The Incredible Growth of Fintech (infographic)

The name Fintech was coined by merging two words: finance and technology. With the evolution of every aspect of society, it wasn’t a surprise that modern technology would find its way in finance as well. The latest technological breakthroughs are used in banking, investing and cryptocurrencies.

The financial crisis in 2008 opened the doors for novel ways of providing financial services. The investment in Fintech in the same year was $930 million and in the next 7 years it increased to more than $22 billion. This shows the huge growth of the new financial industry which specializes in areas such as insurance, trading, and risk management.
The major characteristic which attracts customers is that the products and services that these firms offer are cheaper and more innovate that those by traditional banks.

One of the innovations is that many of the companies have shown interest in cryptocurrencies in the past years. Fintech uses software because it is mainly based of digital information. In turn, this makes it vulnerable to hacking attacks, which is why the leading companies opted to using cloud computing as a new solution for data security. Such example is Expedia which was one of the first to adopt Bitcoin when it partnered with Affirm.

Even though Fintech companies experience a rapid growth, it is unlikely that in the foreseeable future they will be able to “kill off” traditional banks. At the very least, the banks are trying to stay in touch with modern technologies, despite their rigid structures.
Take a look at the infographic below which has many statistics that will help you understand the incredible growth of Fintech.

Growth of fintech infographic

Love Money? 4 Careers Where You Can Make Money From Money!

For most people, dealing with money and paying bills is a total drag. Everything in life costs money if you hope to survive it, and so it makes sense to learn everything you can about money management and budgeting, so that you don’t land in a sticky situation. While you’re learning about money management, you may develop a total love for dealing with money and find you have a knack for mathematics that makes learning about money easy.

Love Money? 4 Careers Where You Can Make Money From Money! - calculator and accounts image

Image Source

There are many careers out there that are considered by people in all walks of life, but finance is often one of them. The thing is, jobs such as accountancy and banking often come with a stigma of being boring – which is definitely not the case! There is so much more to working in finance that the Ebenezer Scrooge character of Dickens novels conjures, and you don’t have to be bored when it comes to your job in finance. The career progression and educational opportunities, such as an online MBA program in finance, can take you far further than a basic position in the finance industry. With the wealth of opportunities before you, it makes a lot of sense to begin researching which awesome careers you can gain in the money sector. After all, what better way to make money, than by working with money!?

If you want a job that is interesting, financially flush and can take you places in the business world, check out the careers options ahead for you!

Love Money? 4 Careers Where You Can Make Money From Money! - monthly budget image

Image Source

  1. Investment Banker. You’ve seen them in their suits rushing from the commute in the city. Sharp and focused, investment bankers work with people and organizations to help raise a lot of money by selling equity and sometimes bonds. The firm you are with will depend on whether you are working in an advisory capacity to your clients, or whether you work in a more niche role. Either way, it’s a day job that comes with a lot of surprises!
  2. Financial Analyst. Those who love a puzzle will love this one, as the job involves determining the best investment strategies for the company you work for. Financial analysis is a skill that is in high demand and the salaries that can be commanded are attractive – you can read more about those here.
  3. Chief Financial Officer. Being in charge in a management position is something that most people aspire to get to, and a CFO leads and manages the financial dealings of a large company. It’s a position of trust where you have to track the company profit and loss and have an opinion on what can make the company more profitable.
  4. Accountant. This is a very common and very popular financial position that can be targeted toward your specific interests. It’s a brilliant skill to have, even if you don’t work in the financial sector and you have a wide range of opportunities in front of you with this one.

Ultimately, you have to choose a career that’s going to get your juices flowing – make it a good one!

How To Prepare for a Disaster

We all hope it wont happen to us, but every year thousands of people are affected by natural and man made disasters. This article explores some great advice about how you can be prepared.

If you are a senior or care for a senior, a disaster is one of your worst fears. Whether it’s a natural disaster like a hurricane or flood, or man-made disaster like a nuclear disaster, it’s a terrifying experience.

So many things to think about. Who needs to be contacted? If you need to evacuate, where do you go? How do you remember everything to bring? What about emergency medical needs? It can feel overwhelming, leading you to not do anything.

It doesn’t need to be that way. By following a simple set of instructions, you can be prepared for almost any disaster. It won’t necessarily make things easier, but it will make it safer and set your mind at ease.

Here are 11 ways for seniors to prepare for disasters. These steps will help you be ready for anything you may confront.

How to be prepared for a disaster - emergency kit image

#1 – Learn In Advance

Long before any disaster occurs, you need to know the possibilities. First, do some research about natural disasters that could occur in your area. For example, if you live on the west coast, earthquakes are a distinct possibility. If you live on the Gulf Coast, hurricanes are a semi-regular occurrence. If you live in the midwest, you’re vulnerable to tornadoes. If you live in the far north, snowstorms can be a problem.

If you or a family member has a particular medical condition, that should be taken into account as well. If you live in an older home, consider things like house fires and gas leaks.

