Spread Betting on Carbon Emissions

One of the options available to people spread betting in the UK is now spread betting on carbon emissions.

The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme was the world’s first large-scale emissions trading scheme and is still the largest. It was launched in 2005 to address climate change and is a major element of EU climate policy. It is a “cap and trade” system.

As of June of this year, the Scheme covered over 11,000 factories, power stations and other facilities in the 27 member states of the EU in addition to Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway. Together, these installations generate almost half the CO2 emissions of the EU and 40 percent of its greenhouse gases. Australia, one of the world’s leading emitters of greenhouse gases per capita, will join the scheme in 2015.

The cap is a limit to the quantity of greenhouse gases that can be emitted, which reflects the industry of a company. The trade aspect occurs when companies reduce emissions by more than required and can save the unused allowance for the future or sell it. If emissions are not reduced below the given limit, a penalty is imposed unless an organisation buys an allowance.

It grows ever more difficult to reduce carbon emissions. Market forces will determine whether an organisation modifies equipment or merely purchases an allowance.

There is no such thing as an experienced trader in carbon emissions. Everybody has to learn as they go along. Large investment banks including JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Barclays are said to be becoming interested in carbon trading.

The market is highly volatile and illiquid, and subject to the whims of politicians. When spread betting on carbon emissions, you should study charts to identify resistance and support levels and trend lines. You can test a trading plan on historic data and then on a demo account for a week or two.

You should keep abreast of government intervention. Periodically, auctions of carbon credits cause the market to move dramatically. It is safest to refrain from betting in the run up to an auction, but gamblers will place a bet on how they believe a government will act.

The EU recently modified its Scheme, although by less than campaigners and green businesses had demanded: the timing of auctions will be changed. After changes were announced in July, the price of carbon fell, because analysts had expected greater change. The current price is around £5.40 per tonne of carbon, well below the price of £20 to £32 believed by analysts to encourage companies to change their actions. Connie Hedegaard, the climate chief of the European commission, said further, greater reforms would be forthcoming.

Because economic activity in Europe is depressed and possibly because emissions forecasts were overstated when allocations were set, there is a surplus of carbon permits – Certificates in Emission Reductions – of six or seven percent. Many companies will pay no price for carbon emission for years. The EU could cut credits dramatically.

If alternative source of energy such as biofuels become more productive, emissions will reduce and so will the price of carbon credits.

There is, however, pressure in the other direction. The EU members, Germany, Belgium, France and Italy, have declared that they will move away from or phase out nuclear power. Throughout the EU, expensive carbon capture and storage (CCS) mechanisms will be fitted to power plants that use fossil fuels. These systems remain untested on a commercial scale.

There are people who say that within ten years, carbon will be a major, globally-traded commodity like oil.

Top Ten Places to Study Abroad

Studying abroad is a great idea on so many levels. If you’re lucky enough to get the opportunity, there are plenty of incredible cities to choose from, each offering a unique experience for the adventurous student. Here are 10 of the best in Europe.

Manchester

With the biggest student population in Europe, students are very well catered for in Manchester, with half the expense of London and twice the convenience. Manchester is home to two of the best football teams in the world and after hosting the Commonwealth Games, the sporting facilities throughout the city are excellent. Students are spoilt for choice with nights out and shopping and make sure you check out Curry Mile for the best curry this side of the Himalayas. Manchester not only has a long and illustrious musical history, with the Happy Mondays, Oasis and The Smiths to name a few, but it also remains at the cutting edge of youth culture.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam really is totally unique, where you will find canals instead of roads and the bike is king. Language will not be a problem as the Dutch speak English beautifully and everyone has heard about the liberal atmosphere and the coffee shops. If you want, ‘laid back’, there is nothing to beat it.

Barcelona

If you like clubbing and hanging out on the beach, then head straight for Barcelona. You can go clubbing until 6 every night of the week and then nurse your hangover at the open-air market, La Boqueria. Spend your days swimming in the Mediterranean, lazing on the beach or being inspired by the Gaudi architecture.

Budapest

Is spending an issue? Then Budapest is the place for you, as it’s cheap as chips for a night out. Don’t forget to check out Szimpla, the third best bar in the world, as voted for by Lonely Planet.

Munich

People in Germany love drinking beer and Munich is their unofficial capital. The best place to drink outside is the English Gardens and don’t miss ‘Surfers Wave’ or Oktoberfest, a festival dedicated to beer.

