CHRISTMAS SHOPPING STRATEGY

Here are some tips on how you can prevent overspending by creating and implementing a realistic, achievable Christmas spending plan with a bit of heart and warmth.

1. Set your budget allocation

Firstly, consider how much you have available to spend during the festivities. Will you be hosting Christmas dinner or New Year’s Eve? Are you planning a Christmas holiday get-away? Are there family festive day outings that you will be going to? Will you be taking advantage of the Boxing Day sales? Does your income allow for these circumstances?

These are questions you should ask yourself to work out how many functions you can afford to attend. You’ll need to create a personal budget allowance while also setting a budget for gift giving.

You also need to consider the miscellaneous costs, such as taxi fares, gift cards, eating out, party accessories, and food or drinks you will take to social events.

If you must tap into your savings, know the exact amount you will be withdrawing and write a plan on how you propose to put the money back into your savings account once Christmas is over.

2. Be realistic with gift giving

Chasing the perfect gift for loved ones is hard, especially if you have so many. Make a list of the names of people you wish to purchase gifts for and allocate a certain amount for each in accordance to your gift-giving budget.

Let older children know their allocated budget and choose their own presents within that price range – a great lesson for children as they mature into adulthood.

Alternatively, everyone loves a little Secret Santa game with work, friends or family. Set a small budget between you and you’ll be surprised at what hilarious items you can buy for your secret friend.

Perhaps you could also give people a listening ear this Christmas? Quality time is an excellent gift and too often it is overlooked, especially at this time of year where many people find themselves spending Christmas alone. Take the time to have a tea or coffee with a neighbour or friend.

3. Write a list for your Christmas food shop

Before you get lost in the midst of Christmas shopping and sales, ensure your Christmas dinner menu is set with a full shopping list beforehand.

I would recommend doing your food shopping online as supermarkets are geared to make you buy impulsively in-store with their “offers”.

Not only will you be prepared for a great Christmas dinner on time, you avoid the mayhem and long queues filled with last minute shoppers.

If you do plan on going to the local supermarket, withdraw the budget allowance in cash as it is easier to keep track of your money. Leave your credit cards at home to avoid accumulating debt you would need to pay off in January.

4. Recycle outfits and make your own decorations

No matter your income, saving money is a great feeling. Have a deep look inside your wardrobe and recycle clothing for your Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties with added new accessories – it’s cheaper than buying a whole new outfit.

Is it time for new Christmas décor? Why not visit charity shops or car boot sales for second hand Christmas decorations? You’ll be getting a bargain while supporting your local charity. Or better yet, create your own handmade decorations and involve children in the making; it’s fun and it’s quality time well spent.

5. Start January on the right footing

Just when the Christmas and New Year’s festivities are over, January begins with new overspending temptations – the January sales. Although the sales are a great way to take advantage of slashed prices, you should first ensure you have put aside the right amount of money needed to pay January’s bills and miscellaneous costs. Doing this gives you peace of mind while you participate in the rush to find the best deals.

Are there some items in particular you would like to purchase during the sales? Then create a wish list beforehand and stay within budget. Avoid going into all the stores and only go into shops that stock items from wish list.

One of the best ways to start the New Year with a real bang is to stick to your Christmas spending plan. There is a great feeling of accomplishment when sticking within your budget, setting off the New Year on a positive note.

Consider creating a personal financial game plan for the rest of the year and see where your money can take you.

Don’t let the commercialised Grinch steal this Christmas but enjoy its true meaning of love, joy and peace.

TECH STOCK 2020

Tech stocks have been massive wealth creators over the years. Stocks like Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon have generated huge returns. Tech stocks have a high beta, which means they outperform indices in a bull run but are also subject to volatility in a downturn.

We know the yield curve has inverted. The yield curve has been a recessionary indicator for five decades now. The inverted yield curve tends to precede a recession by 12 to 24 months. So investors still have time to play the market, and they can pick tech stocks with significant upside potential. Here we look at three tech stocks trading at attractive valuations. All three should move higher before the next recession annihilates the stock market.

Amazon, a giant among tech stocks

Yes, Amazon (AMZN) is still trading at a cheap valuation despite gaining 454% in the last five years. This tech heavyweight continues to fire on all cylinders. It’s expected to grow sales 19.8% in 2019 and 18.9% in 2020. While earnings per share are expected to grow 17% this year, they should grow by a robust 40.8% in 2021 and at an annual rate of 83% over the next five years.

Compare these numbers to Amazon’s forward PE multiple of 55x. You can see that the stock has significant upside potential. Amazon should continue to gain traction in the highly profitable cloud business. And the company’s eyeing e-commerce expansion in emerging economies. It might very well be the first public company to be valued at $2 trillion.

RBC Capital has increased its 12-month price target on Amazon from $2,600 to $2,250. The investment bank is optimistic about Amazon’s one-day delivery for its Prime members. Over 90% of analysts covering AMZN recommend a “buy.” They have a 12-month average price target of 2,269 for Amazon, which indicates upside potential of 23.7%.

AMZN stock has gained 22% year-to-date. It’s trading at $1,835 per share.

Alibaba, a Chinese monolith

China’s (FXI) Alibaba (BABA) is a stock that has outperformed the broader indices since its IPO. The Alibaba stock has returned over 100% since it was publicly listed in September 2014. After a disappointing 2018, Alibaba has made a strong comeback and gained 30% year-to-date.

While China’s economy is in a slowdown, Alibaba investors will be banking on high growth in e-commerce to drive sales. Alibaba has plenty of growth drivers since China’s middle class will continue to expand—as will the country’s internet users and consumer spending over the next few years. The stock will also get a boost if the trade war comes to an end or if tensions manage to recede, according to this Investor Place report.

Alibaba’s sales are expected to rise 30.4% to $71.38 billion in 2019 and 29.2% to $92.21 billion in 2020. Analysts expect earnings per share to rise 22.2% in 2019 and 25.7% in 2020. Alibaba stock is trading at a forward PE multiple of 20, and we can see that it’s undervalued, given the company’s growth rates.

Currently, 98% of analysts covering Alibaba recommend a “buy.” They have a 12-month average target price target of $222 for the stock, which indicates upside potential of 25%.

Autodesk, another strong bet

Autodesk (ADSK) stock has gained 173% over the last five years. The stock is up 14.3% year-to-date. Despite the impressive returns, ADSK investors have lost 15.5% since July 2019. Autodesk announced its second-quarter results for fiscal 2020 last week. It also reported revenue of $797 million, a rise of 30% year-over-year.

ADSK shares have seen a pullback recently. The company lowered its EPS estimates for 2020. Investors chalked up the revised outlook to trade tensions and macro uncertainty. ADSK stock is trading at a cheap valuation, and it should move higher over the next 12 months.