Knowing what may happen allows you to prepare effectively.

#2 – Create An Escape Route

If a disaster occurs or is going to occur, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll need to escape the area quickly to prevent injury. If you don’t know the route you’ll take in advance, there’s a chance you could get caught in long traffic lines or use roads that aren’t available. If your community has a prepared escape route, familiarize yourself with that.

The same goes for the home. In the event of a fire or other home emergency, every family member needs to know the proper escape route. If you can’t move without help or are caring for someone in that position, that also must be accounted for. The last thing you want to happen is for someone to be trapped inside a burning house or left behind.

Finally, there should be an established meeting place for everyone once they escape the house to ensure that all are safe.

You may want to consider buying the appropriate equipment, such as ladders or instruments for breaking windows.

#3 – Get To Know The Community

In addition to knowing potential disasters that could strike your area, you should also know ways your community is prepared for disaster. Ask for information regarding:

  • The local radio station where emergency information will be broadcast.
  • The locations of local disaster shelters.
  • The community warning systems, such as sirens.
  • Transportation methods for those without vehicles.

This information is especially important if you live alone and don’t have anyone nearby to care for you in the event of a disaster.

#4 – Establish Points Of Communication

In the event of a disaster, you want to know who will be checking in on you. If you’re caring for someone, you want them to have the knowledge that you will make sure they’re okay. The worst case scenario is you or someone you love being trapped or in danger and no one knowing it.

Create a check-in plan that will keep everyone in regular communication. Establish times when contact will be made. Also, create a plan in the event that someone fails to check in. This will ensure that everyone knows all essential information in the event of a disaster.

#5 – Prepare An Emergency Kit

An emergency kit contains all that you need to survive during and after a disaster. This kit should be assembled well in advance and contain all the necessary items to ensure survival and treat medical emergencies. Everyone should know where the kit is.

At a minimum, the kit should include:

  • A three day supply of water, assuming one gallon per person per day
  • A three day supply of non-perishable food.
  • A flashlight and batteries
  • A first aid kit
  • Basic hygiene items
  • Waterproof matches
  • Blanket
  • Copies of all essential information, such as identification and credit cards
  • Cash and coins
  • Basic cooking utensils
  • A multi-purpose tool
  • A cell phone charger
  • A whistle
  • Any special items, such as medication, glasses, hearing aid batteries, etc.

This kit should regularly maintained. Batteries should be replaced once per year, cell phone chargers should be updated to the current model, photocopies should be updated when new cards are acquired. Throw out damaged cans and place boxes in tight containers. If possible, the entire kit should be stored in an airtight, waterproof container.

Forgetting to keep your kit updated can render some items useless.

#6 – Create Emergency Contact Cards

Every person in the family should have an emergency contact card. The card should be kept in an easily accessible place, like a wallet or purse, and should contain the following information:

  • Medications
  • Allergies
  • Blood type
  • Immunizations
  • Adaptive equipment (pacemaker, etc.)
  • Communication difficulties
  • Emergency contact information

If you or the person you’re caring for gets hurt, this will allow strangers to effectively care for them.

#7 – Take A Home Inventory

If your home is damaged or destroyed, you’ll need to file insurance claims. The insurance company will want to know what was damaged and will then recompense you accordingly. Without some sort of formal home inventory, there’s no way to remember all the items in your home.

Create a home inventory list, print it out, and then store it in a safe place. If you are tech savvy, you can also take photos and then use an online service to store them.

#8 – Know CPR

Disasters can result in a variety of literally heart-stopping conditions, whether that’s a heart attack or an injury. In these cases, it’s essential that someone in the house know the proper way to perform CPR. Ideally, you should also have an automated external defibrillator (AED) and have at least one person who knows how to use it. Both of these things can be absolutely lifesaving.

#9 – Check and Maintain Fire Extinguishers

In the event of a house fire, fire extinguishers will be the first line of defense. However, it’s not enough to just purchase them – they need to be regularly checked. Pay careful attention to the expiration dates and test them once per year to ensure they’re still working properly.

If you don’t feel comfortable performing this task, considering hiring a professional safety company to maintain all your extinguishers.

#10 – Copy Essential Documents

Important documents like your driver’s license, SSN card, passport, will, deeds, financial statements, and insurance information should be copied and then put in a safe, offsite location. Consider using a safe deposit box or someone you trust with such information.

#11 – Take Note Of Any Special Needs

If you or someone you are caring for has disabilities or special needs, these need to be carefully considered. These special needs include:

  • Wheelchairs – You’ll need a special route to evacuate with a wheelchair, as well a way to transport the wheelchair. If you use a motorized wheelchair, you’ll need to think about backup batteries or a backup wheelchair.
  • Visual difficulties – If you’re blind or visually impaired, keep a cane with a whistle attached to it close by. Also, remember that your escape route from your home or building may have become blocked or littered with debris.
  • Hearing impaired – Those with hearing challenges need to include extra hearing aid batteries in the emergency kit. They must be able to be located quickly after a disaster occurs.