Prague

Prague has everything Budapest can offer, being a bit more Westernised, however and slightly more expensive. The Prague Beer Museum is worth a look; who knew museums could be so much fun?

Paris

Get past the snobby attitude and Paris has a lot to offer. Some excellent bands are from Paris – Daft Punk and Justice to name a couple. The French love their food and Paris has plenty to offer in terms of culture; this is the city of the Mona Lisa after all.

Dublin

Guinness tastes better in Ireland and there is live music in nearly every bar for that perfect drinking atmosphere. The Temple Bar District is the place to go and sample the famous Irish hospitality.

Malaga

On the Costa del Sol, Malaga has the beach and better weather than Barcelona, with less of the culture. Be warned, however, as you will need to brush up on your Spanish to get by here.

Ibiza

The original party island and still home to a hippy commune. Party in one of the superclubs and then watch the sunrise at Caff del Mar. You will feel like you are on a permanent summer holiday; your wallet won’t, though. Ibiza is not cheap.

Lloyd is a marketing blogger who is currently working on behalf of SO Switch, visit them if you’re thinking of travelling abroad and want to buy your travel money online.

Why It’s Important to Invest Back in Your Business

When it comes to business profits, any small business owner will tell you that they sometimes live week to week, and month to month, so that when a nice profit comes through, it can be difficult not to take it right out and use it to pay the rent or a mortgage on your house, or to buy some much needed and much overdo things like, say, groceries, or your car’s mechanical bill. That’s all good and fine, of course, but it’s also critical to invest back into your business to ensure long-term success of your company as it grows and diversifies.

In fact, it’s critical to invest in your business just so it can grow and diversify over time, and here’s why:

Investment Means Long-Run Strategy

When you invest in your business, you do so with the long run in mind. Whether that investment looks like adding employees, or developing infrastructure to better help your business run, it call comes down to one thing: making sure that, over time, your business runs much more smoothly and your company develops strongly to avoid recessions and the pitfalls of the economy.

Investing Shows You Are In It For The Long Haul There’s nothing better than a business owner who invests money back into the business, if only to show the employees, contractors, clients, and customers that he or she is here for the right reasons, and not looking out for only themselves and a big, fast payday. In fact, investing in your business in the long run can make you even stronger to close clients and loyal customers, who see your organization as the long-term go-to business to work with over time.

Investing Makes You Recession Proof

Well… almost recession proof. While we can’t guarantee you will over come every single recession or major economic obstacle thrown your way, we can guarantee that your business will become significantly stronger when it comes to dealing with economic downturn if you have invested back into it wholeheartedly. With money and assets in the business, you can ensure that you can wisely and moderately navigate through rough economic patches, and come out strongly on the other side, no matter the financial outlook or your specific industry.

In all, it’s critical to invest back into your business. Your business is not just a place where you can cash a paycheck, but a place that you can build, grow, and improve the lives of the community and your clients and customers around you. Investing in it proves you care for your company, and you want to see it do well as you move forward with your businesses goals, hopes, and dreams. Invest wisely, and good luck with your financial stakes in the company!

Energy in Canada

After Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, Canada has the third large crude reserves in the world. However, Canadians still face the energy dilemma along with the rest of the globe. There’s lack of planning on how to put the natural resources of Canada for optimal use.

Tar sand lands are going through extraction process that has a negative effect on the environment. The methods are not sustainable, and the process needs to be revised to reduce or eliminate the negative impact. Alberta Heritage Fund is an example of such processes.

Transmission of renewable energy from remote to urban areas is facing difficulty due to ageing electrical infrastructure. The demand for natural gas is expected to rise by a double amount till 2035. The demand will be composed of use of natural gas to produce local bitumen in oil sands and electricity as well as LNG (liquefied natural gas) for exports. New entrants are required for deregulation of storage services in states like Alberta. A list of energy providers for respective provinces can be obtained from the web. For example, people living in Alberta can visit websites like http://www.albertaenergyproviders.com/, while residents of Ontario check out Ontario energy providers.

A warning has also been issued by International Energy Agency that rising use of fossil energy along with planned policies will lead to severe effects on the climate. According to Megan Leslie, NDP MP (Halifax, N.S.), all the focus is on oil industry and even the investment in green technology is geared towards this particular industry. Other industries are being neglected.