Autodesk’s sales are expected to rise 26.7% to $3.26 billion in 2020 and 21.8% to $3.96 billion in 2021. Analysts expect earnings per share to rise 173.3% in 2020 and 63% in 2021. Autodesk stock is trading at a forward PE multiple of 32.6x, and you can see that it’s grossly undervalued, given the company’s growth rates.

Currently, 82% of analysts covering Autodesk recommend a “buy.” They have a 12-month average target price target of $174 for the stock, which indicates upside potential of 18.4%.

Tech stocks for rising uncertainty

These tech stocks are a safe bet, given the market uncertainty and rising trade tensions between the US and China. We’ve seen tech stocks rally significantly before a recession only to undergo a massive correction when the economy tanks.

On September 4, cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks (PANW) reported its fourth-quarter and fiscal 2019 financial results. The company reported Q4 revenues of $805.8 million, a YoY (year-over-year) rise of 22%. This was higher than the consensus estimate by $2.24 million.

PANW also reported non-GAAP EPS (earnings per share) of $1.47, a YoY rise of 9.7%. This is higher than the consensus estimate by $0.05. The company’s GAAP EPS of -$0.22, however, missed the consensus estimate by $0.22.

According to Palo Alto Networks’ fourth-quarter earnings press release, billings represent an important metric for the company, including product revenues and subscription and support revenues. In the fourth quarter, the company reported total billings of $1.06 billion, a YoY rise of 22.5%.

In fiscal 2019, Palo Alto Networks reported revenues of $2.90 billion, a YoY rise of 27.5%. The company reported non-GAAP EPS of $5.45, a YoY rise of 29.8%. The company also reported total billings of $3.49 billion in fiscal 2019, a YoY rise of 22.2%.

Yesterday, Palo Alto Network stock closed at $200.49, 0.68% higher than its previous closing price. The company’s stock is currently trading at $214.95, 7.11% higher than the previous closing price. To learn more about the company’s performance in yesterday’s after-market trading session, please read Why Is PANW Stock Gaining in After-Hours Trading?

Analysts’ recommendations for Palo Alto Networks

The 37 analysts tracking Palo Alto Networks have an average target price of $264.18 on its stock. This indicates a potential upside of 22.1% in the next 12 months based on the current trading price.

Today, BMO Capital Markets and Maxim Group reiterated their “outperform” ratings and set a target price of $245 for the stock. Maxim Group also reiterated its “buy” rating and raised its target price from $304 to $316. On August 20, Bank of America/Merill Lynch reiterated its “buy” rating and raised its target price from $275 to $307.

Market opportunity

According to IndustryARC, the global cybersecurity market was worth $140 billion–$150 billion in 2018. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound average growth rate) of 8% from 2019 to 2025.

According to Palo Alto Networks’ fourth-quarter earnings presentation, the cloud security market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 21.2% from 2018 to 2022. According to Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research, the public cloud disruption opportunity could exceed $850 billion in 2022 and about $1 trillion in 2023. Plus, Palo Alto Networks expects the cloud security market to grow in line with the overall public cloud market.

In its fourth-quarter earnings presentation, the company has estimated the TAM (target addressable market) in enterprise and cloud to be worth $72.6 billion in 2022. This is significantly higher than the company’s TAM of $19.1 billion in 2017.

Palo Alto Networks expects its network security TAM and automation opportunity TAM to be worth $26.5 billion and $14.1 billion, respectively, in 2022. Palo Alto Networks estimated its cloud security TAM and automation opportunity TAM to be worth $7.8 billion and $4.1 billion, respectively, in 2022.

By 2022, Palo Alto Networks expects its endpoint protection, analytics, and automation TAM to be worth $13.1 billion. It expects its automation opportunity TAM to be worth $7.0 billion in 2022.

Market growth rates

Palo Alto Networks forecast a 9.2% CAGR for its overall TAM from 2018 to 2022. The company expects its cloud security TAM and network security TAM to grow respective CAGRs of 21.2% and 6.9% from 2018 to 2022.

The company expects its endpoint protection, analytics, and automation TAM and its Future Security Automation TAM to grow CAGRs of 10.2% and 8.4%, respectively, from 2018 to 2022.

Long-term revenue and billing targets

In its fourth-quarter earnings presentation, Palo Alto Networks guided for fiscal 2020 revenues of $3.4 billion–$3.5 billion and fiscal 2022 revenues of $5.0 billion. This implies a CAGR of 20% from fiscal 2019 to fiscal 2022.

Plus, the company guided for total billings of $4.1 billion–$4.2 billion in fiscal 2020 and around $6.0 billion in fiscal 2022. This implies a CAGR of 20% from fiscal 2019 to fiscal 2022.

According to its fourth-quarter earnings presentation, Palo Alto Networks has focused on positioning the firewall as a platform to integrate and simplify security. The company’s next-generation firewalls offer customers subscriptions for features such as threat prevention, URL filtering, Global–Protect, WildFire, and DNS Security.

The company plans to integrate IoT (Internet-of-Things) security in its firewall platform from 2020 to 2022. Notably, Palo Alto Networks expects its firewall platform billings to rise at CAGR of 23% from 2019 to 2022. This is lower than its CAGR of 27% reported from 2017 to 2019.

Palo Alto Networks’ next-generation security business, comprising its Prisma and Cortex platforms, reported billings of $452 million in fiscal 2019. This accounted for 13% of the company’s total billings.

The company expects next-generation security billings to be worth $800 million–$810 million in fiscal 2020 and $1.75 billion in fiscal 2022. As a result, this implies a CAGR of 57% from fiscal 2019 to fiscal 2022.

The company expects its next-generation security business billings to be around 30% of the company’s billings in fiscal 2022. Plus, PANW guided for next-generation security business revenues of $1.0 billion in fiscal 2022.

Margin and cash flow targets

In its fourth-quarter earnings presentation, Palo Alto Networks set the target for a long-term operating margin of more than 25%. The company has guided for an investment of $100 million–$125 million in its next-generation security business in fiscal 2020. Subsequently, the company expects to report operating margin leverage of 150 basis points each in fiscal 2021 and fiscal 2022.

In fiscal 2019, Palo Alto Networks reported adjusted FCF (free cash flow) of $1.06 billion. The company expects to generate adjusted FCF of around $4.0 billion by fiscal 2022. Plus, the company also set a long-term FCF margin target of more than 30%.

CARA DELEVINGNE TAKES EARNINGS CROWN

Cara Delevingne has earned the title of the UK’s highest paid supermodel by raking in a staggering £21.5million in the last year.

The catwalk queen, 27, has earned over double the salary of her closest competitors, including Kate Moss, 45, who made £9m, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, 32, who took home £8m. 

Multi-talented Cara, has nearly doubled her income in the past 12 months with her range of endeavours which has seen her making £59,164 per day via her company, Cara & Co.  

Making bank: Cara Delevingne, 27, has earned the title of the UK’s highest paid supermodel by raking in a staggering £21.5million in the last year

In her company’s latest accounts by Companies House obtained by The Sun, Cara’s work commitments have made her profit of £21,594,838, with £20,694,684 being ‘cash in the bank’.

