded stock returns over 40 years, that adds up to an impressive $1.2 million.

“With stocks there is a greater potential for reward, which is why they are a core part of most investors’ portfolios,” says Michael Kealy, an education coach with brokerage TD Ameritrade in Salt Lake City. “Historically they have provided returns north of other asset classes. There is more risk on the table – but there are ways to offset that risk.”

How to buy stocks:

Stocks for beginners:

Here are three steps to start buying stocks:

1. Decide between a mutual fund and individual stocks

2. Decide which stocks to own

3. Selling stocks: Consider taxes and risks

1. Funds vs Stocks

So where does a new investor begin in buying individual stocks? If your primary savings vehicle is a company 401(k), you will typically be presented with a menu of mutual funds, which are baskets of large numbers of stocks. (The exception to that rule is stock in your own company, which may indeed be offered within that plan.)

For most investors, mutual funds are the wiser path, since they offer more diversification and less risk. But if you are interested in buying shares in individual stocks, you can certainly do that elsewhere — in traditional or Roth IRAs, for instance, which are retirement accounts that let you select from a wider universe of investment options.

Stock brokers

Or you can trade stocks in a regular taxable brokerage account, at popular online brokers like TD Ameritrade, Merrill Edge, E*Trade or Schwab. Many investors these days are even gravitating towards apps like Robinhood, which appeal to the mobile and tech-savvy mindset of younger savers.

Every brokerage offers its own educational tools, which new investors should take full advantage of.

“Whatever platform you are using, there will be a comprehensive set of research to help you make the most informed decision possible,” says Aron Levine, Bank of America’s President of Preferred and Consumer Banking and Investments. “You have to educate yourself, because you don’t want to pick stocks based on the latest rumor in the news or what you heard in the hallways.”

How to buy stocks online

Before selecting a brokerage, do your due diligence and look into fee structures, like how much they charge you to make a trade. It could be zero — in other words commission-free — at some online brokers, or it could be a modest amount like $15 or $20.

Just keep in mind that if there are fees associated with trading, frequent buying and selling will eat into your overall returns. Even if those costs seem small at first, they can add up in a big way: In fact one well-known study found that frequent traders underperformed the broader market by 6.5%, largely because of trading costs.

Part of that market lagging is that individual investors are just not skilled at successfully timing the market. We react emotionally instead of rationally, buying when stock prices are too high and selling when they are too low. So for most investors, a Warren Buffett-like buy-and-hold strategy is usually the better way to go: Purchase shares in a company you believe in, at a reasonable price, and then leave it alone and watch it grow.

2. How to pick the right stocks

How do you go about deciding which shares to buy? That’s the million-dollar question, and an inherently personal one, to which no one can give you the answer. But two typical schools of investing thought are “growth” versus “value.”

Growth stocks tend to look more expensive when compared to their current earnings, but their future potential as an expanding business justifies the higher price. Think of prominent technology companies, which have typically looked very pricey in recent decades, but have grown by leaps and bounds – and rewarded investors handsomely.

“How much growth is anticipated, should be one of your very first considerations,” says TD Ameritrade’s Kealy. “You want to see future expected earnings that are well above the past, and to find that out you can research earnings estimates from company analysts.

“When looking for attractive investments, one conventional valuation metric is price relative to earnings (P/E ratio): How much share price am I spending, compared to future earnings?”

That’s where the alternate approach of “value” investing can come in. For any number of reasons – like a broader economic slowdown, or disappointing quarterly results, for instance — a stock may be beaten down at the moment, but as a result it is on sale. Snap up that discount, wait for a rebound, and you should be well-positioned for solid returns going forward.

Another key metric to consider is dividend payout. In that way stocks can be an ongoing source of income, especially for those nearing retirement who would like an additional stream of cash in addition to pensions or Social Security. The average yield of S&P 500 stocks is around 1.5%, but if you pick and choose wisely, many companies are offering 3% or more – which far exceeds what most fixed-income products are offering at the moment.

3. Sell stocks

If you do pick a stock winner, congratulations – but just remember that in taxable accounts, Uncle Sam will want his taste. Short-term gains are taxed at ordinary income rates, while longer-term holdings fall under the capital gains rates of 0%, 15% or 20%, depending on income level. There are no capital gains taxes for buying and selling within traditional IRAs, although eventual distributions are taxed as regular income. Roth IRA investment gains are entirely tax-free, since the initial contributions were after-tax.

Another caveat about investing in individual stocks: Even if you are talking about big, well-known companies, there is a fair amount of risk involved here. As we saw during the financial crisis of 2008-9, unexpected events can take down respected and long-standing firms – and if they crash out, your investment can go to zero.

“Especially in the last six months, there has been a big rush into equities, with young investors getting excited by single stocks,” cautions Bank of America’s Levine. “That creates a great deal of risk, because those investments can go rapidly up or down, with nothing to balance them out.”

One strategy to reduce risk can be to limit such speculative stock picking to a relatively small percentage of your portfolio, while devoting the rest to broader mutual funds and other asset classes like fixed income. That overall balance should steady the ship during market storms, and prevent dramatic swings and rash decisions.

You can also try your hand at stock picking by using a practice account, or what is called “paper trading”. TD Ameritrade, for instance, has a platform called Thinkorswim where new traders can get familiar with how the process works, without putting any actual money on the line.

“It’s basically Monopoly money, and you can see what plays out without it being a live account,” says Kealy. “It’s a good way to practice and build confidence, because education is so important for investors who are dipping their toes in for the first time.”

Source: Money

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Richest Woman in Namibia

richest woman in Namibia

Who is the Richest Woman in Namibia

Monica Geingos is the richest woman in Namibia

Monica Geingos is a Namibian entrepreneur, lawyer, and First Lady of Namibia since 2015. She has been a board member and director within many of the country’s large companies. She had also chaired the Presidential Economic Advisory Council.

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Geingos married the then-President-elect of Namibia, Hage Geingob, on February 14, 2015, shortly before he was sworn into office. She has served as First Lady since March 2015.

career

 she was voted one of the 12 most influential people of Namibia, and in 2020 she was in the list of 100 most influential African women. Geingos is a graduate of the University of Namibia, and spent the early part of her career working for the Namibia Stock Exchange (NSX) in Windhoek. Geingos served as Chairman of the Board of eBank Namibia and is the managing director of the financial undertaking Stimulus, and General Director of Point Break.

Richest Woman in Namibia

Monica Geingos is arguably the richest woman in Namibia. She founded the Economy Foundation in 2016.

Read Michael Amushelelo net worth

Promising to give away all her wealth – estimated at $3 million – to charity when she dies, Monica Geingos is on a mission to change the image of African first ladies and tackle sexism and inequality in Namibia, the world’s second most unequal country.

Geingos married Hage Geingob on Valentine’s Day in 2015 – a month before he was sworn in as president of the southern African desert nation, which gained independence from apartheid South Africa in 1990 but remains starkly unequal.

The couple then voluntarily declared their combined assets of some 110 million Namibian dollars ($7.44 million), a popular move in a continent where politicians and their wives, like Zimbabwe’s Grace Mugabe, grab headlines over unexplained riches.

About 6% of Namibia’s 2.5 million people are white. They dominate businesses and land ownership, a legacy of German and South African colonial rule, along with a growing black elite.

Read Richest Man in Namibia

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