The implementation of solar energy will depend upon technological investment and infrastructure changes. For reducing the harmful effects on the natural environment from traditional electricity production, solar photovoltaic energy will allow for a more sustainable production system that doesn’t compromise the well-being of the society. Solar is still an untapped and an immature area in the country, and by achieving economies of scale, the cost can be taken from within the system. The behavior of ordinary citizens, such as votes for alternative energy, and installation of solar panels, will also play a major role in determining the future of solar energy.

Wind energy has seen an investment of CAD $2.5 billion for giving electricity to 300,000 houses, with ‘per years’ employment provided of 10,500 according to CanWEA. The provinces leading the way in wind energy projects include Nova Scota, British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. CanWEA also predicts 2013 to be a record year for the wind industry in Canada.

GHG emissions are also a result of rising energy demands, and they’re expected to rise by 1.5 percent per year.

The solution lies in making adequate investments, public engagement and timely decision making. These solutions can help to overcome many challenges and expand the groundwork beyond conventional supply for improvements in energy efficiency.

Regional differences in terms of energy and efficiency need to be considered, along with the changing environment. To replace the aging infrastructure and develop new methodology, a balance will be needed between decision making and public investment. 

Net Worth TV on the Best Personal Finance Software

When it comes to tracking your finances, there are a lot of ways you can do it.  Many people still rely on balancing their checkbooks using the check register and waiting for monthly account statements to come.  But in this modern world, finance and banking moves a lot quicker.  If you want to really be up to date on your financial situation, you should really be using some type of personal finance software.

Since there are a lot of options out there, Net Worth TV with Terry Bradshaw looks at some of the best personal finance software options out there for your situation.  Whether you have a simple setup of just a checking and savings account, to whether you run your own home-based business, there is an option for you in these choices.  Here is the breakdown of the best personal finance software out there.

Quicken

Quicken is probably the most popular and most recognized name when it comes to personal finance software.  This program has a variety of features that make it conducive to both power financial users and novices alike.  There are 4 basic levels when it comes to Quicken software: Basic, Premier, Home and Business, Rental Property. 

The basic level just has options for checking, saving, and basic retirement accounts.  The premier level includes options to track your investments in detail.  The other two: home and business and rental property manager are just like they sound – they are designed for business owners or landlords. 

Quicken is great because it allows you to directly connect your banking and investment accounts to it, and the software will update them all at the touch of a button.  Net Worth TV reminds readers that convenience is key to managing your finances – nobody likes dealing with complexity. 

Once all your transactions are downloaded into Quicken, it updates your accounts and categorizes your transactions for you.  It then presents all the information into an easy to read format, so that you can really understand where all your money is going.

There are also a variety of reports and other metrics that allow you to track and plan for your finances.  You can also setup bill pay and bill reminders in Quicken to keep track of everything.  This software really sets the bar when it comes to personal finance. 

Mint

Mint was one of the first online personal finance software programs.  Very similar to Quicken, Mint allows you to keep track of all your accounts by automatically connecting to them.  Mint is different in that it keeps track of all your accounts automatically, even when you don’t log in.  Mint also tries to automatically categorize everything for you to streamline your data. 

Mint is great in that everything is automated for you, while at the same time being free.  Mint makes money by providing customers offers for products that could help them improve their financial lives. 

For example, if you input a high interest rate credit card as one of your accounts, Mint may recommend several low interest rate credit cards that you qualify for.  It is a small thing to worry about for a great piece of free software. 

Net Worth TV on Other Options

There are also many other options when it comes to personal finance software.  The Net Worth television series also wants readers to know that they can look into other software choices online.  Some of the popular ones include Adaptu and Personal Capital, but there are many more as well. 

If buying a piece of software isn’t really something that you want to do, but you still want to track your finances, many individuals also use Excel spreadsheets to track their balances over time.  It is a little more manual work, but it is much simpler in the end format than using software.  Plus, you can configure it any way you’d like. 

9 Useful Courses for Project Managers

Deciding to attend PMP courses whether you are a project manager looking for the appropriate sources of information and skills required by executives or perhaps an employer interested in gaining knowledge on how to select the personnel you are going to hire and make him/her responsible for the projects managed, is a wise decision because it shall definitely increase the knowledge about the management domain. Due to this field being so complex, the levels of experience are divided into three separate categories, as follows. The first one is about the core or essentials of management fundamentals which help establish the simplest of notions, definitions and principles. Next is the complementary category which adds another layer of information to the knowledge gained at the beginning. The last stage consists of specializing in all areas of expertise and being able to handle more than one project at a time whilst still providing top quality services.