AUTUMN STOCK TO WATCH

Wizz Air (LSE: WIZZ) has only been around for 10 years, but it is already a force to be reckoned with in the European airline market. Since 2014, revenue has risen nearly 200% and net profit is up 234%.

City analysts are expecting a similar performance over the next two years. They’ve pencilled in earnings growth of 16% for fiscal 2020 and 21% for 2021.

Based on these targets, Wizz is trading at a forward P/E of 12.1 and PEG ratio of 0.5, which looks cheap compared to the firm’s projected growth rate. That’s why I think it could be worth adding this fast-growing airline to your portfolio today.

Rupert Hargreaves owns no share mentioned.


Karl Loomes: Bunzl

A FTSE 100 stock you may never have heard of, the London-based distribution firm Bunzl (LSE: BNZL) looks like it may have good prospects to me. The company in effect supplies other firms with all those small but essential things they need, from loo roll to hard hats, meaning that even when economies start to slow, its products are still essential.

Of even greater benefit at the moment is the weak pound brought about by Brexit concerns. Bunzl gets about 60% of its revenues from the US, but has to repatriate those dollars into sterling. While Brexit troubles keep the pound under pressure, now is the perfect time to buy this defensive stock.

Karl owns shares of Bunzl


Royston Wild: Unilever

Unilever’s (LSE: ULVR) not had the best of things in September, its share price slumping from record peaks above £53.20 printed at the start of the month and curtailing its stratospheric rise in 2019.

This recent weakness is likely nothing more than a blip in the household good’s manufacturer’s ascent, however — it’s gained 85% in value over the past five years — and I reckon that third-quarter financials scheduled for mid-October could prompt fresh waves of buying.

Last time out it advised that underlying sales continued to grow despite challenging markets (up 3.3% in the first half), with volumes actually picking up in the latter part of the period. I’m expecting signs of more resilience in that upcoming release.

Royston Wild owns shares in Unilever.


Thomas Carr: Cineworld

Cineworld (LSE: CINE) shares have disappointed so far this year, but I fancy that trend to reverse. Whilst admissions were down in the first half of the year, the film slate in the second half is much stronger, including the likes of The Lion King, Avengers and Star Wars.

As the cinema operator progresses with the refurbishment and integration of its newly acquired American business, there is the prospect for meaningful synergies and operational improvements. Considering the renewed focus on shareholder returns and a generous dividend, I think these shares are too cheap and reckon they will push on from here.

Thomas Carr owns shares in Cineworld.


Tom Rodgers: Aviva

Insurance giant Aviva (LSE: AV) has a hugely tempting 7.7% dividend yield and the share price is recovering nicely from an early September dip. Dividend growth over the last five years is also up an average 15%. That makes Aviva a sensible buy with the prospect of great returns.

Looking longer term, credit ratings agencies give Aviva a clean bill of health when it comes to meeting policyholder obligations.

New CEO Maurice Tulloch says slashing debt is top of his to-do list, so I’m confident the share price will gain strongly, too.

Tom Rodgers does not own shares of Aviva.


Kevin Godbold: Reckitt Benckiser

New chief executive Laxman Narasimhan started on 1 September at FTSE 100 fast-moving goods stalwart Reckitt Benckiser (LSE: RB), and I reckon refreshed leadership can be positive for businesses.

With July’s half-time report, the company said it’s been working to make its two divisions structurally independent. To me, separating the Health and Hygiene Home divisions looks like a move designed to add value. It could even lead to one unit spinning off from the other as a separate company.

I reckon there’s a chance of the shares rising in anticipation of enhanced value ahead, perhaps as early as during October.

Kevin Godbold does not own shares in Reckitt Benckiser.


Edward Sheldon: Sage Group

My top stock for October is accounting solutions provider Sage Group (LSE: SGE). Its share price has pulled back significantly over the last two months, and right now I think the stock offers value.

What I like about Sage is that it’s a high-quality company. Recurring revenue is high, return on equity is excellent, and debt is low. The company also has a great dividend growth track record.  

Sage has been a 200-bagger since it listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1989; however, portfolio manager Nick Train recently said in an interview that he’s “hoping that the growth story is only just getting started.” With that in mind, I think the stock is worth a closer look.

Edward Sheldon owns shares in Sage.


Fiona Leake: Redrow

Redrow (LSE: RDW) is currently a steal in my opinion, with a P/E ratio of just 6.8 and a dividend yield of over 5%. I believe that now is the time to buy, with shares up 18% in just the last month alone and revenue jumping 10% in the past financial year.

Despite the growing economic and political uncertainty, the UK still has a huge shortage of homes. New-build sales continue to be through the roof and show no signs of slowing down any time soon. I think that Redrow will continue to grow in October and, at such a criminally cheap price, I wouldn’t say no to investing.

Fiona Leake does not own shares in Redrow.


Paul Summers: Biffa

With most of the largest one-day falls since 1984 occurring in the month, October has a poor reputation among investors. This year’s added ingredient of Brexit coming to a head could make it another volatile one. 

Right now, I’m favouring companies with defensive qualities. That’s why my pick is waste management and recycling firm Biffa (LSE: BIFF). Regardless of what happens politically over the next few weeks, the mid-cap will continue to provide the essential service of collecting our bins.

It won’t shoot the lights out in terms of growth, but a valuation of 11 times earnings takes account of this. At almost 3.2% at the time of writing, the dividend is both decent and safely covered by profits.

Paul Summers has no position in Biffa.


Kirsteen Mackay: BAE Systems

The share price of FTSE 100 defence giant BAE Systems (LSE:BA) has risen over 20% in the past six months.

Its trailing price-to-earnings ratio is 14, which is reasonable for its sector and earnings per share are 41p. It has a trailing dividend yield of 3.35% and the next dividend will be announced in October.

At the end of September, it was awarded a £2.2bn US defence contract to support the US military and its foreign military sales. It also agreed to acquire Prismatic, a UK solar drone maker.

In this volatile political climate, I think this is a solid company with further prospects ahead. 

Kirsteen Mackay owns no share mentioned.


Andy Ross: Hastings Group 

With a trading update due towards the end of the month, the insurer Hastings Group Holdings (LSE: HSTG) could be a top riser in October. I think the key driver for the share price will be the effect the change to the Ogden rate is having. Hastings has already said it is setting aside an extra £8.4m in its calculations to meet the cost.

I expect with the shares now providing a high yield (over 6%) and a low P/E of around nine, any good news could see the share price bounce back. In the last results, live customer policies increased 4% to 2.81m, so there is momentum from that perspective.

Andy Ross does not hold shares in Hastings Group Holdings.


Stepan Lavrouk: JD Sports

Shares of JD Sports (LSE: JD) have been on a great run over the course of the last month, returning almost 18% to shareholders. However, there are reasons to be optimistic that this excellent performance may continue going forward.