A disaster may be your worst nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. The key is to prepare well in advance, and then stay prepared as a disaster approaches. Don’t panic, but stay calm. Trust your preparation, trust your emergency kit, and trust those on your contact list.

Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Thankfully, this won’t be the case for you. By preparing, you are preventing yourself from failing. The worst may come, but you’re ready for the worst. That makes all the difference.

Reproduced with permission from John Hawthorn from his original post at

Don’t Apply For That Job Just Yet

Don't apply for that job just yet - job application image

Image source

Hunting for a job is one of the testing and trying times of any person’s professional career. It takes persistence, concentration, and steadfast optimism, and that is because you are going to trawl through pages and pages on job sites and receive rejection and rejection. It takes serious courage and determination to keep your chin up.

But eventually you’ll find a job pop-up, and you’ll wonder how you didn’t find it before now. It is a company you’d absolutely love to work for. You seem to tick all the requirements they are looking for in a candidate. It is within the right salary range. Everything seems to be a great fit and you suddenly feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

However, before you jump the gun and send an application off without being ready, here are a few things you need to do first:

Don't apply for that job just yet - interview image

Image source

Improve Your Online Profile

It is common knowledge that, when you apply for a job, the first thing the hiring manager and HR department is going to Google your name. They are going to look at your LinkedIn page, your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and why wouldn’t they? You would do the same thing. This isn’t to assess whether you drink occasionally, it is more to see if there is anything they should be wary of. It means looking at how up to date your profiles are and about how seriously you’ll take the role. It is about whether your personality will be a good fit.

Do Your Own Googling

Do not apply for a job without swatting up on everything there is to know about the company you are applying to. You’ve spend ages searching for a job, so you may as well spend ages making sure you know all you can about the job. It may be that you don’t need to exercise your newly gathered knowledge. However, it might be that you do, and you don’t want to seem unprepared. Pay special attention to the company’s career page so that you can see what they are looking for and what their ethos is. Look at their blog. Read any news articles you can find. Look at who is on the board. Check out the company’s journey. The more you can arm yourself with – the more you seem like you care – the better your chances of succeeding.

Do A Background Check On You

Any respectable and thorough employer will do a background check on you, so make sure there is nothing out there that could come back and sting you unexpectedly. If there is any niggling feeling at the back of your skull or a quiet whisper in your head that keeps asking do I really have a warrant out on me, then make sure you get it checked out so that you know for sure. You don’t want to find out during the interview process that there is a problem with your history, especially one you can’t explain.

Bespoke Your Application

A generic application is so obvious to anyone that has looked at more than 5 CVs. So make sure you tailor your entire application to the job role at hand. You don’t want to find your dream job, but miss out because of laziness. Yes, it is hard work tailoring each and every cover letter, and each and every CV, but it will be worth it in the end.


Funeral Costs: Alternative Fundraising

funeral costs - rose image


The loss of a loved one is never a good time, and it can be even more stressful if you have to try and find the finances to make sure that you give your loved one the funeral they deserve. There are many financial worries, but it can feel a bit of pressure to get the funds, and especially if you are wracked by grief. If you have any concerns about ever having to raise money for a funeral, there are some options available to you.

There are different ways we can raise money in the social media age, and although it may not sound like a sensitive option, you can start a Kickstarter or GoFundMe campaign if you are really desperate for the funds. It has been known to be an option for people who have nowhere else to turn, and because of the sensitive nature of the subject, people are willing to donate, which is a great relief. There are other options available to you that are considered an alternative route. It can be a stressful time, but depending on the cause of death, you may be entitled to a payout from the parties responsible, and there are firms like Krebs Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys who can work with people to recover the funds they are owed after negligence or an accident. The funds that are paid out would be enough to cover the costs of the funeral. If there is no option to fund a funeral, the local council or the hospital may be able to arrange a funeral service. The stipulations of this are that the service tends to be a cremation, and the service date is chosen for you and is usually shorter than the average funeral service. These are, of course, downsides if you planned on having a specific type of send-off.

If you are in a partial financial position to pay for the funeral and there are funds in the estate of the deceased party, you could claim it from the estate afterward. However, you should check to see if the money can be reclaimed from the estate first because it might not be possible. Another option would be to access the funds from the deceased’s account. This needs to be done as legally as possible because it could be perceived as an act of fraud. It is a delicate matter because when a person dies, their account tends to be frozen unless it is a joint account. But it is possible to ask the bank to release funds if you have ID and a copy of the death certificate, but it is down to the discretion of the bank, and this may only be granted if there is no formal will in place.

Apart from the standard methods, there are some alternate ways of paying for a funeral, as outlined. The stress and heartache of a situation like losing a loved one can be made worse by going through things like probate and arranging the funeral, but there are some options available if worse comes to worse.