ESI PM training focuses on the project manager’s ability to communicate and negotiate with other colleagues or senior executives. The final outcome should be a win-win situation from which everyone benefits, one way or another. Sustaining the point of view with clear arguments and concise information determines the person who does not originally agree with your statement to reconsider his/her decision and settle for an agreement.  This outcome can only be achieved as a result of practice and training so that the employee is used to such situations.

 

Project management courses in UK, focus on the theoretical aspects as well as daily situations in which managers will have to look for the best solutions. That is why training sessions are also provided for the people attending these courses. Furthermore, acting as part of a team is different from sustaining your point of view as an individual. When one speaks for himself, he/she clearly knows what the perspective is. In the case of a group, every voice and opinion has to be listened to and represented. A skilled leader should be able to collect all the information from the group, process it and then deliver the arguments in an effective and appropriate manner.

For the Fundraisers

Fundraisers are a great way to get some extra money for your organization while getting you name out into the community as well. There are plenty of fundraising ideas for nonprofits, schools and churches. Things like donation drives, walks/runs/bicycling events and raffles are great ways to raise a bit of money while getting the message of your cause into the public ears. Why are you holding the fundraiser? What is the purpose besides raising money (new connections, spreading the word, etc.)? All of these should be considerations in the event planner’s mind.

Ask for Donations

Donations are a great way to get your fundraiser off the ground. This is the most simple way of fundraising, and it has been done successfully over the years. However, instead of simply asking for money, find creative ways to match the giver and get him/her involved in something larger than both of you. Perhaps for every $500 someone donates you could match $250 in food storage supplies to a homeless shelter. A Legacy Premium supply, which boasts 100% GMO free products, can make that money go a long way.

The point is to get creative and give back to the community.

Hold an Activity Fundraiser

Activity fundraisers are anything that gets the community together for something active. This can be a walk, 5K run or a bicycle race. These events tend to attract a whole lot of people. Market it through flyers and banners within the community. Charge an entry fee for each walker/runner/bicycler. Have water and snacks for those that finish the race. Give out a trophy to the top three people. This also opens up the door for selling food, drinks and snacks as well.

Promote an Auction and Raffle

Raffles and auctions tend to attract the masses. If you have a large support group at your organization, ask them if they have anything of value they would be willing to auction off. These need to be higher ticketed items like a Timeshare or something. You can also contact local businesses and ask if they have anything they would be willing to donate to the auction. Hand out tickets to everyone that comes in the door. Then, one of your high ticket items and raffle it off at the end of the night.

Successful fundraisers give back to the people giving to you. It should be about more than simply taking their money. In what ways can you say thank you to those that gave during your fundraiser? Handing out t-shirts, providing food and planning activities are all ways to make the donator feel like their giving was worth it.

Essential Tools for a Small Office

If you’re running a small business, chances are you’re either running your office out of your own home, or in the back of a shop, with few people to help out with day to day admin. Therefore, it’s important that your office is well-equipped, to allow you time to focus on all aspects of your business. Whether you’ve already set up your office or are in the middle of planning, our guide will take you through some of the essentials.

 

Laptop

A laptop is perhaps the most important tool in your office, providing you with a portable way of managing your business. While a desktop PC can technically carry out all of the same tasks, having a laptop means that you can take it to meetings, allowing you to better record client progress and have presentations ready in seconds.

 

Storage

If your business requires you to store a lot of data, it’s worth purchasing an external hard drive to store backups of all of your files – this way you needn’t worry if your laptop is lost or broken. For less secure files, it’s also worth looking into cloud services such as Dropbox or Google Drive, as these allow you to store documents online, and access them from any computer.

 

Printers

A printer is an immensely useful tool, even in a so-called “paper free” office. Small retail businesses always benefit from till tracking and stock-taking forms, while invoices and bills are much easier to draw up when they are for the most part automated. Staff training materials are ideal for those offering a specialist service or product, making access to printed information essential.

 

Shredders

Equally important are shredders, designed to ensure security and waste management. Shred sensitive information quickly and effectively, and ensure that unnecessary pieces of paper are kept out of the way. It makes the recycling process easier, as all of your paper is in the same place, and some models such as the shredders from Ebuyer even shred credit cards and CDs, too.