For one thing, I like that JD has been able to expand its retail footprint, even as the high street as a whole has been losing ground. For another, I believe that its expanding international presence gives it a good advantage relative to rival retailers who are more focused on the domestic market in today’s Brexit climate. 

Stepan Lavrouk does not own shares of JD Sports.


Roland Head: IG Group

Very few stocks benefit directly from volatile market conditions. One company that does is FTSE 250 financial trading specialist IG Group Holdings (LSE: IGG). Customers of the online CFD and spread betting provider tend to trade more heavily when markets are rising or falling than when market are flat.

IG shares are unloved following regulatory changes last year. But a recent trading update suggests to me that this highly profitable business will continue to grow.

The shares are trading on 16 times earnings and offer a 6.8% dividend yield. I think that’s too cheap and rate IG as a buy.

Roland Head owns shares of IG Group Holdings.


Peter Stephens: Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s (LSE: SBRY) recent trading update highlighted an improvement in its performance relative to the wider market. Its refreshed growth strategy will focus on cost reduction and improving the customer experience. This could begin the process of delivering a successful turnaround for the retailer following a prolonged decline in its share price.

Although its net profit growth may be limited in the near term, Sainsbury’s overall strategy and price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 10 suggest that it could be undervalued at the present time. With a dividend yield of 5%, it could offer long-term turnaround potential.

Peter Stephens does not own shares in Sainsbury’s.


Manika Premsingh: BAE Systems

Since a share price crash at the end of May this year, aerospace and defence solutions provider BAE Systems (LSE: BA) has risen a sharp 30%. That it has just won a $2.7bn US defence contract is likely to keep the price buoyed, given that the deal size amounts to over 13% of last year’s revenue.

It’s a financially healthy company in a defensive sector, which can be relied upon at a time when the outlook for global macros is relatively uncertain. I don’t see any structural risks from a long-term perspective either. To me it looks like the price will rise higher, and it’s better to buy it before it does.

Manika Premsingh has no position in BAE Systems.


G A Chester: Barclays

Barclays (LSE: BARC) continues to be the most unloved of the big FTSE 100 banks. Last month’s news that it’ll book an additional provision of £1.2bn-£1.6bn for PPI in Q3 (results due 25 October) won’t have done anything to win over sceptics.

However, I expect its capital position to still be strong, and with it trading at a deep discount to book value, on a low P/E and high dividend yield, I see it as a compelling contrarian ‘buy’. I think the reward for holding through Brexit volatility could be a very nice upward rerating of the shares further on.

WALLETS

1. Your lower back will thank you

It’s not a big mystery – that lumpy back pocket wallet you are sitting on is actually a huge health hazard for your long term back health! The nerves exiting the lower back control and coordinate some of the largest and strongest muscles in the body — legs, buttock, core, and back. Putting pressure on them for hours at a time by sitting on your wallet can cause an avalanche of body mechanic problems; one of the most common ailments is called sciatica.

“Sitting on your wallet is as much a health concern as walking around with one shoe on and one shoe off”, – Dr. Frank J. Martusciello

Front Wallet on Train

Sitting on your wallet for long stretches of time is never a good idea and could cause back problems like sciatica. A simple yet effective remedy is to move your wallet from your rear pocket to your front pocket.

2. Your credit cards will last much longer in a front pocket wallet

Wearing your wallet in your front pocket will drastically increase the longevity of your credit cards, since you are not sitting on your wallet and in effect crushing everything in it. Having your credit cards replaced on a regular basis is a pain in the you-know-what, but fortunately Axess Front Wallets keeps your cards like new until they expire.

credit card

If you want your credit cards to last so that you don’t have to replace them several times per year, it’s probably best not to sit on them everyday.

3. It’s easier to find the card you need because you don’t have to dig trough all your stuff

Have you ever been in a crowded line, digging through your thick wallet for that subway card or credit card, and not finding it past the tons of old receipts, lint, and expired gift cards you’ve collected over the years? That situation will never arise in a minimalist front pocket wallet where the minimalist size makes hoarding useless stuff impossible, and thus will allow each essential card in there to be immediately accessible.

4. You don’t have to be ashamed to show your wallet

Taking up your old, torn billfold that you’ve been (ab)using since the early 90’s is never a pretty sight, and does not increase your stature among the unfortunate people around to witness it. A minimalist wallet is usually neat and does not wear as badly as a stuffed billfold, and is a more elegant object to whip out in front of people you want to impress.

bifold wallet

That old billfold that you’ve been treating like a filing cabinet for the past 15 years is rarely a pretty sight to put on display.

5. You will reduce the chance of pick-pocketing

In crowded places such as the subway, you quickly lose control over what’s happening with your back pocket, but not so if you carry your wallet in your front pocket. In crowded places it’s normal for strangers to press against you, which makes it impossible to notice pickpockets nor the odd opportunist! This lack of oversight never occurs when you carry your wallet in your front pocket.

billfold credit card cash

Your belongings are not very safe hanging out your back pocket, especially not in crowded areas.

6. As we are getting closer to a cash free society, there is no need for a regular wallet

With digitizing of everything from receipts to business cards and photos, and functions like apple pay and Swish making payments from your cell phone more and more convenient, you simply don’t need to carry with you as much cash and as many cards as you used to, and your wallet should reflect that.

Front Wallet

The times are changing towards minimalism and so should your wallet.

7. It is much more comfortable

Barstools, subway seats and benches can be a real nightmare to sit on if you have a thick billfold in your back pocket. Instead of squirming and being uncomfortable, carrying a front pocket wallet will ensure that your foundation will be even and that you won’t be interrupted by nagging pain ever again.

sit on wallet

Not all seating is comfortable with a bulky wallet in your back pocket. In fact, some situations can be straight up torture with that old bulky billfold.

8. Using a front pocket wallet with a slim profile improves your look

Slogging along with a bulky billfold literally creates a bump on your behind and ruins your denim silhouette, especially if you are wearing tight jeans. Unless you are carrying a wallet in both back pockets, you look lopsided, even with a vented jacket on.  If the wallet is bulky enough, it will eventually ruin the pants by causing stretching that can lead to actual holes!

Denim Look

A slim wallet improves your denim silhouette.

9. You don’t have to worry about removing your wallet whenever you sit down.

Many people who carry a traditional billfold remove it from their back pocket whenever they sit down or arrive at the office. This habit can lead to misplacing your wallet, not to mention that there are many situations in public places where you where it would be risky to remove your wallet. This habit is completely circumvented when you use a front pocket wallet.

why use a front pocket wallet

A slim front pocket wallet can remain in your pocket while you work so that you don’t misplace it.

10. Carrying a smaller wallet in your front pocket makes you declutter

Your wallet is not a filing cabinet, nor a rolodex or a photo album. A lot of people carry all kinds of things in their wallets – most of which is hardly necessary to carry around on a day to day basis. Expired membership cards, social insurance coupons and old receipts don’t need to be in your wallet all the time. Carrying a smaller front pocket wallet will force you to do some healthy wallet cleaning and get rid of the old junk, it’s amazing how much lighter you will feel.

