3 Alternative Investments for 2012

As fears of a debt crisis in the Eurozone converge with poor economic data from the US, investors turn away from volatile traditional investment assets such as equities and bonds, choosing instead to investigate a range of alternative investments that provide shelter for the value of capital, and are less affected by market ‘noise’.Here are three alternative investment strategies that are proving popular with investors heading towards 2012.
Coins and StampsNumismatic investment (investing in coins) and philatelic Investment (investing in stamps) is one area that is receiving an increased attention. As with many alternative investments, the value of rare coins and stamps is driven by supply and demand. The rarer an item, the greater the value, although with coin investing the value of the metal is also a considered factor in the value of the coin, such as is the case with gold coins for example.Investing in stamps was popular in the 1970s, but the bubble burst and prices took many years to recover. Investing in stamps, as with any type of investment in collectibles, require in-depth knowledge and skill to identify and value the assets.With coins, many gold coins are still considered to be legal tender in the UK, and therefore offer tax advantages with regard to capital gains tax.
Timber InvestmentsAnother of my current selection of alternative investments would be to invest in trees. As tress grow no matter what happens in the financial markets, investing in timber plantations, either directly or through an investment fund or timber business, provide the investor with growth whilst the performance of other assets may falter.Returns from timber investments are three-fold; the majority of return comes from the tree growing into valuable timber over many years, also, the price per unit of timber (usually cubic metres) also rises, with many of the main indices in developed markets showing timber prices rising by around 6% per annum. Finally, in some cases investors may also profit from increases in the value of the land on which the plantation is established.
ForexThe third and final of this small selection of alternative investments is Forex, or foreign exchange. This is a highly risky investment strategy, and can inv9ovle betting for or against the movement in value of one currency against another.Investors may place their bet per unit of a rise or fall in value, and can easily lose more than the value of their original stake if the currency moves the wrong way.So, there are a great many alternative investments to consider for the investor keen to divorce the performance of their portfolio from the performance of traditional markets.According to recent research, institutional investors are holding up to 25% of their investment portfolios in alternatives in an effort to rebuild value lost after the recent economic crisis of 2008.

Local Business Advertising – Small Businesses and Online Advertising

Many businesses, both large and small, spend abundance on advertising on newspapers and other local business advertising. Even more money is spent when it comes to advertising on a popular channel on TV. Yet, many businesses aren’t aware or simply ignore the fact that the internet is a very powerful marketing tool with many benefits and little costs.The main benefit of online advertising is its price. Typically, the form of online advertising that is most often used is pay-per-click. This is where a company pays a certain amount of money whenever an ad is clicked on. Doing large advertising campaigns may become a little pricey, but it is often nothing when compared to the amount paid for television advertising. The price of online advertising is brought lower every day, which means less money spent by businesses trying to market their products and services.Online advertising can be easily targeted to ensure better results. You can make it where a different advertisement will be shown to potential customers on a gardening site than on a gaming site. Advertisements that are more relevant to a person are more likely to entice. This means more people clicking on your advertisements, and more people purchasing your products and services, or at least being aware of them.Most offline advertising is limited to only local business advertising. Or, the advertising may only show during specific times. Yet, online advertising is shown to potential customers and clients every day at every time of day. It doesn’t matter if these potential customers live in the USA or if they live in China. Because of this, you will find that more people are being exposed to your products. You will also receive a wider variety of customers or clients with different personalities and interests.For small businesses that don’t have much money to invest in advertising, they can easily use email marketing to garner more customers or clients. Email marketing is where companies send useful emails that both inform the reader and entice the reader into purchasing their products or services. Companies may need to hire someone to write emails that encourage converts, but other than that, there are no other major costs.

Online Advertising for Small and Medium Enterprises – A Huge Marketing Advantage

The importance of online advertising for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) can never be understated. It is also complete misguided thinking from the SME fraternity, that advertising will be expensive, time consuming and that the results are not always guaranteed.Advertising for small business is extremely importantWhy in the world is there a need for advertising? Why do giant conglomerates advertise? If such gargantuan companies find the need for advertising, shouldn’t there be an even bigger demand for local community advertising?Simply put, all companies whether big or small, advertise with the purpose of increasing their revenues and sales. But in saying so, it should also be put quite clearly that advertising could become expensive if you do not make informed decisions. Your final decision must be based on comparisons and true value for money.Thus, the importance of online advertising for Small and Medium Enterprises must be understoodWhen huge corporations are spending a fortune on advertising, is it not understandable that small business can also benefit from this practice? Conceivably, it will be on a much lower scale and the advertising will be aimed at the local community and areas of operation.The advantage of advertising cannot be neglected, as it enhances the image of the company, and brings the goods and services right to the forefront of potential buyers. It is this particular power of advertising that gets companies noticed, and extends their marketing footprint. Ironically, the smaller the company, the more it should spend its efforts on advertising because the potential return on investment is directly linked to this.The uncertainty of advertising is a low risk considerationThere is always a risk with advertising as the results can never be known for sure. This is the very reason why advertising is spread over TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and the internet.Online advertising is extremely important, more so for small businesses and in the case of small companies catering to local businesses. This is because online advertising can target extremely specific markets that cater for niche products and services.The advantage of advertising by targeting markets onlineThe target market is the market which has people who are ready to spend on what you are selling. By advertising online, Small and Medium Enterprises are addressing the needs of these clients very effectively. By catering to very specific niches of consumers, you are honing in on people who are quick to take a buying decision.After all, when so many millions of people are now relying more and more on the internet, what better way of advertising to them than by advertising online?What is the BIG advantage of advertising ONLINE?This form of advertising is highly effective as it allows advertisers to get a direct response from consumers and this is beneficial to both the consumer and the seller. Every small business owner has a computer these days, so even a simple but well structured email marketing campaign, has the potential to effortlessly reach clients.Thus understanding the importance of online advertising for Small and Medium Enterprises is extremely important, more so in the case of advertising for small business and local community advertising.