 

Cordless phone

If you carry out most of your business from your office, a cordless phone is the ideal way to maintain communications while still being able to efficiently move around and carry out related tasks – this is especially useful in conference calls and when dealing with customer issues. If you’re making a lot of calls throughout the day, for example if you make sales calls, it may even be worth picking up a headset-enabled phone.

 

Master the Art of Negotiation with These 3 Simple Rules

As customers we’re sometimes not very skilled in the art of negotiation. Your average car salesman, insurance agent or mortgage lender is however and that’s why it pays to go into any negotiating situation with a few common sense tools and a little bit of inside knowledge on your side.

Rule #1- Never let the salesperson start the negotiations. It may sound silly but the person who starts any negotiation is usually the person that ends up on the better side of the deal when it’s done. If you let this crucial point slip by you‘ll find yourself constantly trying to amend the number that they want instead of negotiating on the number that you want. Remember, it is you who are making a purchase and it is you who will be spending your money for their product or service.  You control the situation and can simply end it by getting up and leaving.  Never let go of that power and you’ll always be on the winning side of any negotiation.

Rule #2 – Always get whatever you agreed upon in writing and as soon as possible.  No matter what you have negotiated the deal isn’t done until there are signatures from both you and the salesperson, in writing and on a contract.  It seems obvious but many people have put off this crucial step and ended up getting burned when an increase or change was made at the last minute to what they thought was a ‘done deal’.  Do yourself a favor and, once you’re satisfied with price and/or conditions, get them in writing.

Rule #3 – Always keep your cool and never let your emotions get the best of you.  The simple fact is this; you can always walk away. No harm, no foul.  Many things come into play at the negotiating table and emotions, as well as tempers, can be high.  If the amount of money is greater the emotions will be also.  Our best advice?  Keep cool, act authoritatively and make a decision without too much hesitation.  This will show the other side that you mean business and aren’t going to play games.

One final thing to keep in mind is simply this; the person trying to get you to agree with them is probably a nice person, as you are as well.  Respect is as important at the negotiating table as it is in any other facet of our lives.  Be kind, be respectful and be firm.  Do these things and you will always get a great price and feel good about it afterwards.

Use The Internet To Fuel Business Ideas

The Internet is a phenomenal tool, especially for entrepreneurs who are hoping to go into business for themselves or want to expand a company they have already started.

The New Sales Frontier

If you are someone who hasn’t spent much time online it might shock you to find out that there are some companies and businesses that operate solely on the web. It’s true—web based companies are the wave of the future because they are cheaper to run and can service customers all over the planet.

This is not limited to informational products, though those are the backbone to the Internet Marketing community. It is also possible, thanks to drop shippers and companies like Zazzle, CafePress, etc to sell physical products as well.

Spy on Your Future Customers

Okay, “spy” probably isn’t the nicest word to use here but it still applies. As you navigate your way through the Internet pay attention to what people are talking about—especially if they are complaining. You won’t lack for material—people love to complain about stuff online! What’s the point of reading all of the complaints and criticism? To figure out what people need! Over time you will start to see common themes develop in people’s complaints and, hopefully, you’ll have an idea for a product or service that will solve the problem they are having.

The best example of this is Michael Fertik and Reputation.com. According to the official Mike Fertik bio, Fertik saw that people were getting more and more concerned about their ability to protect their private information and reputations online. So he came up with a service that will help them solve this problem.

The Best Research Tool Ever

Do you have a great idea for a business? Look it up online and see whether or not it already exists. If you find that someone else is working along the same lines as your idea, that’s okay. In fact, it can even work out in your favor because you can see what that person has done and then make sure that your business is better. You can learn from their mistakes so that you don’t make them yourself. You can see what has worked for them and take it one step further.

If you don’t find that your idea is already being implemented that’s okay too—your business can be a pioneer in your field. There is certainly something to be said for being a novelty online. Even better, if you do well, you might get discovered by a major corporation or other type of big wig and be able to take your independent idea and turn it into a huge profit and major product. Google, for example, started out as the little guy trying to compete against big guys. MySpace spawned tons of spinoffs. John Scalzi published his first novel independently online and it did so well he’s now published several other novels under a major publisher.

The Internet is one of the best things to happen to the professional world and the indie business world. Whatever you need to know, or want to do you can find it or do it there.