11. The smaller wallet makes you more organized

Most of Axess models have specially designed pockets for travel cards, name cards, ID cards etc. designed with consideration to size differences of ID-cards and credit cards, and to the fact that each wallet have RFID-blocking pocket. Using an Axess Front Wallet will thus assist you in staying organized and will always give you easy access and overview of your various cards.

12. Front pocket wallets are so thin, you can carry the phone and the wallet in the same pocket

Some people don’t like to scratch neither their wallet nor their phone with their keys and like to keep those items separate. Axess Front Wallets have such a thin profile, it is perfectly possible to wear your keys in the one pocket, and the phone and the wallet in the other without major bulk!

Front Pocket Wallets

Slim Front Pocket Wallets frees up your pockets and lets you wear the phone and the wallet in the same pocket without creating major bulk, so that you can keep your keys in a separate pocket.

13. It reduces the chances of the wallet falling out of your pocket

Losing your wallet does happen, especially if you are running to catch a bus or a train, or move about in crowded urban areas. The front pocket is usually tighter, holding your wallet more firmly, and if the wallet would fall out, you would notice it immediately as compared to if your wallet is in your back pocket. A bonus benefit: If you are in the habit of tapping on your back pocket to confirm that the wallet is still there you no longer have to do that when the wallet is in your front pocket.

THE ART OF MAKING MONEY

Have you had a business idea in your head for a long time but haven’t acted on it yet?

Have you started an idea (be it a blog, a business, a service, etc.) but can’t seem to make it take off?

Are you a wantrepreneur who wants to become a profit-generating entrepreneur?

This is for you.

Over the years, I’ve launched, scaled and failed with a variety of online businesses. Some took off and are thriving to this day, and others didn’t exactly work out. I have learned firsthand and from my mentors what the art of making money is all about.

My experience with bringing ideas to life and turning them into profitable business has taught me one valuable lesson:

You have to spend money to make money.

Now before I get into tactics to help you make your money work for you, I think it’s important to caveat that spending more money DOES NOT mean you’re going to make more money. It certainly does not.

In fact, I’ve seen some real bozos use the “you have to spend money to make money” line of thinking to help them rationalize some silly, non-essential business expenses. You should have patience when it comes to spending money and should not rush to spend (more on that later)

With that being said, spending money does indeed help you make money – or at minimum, it puts you in a position to do so.

For those of you who are entrepreneurs, you know what I mean. For those of you who are considering starting a business or launching a creative endeavor I want to encourage you to do the following with your next paycheck: spend it.

Yes, I said it.

Instead of investing that one paycheck into your 401K, putting it into that mutual fund, saving it for that trip or sliding it under the mattress, I want you to spend it.

I want you to spend it on something specific and something strategic. I want you to spend it on something that will not only help bring that idea of yours to life, but also scale it to make you some serious money.

Now, before you do that, I want you to keep reading.

Here are the 4 things you need to realize about how to turn money into more money.

The art of making money - wad of money

1. Breaking even can be extremely profitable.

Whenever I start and begin scaling a new business, my first goal is to get to a point to where I am spending as much money as possible. Usually that goal is within the context of marketing or advertising, but I suppose it could extend to other aspects of a business.

Here’s what I mean.

When launching my first side hustle, for example, I was focused on selling an online course product. A large aspect of my marketing strategy was to establish an email relationship with potential customers. To do that, I needed to catch the eyes of folks who might be interested in my product and would be willing to provide me with their email address in exchange for something for free and then an opportunity to sell them something.

To catch their eye (I had a following of zero), I needed to SPEND MONEY! I started with some simple ads running on Facebook, Instagram, etc. and soon realized something very important:

The more I spent, the more I made. (duh!) But there’s more to it.

While my efforts were not profitable (my ads were costing me more than I was grossing with sales), over the course of 30 days I came to see that the more I spent – the more I made over time and the more brand awareness I created that ultimately grossed me sales. Key word here is: over time.

Here’s how it looked.

$200 in ads per day.

$150-$200 in sales per day.

100 new emails per day.

The value of that ad spend wasn’t the sales but rather the emails! Those 100 emails turned into 20-30 sales a couple of weeks later. Flash-forward a couple of months and this is how things netted out:

$25K in ad spend.

$70K in sales.

That’s a 3x return on ad spend (decent) and as you can see with the daily revenue being breakeven or under, the value of that ad spend came from the emails I was able to acquire and then eventually convert to sales down the line.

The lesson here is that sometimes the money you spend doesn’t net immediate return, but if you are strategic with what you are collecting/garnering, then it absolutely can be extremely profitable down the line (as long as you are strategic and have connected these dots). I proved this 100% with my efforts and have since ramped up this strategy even more… the more I spend the more I make.

2. Patience = old school money making

While I am all for spending money to make money STRATEGICALLY… don’t spend just yet!

I didn’t ramp up my spend until I knew exactly what I wanted to garner and how I was going to eventually convert these new assets.

The key with the “spend money to make money” line of thinking is to look beyond where the puck is now to where it will be.

If you can connect the dots and be forward thinking, spending money will bring more money.

For example, I have recently spent more and more money on the PRSUIT Facebook pageto boost our content to get it exposure to more people. This has resulted in over 30,000 new followers in less than 2 months and over 400,000 new visitors to PRSUIT.com. While this has not resulted in immediate 1:1 revenue, it has enabled me to close a deal with Staples, connect with Jake Paul, make an appearance on E! Entertainment, get accepted into several premium ad networks (from which we are now making positive revenue), and have several other large 5-6 figure deals on the table. Spend money to make money.

3. Don’t spend needlessly.

I have been successful with my “spend money to make money” strategy by being patient with it.

The majority of the thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs and small businesses that fail each year are those that spend money needlessly and do so time and time again.

Be strategic with WHERE you decide to spend money and realize that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to make money!

If you are selling a physical product, you don’t necessarily need to spend more on manufacturing. Spend more on marketing or faster fulfillment.

If you are an artist, don’t spend more on a fancy exhibition space or pop up shop. Spend, instead on influencer marketing.

If you are a musician, don’t spend money on producing swag to hope that gets the word out. Instead, spend on ads targeting journalists, influencers, etc.

I am not an expert on all things marketing by any means, but I have learned that before you start spending money, you need to know where to spend it for most effect. Once you figure that out, I am confident that it will start provide ROI.

4. Use it intangibly.

Outside of spending money to make money by dumping it into awareness creating tactics like marketing, etc., the biggest lesson I’ve learned when it comes to the art of making money, it’s this: hiring the right people can make all the difference.

The right people can make you millions. The right people can also cost you millions.

The right people can take your business from the garage to the top floor.

Hiring the right employees is everything.

When you are a young entrepreneur just starting out, there is an inherent knowledge and experience gap you will need to overcome. Hiring the right person can do just that.

I have hired amazing people and I have hired horrible ones. Hire someone who has experience and is willing to put in the hours. This frees you up to do more for other aspects of your business, and I promise you that will it feels horrible to part with money each month, but it will come back in folds if you hire the right person.

What to do with your next paycheck.

When you get your next paycheck, take it (or a portion of it) and set it aside with the above in mind. Sit down and map out a strategy of how to spend that money and how that will help take your idea to the next level.

The other aspect of spending money to make money is that as you spend, you also become dedicated to your creation. When you spend, you commit yourself and the process of going “all in” begins. It means you are serious about making your passion project/business a reality. It means you are stepping off of the sidelines and into the game. Spend, but spend patiently and strategically.

WHICH CRYPTO?

Bitcoin has not just been a trendsetter, ushering in a wave of cryptocurrencies built on a decentralized peer-to-peer network, it’s become the de facto standard for cryptocurrencies, inspiring an ever-growing legion of followers and spinoffs.

What Are Cryptocurrencies? 

Before we take a closer look at some of these alternatives to bitcoin, let’s step back and briefly examine what we mean by terms like cryptocurrency and altcoin. A cryptocurrency, broadly defined, is virtual or digital money which takes the form of tokens or “coins.” While some cryptocurrencies have ventured into the physical world with credit cards or other projects, the large majority remain entirely intangible.

The “crypto” in cryptocurrencies refers to complicated cryptography which allows for a particular digital token to be generated, stored, and transacted securely and, typically, anonymously. Alongside this important “crypto” feature of these currencies is a common commitment to decentralization; cryptocurrencies are typically developed as code by teams who build in mechanisms for issuance (often, although not always, through a process called “mining”) and other controls.

KEY TAKEAWAYS 

  • A cryptocurrency, broadly defined, is virtual or digital money which takes the form of tokens or “coins.” 
  • Beyond that, the field of cryptocurrencies is always expanding, and the next great digital token may be released tomorrow, for all anyone in the crypto community knows.
  • Bitcoin continues to lead the pack of cryptocurrencies, in terms of market capitalization, user base, and popularity. 
  • Virtual currencies such as ethereum and ripple, which are being used more for enterprise solutions, are becoming popular.
  • Some altcoins are being endorsed for superior or advanced features vis-à-vis bitcoins.

Cryptocurrencies are almost always designed to be free from government manipulation and control, although as they have grown more popular this foundational aspect of the industry has come under fire. The currencies modeled after bitcoin are collectively called altcoins and have tried to present themselves as modified or improved versions of bitcoin. While some of these currencies are easier to mine than bitcoin is, there are tradeoffs, including greater risk brought on by lesser liquidity, acceptance and value retention.

Below, we’ll examine some of the most important digital currencies other than bitcoin. First, though, a caveat: it is impossible for a list like this to be entirely comprehensive. One reason for this is the fact that there are more than 1,600 cryptocurrencies in existence as of this writing, and many of those tokens and coins enjoy immense popularity among a dedicated (if small, in some cases) community of backers and investors.

Beyond that, the field of cryptocurrencies is always expanding, and the next great digital token may be released tomorrow, for all anyone in the crypto community knows. While bitcoin is widely seen as a pioneer in the world of cryptocurrencies, analysts adopt many approaches for evaluating tokens other than BTC. It’s common, for instance, for analysts to attribute a great deal of importance to the ranking of coins relative to one another in terms of market cap. We’ve factored this into our consideration, but there are other reasons why a digital token may be included in the list as well.

1. Litecoin (LTC) 

Litecoin, launched in 2011, was among the initial cryptocurrencies following bitcoin and has often been referred to as “silver to bitcoin’s gold.” It was created by Charlie Lee, an MIT graduate, and former Google engineer. Litecoin is based on an open-source global payment network that is not controlled by any central authority and uses “scrypt” as a proof of work, which can be decoded with the help of CPUs of consumer-grade. Although Litecoin is like bitcoin in many ways, it has a faster block generation rate and hence offers a faster transaction confirmation. Other than developers, there are a growing number of merchants who accept Litecoin. As of February 9, 2019, Litecoin had a market cap of $2.63 billion and a per token value of $43.41.

2. Ethereum (ETH) 

Launched in 2015, Ethereum is a decentralized software platform that enables Smart Contracts and Distributed Applications (DApps) to be built and run without any downtime, fraud, control or interference from a third party. The applications on ethereum are run on its platform-specific cryptographic token, ether. Ether is like a vehicle for moving around on the ethereum platform and is sought by mostly developers looking to develop and run applications inside ethereum, or now by investors looking to make purchases of other digital currencies using ether.

During 2014, ethereum launched a pre-sale for ether which received an overwhelming response; this helped to usher in the age of the initial coin offering (ICO). According to ethereum, it can be used to “codify, decentralize, secure and trade just about anything.” Following the attack on the DAO in 2016, Ethereum was split into Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC). As of February 9, 2019, Ethereum (ETH) had a market cap of $12.49 billion and a per token value of $118.71.

3. Zcash (ZEC) 

Zcash, a decentralized and open-source cryptocurrency launched in the latter part of 2016, looks promising. “If bitcoin is like HTTP for money, zcash is HTTPS,” is one analogy zcash uses to define itself. Zcash offers privacy and selective transparency of transactions. Thus, like https, zcash claims to provide extra security or privacy where all transactions are recorded and published on a blockchain, but details such as the sender, recipient, and amount remain private.

Zcash offers its users the choice of “shielded” transactions, which allow for content to be encrypted using an advanced cryptographic technique or zero-knowledge proof construction called a zk-SNARK developed by its team. As of February 9, 2019, Zcash had a market cap of $291.25 million and a value per token of $49.84.

4. Dash (DASH) 

Dash (originally known as darkcoin) is a more secretive version of bitcoin. Dash offers more anonymity as it works on a decentralized master code network that makes transactions almost untraceable. Launched in January 2014, dash experienced an increasing fan following in a short span of time. This cryptocurrency was created and developed by Evan Duffield and can be mined using a CPU or GPU. In March 2015, ‘Darkcoin’ was rebranded to Dash, which stands for “digital cash” and operates under the ticker DASH. The rebranding didn’t change the functionality of any of its technological features including DarkSend and InstantX. As of February 9, 2019, Dash had a market cap of $640.76 million and a per token value of $74.32.

5. Ripple (XRP) 

Ripple is a real-time global settlement network that offers instant, certain and low-cost international payments. Launched in 2012, ripple “enables banks to settle cross-border payments in real-time, with end-to-end transparency, and at lower costs.” Ripple’s consensus ledger (its method of conformation) is unique in that it doesn’t require mining. In this way, ripple sets itself apart from bitcoin and many other altcoins. Since Ripple’s structure doesn’t require mining, it reduces the usage of computing power and minimizes network latency. 

Ripple believes that “distributing value is a powerful way to incentivize certain behaviors” and thus currently plans to distribute XRP primarily “through business development deals, incentives to liquidity providers who offer tighter spreads for payments, and selling XRP to institutional buyers interested in investing in XRP.” So far, ripple has seen success with this model; it remains one of the most enticing digital currencies among traditional financial institutions looking for ways to revolutionize cross-border payments. As of February 9, 2019, ripple had a market cap of $12.69 billion and a per token value of $0.308.

6. Monero (XMR) 

Monero is a secure, private and untraceable currency. This open-source cryptocurrency was launched in April 2014 and soon spiked great interest among the cryptography community and enthusiasts. The development of this cryptocurrency is completely donation-based and community-driven. Monero has been launched with a strong focus on decentralization and scalability, and it enables complete privacy by using a special technique called “ring signatures.”

With this technique, there appears a group of cryptographic signatures including at least one real participant, but since they all appear valid, the real one cannot be isolated. Because of exceptional security mechanisms like this, monero has developed something of an unsavory reputation; it has been linked to criminal operations around the world. Nonetheless, whether it is used for good or ill, there’s no denying that monero has introduced important technological advances to the cryptocurrency space. As of February 9, 2019, Monero had a market cap of $808.50 million and a per token value of $48.18.

7. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) 

Bitcoin Cash holds an important place in the history of altcoins because it is one of the earliest and most successful hard forks of the original bitcoin. In the cryptocurrency world, a fork takes place as the result of debates and arguments between developers and miners. Due to the decentralized nature of digital currencies, wholesale changes to the code underlying the token or coin at hand must be made due to general consensus; the mechanism for this process varies according to the particular cryptocurrency.

When different factions can’t come to an agreement, sometimes the digital currency is split, with the original remaining true to its original code and the other copy beginning life as a new version of the prior coin, complete with changes to its code. Bitcoin cash began its life in August of 2017 as a result of one of these splits. The debate which led to the creation of BCH had to do with the issue of scalability; bitcoin has a strict limit on the size of blocks, 1 megabyte. BCH increases the block size from 1 MB to 8 MB, with the idea being that larger blocks will allow for faster transaction times. It also makes other changes, too, including the removal of the Segregated Witness protocol which impacts block space. As of February 9, 2019, BCH had a market cap of $2.23 billion and a value per token of $126.49.

8. NEO (NEO) 

NEO began life in 2014. Originally called AntShares, the coin was later rebranded by creator Da Hongfei. To date, it is the largest cryptocurrency which has emerged from China and is sometimes referred to as a “Chinese Ethereum” because of its similar use of smart contracts. In 2017, NEO experienced its most successful year to date. From a value of $0.16 per token in January of 2017, NEO climbed to about $162 per token by one year later. This constitutes a return of more than 111,000%. One key to NEO’s success has been its support of programming in many existing languages, including Go, Java, C++, and others.

Further, NEO has experienced benefits as a result of its positive relationship with the Chinese government, which is generally known for its harsh positions on cryptocurrencies. As of February 9, 2019, NEO had a market cap of $492.48 million and a value per token of $7.58.

9. Cardano (ADA) 

Charles Hoskinson, one of the co-founders of ethereum, launched cardano in September of 2017. For supporters of this digital currency, ADA offers all of the benefits of ethereum, as well as many others. Cardano offers a platform for Dapps and smart contracts, like ethereum before it. Beyond that, ADA aims to solve some of the most pressing problems plaguing cryptocurrencies everywhere, including interoperability and scalability.

Cardano also hopes to tackle issues related to international payments, which are typically both timely and expensive. Thanks to its focus on this area, ADA was able to take international payment processing times from days down to just seconds. As of February 9, 2019, cardano had a market cap of $1.16 billion and a per token value of $0.041.

10. EOS (EOS) 

One of the newest digital currencies to make our list is EOS. Launched in June of 2018, EOS was created by cryptocurrency pioneer Dan Larimer. Before his work on EOS, Larimer founded the digital currency exchange Bitshares as well as the blockchain-based social media platform Steemit. Like other cryptocurrencies on this list, EOS is designed after ethereum, so it offers a platform on which developers can build decentralized applications. EOS is notable for many other reasons, though.

First, its initial coin offering was one of the longest and most profitable in history, raking in a record $4 billion or so in investor funds through crowdsourcing efforts lasting a year. EOS offers a delegated proof-of-stake mechanism which it hopes to be able to offer scalability beyond its competitors. EOS consists of EOS.IO, similar to the operating system of a computer and acting as the blockchain network for the digital currency, as well as EOS coins. EOS is also revolutionary because of its lack of a mining mechanism to produce coins. Instead, block producers generate blocks and are rewarded in EOS tokens based on their production rates. EOS includes a complex system of rules to govern this process, with the idea being that the network will ultimately be more democratic and decentralized than those of other cryptocurrencies. As of October 5, 2018, EOS had a market cap of $2.49 billion and a per token value of $2.74.

The Bottom Line 

Bitcoin continues to lead the pack of cryptocurrencies, in terms of market capitalization, user base, and popularity. Nevertheless, virtual currencies such as ethereum and ripple, which are being used more for enterprise solutions, are becoming popular, while some altcoins are being endorsed for superior or advanced features vis-à-vis bitcoins. Going by the current trend, cryptocurrencies are here to stay but how many of them will emerge as leaders amid the growing competition within the space will only be revealed with time.

INVESTMENT WATCHES

The 5 best watches to invest in:

1. Tudor Heritage Black Bay

A new addition to the Heritage Black Bay family this diver’s watch in stainless steel draws its characteristic elements from Tudor’s history. Fitted with Tudor’s MT5602 self-winding mechanical movement with bidirectional rotor system, with power reserve of 70 hours.

What the expert says: 

“Stick to the classic pieces that people will always want and you’ll have a watch that, 10 years down the line, will recoup the majority of your initial outlay. Tudor’s recent phoenix-from-the-ashes revival was spearheaded by the gorgeously but not slavishly retro-styled Black Bay. 

Now it’s fitted with an in-house movement and always in steel, rather than precious metal (flamboyance is inversely proportional to successful investment!) It’s already a classic that feels like it’s always been around.”

– Kyron Keogh, MD of ROX

2. Rolex Submariner

The iconic Rolex Submariner is one of the most successful diver’s watches in history. The Rolex Manufacture 3135 movement is housed in a 904L stainless steel case which is waterproof to 300 metres (1,000 feet).

What the expert says:  

“Rolex’s steel sports watches are a surefire investment, you never see examples older than two or three years selling for less than what they originally cost. That’s because Rolex is the ultimate luxury watch brand, their Submariner was the pioneering diving watch of the 1950s and you can wear it every day with everything.”

– Simon de Burton, watch and auction expert

3. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Automatic

The Royal Oak is made up of 280 parts and 40 jewels, this watch is powered by a self-winding manufacture calibre 3120 movement and has a 60-hour power reserve.

What the expert says: 

“The Royal Oak has barely changed since 1972 and for good reason – its designer Gérald Genta’s octagonal case and integrated bracelet was spot-on from inception. That sort of integrity will come to bear in a lifetime’s value, both sentimental and monetary.”

– Kyron Keogh, MD of ROX

4. Omega Seamaster 300m

This Seamaster 300 has a sand-blasted black dial with rhodium-plated hands coated with  “vintage” Super-LumiNova. The polished ceramic bezel ring has a Liquidmetal diving scale, and the transparent caseback makes it possible to see the anti-magnetic OMEGA Master Co-Axial calibre 8400 within.

What the expert says: 

“Buy into James Bond’s model of choice and you’ll be buying into a brand that’s increasing in resale value faster than anyone else. What’s more, if you look hard enough, you’ll still be able to find the quartz version of the Seamaster, which is being phased out very soon. Discontinued watches are very collectable and you will undoubtedly reap more on the vintage market than what you sowed at retail.”

– Lloyd Amsdon, co-founder of Watchfinder

5. Panerai Luminor Base

The Panerai Luminor Base features a hand-wound Panerai OP I calibre, with a 56 hour power reserve. It’s designed it Italy, but made in Switzerland.

What the expert says: 

“Panerai’s chunky, cushion-shaped watches are a modern cult phenomenon and one of the best investments you can make. Panerai has a fantastic collector base and, even if it’s just to make a slight change, every model is limited, so whatever Panerai you buy will become a collectable soon enough.” 

– Simon Sutton, Director at Watches of Knightsbridge

HOW TO LAND A HIGH PAYING JOB

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Follow these simple tips to earn money—lots of it—by strategically pursuing the highest paying jobs.

Want a bigger paycheck? Of course you do. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get a job where you can make money—lots of it. In fact, 63% of workers said compensation was “very important” to their overall job satisfaction, a recent Society for Human Resource Management surveyfound.

Unfortunately, the average raise is only 3%, according to WorldatWork’s 2017 Salary Budget Survey. So how can you make money fast instead of waiting for your salary to grow over time? By revving up your job search to focus on jobs that pay well. Yeah, that sounds obvious, but there’s actually a science behind it.

Wharton management professor Matthew Bidwell found that external hires get paid, on average, 18% to 20% more than internal workers who get promoted to the same position. Translation: To see a big pay increase, switch companies.

But how exactly do you find the highest paying jobs in today’s competitive workplace? The answer is pretty straightforward.

Establish yourself as an expert in your field

To make yourself more attractive to prospective employers, you should focus on not only building your brand but also marketing yourself as an expert in your industry, says Thea Kelley, a job search and interview coach in San Francisco. Kelley says there are a number of ways you can do this:

Look for opportunities to speak at industry conferences.

Find podcasts that will welcome you as an online guest.

Write about your field on either a blog or self published ebook.

Post regularly on social media.

Create informative videos and a YouTube channel.

Pick up part time work as a consultant.

Taking these steps (or a combination thereof) can also help you gain exposure to recruiters and headhunters.

Cross-train to expand your skill set

One of the best ways to strengthen your resume is to demonstrate you’ve pushed yourself to learn skills to boost your areas of expertise. But in order to achieve that, you’ll need to create cross-training opportunities for yourself, says Teri DePuy, a Colorado-based career coach at ICC Innovate Coach Consult. “You don’t just want to go to your boss and say, ‘I want to learn more about our marketing department,’” DePuy says.

A better tactic, says DePuy, is to ask for your boss’ permission to work on a specific project or task—and offer something in return. For instance, “Bob in IT is willing to let me shadow him for a day. Can I do that and then share with our team what I learned?”

Develop your leadership skills

No matter how much the job market shifts, one skill that’s always in demand is leadership. You have an advantage if you’re already in a management position, since you’re developing your leadership ability just by overseeing direct reports. But if you’re not a supervisor yet, there are other ways to develop leadership skills.

You can offer to mentor an entry-level employee, lead a training seminar, or develop a volunteer program to improve the company’s image. Craig Toedtman, an executive coach in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, says you can also sharpen your leadership skills outside your job by taking an executive position at a professional association or nonprofit.

Research companies’ financial health

Before you begin applying to jobs, create a list of prospective employers that are hiring that you’d like to work for and do an analysis of each company’s financial health and stability. The better off they are financially, the more likely they are to pay employees well.

You can research this a few ways. If it’s a public company, look at its recent quarterly earnings reports to see profit margins and net sales. (Those are good indicators of financial growth.)

If it’s a private business, you may have to do a little more digging by looking at company reviews on kununu to see if the company is known for good compensation and career development.

Take smart risks

To make a big salary leap, you’ll likely have to push yourself outside your comfort zone and apply to high-paying jobs that might seem like a stretch.

“Disregard the barriers to entry,” Toedtman advises. “If you see a job you want, and you feel you can do it well, don’t hesitate to apply,” he says.

Remember to focus on what you bring to the table and how you can add value to the company’s bottom line. Give them examples that demonstrate you’re a problem solver who can take on challenges and turn them into accomplishments.

Get noticed

When you’re ready to switch companies in search of a pay bump, you want to seek out as much exposure as you can. The more hiring managers you can get your credentials in front of, the better your chances of finding one that hits the mark. Could you use some help with that? As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to the types of jobs that interest you. Recruiters search job sites every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Additionally, you can get job alerts sent to you when positions become available, so you can be among the first to apply. You know what you want in a job offer; let the experts help you go after it.

RARE WHISKY

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What was the best luxury investment of 2018? Wrong, it was Whisky.

“The stunning price growth of rare single malt whiskies shows that the appetite for new ‘alternative’ asset classes remains strong among high-net-worth investors,” said Andrew Shirley, editor of The Wealth Report and the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index.

“However, we are seeing growth soften for some of the other asset classes in KFLII like classic cars that had been performing exceptionally strongly. This is partly down to a slowdown in activity by speculative investors and a return to a genuine collector-driven market. Despite this, the best examples in each asset class are still setting records when they come up for sale (see below).”

Whisky was followed by coins (12% annual growth) and wine, which was the third most investible asset have increased in value by 9% over the part 12 months and 147% over the past 10 years.

Andy Simpson, Co-founder Rare Whisky 101, added: “While rare whisky remains a somewhat fledgling asset class compared to some other passion investments, the market for rare and vintage bottles has witnessed extraordinary growth over the past ten years, both in terms of the volume of whisky being traded and the value of that whisky.

The key to rare whisky’s sustained growth as an asset class, is the passion buyers worldwide share for investing, collecting, and occasionally drinking, some of the best and rarest Scotch whisky ever made.

At the top end of the scale, the most significant sale of 2018 was a bottle of Macallan 1926, hand painted by Irish artist Michael Dillon, that sold for a record-breaking £1.2million in November.